The "Tenacious Doug" Predicament
Named after one of the Power Up poker team creators/developers Doug.
Tenacious: not readily relinquishing a position, principle, or course of action; determined.
Power Up has many unique qualities, but one of the biggest factors to the game in its current state is the number of power points each player has. It's fairly obvious that in most cases having less power points is not a good thing. Today I want to go over a completely new concept that this game brings to the table and compare it to other poker games.
Let's get into it!
If having less power points than your opponent puts you at a disadvantage then this automatically means your chips are worth less individually than your opponent's. A clear example can be seen with a simple game of would you rather.
Would you rather have 2500 chips with 15 power points and 3 random powers OR 3000 chips but only 2 power points and 3 random powers?
It should be fairly apparent that 2500 chips with such a power advantage is far superior to 3000 chips and no points.
While this specific scenario is new to us, the concept is fairly similar to that of ICM models used in standard tournament poker. HERE is a link to a video that explains ICM in terms of tournament poker.
How this is comparable with power up is fairly simple to explain, but it is near impossible to make an exact science of it like the ICM model does.
When there is even the slightest possibility of the game continuing after the current hand, chip Ev will not be completely equal to dollar Ev. This is because spending points on powers reduces your power points for next round, which in turn reduces the value of your chips. There are of course exceptions (the most notable being when cycling cards) but in general it holds up well.
The specific spot that I want to look at today is during a hand, after you have used a bunch of power points.
Lets look at the following hand.
To start off we have 10 power points to their 3 points, bottom pair and no kicker. We have a power advantage which makes our chips worth more than his. We therefore would not want to call what seems to be a break-even spot chips wise. We use our powers attempting to improve into 2 pair or a high card. We use all 10 of our points and barely improve our hand.
Because we now have less power points than our opponent our remaining chips are worth less than theirs. This means we should be much more willing to try and win the chips in the current pot (we will settle for less equity share than before using powers.) In a weird way we can commit ourselves to the pot just by using powers even if they don't really improve our hand that much.
Essentially this concept means that a player should be more willing to take greater risks when they have fewer points in relation to that of their opponent. Because their chips are worth less they have to accept that getting a flip would actually be a good thing for them. They are therefore more likely to want to get chips in when powers are least effective. Right now in the current meta that is pre-flop but we will get into that more at a later date.
This has quite a few interesting connotations for the game as a whole and lots of funny spots like ICM that involve shove any 2 and other crazy things. We at OP-Poker aim to slowly break down the game into chunks to understand how theory can be brought into practice.