Originally Posted by Chasqui
Thats sounds complicated, to simplify, which part do you disagree with in what I said: "calling one bet in a 25+ bet pot to hit your set isn't where you lose the money, you are mostly losing the preflop money"
You don't lose any money in a call with proper odds, you get back a little more than what you put in (for that call).
That's not true, but it's not true in an interesting way that I suspect many players don't understand.
Let's go back to our setmining example. If we assume a model of flopping a set or folding, we know we are 1 in 7.5 to make a set. Which means that we would want 7.5 x 4, or 30 small bets, in the pot if our set is always good. (In practice, we'd want about 10 x 4, or 40 small bets, in the pot because our set will not always be good. But just follow the math here.)
However, if we assume we are going to put an extra 1 or 2 small bets (let's make it an average of 1.5) on the flop, which will be mathematically correct calls, because of the pot size, this adds an additional 5 percent chance of hitting a set as we are now getting four cards. So we will now have about an 18 percent chance of hitting a set. But we are paying, on average, 5.5 small bets to do it. So we'd want 5.5 x 5.5, or 30.25 small bets, in the pot if our set is always good. In other words, even though the flop calls are correct, our expected value on the pre-flop call went DOWN a little, so that we need a slightly larger pot size to make the money back.
What happened here? It's simple-- one of the costs of making an incorrect call on one street is pricing yourself in for future calls
I can remember one hand that I posted on 2+2 long ago-- I wish I could remember where-- in a 1/2 online limit game where I had ace-king and for various reasons underestimated the strength of my opponents' hands, and by the 3rd or 4th bet on the turn I had the 11 to 1 odds to call for my gutshot, which I then hit (I was up against 2 sets as it turned out) to win a huge (38BB) pot. And the reason I posted the hand was to make precisely this point-- that I had made a bunch of incorrect calls drawing near-dead and by the time I figured out my overs were no good and all I had were the 4 outs, I had priced myself in for more calls.
If you want the non-mathematical explanation for this phenomenon, it's actually pretty straightforward. Part of the pot that you are calling to win on the flop IS YOUR OWN MONEY that you already put in. When you are getting 20 to 1 or whatever on your flop call, only 16 of that 20 came from the rest of the table. 4 is what you already put in. At the time of the flop call, it's a sunk cost so you have to try to win it back. But pre-flop, it hasn't been sunk yet-- you can decide not to put it in the pot in part so that you don't have to put additional money in to try to win it back.