Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thinking About Aces + November Challenge Over!

Some quick thoughts about Ace-Ace today. Re-reading Harrington on Holdem vol.1 (a great book!) and came across the conventional wisdom that is 'Aces play best all-in pre-flop against a single opponent'...

Thought I'd have a look, we have 2 separate angles here. You are 80% favourite against someone with a lower pair - increase this to 2 opponents with lower pairs and you are 60% to win.... and so on.

The angles I wanted to cover are - 1) maximising your expectation 2) The effect on your variance.

So, Poker Stove shows us these numbers (using pairs that do not intefere with each other for straights and a mix of suits).

AA vs 99 - 80.8% equity

AA vs 99 vs 22 - 65.7% equity

AA vs QQ vs 88 vs 22 - 52.5% equity

So, we will simplify by saying that everyone involved has 1000 chips....

AA vs 99 - expectation +808 (cEv used), risk of busting 19.2%
AA vs 99 vs 22 - expectation +1242, risk of busting 34.3% (additional 15.1%)
AA vs QQ vs 88 vs 22 - expectation +1575, risk of busting 47.5% (add another 13.2%)

For 2 and 3 opponents - extra chips won vs increased chance of busting (baseline 1 opponent)

2 opponents - +434 chips, extra 15.1% bustout
3 opponents = +695 chips, extra 28.3% bustout

Its all kind of obvious right, as the number of opponents go up so does your expectation, yet the risk of busting out of a tournamnent also goes up... what is interesting (again in an obvious way!) is that the increased expectation in chips does not have the same risk / reward ratio as you add more opponents.

On the surface it would appear as if the 'covnentional wisdom' is right - that your best risk / reward comes against a single opponent. But how do we factor in the variance angle... that is to say that 'doubling up' is great, but could easily put is in a position where we have to take further chances in big pots to stay viable in the tournament, on the other hand tripling up (or even quadrupling) would put us in a completely different position - our future risk of ruin goes down - at least in the short term + out ability to grow our stack by pushing the shorties around goes up...

Food for thought!

Well, after a month (mostly) off of poker I set myself a $1k challenge to get back into the swing of things for November... erm, its over. 3 Final tables, 2 in PLO tournaments (a 5th and a 4th) followed by a 3rd in a NLHE tournament (all at fishtank central (Titan!)) put me over the $1k mark for the month already. No additional challenges - plenty to do besides poker this month, will set a new one next month and just play for fun (and hopefully a little more cash) for the remainder of this month.

Gl at the tables, Mark


MrTynKyn said...

Hello Mark
Congrats for the challenge.
I had always a doubt if I can ask.
Do u play for living ? cause u have the experience more than necessary to make a living from this. But live in Europe with 1500 USD or so , I think it is a bit difficult. Just curious .
Another one , Im finding some articles about how to play sng when the villian doesnt know ICM , sng strategy etc . He only see two cards and play with them.
I went to sng planet your blog , some 2+2 etc , can u recommend me some reads ?
Thanks in advance

michael said...

Thanks for all your hard work and information that you provide.

My question for you for your $1k challenge - what buy-in level did you play at and how many did you play?

Would love to play what is a reasonable $ per month based on buyin levels and # of MTT's entered. Pretty vague question but just trying to set some proper expectations.

Mark said...

Hi Michael,

The $1k (now a little more!) came from a real mixed bag of games nd levels.

The Stars $16 turbos, about 70 of them provided $280ish (thats running good btw!)

The majority of the cash came from the Turbo Revuy Sunday Million sats $3r / $8r and $10r, won 3 out of 6 attemps (inc one since challenge ended)

Omaha was a mix of 10c / 20c ($20) and 25c / 50c ($50) at Titan and then tourneys were a $10+r and a $5+r with smallish fields.

The MTT was a $20 freezeout also at Titan with 250ish players.

Also played several other MTTs this month, maybe 10 or 12 in total with either small cashes or (mostly) bustouts!

Hope that help - GL at the tables

Cheers, Mark