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Old 12-26-2007, 06:48 PM   #1
mvdgaag
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Spade NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

Hi all,

I'm posting this to try to put an end to the 'better spot' myth. Although it's not likely this post will do that, I (and you) can link to this when someone starts the 'better spot' crap again.


There is no such thing as a better spot in cashgames.

When you have a decision to make you have limited choices. It's good poker to choose the one that will make you the most (or lose the least) money in the long run. If that means you are a 51% to 49% favorite with no money in the pot you should be happy to gamble for anything you have at the table even if you know you are going to be a 80% favorite in the future. Because you will get the 80% favorite situation wether you lose this one or not. But miss out on this one when you don't take it. In the long run it's just bad to leave any edge.


There are a couple exceptions that are theoretically valid, but that are almost never the reason for posting the 'better spot' argument. I'll try to sum them up and explain them here:

You are in a tournament.
Obviously, in a tournament you can't rebuy. So if you're a small favorite for all your chips (and tournament live) now or a big favorite later and you want to get into the money, you might want to pass a small edge. This is only because you can't rebuy and will only win when you get far enough into the tournament.

You tilt a lot when you lose a couple of stacks.
If you take a small edge and lose a lot more than just this pot because of tilt a +EV situation can become a -EV situation when you count the tilt losses in later hands to the equation. By playing less small edges you won't have as much variance (or profit) and therefore less tilt. So the profit you give up might be smaller than the tilt losses you prevent. The solution is basically wrong imo. This shouldn't be solved by 'waiting for a better spot'. You should work on not tilting instead.

Your opponent is very fishy, but will leave when he wins AND there are no other fishy opponents to exploit once he does.
If you are in a live game where there is not plenty of opportunity to find worse players (like there is online) you might not want to have the fish leave. If you take a small edge now, and he is likely to leave when he wins you have lost your fish (and income) for the night. If you can almost certainly make more money from him in later hands without a big chance that he'll leave then you may want to 'wait for a better spot'. The argument doesn't hold online at micro or small stakes (maybe higher, I don't know). There are plenty of fish and you don't have to be scared your only milking cow runs away for the night.

Last but not least: You don't have the bankroll for the level you are playing at.
if you are a 51% to 49% favorite and cannot afford to lose one buyin you might want to wait for a better spot. This is because you cannot rebuy (compare it to the tournament argument). This should not be solved by 'waiting for a better spot' but by proper bankroll management: drop in stakes.




I really hope this clears things up. If anyone would like to add/comment please do so.

GL


PS: I feel this threat belongs in the NL microstakes forum, because this is where the terrible 'better spot' argument is used all the time. If a moderator disagrees, feel free to move the threat, but please let me know, so I can keep linking to it.

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Last edited by udbrky; 01-08-2011 at 01:54 AM. Reason: color is unreadable in slick
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:00 PM   #2
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

another exception:

you are deepstacked with a fish

even this consideration (the main legitimate one imo) is usually overrated, even around here, since its not that often you'll be requiring that deep stack.

also, when people say wait for a better spot, they often mean 'wait for a spot that is more clearly +EV'.

nice to clear this up for some folks.

Last edited by bozzer; 12-26-2007 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:08 PM   #3
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

I allways try to avoid coinflip situatons in cash game beacuse I know I am better than most of my opponents and there will be allways a situation when I can get my money in when I'm a 80-20 favourite or I can simply outplay them later. There are a lot of weak opponents in online microlimit cash games and there is allways a table to play at. I don't play live, but where I live there are no microlimit cash games, the smallest cash games are like NL200.
At the same time I try to get into coinflips in MTT (maybe that's why I am a losing player at MTT :P), 'cos the blinds are increasing fast, and there is no time to build a stack, so I can't play my agressive game before the bubble.
Bankroll is the most important thing in poker, if u cant afford to lose a coinflip situation in a cash game, there is something not ok...
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:35 PM   #4
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

Quote:
Originally Posted by plusevHUN View Post
I allways try to avoid coinflip situatons in cash game beacuse I know I am better than most of my opponents and there will be allways a situation when I can get my money in when I'm a 80-20 favourite or I can simply outplay them later.
sigh... You are missing out
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:44 PM   #5
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bozzer View Post
another exception:

you are deepstacked with a fish

even this consideration (the main legitimate one imo) is usually overrated, even around here, since its not that often you'll be requiring that deep stack.

also, when people say wait for a better spot, they often mean 'wait for a spot that is more clearly +EV'.

nice to clear this up for some folks.
took the words out of my mouth.

a lot of discussion comes from spots in which the EV is being debated because its very very difficult to to know EXACTLY what any villain's range is (especially at lower stakes when they can be erratic).

i 100% agree with your post though and its great to to have a well written one to cite.
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:57 PM   #6
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

mvdgaag's post is trying to explain just way your reasoning is flawed.

Say you are in situation A and in this you are a 55% favourite. You know that in three hands situation B will occur where you are 80% favorite. You say that you should pass up situation A? Why on earth would you like to do that? If you loose your stack in that situation you only have to rebuy to 100 BB's again so that you can get you money in again when situation B comes along!
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:03 PM   #7
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

Quote:
Originally Posted by plusevHUN View Post
I allways try to avoid coinflip situatons in cash game beacuse I know I am better than most of my opponents and there will be allways a situation when I can get my money in when I'm a 80-20 favourite or I can simply outplay them later. There are a lot of weak opponents in online microlimit cash games and there is allways a table to play at. I don't play live, but where I live there are no microlimit cash games, the smallest cash games are like NL200.
At the same time I try to get into coinflips in MTT (maybe that's why I am a losing player at MTT :P), 'cos the blinds are increasing fast, and there is no time to build a stack, so I can't play my agressive game before the bubble.
Bankroll is the most important thing in poker, if u cant afford to lose a coinflip situation in a cash game, there is something not ok...
your logic is very flawed imo. reread the OP.

if i get what you are saying then you would gladly fold when you are 51:49 ahead in a cash game getting 1:1 odds yet definitely call in a tournament. your reasoning should be the opposite, however it really depends on your M in tournaments.

there is a virtual infinite longrun in cash games as opposed to tournaments. tournaments have a definite end and have pay increases and there are a lot of things to consider when deciding to flip for all your chips. it would take an extensive article to articulate them all so i wont go through it. this is about cash games, not tournies, anyway.

lets say you are in the BB with 2c2d and there are 100bb effective stacks around the table. utg open shoves, everyone folds to you and utg flips over AcKc. your equity here is...

Text results appended to pokerstove.txt

1,712,304 games 0.002 secs 856,152,000 games/sec

Board:
Dead:

equity win tie pots won pots tied
Hand 0: 50.298% 49.96% 00.33% 855521 5727.00 { 2c2d }
Hand 1: 49.702% 49.37% 00.33% 845329 5727.00 { AcKc }


---

you are calling 100bb to win 101.5bb so you are getting slightly better than 1:1 odds. you are also a slightly better than 1:1 favorite. this is an obvious marginally +EV spot (ignoring rake to make a point cause it actually plays a role in this case). folding here would basically be throwing away about 1.6bb each time you do it. if you fold here 63 times in a row, you are throwing away a buy in. its not significant and the variance is extremely high but its still throwing away money.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:22 PM   #8
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

great post knew it already but looking at the discussions on hands where people are saying fold and wait for a better spot shows clearly it was a needed post
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:26 PM   #9
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvdgaag View Post
Hi all,

I'm posting this to try to put an end to the 'better spot' myth. Although it's not likely this post will do that, I (and you) can link to this when someone starts the 'better spot' crap again.


There is no such thing as a better spot in cashgames.

When you have a decision to make you have limited choices. It's good poker to choose the one that will make you the most (or lose the least) money in the long run. If that means you are a 51% to 49% favorite with no money in the pot you should be happy to gamble for anything you have at the table even if you know you are going to be a 80% favorite in the future. Because you will get the 80% favorite situation wether you lose this one or not. But miss out on this one when you don't take it. In the long run it's just bad to leave any edge.


There are a couple exceptions that are theoretically valid, but that are almost never the reason for posting the 'better spot' argument. I'll try to sum them up and explain them here:

You are in a tournament.
Obviously, in a tournament you can't rebuy. So if you're a small favorite for all your chips (and tournament live) now or a big favorite later and you want to get into the money, you might want to pass a small edge. This is only because you can't rebuy and will only win when you get far enough into the tournament.

You tilt a lot when you lose a couple of stacks.
If you take a small edge and lose a lot more than just this pot because of tilt a +EV situation can become a -EV situation when you count the tilt losses in later hands to the equation. By playing less small edges you won't have as much variance (or profit) and therefore less tilt. So the profit you give up might be smaller than the tilt losses you prevent. The solution is basically wrong imo. This shouldn't be solved by 'waiting for a better spot'. You should work on not tilting instead.

Your opponent is very fishy, but will leave when he wins AND there are no other fishy opponents to exploit once he does.
If you are in a live game where there is not plenty of opportunity to find worse players (like there is online) you might not want to have the fish leave. If you take a small edge now, and he is likely to leave when he wins you have lost your fish (and income) for the night. If you can almost certainly make more money from him in later hands without a big chance that he'll leave then you may want to 'wait for a better spot'. The argument doesn't hold online at micro or small stakes (maybe higher, I don't know). There are plenty of fish and you don't have to be scared your only milking cow runs away for the night.

Last but not least: You don't have the bankroll for the level you are playing at.
if you are a 51% to 49% favorite and cannot afford to lose one buyin you might want to wait for a better spot. This is because you cannot rebuy (compare it to the tournament argument). This should not be solved by 'waiting for a better spot' but by proper bankroll management: drop in stakes.



I really hope this clears things up. If anyone would like to add/comment please do so.

GL


PS: I feel this threat belongs in the NL microstakes forum, because this is where the terrible 'better spot' argument is used all the time. If a moderator disagrees, feel free to move the threat, but please let me know, so I can keep linking to it.
Are you feeling ok? I can't believe people agree with this theory. So do you guys call a shortstack's all in PF with garbage like AT and KJ? I really don't think this is a solid view on winning poker....ldo

Isn't the point of poker that we as slid players have a significant edge? How do we maintain this edge if we begin gambling like all the fish do? If you become a card counter, you can be a coinflip in a lot of blackjack games...I rather stick to poker where my edge is alot more defined.

Last edited by DG-cRaZe; 12-26-2007 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:33 PM   #10
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DG-cRaZe View Post
Are you feeling ok? I can't believe people agree with this theory. So do you guys call a shortstack's all in PF with garbage like AT and KJ? I really don't think this is a solid view on winning poker....ldo

I'm fine, thanks . I don't quite understand you and get the feeling you don't understand me either.
About the shortstack. To simplify let's say we are in the BB, so we're guaranteed to play only against the shortstack. I'll call him with any hand I think is profitable against his range, even if it's slightly profitable.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:36 PM   #11
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DG-cRaZe View Post
Isn't the point of poker that we as slid players have a significant edge? How do we maintain this edge if we begin gambling like all the fish do? If you become a card counter, you can be a coinflip in a lot of blackjack games...I rather stick to poker where my edge is alot more defined.
Good players will not abandon a profitable situation very often, even if it's slightly profitable. All the small edges help. There's no reason to only want to win pots when you are way ahead if you can do that AND win a little on average when you are only a slight favorite.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:45 PM   #12
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

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Originally Posted by mvdgaag View Post
I'm fine, thanks . I don't quite understand you and get the feeling you don't understand me either.
About the shortstack. To simplify let's say we are in the BB, so we're guaranteed to play only against the shortstack. I'll call him with any hand I think is profitable against his range, even if it's slightly profitable.

Depends on the shortstack, some are very nitty ... but MOST just gamble and will push any pair, any ace ... and a lot of suited junk.

AT is an instacall vs such a player giving you a 60-40 edge against his range, not taking this bet is just just plain bad poker.

But the worst argument is all the flop situations, where it is a flip, but there is like 20-40bb in dead money ... where everyone says, wait till you find a better spot, when actually you don't mind it, cos if you lose, then you'll win back your stack when that better spot comes ... so you are just freeriding in a way.

You never mind losing to a fish, cos as long as he doesn't leave chances are hell donate it back again.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:47 PM   #13
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

When I use this phrase in regards to a cash game, I think I mean more of being able to tighten the range you have the villain on. I agree entirely with your post, definitely be aggressive with even the smallest of edges, but some situations are more difficult than saying you are a 51% favorite.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:57 PM   #14
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

If we can determine if a situation is +EV or not is a different problem.

The post was meant for situations where we have good reason to believe something is slightly +EV and still want to 'find a better spot'.

Not knowing if something is +EV or not is something we all encounter and a good reason to start thinking, posting, looking at ranges, using pokerstove, whatever, but not to post the words 'find a better spot' while you really mean 'I don't know' imo.
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:03 PM   #15
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

Don't forget if opponent monkey tilts then getting into flips in cash games can be very rewarding. I spanked $150 off a fish the other day in just such a situation.
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:14 PM   #16
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

a lot of times when people say to fold and find a better spot, their advice and reasons for giving that advice are good, but they way they word it is stupid.
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:36 PM   #17
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DG-cRaZe View Post
Are you feeling ok? I can't believe people agree with this theory. So do you guys call a shortstack's all in PF with garbage like AT and KJ? I really don't think this is a solid view on winning poker....ldo

Isn't the point of poker that we as slid players have a significant edge? How do we maintain this edge if we begin gambling like all the fish do? If you become a card counter, you can be a coinflip in a lot of blackjack games...I rather stick to poker where my edge is alot more defined.
Tilts me a bit to read this.

Listen: GOOD CASH GAME POKER IS ALL ABOUT IDENTIFYING EDGES, NO MATTER HOW SMALL. PASSING UP ANY EDGE AT ALL IN A CASH GAME IS SAYING NO TO FREE MONEY. THERE IS SIMPLY NO RATIONAL REASON WHATSOEVER FOR A PROPERLY ROLLED PLAYER TO SAY NO TO EVEN THE MOST MICROSCOPIC EDGES. NONE. AT. ALL.

Lets say you play 1 million hands. During those 1 million hands you pass up all 51/49 situations in your favour - because you dont want to 'begin gambling like all the fish do'. Lets say you pass up 50000 51/49 flips during those hands. Lets us say that on average your EV in these situations is +2 cents (a very small number, but this is microstakes).

That adds up to $1000. Money the fish want to give you - but you refuse it.

Edit: ok, of course there are the exceptions OP listed above, but apart from those, it is simply irrational to give up any edge. Of course you can rarely, if ever, identify your edge down to single digit percentage points without seeing villain's cards. But that is beside the point.

Last edited by TheRenaissance; 12-26-2007 at 09:45 PM. Reason: I was a bit too blunt
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:44 PM   #18
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bozzer View Post
also, when people say wait for a better spot, they often mean 'wait for a spot that is more clearly +EV'.

nice to clear this up for some folks.
I guess my view goes along these lines. I am almost sure I have 51% equity on my opponent's range, even the slightest chance I underestimated his range will kill my edge in the situation. For sure if I know my odds are 55% to win I will put my money in but this thread seems to be refering to the edge a little too lightly.

Additionally playing for a 1% edge often results in problems for most players. This is an extremely high variance approach to the game and it is very hard to play at 100% of your capacity when going through difficult swings. I think making sure you maintain 100% efficiency outweighs a microscopic edge.
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:45 PM   #19
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

Actually there is one ... say you are playing HU vs a player that underdefends his BB, so by potting on the btn, you actually show a profit

He also steals too little

You know that he likes to play HU and most likely will not leave. Then you can give up all forms of postflop play and just rob him blind pf.



/Sklansky
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:53 PM   #20
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

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Originally Posted by Gelford View Post
Actually there is one ... say you are playing HU vs a player that underdefends his BB, so by potting on the btn, you actually show a profit

He also steals too little

You know that he likes to play HU and most likely will not leave. Then you can give up all forms of postflop play and just rob him blind pf.



/Sklansky
But, assuming we are a better postflop player than villain, why would we not play him postflop? Yes, we are showing a risk-free profit playing the preflop game, but we could show even more profit playing postflop as well.

What am I missing?
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:58 PM   #21
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

Don't get that one either...why keep your edge to a minimum when you can maximize it by taking more situations where you can outplay your opponent? Would be surprised Slansky had this oppinion, there has to be specific circumstances surrounding this theory.

He can't be saying to fold to any bet postflop and not play your hand. Maybe his quote is just taken too literaly.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:00 PM   #22
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

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I guess my view goes along these lines. I am almost sure I have 51% equity on my opponent's range, even the slightest chance I underestimated his range will kill my edge in the situation. For sure if I know my odds are 55% to win I will put my money in but this thread seems to be refering to the edge a little too lightly.

Additionally playing for a 1% edge often results in problems for most players. This is an extremely high variance approach to the game and it is very hard to play at 100% of your capacity when going through difficult swings. I think making sure you maintain 100% efficiency outweighs a microscopic edge.
I dont think anyone really are saying that we can and should be able to identify and exploit edges down to 0.0001%. But IF we somehow could identify such edges, and we had the proper bankroll and none of the other exceptions mentioned in the OP came into play, THEN it would be wrong not to take it.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:07 PM   #23
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

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Originally Posted by DG-cRaZe View Post
Are you feeling ok? I can't believe people agree with this theory. So do you guys call a shortstack's all in PF with garbage like AT and KJ? I really don't think this is a solid view on winning poker....ldo

Isn't the point of poker that we as slid players have a significant edge? How do we maintain this edge if we begin gambling like all the fish do? If you become a card counter, you can be a coinflip in a lot of blackjack games...I rather stick to poker where my edge is alot more defined.
First of all you need to define how short is short and how good he is at playing short for that question to even make sense (i.e. what his range is).

No that's not the point of poker. The point of poker is that we have an edge. It doesn't matter if it's significant or tiny (as long as you have the prerequisite bankroll). Yes, it is easier to have a bigger edge in micros, but the higher you go up in levels the smaller your edge becomes. So if you start passing up on those tiny edges now, you'll never be able to beat the higher stakes games, where people will stop calling your shoves with two-pair on a 4 to a flush board. So if you don't care about the money aspect of a tiny edge in micros you should at least care about your inferior poker skills when you pass those small edges.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:14 PM   #24
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Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

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Originally Posted by DG-cRaZe View Post
Don't get that one either...why keep your edge to a minimum when you can maximize it by taking more situations where you can outplay your opponent? Would be surprised Slansky had this oppinion, there has to be specific circumstances surrounding this theory.

He can't be saying to fold to any bet postflop and not play your hand. Maybe his quote is just taken too literaly.
I think you miss the point (or I miss yours, it's late)... Here's some assumptions I think we can all live with:

1 Some hands you are a big mathematical favorite (this is what I meant by edge)
2 Others a small one
3 Some hands you might be able to profitably try to outplay your opponent, which can also be expressed mathematically
4 Any situation where you on average gain more than $0 you are better off doing this than to fold.


This means we do not 'keep' edges small. Instead we encounter situations where we have the mathematical edge (small or large) and situations where we don't. To fold in situations where we have any edge (the excepted profit is positive if we don't fold) is never a good thing. That's the whole point.

So if there's $1 in the pot, effective stacks are $100 and you're 50/50 against someone that has just gone allin, you should take the shot. You'll end up with $100.50 on average. There will be better spots and we will ALSO take those.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:20 PM   #25
DG-cRaZe
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 233
Re: NU SUCH THING AS BETTER SPOTS IN CASHGAMES :eek:

mvdgaag; the post you just quoted was not related to your OP, but to a Slanksy quote posted in another reply.

I understand and agree with the theory behind your views, but in practice it is impossible to be 100% sure your equity is 51% in a given situation which is why I don't think is can be applied to the extent of taking a 1% edge.
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