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Every Time

by Andrew Brokos |  Published: Nov 02, '13

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We were playing a $2/$5 game with a mandatory $10 straddle. A couple people limped, and then a tight and straightforward player raised to $60 with about $1000 behind. I had a pretty maniacal reputation and so was pleased to find a pair of Kings. I raised to $160, everyone else grumbled and folded, and the original raiser called. The flop came Ad 7d 7h, and he bet $200. I folded without much thought, and he proudly showed a pair of Aces for a flopped full house.

If in situations like this you choose to focus on your bad luck – “Every time I have Kings, an Ace flops!” or “Every time I have Kings, someone has Aces!” – you’re missing the point. Analyzed though the lens of reciprocality, all that matters is that if I’d had the Aces and he the Kings, I would have won more than he did.

This is one of the great deceptions of poker. It feels as if winning pots, especially big ones, is the way you win money. Thus, it can feel like you got robbed when you lose the pot with a big hand. The truth, though, is that I made a lot of money by losing so little with Kings vs Aces.

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Andrew Brokos is a professional poker player, writer, and teacher. He is also an avid hiker and traveler and a passionate advocate for urban public education. You can find dozens of his poker strategy articles at www.thinkingpoker.net/articles and more information about group seminars and one-on-one coaching at www.thinkingpoker.net/coaching.

 
Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of CardPlayer.com.
 

Comments

screendoor
over 8 years ago

Just wondering what your play is if you are re-raised pre flop?

 
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Foucault82
over 8 years ago

We'd be getting it in. I would have flatted or folded QQ though (depending on price I was getting).

 
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popskull
over 8 years ago

I feel like this isn't quite true. Through reciprocity you could say that despite him winning the hand, you're the better player, and would win more money in the long term. But I think it's a jump to go from there to saying you make money this way. This is part of why you're profitable maybe, and certainly why you're MORE profitable than someone who doesn't make this laydown, but the fact is if you went long enough on this end of the stick without getting to your AA vs. his KK, you'd be broke. So it's hard to say this fold actually makes you money.

In a different context, I put more money in the bank if I can reduce my expenses. But I wouldn't say I make money reducing expenses, I make money going to work. I am doing better financially than someone making the same amount as me, but that's different, and importantly if I get fired, that quickly changes completely independently of what I save on expenses.

 
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Foucault82
over 8 years ago

Fair points. This is why being properly bankrolled is so important. It's what enables you to withstand the short term variance and have a good chance of realizing your theoretical edge.

 
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