Match Equity 101: Introduction to Theory

by Matt Cohn-Geier
18 January 2010

Matt Cohn-Geier

"So he is risking his -3 -9 ME which is 16% to gain 69% and 16/85 comes to about 19% for his autorewhip TP, but for fully live he still has 5% ME from Cr -9 so he risks 11% which works out to 11/80 or 5/4*11 for 13 3/4, so about halfway in between those is 16 3/8%,"

"How the heck do you do that?"

I stop. This is starting to become a pattern for me. It's as if I am speaking Martian. Yet I can empathize with my unconversant subject. A year ago, that unconversant subject was me. I was in awe of players who could come up with pip counts in a second or two before I could even hazard a guess, and similarly in awe of players who could do the kinds of crazy match equity calculations hinted at in the first paragraph. It turns out that it wasn't nearly as difficult as I had made it out to be, but it took me a lot of trial and error to figure that out. Today, I feel like I understand match equity and match cube decisions as well as anyone in the world, and I never do any math harder than the basic arithmetic I learned in 4th grade.

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