Saturday, January 22, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 10:39 AM
Thanks to Adam for pointing out this old post from JD at CheapThrills. JD used PokerTracker and had some interesting statistics:
Interestingly, using the PokerTracker filter to show only hands where I had suited connectors, I have lost $6.50, or an average of 10 cents each time I'm dealt them (this includes the hands where I fold them). The most profitable suited connector by far is AKs, for $17 ($4.25/hand). So far KQs (-2.71/hand) and QJs (-.19/hand) are both costing me money.
This is quatitative (albeit a bit circumstantial) proof of what John was posting the other day. KQs and QJs suited are overrated. Although he does not mention JTs, he shows JTo as a profitable hand. It should be pointed out that not everyone agrees on the value of JT.

JD goes on to say that he has a "$41 loss from the big blind (which is less than the approximately $80 I would lose if I just folded every big blind). " So, this means that the big blind is only unprofitable to the extent that you are forced to play bad cards. When he subtracts out the "sunk cost" of posting the big blind, it is a profitable seat. This makes sense b/c looking at it that way, he can see a lot of free flops.

Notice that the profitability of AKs is close to AA and above KK. I think this goes to Doyle's advice that the beauty of AKs and AKo is that it is really easy to release them on an unconnected flop. Not so with AA and somewhat not so with KK.

All of his analysis is on limit poker, so the results will differ on NL (in particular, suited connectors go up in value, and the distribution of profits based on position becomes more tilted.)


We played a quickie tourney and then Dealers Choice at Adam's last night - mainly 25c-50c NL Holdem and PL Omaha 8. I lost $10 in the Sit&Go and then won $90 in the cash game. Cameron pointed out that the guys who fared best in the tournament did the worst in the cash game. The results were largely inversely proportional, and I might initially say that some players styles are better suited for tournaments and others are better suited for cash games. Take me - I rarely do well in tournaments but consistently win in cash games. That was going to be the point of this post.

But then I thought about it and realized that we all play different in tournaments than we do in cash games. Personally, I become both tighter and more aggressive. Either it is an over-adjustment, an under-adjustment, or an adjustment in the wrong direction. Either way, my EV is much worse at a tournament.

I used to chalk this up to variance, but the sample size is large enough that I don't think that can explain it.

Anyway, on the cash game, there was 1 hand that was huge for me and another that was very bad for me. Both times, I had AcTcXX in O/8 to make the nut flush. In the first hand, the board didn't pair and the Tc was necessary to make the str8 flush. So, I knew I had the nuts. That river card (the Jc) was the perfect card. I probably won around $65. The second time, I made the nut flush on the turn. Bets everywhere. The river paired the board, and I lost the main pot and the side pot to boats. The side pot was around $50, as was the main pot. Absent that river, I would be $100 richer.

The reason I mention these hands is not to complain about a "bad beat". Rather, I am hoping to illustrate exactly why we shouldn't complain about bad beats. I was in a nearly identical situation with nearly identical cards in the same night. Once, I scored. Once, I lost. Net, I came out ahead (I was in for nearly $33.33 in the lost pot and won around $65 in the won pot). This is why I try not to complain about bad beats. The come around. But so do miracle cards.

I identified a leak in my game late last year that I have been fixing. I was overbetting monster hands. In situations where either:
- I had the nuts on the river or
- I had a monster so big on the flop/turn (usually a boat),
I would bet too big and scare the customers off.

The cause for this is simple. We all start out in poker thinking that the way to win is to lure people into your pot with tiny bets when you have the goodies. After suffering many bad beats and draw outs, you eventually pick up a poker book and learn to not slowplay your big hands. Bet when you got it, they say. So when you progress to 'novice' you always bet it up with big hands. How many times on Party Poker have you seen a guy slow play a hand, get drawn out on, complain, and then get bombarded with comments like "that's what u get. u shoulda bet. ur fault, scker!!!"

Once you get into the proper habit, it is easy to overapply. The best example is the flopped or turned boat with 2 of a suit on the board. Check it, let him hit his flush and catch up. Then kick him in the nuts.

It should be extremely obvious that you shouldn't bet too much on the river with the nuts and scare off your customers, but often I did. Typically it was a quick reflex that I regretted as soon as I finished throwing the chips in.

There is an exception to this strategy I am espousing. If you are against a somewhat advanced but slightly loose player and he thinks you are overbetting the pot on a bluff, he may call you. However, even then, you probably make more money in the long run with a "come over here and kiss me" bet.

So, for the most part, I have rid myself of this disease. Now I convince people to kiss me.


I have been meaning to post my Poker New Years Resolutions and I promise to try to get those up on Sunday.


Limit poker is a science, but no-limit is an art. In limit you are shooting at a target. In no-limit, the target comes alive and shoots back at you.
-- Crandall Addington, Texas oil millionaire

From: "John Smiley" <>
Reply-To: "John Smiley" <>
To: Dr Fro
Subject: Houston Poker 5PM TournamentDate: Sat, 22 Jan 2005 07:17:16 -0600

Hi Players :^)
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John :^)

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Random thoughts from a lawyer, an accountant, a commodities trader, an ex-Marine and a WSOP Main Event money finisher that don't know as much as they wish they did...



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