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Monday, August 14, 2006

Just Short of Begging For a Lobotomy

I find that I spend far too much time asking myself really stupid questions. Just last night, in fact, I decided to ponder the following instead of sleeping:

'If you simply pushed preflop every hand, how many Sit n Gos would you expect to or actually have to play before you won one?'

This idiotic query of course led to sub-questions -- 'What if you only open-pushed, folding if there was a raise before you?' and 'What if you exercised some low level of hand selection, folding for example unsuited four or more gappers?'

Eventually you'd win one under any of the above scenarios, but I admit to being curious as to what the expected result would be. I'm far too lazy to even attempt to build a rough mathematical model -- although I think it could be done.

***

Okay, scratch that, I'm less lazy than I thought. It helps when no internet connection is available. Here's my idiot logic, and you can feel free to poke as many holes as you like:

The simplest possible way for the push-bot to win the SnG is to win eight consecutive hands -- all-in against each opponent (I'm assuming a nine-handed SnG), in each case except the first hand having the opponent out-chipped. Now, if the player - just saying it could be a bot - did so while holding the hammer (72o) against AA, s/he would be roughly a 82% - 18% underdog each time. In that instance, wouldn't the player win about 1 out of (1/0.18^8) times, or 1 out of 907,444? Conversely, as a 82/18 favorite every hand, you'd win about 1 out of 5 times. So the chances are somewhere in between. If I'm guessing, I'll say chances are better than 1 out of 1,000, maybe as good as 1 in 250 -- a coin flip every time is 1 out of 256, while being a 40/60 underdog would be roughly 1/1525. Human nature and pure random chance are likely to make Mr. Pushy a favorite every once in a while.

All of this (probably almost certainly wrong) math is making my head hurt. I do know this much -- I'll think twice before taking an eight game NFL parlay card ever again...

***

Anyway, how about some dubious additional poker content?

I actually felt more or less like playing this weekend, so I spent a number of hours at the virtual tables. Picked up roughly one buyin on Saturday and again on Sunday at the PLO tables. I'm still laughably underbankrolled for anything much above the $10 game, but between one-tabling, conservative play on my part and general incompetence on the part of many omatards, I'm okay with the risk of playing 'up' for now.

Also played a NLHE tournament for the first time in a while. Didn't win anything, but was able to stick around for more than four hours and finish in the top 3%. It was a good feeling to play decently for a change (after some early donking) and to not lose on a brutal suckout. Went completely card dead at the end, finally pushing ATo, getting called by QJo and losing the 60/40 proposition.

And that's that. On the road in about 40 hours, so I better get cracking.