Pot Odds Mean Nothing With Free Money

The number of times I’ve been busted by fish who will call anything regardless of how ridiculous their odds are is the most frustrating part of this site. I play real poker for real money and my skills there don’t translate here. I think this site may actually be detrimental for practice.

Just now I bet the pot on flop with a high pair A5. Get raised and all in by this moron with A3 YET he lands a 3 on the river. Most of the time this happens with flush draws— there’s simply no way for me to protect trips or a straight with someone like that. The site may use a standard RNG but the number of flushes I see here because draws go all the way to the river is WAYYYYYYYYYYY above normal.


Hi Ninnyhammer, thanks for bringing up Pot Odds, It is something which gets talked about in threads but rarely seems to get one in its own right. In the example you give, you will be hard pressed to get anyone with an Ace off a flop when they hit top pair, whether its Play chips, micro cash stakes, or even higher if they think their opponent may not have an Ace too.
Of course, you are right that Play chips are not valued and many players get into a cycle of Boom and Bust because they can just hit the free reload button and start over. Once you get into the slightly higher games, I am sure you will find opponents who have a good idea of standard strategy.
Losing any big pot, bad beat or marginal favourite is annoying for sure. Preparing for it by having good habits in all aspects of your game such as game selection, hand selection and Bankroll Management are important to lessen the blow and move on. Posting in the Forums is recommended too.
Best of luck,

Whining helps too…

Pot odds always means something, free chips or not.

Bet enough to make chasing incorrect and you profit in the long run… period.

The long run does little to assuage the irritation of the moment…

The fact that ‘the long run’ exists should be comfort enough to put isolated hands of bad variance into perspective.

The chips stay in circulation in the Replay site, no matter how well or poorly the players play, therefore the better players will acquire more through better play and that involves better strategy, like calculating pot odds.

I’m probably going to step in it here by commenting but I do see all sides of this issue and have been trying to construct a better style against what we all see. The issue isn’t really that pot-odds don’t matter, because they absolutely do. The issue is that there are a huge number of players who seemingly either don’t know or don’t care what their odds are in any given situation.

On the plus side, having people like this pop up in small numbers is extremely profitable in the long term for players who will make the mathematically correct decisions. On the negative side, they can and will inflict lots of cruel beats along the way and those beats sting.

Here’s a good example from last night in one of the MTT’s I was playing: Late in an MTT with average stacks under 15BB I open J’s from UTG +2 for 3xBB. Folded to middle position player with a stack a little smaller than mine who re-raises (weakly) and doubles my bet. Everyone else folds and its back to me. His re-raise meant a call by me would leave me less than a half-pot behind so the real question was whether to fold or shove. I’m not folding J’s there and figured I’m either way behind QQ+ or flipping with AQ+. I shove and he calls. He flips over A4s and you could see the cartoon question mark over my head. Of course he turns a flush and I’m crippled and out shortly thereafter.

Rob - there are more than a few players who you couldn’t get to walk away from a weak suited Ace pre-flop with a gallon of industrial strength donkey laxative.

At the time, I was pretty ticked off because that is one weird and horrible play. What range could he have put me on to think he’d be even close to a coin flip with? He’s crushed by all better A’s and a 2:1 dog to all pairs 55+. Who in the world wants to play for stacks with those odds? However, 2:1 dogs still win 1 out of 3 hands and he won that one so he went on in the tournament and I did not. Of course I felt disappointed and frustrated.

Only later did I deconstruct the hand to present it back to myself in another way. I asked myself if I would want to have that exact same hand for stacks in the next tournament I played in and the answer was 100% yes. Rather than being frustrated by the beat, I could now see the hand as a gift presented to me. Well, not quite a gift but I sure as heck want to get my chips in the middle in that good a spot as often as I can.

How do we adjust for the loose play and especially the people who chase? SPG had it right, make them keep paying incorrect prices for their draws. We will get sent packing many times along the way but in the end, we should have a lot more of their chips than they do of ours.

Anger is a gift. If you refuse a gift, to whom does it belong? - Buddha

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For some I suppose…not me…

Free money play has it’s own way to win. Keep playing the site and you can beat almost anyone. (Except those who play better than you, of course)

I agree with free money it gets a little crazy. Watching the other players & picking up on their play is a big part of the game. I enjoy catching the bluffers. It just makes me more careful & wiser & determined to take their money. It’s really fun when I’m successful & the player leaves the table.

I do hear a lot of frustration and anger sometimes. Pot odds are pot odds, free chips or not does not equate into any theory of play. The only thing that does matter, as in life, is the ability to adjust and adapt to any given situation or tournament structure. . I’m an old Casino war horse from way back when. I’ve worked in many of the best casinos in my 42 year career as a manager or executive . I worked Benny Binion’s world series of poker. Then the Amarillo Slim’s Poker Classic. I’ve also played in more tournaments then I care to count. I can tell you one thing that’s for sure. Those tourney’s get every bit as crazy as any free tournament I’ve ever played in. It’s all about being aware of your surrounding players and staying focused. If you think you can play all tournaments the same, base solely on math or the pot odds, you’ll be sorely disappointed in your poker tournament career, whether it’s free chips or a $10,000 buy-in. That’s the beauty of poker, nothing ever works out as you think it should, mathematically or otherwise. Those that understand the entire scope of the game and it’s potential as well as it’s short comings will always be successful in the long haul… Math does play an important role in poker, but it’s just the tip of the Iceberg if you truly desire to be a success at poker tournaments… Just like taking a flight to Hawaii. It may go very smoothly and you may never know that the pilot had made thousands of adjusts along the way to get you there smoothly and safely. So, you can enjoy your own flight, if you will. But you’ll need to make thousands of small adjustments all along the way… Hope this inside insight helps with your overall view of this royal game once played by Kings…

I consider A-5 or A-3 weak hands and I would have folded before flop. If you hit top pair but you have lousy kicker you put yourself in a position to lose. Going all in was a foolish play!

I’ve sat in a $400 buy-in ring game with three Armenians at COMMERCE CASINO in SoCal, and I assure you it was the same as this play money stuff and I got into their heads enough to take them to the felt. So this play chip style is out there in the real world, but you do have to change your gears to keep that type of player scrambling. Shifting gears here to maintain tempo and present a seemingly quasi-crazy, albeit a well-managed plan in reality is the best way to win against the chases.