Originally Posted by viking999
By the same token wouldn't 6-max or heads up games be a total waste of time? Full tables have bigger pots, so why ever bother playing short? Why not play 20 players to a table?
"Playing short" doesn't necessarily mean that there are fewer people in the pots, though. How often do full tables see more than 7 people to a flop?
It all depends on what situations you're better at maximizing ($ in pot) x (chance to win). Some people are better heads up, others are better multiway. It also depends in what situations your opponents will make more mistakes. I'd rather play at a full table against brand new players, because they can't adjust and will play too loose. However, the same players may be about right for heads up.
If there are players who have an edge over everyone individually at a table, but start spewing chips as soon as two or more of them enter a pot, then yes, I suppose.
But there's nothing intrinsic about more players that makes you win more money. You get more money in the pot, but your chance to win is lower. If you're better at making your opponents make mistakes that way, more power to ya. That's not going to be the case for everyone.
This is only true if your hand range is the same as the other players. If you're a tighter player, your hand will have an edge. Sure, your chance of winning will go down when you add more players but not as much as the cost of playing!
If you're a "better player," and I'll for this purpose define it as someone who plays when they have an edge, and folds when they don't, your hand is going to have some equity edge. Some examples, using opponents who play 40% of their hands:
These hands are represented as such:
Starting hand - win% vs. 1 opponent - win% vs 4 opponents - difference in profit*
AA - 85% - 57% - $1.15
KK - 79% - 46% - $0.72
AKs - 67% - 30% - $0.16
AKo - 65% - 26% - $0
QQ - 74% - 39% - $0.47
JJ - 70% - 33% - $0.25
TT - 66% - 29% - $0.13
JTs - 46% - 21% - $0.13
KQs - 56% - 25% - $0.13
*"profit" here is difference in dollars if the bet is $1, i.e. heads-up the pot is $2 to the flop, and 5-way it's $5.
This isn't the whole truth, though, because clearly there will be times where we have to choose between "allowing" more people in, or raise the people already committed to seeing a flop. So for stringency's sake, let's see what happens to our "profit" if the heads-up pot is raised, whereas the 5-way pot is unraised (not an unrealistic scenario):
AA - 85% - 57% - $0.45
KK - 79% - 46% - $0.14
AKs - 67% - 30% - -$0.18
AKo - 65% - 26% - -$0,30
QQ - 74% - 39% - -$0.01
JJ - 70% - 33% - -$0.15
TT - 66% - 29% - -$0.19
JTs - 46% - 21% - $0.21
... showing that if our choice is between playing a raised pot with one opponent
or an unraised pot with four opponents
, we should try to get it heads-up with the "big hands" that aren't AA or KK. JTs, the hand I put in there since it's the archetypal "does well in multiway pots"-hand, of course always prefers more people.
But the choice, of course, isn't always between raised HU pot or unraised multiwaypot. Also, it bears mentioning that these win-percentages are only valid for preflop scenarios. If you suck at playing TT out of position and will only offer implied odds
, then clearly attempting to isolate is better.
It's an interesting topic, for sure.