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Thin Value Betting - Is is always worth it?

In one of the recent podcasts (sorry I don't remember which one) Bart stated that it is better to win about 55 to 60 percent of your river value bets than 90%. I understand the concept behind this, but I have to wonder if the math always works to make this true.

For example: Let's say that I value bet the river 10 out of 40 opportunities with a 90% success rate. To keep the math easy let's say that each value bet is $100.

If I am successful on 9 of these 10 bets, I win a net $800 (win 900 lose 100 = net 800).

If I value bet 20 times instead of 10 and am successful 60% of the time, I win a net $400 (win 1200 lose 800 = net 400).

If I value bet 30 times instead of 10 and am successful 60% of the time, I win a net $600 (win 1800 lose 1200 = net 600).

I need to value bet 40 times instead of 10 and be successful 60% of the time just to net the same $800 as the 90% example (win 2400 lose 1600 =net 800).

Is there a flaw in my analysis here, and if so, what is it? Thanks in advance for any response!

Comments

  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    Bart said you need to good at least 50% percent when you get CALLED...

    I have noticed that for me I generally get called very few times when I bet the river.. Not sure if thats just because I am not betting enough or because of my image I get called a bit less.. but I have been making a concerted effort to value bet more on the river.. I have been called a few times and I have NOT been good and thats ok.. I am then hoping that again when I value bet someone who remembered I bet and lost will now call me who would have folded and I will be good.

    at least thats the idea.. Wink

    ww
  • Yes, when I said "successful" that is what I meant - successful when called.

    My point is that depending on the numbers, it may be better to value bet less and be successful when called at a high percentage rate than to add a lot of losing value bets (when called) if you are only adding a few additional successful ones.

    As in my example above, I would rather be successful 90% of the time when called on 10 value bets than be successful 60% of the time when called on 20 value bets. Why? Because I prefer a net $800 gain to a net $400 gain.

    Of course, if you are only value betting once out of 40 times then the math is different and you are better off adding the additional 19 at 60%, as a gain of $400 is better than a $90 ev gain. I suspect that this is the type of scenario that Bart had in mind!
  • Tyrith Posts: 353Subscriber
    Mathematically speaking, the optimum value betting range is the range where when you bet with the bottom of your value betting range on the river and you are called, you are good 50% of the time. However, this means that with the rest of your value betting range you are going to be good more than 50% of the time when called, so in aggregate you should be good significantly more than 50% of the time when you are value betting the river.

    I don't have a good handle on what an appropriate value-own percentage would be on the river, because it's a situation where small sample size is going to come into play for most of us, but I'm guessing an appropriate river value betting range is going to be good something more like 70-80% of the time instead of 55-60%. In order to be good such a low percentage of the time when our river bets are called means that we are probably adding a lot of value bets where we are going to be good only 20-30% of the time that are balancing out our bets where we are good 90-100% of the time. But my number is a shot in the dark; if most of our river value bets are thin value bets, then Bart's percentage estimate could be correct.
  • Mike Posts: 371Member
    The problem with your math is that the thinner you valuebet the more frequent its going to be. If you are betting when called you are good 51% of the time you are going to be betting far more often than when you are good 90% of the time. You cant look at it in a linear matter. It has to be more of a bell curve. Most of the hands that you will be betting for thin value will be in the middleing range of %.

    Also. the success rate is not always going to be 60% for every case. You will still have those 90% success rate spots in your sample. so you will be winning the same 800 as you are with the higher success rate but also the additional 400 from the lower success rate. So the net is going to be higher the closer your thin value bets get to the 50% mark without going under (obv)

    I hope this is clear..
  • Mike Posts: 371Member
    lets take these valuebet situations.

    you are good (each bet is $100)
    55% EV +$10
    60% EV +$20
    65% EV +$30
    70% EV +$40
    75% EV +$50
    80% EV +$60
    85% EV +$70
    90% EV +$80
    95% EV +$90
    100% EV +100

    If you are only betting with a success rate of 90%+ you are going to net +$270 but if you take every spot you are going to be +$550
  • Philly Dave Posts: 114Subscriber
    Yeah there is a flaw in your analysis. By definition if you are good 90% in the 10 spots they are likely fat value spots. Adding thin value spots does not diminish thos fat value spots... in fact if players know you are are value betting thin you are MORE likely to get paid in fat value spots.

    The point about 60% success is to remind us that it is long term profitable in spite of the short term negative reinforcement experienced when we value own ourselves.
  • Mike thank you very much for breaking it out like that, I see where my thinking is off now - thinking about the value spots in a bell curve with the thinner spots in the middle of the curve put it into perspective for me. Philly Dave's point that adding thin value bets helps the fatter ones get paid off more often makes sense too. I appreciate the info, I just couldn't wrap my brain around this concept the way I was previously thinking about this.
  • SkinnybrownSkinnybrown Posts: 286Member
    If I value bet and am good 60% when called and you are good 90% when called that means I am value betting every winning situation you are and also in other situations that are +EV that you pass up.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    Heisenberg said

    Mike thank you very much for breaking it out like that, I see where my thinking is off now - thinking about the value spots in a bell curve with the thinner spots in the middle of the curve put it into perspective for me. Philly Dave's point that adding thin value bets helps the fatter ones get paid off more often makes sense too. I appreciate the info, I just couldn't wrap my brain around this concept the way I was previously thinking about this.
    I need to keep reminding myself that getting value owned occasionally is actually really really good in the long run. When you bet and someone calls you and you are not good they are much much more likely to call you later when you are good. Since value bets can be elastic in size I would welcome every small value own to a great big winning value bet.

    There was a player I was against tonight in a number of pots and he called me a bunch of times.. A few I wasnt good but they were small pots.. But I won the all in for 600! he just thought I was FOS every time.. all from my thin value betting.. lol..

    ww
  • coolfish7 Posts: 29SubscriberProfessional
    This was a question I tried to tackle in this post a few weeks ago:

    http://www.seatopenpoker.net/forum/strategy-discussion/optimal-value-own/

    The notion of your opponent adjusting to your thin value bets and then paying you off more on your fat value spots is an interesting one, although again difficult to quantify when trying to determine how that 55-60% number came about.
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