Monday, July 25, 2011

Math on a Prop Bet

So with my recent influx of even more free time lately I have been spending some evenings at a local 2/5 game. Some of the regulars there like to run a prop where you each just pick one or two cards and you just pay if they hit the flop with according bonuses for hitting multiples of your card(s). I always knew because of card removal (people are more likely to play a hand with an ace in it rather than a deuce) that taking low cards would be some sort of edge [the other players are not so keen on this], but never really had a hard figure in mind. I decided to crunch the actual numbers:

The odds an ace will come out if you flip over 3 random cards is 1 - (48/52 * 47/51 * 46/50), which is around 21.7%

Now since it is nearly impossible to prove what an average flop is in poker I will just have to use my database as a best guess. My full tilt db has 215k hands, so I figured that variance would be pretty low there. Of those hands 60,346 saw a flop. So if things ran true there should be around 13,118 flops with an ace. The actual number of ace high boards was 12,697. So the difference is 421 flops short of where it should be. That equates to a 3.21% shortage of aces on the flop. So if you can take a deuce and get the other person to take an ace the advantage is probably close to double that.


If you are playing this prop with the deuce vs. ace your edge is around 6% every time one of those cards come. If you are seeing around 35 hands an hour, I would guess 25 go to a flop in a live game. I'd guess you see an average of 4 cards per flop. So you will see about 100 cards an hour. Of those about 15 will be an ace or deuce. So if you are betting 10 dollars a card your edge will be around 9 dollars an hour.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


My first online interview was released this week on the Poker Phenoms website. It came out OK I guess. If the mood strikes you it can be seen in its entirety here:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

45 Days in Vegas

Before I left for Vegas this year I had a game plan unlike any previous years (mostly added pressure on myself, seeing how things have changed since black Friday). I had a few goals in mind:
  • play tons of 5/10nl or tournaments or sit and goes or whatever I thought would be the most profitable hourly rate with reasonable bankroll management coming with somewhat limited cash
  • make X amount of dollars
I haven't done any of that really.

The trip can really be divided into two halves. The first half I spent most of my time playing 5/10/25 PLO cash games. Full ring live PLO isn't all that exciting. I figured I would have a decent hourly rate there, but never really realized all too much profit. I played 25/50/100 once and hit an ran for a nice 5k profit. I even played a 100/200 game one time where I chopped action and played a 20k pot with around 78% equity and chopped (it was against Ben Lamb, so I am surprised I got anything back). The game broke shortly after. I also played about 10 tournaments with one cash. Broke about even there. Pretty boring stuff.

The second half of my trip has revolved around blackjack. I am not sure how I am only getting into this game just now. It involves gambling and arithmetic and taking money from evil corporations and comes with freed drinks and cigars. This blog post has enough words already so I will break it down by the numbers:

Casinos that will no longer let me play blackjack: 20 (MGM owns a lot)

Hours played: ~42

Highest count seen on a double deck: 23 (resulted in taking insurance on the dealer's ace up for 7k in bets... she had blackjack)

Profits: ~27k

Batting average for taking insurance: 1.000

Equity in a perfect shoe: +20.00%

I ran the math below:

So as things stand now I am going to have to make the 10,250 chips I have left in the Main Event dance for me on Day 2 to hit my goal and finally shave my playoff beard: