Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ghost Equity

Here’s a reply I made to someone reagarding a decision they had on the flop. It illustrates a much overlooked concept on poker and one I felt deserved a name of it’s own. I therefore coined the term of the title to explain this idea.

Here is hero’s post, detailing the question:
“I was playing vs. a guy who was extremely aggro. postflop raising/betting the flop 50% of the time over 8 times and full potting the flop/turn/river and only showdowned twice both having TP…once TPWK on a very wet board.
I had AT on a QT2tt board vs him and a reg. I was first to act and cbet and the reg folded and the aggro minraised me. What’s my plan? ”
I replied with the following:
“Okay, let’s think about the factors that you need to consider in this hand.
This guy is aggro, but from previous reads it’s not a very polarised range when he starts shovelling monies in. He’s also less likely to dick with us with total air when we bet on a 3 way flop. If he has a range of all Qx+ and draws then we’ll have pretty shitty equity due to there being a load of combos of Qx and the draws still doing well vs us.

So looks like on the flop that even though he’s generally aggro, our equity isn’t going to be great and so we should probably fold, unless of course, we have another reason not to. So…..what about the LOL OMFG POT ODDS!!!!! that we’re getting, is this a reason to peel the flop? Even if we have enough equity vs his range to peel a min raise based on these immediate pot odds in a vacuum, this is still going to be a fold and here’s why…..

The other thing you observed about this guy is that when he played flops aggressively before, he potted turns and rivers and didn’t slowdown. It’s fairly likely he’ll do this again on the turn with most of his range. What this means is, if we’re going to call the flop minraise profitably, we need to also be able to call turns profitably when he bets larger amounts, because we think he’ll do this very often. Since we actually have to fold turns due to his range containing too much Qx, it doesn’t matter how good our odds on the flop are, because we very rarely get to realise any of the equity we have vs his flop raising range because we don’t, and can’t get to showdown profitably.

Therefore there can be spots where even if a min raise gives us the lolpotodds to make a call in a vacuum on the flop, looking only at only one street; analysis of the hand as a whole will show that we actually have way less equity than a stoved range on the flop will show us to have due to having to fold the turn/river so often. Thus, a lot of the equity we may have vs the draws or even air part of his range on the flop is actually ghost equity (dum dum DUM) since it hardly ever gets realised. So let’s fold the flop.

Obviously if this guy is likely to start slowing down, giving up on the turn etc then we could peel since he’ll define his range more on turn cards and allow us to play well vs him and get to showdowns. Since he isn’t doing this often at all based on what we’ve observed, peeling the flop to fold turns a huge amount of the time will be setting monies on fire.

There are loads of ways to exploit a guy who goes mental with top pair, one of them is to fold 2nd pair when he starts going mental.”

To summarise then there will be spots where we have less actual showdown equity than we have immediate pot equity on a given street because of the high frequnecy that we will have to fold on a later street due to what we know of villain and his tendencies. The equity that very frequently disappears due to us not being able to continue vs a larger future bet on a future street is now known offically as ghost equitees.


1 comment:

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