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[spoonitnow strategy] Applications and Limitations of the Alpha Value

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  1. #1
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Lightbulb [spoonitnow strategy] Applications and Limitations of the Alpha Value

    The alpha value is an important shortcut that's simple and pretty. It's also completely abused by a lot of players who aren't aware of its limitations.

    http://www.flopturnriver.com/blogs/a...ha-value-17369

    Discuss.
  2. #2
    Can I just double check something with this calculation. I was never fully sure when it could and could not be used, so I avoided it altogether.

    Would this be correct;

    Bet 500, all-in raise to 2,000. Bet/(bet+pot) = 500/3,000 = ~17% equity needed.

    Correct?
    Currently grinding live cash games. Life is good.
  3. #3
    Stacks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra_1878 View Post
    Can I just double check something with this calculation. I was never fully sure when it could and could not be used, so I avoided it altogether.

    Would this be correct;

    Bet 500, all-in raise to 2,000. Bet/(bet+pot) = 500/3,000 = ~17% equity needed.

    Correct?
    I'm assuming you are trying to figure out the needed equity to call the $2,000 shove? If so, then in this instance, the 'bet' is the amount you must call. So after betting 500, and being shoved on for $2k total, you must call an additional 1500. So bet = 1500. The pot at the time would be your 500 + villains 2k or $2,500. So the formula comes out to:

    1500 / (2500 + 1500)
    1500 / 4000
    0.375

    Another way of looking at it to figure out equity needed for a call would be (amount to call) / (total pot after call).
  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Stacks View Post
    I'm assuming you are trying to figure out the needed equity to call the $2,000 shove? If so, then in this instance, the 'bet' is the amount you must call. So after betting 500, and being shoved on for $2k total, you must call an additional 1500. So bet = 1500. The pot at the time would be your 500 + villains 2k or $2,500. So the formula comes out to:

    1500 / (2500 + 1500)
    1500 / 4000
    0.375

    Another way of looking at it to figure out equity needed for a call would be (amount to call) / (total pot after call).
    LOL, couldn't have been further off, no wonder I avoid the Maths side of poker. Thanks for the correction and post.
    Currently grinding live cash games. Life is good.
  5. #5
    rpm's Avatar
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    most people find it hard at first to get their head around potsize/betsize with this equation, especially when hero is raising a bet. it becomes a lot easier and quicker with practice.
  6. #6
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    I picked this topic this week because so many people know that it can be used for something, but they don't know exactly how to use it. This creates a lot of confusion and wasted effort, so I wanted to clear all of that up since it's so common before we get into more fun topics in the upcoming weeks.
  7. #7
    This is an alternate way of talking about pot odds?
  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jackvance View Post
    This is an alternate way of talking about pot odds?
    Not really.

    It's just a shortcut that can be quite helpful in a few situations. Such as working out the % of your range you need to fold to be exploitable by a bluff.
  9. #9
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    In a way, it's applicable to all gambling situations, although it doesn't always look exactly the same. It's basically a way to quantify risk vs. reward to determine if something is "expected" to be profitable. I mean "expected" in the mathematical sense of probability theory and statistical analysis.

    It's basically ( total risk ) / ( total reward ) = alpha.

    If alpha is less than the "win frequency" or "equity", then a gamble has a positive expectation value; it is +EV.

    Spoonitnow is applying this fundamental principle to the game of poker. He understands this concept thoroughly, and I consider him an expert on the subject (for what a monkey's opinion is worth).
  10. #10
    I ask because I've been using this since I started playing poker, because I used to calculate these odds on paper for a while to get used to it. And i started doing that after learning about pot odds. I didn't know it is now being called alpha.
  11. #11
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    It's only called alpha to give it a name. Nothing more than an arbitrary name to make reference to it quicker and easier.
  12. #12
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    It's only called alpha to give it a name. Nothing more than an arbitrary name to make reference to it quicker and easier.
    Aren't all names arbitrary?
  13. #13
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    Don't you know?
  14. #14
    Bumping just to make sure I'm doing this shit correctly.


    BTN and SB are pretty nitty, tiny sample size though.
    BB is unknown.

    $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Holdem
    PokerStars
    5 Players
    Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com

    Stacks:
    UTG Player4 ($4.60) 92bb
    CO ImSavy ($5.62) 112bb
    BTN Player6 ($2.39) 48bb
    SB Player1 ($5.09) 102bb
    BB Player2 ($1.69) 34bb

    Pre-Flop: ($0.07, 5 players) ImSavy is CO
    1 fold, ImSavy raises to $0.15, 2 folds, Player2 calls $0.10

    Flop: ($0.32, 2 players)
    Player2 bets $1.54,

    To avoid being exploitable by a bluff I need to be folding less than 1.54/(15.4+0.32) = 82.80% of my range?

    So if my range is something like this (682 hands)



    I have to be calling with at least 116 combinations of hands?

    edit - woops deleted the pic by accident, range is unimportant though, just assume I'm opening with 682 hands and calling his shove with at least 116 to avoid being exploitable.

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