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Old 10-05-2016, 11:03 PM   #16401
cAmmAndo
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Wish someone could teach me how to know I have 51% or 55% or 47.23471% equity in a pot Winrates, bankrolls, and finances. Poker would be so easy my WR would be everychipOnTheTable / hour.

My complaint about these "avoid thin spots" strats is give-me-a-break that anyone has that precise and accurate opponents' ranges figured. (And if anyone could, they are well well beyond building a roll). If someone is "cutting out thin spots" I would lay good money they aren't passing on ~0EV spots, they are passing on +EV spots and misrecognizing them as "thin". In reality, good poker is going after perceived by solid +EV spots, but being imperfect we end up in some ~0EV or even -EV spots sometimes. You can't just "cut these out of your game".

The other problem is overlooking pot odds and making huge EV mistakes because a spot "is risky" - like calling $100 off with 30% equity but getting 3:1. Folding is just bad.. regardless of your "roll strat". If you can't chase EV, then you will also be very easy to play against.

Yeah the "1%" edge thing is thrown around ... As if.... I'm on board with all this ^^^^^ but i think I was clear in earlier post.

To go completely old skool, scared money don't make money and makin money is the best way to out run variance.
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:10 PM   #16402
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Need to know average pot size (or at least % of times rake is maxed) to be able to answer that, I would think.
Could you just use general assumptions about your stock standard 2/5 game? Numbers ofc don't have to be exact, just want some sort of ball park.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:31 AM   #16403
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Just to be clear:

I prefer playing deep stacked. I play nut draws aggressively in good spots. I'll bluff when it's likely to work. I'll bet a straight draw and rep the flush on the turn. I'll triple barrel a weak/tight player on the right runout. I'm very aware of table dynamics and will move seats/tables when appropriate. I don't have a predominate style, rather my style is fluid and determined by table conditions including my stack.

I'm not saying marginal hands are any hand where I don't have the nuts Fat value might be 2nd pair vs a bluffy maniac, air IP vs disinterested weak/tight as much as an overpair flatted headsup vs a loose aggro type who over values top pair.

In my opinion avoiding marginal spots is not necessarily weak tight. What I mean by it is playing tighter (particularly OOP) preflop and just folding the flop when the overall situation looks marginal.

For example the other day I iso raised AJs 100bb deep IP and 2 limpers called. Flop was AsTx8s two-tone (no FD for me). Both villains were capable of limp calling AQ and even AK/TT (very limpy game). Flop action was: UTG donks pot and MP tank calls.

Now I really can't possibly put an accurate % on my equity here because I haven't got a huge read on UTG other than he is moderately tight and quite passive and I don't entirely know what MP tanking means. However my gut tells me it is marginal because I have 92bb behind and I guess they are all going in before the end of the hand if I continue the flop and, in my experience, my AJ will not be good an obvious majority of the time. So I just folded. Turn is a blank, UTG shoves, MP tank folds and shows an Ace. UTG looks annoyed.

I guess what I mean when I say marginal is not this clear mathematical 55% equity. What it is is that I think I am flipping but I have tons behind and my read is weak so I could easily be wrong about being 50:50. I.e I'm not going out of my way to win small pots by putting a large stack on the line but when the pot is bigger I'll go the other way and err on the side of continuing. It's as much a way of trying to avoid big mistakes as to avoid big swings.

Big mistakes in big pots = big swings, low win rate and longer downswings due to low win rate..

Small mistakes in small pots = small impact on winrate but better than the alternative above.

Last edited by Ragequit99; 10-06-2016 at 04:39 AM.
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:52 AM   #16404
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For example the other day I iso raised AJs 100bb deep IP and 2 limpers called. Flop was AsTx8s two-tone (no FD for me). Both villains were capable of limp calling AQ and even AK/TT (very limpy game). Flop action was: UTG donks pot and MP tank calls.

Now I really can't possibly put an accurate % on my equity here because I haven't got a huge read on UTG other than he is moderately tight and quite passive and I don't entirely know what MP tanking means. However my gut tells me it is marginal because I have 92bb behind and I guess they are all going in before the end of the hand if I continue the flop and, in my experience, my AJ will not be good an obvious majority of the time. So I just folded. Turn is a blank, UTG shoves, MP tank folds and shows an Ace. UTG looks annoyed.

I guess what I mean when I say marginal is not this clear mathematical 55% equity. What it is is that I think I am flipping but I have tons behind and my read is weak so I could easily be wrong about being 50:50. I.e I'm not going out of my way to win small pots by putting a large stack on the line but when the pot is bigger I'll go the other way and err on the side of continuing. It's as much a way of trying to avoid big mistakes as to avoid big swings.

Big mistakes in big pots = big swings, low win rate and longer downswings due to low win rate..

Small mistakes in small pots = small impact on winrate but better than the alternative above.
This isn't really about avoiding variance at all. You just think you're behind and a call is -EV. The fact that there's money back also isn't what makes it additional variance, it's more that it's a RIO spot and when you're ahead the pot isn't getting much bigger, while when you're behind you're effectively obligating yourself to call it off if you call flop.

Avoiding big mistakes is about keeping your expected win rate high, it doesn't really impact the variance of it at all.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:08 AM   #16405
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A better example of avoiding variance would be that you have Th9h at the turn, and board is QhJh4c5s. You know your opponent has AQ here, and you're 2:1 against hitting on the river. Pot is 400 and V bets 190.

Calling here is +EV. You're calling 190 to have a 1/3 chance of winning 590, so calling makes you about $7 on average. However, it's also going to add variance, and someone who's worried about going broke may not want to make the call. They could instead fold and effectively be saying the variance is not worth $7 to them.

My general concern with worrying about variance though is that it's hard enough to figure out the EV in these spots. I don't know how someone would be able to do that, and then also figure out how much the variance is, and finally decide whether or not the variance is worth while to them. How does one price the desire to avoid variance? In the example above, how much EV would someone be willing to give up to fold this spot? If it was $20 in EV, or $30 in EV, would they still fold?
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:17 AM   #16406
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A better example of avoiding variance would be that you have Th9h at the turn, and board is QhJh4c5s. You know your opponent has AQ here, and you're 2:1 against hitting on the river. Pot is 400 and V bets 190.

Calling here is +EV. You're calling 190 to have a 1/3 chance of winning 590, so calling makes you about $7 on average. However, it's also going to add variance, and someone who's worried about going broke may not want to make the call. They could instead fold and effectively be saying the variance is not worth $7 to them.
That's not avoiding variance...just oblivious to math.

If you are guaranteed 7% return after 5 years in the market, would you care that you're losing month to month or year to year?

People who don't understand this concept are usually the same people who would make really bad preflop decisions that are -EV in the long run, and justify those decisions by selectively remembering only the hands they won.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:21 AM   #16407
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That's not avoiding variance...just oblivious to math.

If you are guaranteed 7% return after 5 years in the market, would you care that you're losing month to month or year to year?

People who don't understand this concept are usually the same people who would make really bad preflop decisions that are -EV in the long run, and justify those decisions by selectively remembering only the hands they won.
On your example, if I needed the money out after one year, the fact that if I can wait out 5 years I'm guaranteed a 7% return isn't completely comforting. To get back to poker, it's different if you're only rolled to lose 5 or 10 of those 2:1 shots. You may never see the long run.

Not saying I do or that anyone should play this way. It's just how I see avoiding variance in practice.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:34 AM   #16408
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On your example, if I needed the money out after one year, the fact that if I can wait out 5 years I'm guaranteed a 7% return isn't completely comforting. To get back to poker, it's different if you're only rolled to lose 5 or 10 of those 2:1 shots. You may never see the long run.
It's an entirely different scenario.

If you are putting money in a 5-year term investment and more than likely have to withdraw in shorter term, then clearly there are additional variables to consider.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:49 AM   #16409
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It's an entirely different scenario.

If you are putting money in a 5-year term investment and more than likely have to withdraw in shorter term, then clearly there are additional variables to consider.
I don't know what we're disagreeing about. I think we both agree that your stock example and my poker example are on average positive returns. I think we both agree that there's variance around both examples, such that while they may generate a positive return on average, there's no guarantee that over the short run they'll generate a positive return, i.e. you could lose all your money in a month in the stock market, and you could miss your draw in poker. I'm also saying that someone could conceivably decide that this variance is not worth the return, and prefer something with lower variance and lower returns (say investing in treasuries as opposed to stock or folding as opposed to calling with a slightly +EV draw).
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:34 PM   #16410
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Would anyone mind humoring me here to help settle a debate? Let's say you
Have a 10k life roll and expenses were 1k per month living in Vegas. You
Are a long term winner at 1/2 for 8bb/hr. At what points would you
Jump from 1/2-1/3 and 1/3-2/5? Thanks
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:42 PM   #16411
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Originally Posted by ilike23bet View Post
Would anyone mind humoring me here to help settle a debate? Let's say you
Have a 10k life roll and expenses were 1k per month living in Vegas. You
Are a long term winner at 1/2 for 8bb/hr. At what points would you
Jump from 1/2-1/3 and 1/3-2/5? Thanks
In that scenario I would jump to 1/3 now. Its not that big of a skill difference and there's not a massive difference in bankroll needed. The jump to 2/5 is much much bigger skill difference in my experience so I would want to either take occasional shots or have a much bigger roll first.
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:47 PM   #16412
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A better example of avoiding variance would be that you have Th9h at the turn, and board is QhJh4c5s. You know your opponent has AQ here, and you're 2:1 against hitting on the river. Pot is 400 and V bets 190.

Calling here is +EV. You're calling 190 to have a 1/3 chance of winning 590, so calling makes you about $7 on average. However, it's also going to add variance, and someone who's worried about going broke may not want to make the call. They could instead fold and effectively be saying the variance is not worth $7 to them.
Just pointing out that it isn't avoiding variance. You cannot avoid variance...

Sure it's a minute detail, but that's kind of the point that everyone keeps missing in these discussions.

In your response of short-term effect, problem with adding such caveat is that when variables change, so does EV calculation. What may had been +EV is now -EV. In other words, you are not avoiding variance, you are avoiding -EV spots.
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:53 PM   #16413
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In that scenario I would jump to 1/3 now. Its not that big of a skill difference and there's not a massive difference in bankroll needed. The jump to 2/5 is much much bigger skill difference in my experience so I would want to either take occasional shots or have a much bigger roll first.
Thanks for response. I know skill difference is minimal just was factoring that 1/3 does play bigger than 1/2. But based on your response at what point would you start shot taking 2/5?
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:56 PM   #16414
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Thanks for response. I know skill difference is minimal just was factoring that 1/3 does play bigger than 1/2. But based on your response at what point would you start shot taking 2/5?
What do you mean by "life roll"? Do you have an actual poker bank roll that is separated from other funds and wont be touched no matter what happens in your personal life? How much of that 10K is actual dedicated poker money?

Also, do you know what your standard deviation is?
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:00 PM   #16415
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By life roll saying that all $ is poker money and life expenses come out of that same 10k so no they are not separate. Sorry for being vague don't have deviation numbers atm was just looking for a broad guideline on when to start playing different limits based on the wine rate and monthly expenses given, again appreciate your responses
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:10 PM   #16416
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Really, what you need to do is crank out some hours to get a bigger roll because your roll is tiny. If you consider $6k is what you need for 6 months of living expenses then you only have a $4k poker roll which isn't sufficient for 1/3 or some of the bigger 1/2 games in Vegas.

Sure, you could take a chance and just allocate $3k to liferoll (3 months of expenses) which gives you a $7k bankroll which would allow you to take shots at 1/3, but it sounds like you haven't played much 1/3 in the past, so why not just put in tons of hours at 1/2 and run your bankroll up a bit so you can take more shots at 1/3?
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:21 PM   #16417
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Really, what you need to do is crank out some hours to get a bigger roll because your roll is tiny. If you consider $6k is what you need for 6 months of living expenses then you only have a $4k poker roll which isn't sufficient for 1/3 or some of the bigger 1/2 games in Vegas.

Sure, you could take a chance and just allocate $3k to liferoll (3 months of expenses) which gives you a $7k bankroll which would allow you to take shots at 1/3, but it sounds like you haven't played much 1/3 in the past, so why not just put in tons of hours at 1/2 and run your bankroll up a bit so you can take more shots at 1/3?
I agree that's the way to go, I prob didn't word original post that well. So let's say we put three k aside for three months expenses, with the 7k remaining for 1/2 when would you suggest trying 1/3 and how many buyins?
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:54 PM   #16418
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A better example of avoiding variance would be that you have Th9h at the turn, and board is QhJh4c5s. You know your opponent has AQ here, and you're 2:1 against hitting on the river. Pot is 400 and V bets 190.

Calling here is +EV. You're calling 190 to have a 1/3 chance of winning 590, so calling makes you about $7 on average. However, it's also going to add variance, and someone who's worried about going broke may not want to make the call. They could instead fold and effectively be saying the variance is not worth $7 to them.
Actually if you fold here you are giving up $210 worth of ev. Not sure how you got $7. Folding here would be lol bad. And that is assuming he was all in ott, if he has more money behind for implied odds... even better.

But even if it was somehow only +$7 in ev, you still should not fold. It is like taking $7 and burning it in a fire. Poker is inherently a game of variance, embrace the small edges, that's how vegas was built.

Last edited by HappyLuckBox; 10-06-2016 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:09 PM   #16419
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I agree that's the way to go, I prob didn't word original post that well. So let's say we put three k aside for three months expenses, with the 7k remaining for 1/2 when would you suggest trying 1/3 and how many buyins?
If you separate $7000 just for poker, you have 23 buy ins for 1/3. If you are really an 8BB winner at 1/2, that should be plenty. It would be nice to see your standard deviation though because that helps with figuring how consistent your results are. If you have lots of big wins and big losses, you are more likely to need a bigger roll in case several of those big losses come back to back to back. If you have smaller wins and losses and win a higher percentage of sessions, you will tend to need a smaller roll IMO.

If you have a long track record (500-1000+ hrs) and your biggest downswing is 4-5 buy ins, then you can have move confidence that 23 buys ins in plenty. Some guys have the same 8BB win rate but have regular 10+ buy in swings. They would need a bigger roll.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:16 PM   #16420
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If you separate $7000 just for poker, you have 23 buy ins for 1/3. If you are really an 8BB winner at 1/2, that should be plenty. It would be nice to see your standard deviation though because that helps with figuring how consistent your results are. If you have lots of big wins and big losses, you are more likely to need a bigger roll in case several of those big losses come back to back to back. If you have smaller wins and losses and win a higher percentage of sessions, you will tend to need a smaller roll IMO.

If you have a long track record (500-1000+ hrs) and your biggest downswing is 4-5 buy ins, then you can have move confidence that 23 buys ins in plenty. Some guys have the same 8BB win rate but have regular 10+ buy in swings. They would need a bigger roll.
1500 hour sample for 1/2. Appreciate all of your help thought I would be fine with 20 buy ins for 1/3 just wanted to get some feedback
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:27 PM   #16421
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Actually if you fold here you are giving up $210 worth of ev. Not sure how you got $7. Folding here would be lol bad. And that is assuming he was all in ott, if he has more money behind for implied odds... even better.

But even if it was somehow only +$7 in ev, you still should not fold. It is like taking $7 and burning it in a fire. Poker is inherently a game of variance, embrace the small edges, that's how vegas was built.


That is not necessarily true. Variance is a tangible cost. That is why equities prices on the stock market are heavily influenced by volatility. Or you can look at the insurance industry where people pay to reduce variance.


What value would you put $7 eV if right now we coin flip: you get either -$100,000 or +$100,007 at 50/50 chance? Your answer will probably change if the payout changes to $-5 or +$12.



But I do agree that $7 is a lot to pat for variance. If we fold in similar spots once per hour, we will lose out 2.33 blinds/hr at 1/3.

Last edited by fast11375; 10-06-2016 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:30 PM   #16422
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I wouldn't keep just 3k as a liferoll though. Do you have a car? What happens if something major happens to it? Can you go without it? What happens if you have a major medical emergency that prevents you from playing for a period of time? Can you cover the expenses and survive without playing for a bit? What happens if your laptop breaks or your phone gets stolen, or you get jacked for the money on your person.

Of course there are many other potential pit falls as well (pit games, strippers, girlfriends, loaning money to friends, home burgaries, ballin' out of control, etc).
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:34 PM   #16423
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That is not necessarily true. Variance is a tangible cost. That is why equities prices on the stock market are heavily influenced by volatility. Or you can look at the insurance industry where people pay to reduce variance.


What value would you put $7 eV if right now we coin flip: you get either -$100,000 or +$100,007 at 50/50 chance? Your answer will probably change if the payout changes to $-5 or +$12.
The EV of either one is $3.50.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:55 PM   #16424
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I wouldn't keep just 3k as a liferoll though. Do you have a car? What happens if something major happens to it? Can you go without it? What happens if you have a major medical emergency that prevents you from playing for a period of time? Can you cover the expenses and survive without playing for a bit? What happens if your laptop breaks or your phone gets stolen, or you get jacked for the money on your person.

Of course there are many other potential pit falls as well (pit games, strippers, girlfriends, loaning money to friends, home burgaries, ballin' out of control, etc).
Def wouldn't keep three k life roll and be comfortable with it, but for a short term thing till I build my roll I think it's ok. Will for sure add to it as time goes on my main concern was making sure with my win rate that 20-25 buyins would not be sufficient.( obv not ideal I know more would be better)
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Old 10-06-2016, 05:21 PM   #16425
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The EV of either one is $3.50.

Whops, nice catch. Meant what would you pay for the option to gamble in each scenario. You'll probably pay more for the latter even though both eV are the same. That is the price of decreased variance.
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