With five cards to come, anything can happen

There is a large army of poker theorists that believe anytime you get your money in as a statistical favorite, you made the correct play.

There is a large army of poker theorists that believe anytime you get your money in as a statistical favorite, you made the correct play.
Even if your edge is so small that it barely registers as more than a coin flip.
The logic is that poker is a game of long-term results, and any scenario with a favorable mathematical edge will produce long-term profit.
OK. I get it, but that isn't the type of poker to hang your hat on when there are plenty of less volatile options.
For starters, anytime you commit your money before the flop, there isn't any end result that should come as a total surprise.
Assume you wake up with two black aces — the best starting hand in poker by a large margin.
Against a pair of nines, that you have pretty much drawing dead to a third nine, the aces will hold up 80 percent of the time.
The 7h-6h can chop that advantage down to 75 percent. And even the worst hand in poker — the lowly 7d-2c — runs down those aces 10 percent of the time with five community cards to come.
A crazy scenario, where those aces were up against all three of those hands? The aces only will win 60 percent of the time, but sign me up if there are games around that can provide this type of action.
I subscribe to a theory of more practical, calculated risk. Get to a flop, and analyze the board — identify the potential dangers of what you might be up against, and make better gambles than the ones embedded with impish odds in your favor.
If your opponent flops a set of nines or the player holding 7h-6h is on a straight or flush draw, there are ways of figuring that out in the betting action.
The most common hand that results in a tournament exit is the pocket pair vs. A-K, where the pair (not aces or kings, of course) holds a 54 percent edge, but the player holding A-K traditionally is the first one to commit all his money.
A-K holds up well long-term, but it's not a made hand. It has to pair up on the board to have any might.
Instead of rushing into a fight, small-ball the action and get to the flop. Miss it, and it should be easy to get away from your hand with minimal damage to your stack. Pair up, and enjoy the more assured safety of holding the best hand.
Maryland leaves lights on: Add Maryland to the list of states with legitimate 24-hour casino gaming.
Last month, the state passed a referendum, allowing its current and future casino properties to stay open around the clock, eliminating previous laws that forced the doors to close at 2 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Imperial sunset: Another year, another Las Vegas casino institution bites the dust at either the hand of demolition or re-branding.
The oft-maligned Imperial Palace now is “The Quad,” and the 2,543-room property is undergoing a renovation process.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Caesars Entertainment is sinking $550 million into its massive development around the area that is expected to be completed by December.

This is a reprint from mysanantonio.com. To view the original, click here.

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