1/14/2006

1-14-06 [poker] - 1

1-14-06 [poker]

A lot of peope say not to play a rebuy tournament unless you're planning on rebuying. That's a lot of nonsense. Because other players play so nutty in rebuy tourneys, you get very good value on your buy-in just by playing tight. If you lose, you quit and don't rebuy. Rebuying is +EV just like the original buy in, though I would argue that it's actually less +EV because the blinds are now bigger and you have less chance to wait for good hands, and also some of the nutty fish may have washed out several buy ins and given up by that point. If you're tight+weak you'll get destroyed at these things, but if you're just very tight preflop and basically try to get all in with any decent flop, you get good value.

The nutters certainly come out to play tournaments on Saturday. I've got my money in way the best against nutty nutty calls in two tournaments, and of course the nutters won. I won't bore you with the details of the bad beat stories, but my god, my god man, do these people even know how to spell poker?

Back on the rebuy question - consider two strategies. The tighter strategy you cash much more often, but looser way has a much higher chance of cashing well. Let's say the tight way you bust out 90% of the time, and cash 10% of the time. When you cash, you make 15 buyins on average, so your EV is 1.5 buyins. The looser way, you bust out 95% of the time and cash 5% of the time, but when you cash you make 30 buyins, so your EV is 1.5 buyins. But what if you can rebuy when you bust? We'll assume that you can rebuy infinitely - any time you bust you rebuy. Thus your EV when you bust is the same as an EV of buying in all over again. This is slightly wrong in various ways, but close enough. It sets up a recurrence relation for EV, like :

tighter :
EV = -1 + 0.1 * 15 + 0.9 * EV
0.1 * EV = -1 + 0.1 * 15
EV = -1/0.1 + 15 = 5

looser :
EV = -1 + 0.05 * 30 + 0.95 * EV
0.05 * EV = -1 + 0.05 * 30
EV = -1/0.05 + 30 = 10
So clearly with rebuys the looser/gambling style is much better.

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