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A Comedy of Errors

Finally for this section we will look at pot odds errors. The concept is this, if the odds you
are getting from the pot are better than the chances of your hand improving on the next
card you should be inclined to call. If the odds are worse than your chances of improving
you should be inclined to fold. Do not forget about implied odds here - the extra bets you
might win on future betting rounds if you do make your hand. For now we will look at
common errors in early play.
- Chasing draws against the odds. The amount of times people will call huge bets with
4 cards to a flush and one card to come is horrible!! Think about it, the flush will be
made approximately 1 in 4 times, if someone takes 2/1 odds on a 4/1 chance enough
times then they will go broke very quickly! Put another way for every time this
opponent makes his flush and doubles his stack he will lose his stack 3 times… can
be frustrating when someone outdraws you in this manner, learn to be happy about it
– this is where your $$$ are coming from!
- Giving odds to drawing hands. Here is the reverse, there are 1000 chips in the pot on
the turn and 3 spades out, Frank Fish with his pair of jacks wants to extract more
value from his hand and bets 200… Now the opponent holding the ace of spades and
queen of hearts has 13 outs, he will make a winning hand more than 1 in 4 times and
is being offered 6/1 odds on that possibility – over time his call will make chips even
without the possibility of more bets on the river. The counter strategy is clear, if you
suspect an opponent has a draw you must bet enough so they are making a mistake by
calling, whether or not they call and hit this time their call will lose money over time!
The Middle Stages
The middle stages of SNG tournaments provide even more opportunity for an unskilled
opponent to make mistakes. This stage can be described as when the blinds reach 10 to
15% of your stack. The mistakes made here are due to adjusting, or rather not adjusting,
to the new circumstances, less players and higher blinds. As you will see below there are
4 key aspects to middle stage play, loosening your raising requirements, tightening your
calling requirements, stealing blinds (which also includes the lucrative re-steals!) and
finally stack size awareness.
By this stage you hopefully have at least some reads on the table and individual players.
If not then please read the ‘Reads’ section of this eBook.
We will look at the raising and calling changes together, assume 6 or 7 players remain
and the blinds are now 100 with the average stack up to 1300. What does this mean for
raising requirements?? Well we can start with pairs, at a full table there is a reasonable
chance that one or more opponents wake up with a nice high pair, lets put it at 20% for
the purposes of illustration… at a full table your pair of 8’s in Early position may be
playable for set value here, be careful though you would not want a raise pre flop and 2
over cards on the flop! Let us look at a 6 handed table instead, well 60% of the 20%
chance means just 12% to work with. Now there is an improved chance that your 8’s are
the best hand. You need to reduce the requirements for raising a pot to account for the
reduced players, the chances are reasonable (read dependant!) that you pick up the blinds
with each raise… when this is 10% or more of your stack then consider it a success!