Strategy discussion experiment 1.0

    • Asaban
      Asaban
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      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 8,484
      Hey folks,

      Since the traffic is kinda low currently (which makes me sad ;( ), I will try to initiate some discussion. It's just an experiment and I don't know if it works at all or if you are interested in it. If it is successful I will start some more discussions in the future.
      Since I don't want the general feedback itself in this thread (it would interrupt the discussion) I will open up some feedback thread as well (Click: Feedbackthread).


      The origins

      There is a question which led to a lengthy discussion in the german forums. The discussion hasn't ended yet and I am not sure about the outcomes. It was originally initiated by pokerstrategy-member Palmero92 and I will try to transfer some of the ideas to the english forums. Hopefully we will have some interesting new perspectives and maybe the discussion will take a very different path with differing results. I am very interested in your opinions and looking forward for a good strategy discussion.

      No mather if you are beginner or expert - everybody can take part and post his assumptions and ideas. The more, the better. Please note that you should always try to give us some reasons for your answer (even if it is as easy as "I guessed").

      Since I don't want an exact copy of the german thread, I will vary some points and try to create a more practical and easier to understand szenario, while adding some details here and there at the same time.


      The szenario

      You are sitting in a tournament which suits your bankroll management (you are not scared of money). The tournament has a big field size (>1k players). You consider yourself being a very good player having an edge over most of your opponents. You are amongst the top 10% players in the event.

      All players have their starting stack. If you bust you would be able to start another tournament immediatly. Unfortunately the tournament you are currently playing is very unique and won't be available for quite some time if you bust out. You won't be able to re-entry.

      The tournament is starting at the very moment (no bubble factors).

      The first hand is dealt. You open raise your very good hand and all players fold to the big blind. The big blind pushes allin for 250BB. Due to a misinterpretation of your action he reveals his hand (just for the story - it shouldn't mather for the discussion if we are playing live or online). Now you know exactly how much equity you have against his hand and are able to decide if you want to call.


      The questions

      How much equity would you want to have in this situation and why?

      Take the important factors into account! (they are marked)

      Which factors do you consider being most important for your decision and why?


      The ultimate goal

      You may ask yourself: Why does this german guy ask silly questions like this? :f_eek:

      Good question!

      The interesting thing about our objective is, that you will have to think about factors that influence your own play and if you take them into account appropriatly. Which factors do have an influence on your playstyle without being mathematically quantifiable?
      How important are these factors?
      In the end you will learn something about yourself, your self-assesment and your ability to take factors into account that aren't quantifiable. At least that is what i am hoping for :D


      Hopefully all paragraphs are understandable - my english isn't as perfect as I wish it was. If you have further questions please feel free to ask.

      I will obviously state my own assumtions later on. For the beginning I just want to guide the discussion.

      Regards,
      Asaban
  • 39 replies
    • Lindberg789
      Lindberg789
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.04.2009 Posts: 314
      I think you need to do +cEV, cause even if we think we are better than the field we can't be sure by how much, and as his is a big field we need to get chips to win. In a turbo I would be more inclined to do a flip for +cEV, but even in a normal structured tourney I would consider doing this, as when we win our edge becomes even larger as in future hands we will have chips to create room for good plays. I think this is a very important concept, this also means when u run Kings into Aces u don't necasserily bust. U need to have chips to walk through the minefield of bad beats and coolers before getting down to the real money (final 3).

      I think I would do like a TT vs AKs thing with my TT, 54/46%
      But I have had discussion with other players about this flipping in early stage only for 150bb though and we really disagree because he think there are better opportunities to chip up in the future with less variance.
    • M0na1isa
      M0na1isa
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.02.2012 Posts: 133
      Hello German guy!

      Tbh I thought it was about time he asked questions instead of just providing answers! way to go mate :f_love:


      min. 70%

      Cause I guess that means I either have an over pair or blocked his card with a better kicker.


      I do flips in turbos at early stages to help me push through. But never in regulars. I believe there would be more than enough chances to gather chips (excluding bad beats obviously)

      Also unique nature of this tournaments changes things and tightens me up a bit. It's like I'm grinding this tournament on multi-tables. Maybe saying a live event is bit out there but good sample would be Sunday Million. I would never do anythin less than 70% in that so early in the tournament.

      Second also is early DUs ain't that important to me. I believe usually people whom gather big stacks at early stages won't make FT, cause they take too many chances, and can't hit luck in a large field MTT. And I don't like taking too many chances.

      Cheers,
      Monalisa
    • Wohmfg
      Wohmfg
      Silver
      Joined: 12.11.2009 Posts: 500
      The fact that the tournament is unique is not something I necessarily see as a positive aspect of the tournament so would not affect my play in this spot with regards to me busting out early. The fact that it is unique means I am probably less familiar with the format so maybe I'd need less equity pre as I will have less of an edge in other parts of the tournament.

      I'm not sure that the field size would have an effect on the equity required in this spot. I think the most important thing is how much of an edge you have post flop and in other spots of the tournament such as steals/reads/final table play etc.

      If we are in the top 10% of players in the tournament, I am going to assume we have a significant edge post flop. This is the one of the most important things to take into consideration. This means to put our whole stack on the line, we need a lot of equity. We are going to have plenty of other spots in the tournament where we can accumulate a lot of chips without ever going to show down, mostly against players that are weaker than us. So I guess that means we should also consider what advantage these extra chips would give us. And in this scenario where we are so much better than the rest of the field, I'm going to say that those extra chips are not going to give us such a great advantage. With a much smaller field size, say a 45-man or even a FR SNG, we need less equity to double up here as those chips come into use much more quickly.

      In conclusion, our required equity goes up as the usefulness of these extra chips goes down, and as the time until those extra chips become useful gets longer. In this specific scenario I'm going to say we need at least 60% equity, probably around 62%?? (I just threw that number out there because it sounded right :P )
    • Asaban
      Asaban
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      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 8,484
      Thx for your replys. I hope there will be more user-postings within the next days.

      I will just add some points, clear up others and throw in a few ideas:

      With 'unique' I mean tournaments like the Sunday Million. If you bust you will have to wait quite some time (f.e. a week) before you will be able to enter a similar tournament again. The structure itself is not necessarily unique.

      When you are talking about edge it really gets interesting. I think it is very important to get an idea about your own edge in comparison to the rest of the field. The bad thing about it: You can't just do some maths and get some reasonable result that reflects your edge. It's very theoretical and not exactly assesable. I agree that your edge should be a very important part of your thought-process in this spot. But how would you determine your edge? You will have to quantify it somehow in order to base your decisions on it.

      Another thought that crossed my mind:
      If you do not want to gamble early on and don't want to take small edges you will have to do so later on in the process. The more small edges you take at the beginning, the less you will have to take in the later stages. That could be an important factor that counterparts the "survivor"-argument.

      Imo there are two types of players following different approaches in the early stages:
      1) The Survivor
      The Survivor doesn't want to risk his tournament life early on. He is not a fan of small edges and will fold quite frequently if he doesn't feel like he is ahead by far. He generally thinks of himself as a very good player and justifies his tight approach with the big edge he will have later on when the tournament get's deeper.
      2) The Accumulator (great word - isn't it? :s_cool: )
      The Accumulator tries to accumulate chips (who would have thought of this :s_grin: ). No edge is too small, no valuebet is ever missed. He tries to build up his stack in the early stages and accepts the rising variance, because he will be able to play the tournament with less variance later on if he succeeds.

      In most cases you will see a mix-up of both approaches, but in most cases there is a clear tendency. I go with the direction of number 2, since I don't think that you can possibly think of yourself being the best player in a playerfield. Therefore I don't believe that you should give away clear +EV spots. Of course, I will take my edge into account and won't spew away on 51/49 situations. At the same time I always try not to overestimate my edge and fold very obvious spots which are easy money due to pure self-esteem.

      I don't want to deliver numbers just yet, but I do believe that folding hands with up to 70% equity is a big leak and can't be justified in any way. NOONE (and I mean it) can possibly have a big enough edge to give away these spots. Of course, that's just my personal opinion and I would love to see someone proofing me wrong :)

      Regards,
      Asaban
    • Salivanth
      Salivanth
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.01.2011 Posts: 587
      It's an interesting question. One thing people might say is "Well, I can't take an X% edge, because that won't cover the rake." This is irrelevant: The rake is a sunk cost. You don't have X dollars worth of chips, you have X chips, and have to make your decision in that context.

      That being said, having a large stack is a very good thing, as you can double up against other large stacks and take all their chips (It's better to get 6k chips in as a favourite vs another 6k stack than to get 3k in) and bully the table. The uniqueness of the tourney isn't important. There are always other high-stakes MTT's, even if we assume this one is the Sunday Million, which is a really big, infrequent one. We could also assume this is WCOOP or FTOPS. Either way, that doesn't factor into my decision.

      The one thing that stops me from saying I'll take any edge here is my own edge as one of the top 10% of players in the event. Of course, much of my edge is my ability to spot situations exactly like this, which normally aren't so easy to see.

      My standard open raise here is 4BB, and the stack sizes are 250 BB. I need to call 246 BB into a 250.5 BB pot, which means that we need 49.25% equity to call with neutral cEV.

      With all this in mind, I would say I require 51.5% equity to call here.
    • savage1981
      savage1981
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      Joined: 31.05.2010 Posts: 945
      I'm an STT player, but here's what I think. All factors are irrelevant apart from one - there's no bubble factor. Our edge comes from making +EV plays, so passing up spots which are +EV is bad. We will have to gamble at some point in the tourney for the whole of our stack anyway, so why does it matter whether we'll do it now or later? Busting out in the first hand is actually better than getting knocked out late (out of the money obviosuly). So 51% sounds good to me.
    • Asaban
      Asaban
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      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 8,484
      Interesting thoughts - I will try to pick it up and write down my own thoughts on the arguments (and I am not saying that I am right or you are wrong):

      If you call with 51% Equity (or 51.5%) you basically state that your edge over the rest of the player field is close to 0. Otherwise you would give up on it.

      For example:
      If you have a big edge (at least you are top 10% of the players skill-wise - so you really should have a big edge) you will normally be able to create situations with a certain Equity that is in your favor.

      If your skill-advantage is at 10% you should have 10% more equity then he does when going allin (--> 55% vs 45%). Otherwise you will renounce your advantage and by doing so you will donate him chips that you would be able to generate longterm if you fold. The spot stays +EV but isn't maxEV since you give up the opportunity to create a better spot in the future.

      Imo by ignoring your edge in the equilation, you are loosing money while also pushing the variance. Of course it is not easy to calculate your edge exactly. Nor is it possible to say how much impact it should has in the end (since you don't know if you will be able to realise it in a future spot). Still, by ignoring it you are playing as if you don't have it.

      If your avg edge against your opponents is 10% you will find better spots in the future most of the times.

      To make it even more clear:
      Why are two regs avoiding to play against each other while there are 7 fishes with them?
      Because their overall edge (or avg edge) is too high to risk their stack in marginal spots against each other. It is way easier and more valueable to play against the fishes since you can realise your bigger edge.

      Against the reg you would have to push your marginal edge. In the end it would be +EV if you have a small edge, but at the same time it is not maxEV to play him instead of the fishes.

      Cliffs:
      Edge is important and can't be ignored

      Regards,
      Asaban
    • M0na1isa
      M0na1isa
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.02.2012 Posts: 133
      While having an edge, with 250BB I don't understand why I need to risk my whole stack on a flip on the very first hand.

      I know it is impossible to avoid flips completely, but not necessary with 250BB and not with whole stack.

      When I mean +70% I mean at the early stages obviously with that chip count (cause the scenario stated that), it varies through the whole run and stack size.

      Running into a shark early in large field tournaments is quite unlikely. Maybe you get one at your table if you're unlucky. So when there is usually a table full of fishes whom would pay ya good when they have made a lesser hand I don't understand why leave it to luck to gather chips?
    • savage1981
      savage1981
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      Joined: 31.05.2010 Posts: 945
      Yeah, what you're saying makes sense. Consider this though. Say we fold this (and this is in fact a situation when we are donating chips, not when we get it in as a 51% favourite). So we keep folding in all these marginal spots, until the next situation arises. Someone raises UTG and we have AK. He's a nit, so we put him on 99+, AQ+. We're far from the money. We're only deep enough to push or fold. So we push, get called by JJ and get knocked out. So we waited god knows how long, just to get our money in exatcly the same marginal spot. The only difference is we did it few hours later. Whereas if we lost in hand one, we could have open another tourney almost straight away.
    • M0na1isa
      M0na1isa
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      Joined: 05.02.2012 Posts: 133
      I understand your point. But not flipping doesn't necessary mean you will be bleeding out. And flipping doesn't necessary mean you won't bleed out eventually.

      And by not flipping, I only mean flipping with your whole stack while you have more than enough chips to be in the safe zone.

      And as it was stated this tournament is unique, so cannot start it right away, gotta wait a week for another flip.

      I'm gonna make another example to make self clear(er). Imagine you're playing 6handed SnG against 5 fishes. Would you make that call the first hand? I know I won't. Because that fold doesn't mean I can't get chips later, there would be more than enough chances for me win hands by taking less risks.

      I know large field MTT is way different than that and I need to gather enough chips at the early stages to push me through. But what I emphasize is, without flips, bad beats excluded, you can gather enough chips by just using your edge. Volume obviously covers a dry day as well.
    • Salivanth
      Salivanth
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      Joined: 01.01.2011 Posts: 587
      The fact is, taking even small edges, even as a good player, is what you should be doing. Saying "My skill edge is 10%, thus I should avoid small edges" is a fallacy: Most of your skill edge comes from FINDING small edges in the first place! Passing up small edges is something you should do if you're in the top 1% of players in the tourney maybe, not the top 10%. Support for my theory is provided, from "An Anthology of 2+2 Wisdom on MTT's"

      ---------------------------------------------------------------------

      "Only the very best players should be avoiding slightly positive gamles to allow their bigger edges time to accumulate. The typical tournament player should not ever turn down any situation with the smallest of edges. You could even argue that he should gamble in situations where he has slightly the worst of it. But that is not the way the vast majority of mediocre tournament players operate." - David Sklansky

      So, we cannot forget who DS is talking about when he mentions passing up small edges.

      Its not us.

      Regards,
      Woodguy.

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------

      This would actually suggest that, with a requirement of 49.25% equity to call for neutral cEV, we should be happily calling with 50%, even as one of the top 10% of players in the tournament. If I'm in the top 10%, on average in a 1,000-person tournament, there are 50 players better than me. I'm not one of the very best players in this scenario, and I can't afford to pass up small edges.
    • M0na1isa
      M0na1isa
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      Joined: 05.02.2012 Posts: 133
      But there is another reason to eschew close gambles even early on. This reason has nothing to do with the prize structure, and in fact is something you should be aware of even if the tournament paid only one winner. What I am speaking of involves the presumption that you are one of the best players in the tournament. That being the case, you should avoid close gambles, especially for large portions of your chips.


      Thus, it is quite common to see a player who is notorious for his looseness in normal games playing significantly tighter when he has a small or moderate tack in a poker tournament. Ironically, these players are probably making a mistake. Only the very best players should be avoiding slightly positive gamles to allow their bigger edges time to accumulate. The typical tournament player should not ever turn down any situation with the smallest of edges. You could even argue that he should gamble in situations where he has slightly the worst of it. But that is not the way the vast majority of mediocre tournament players operate.



      Quotes are from Tournament Poker for Advanced Players. Be in the top 10% will exclude you from the 'typical tournament player'. I don't know why you come up with 1%. I'm not arguing here, I just need to understand why do I need only to be on top 1% to use my edge. Also anyone else care to comment?
    • Salivanth
      Salivanth
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      Joined: 01.01.2011 Posts: 587
      Well, if you read the sentence previous to the one you pointed out:

      "Only the very best players should be avoiding slightly positive gamles to allow their bigger edges time to accumulate."

      I wouldn't call the Top 10% of a tournament one of the "very best players". Top 1%, maybe. In truth, probably even less than that, but I went for the top 1% as a conservative estimate.
    • Asaban
      Asaban
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      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 8,484
      First of all: Thank you for your oppinion. =)

      Some questions:
      You don't think that the top 10% of a player field includes the very best players?
      Why did you choose Top 1%? Seems like a random number to me. How should you ever be sure to be among the top 1% - impossible to tell imo. Top 10% means for me that you are way better then the average tournament player (in this tournament) while not considering to be the best among them. How should you ever know if you are top 1% or just top 5%?

      What defines a player to be "very best" in comparison to others? Aren't the top 10% the very best players of the tournament? What I am trying to say: It lacks of a definition imo. Therefore it might be better to build up our own ideas (basing them on solid reasoning) instead of quoting some well-known pro.

      Furthermore:
      Why should a top 1% player be able to avoid those small edges while a top 10% player shouldn't do the same? Both of them have a big edge over most of the other players.

      Personally I see my edge, especially in the early game, in playing postflop against most of the other players. My edge does not include to gamble call for 1% equity preflop in deepstacked situations. At least it didn't up to now.

      I am not saying that your assumptions are wrong - but basing it on a Sklansky-quote is not a very good reasoning.

      Regards,
      Asaban
    • Salivanth
      Salivanth
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.01.2011 Posts: 587
      Good point, you're right. That is, about my faulty reasoning. I'm not sure if you're right in terms of equity, though you very well might be. I'm not an experienced tournament player, and given that my stance has been proved inconclusive, I'm not up to rigorous debate of the topic, so I'm going to withdraw.
    • Asaban
      Asaban
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      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 8,484
      I would prefer if you stay in the discussion and think of more points for your theory (or against it if you realize that some other theory makes more sense). It is always better to try to discuss something further (even if you are wrong) then to stop discussing just because someone has a different opinion.
      I am not sure that i am right either - I just try to find answers by discussing the question with other players :)

      Regards,
      Asaban
    • M0na1isa
      M0na1isa
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      Joined: 05.02.2012 Posts: 133
      I agree with Asaban. I wish more people participate in this discussion.
    • Salivanth
      Salivanth
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.01.2011 Posts: 587
      It's not because you have a different opinion, it's because I'm not a good player. I'd rather sit back and let people who know what they're talking about discuss it. That, and I now have no clue what equity I would want to call with here :) I love to argue, but only in situations where I know what I'm discussing.

      I also wish more people would participate in this though. I'd like to get the experience of more good players. Me, I'm just a micro-donk.
    • Asaban
      Asaban
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      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 8,484
      More opinions and thoughts please :)
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