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Its a steal

By: baud2death @ 06:34 (EST) / 67 / Comment ( 0 )

I see people stealing early stages and really wonder why.


The value in stealing when the early stages are going is very small. You have to Min-Raise to win much less chips and if you aren't

NOTE : I don't consider raising with a good hand a steal, thats just a normal raise... stealing is when your hand is less than good and you are aiming for a fold or to get a nice flop with a call


Say you are in the 25/50 levels. You are on the button with an OK hand (say 98s) but not fantastic. You perform a Min-Raise (100) and you either

a) Get a fold and for a 100 risk you get 75 back

b) Get a call and need your 98 to hold up but still unless you have a good hand or can bluff/outplay, you are still only playing for 75 if just the BB called or 100 if the SB called

c) You get a re-raise which you can't stand and lose 100


So overall for a 100 risk you are really only getting 75 and if you reckon that on average you might get away with it 50% of the time, over 100 steals you will spend 10,000 chips, you will come out with 8750 in chips. Now this assumes 50% is the case, it could be much more or less but lets say for comparison with the next example this is the case.


OK... so when should you start stealing?

Basically the second the antes come out

At the 125/250 25ante level on a full 9-man table, if you Min-Raise with 500 and get a fold you can win 600 back (1100 with your original bet)

In the same example as above, if you do 100 steals you will spend 50,000 chips and will come out with 55,000 chips

Now whilst the percentages of who will fold and who won't, typically at larger levels you get less gambling and will see more folds than earlier levels... but setting that aside and treating them like for like, the difference is about -13% return vs a +10% return, so even if the rate at which people fold is 100% equal across all levels, no matter if it is 50%, 25%, 75%... this comparison will scale and although the numbers will difer, the chance of getting profit from a steal will always be significantly higher at later levels.


So the next time you start stealing in the lower stages, think about is it worth it? you are risking 2BB to win 1.5BB where when you get deeper you could risk 2BB to win 2.4BB and this is a much better risk vs reward!

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