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Looking at Implied Odds in Modern Online Poker

Carl "The Dean" Sampson

Carl "The Dean" Sampson plays poker at

With the advent of the coaching sites and more high level coaching then the overall calibre of online player is much higher these days. There are clear and obvious knock on effects of this and one such effect is how this impacts on implied odds. A few years ago when I first started playing no limit hold'em then the average pot size was much bigger and the number of big mistakes in deep stack situations were far more frequent. Back in 2007 then you could play NL200 full ring and make very good money playing no more than four tables.

This isn't the case now and one example will clearly highlight what I mean. An early position player raises to 3.5bb with a 100bb stack and you have 4c-4d on the button... is this a call? To be able to call this hand then certain key dynamics need to be in place. Firstly you cannot profitably call with this hand if you play the pocket fours in a fit or fold way. The average player base is far stronger and so this means that if you flop a set and your opponent is holding a big pocket pair that they will not stack off anywhere near as often these days.

So this means that your profit potential is less in big pots for two clear reasons. Firstly your opponents will not get all in for a very substantial amount of big blinds without a very strong hand themselves anywhere near as often. The effect of this is obvious because in really big pots then you will be on the losing side in "big hand versus big hand" situations more often. Secondly the fact that players are multi-tabling and getting rakeback and working off sign up bonuses means that the average player is not only better but they are playing fewer hands as well.

The mere act of playing fewer hands makes players play better poker and this means that you need other ways to win pots above and beyond making big hands with hands like pocket pairs and suited connectors. If you make a flush with a hand like 7-6s in a 200bb+ pot then you will find that you are losing to a bigger flush a lot more often than what you think these days. Lower implied odds call for a shift in playing strategy and this means that winning small to medium size pots are where you need to be concentrating your attention.

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