Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sit and Go Strategy - Bubble Dialemma Row On P5s!

Now and again a forum post appears that causes a big fight! This sit and go strategy bubble play question was exactly that - the easy call and easy fold (for the 2nd biggest stack) 'camps' throwing the proverbial sticks and stones.

My immediate thought was 'that guy needs a monster to call here' but then again he only has to beat one of his two opponents right? If he loses to ack_1969 but beats jgivg then he has 3rd place locked up... this doubt was enough to get me looking at the numbers a little harder. (Warning - will be a lot of maths in this post - for those not so mathematically minded there are several 'friendlier' posts below!).

Here is the p5's link: http://www.pocketfives.com/C3C8F231-C85A-4E00-B5DA-2674BFCF79AB.aspx

PokerStars Game #11346549860: Tournament #57569491, $15+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level VI (100/200) - 2007/08/06 - 18:30:54 (ET)Table '57569491 1' 9-max
Seat #3 is the buttonSeat
2: x_QUIXTAR_x (4420 in chips)
Seat 3: ack_1969 (8075 in chips)
Seat 6: jgivg (60 in chips)
Seat 9: takeitdown2 (945 in chips)
jgivg: posts small blind 60 and is all-in
takeitdown2: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***Dealt to ack_1969 [Ah Tc]
x_QUIXTAR_x: calls 200
ack_1969: raises 7875 to 8075 and is all-in
takeitdown2: folds
x_QUIXTAR_x: calls 4220 and is all-in

We will start off by taking a snapshot of each player's $ equity as calculated using poker ICM, will use a $100 prize pool before posting the blinds for simplification....

x_QUIXTAR_x: 4420 Chips - $32.88c
ack_1969: 8075 Chips - $41.31c
jgivg: 60 Chips - $1.47c
takeitdown2: 945 Chips - $22.34c

Fine, so Quixtar limps (apparently offering to contribute 1 blind to ensuring that jgvig busts), Ack_1969 shoves (not a bad move with any 2 cards as his opponents are unlikely to call him, after all keeping the bubble alive is just as good from a big-stack perspective). Jgivg is all-in and takeitdown2 folds... so the action is back to Quixtar who calls the all in.

Going to look from Quixtar's point of view - theoretically he is risking his $32.88 in equity here by fighting with the biggy. However there is an alternative outcome - he loses to the biggy but so does the small stack (which leaves him in 3rd place with $20 in equity) so the real risk is only $12.88c X-percent of the time and $32.88 Y-Percent of the time....(probalilities in a minute) what about the potential gain?

Well beating both others will give Quixtar $43.16c - a gain of $10.28c
ack-1969 would go down to $33.83
jgivg is out in 4th with $0
Takeitdown2 - up to $23.01

Now we include the probabilities - going to have to make an assumption or 2... really that to call the shove from ack_1969 the guy needs a hand! Couple this with the truly random hand of jgivg and we should work with something like 5% vs random (5% might be a bit high but then again this is a $16!).

We then need to give a range to Ack_1969, sure he could do this with 'air' but more likely he has something of a little substance... let us go with top 50% for the sake of argument.

Probability #1- Ack_1969 beats Jgigv - 50% of hands vs Random = 58% of the time.

This is the key part as now we can work out the true equity risk of Quixtar and work backwards

(58*$12.88)+(42*$32.88)/100 = $21.28 per attempt.

So on this basis (and still 1 more scenario to go!) Quixtar is risking $21.28 for a potential gain of $10.28c... he is laying equity odds of just over 2/1 and thus needs around 68% winning chances against ack_1969's range to make the call profitable.

Good guess earlier... top 5% of hands 88+ ATs+ KQs and AQo are all profitable here.

Now a final scenario... the only truly terrible scenario from Quixtar's perspective is that he loses to Ack_1968 and jgivg beats him... otherwise he has the 3rd place money locked up. So we can quickly sum the probabilities of this happening...

69% of the time Quixtar beats Ack_1960....
Of the 31% of the time he does not beat him Ack_1969 beats jgivg 58% of the time.

So 58% of 31% = around 19% more...

The summed probability thus suggests that calling with top 5% of hands is good 88% of the time here (from the perspective of not bubbling only - equity is already profitable).

Lots of numbers but a clear conclusion - Quixtar can call with 5% if he believes Ack-1969 is pushing with to 50%.... will leave it up to you readers to work out the numbers if we give Ack different ranges!!

GL at the tables, Mark

3 comments:

GambleGamble said...

hi, i have just recently read through your blog and i have found it very interesting. Mainly because i'm just starting to take poker seriously and would like to make a small bit of cash from your speciality; sit no gos. I read in your new years resolution that you wish to take on an "apprentice" this year, and was just wondering if this is still the case. I would find it very helpful to get advice from a player who has gone through the journey i am hoping to travel. Is this possible? Thanks

p.s. i also wish to write a blog for this venture. Started one a while ago, but had to stop due to lack of internet.

GambleGamble said...

hi, i have just recently read through your blog and i have found it very interesting. Mainly because i'm just starting to take poker seriously and would like to make a small bit of cash from your speciality; sit no gos. I read in your new years resolution that you wish to take on an "apprentice" this year, and was just wondering if this is still the case. I would find it very helpful to get advice from a player who has gone through the journey i am hoping to travel. Is this possible? Thanks

p.s. i also wish to write a blog for this venture. Started one a while ago, but had to stop due to lack of internet.

Mark said...

Hi,

Hi GambleGamble... I'm afraid the new years resolution went out the window due to lack of time. Always happy to answer questions though - especially if these relate either to 'A Comedy of Errors' or to a specific blog post.

Best of luck with those SNGs - let me know if you gain some momentum with your blog - I am always happy to encourage new bloggers and exchange links etc!

Cheers, Mark