Monday, November 24, 2008

Fishy Home Game

I played in a $20 home game sng with a few friends and some guys I met for the first time.

It was like 2004 all over again, like the poker boom had just begun.

Three of the guys wore sunglasses. Several listened to iPods. One guy wore a hoody. Everyone was Phil Ivey in their own minds.

They were pretty terrible, and I didn't know how to really feel about it. We all had a great time just hanging out and playing poker, and I like encouraging people to learn and enjoy the game. But they were also universally bad, with little indication they had the ability to improve.

We're talking about basic misconceptions about the game, and my protests to the contrary fell on deaf ears. They couldn't believe that calling all in with a naked flush draw was a bad play. They didn't understand the idea that you might want to fold bottom pair sometimes. They had every sense of entitlement for every suckout and couldn't understand why they lost when they got it in with the worst of it.

In other words, these were exactly the kind of players you'd want at your table.

It's great for the game that friends come together for social, enjoyable home games. But it's depressing to see so little potential for them to gain the insight they'd need to have a shot at becoming real players.


I eventually lost my single buy-in, going out in fifth place after several suckouts. That's alright, especially since I got my money in good 100 percent of the time. Without escalating blinds, I may have never lost.

I got to wondering what my expectation would be in that kind of game. The payouts were 150-40-20 for the top three.

How much is my $20 buy-in worth in the long run? I think has to be worth at least $40, and maybe even $60. How high can a ROI go for a single-table live sng?

1 comment:

Greylocks said...

Your ITM is not likely to be much better than 50% no matter how big your skill edge. So if you were equally like to finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd, your ROI would be (150+40+20)/3 x .5 - $20 = $15.

However, your heads-up skills and experience mean you'll finish 1st far more often than 2nd against such weak players. I'd say probably 2 first for every second. If you reweight the average accordingly, that comes out to about (.44 x 150 + .22 x 40 + .33 x 20) * .5 - $20 = about $20.

The other problem, however, is if you keep winning at this rate, you might not be invited back.