Monday, March 8, 2010

Sponsored Post: Limit Hold'em Myth About Pocket Aces

Pocket AcesImage by John-Morgan via Flickr

Sponsored Post: Limit Hold'em Myth About Pocket Aces

Another post from This one reviews the myth about pocket aces in limit poker. Frankly, if you get pocket aces in a limit game, you should raise and re-raise pre-flop
in any position. Yes, even in the big blind.

Fixed Limit Poker (FL)

Fixed Limit poker is the ancestor of all other poker betting structures, and as such it should be respected. These days, with NL Holdem firmly ruling the roost, Limit Holdem is more and more marginalized. With most rookies going into business at the NL Holdem tables, the list of Limit Holdem haters grows longer each day.

The truth about these haters is though that their attitude reflects nothing but ignorance. Ask any good poker player whether he/she hates limit Holdem or not. You’ll probably be told that while Limit Holdem does have its peculiarities, there’s absolutely nothing to make it less attractive then NL, or PL for that matter.

Most haters base their attitudes towards the game on myths. There are countless myths surrounding the game, mostly spread by those who have never spent enough time at the FL tables to really get to know the game.

Pocket Rockets: A Myth

One such myth is the one about pocket rockets losing value dramatically in FL. Some people will tell you that because a player has his hands tied when it comes to protecting a starting hand, all solid starting hands lose value. Some will even go as far as to tell you that you should not commit anything on pocket rockets because they’re guaranteed to be cracked.

I’m here to tell you though that pocket rockets represent the best starting hand in Holdem, regardless of whether it’s FL, PL or NL we’re taking about, and that they’re equally valuable in all three betting structures. The way that value manifests itself is different though.

With that in mind, my advice to you is to stuff that FL pot the best you can when you pick up pocket rockets, and I’ll prove to you why that’s indeed the reasonable thing to do.

The Value of Aces

I’ll start from the premise that everyone calls everyone in FL poker all the time: the very reason why haters say there’s no value left in the game. This is obviously a theoretical premise only, it won’t happen in real life, but I’ll start from a worst-case scenario just to make my point easier to comprehend.

At a 10-handed table, (going up against 9 other players) your aces will win about 28% of the time against non-random hands like K,K, Q,Q, A,K and some suited connectors and suited one-­gappers. If we are to consider 9 random hands, that percentage climbs to around 30%. What that means is that your pocket rockets will win 1 out of 3 confrontations against 9 other players, on average.

There’s your explanation to why it looks like your rockets lose often: because that is the case indeed. The only thing is, stuffing the pot on pocket rockets still remains profitable and here’s why:

Suppose you invest 10 units on every pocket-rocket hand that you play. That means after 3 hands, you have 30 units invested of which you lose 20. You win the 3rd hand so that’s not a loss for you. Considering that your opponents call you all the way, that means the third time you book a clean profit of 90 units. 90-20 = 70: that’s a very handsome profit over those 3 hands of play indeed. As the number of players goes down, your odds go up, so you’ll always be able to book a nice profit on your pocket rockets.

The conclusion: pocket rockets are just as profitable in FL Holdem as they are in NL. It just takes longer for your edge to yield palpable results. On top of that, you do not risk dropping your entire stack on a cracked pair of aces like you do in NL.

The bottom line: playing well pays just as well in FL as it does in NL. Make sure that you stuff the pot on those rockets every time and sign up for a rakeback deal or for a poker prop deal for cryin’ out loud. Because of the peculiarities of the betting structure, your stack is going to last longer, and you’ll have to eke out your profit over more hands than in NL Holdem. More hands mean more poker rake though and you need to compensate for that somehow.
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