Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Live Poker Hand -- What are the Odds?

So here's an interesting poker problem I ran into recently when I was playing a no-limit holdem tournament at a live casino. The guy to my left had been raising and betting pretty actively early on, including in a couple of hands where I felt fairly sure that he had nothing more than a drawing hand. Contributing to my image of him as a reckless, super-active player, I won't lie that his face definitely had the look of a euro, and, well, if you play at all during the day on the major online sites then you can imagine what my generalization is as to the euros out there. Anyways, suffice it to say that I had this guy pegged as a loose, maniac style of player, and I could not wait to get involved in a pot with him.

I got my chance maybe an hour in to the tournament, with blinds of 100-200 and average stacks of around 14k (10k to start), when I open-raised to 750 from middle position with Q9 suited, and Mr. Euro quickly called my preflop raise to my left. The flop came down a juicy-looking TJQ rainbow, giving me top pair plus the bottom end of the open ended straight draw, and moreover I figured I was likely ahead of whatever my opponent had since he had quickly called my preflop raise. AK of course was a scary possibility with this board, but in the end he had called quite fast preflop, and AK is not a hand that I find many people act quickly with before the flop when it has already been raised up ahead of their action. So I figured my top pair might not be good, but my draw together with top pair likely was. And, since my opponent had called a preflop raise, I figured there was a good chance he hit this board in some way as well with a high card or two.

Figuring therefore that my opponent was likely fairly strong but that I was ahead with two cards to come, I led out on the flop for 1200 into the 1800 chips already in the pot, and Mr. Euro did his usual move of a very quick smallish raise, only up to 2700 total, just barely more than the minimum allowable raise. I had around 8k left in my stack at the time, and I pretty quickly pushed allin, figuring that this guy was making another Euromove and was probably himself either bluffing or drawing, given what I'd seen him do so far in this tournament. My opponent sat for a while, clearly struggling with what to do, which made me really want him to fold since I figured he probably had a King (for the higher oesd than mine) plus one of the other cards on the board. But alas, eventually he called. The Euro tabled JTo for flopped 2nd and 3rd pairs, and he happily yelled "come on, HOLD!" as the dealer burned and turned a rag, and then burned a turned the river, the 9 of diamonds to give me the hand with a higher two pairs.

When that 9 hit the river, you would not believe the ruckus that this guy made at the table. He slammed his hand down hard on the felt, so hard that everyone's chips jumped a little bit, and he kind of screamed out "I cannot believe that suckout!!" As he had had me outchipped by a little bit, he was then forced to sit there and continue muttering about his luck and how he could lose that hand after flopping the two pairs for the next 20-30 minutes until he was finally eliminated from contention. As he left he made some kind of nasty comment under his breath to how I got my money in as "an 80% underdog", which did not sound right to me given where I thought I was in the hand.

So the question is, off the top of your head (of course any monkey could look this up on a holdem odds calculator, like I did after I returned from the casino), what does your gut tell you his and my equity were in the hand in question? Again, I held Q9 and he held JT on a QJT rainbow board. I knew for certain that his estimate that he had 80% equity in the pot was a gross overstatement, but my instincts were telling me at the table that this was about a 60-40 shot. I actually guessed out loud to the guy who was on the other side of Mr. Euro that I was maybe a 42-58 dog in the hand, whereas he was estimating that I was maybe a 38-62 dog, but we both figured this hand to be somewhere around 60-40 given all the outs I felt I had.

So, again with no cheating by looking this up, what does your gut tell you in terms of my and my opponent's equity in the hand in question?

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Blogger Astin said...

Well, basic monkey math says you had 12 outs twice, so around 48%. Making you a whopping 52% dog. I imagine running the numbers aren't too far off.

1:34 AM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

Swear I haven't looked at stove, but I'm thinking you're no worse than a coin flip. In fact, I'm inclined to say you're a favorite to his two pair: 5 outs to the obvious Q9 two pair / trips, 8 outs to the straight draw and 3 outs to the board pairing the turn card. In addition, you said it was a rainbow flop, but did one of those cards give you a backdoor flush draw? I'm going to say you're something like a 55/45 favorite in this hand.

1:47 AM  
Blogger SeatsPro.com said...

No looking, it sound like close to 50/50 to me...

4:21 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

without reading other comments - 14 outs twice (KKKK, QQQ, 999, 8888) I believe is basically even money. But two pr can improve further so you lose a few percents. I'd say 55/45 for him.

4:30 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

now that i read comments the fact that an off turn card gives you more outs into the river that probably negates his two-pr-improving edge - thus no surprise when pokerstove gives him only 1% edge.

4:33 AM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

14 outs on turn, river you have 2 outs 9% of time and 16 outs 64% of time with other 27% being a dodge of 4 outs.

I think you are the one at 52%

4:36 AM  
Blogger OES said...

I think you're about 86% favored, obv.

5:27 AM  
Blogger Shrike said...

This has to be a coinflip, for the reasons Fuel and Bayne have listed. Without thinking it through I had figured you to be a 55/45 dog.


5:29 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

His claim that you were an 80% dog made me (and I'm sure you) laugh. I guessed you were a 52% favorite and the calculator said you were a 48% dog. Either way you'd have to stretch to say you "sucked out".

8:05 AM  
Blogger Luke said...

I swear that I mean absolutely no disrespect but I’m really sort of surprised anyone gives a shit about this post.

2:04 PM  

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