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 09-02-2012, 11:13 PM #1 stranger   Join Date: Aug 2011 Posts: 13 EV of folding, dead money, winrates, muddled thinking Hi, please help me reconcile these ideas. I've been taught that when looking at EV of different actions, that we should view the EV of folding as zero "by definition". I'm a bit confused though because there are times where because of the dead money, we should be making an "losing" play that is still better than folding. An example of this might occur when in the big blind. There are certain hands where if you were to play them, you might have a -50bb/100 "win rate" (loss rate) in your holdem' manager, however if you were to fold that hand every time, hold'em manager would show -100bb/100...so in this case, we are not comparing our EV to zero, but we're comparing our EV to -100bb/100 and since -50bb/100 is a better loss rate than -100bb/100, we should still play the hand. I am wondering in what other circumstances it might be the case that we shouldn't compare our EV to zero, but instead we compare our EV to losing a chance to win the dead money. Perhaps another situation could be constructed with block betting on the river, where if we make a small block bet to prevent ourselves from being bluffed when we check. Say the river pot is P, and our block bet would be X (where X is say 1/3 of P). If we get called, we lose -X, but we prevent ourselves from being bluffed and missing the opportunity at P, however if we check and fold, we can't win P...so instead of comparing our EV to zero, we compare our EV to giving up our chance at what is in the middle and losing our river bet some % could be preferable to always losing when check/folding. I realize this situation is muddled and inexact, but hopefully you could see what I'm getting at where it is theoretically possible. Does this make sense? When should we be comparing EV to zero and when should we be comparing our potential loss rate by folding? Best, Barry
09-03-2012, 02:00 PM   #2
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Re: EV of folding, dead money, winrates, muddled thinking

Quote:
 Originally Posted by baztanen Hi, please help me reconcile these ideas. I've been taught that when looking at EV of different actions, that we should view the EV of folding as zero "by definition". I'm a bit confused though because there are times where because of the dead money, we should be making an "losing" play that is still better than folding. An example of this might occur when in the big blind. There are certain hands where if you were to play them, you might have a -50bb/100 "win rate" (loss rate) in your holdem' manager, however if you were to fold that hand every time, hold'em manager would show -100bb/100...so in this case, we are not comparing our EV to zero, but we're comparing our EV to -100bb/100 and since -50bb/100 is a better loss rate than -100bb/100, we should still play the hand.
You are having a baseline problem. EV is always calculated relative to some baseline stack size, say Sb. Then EV = expected stack size after the hand – Sb.

Usually, the baseline is your stack size just before a decision is made. In that case, if you fold, your stack size after the fold is exactly what it was before you folded. That is why they say that for a cash game, EVfold = 0. But then the EV of a call or raise decision has to use the same baseline.

Your hold’em manager evaluations use as a baseline your stack size at the beginning of the hand. For argument’s sake, assume it is 10bb. HEM gives a win rate of -100bb/100 meaning an EV of -1bb for one hand if you fold as the big blind. That is your loss when the baseline is your stack size at the start of the hand. So, HEM says that if you fold, your stack size will be 10-1= 9bb, which of course is correct.

To make discussion a bit easier, assume hold’em manager has a -60bb/100 loss rate with betting. That is equivalent to having 0.6 bb less after the hand plays out, on average – you started out with 10 bb and now have 10-0.6 =9.4 bb. Since 9.4 bb is better than 9 bb, a bet is better than a fold.

Now, let's use our stack size just before betting as the baseline, which would be 9 after posting the blind? Clearly, our stack size doesn’t change with a fold, so it remains at 9; therefore EVfold = 9-9 = 0bb in this case. And, with a bet, HEM tells us that we have 9.4bb. So, EVbet is 9.4 – 9 = 0.4bb, which confirms that betting is better than folding.

Last edited by statmanhal; 09-03-2012 at 02:23 PM.

 09-09-2012, 06:24 PM #3 stranger   Join Date: Aug 2011 Posts: 13 Re: EV of folding, dead money, winrates, muddled thinking Thank you statmanhal

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