Frank Apisa wrote:
For one thing, my math skills are abysmal...and obviously the math necessary to see a odds on bet are daunting for someone with poor math skills. But even that can be overcome, in a fashion, by paying attention to the bets and pot...and at least knowing a bit about the odds of hitting your outs. Saw Annie Duke interviewed once...and she admitted she couldn't do the math...and went with the feel of the pot and the bet. Not like her brother at all!
Let me teach you a shortcut then. Count your outs, multiply that number by two, and then by the remaining cards to come on the board and you'll have your odds of winning within a few percentage points.
Here's an example:
You have A♥K♥. The flop comes 2♥9♥8♤ giving you a flush draw. Your opponent goes all in, and you put him on a pocket pair. Something like Jacks. What are your odds of winning?
Well, there are 3 more Kings out there, 3 more Aces out there, and 9 other hearts out there for your flush. so your odds of winning are those 15 outs X 2 X the remaining cards to come (2), or in other words you have about a 60% chance of winning that hand.
That little trick basically works like this: the cards in the deck is rounded to 50, and as such any card has a 2% chance of being dealt. So on each street, you have your outs * 2 of a chance of hitting it.
That little math shortcut doesn't tell you much about what to do with this information, but then you just apply basic pot odds and a simplified rule is to not call if you have to pay a greater percent of the pot than the odds of winning.
So if, in my example, the pot was $1,000 preflop, and on the flop the guy went all in for another $500 you should call with the following caveat:
You need to be good at knowing your outs. For example, if the guy didn't have Jacks but has pocket Aces you now don't have 15 outs, you have 9. So this is just a quick way to calculate the odds, but you need to input the right data.
But the "patience" factor is the real fly in my ointment. As you can tell from some of my conduct here...patience is not my long suit. And nothing is a bigger killer of the game--especially in tournaments--than lack of patience.
I hear you. Discipline is 90% of poker for a guy like me. But for me cash games are much worse. At least in a tournament you only have to be patient till the blinds are big enough that you are forced to play, whether you want it or not. In a cash game there's nothing to hold on for and you just always need to be patient.