Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

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Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Here's What You Do

DY used to say this quite a lot in regard to "bent" Internet sites. If the flush always comes, play suited cards, if quads come much too often, always play pairs, and so on. Given that it has now been 5 or 6 years and there is still not a shred of evidence that any of the major Internet cardrooms are manipulating their deals with malicious intent, the moan du jour on the forums has changed.

Now it seems that everyone and his dog is whingeing about structures. I may come on to that in a later post, apart from to say, adapt your game to the structure at hand instead of demanding that structures be changed to suit you, and/or find out what the structure is before you play, and if you don't like it take your business elsewhere. However, the purpose of this post (we'll get there in a minute) is to talk about another very common whinge - "A sponsored player / Jac Arama / anyone with a deep pocket has an advantage in rebuy tournaments". I'm not even going to argue the point here. I'm just going to say, if that is so, then here's what you do.

If this is an "advantageous" way to play why don't you do the following, next time a decent size rebuy tournament comes around. Get together with say four like-minded "I only have one rebuy so I'm at a disadvantage it's not fair" types. God knows there are enough of you around moaning about it. Play a freezeout at home. The winner gets to take all the money the five of you would have put in to the comp, so basically 10 buyins altogether. He plays the tournament with these 10 buyins in his pocket, going all in all the time in this advantageous style. And the five of you split whatever he wins, or has left over.

If you think that's an advantageous way to play, do it. If you don't, then stop talking crap.

19 Comments:

Blogger The Camel said...

Cannot agree with here Mr Ward.

If you take away the lunatics who have a zillion buys but keep the aggressive, good players who will gamble and have rebuys where and when necessary, having the option of a mulitple rebuy strategy is definitely the way to make money in these events.

Rocking up just won't do it IMO.

2:13 AM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

We have to be careful that we don't get mired in semantics here. I agree that if you are a better player than the field you should be selectively aggressive and if you do lose your chips, rebuy.

What I'm trying to say though is even if you turn up with one rebuy in your pocket, or play it as a freezeout, you can play just as you would with 10 in your pocket except that you walk away when you're done, and you are not at an inherent disadvantage.

It's HOW YOU PLAY. If you change the way you play because you have no rebuys, then yes that could be a disadvantage, but that's entirely due to your playing style decision NOT the structure of the tournament.

It's a subtle point, far too subtle to put across on forums mostly.

Andy.

8:55 AM  
Blogger The Camel said...

Of course you are at inherent disadvantage if you walk away during the rebuy period if you have an overlay in the tournament!

As the prize pool gets bigger it is more important to rebuy at each opportunity because the value is increasing!

A marginal call becomes a must call if the prize pool appears like reaching bigger levels than expected.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

We have to be very careful with this, or we could sink without trace !

I do believe your statement about "extra value" is misleading. There is more money to be won, however this is balanced out by the fact that there are more chips in the game. A 1/100 chance of winning £10K is NOT better value than a 1/50 chance of winning £5K. Contrary to the popular use of the word "value". Don't make me tell you to buy lottery tickets instead ;-)

The crucial phrase in your post is "if you have an overlay". Yes, if you have an overlay then you're missing out by walking away. But that is not what people are saying on forums. Most of this comes from people who don't know how to adapt to different structures - or losers as they are also known. I'm saying that if you don't have an overlay, it makes no difference. And even if you do, there's no difference between playing one tournament with 4 rebuys and 5 tournaments without (excepting entry fees). Agreed ?

2:03 PM  
Blogger The Camel said...

"And even if you do, there's no difference between playing one tournament with 4 rebuys and 5 tournaments without (excepting entry fees). Agreed ?"

No, not agreed at all!

Let me put is this way, would you rather buyin to a tournament after an hour (assuming you have not been penalised by losing blinds) than at the beginning? Several players have been knocked out and you are nearer the winning post already.

This is essentially what you doing by buying in.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

Several players have been knocked out yes but their chips are still in play. And they may well be in the hands of better players. Which if anything makes things worse !

Andy.

3:32 PM  
Blogger The Camel said...

With 10 players left... you've got 1000 chips. Would you rather everyone else had 10,000 or one player had 200,000 and the other 8 had 1000 too?

3:56 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

But there aren't 10 players with hugely unbalanced stacks. There are 100+ mostly around the same. Your extreme example shows that this is a factor. But with 100 players left this factor might be, and probably is, vanishingly small.

I'll tell you what, although I'm not going to go as far as to admit that I'm wrong :-), you have given me something to think about.

If you have the rebuys in your pocket, then as and when you lose your chips, you can make an informed decision whether to rebuy or not. This would depend on the line-up at the table, who's got the chips, whether anyone is on tilt and how well you think you are playing yourself. If you don't have the rebuy in your pocket and these factors are favourable, then you're missing out by not rebuying and effectively saving the money for next time, when you will start again with a random draw from scratch.

It is also possible that the period towards the end of the rebuys, where people can be "stuck" and on tilt and desperate to get chips, can be very profitable. So you should try to be there as often as you can.

I can kind of see where you're coming from when I look back to the regular £20 Stud tournaments in Luton. Happy days ! That game was a goldmine. Anyway, it would have been stupid for me to turn up with just £40 in my pocket once I was beating the game. Doing that would have cut down my profit. However, if a new player had come up to me and said "I'm just starting and I'm on a tight bankroll, do you think I should play once a week for £40 or once a month for £160 ?" I would have said don't worry about it, just play your game and if you bust out, try again next week.

So it's different for different people. The way you hammer those tournaments in Luton for example, you'd be crazy not to rebuy. It's the people on forums, most of whom are losers, moaning about how bad it is when some maniac with deep pockets sits on their table, that's what angries up the blood for me. I know, I should just leave them to it :-)

Andy.

4:06 PM  
Blogger The Camel said...

Last comment I promise.

"So it's different for different people. The way you hammer those tournaments in Luton for example, you'd be crazy not to rebuy. It's the people on forums, most of whom are losers, moaning about how bad it is when some maniac with deep pockets sits on their table, that's what angries up the blood for me."

It's exactly when you have one of those maniacs on your table (I once remember Neel Chudasama having 23 rebuys on my table in a £100 comp at Luton...unfortunately his presence led me to having 8, not that I need much goading to have rebuys) that you should dig into your pocket as often as is needed because the prize pool is huge and your chance of getting a big stack is excellent. And of course your overlay on each rebuy could not possibly be higher.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

The more comments the better. Especially on a Friday afternoon !

I think we agree, mostly, anyway.

I doubt I will see you tomorrow now, hopefully next week.

Andy.

4:45 PM  
Blogger David Young said...

My point was made in response to those who talked about 'juiced-up' flops, also called 'action flops'. I was saying that those who seriously believed that the flops were artificially enhanced to create big confrontations should stop drawing to small straights, small flushes and small trips, as they were the situations that led to people losing big pots.

It's all nonsense of course.

DY

5:09 PM  
Blogger chaos said...

Is anyone still there?

Intersting thread. Andy, a poker discussion here! What's going on. I agree with Andy and Keith and disgaree with them in parts.

I agree with Andy that keith's view on value can be misleading, but it is a subjective one. If you are a zero EV player the fiscal value is the same however you look at it. But value for some people lies in the opportunity to win a large amount of money.

Like Keith I don't agree that with Andy's point about the 4 freezeouts/4 rebuys parity. There is a subtle maths point that Keith makes and of course there is the decision-making that a rebuy offers: you can invest a £100 now on a rebuy with some crazy players, or roll the dice and play against a random sample of players.

I've often heard peole say that the rebuy Kings have a big advantage over the rest of the field (partiularly the bad players). I didn't and don't subscribe to this view because these players are often fully prepared to take on big -EV decisions to 'buy chips' which must surely play into other players' hands. This is mainly about sentiment, the low rebuy players cash out less often and are less likely to win and so get dispirited. Arguably, though, re-buys could offer better 'value' for both camps. The lower budget players have a higher EV because some of the rebuy Kings are playing more hands badly than in a freezeout, and the re-buy kings have a greater chance of winning the tournament - they arguably value the prestige of winning the tournament more than the low-budget players and are prepared to 'pay' for the glory. Everyone's happy, plenty of value for all.

However, saying all that, the chances are that players on lower budgets value certainty: they might prefer say 20-1 chance of winng 2k, than a 50-1 chance of 5k. Of course, all this is evident in the general greater keeness of the low buget player to make deals.

Having said that maybe there is some mathematical sense in what these people say.

The point I will try and make is that people with money in their pockets can expect to it work for them.

Take an example: two players: Ronnie Rebuy and Freddie Freezout. In a freezeout both have ROI's of 120%. So they approach similar dilemmas in a similar way.

Now they play a rebuy and again they are both equally skilled decision-makers. An identical opportunites arises for both players. They both find themselves in a situation where they commit all their starting chips for say a small %age profit.
(Tournies make these sort of example tricky, but I think the sense holds)

For Freddie the decision is a fold since he is better off by not taking the risk**. But rebuy-Ronnie can 'eat value' and play the hand.

Over many freezouts both players will pull up £100 and the hundred quid will be 'worth' £10 profit.

In multiple trials of rebuy tournaments, Freddie's £100 might still be worth £20 profit. But Ronnie's got a grand in his bin, what's that worth? Well, you might find that the first £100 yielded an average of £12 profit per tournament, the second £7, the third £5 and so on. Finally, the 10th £100 has an average expected return of 10p per tournment, since it was seldom used. Add them all up and Ronie has a greater tournament EV than Freddie. So by bringing in more money Ronnie is increasing his earning power and effectively reducing Freddies (so he becomes less than 120%).

The other important point to make is that whilst the intinisic value doesn't appear to change for Freddie, whether he has £100 in a pool of £5000(Freezout) or £100 in a pool of £15,000(Rebuy). In practice this isn't true, I suspect he has more EV in the 5k event because he has a greater proportion of the chips.

We all know the arguments relating to correct decision-making close to the money: the medium to small stacks must avoid confrontations, the big stacks must challenge them to make them. Freddie is more likely to find himself as a smaller stack in a rebuy tournie than a freezout, and Ronnie the bigger stack: Ronnie gets to make more profitable decisions more often than Freddie at this stage. Even though they are both equally skilled at making them, Ronnie's stash faciltates him to make more of them (proportionately). This is probably where I drew the idea of 'Strange attractors' that you may recall. Well, if that idea holds then the chances are Freddie will often find himself attracted to zero and Ronnie well, in the other direction.

So there you have it, I'd rather be rebuying in a tournament that has had fewer rebuys. Now there's something I didn't think I'd say when I started this.

So maybe the rebuyers do have an advantage after all.




* I hate math's example for tournies, we're into the turning down +EV country here again, I suppose if Freddie, doubles, his EV when he doubles his chips from 120 240 then of course he may not turn it down, but it seems we can accept and that people can and do turn down these EV's for the bigger picutre, even if it is for false reason)

12:56 AM  
Blogger Big Dave D said...

It's funny, the way my screen was scrolling through your comment..and u always have some scrolling to do in a chaos comment :)...I was thinking "strange attractor" literally just before it popped up on the screen.

It may be that this effect also skews the outcomes for rebuy players. We have all knowm players who do great in rebuy events, cos they tend to have a big stack or are out, than in freezeouts where they find their excessive style tends to bust them too readily. The conventional arguement used to be that they play a big stack better. Maybe its actually the big stack that plays them better.

Back to footbalp now surely?

gl

dd

7:58 AM  
Blogger chaos said...

'The conventional arguement used to be that they play a big stack better. Maybe its actually the big stack that plays them better.'

Now there's a line I wish I could steal.

ps

my proofs were never on the mean side as a student either.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

Chaos,

If we have different assumptions then we're never going to agree. This is the crux of the whole matter IMO :

"I suppose if Freddie, doubles, his EV when he doubles his chips from 120 240 then of course he may not turn it down, but it seems we can accept and that people can and do turn down these EV's for the bigger picutre, even if it is for false reason)"

If Freddie turns the gamble down just because he can't rebuy he's MAKING A BAD PLAY. The structure vis-a-vis rebuys isn't the issue, it's his play. Someone might say "Is it a disadvantage to play wearing a blue shirt". We say No. They say "But I always play worse when I wear a blue shirt".

So what's the problem ? Is it the shirt or the player ?

Andy

PS Yes it is a great line about the stack playing the player

2:15 AM  
Blogger chaos said...

Andy,

'If Freddie turns the gamble down just because he can't rebuy he's MAKING A BAD PLAY.'

This isn't true. If you accept the premace that good players are sometimes right to turn down some +EV decisions in a freezeout in order to optimise their tournament return, then clearly a good player in a rebuy tournament with no rebuys left could also be right to do so - the game is different but clearly the same principle would hold. Also and obviously a player with a large number of rebuys available to him is less concerned, in the rebuy period, with going bust so he can call some of these +EV situations knowing he can replace the chips without seriously affecting his risk.

The principle was perfetly illustrated in cash games by Doyle Brunson in SuperSystem. He cited an occasion where he chased EV by rasing, reraising knowing he had the advantage. The game was juicy, he got rivered. He watched from the rail. He admitted the decision to chase value this way was both wrong and short-sighted: it wouldn't have been wrong had he been stuffed with cash at the time. The trade off required between EV and probability of ruin is old hat,so there's no need to exapnd on it.

As further evidence, take it to an extreme: You are playing in a rebuy tournament with a bunch of chimps making random decisions.
Early in rhe tournament a chimp moves all-in: you hold JJ (Aces are boring). What do you do think is the best tournament EV decision when:

1/ You are holding no-rebuys?
2/ You are holding 20 rebuys?


btw I consider a BAD PLAY, in this instance, to be one that lowers tournament EV.

Follow-up question:

With which BR, 1 or 2, do you have the higher tournament EV before you sit down?

Well, I'm going to plump for option 2 - just think of all those flops you can afford to see without seriously ruining your bankroll.

So, therefore, it would be my claim that I would be better off with the 20 rebuys. Or in a tournament with 98 chimps and 2 good players I'd rather be the one with 20 rebuys than none. The guy with no rebuys ight legitimately claim might claim that I have an advantage.

To add a touch of realism, players with plenty of rebuys may feel that they have first divi on the dead money, since they can more readily afford to limp in with crap in order to 'outplay' their fishier opponents: a luxury the freezeout play can less afford.

Some players will be right to turn down a decision because they can't rebuy, some people will dillude themselves into thinking theya re when they aren't.

Of course we're ignoring the benefit or value to be had in playing for playing's sake.

chaos

Also this ignores the (unproven) strange argument that gives further favour to the rebuy player.

12:53 PM  
Blogger chaos said...

Naturally, the situation with JJ applies to a situation where the player is comfortably stacked and calling takes a hefty portion of it.

In terms pf bang for buck, the freezeout player may get more but has less bucks.

Also it necessarily non-sensical as you claim inferred, for a handful of equivalent players to say that rebuyers have an advantage and assert they are collectively better off as 5 freezeout players rather than 1 player with 4 rebuys. The 1 player with 4 rebuys may push up his tournament ROI from 110% to 125% of tournament buy-in, but collectivly their ROI is 150% of TBI as 5 freezeout players. In this instance they could be right to claim that rebuy players have an advantage over freezeout/low budget players and be very wrong (w.r.t ROI) to follow your 'Here's what you do' advice below:

'If this is an "advantageous" way to play why don't you do the following, next time a decent size rebuy tournament comes around. Get together with say four like-minded "I only have one rebuy so I'm at a disadvantage it's not fair" types. God knows there are enough of you around moaning about it. Play a freezeout at home. The winner gets to take all the money the five of you would have put in to the comp, so basically 10 buyins altogether. He plays the tournament with these 10 buyins in his pocket, going all in all the time in this advantageous style. And the five of you split whatever he wins, or has left over.'

regards

chaos

1:41 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

". If you accept the premace that good players are sometimes right to turn down some +EV decisions in a freezeout in order to optimise their tournament return"

I don't accept that at all. Which is why we disagree. Let's leave it there.

Thanks,

Andy.

3:23 PM  
Blogger chaos said...

ok, it's your blog. Just a correction:

'Also it necessarily non-sensical as you claim inferred' should have read 'Also it isn't ......as your claim inferred..'

5:18 PM  

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