Using stack sizes to value our starting hands.

tenbob

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Semi-complex theory, but easy enough to grasp.

Lets take the senario of a full ring no limit table and we are on the button, we are extremly deep stacked at 500xbb (hero), one player at the table has us covered(villian). He had shown no fear in playing big pots, and is a tricky fearless player. Effective stacks are 500xbb.

Villian limps from the c/o and we raise 5xbb from the button. Both blinds fold and villian calls.

Which hand would you perfer to have and why ?
1) AA
2) 88
3) 109s

How does your choice of hand change if effective stacks are 100xbb ?
How does your choice of hand change if effective stacks are 50xbb ?
 
WVHillbilly

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I'll take AA if the effective stacks are from 1bb to 100000bb. Why? Because contrary to popular sentiment, they win more than they lose.
 
dj11

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I've got a feeling this post could be around for a long time. So I will approach this in an evolutionary way.

My first reply is an off the cuff response.

Personally, in this scenario, I see villains range here as very large to limp with anything from any position. We won't know how to proceed until a response from villain. But you asked about starting hand choices with regards to stack size.

All 3 of the options to me are valid for your 5x raise, when sitting with 500bb's

In all scenarios the AA is a no brainer. Fine at any level.
The 88 is fine at 500bb's and even the 100bb's.

But at the 50bb's level I would feel I was stretching and putting unnecessary stress on both myself and my stack. 10% of my stack starts getting a bit serious, and further action gets a bit problematic.

I'm a sucker for T9s, and could make this play at any level. But not every time.

So, the simple answer is the AA causes less stress, and the comfort level is high going in. Decision meter on 'solid'.

The 88 has quite a bit of stress built in, comfort level is not high. Decision meter on 'sound'.

With the T9s, I know that the gamble is on. If I made the raise then my dynamic comfort level was high, and my decision meter was on 'gamble'.

See this for clarity of my thought..... https://www.cardschat.com/forum/poker-rooms-10/djs-evolutionary-decision-meter-98188/#post655110
:eek:
 
twizzybop

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10,9s because it is actually easier of the 3 hands to get away from when the flop does miss me.
 
Bombjack

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I'd take AA, playing for set value. T9s is a trouble hand because 500 BBs deep I don't want to be making the 5th best flush or second best straight. Small pairs (e.g. 88) also lose value when playing very deep. I'd take AA in the other two cases as well, although 88 and T9s are more valuable at 100BB deep than 50BB deep.
 
NineLions

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(Why do I think TB is implying the answer in the manner he's asking the question?)


One thing I'd ask myself is dj's question: what does he likely have?

Second question I'd ask, what have my actions implied to him that I have?

Third question; stack sizes are different in each scenario; under which circumstances (ie. starting hand) is it more likely that I'm going to get X dollars, verses X percentage of his stack?
 
Vollycat

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I just don't see why you would not want AA. Show me a statistic that shows AA a dog preflop.

Any other thoughts are silly, imo. Going with another hand because it's easy to get away from? Your hand is already made. I really thought I was weak/tight, but that's a little too much imo.

Odds? Nothin better then AA preflop-especially HU.
 
Lo-Dog

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Without reading any replies, here is what I think right now.


The more money villian has to lose the greater implied odds we get.

If villian puts us on a premium hand due to our raise I pick 910s as my hand at 500BB. He wants to see a flop without an A or K and outplay us.

We can still bet at flops with an A or K and if we get a flush and/or straight draw we have big implied odds.

Thats all I will say for now. The more I explain, the less sense I make. :(

Oh and the less the amount of blinds the more I want AA.
 
Cheetah

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That is a good question. But I am generalizing it to include stacks all the way down to 1BB so that we can see the trends more clearly.

In addition, I am generalizing 9Ts to SC and 88 to small and medium pairs.

Value here means "How much can we extract from our opponent as a percentage of our stack?" It is important to define it in this way because all we have at risk is our stack. So our reward is measured in terms of our stack. This is why when the stacks are small, we LOVE AA because we usually win a very large percentage with it.

--------------------------------------------

When the stacks are very low, we like pairs and high cards.

When the stacks are above all-in range (>10BB), but not deep, we have a hard time drawing, so we like big cards and big pairs.

When the stacks approach 30-50BB, we have implied odds to draw, and we are not afraid of reverse implied odds because our stack is not that big. So we like everything.:)

When we get deeper, reverse implied odds diminish the value of big pairs, while implied odds make drawing hands our friends(especially small and medium pairs).

When we get really deep, everything levels off because we don't have enough betting rounds to get all the chips in the pot.

-----------------------------------------

The attached graph shows the value trends for these 3 groups of hands. The absolute values are arbitrary and used solely to illustrate the trends.

AA)

When stack is up to 20-30 BB, it has the most value. We can usually get all our chips by the flop or turn and we win most of the time. I am of course assuming good play, not limping like an idiot pre-flop.

When stack goes to around 50-100, the value begins to decrease due to two factors:
  1. We can't always get all the chips when we are ahead
  2. When we do get all the chips, we often lose the pot
The reason is basically a "guaranteed" TPTK. It doesn't improve easily, and even when it does, it doesn't make money. It is very unlikely someone will make top pair with a good kicker when we are holding the two aces.

As the stacks get very deep, reverse implied odds dominate this hand. With deep stacks, there is no way to go all-in preflop. So we start with the best hand, and the further in the betting we go, the worse our hands gets.

Despite the shortcomings of AA with big stacks, we win OFTEN small and medium pots, whereas we DON'T win often with drawing hands.


Small and medium pairs)

When we are short stacked in the all-in range (<10BB), they have a lot of showdown value, so we like them.

As the stacks get bigger, say 10-20BB, their value drops significantly. It is foolish to go all-in preflop with such stacks, yet these hands are terrible post-flop unless we hit a set. However, in this stack range, we don't have the implied odds to draw. The odds of making a set are 8.2:1. When we include the cases when we lose with it, it is roughly 10:1. With a stack of 10, we have no odds to even limp in late position, let alone call a raise. So basically in this range, these hands are mostly trash.

As the stacks go beyond 20BB, we have odds to draw if we limp or call a small raise. So we make up with them and become friends again.

As the stacks continue to increase, our implied odds get better and better and they become our closest friends.

When the stacks are very deep(>>100BB), we can (and should) raise pre-flop because if we hit in an unraised pot, we will rarely be able to get our stack in the pot.

SC)

When stacks are short in the all-in range, they don't have much value because we are looking for pairs and high cards. There is no way to draw with such stacks. So compared to pairs, SCs score much worse in this category

When stacks are 10-20BB, we still don't like them, although some of the higher once can be played for high card value in position.

As the stacks grow beyond 20BB, they become mroe attractive assuming we limp with them or use them as high cards in position. The odds to make a str8 draw or a flush draw are about 4 to 1. But makeing the draw is far from making it. We are still 4 to 1 on the flop to make it by the turn and usually must put more money in the pot. So they are much worse than pairs.

As the stacks become deep beyond 50BB, they also become our friends, but never as good as pairs.

---------------------------------

Finally, a remark on the original setting betting 5BB with a stack of 50BB with 88. This is NOT GOOD! This is shooting yourself in the foot because such bet completely kills our implied odds. If we limp, our implied odds are 1 to 50 with odds to make it 1 to 10. When we raise to 5BB, we make this about 0EV proposition. We might as well fold since folding has smaller variance.

Similar argument applies to raising that much with 9Ts.
 

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ChuckTs

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vn post, Cheetah.

When stacks are short in the all-in range, they don't have much value because we are looking for pairs and high cards. There is no way to draw with such stacks. So compared to pairs, SCs score much worse in this category

It's not because we can't draw - it's because we have no implied odds. Basically we would be depending entirely on pot odds to make profitable calls (because effective stacks aren't deep enough to make any money on later streets), and you rarely get good enough immediate odds, thus making drawing unprofitable with shorter stacks.

Put simply, we prefer having drawing-type hands in deeper-stacked situations because a) we get huge implied odds (ie we win a lot on later streets), and b) we don't give very big reverse implied odds. And vice-versa for big pairs and being shorter stacked etc.
 
F

Freakakanus

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Great post cheetah, you taught me a thing or two today. Thank you!
 
WVHillbilly

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I believe he is talking about Professional No Limit Holdem a book by Flynn, Meheta, and Miller that deals with SPR (Stack to Pot Ratio). Supposedly very good. I have not read this book yet so maybe my earlier AA comment was way off.
 
Cheetah

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I believe he is talking about Professional No Limit Holdem a book by Flynn, Meheta, and Miller that deals with SPR (Stack to Pot Ratio). Supposedly very good. I have not read this book yet so maybe my earlier AA comment was way off.

WOW! I am impressed you inferred that much from 3 letters.:)

At any rate, if your interpretation is correct, I am sure tenbob wasn't looking for an answer along the lines of: "The answer is in PNL".
 
Emperor IX

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I'll take AA if the effective stacks are from 1bb to 100000bb. Why? Because contrary to popular sentiment, they win more than they lose.

Sure, in an all in hand I'll always take aces, but when we're talking about implied odds (and AA is the exact OPPOSITE) I don't really want AA when I'm playing with 1,000bb

I like playing 88 or 9T here. 88 for huuge set value and yet relatively easy to drop if it doesn't looks so good post flop.

9T I wouldn't trust a flush for a 2,000bb pot, because you gotta think they'll have the nut or close to nut flush, but having the nut straight is pretty good, and you can get some good value out of two pair or trips.

AA as I said earlier you could possibly be giving off huge reverse implied odds. I don't like that.
 
Emperor IX

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God damnit. I knew I should've posted that earlier so I don't look like I looked at all the other answers first :( I swear I didn't lol
 
Cheetah

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God damnit. I knew I should've posted that earlier so I don't look like I looked at all the other answers first :( I swear I didn't lol
Emperor, we know you didn't cheat. Actually, hmm...

:laugh:
 
Bombjack

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Cheetah - in your graph, you're missing the fact that if you're very deep, the reverse implied odds of a small pair are more of a problem than the reverse implied odds of a big pair - you seem to assume people are never ever folding a big pair post flop. But people aren't going to be putting in 500BB with 1 pair or 2 pair - they'll have big sets, straights and flushes, which beat a small set.

Plus, empirically, when playing 100BB deep, my winrate with AA is much higher than with suited connectors or small pairs.

Finally, the thing about not raising with small pairs. This is true in very shallow tournament situations, and Sklansky mentions it in NLHTAP. But in a cash game in late position when no-one's opened, it's standard to raise (same goes for suited connectors) - not only do you win more when you flop your set (people will stack off lighter in a raised pot), but you'll win more when your opponent doesn't flop anything and folds to your continuation bet, and you'll often show a profit from just winning the blinds uncontested. There's a big difference as well between heads-up and multi-way pots. I'd rather be limping multi-way, and raising heads-up.
 
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vanquish

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PNL = professional no limit, everyone knows that.
im drunk
 
J

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I prefer AA wether I'm 50bb deep or 10kbb deep. Sure, I am giving reverse implied odds, but in this situation, we are HU against a limper who cold called our raise. In this scenario, unless he is a soul reader or we are the most predictable player ever, he can hardly put us on AA and could try to outplay the nuts on some boards.

Its value drops, but I'd rather have AA than 88, because with 88, we are also giving away massive reverse implied odds (we flop a set, villain flops a bigger one, we flop a set, villain completes a flush draw or simply, all overcards flop, etc.) because this deep, unless we go AI on the flop, a lot of drawing hands will try to peel one off and outdraw us. Because, really, this deep with the big pots that it produces, one pair or two pairs are hardly the best hand.

Also, we have position and can afford to play small pot poker if we want with AA and the board/action gets scary.

A more interesting situation, IMHO, would be: JJ or 87s ?
 
tenbob

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Great post Cheetah. Just out of curiosity where did you get that graph, did you plot it yourself ? The think is it looks like your plotting the hand values in an unraised pot, but the basics of it looks good.

Ill post my thoughts on this thread tomorrow.
 
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