Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What is a suckout?

Last night was an interesting set of tournaments. Nothing overly dramatic or anything, but I took W out on the bubble of the second tourney with KT vs. her AA. I was middle stacked four handed and it folded to me on the button. KTo is a crappy hand, but I figured it was good enough short handed to try and take down the blinds, which were 300/600 at the time. So I bet out 1700, about 2/5 of my stack. W, on the BB, makes a big Hollywood to-do about how she has to go out with *something* and moves all in. I know I'm behind here (though I didn't know HOW much behind) but it's only 1400 more to call and I'm getting 3-1 to make the call, so I do. She shows her AA with flourish, patting herself on the back for sucking me into the pot. Well, that's not really accurate considering I was pot-committed at that point, but that's irrelevant. The point is, a Ten appeared on the flop and a King came on the river to crack her big pair.

Now, was that a suckout? I maintain that it was. Not because I came from behind or anything like that, but simply because I was so far behind when all the money went in. All the action occurred pre-flop and my odds pre-flop were something like 15%. That's 1 in 6 and I can confidently call that a suckout.

W complained, of course, but in good nature. "Now you can add that to your list of suckouts on me," she said. I asked her to name the last one and she came up with something *she* considers a suckout from the last set of tourneys we did a few days ago. Here was the action as I remember it. You tell me if this is a suckout:

I'm on the button, four or five handed, with AA. It folds to me and I make a raise. W remembers it as being a min-raise to 800. I remember it as being a 2.5X BB raise. Either way, when it folded to her on the BB, she called with KsJs. The flop came K95 with a single spade. She checked. Now, according to her, she "knew" I had Aces the entire hand, including pre-flop. These are her words, mind you. I bet out 1400 on the flop and she called. The J came on the turn. I was short stacked and only had 1100 behind me. When she moved all in on the turn, I was getting about 5-1, or more, to call. I did call. She showed her two pair, but ate crow when the river was a 5, giving me the higher two pair. I had 8 outs on the river to improve (3 9's, 3 5's and 2 Aces) which is about right for a 5-1 call. Regardless, having 1100 left wouldn't give me enough to survive the next blinds which were coming up in two hands!

W immediately called "suckout" on me. Really? That was a suckout? I just don't see it. The majority of the money, more than 3/5 of the pot, went in when *I* was ahead! She maintains that she was ahead when "all the money went in", but what she really means is "the rest of the money". But the majority of the chips were in before the turn hit.

So, my friends, I'm proposing an actual definition of the word "suckout". Here goes:

"A suckout will be said to have occurred when the winner of the pot was less than 25% to win when the majority of the pot's chips went into the pot."

25% seems like the right number to me. Anything more than that is an OESD or a flush draw and that just seems like "gambling". But less than that is damned foolish.

What say you all?

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