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Double Die

By: jergul @ 14:24 (EST) / 245 / Comment ( 1 )
I am sticking with my backgammon analogy for a while yet. A short synopsis of earlier blogs: Being active in the early part of micro MTTs is very dangerous. So effectively I am waiting to play until I am certain to face many players who are far better than me and who will outplay me most often. I have however played backgammon back in the day against players far superior to myself. I held my own at times by focusing on the double die (a mechanism that can double the value of a game in any match if your opponent chooses to accept your doubling the value of the game. He conceeds the game by declining) and using it to leverage wins and cancel out opponents technical superiority. So I have been musing about transferring that particular skill to the poker universe.

The analogy is not as outlandish as it may seem. Gus Hansen and Bill Robbertie are two names I know with connections to the backgammon world and I am sure there are many others. My basic thought then is that relative stack sizes amount to the poker equivalent of the backgammon doubling die. If I can duplicate what I did in backgammon, then I will be a better pokerplayer for it.

I am pretty sure the absolute chipcount is unimportant. The important thing is the size of my stack relative to the blinds (+ anty) in addition to the relative size of my stack compared to others.

The stack to big blind ratio tells me how much time I have before being blinded out and also tells me the relative value of fold equity (how much I gain as a fraction of my stack if everyone folds when I shove). The relative stack size tells me who is more likely to fold (assuming rational actors) simply because they risk losing a lot more than they gain when measured in stacksizes.

The most likely folder is a person with a stack twice the size of mine. Simply because calling my shove is unrewarding. I am putting him in a position where I gain 100% of my stack if I win and he only gains 50% of his stack if he wins. The most likely caller is someone with a stack vastly larger than mine. Here because his losses or gains are trivial compared to his stacksize so my fold equity is very small. The second most likely caller is someone with 50% of my stack size by the same logic of why I am most dangerous to opponents twice my size. But in this case there is an aggressor advantage. Someone half my size cannot assume I have average cards, so would need a very good hand for odds to favour shoving when ellimination is the punishment for failure. Or in other terms. Shoving my shove is not a good idea because there is no fold equity in it for him.

So if I assume the above is correct, then I need to keep a very careful eye on stacksizes at the table and in particular where the stacksizes are. The reason being that I can hold my own playing the stack size game while I remain at a disadvantage in terms of technical play.

I am not claiming technical play is unimportant. I am just saying I am not very good at it. Right now I am trying to digest the SNG course material to use as an effective basis. It has a rather mechanical approach - which is great until I have the skill for a bit of flair. I highly recommend taking the courses in the sidebar if you are just starting out. There are even rewards. Which is nice.

But I do believe understanding stacksize importance can help me level the field some against better opponents. They cannot outplay me if I shove preflop.

The trick is knowing when and who to shove against...and with what cards on hand of course.

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