Friday, February 24, 2006

The Hunt for +EV

If you're unsure what Expected Value (EV) is check here. In simple speak: It's an outcome you expect to happen on average.

Because of something mathmeticians call Variance the more times an event happens the more you'd expect the result to be 'typical'.

Tossing a coin is a favourite example to use to explain statistical jargon:

The likelihood of 'Heads' is 50/50, or evens.
If you toss a coin 4 times your more likely not to get 2heads and 2tails than to actually get it.
If you toss the coin 100,000 times you'd be pretty damn sure to average extremely close to 50% heads and 50% tails.

I spend my time hunting for positive expectation (+EV) opportunities. An easy example would be if someone offered to pay me $10 whenever the coin landed heads, but I'd have to pay them $9 every time the coin landed tails.

Other examples would be a casino paying me $100 to wager $2000 at the blackjack table, or calling a $5 bet at a poker table to win $40 when there is a 4:1 chance I will have the best hand after the next card is shown.

So, after 2years of full-time online poker play combined with travel to wherever it's warmer and safe (and usually somewhere I speak the local language) I catch on to blogging as a means of documenting my moves, both geographically and with regards to my online poker strategies.

One of the strategies I will be employing has been a proven winner for me for years:

I've been playing solid, tight, aggressive limit holdem poker for 5 years; multitabling usually 3 or 4 simulataneously for the last 4 years. I was always clearing a bonus so the more tables I could play the more $/hr I made in bonus money. It was all about growing a bankroll as fast as possible in those early days.

For the last 6 months or so I've reached a plataeu. One where my bankroll is no longer growing at a rate that exceeds my expenses. Basically, I'm spending as much as I'm making. Keeping my head above water. My plans to retire at 35yrs of age are under threat!

Hence the need to adapt, to evolve, to improve.

I am playing just one table right now, when I'm done I'm going to talk about the nights play.

Until then: be well.


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