Edge

  • 6 replies
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      In theory, some edges are small and prevent you from taking larger edges later. It would be ok to pass up those edges. However, in practice, it is very dangerous to pass up edges you have identified.

      One reason is that the edges may not be small. As poker players, we usually focus on what the right play is, not by how much. Poker players tend to be bad at determining which hands are profitable by a lot, and which are profitable by a little. The result is that people use the idea of passing up small edges to justify passing any hand with which they feel uncomfortable, and they give up opportunities which are very profitable. They pass up situations which are more profitable than playing normal winning poker.

      Another reason is that many edges do not prevent you from taking later edges. In fact, taking edges now may increase the edges you can take later. Imagine that you know that you will get to double everything at no risk in 1 minute. How much should you wager now as a 60:40 favorite? To maximize your profit, bet as much as you can now, so that you will have more money on average to double. If you try to gather chips early, then sometimes you bust out, but when you succeed you allow yourself to take advantage of many more good opportunities later. Particularly when you raise rather than call, and when you play a small pot rather than a large one, taking a small edge now can allow you to find more edges later.

      It is common for people to say that they want to have a low-variance style. They want the wins without the frustrating downswings. In NL cash games, that might be possible, since your playing style can have a large effect on your standard deviation. However, in SNGs, huge differences in playing style only have a small effect on your standard deviation per tournament. If you decide not to call all-in for 2000 chips on a borderline decision, you don't finish the tournament with 2000 chips. You will still have to gamble later. Not calling primarily delays the gambles rather than avoiding them. Players who try to adopt a low variance style in SNGs often hurt their ROIs significantly while reducing their standard deviation per tournament from something like 1.54 buy-ins to 1.52 buy-ins per tournament. The result is an increase in downswings, the opposite of the stated goal. At the table, focus on winning, not on futile attempts to eliminate variance.

      In the past, the games were softer. For example, people argued about whether it was possible to sustain an ROI of 50%. Now, many people hope that they have an ROI of 5-10% even in low stakes games. If you find a game where your ROI is over 20%, then maybe you can pass up some small edges. However, if your ROI is under 20%, your main focus should be identifying edges and taking them, not passing them up. The players with the best ROIs get them by recognizing good situations better than other players, not by passing up edges.
    • chenny8888
      chenny8888
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.10.2007 Posts: 19,324
      An example of a spot where I would pass up a small +$EV edge in order to be able to continue to enjoy edges that are generally larger in later spots is on the bubble of a SNG. If you are chipleader on the bubble of a SNG it may be in your best interests to pass up some +$EV spots because almost every situation in the future can be better than this. Whereas if you take the marginal +$EV spot you may end up crippling yourself (thus making future spots much much worse).
    • DonCorleone369
      DonCorleone369
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.11.2009 Posts: 1,267
      Originally posted by chenny8888
      An example of a spot where I would pass up a small +$EV edge in order to be able to continue to enjoy edges that are generally larger in later spots is on the bubble of a SNG. If you are chipleader on the bubble of a SNG it may be in your best interests to pass up some +$EV spots because almost every situation in the future can be better than this. Whereas if you take the marginal +$EV spot you may end up crippling yourself (thus making future spots much much worse).
      If possible, can you give a good example to clarify this particular situation where you can pass up some +$EV spots when we are the CL..
    • goldchess
      goldchess
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.02.2010 Posts: 641
      Thanks pzhon, I have some more questions about this :)

      Let's say we discovered a push that wins 0.01% of the prizepool. (this is purely theoretical, since we can't know this in practice)
      What would be the reason to turn down this push? If we think we're a lot better than our opponents, should we be turning it down? If we win the hand we can still use our skill advantage later. If we bust we can open up a new table. Therefore would it make a difference if we are playing micro limits where
      such tables are very common, compared to a high limit where soft tables are few and far between?
    • lessthanthreee
      lessthanthreee
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.06.2009 Posts: 16,300
      Originally posted by DonCorleone369
      Originally posted by chenny8888
      An example of a spot where I would pass up a small +$EV edge in order to be able to continue to enjoy edges that are generally larger in later spots is on the bubble of a SNG. If you are chipleader on the bubble of a SNG it may be in your best interests to pass up some +$EV spots because almost every situation in the future can be better than this. Whereas if you take the marginal +$EV spot you may end up crippling yourself (thus making future spots much much worse).
      If possible, can you give a good example to clarify this particular situation where you can pass up some +$EV spots when we are the CL..
      BB600

      BB (hero) 6k
      SB 2k
      BTN 2.5k
      CO 2.5k

      SB shoves. you have a call decision. you estimate your call may be +0.15 in SnG wiz.

      But we know that we can comfortable shove ATC next 3 hands because our opponents are very cautious and risk-averse on the bubble. We may pass up on this marginally profitable call to PWN FACE next orbit.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      You should be much less inclined to give up marginally profitable pushes than to give up marginally profitable calls. When you push, you don't know that you will be playing a big pot. When you call, you may be 100% sure that you are playing a large pot. Those large pots are not just where you pay a large ICM tax, but also where you pay a large skill tax, where you may be decreasing your future opportunities to apply your skill advantage.