Friday, May 24, 2013

Statistical greed

I've explored the theme of greed in poker in this blog before. Poker greed can take many different forms; one of them is statistical. In general, any form of poker greed is bad, since it can cause you to convince yourself to make poker decisions you wouldn't normally make. What do I mean by statistical greed? When you want to have a winning session so badly, you start to throw caution to the winds. What's so great about a winning session where you only win a small amount? To be honest, nothing much. The difference between a winning session where you win $1,000 and a losing session where you lose $1,000 is essentially nothing, assuming you're playing at a table where the blinds are $100/$200, and the maximum starting stack is $40,000. My problem is, I've been seduced by my own concept of the golden ratio to overvalue winning sessions of any kind, including sessions where I only win a small amount. Last night, I hit the felt on hand 46, and reupped for the max. Seventy hands later, I won my biggest pot of the night, $36,100, with a jack high straight. This took my stack up to $79,043, which meant that if I'd quit right then, I would have ended the night with just a small loss of $957. However, my statistical greed kicked in, and I kept playing. When I was dealt pocket rockets on hand 125, I thought for sure I'd been given the keys to a winning session. Unfortunately for me, an opponent hit a set of fours on a flop of Ks 4s Qd, and went all in. I called, and lost $32,783 on the hand. I quit three hands later, 12 hands too late.

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 128 hands and saw flop:
 - 13 out of 17 times while in big blind (76%)
 - 7 out of 16 times while in small blind (43%)
 - 43 out of 95 times in other positions (45%)
 - a total of 63 out of 128 (49%)
 Pots won at showdown - 5 of 14 (35%)
 Pots won without showdown - 5

delta: $-34,640
cash game no limit hold'em balance: $5,009,230
balance: $7,458,638

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