Saturday, February 20, 2010

They don't get it

I played in the Friday night tournament at the Gold Strike. Only 32 runners signed up which is disturbing. I know the economy is bad, but the attendance is really down.

At the final table, I was in the small blind and held J 10. The blinds were 500/1000/100 and my stack was around 17,000. It folded to me. What would you do?

Early at a final table, players are tight. They are getting settled in and want to see how others are playing. I raised to 3000, expecting to (most of the time) take the pot down right there. To my surprise, the big blind moved all in. He had 8500 in chips, so it would cost you another 5500 to call. What would you do?

This is a trivial call. For 5500, you have a chance to win a 12,500 pot, so that's 2.5:1 on your money. Also, if you lose, you won't like it, but you'll still have enough chips to continue (barely).

The villain turned over A 5. The Card Player odds calculator says he is a 54.51% to win and I'm 45.13%.

The deal played out and I hit a 10, but an ace also came and he won the pot.

"When you called so fast, I thought I was in big trouble," said the Big Blind afterward.

What's wrong with this picture? Players like this are seat of the pants players. They have absolutely no concept of the underlying math.

Above is a shot of the Gold Strike poker room. Both images by MOJO and taken with my P&S.


  1. From what he said, sounds like math was not involved. He didn't expect you to call such a big raise, and you might not have without your big pair. Had he don something less than all-in, he might have been more convincing.

  2. Sounds like you should have open-shoved to begin with given the big blind's stack size. But your analysis is correct as far as it goes.