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dlinqnt's poker thoughts and progress on the road to pro


pot odds vs implied odds

By: dlinqnt @ 14:37 (EDT) / 300 / Comment ( 0 )
   i have been hearing a lot of people talking about making this call or that because of the implied odds.  most of us know about pot odds; if the pot is offering better odds than your odds of hitting the hand, then it's a call, and pot odds lower than the odds of hitting is a fold.
  that's stuff most of us know inside and out.
   implied odds are when you think you can get your opponent to pay you off if you hit your draw on later streets, therefore making an incorrect call worth the risk and defying the odds.  it is dependent on knowing your opponent, having a solid read on his hand, and having a reason to expect that he will in fact pay you off.  a fine example was a hand i had the other day where i woke up with aces, raised 4xbb, got one caller.  the flop didn't improve my hand, and showed QJ5, which looks pretty safe for my hand.  i bet the pot to make sure that 9/10, K/10, AK did not have correct odds to call me. 
   here's the thing: k10 did call me and hit an ace on the turn, completing his draw and giving me a set of aces.  top set is hard to fold, so the implied odds of this guy making the call made his "bad" call a good call.  we did get it all in and i ended up hitting the case ace on the river to take down the pot. 
    the problem i have with implied odds is that it's really just a reason to make what is mathmatically a bad call.  it's an excuse to make a mistake.  if you miss, you can blame the implied odds being just too big to fold.  if you hit, you can say that the implied odds were so good, you couldn't fold.  either way, you make a bad call with a built in excuse to make it sound like a good call. 
    i may be wrong, but i assume that most players at the lower stakes are not paying a lot of attention to the subtle nuances of the game, and therefore not really in a position to be making plays based on the implied odds.  there are some players that have that level of understanding, and to those players, i give all the respect in the world.  for the most part though, i'm not buying it.  making a bad call is making a bad call, and there are no other explanations.  we all make mistakes, i make them all the time, but it's better for new and intermediate players to own those mistakes and learn from them.  passing mistakes off on things like implied odds is not going to teach them anything but to keep making bad plays and then justifying them as correct.
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