Thursday, April 9, 2009

You Must Understand This Poker Concept for the WSOP

Day 57 the Countdown Continues

A Simple Quiz

I am playing at the Oaks Card Club, and it is down to the final three tables. The blinds are $400-$800. I have $24,000 and I am on the button. A very tight player raises under the gun for $2,400. Everyone folds to me. I look down and find pocket 4's. What should I do?

The answer: You can't answer yet. You need to know how many chips he has left. My opponent has $21,000. Now, what should I do?

I am not going to raise my opponent because he would not make this play without pocket Aces, Kings, Queen, or A-K. More than likely, I am a big dog, so should I fold?

No! Please don't even think about folding.

The correct play is to call, and see the flop. I am risking just 10% of stack with the potential to win the rest of his stack. The risk-reward scenario is favorable. In poker terms, the implied odds is that I am risking $2,400 to win $21,000.

What happened?

The flop came 8-4-2 rainbow. My opponent lost all his chips to me since I hit the set. To this day, he still doesn't understand how I could make that call.

Implied Odds Before the Flop

Most people think about implied odds as a concept after the flop. In the WSOP this year, players will need to think about the implied odds before the flop.

In the event I am entering, with blinds being low at the start, and starting chips at $4,500, I should be looking at playing hands that can bust my opponent.

These are the small and medium pocket pairs, as well as the suited connectors. Besides the above example, take a look at what can happen with suited connectors:

A tight player raises the $50-$100 blind to $300 under the gun. I am sitting on the button with 7-5 suited. Should I call? Well, if my opponent and I have $4,500, I am getting great implied odds. I am hoping that he has pocket Aces so I can bust him with the right flop.


If you are playing in a tournament, and you are getting the right implied odds pre-flop take the risk with pairs and suited connectors. You never know what may hit the flop. And if it works out right, you will increase your chip stack substantially. Take the risk, when the implied odds tell you it's the best play.


SugarDayFox said...

Great article, implied odds and expected value are my favorite poker topics now. Not to say I can get an easy grab on them...
Thanks and keep going,


Mitchell said...



I am going to write about expected value soon, and how it is not such a great concept for tournament poker.


Anonymous said...

In the 44 hand surely the pay structure comes into play too. I'd be more inclined to gamble around the bubble as people are more likely to be "at it" or alter my thoughts if there were big pay jumps.

Yes you're getting implied odds of around 10/1 but you have mentioned the player is very tight and has raised UTG, indicating a massive hand, probably even KK+.

Unless you hit your 4 you are almost certainly behind and will have given away 2.4k chips. You are also assuming he will stack off on a board that doesn't contain an ace or king and also assuming you not lose if even if you flop a set.

Good article but I thought I'd add those pointd for your readers.

GL at the WSOP!

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