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How I learned to stop worrying and love the bounty.

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This is actually a repost of a blog I made earlier this year that somehow got lost in the innerwebz during the transition to teammoshman.com. Rather than just do a simple repost of the initial blog, I decided to try something a little different with it.

So, below is the original blog post as it was written (with a few minor corrections that were bugging me) and you can see my little experimentation by hitting play.

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I was browsing the TM forum the other day when I saw that someone had asked a question regarding the effect of the KO bounty in the KO SnG’s on Stars and if he needed to adjust his strategy when playing KO’s vs regular SnG’s.

I quickly replied that the short answer was yes. The bounty for the KO gives stacks that cover you more incentive to call and thus they SHOULD be calling you wider. This also implies that you should tend to call a little wider as well when you have someone covered. But the extent of my thinking had been “If it’s close, call because of the bounty”.

That changed when another poster asked, “how does the bounty change your EQ of the tournament? because winning a KO in the early phase is not the same that winning it on the bubble.”

Crap. Now I have to think. *sighs*

Then it dawned on me that someone probably has already done the heaving lifting in how to model the effect of the bounty.

TO THE CLOUD!

Sure enough some had worked out how to figure out the equity. Like my personal hero always says:

So, with a big ole tip of the hat to statmanhal over at =4, we’re going to take a look at the effects of the bounty in a couple of scenarios and see what we can see about the effect on the bounty.

Case 1:

It’s the first hand of a $5.50 non-turbo SnG ($5 to the prize pool and $.50 rake) and you’re in the BB. Blinds are at 10/20 and it’s folded to the SB who open shoves for 1500 chips.

Now let’s assume that the SB is someone that we are friendly with and frequently discuss strategy. He’s a cheeky little monkey with a strong sense of whimsy and has told us that if the two of you were ever in this exact situation on the first hand he’d open shove 50% of his hand AND 42o (22+, A2s+, K2s+, Q2s+, J6s+, T7s+, 98s, A2o+, K2o+, Q5o+, J7o+, T9o, 42o).

We’ll assume that he’s telling us the truth and can trust that this is his range when he shoves.

So let’s crunch some numbers with the help of our friends at chillin411.

If we fold the first hand our equity in the tourney is 10.98% ($4.94).

If we call and lose our equity is 0%.

If we call and win our equity is 20.28% ($9.13).

So our risk to reward ratio is 54.14% (10.98%/20.28% or $4.94/$9.13…you get the same answer). That’s the equity we need against his range in order to make a call.

Opening up our handy dandy copy of Poker Stove or Poker Equilator we can see that we can call his shove with 55+, A5s+, A8o+, KTs+ and KJo+ (15.38% of our possible hands).

Now let’s see what happens if this same scenario were to occur in a KO tourney.

Case 2:

It’s the first hand of a $6.75 KO SnG ($5 to the prize pool, $1.25 for the bounty and $.50 rake) and you’re in the BB. Blinds are at 10/20 and it’s folded to the SB who open shoves for 1500 chips.

It’s the same SB opponent who is opening the same range as Case 1.

If we fold the first hand our equity in the tourney is $4.94.

If we call and lose our equity is $0.00.

However, if we call and win our equity is now $9.13 + the bounty of $1.25 (which we know thanks to statmanhal’s equation from 2p2 post linked above).

So our risk to reward ratio is 47.62% ($4.94/$10.38). That’s the equity we need against his range in order to make a call.

Again turning to our copy of Poker Stove or Poker Equilator, we can see that we can now call his shove with 22+, A2+, K6s+, K8o+, Q9s+ and QJo (28.81% of our possible hands).

That’s a HUGE difference. We almost doubled the number of hands that we can call with.

Now what about later in the tourney?

Case 3:

It’s the bubble of a $5.50 non-turbo SnG ($5 to the prize pool and $.50 rake) and you’re in the BB. Blinds are at 100/200 (no ante) and, miraculously, everyone has the exact same number of chips. It’s folded to the SB who open shoves for 3375 chips.

Let’s assume it’s the same opponent and that we know he’s still opening the exact same range as in the previous two examples (22+, A2s+, K2s+, Q2s+, J6s+, T7s+, 98s, A2o+, K2o+, Q5o+, J7o+, T9o, 42o).

So to chillin411 we go.

If we fold the first hand our equity in the tourney is 24.03% ($10.81).

If we call and lose our equity is 0%.

If we call and win our equity is 38.33% ($17.25).

So our risk to reward ratio is 62.69% (24.03%/38.33% or $10.81/$17.25…you still get the same answer). That’s the equity we need against his range in order to make a call.

Play around with Poker Stove or Poker Equilator and we see that we can now call his shove with 99+, AJs+, AQo+ (5.34% of our possible hands).

Now what about if this is a KO SnG?

Case 4:

It’s the bubble of a 6.75 KO SnG ($5 to the prize pool, $1.25 for the bounty and $.50 rake) and you’re in the BB.. Blinds are at 100/200 (no ante) and, miraculously, everyone has the exact same number of chips. It’s folded to the SB who open shoves for 3375 chips.

Let’s assume it’s the same opponent and that we know he’s still opening the exact same range as in the previous three examples (22+, A2s+, K2s+, Q2s+, J6s+, T7s+, 98s, A2o+, K2o+, Q5o+, J7o+, T9o, 42o).

So to chillin411 we go.

If we fold the first hand our equity in the tourney is 24.03% ($10.81).

If we call and lose our equity is 0%.

However, if we call and win our equity is now $17.25 + the bounty of $1.25 (which we know thanks to statmanhal’s equation from 2p2 post linked above).

So our risk to reward ratio is 58.44% ($10.81/$18.50). That’s the equity we need against his range in order to make a call.

Hope you still have your copy of Stove or Equilator open, because playing around with that we can see that we can call his shove with 77+, A9s+, ATo+ and KQs (9.05% of our possible hands).

So we can see that the bounty does force us to open up our calling range. But how does it affect how much we open up from early game to late game?

In the early game examples we were calling with 87.32% more hands in the KO tourney than we were in the standard SnG. In the late game examples we were calling with 69.47% more hands.

This difference can partly be attributed to the relative size of the bounty in relation to our equity gains. In the early game scenario, the bounty was worth 12.05% of our equity if we called and won ($1.25/$10.38). In the late game scenario the bounty only accounts for 6.76% of our equity if we call and win ($1.25/$18.50). The heavier ICM tax that we face in the bubble scenario also plays a role in the tightening up of our range and is the other major factor affecting our call.

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Feel free to bounce over to teammoshman.com to leave comments on the cross posting.