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Chances Are — Part XI: Big Laydowns

by Steve Zolotow |  Published: Jan 22, 2014


One that Got Away This series has tried to emphasize both the importance of playing mathematically sound poker (and how to calculate your chances) and focusing on specific situations in which a play that seems anti-percentage or counter-intuitive may be called for. When you fold a hand that will beat almost every hand your opponent can hold, you are making a big laydown. It may seem almost mathematically insane to fold a hand that can beat 99 percent of the random hands your opponent might hold. But the betting action, physical tells and situation make it clear that your opponent’s hand isn’t random. In fact, you eventually come to the conclusion that he has exactly one of those few hands that can beat you. Even after you come to this unhappy conclusion, it is still very difficult to fold. The fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, written by Arthur Conan Doyle, once ...

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