Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Declining 4/1 Shots??

2008 is here and time for Plan3t Gong to get back to the important task of giving readers something to think about!

Family visits have left little time for poker over the past week - however I have started to read 'Kill Phil', first impressions are good, certainly well written and some interesting conceptual arguments.

There is a preface by one Phil Helmuth Jr. Just a couple of pages and only one note-worthy comment... it concerned the avoidance of risks early in tournaments, with the idea that even a marginally positive expectation situation will be avoided by the real experts if this were for their 'tournament life'... since they have a bigger expectation by allowing the superior skills to show over a larger number of hands.

It makes sense right? I mean why take a 55 / 45 advantage if you are good enough to accumulate chips with far less risk.

But wait - the quote in the Kill Phil intro stated that Helmuth was actually considering declining pair vs underpair situations in the early rounds. Yep, he would fold even if he 'knew' his opponent had a lower pair as the 20-odd percent risk would not be worth it.

Certainly food for thought, whether it really happened or is just a media-savvy piece of provocative writing we will never really know!

The first thoughts of 2008 will continue with looking into whether there are times in a SNG, during the early to mid stages and indeed at the bubble, when it would be 'better' to turn down a small positive expectation edge....

GL at the tables for all of 2008!

Mark

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