This is a discussion on Outs odds and draws in tournaments within the online poker forums, in the Tournament Poker section; I have been thinking about this for a few days and thought Id put it to the group for discussion. How important are outs / 


#1




Outs odds and draws in tournaments
I have been thinking about this for a few days and thought Id put it to the group for discussion.
How important are outs / draws or pot odds (all different ways of looking at the same thing) in a tournament. The reason I ask is that in most tournaments you are rarely in a deep stack position. So for the purposes of this discussion lets assume that you have say 50BB You are not deepstacked but at the same time not short stacked either. So would you play draws after the flop which dont have top pair or 2 overcards? In ring game play odds are all important, if you need 4:1 to continue and take 3:1 then you are a long term looser. However does this apply to tournaments? Sure you can say I have lots of outs so its likely I hit and i have few outs so its unlikely I will hit.. but in tournament play can you be any more precise than that? If you hit then you gain chips, but if you miss then you loose chips and its this loss that makes me think odds are no wheer near as important in tournaments. Its not a mathmatical game like ring games because if you take into account normal varience and couple that with a small sample set (the fact that tournaments are rarely long enough for card distributions to even out) and remove the ability to buy back in. You are left with a situation where odds go out the window. It dosnt matter if you take short odds because the tournament isnt long enough for the wins and losses to even out. Say you need 4:1 to continue.. that means every 5 times you play you will loose 4 times. With 50 BB can you afford 4 losses? So the only way I can see this working is if your drawing hand also has imidiate winning possibilities too.. so you have TP or 2 overcards on the flop and also have a good draw. That way if you miss, you have a second hand which may win. 
#3




It depends on the table and how close I am to the finish. I'll probably be a little more hesitant to take a risk if I'm fairly close to the money position. Also, if it's a loose table (and I've noticed a lot of people pushing with garbage) I'll be less likely to play draws.
My logic here is that more then often their playing draws also and may have a better draw then I do and there's really no way to find out. However, if most people are playing fairly tight and only with good hands I'll probably try to draw out on them more often because I know if I hit i'm golden. 
#4




All I really know is what I read from Phil Gordon's books. He definitely uses pot odds and a break even percentage (to calculate how many outs he needs to be mathmatically correct in calling a given bet) in tournament play. From what I understood, his main difference was that in tournament play, you don't necessarily want to take as many close risks (win percentages in the low 50's). Also, you need to be really careful about putting your whole stack at risk unless the odds are really in your favor.
It makes sense to me that you still want to know the math, even if you're not necessarily going count on a couple percentage points of advantage to make you money in the long run like you would with a cash game. Maybe there's not as much 'long term' to consider in a tournament, but if you're not using the numbers in your favor, I'd think that's all the more you're relying on luck. I personally don't want to have to rely on luck any more than is absolutely necessary. 
#5




re: Poker & Outs odds and draws in tournaments
I would think that taking into consideration your number of outs and pot odds etc would be just as important in tournaments. The thing with tournament play is, you have to make calculated risks more often, to accumulate chips in a relatively short space of time. If someones giving you good odds to chase your straight or flush, then I think you kind of have to do so, especially if you have the 50BBs you give in your example.

#6




I calculate my hand odds, I do not calculate pot odds, since i may think they are either bluffing or timing . I calculate in my head.
Usually using the 24 rule.... Sometimes i win, sometimes i dont,, I follow a philosophy, You don't have to win all the hands, Just all the chips. Good luck and Happy New Year! 
#7




It depends totally on the table for me. If its an extremely tight table it may be a good semi bluff situation depending on position etc. as long as I am heads up.
If your against 2 or more other players with the nut flush draw or comparable nut type hands I would just call to build up the pot(increasing odds) if you do hit. I see many people push in or make big re raises with those type hands chasing out other draws and only getting called from the original better who is ahead. 
#8




In general, yes, but not always. If making the call would leave you with a reasonable chance to build back up should you miss your draw, then you should go with your odds. If it puts you in a position where you'll have 16/7 BBs left, it could be best to fold if it's anywhere close. That being said, if you're getting 51 to continue and you can take 21 or 31, you should do it every time. If it's not that close and in a ring game it's an instacall, you have to take your chances.

#10




re: Poker & Outs odds and draws in tournaments
It sounds to me like Stu is treating a given tournament as a universe onto itself or the only tournament ever played with statements like a tournament is too short for the cards to even out or the odds to matter. Unless I am wrong even tournaments are part of that one long session that Sklansky made famous so the odds are no different then a ring game for most tournament situations also. The only different situation that makes sense to me is when getting close to the money or in the money and then you start considering staying out of hands (regardless of cards, i.e. fold AA) if it looks likely that others will be felted moving you up the pay ladder. I think that is pretty much the only situation unique to the tournament format vs the ring game. Otherwise I follow the same odds rules. Am I wrong ?

#11




Quote:
I just cant get my head around how tornaments can have long term play. In my mind each is a seperate entity. With ring game play I can completely see how and why long term stratagies work. The other thing, I guess, is that its rare to be in a true deep stack position in any small tournament.. hence my interest in short stack stratagies in other threads. 
#12




The only way I play a draw is if I have top pair and open ended striaght draw or a set on flop with chance of boat or open ended striaght and flush draws for atleast 17 outs or my hands was already ahead even the 17 outs miss sometimes just becuase you have 17 or more outs doesn't mean you gonna hit one of them and you also have to think your opponent may be on a better draw as well and if he doesnt and calls you then hes a moron.

#13




RMGreen referenced Phil Gordon's books. I like his "Little Blue Book". He has a section on cash games and a section on tournaments. He does talk about another difference between tournaments and cash games. He talks of the "changing" value of chips in a tournament vs a cash game. When the blinds are small early in a tournament he feels the chips just do not have as much value as they do later when the blinds are higher. Maybe you are playing too loose in the earlier parts of tournaments instead of playing squeaky tight early, as Phil reccomends, and then loosn up later? Also, you have to look at results over lots of similar level tournaments to draw conclusions. Otherwise you are just looking at short term luck, bad and good.

#14




Oh and when you add in normal varience.. the picture gets even more blured....
Im not a mathmatician, but the jist of it is ithis For a coin flip situation, heads or tails. if you take the square root of the sample size (number of coin flips, or hands dealt in poker) then multiply that by 3 you get the amount of varience which corrisponds to 3 diviations from the norm. (which is 97.5% of the time) So if you flip a coin 10 times.. how many times do you expect it to come up heads? 5 times... no that is the long term average but for the given sample size its 3 x srt(10) divide that by 2 which is about 5 So it lannds heads up 5 times +/ 5 which loosly means the correct answer is that if you flip a coin 10 times it will come up heads somewhere between 0 and 10 times (97.5% of the time) OK so when we flip a coin 10 times we have no idea how many times it will come up heads.. infact if it came up tails 10 times in a row we wouldnt automatically think it was rigged. Now take a sample of 100 3 x srt(100) = 30 divide by 2 = 15 so it lands heads up 50 times +/ 15 so it lands heads up between 35 and 65 times Now lets look at 1000 3 x srt(1000) = 95 divide by 2 and we get a +/ of 48 So when we take a sample of 1000 we can expect to see it land heads up between 452 and 548 times. What you can see from this... is generally speaking the larger the size of the sample the more accurate the long term average. If you treat tournaments as single entities then they are usually too short for the long term averages to be assumed to be accurate. So the odds in short tournaments go out the window. Because the odds are the long term average but the sample size is to small to be a good aproximation of the long term. Now why do I consider tournaments to be single entities and ring games to not. Simply because once you enter a tournament you cannot get up and leave and you cannot rebuy in late into the tournament. In short most people walk away with nothing, yet they cannot simply buy back in unconditionally (beond the rebuy period) In my eyes this makes it a short term entity. If it were to be considered long term then I should be able to buy back in at any point. WHY?? because in the long term luck evens out, but in the short term normal varience comes into play. So if I get more of my share of good luck, then its reasonable to assume at some point I will get less tan my fair share (its not mystical.. its just the cards are random!!) So if I do well in one tournament.. I cannot take my luck into the next .. and how would I do that.. by buying back in. In a ringgame, you can get more than your fair share and build up your bankroll... only to get less than your fair share of luck.. but if you are a skilled player then on balance you will make profit because the longer you play well the bigger the sample size. In effect you are in a tournament with constant blinds and unlimited rebuys.. when you leave that game, you do not really leave (for the purposes of this example) instead you put the tournament on hold until you return.. i.e. you play anther ring game. As I said before in a tournament you either win or you loose (ok thats oversimplified but you get the idea) but as you cannot rebuy unlimited times, you cannot look at multiple tournaments as increasing the sample size. A longer tournament.. yes that increases the sample size, but several tournaments played one after another.. no,in my eyes they are seperrate events. Well I think ill leave you guys pick that apart for a bit as I think I have explained it as well as I am able. Oh by the way I have been using 3 diviations from the norm as it is correct 97.5% of the time 2 diviations is true 95% 1 diviation 68% 
#15




re: Poker & Outs odds and draws in tournaments
If you believe Sklansky only one thing wins you money in the long run and that is your opponents making more mistakes then you do. And those mistakes have to do with making plays with the correct odds. I am in the same boat right now as I think I am makeing the right plays by putting my opponents in position to make a mistake (ie call or reraise me with incorrect odds) but lately they keep hitting the long shots and taking me down. I used to doubt Sklansky when I ran hot playing lose but I have since reversed. I have also seen Sklansky win a few big TV tournies so I think his methods are validated both for cash games and tournies. I am now trying to pick my spots better but that puts me at risk of playing too tight. I guess its like they say  its never easy.
