I have two distinct lives. One in the trenches of low-budget film and television, the other in professional gambling. Because of the feast-or-famine nature of show business I need a reliable income... gambling. So here you will read about both worlds. Enjoy!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pocket Aces

I wanted to clear up something about pocket aces that so many people get wrong.  First 2 situations.

A. You are in a no limit hold em cash game, and someone shoves all in.  You wake up with pocket aces, and of course you call.  Everyone else folds so you are now heads up.

B. You sit down with a bunch of drunken crazies, and some guy says, "Let's everyone go all in on the first hand."   You look down at pocket aces before committing, and lo and behold everyone shoves in their stack so there are now 10 of you all in.

In which situation are you happier?  We hear it all the time right, "Aces want to play heads up."  Even books by pros say things like, Why would you want to be 30% to win when heads up you can be over 80%?  Here are some numbers for pocket aces.

AA vs:
1 opp: 88%
2 opp: 76%
3 opp: 68%
6 opp: 44%
9 opp: 34%

Let's say that all players have $1,000.  So in example A you win 88% of the time, and the pot is $2,000 which means your ev. is $1,760.  In example B. you win 34% of a pot that is $10,000 or an ev. of $3,400.  You win almost twice as much.  Yes, you lose 2/3 of the time but when you win you win a lot more.

This is the same mistake that people make when they say you should always insure a blackjack.  "You always get paid."  Yes, you always get paid, just not enough.  For these people who insist that you should always insure a blackjack I would like to offer a slot machine where you "always get paid."  Every spin you put in $1 and I'll return 92 cents.  You get paid every time!  Such a deal.

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