The Poker Game of Life

Poker and scotch on the rocks. Below are my reflections on life and poker. My journey from $4-8 as a past time to $30-60 for serious money and my life experiences in between.

Location: seattle, Washington, United States

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Flush draws are over rated.

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to Vinyl Bar & Poker Club, Aces full of eights, John-Paul Costales V2. Human Head, Razy Boy for the comments and the links. It's always welcome.

Today I was thinking about flush draws and how so many players make basic mistakes when they have them. First off, a lot of players don't know that if you hold 2 suited cards your chances of flopping 2 to a flush are only 1 in 10 and your odds of flopping a flush are only 1%. So all those guys out there playing any 2 suited cards being first or second into the pot (like J, 4 suited) well those guys are pigeons.

Most players don't have the above problem. However here is a mistake that I see even somewhat knowledgable players make and is my point of this post. If you flop 2 to a flush the odds of making a flush are about 1 in 5 to make it on the turn and 1 in 5 again to make it on the end. In aggregate turn and river , you willof you making a flush are about 36%. Let's see how these numbers play out in real life.

Suppose I'm in a $1-2 game and I have Ace, 4 of spades in the big blind. 1 player limps in and the small blind calls making the pot $3 total. Suppose the flop is J/10/2 with 2 spades. small blind bets, should I call? Well to call means that I'm putting in 33% of money into the current pot when I'm only going to win if I make my hand 20% of the time. Putting in $1 for a chance to win $3 when i'm only going to win 1 time out of 5. Simply put, calling here is not the correct play. That is of course ignoring the fact that I might win if I hit my ace or what the player to act after me will do.

So, in the above situation, what would I do? Well to be completely honest if the player was any good I would probably raise. :) I'll post my rational for why this goes against my flush draw pot odds analysis in the next post.