Math is very significant in poker, but it is certainly more relevant in limit. Perhaps there can be some sort of formula to play holdem and win at it in no limit, but to be one of the best, you need the math plus the added edge of being able to read your opponent, or put him on a range of hands. However, given there are ranges of hands you can put your opponent on, and given the fact you know what knid of tendancies your opponents have, you certainly can use mathmatical formulas to at least get some sort of an idea of what to do.
For example, if you have 99, and you decide you're not going to be able to play small ball poker, you're outskilled or whatever, or you're making a move and taking a stand near or on the bubble and your table isn't really letting you see a lot of hands, lets say you're on the big blind with blinds 50/100 and they've just raised it to 300 and you reraise it to 1100, and you have 5400 in chips, and your opponent has 5200. Your opponent just calls. Now the flop comes QJ2 rainbow(all different suits)... what's your chances of being ahead, what does your opponent have, what can you get him to fold. Lets assume that he's either going to move all in when checked to, or fold if you push. Lets say the range of hands is(AA, KK, QQ, insert range of hands). If you knew how often your hand is good here, you could know whether or not it's correct to shove all in, and if it's correct to fold.
Fortunately there's a software called pokerstove (link coming soon), that allows you to figure that out. You can list your specific hand 9c9h, and your opponents range of hands. Then you can list the flop and see your equity (how often you're expected to win by the river). Well you can even determine that your opponent is going to call when he has a pair of queens or jacks... You can say he'll fold anything else, (other than AK which we'll also factor in the mix). If he folds, you're picking up say 2500 and at this point you're risking 4100
This first post is just to get you thinking about how you can use math to make some difficult decisions. In the next series of posts, I hope to uncover some key concepts, show you specifically what to do in this situation, what to do if he had more chips, less chips, different hands, etc.
Labels: big pot poker, pair vs overcards, poker math, poker odds