BJT Falls View Casino, Jan.11 2012

Discussion in 'Blackjack Events (Canada)' started by dalexy2kbj, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. dalexy2kbj

    dalexy2kbj Member

    Just returned from tournament. Interesting situation (and very exciting) appeared during semi-final (one could advance)good illustration for tournament strategy ;) 2 players left at the table, last hand(other five were busted two hands ago – nice situation, ha ?) Faced Gronbog (careful with registration in FVC, it’s not random just a queue, we got neighbour seats at the same table registered one after other, unless you wanna do it on purpose) Min.25/Max.500 Standard rules for FVC BJ. Me $1350, Gronbog $1712.5, he bet first -$360 taking Hi-Low(considering doubling - absolutely correct move made quickly ), I bet Max - $500. T,7, I got 4,5 dealer upper card 3. Right move for G. ? Yes, double on hard 17. Thought about it on my way back: probably right, even though you can be busted 69.3% and then having your opponent with “legal” doubling situation. (If it matters count was around zero) Exciting;)... He got 2: total 19. Here I made a mistake: doubled (limiting opportunity to get cards to one), should think till the last card, right move was to hit until getting 20 or 21(or busted), with doubling only ace could give me that result(~7%), got 6 dealer total was 20: both loose(but one advanced :)). Gronbog hope you busted THEM ALL at the final table !!! :1st:
    LeftNut likes this.
  2. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    We always need interesting hands to look at and it is even more fun when it is multiple board members.

    However, it appears to me that Gronbog should not have doubled hard 17. If he does nothing and assuming you will double down, then he will advance about 45% of time. Once he doubles down, then he gives up the low. Your hand becomes virtually meaningless and you will not DD. He will advance when he wins the hand, about 21% or if he pushes the hand with 18-21 and you have not hit to at least one more than his total. This is going to be less than 25% total advance rate, at least the way I look at it.

    Drbass likes this.
  3. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    I'll comment more on this a bit later. I'm up and out the door to catch a flight just now.

    I did attempt to secure seat 6 on the final table (7 players, 21 hands) by registering 6th, using the assumption that registration was a simple queue, but I ended up with seat 2. Perhaps the tables are filled sequentially, but the seats are randomized within each table?

    I ended up finishing 2nd. Had a decent shot on the final hand, but it didn't go my way. More later.
  4. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    Wait a minute, now that I think about it, I am not sure Gronbog gave you as much as I thought with a DD. You have already bet and still have to win or push the hand.

    I am going to have to think about this a bit more.

  5. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    Yes, I believe my initial knee-jerk reaction to Gronbog's DD, caused my knee to strike me in the head and rendered me senseless.

    It allows you to have multiple hits, but I don't believe you will gain enough percentage to offset his gain for when he doesn't bust.

    I'll just let Gronbog put his simulator to it and come up with the percent.

  6. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    After looking at a few numbers, it appears that Gronbog will advance about 27-28% (when he busts) plus 21.5% (when he wins) plus 4-5% combined when he pushes/(or loses with 18-20). So my estimate would be about 54% advancement rate and he made the correct play.

    I will let his simulator get a more exact number.

  7. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    Here's what I was thinking at the time.

    If I stood, dalexy2kbj would certainly double for the high and he would stand a better than 50% chance of making it since he had a basic strategy double-down situation.

    If I doubled, I would cover his double without giving up the low, even against his single bet. I would give up his possible push, but I thought that covering the double was more important. The scary part was giving up a possible swing by busting and having him win his hand. The final decision was more intuition than calculation.

    I post a lot of sim results here, but my hat is always off to those of you who can make these calculations in the limited time we have available at the table.

    But of course you already know that I am going to post sim results for this :D

    On the question of what was my best play. The answer is that doubling was correct.:

    Double: 56.65%,
    Stand: 50.16%,
    Hit: 48.99%

    On the question of what dalexy2kbj should have done after I was fortunate enough to double to 19, I don't think that there's any doubt that he should have hit to 20 or better (generated sim strategy confirms that).However, at that point, his chances were slim:

    Hit: 8.00%,
    Double: 1.94%

    The 7.7% chance of getting an ace when doubling is reduced by the odds of the dealer getting exactly 19 in order to push me.
  8. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    Congrats on winning 2nd. We know you made at least 1 skillful play. Actually I am sure you made a lot of them:)

    This statement is worth remembering for the future:

    "If I stood, dalexy2kbj would certainly double for the high and he would stand a better than 50% chance of making it since he had a basic strategy double-down situation."

    I can't see that just hitting your hand, whatever it is, can gain you anything, since no matter what you end up with if he wins a DD he advances.

    So with what hands should you stand vrs DD?

  9. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    Right after I made the post it dawned on me that you need a starting hand that can at least push on a DD.

  10. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    WooHoo! Congrats on the 2nd place finish, Gronbog! You sure deserve a good payday like that after all the time and trouble you've put in studying our strange little game. GOOD JOB!!!!! :D
  11. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    Thanks for your kind words. In reality, I have not been studying alone. I've had a lot of great help from everyone here.
  12. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    As promised, here is the situation that arose on the final hand of final table:

    Betting limits: 100-2500, no surrender, double any 2 cards, BJ pays 3/2, no doubling on BJ.
    Prize structure: 1st: $25,000, 2nd: $8,000, 3rd: $3,500

    Bankrolls in order of play:
    Me: 5950
    BR2: 5000
    BR3: 4800

    What's my best bet?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  13. S. Yama

    S. Yama Active Member

    A few close options

    Interesting options.
    Congrats gronbog on another win/cash placing!

    At first glance I see three possible bets.
    1) Bet 900 – have low to both players and doubled bet win covers opponents’ max bet.
    2) Bet 2,500 have high for single bet wins, high on all winning doubled bets, and bj covers BR3 doubled all-in.
    3) Bet 2,100 is as above except bj vs. BR3 double, but it allows us to keep back more chips, which in many cases may lure other players to bet big giving BR1 low.
    4) And for fun we may consider not so good bet of 1,300-1,500

    Bet 1
    Two players’ outcomes (basic strategy) both win 29%, only one of them wins 29%, both lose or push 42%.
    With the prize structure provided the value of this bet is about $15K. Considering that BR2 and BR3 will fight for/ try to protect chance for the first place and double more than basic strategy, plus BR1 winning doubled bet and opponents not winning doubled bets, the value of this bet is over $16K.

    Bet 2
    The key to success with this bet depends on how our opponents bet and play.
    If the opponents bet giving us low and play basic strategy without doubling value just from taking first place is about $16.5K and another $2K plus from 2nd and 3rd place.
    If the opponents double any of their hands and BR1 doubles selectively the value goes to over $20K.
    But if the opponents take low then the value of this bet goes down to about $14K.

    Bet 3
    It is somewhat similar to Bet 3 but depending on the “read” on your opponents may cause different responses, motivating them or discouraging from making big bets giving BR1 the low.

    Bet 4
    In the worse case scenario when BR2 bet max and BR3 takes low the value of this bet is below $11K.

    The best bet in most tournaments would be a decisive “let see who wins the last hand” 2,500, but in some cases 2,100 would work better, then, against opponents responding taking high and low -betting 900 is optimal.

    S. Yama
  14. Billy C

    Billy C Top Member

    Good job gronbog!

    It's always a pleasure to see a nice guy have success.

    Billy C
  15. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    Thanks again for all the well wishes and excellent insight.

    There are a few things to respond to, but I'll start with with hopinglarry's question about the semi final hand.

    I wanted to post a full colour html strategy, but we're not allowed to upload html here and I don't have a web presence to post it on (time to get one perhaps!). So here's a .txt version:

    View attachment niagara-20120111-semi-final-full.txt

    Some notes:
    • The bank rolls and bets were reduced by my sim to their lowest common integer equivalents (reduced by a factor of 2.5), since computations involving bets are done in integer arithmetic for performance reasons.
    • Larry's comments re: hitting are generally valid. In places where the table advises hitting, it is because my stratey generator does not consider standing on any total less than 12 (heuristic optimization).
    • Where the table advises splitting over doubling, one must go on to play the optimal strategy after splitting (too many tables to post here).
    • The table advises aggressive doubling, even on hard 19 in some cases, but notably not against a dealer 9 where the is a stronger possibility that our opponent (also with 9) will push the dealer.
    • A,10 does not refer to blackjack. It refers to a soft 21 (cannot be 2 cards), so that's why doubling is not recommended. There is no row for blackjack, since it is not a playable hand in this tournament.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  16. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    This is where my game could really improve. I need to start thinking less mathematically and start learning to read my opponents.

    This is what I ended up doing. I decided I didn't want to give up the low to BR3 and since BR2 was so close I decided not to give up the low to BR2 either. I ended up betting 925 (precise betting is allowed in this tournament, but I didn't see any advantage in making change to bet 945).

    This is probably what I should have done. Most players in this tournament are not skilled, but have noticed that more doubling occurs on the final hand than usual. Many of them bet big and double on the final hand whether they need to or not, simply because they think they're supposed to. I could have leveraged this tendency here.

    I did not consider either of these.
    I knew that the percentage for play to win (~43%) was slightly better than both opponents losing (~42%). In the future I will likely favour this option, simply because it relies more on my play and less on the response of my opponents.

    What actually ended up happening was this:

    Me: BR: 5950: Bet 925: Cards: Hard 15
    BR2: BR: 5000: Bet 2500: cards: 11
    BR3: BR: 4800: Bet 2000: cards hard 15 (note, he under bet me???)
    Dealer 7

    I stood, figuring my hand was irrelevent vs BR2 and attempting to correlate BR3.

    BR2 doubled and got a face for 21 -- my heart sank
    BR3 hit and busted
    The dealer revealed a 4 under for 11 -- my heart rose -- I begged for the face card that would push BR2 and give me victory
    The dealer then pulled a 7 for a total of 18.

    Excitement -- you bet!
  17. dalexy2kbj

    dalexy2kbj Member

    Join to others: Congrats Gronbog ! Certainly, it's a very good point to estimate your move differently(in $) at the final table. Yeah, luck matters, but that is why we choose BJ not chess :)
  18. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    OK, let's create another teaser with a similar situation. Same playing rules except BJ pays 2-1, but the bankrolls have changed and this is a one-advance table, not a final table. Last hand.

    You: 5150
    Player A: 5000
    Player B: 5000

    The catch is that you know Player A is a clueless big-bet bomber and Player B is a very smart and experienced BJT assassin. Betting is in the listed order. What do you do?
  19. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    If you bet low (less than 150), then you have about a 42% chance of finishing first, since both players will take you high and you need your opponents to both lose or push.

    If you bet high (max or enough to cover a max bet double by the bomber) you have about a 43% chance to win your hand and you can double to rescue the situation against a double by either player.

    Seems like you should bet big on the surface. I suspect the situation has been carefully crafted and that there's something tricky that I'm missing.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  20. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    No intentional crafting - this is from a real situation I faced at the now-defunct Meskwaki BJT.

    Let's see what some others think, then I'll post my play and the reasoning behind it.

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