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Old 09-20-2005, 08:45 AM
Jman28 Jman28 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 234
Default Stop-n-Ramble (long) (I\'m bored)

I made a post recently that got a lot of responses. Here's a copy of the hand:

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t300 (4 handed) FTR converter on

saw flop|<font color="#C00000">saw showdown</font>

<font color="#C00000">Button (t3730)</font>
<font color="#C00000">Hero (t2670)</font>
BB (t1365)
UTG (t2235)

Preflop: Hero is SB with A[img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img], Q[img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img].
<font color="#666666">1 fold</font>, <font color="#CC3333">Button raises to t1100</font>, Hero ??

[/ QUOTE ]

The responses were kinda split, but I'm not so worried about the particulars of that posts. I want to use it as an example of something I've been thinking about recently.

In the actual hand, I decided to 'sorta stop-n-go' (I say sorta because I don't close the action preflop. Anyways, I kinda hoped the BB might come along, and there were other factors in play, but for the sake of this post, let's pretend the BB is folding for sure, or that I'm in the BB. Basically, assume this is a true stop-n-go.

Anyways, I called.
Flop comes 9 [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img]6 [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img]4 [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img]

I push. He calls with K [img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img]9 [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img]

I'm going to try and find out how much advantage, if any the stop-n-go here has over pushing preflop assuming he calls preflop everytime.

Okay, I've been sitting here for a little bit, and realizing that to do this justice, I'd have to spend about 25334221243435 hours analyzing this, so I'm gonna be simplistic. Please excuse me.

Let's make some rough assumptions:
1) I push every flop after calling.
2) He calls with a pair or better (unless it's the board that's paired)
3) He calls OESD or equally good or better draws.
4) He folds everything else.

Now I'm going to make up possible flops, and see if the stop-n-go has a better result than just pushing preflop.

Flop 9 [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img] 6 [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img] 4 [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img]
No need for analysis. It's the same result either way for me. This is true for any time he will call a flop push.

Flop T [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img] 6 [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img] 4 [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img]

SNG - I push. He folds. I win a 2500 chip pot. My $EV = .3373 (ICM Calc)

Push Preflop - We're already all in. 75.423% of the time, I win a 5640 chip pot. My $EV is .3938. 24.577% of the time, I bust, my $EV is 0. Total $EV = .2970.

Result Stop-n-Go wins.

However, you'll notice that in cEV, pushing preflop wins, netting an average 4254 chips vs. the sng's 4070. The reason the stop-n-go is better is because of the bubble. It's better to not take large gambles in many bubble situations. I hope you already knew that.

Flop Q [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img] 7 [img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img] 7 [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img]

SNG - I push. He folds. I win a 2500 chip pot. My $EV = .3373

Push Preflop - We're already all in. 86.566% of the time, I win a 5640 chip pot. My $EV is .3938. 13.434% of the time, I bust, my $EV is 0. Total $EV = .3408.

Result Push preflop wins.

Suprisingly, to me at least, it barely wins. I actually came into this post thinking that the stop-n-go was overrated and might leave thinking the opposite.

Flop A [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img] 5 [img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img] 7 [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img]

SNG - I push. He folds. I win a 2500 chip pot. My $EV = .3373

Push Preflop - We're already all in. 96.869% of the time, I win a 5640 chip pot. My $EV is .3938. 3.131% of the time, I bust, my $EV is 0. Total $EV = .3815.

Result Push preflop wins.

This is kinda obvious, but I wanted to run the numbers.


I've taken one tiny example where I know the cards of the opponent, picked specific flops for testing EV. We haven't really learned much. Don't take the fact that pushing preflop was better in 2 of the 3 above cases to mean that it's the better play, as the first (second) case will occur much more often than the others. In addition, we can improve the stop-n-go if we alter it to check flops like the last one, inducing a push from the opponent and making the play more profitable.

One thing you may notice about the sng, that most of you already know, is that it becomes more effective when you are near the bubble, and when busting out would be especially bad. This hand is an example of that since there is a short stack, we're 4 handed, and have a healthy stack ourselves.

In cEV, the stop-n-go seems to often not be very profitable. I would like to say that against reasonable opposition, and not near the bubble, the stop-n-go is not THAT effective of a play. Often it's worse than just getting the money in preflop (very situation dependent though). And these are times when we assume no FE preflop. If you may have any FE preflop, and you aren't near the bubble, or at risk of busting or being crippled, opting to push preflop seems like it will often be the best play.

When the Stop-n-go really shines is when you can get the opponent to fold the best hand on the flop. This is not easy to do, but it certainly can happen. If, for instance, you have A [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img] T [img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img] and your opponent has 7 [img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img] 7 [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img], and the flop is: Q [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img] K [img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img] 8 [img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img], the villain will often fold to a push, which would be HUGE for you, especially on the bubble.

So, don't read too much into this post. There are so many unique situations to look at that I couldn't figure out a way to quantify the play based on all them. I started this post and then 50% in realized I couldn't prove what I wanted to prove and almost just deleted it. I figure though, it's better to post it than not, even though it doesn't really make any conclusions. Worst case, someone will learn how to do ICM calcs who didn't already, or we'll get some discussion going.

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