Friday, April 12, 2013

The seduction of the right price

Several posts ago, I bragged about how I'd made a perfect value bet on the river. Well, turnabout is fair play; last night, an opponent did that to me. I was almost certain he had me beat, yet I paid him off anyway. Why would I do such a thing? For the simple reason that I thought I was getting the right price to call. Of course, if you really think you're beat, no price is the right price to call; however, if the odds are juicy enough, you can sometime seduce yourself into believing your hand is better than it is. In this case, there were four cards to a flush on the board, and I had a set of jacks. My opponent bet $3,000 into a $22,300 pot; I was getting over 7 to 1 pot odds. If there were more than a 1 in 7 chance that my opponent was bluffing that he had a flush, I thought I should call here. Of course, there are two fallacies in this way of thinking. The first is that if you calculate pot odds this way, you're not taking into consideration the amount of money you've already put into the pot before this decision point. You're acting as if nothing happened before, as if you're making this decision completely independently. The second fallacy is that even if you disregard the first fallacy, the odds that your opponent is bluffing in this situation are way less than 1 in 7. I ended up losing $13,000 on this hand when I should only have lost $10,000. The good news is, I'd won a pot worth $84,375 the hand before :-)

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 14 hands and saw flop:
 - 1 out of 1 times while in big blind (100%)
 - 1 out of 2 times while in small blind (50%)
 - 7 out of 11 times in other positions (63%)
 - a total of 9 out of 14 (64%)
 Pots won at showdown - 1 of 2 (50%)
 Pots won without showdown - 2

delta: $40,739
cash game no limit hold'em balance: $4,677,444
balance: $7,126,852

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