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EV - Question

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  • EV - Question

    I just finished looking at real life EV for various starting hands (based on a gazillion hands actually played in money games).

    Here is the thing. From what I can tell, Very few holdings give an EV high enough for me to actually want to see a flop. I would make more if people always folded to my better cards when I have them.

    So essentially then, when I bet pre-flop, I am hoping for folds. So I should be looking more at situations were people might fold, then I should be at the backup plan of actually winning a hand if called.

    This tells me a couple things:

    1. Since I am looking for situations, the cards I hold are not really terribly important as my goal is really to take the pot and the likelihood for that happening is not affected at all by the cards I actually hold.

    2. Cards are only useful if plan 1 fails. Then I suppose seeing a flop is usually a good plan if I already have put money in the pot - depending on cost.

    3. After flop, I really want a repeat of 1 unless my hand has improved significantly. So best get folds and I can only get that by betting, unless I am in a strong position, then I want value and I can only get that by betting.

    4. The only case where I dont want to bet then is when a free card is more valuable to me - where I feel I will gain more from the next card than others will.

    5. Point 4 is also true preflop. I would check or call only if I felt the chance of improvement was much greater than the chance of people folding if I bet, and that my chance of improvement if realized would be well worth the cost of any investment I put into the pot now.

    The sum of these points telling me why to bet, fold, call, or raise based on EV (and a possible return on any investment I put into pot now if my hopes for the cards are realized. The return has to pay for all the times my hopes are dashed - which is also an EV consideration really)

    Did I get this right in terms of semi-understanding the basics of EV?

  • #2

    I guess it may seem trite, but I was just saying I locked down every decision is an EV decision. The rest is detail.

    It took me a month to get that. I am pleased. Because a month is damned fast.

    *now off to join the meaningful "why people dont post here much thread*


    • #3
      I dont know about "ev" and stuff like that but what you said makes sense I think.
      Last edited by pokerstar671; Sun Mar 18, 2012, 10:18 AM.
      2 Time Bracelet Winner


      • #4
        Hi jergul!

        +EV situations are not only going to be based on the cards that a player has.

        Pot sizes and stack sizes at that particular time will play a LARGE part of the EV of a play. Looking at the cards will only give an equity %, not determine EV.

        John (JWK24)

        6 Time Bracelet Winner


        • #5
          This is why Aggressive players win pots.

          Loose aggressive or Tight Aggressive but aggression is the key.

          Grade b
          I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill

          13 Time Bracelet Winner


          • #6
            My "breakthrough" is understanding that everything flows from EV.

            Pot odds or reads are simply tools used to evaluate the EV of a situation. There are many other tools, but all of them are tools to determine EV and not goals in their own right

            Example. My personal disaster hand (66)

            Pot odds and position may allow me to trip mine or even semibluff as the EV may be positive.

            If the pot odds are bad, or position does not allow me to determine pot odds pre-flop, Then EV is negative or highly suspect.

            A read might tell me that my pot odds are bad (negative EV), but that a pre-flop raiser will never give up his hand, so hitting a trip will give me his/her stack (positive EV).

            I might forget I was trip mining (positive EV) and stay involved after the flop when missing (negative EV).

            I might have a late position and pot odds (confirmed positive EV), but guests have just arrived and both wife and kids are actively nagging for me to get off PC (negative EV).

            Never is a long time, but I don't think I am going to screw up 66s very often. Simply because I now know I am always looking for positive EV and am not playing that hand in any other circumstance, in any other way, for any other reason. The only thing that changes with 66 is my evaluation of its EV value in the context it is being played.

            Hence my being happy. This is a big thing (though it may seem trite).

            Aggression defense also flows from an EV evaluation. Since everything does. Position to aggressor often indicating the EV, or the cost of getting involved (as most hands are speculative out of position. Either I hit, or I bluff, or I check-fold post flop). The big EV mistake here is giving the aggressor the benefit of a strong hand he may be representing by a preflop raise. Sure he might have it, but in that condition, him may having strong hands is simply a reflection of random cards possibly being strong.

            It really is neat. Everything is EV, the rest is just ways of evaluating EV.

            Am erring towards positional aggression (tight unless advantage of position says loose will give uncontested pots often). The hands I have with highest real EV indicated that players at my level play horribly against strong hands (the EV passes 5 BB for a number of hand types. Which is way too high).
            Last edited by jergul; Sun Mar 18, 2012, 11:54 PM. Reason: add-on


            • #7
              Point one:
              In cash games EV is EV, but not necessarily so in tournaments where hand EV and tournament EV may be different. Say your in a satellite that pays 8 seats to a large buy-in event and are 5th in chips with two microstacks in the game. There is no reason for you to play a hand, even AA, if it could cripple or eliminate you.

              Point two:
              Winning poker players look to exploit +EV situations and look to avoid -EV situations. There are many things that define a situation on the felt, but your cards are only important when you go to showdown. Graduating from playing cards to playing situations is a major step in one poker development. Congratulations on getting there.

              Good Decisions!


              • #8
                ty regarding 2.

                On 1. I tend to (or try to) view tournament questions in terms of EV too. The trick here is to know when to connect virtual chip EV to actual dollar EV. I don't think I have to do it very often.

                Once I understand this is an actual dollar EV situation (= a tournament life situation), not a virtual chip one EV, then the correct approach is usually to limit variance (pot control) Sometimes only a variance of 0 is acceptable, so then I would toss AAs.

                I have tons of things to figure out still. For example, I screwed up last tourney. Deep ITM, I was earning 50% of my initial investment every 5 minutes simply by surviving. I am sure I should have minded pot size a lot more carefully to let time cash in for me while above 20 BBs at least.


                • #9
                  This is just silly (in a kick behind kind of way. I should have figured out initial post earlier...even with the benefit of variance going my way):

                  Month,"Total Buy-In","Amount Won","Net Won","Tournaments","ROI","ITM"
                  March 2012,"$29.61","$63.60","$33.99","29","114.79","37. 93","0","0","1"



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