Friday, February 01, 2008

I don't think this is right

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding Bob Ciaffone, but his "open-book test" in this month's issue of Card Player Magazine seems wrong to me:
Let's look at a similar type of situation in no-limit hold'em. Here is an open-book test: The pot is $100 and both you and your opponent have $400 left. You have top pair and your opponent is drawing. He acts first and bets the pot ($100); what strategy should you adopt if each of you can at this point now see each other's holecards? The proper answer is found by counting the outs. If the made hand will be better than a 2-to-1 favorite with two cards to come, you can lock up the pot by moving in on the flop, as the money odds offered to the draw when a pot-size bet is made are exactly that amount. However, if the made hand is less than a 2-to-1 favorite, the better play is to see what comes on the turn. If the draw hits, you fold. If the draw misses, you move in. This is a good illustration of the scenario that the draw wants to avoid.
OK. Let's assume the drawing hand is a flush draw, which is a good example hand because it gives that player close to a one-third chance of winning the pot with two cards to come.

In that situation, the player with top pair can expect to win the $900 pot about two-thirds of the time if he pushes in on the flop and the drawing hand calls, giving the top pair player an expected value of $300.

But if the player with top pair waits until the turn, his expected value is only $180 because he'll lose the current $300 pot 20 percent of the time when the flush card hits and win the $300 pot 80 percent of the time.

He's giving up a lot of value!

It's entirely possible that I'm thinking about this problem incorrectly, and please let me know if that's the case. But it seems to me that Ciaffone believes that just because the flush draw has to call given the pot odds, the top pair hand should give the drawing hand a free card.

That just isn't right because the top pair hand will still win most of the time, and the pot will be larger.


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Wes said...

If only poker were easy enough that you would know exactly on the flop what your opponent had so you can make the correct decision everytime instead of doing it against his range of hands.

kurokitty said...

I think the draw wants to avoid you raising all-in on the flop. Maybe Ciaffone should stick to limit.

kurokitty said...

I also see this as a good example of not playing weak hands (a draw) out of position.

Mattyebs said...

I think I understand the argument...Ciaffone is banking on the fact that with position the lesser hand (draw) will bet into you even if he misses and you can get off the hand when our behind and get better odds on your money when you're's a situation assuming you have perfect information and they have none and you have position which is far fetched...plying you in HUC thought I'd see the blog...very impressed by what I've read so far