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Expected Utility in Poker

If in the first part were exposed general information about expected utility, how this concept applies in poker, and that people should play in general risk-neutral, in the second part about this concept we will see that people are inclined to play risk-averse. The risk averse players are those who are very cautions with their sum of money, even if the pot that could possibly be won, have the same value as their amount of money. Instead, risk-neutral poker players are not afraid to bet a big sum of money and they waive their right to bet if they realize that the probability of winning is small.

Opportunity cost
If you are into online casino poker tournament you can play either at one table or multi tables. Some players only like to play one game at a time, but most of the pros prefer multi tabling. Comparing to online games, in an online casino, playing at multiple tables it is very difficult because you will miss out hands on the tournament and so you will decrease your EV. On the other hand, by playing multi table you will slow down the game and the other players will get very upset.

Another situation concerning the opportunity cost refers to the fact that playing in a tournament live in a casino, you give up the chance of playing a cash game. In order to decide what game you should play is good to think about the hourly rate that you expect to make from the tournament and the hourly rate from the cash games at the casino. The reality is that there are few people who are taking into consideration the hourly rate because most of them are playing poker because of the enjoyment factor of the tournament. In online casino poker games this sort of opportunity cost doesn’t apply much because playing a tournament involves only opening another window on the computer screen.

In poker there are some players that can really play good only if they have large amount of chips and this is because they bluff very often so they can make other aggressive moves. They like to be in the situation when they can capture the entire stack of an opponent just from one hand. So the goal of those players is to win the tournament and not to survive during it. They play on the principle “everything or nothing”. By taking the stack of their opponents, these players can afford to bully into submission the other opponents in the game. For these players the EV made at the beginning of the game turns out to be a negative one, but on the long run the EV become positive because they play so much better with a huge amount of chips.