Tuesday, July 10, 2007

SNG Bubble All-in / Fold Ranges... A New Angle?

Before we get on to the bubble bits... just moved! Back in an old flat that was rented out while we travelled the world. Small but very smart, 2 minutes from the Danube and the centre of Budapest and no mortgage!!

Things just got even better with the discovery of free wi-fi (we will have our own connection installed later in the week anyway). Just when things could not get any better they did! My wonderful Fiance Erika gave me an hour off of unpacking to blog and check mails!!

So, my latest thoughts on bubble calling ranges for SNG players.

Well the ICM calculators and spreadsheets around work by giving opponents percentage ranges of hands that they might push all-in with or fold. This is the basis of pushbotting, if you can accurately assess those ranges you can push / call in a way that is profitable. My new thought is that percentage ranges do not tell the correct story... that within those ranges some hands are more likely to be used than others.

Here is an example... let us assume that a players pushing range is 30%, here are the hands which make up this range: 22+,A2+,K8o+,K4s+,QTo+,Q9s+,JTs

My question today is that some of these hands will work better 'hot and cold' (all-in with no betting to come) than others, our player knows this so he is actually more likely to fold some of the hands that will be in really bad shape when called. Lets imagine that this is A2-A8 off, A2-A5 suited and King-4 to 6 suited and the K-8 off, these are more or less the hands that are most easily dominated when called. Now our thinking player might well be adding some hands here... suited connectors fit the bill - 98s and 910s for example fare pretty well against unpaired high cards and pairs below the 8 or 9 when called. The total may well be 30% but a different 30% than the Karlson-Sklansky hand rankings might suggest.

The thought can be summarised like this - the ICM calculators give us simple and effective ranges - but reality at the table might not reflect these... if we stepped back and took a reality check then our calling ranges could be adjusted to reflect this. Some thoughts on possible adjustments:

For calling:
- If opponent is not pushing the lower aces (suited or otherwise) then we need to remove the medium aces from our calling range.
- Suited high cards might go up in value slightly against more connectors in our opponents range.

For Shoving:
- If our opponents have shown a propensity to call with aces then we should cut the lowest of these from our shoving range.
- If our opponents favour paired high-cards (K10s and the like) then the aces can come back in but the suited connectors can be cut-back.

Ah well, its a new thought to me and no time to do the numbers today. Will return to this subject at some point very soon with some calculations. Remember that an adjustment that leads to a $1 edge in a SNG is 1 real dollar in your pocket over time...

GL at the tables, Mark

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