I have been studing and trying to figure what some of the obvious leaks are in my game. I make the same mistakes over and over again like almost on automatic pilot. I noticed I'm calling to much, and not giving my opponents enought credit. This has been particularly bad on all in calls.
The "GAP CONCEPT" is a concept I have been oblivious to.
From an article from Poker Pro (July 07) A smart player will open the betting with a wide range of hands, but call raises with a much smaller range of hands. The difference between the two ranges is called the "GAP", and almost everyone should have a larger gap than they do.
The article goes on about a hand played by a small stack in middle position who went all in against a big stack in the big blind when their were 150 players left in the tournamnet, which payed ten places. The big stack calls all in with 22. In this situation the big stack way over valued his pocket 22's. This may seem like a definte call but it isn't.
This list is about what the all in caller with the big stack was probably thinking.
1. He thought he was probably in a race against two big cards and any pair (2 2) is a slight favorite over any two overcards.
2. He knew the player was low on chips and it wouldn't hurt him much to gamble here since he already had a big stack.
3. He was trying to knock out a short stack, and eliminating a player: Isn't that always a good thing?
Now if these reasons were good enough to make his play a smart one the following wouldn't have been explained.
1. He is probably only in a race against two big cards about 60% of the time.
2. The other 40% of the time he is facing an over pair and has a less than 20% chance of winning. The two alternative possibilities add up to 38.2%.
3. His pot odds were 6.5 to 4, so he needs to be around .385 to win to make his call correct, and that would be close enough, but ...
4. The bottom chip of the of a stack is worth more than the top chip, and the chips he might lose here are worth more than the chips he might gain
THAT LAST BIT IS THE IMPORTANT PART. The play of the hand is so close that it is hard to criticize, but the chips being risked are worth more than the chips he might win. Another valuable point to know is your chips are more valuable than your short stacked opponent in that you should know what to do with them. That's because you are a brilliant player and the rest are bums. (That was in the article)
Does the big stack get any value from knocking out another player. No ... not at this stage of the tournament. At the final table that would be a valid argument, but in this case there really is no value in moving from 150 to 149.
What we have discussed is a true coin flip and in a true coin flip in a poker tournament the guy who needs to gamble is at an advantage. In this case the short stack raised with AJ off suit and hit his J on the turn to win and continue in the tournament.
HOLD EM - PRE FLOP RACE PROBABILITIES: Chances of winning typical all in matchups.
1) Qs Qh vs. 6c 6d 82% Pocket Pair vs. Lower Pair
2) 7s 7h vs. Ac Jd 55% Pocket Pair vs. Two Overcards
3) 7s 7h vs. Ac 3d 69% Pocket Pair vs. One Overcard
4) Qs Qh vs. 7c 6d 81% Pocket Pair vs. Lower Connector
5) As Ah vs. 7c 6c 77% Pocket Pair vs. Lower Suited Connectors
6) 8s 8h vs. QdJd 50% Pocket Pair vs. Higher Suited Connectors
7) As Qh vs. 7c 6c 58% Two Overcards vs. Suited connectors
8) Ks Jh vs. 7c 6d 62% Two Overcards vs. Unsuited connectors
9) As Qh vs. Ac 10d 71% Dominatated Hand
10) As 3s vs. 7c 7d 34% Suited Overcard vs. One Pair
11) As 7h vs. 9c 8c 52% One Overcard Vs. Suited Connectors
12) Ks 7h vs. 9c 8d 56% One Overcard vs. Unsuited Connectors
13) As Qh vs. 9c 3d 68% Two Overcards vs. 9c3d
14) Jc Jh vs. 7c 4d 89% Pair vs. Undercards
15) As 10h vs. Kc 7d 64% Mixed: A-10 vs K-7 (Offsuit)
16) As 8h vs. Kc Jd 58% Mixed: A-8 vs K-J (Offsuit)
*This list is also from Poker Pro Magazine (July 07) There was no percentile for suited over suited one over card or two. Can you think of any other situations of match ups?
Writing this blog has been a good Poker learning exercise. Not only have I completely read these articles several times but I have written them, rewritten them and edited many times. This has served to help me understand the concepts and probability better than if I had done one of two quick reads.
Storing Poker information is a task and blogging in our poker blog section can help as I believe it is helping me.