Monday, July 19, 2010

F*@! the math

I'm not naturally gifted in the mathematics department. I often joke that I got into the computer field because I can't do math in my head. This will always serve as a disadvantage in poker when I'm trying to figure out if a $27 bet into a $41 pot gives me the proper odds to call to an 8 out draw. I can get somewhat close, but it might take me awhile.

The application of combinatorial hand reading is another place where I won't ever be an expert. Knowing that there are x combinations of AK left and y combinations of KQ helping me narrow a player's range might always be beyond my ability to do in my head. Well, there are a few times I can use it to my "advantage", like the hand below.

Feral Cow Poker Hand Converter
Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em $0.05/$0.10 - 9 players

HJ: $4.04
CO: $12.15
Button: $39.69
SB: $11.85
BB: $4.15
UTG: $19.02
UTG+1: $9.16
MP: $8.22
MP2: $11.44 (Hero)

Preflop: ($0.15) Hero is MP2 with (9 players)
3 folds, Hero raises to $0.30, 2 folds, Button calls $0.30, 2 folds
Button was a 3/0 after 33 hands observed. This means I've seen him play one hand, and he limped into that one. Now he's calling a raise with position on me. I weight his range to pocket pairs and Ax.

Flop: ($0.75) (2 players)
Hero bets $0.40, Button calls $0.40
I don't like his call - these weak tight stats make me think he's got AK/AQ. He may also have a pocket pair that doesn't believe I have an ace.

Turn: ($1.55) (2 players)
Hero bets $0.60, Button raises to $1.40, Hero calls $0.80
I am bailed out by a third six - I can no longer be outkicked. I have caught up to many of his hands. His raise is kind of "cute" - he's testing to see if I have an ace with his TT-KK, or AK. Of course I consider the brief possibility that he has the fourth six, but every sign points to this being unlikely. Combinatorial analysis tells me it's very rare for him to have it, and his HUD stats also lean far against any kind of 6 in his range. I call the raise and intend on calling the river.

River: ($4.35) (2 players)
Hero checks, Button bets $4.35, Hero calls $4.35

Button showed , and won ($12.18) with four of a kind, Sixes
Hero mucked
Button won $12.18
(Rake: $0.87)

We do the best we can with our reads. Sometimes we're wrong.

I was wrong a lot today, by the way - my first day of vacation ends up being the worst day of online poker I have ever played in my life. I lost 5 buy ins in an absolute massacre. A night that makes you question whether the highs ever counter balance out the lows. When I win, I'm supposed to win - I work hard to get better and a plus night/week/month is just the payoff of that hard work. When a night like tonight hits, though - man. What a feeling. The "bad" is lower than the "good" is up, I think.


diverjoules said...

This low feeling will pass with the next big win and even moreso with the next great read that ends up netting you a big pot. LOL

The Poker Meister said...

This hand? Don't beat yourself up for not putting him on QUADS.

A. You're chopping almost all pots - if not winning them outright.

B. You can't go putting people on quads all of the time.

C. You didn't go broke with what I would have perceived to be at least a chop. You managed to "only" lose ~50BBs here. Kudos

D. A 3/0 calling a suited connector first to call a raise? WTF! Like you, I expect him to show up with, at worst, AK, and a lot of pocket pairs.

In summary, I'm going broke here - good job to you for keeping your head on.

One last thing: I usually avoid doing the math thing with combinatorial analysis. Like you, I'm maths challenged (comp. sci. major & systems engineer as my chosen career). I am always looking for the "easy way out," as such. The way I do it is by cancellation; i.e. I know there are as many combos of 2 pocket pairs as there are AKs, for example, AKs, for example = AA + KK. Just the same, the amount of AA combos = KK combos, so they cancel each other out. There's more, but I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it :-)

The Poker Meister said...

I meant AKo BTW.