Monday, August 6, 2007

Pure Odds Poker

Imagine poker where, when all players end up all in, they win a percentage of the pot equivalent to their percent chance of winning the hand. "Running it twice" taken to the mathematical extreme. "Want to run it a billion times?"

I could see that being a strange mode in a computer or console game, but obviously not practical (and maybe not that interesting) in real life. A fun idea, though. There's no gambling on an all in, you get exactly the slice you deserve.

Could it be taken to a further extreme? You divide it up based on each street...If you bet $10 with AA preflop, and I call with 99, you get 80% of that $20 if we see a showdown. If the flop comes 972 rainbow and I move in for $50 and you call, I get 91% of the $100 and you get 9%.

Would people make bad calls just to see showdowns because they know they get *something* back if they call (barring drawing dead), and nothing back if they fold?

Just a random thought to share.


Sushi Cowboy said...

I've thought about that too. I thought that the idea might be applicable to rebuys in tournaments. If someone is just playing too loose/d0nkish and got their money in bad then they don't merit a rebuy. If they were well ahead and got sucked out on then it's OK for them to get a second chance. But then all sorts of details got in the way about someone losing their stack over multiple hands and on multiple streets of a hand and it really isn't a practical idea unless it there was one huge hand where someone clearly got their money in good/bad.

I think that the issue one would run into is that it drastically changes pot odd calculations since you now are betting each street individually. If you stay in the hand, you can KNOW you are going to get the first two streets rebated back to you if you had the nut top set and someone caught a flush on the river. It makes it worth your while to call way more than you originally would just to get your money back from previous streets.

Interesting idea though. I think something more workable is the "insurance" idea in high stakes cash games. Let's say someone knows they are ahead on the turn because they have the nut straight but knows that the other player is on a flush draw. At any point in the hand, the person with the straight could offer to buy out the pot from the other person. So if there's 500 in the middle after all the money gets in on the turn and the guy with the straight offers "I'll buy this pot off you for 100". The guy with the flush sees how far he is behind and accepts the buyout or instead wants to "gamble" and ride it out. I saw this alluded to a couple times watching poker online. I don't know exactly how it works (I'll do some digging around) but that was the gist of it from what I could see.

Again, roughly the same idea as a variance reducing mechanism, just done differently.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Here's one of the clips I was referring to. At the 1:53 point of the clip, you see Seidel's AA versus Matusow's T8 and Mike flops Tens and Eights (Austin, you out there?) and the money gets all in on the flop. Mike is fumbling around trying to hedge his stake in the hand since there's 150K in the middle. He ends up just telling the dealer to run it and Seidel catches running Sevens to make a higher two pair.

I also found this article that explains more about insurance. In this case it is actually a side bet with someone on the rail who will offer odds against a suckout. Phil Hellmuth actually paid out more in insurance premiums than he won by taking sixth place.

jtrey333 said...

In this case, that "someone" on the rail was some d0nk named Phil Ivey. Never heard of him.