Jun 30 2006, 08:36 AM
Here was a hand I was watching in the WSOP blogs that brought this thread to bear....
Blinds 100 - 200 ante 25
Pro in question was in the cutoff seat. We have a limper in early-mid positon, a raise to 600 from late-middle position, it folds to the pro. The pro looks down at JJ and decides to go all-in. When the hand was over, they went on break. When asked about the hand and his play, the pro said...."Well I figured it would be a coin flip at worst PLUS I have about 20% fold equity."
Ok so here is my question. How the hell can you even come up with a percentage when you can not see their cards!! It would be an interesting twist IF....you were allowed to see their cards BUT you then MUST either fold or go all in. Now I can figure a true-er fold equity...
1. If he has AA Fold Equity = 0%
2. If he has 27o Fold Equity = 99% 1% for Gus Hansen
3. If he has 88 Fold Equity = 50%
But isn't it useless to even try to figure out the % of times the opponent might fold when you have almost no clue what they have? What if the limper is making the second hand low move with AA (T.J Cloutier's book) , yes the raiser could have anything from a blind steal to AA. I just don't think it is worth putting FE into my equations.
Jun 30 2006, 09:44 AM
I'd encourage you to rethink. Fold equity is very important. Of course, you're right that you can't put people on an individual hand, but you can put them on a range based on their play to date. Also, your example omitted chip stacks, which is very important. If they were really deep, "the pro" made a mistake by going all in. Instead, he should pop a good raise but not risk his whole stack.
Example: let's say that you're playing against a pretty good, aggressive player who'll raise a lot when it's folded to him with any decent hand. You're OTB with 99 and he's in the cutoff. Blinds are 100/200 and you each have around $2,000. It's folded to him and he raises to $600. What does he have?
Of course, you don't know. It's not total crap (because he only raises with "decent hands"), but his hand probably doesn't rate to beat your 99. However, it's very possible he has a coinflip hand (JT, QJ, AT or similar) that can't stand a reraise. If you push and he folds QJ, you've made a great play. So...you should push. And the reason is your fold equity.
Jun 30 2006, 10:40 AM
As an example of what mkpoker2 said, recently, I've caught myself playing really weak in tournaments, and folding my preflop raises to big re-raises. My opponents who are paying attention should be able to say "Since he folded to a big re-raise last time, there must be at least a reasonable chance he'll do the same thing again." Again, as mkpoker2 said, stack sizes matter, since, as my stack size gets smaller, I become pot committed, etc.
Plus, they were playing live, so who know what kind of read the pro thought he had based on physical tells.
I really am not that good at tournament play, but given what I know from SnG play, I would be willing to bet that not factoring in fold equity almost guarantees loss. But I would bet that you are factoring in fold equity, and you just don't know it--when you open raise in late position with a mediocre hand (say, Axs, or 99), you aren't doing that because you want more money in the pot, you're doing because you want everyone to fold and give you the blinds and antes.
Jun 30 2006, 08:16 PM
Fold equity is a very powerful weapon in tournies. Since frequently any 2 cards will be no worse than a 2-1 dog to most hands, if you have 20% fold equity you can play back with any hand. The trick is to know when you have it.
You don't have it early in a tourney as frequently raisers just call your re-raise with KQ/AJ/88. You don't have it against small or monster stacks as they either can't afford to fold, or can easily afford the call. You don't have it against calling stations. Ideally you are looking for loose players with medium stacks who have shown a willingness to lay down a hand.
In the hand described, we have no idea about the stack sizes which is the key element in how you decide to play a hand. However if the stacks were deep then the pro made an awful play. He will only get called by better pairs and possibly AK. Unless the pro thinks the raiser will call with a much wider range, he is better off just calling (since he has position) or re-raising preflop.
The pro's statement in the interview is just wrong. He should be putting the player on a range of hands that would likely include QQ-AA. Who was the pro?
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