Current Issue
Back Issues
 Subscribe to BartBlog Feed
How to Read
Members ( need password)
Subscribe to BartCop!
Contact Us
Advertise With Us
Link to Us
Why Donate?
The Forum  -
The Reader
Poster Downloads
Shirts & Shots
BartCop Hotties
More Links
BFEE Scorecard
Perkel's Blog
Power of Nightmares
Clinton Fox Interview
Part 1, Part 2
Money Talks
Cost of Bush's greed
White Rose Society
Project 60
Chinaco Anejo


Search Now:
In Association with

Link Roll
American Politics Journal
Barry Crimmins
Betty Bowers
Consortium News 
Daily Howler
Daily Kos
Democatic Underground 
Disinfotainment Today 
Evil GOP Bastards
Faux News Channel 
Greg Palast
The Hollywood Liberal 
Internet Weekly
Jesus General
Joe Conason 
Josh Marshall
Liberal Oasis
Make Them Accountable 
Mark Morford 
Mike Malloy 
Political Humor -
Political Wire
Randi Rhodes
Rude Pundit 
Smirking Chimp
Take Back the Media
More Links


Locations of visitors to this page

Pot Odds

The Price is Right

Many times in tournament poker you'll face a situation where the size of the pot forces you to call. 
This term is called 'pot-stuck' and it generally happens pre-flop. The key is knowing that this is the situation 
and making the call, as one of the biggest mistakes new players make in tournaments is throwing away bad 
or marginal hands when they really have no choice but to play them.

The first case is the doomed big blind, you are forced to put up half or more of your chips in the big blind. 
Somebody ends up putting in a raise that would force you to go all-in. Here you really have no choice but 
to get your money and hope for the best. Countless times I've seen people fold away half their stack in this spot 
and sit there waiting for a pair of aces to show up and save them, the problem is, when you have next to no chips, 
you need a lot more then one big hand to save yourself, and letting yourself lose half your stack with no resistance 
is a great way set yourself up for elimination.

I know you're thinking "What if I have 5-high?"   Well, that's just unfortunate but you still have to roll with it. 
If you had something horrible like 7-2 offsuit or 5-2, or the like, you still have about a 33% chance of winning. 
It's not great odds, but let's say the blinds are 500/1000 right now, you got 2000, you're the big blind and you 
have to put up 1000, if you fold, the next hand you'll again lose half your stack and have to put up 500 of the 
1000 you have left. There's no promise your next hand won't be horrible, and truly, odds are it will be bad. 
Even if you win this hand, you'll only double up your orginal stack to 2000, unless you face more then one 
opponent, which gives you even less odds of winning the hand.

Take the chance when you still have some chips, if you call with your horrible hand and win, now you got 4000 chips, 
now you can do a little damage, now an all-in by you means something, it can hurt players stacks. You can be a threat, 
when you're just clinging to crumbs, anyone can take you out by just deciding to pay what little you have left to take 
a swipe at you. I've hand people calll me with 7 high because it was 'so cheap'. You never want to be all in and facing 
elimination, it will happen often anyhow, but the fewer times you face that, the better.

Now on the other hand, let's say you got a lot of chips and you're the table bully, now and then while you're 
muscling around the weak folks, you may run into a problem.

Let's say there is 6 people left, you have 12000 chips, blinds are 200/400. 2 people fold to you, 
and you pick up 9-8 suited. Now you're the chip leader, everyone else has less chips then you, 
the blinds have small stacks, so you decide to put some pressure on the table and make a standard raise 
to 1200, three times the big blind. Everyone folds, and the big blind goes all in for an additional 1200 more.

Now calling an all in with 9 high doesn't seem very good, but we're pot stuck, our aggressive raising has put us 
in a spot where we now have to call.   Let's look at the pot. There is our 1200, the 200 from the small blind, 
and the 2400 from the big blind who's gone all in, that's 3800 chips. It's only costing us 1200 to win 3800. 
Even if we were dominated (Had our high cards matching and our 2nd card was lower then the opponent's
second card) we'd be getting the right price here. Do not count the 1200 you raised with at the start as part of 
the price, that's already in the pot, and you also can't abandon it, cause the pot is now giving excellent odds, 
so we have to call, you may lose the majority of the time, but you are still making the mathmatically correct play.

A lot of tournament poker isn't about your cards, it's about the size of your stack compared to the blinds, 
and the size of the pot compared to what you need to call. When you're short on chips and desperate, 
take a risk, when the pot is to big to fold, put your money in and hope for the best.

Next time I'll talk about "M" one of the most factors in tournament play.

You can reach Mike at

  Back to

Send e-mail to Bart  |  Discuss it on The BartCop ForumComment on it at the BartBlog

Privacy Policy
. .