Bringing Big Data to Poker Analytics

Ace-Queen of Steel

Towards the end of Day 7, Ryan Reiss put in a well-timed raise to take Marc Etienne McLaughlin off an identical hand. We use our billion-hand database (see Our Data) to explore the ranges behind the raise.

Marc Etienne McLaughlin

The Hand

Ten-handed table, blinds at 200k/400k with a 50k ante.

McLaughlin (29.825m) raises to 850k UTG with , and Riess (18.45m) calls from the button with .

Flop. McLaughlin bets 1.1m, and Riess calls.

Turn . McLaughlin bets 1.7m, Riess raises to 3.8m, and McLaughlin folds.

Examining the Turn Action

Both players seemed undeterred by the on the turn. Should they have been?

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If Money Saved Is Money Earned, How Much Did Newhouse Earn?

In this week’s episode, Mark Newhouse made three great laydowns. We use our billion-hand database (see Our Data) to put numbers to the greatness.

Mark Newhouse

The premise is to look at players who have been in Newhouse’s shoes, ask how much they lost in hands like these, and then compare Newhouse’s losses to the typical losses. This concept for performance measurement – compare to the average, after accounting for relevant situational details – is taken straight from the advanced metrics playbook. Here’s a recent basketball example – Grantland, we’re waiting by the phone!

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Luck Means More Than Bad Beats

The board giveth, and the board taketh away. In this hand, we quantify how much the cards helped (and hurt) November Niner JC Tran.

Nine-handed, blinds at 60k/120k with a 15k ante.


Newhouse (5.475m) raises to 240k from UTG+2 with , Tran (11.66m) calls from middle position with , and Loosli (14.79m) calls on the button with .


Flop . Newhouse and Tran check, Loosli bets 425k, and Newhouse and Tran call.
Turn . Newhouse checks, Tran bets 925k, Loosli calls and Newhouse folds.
River . Tran and Loosli check.

Tran’s Spot-to-Spot Luck Scores, Flop to River

Spot-to-Spot Luck Scores isolate the change in a player’s expected winnings due solely to the dealing of the cards. For more information, see our Luck page.

Here are some questions we asked about the luck JC Tran encountered in this hand.

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Big Fold with Big Slick

November Niner Mark Newhouse made a huge – and in this hand, wrong – river laydown. We use our data to provoke discussion.

Mark Newhouse

Eight-handed, blinds at 60k/120k with a 15k ante.


Morgenstern (23.49m) raised to 250k UTG with , and Newhouse (4.715m) called from UTG+2 with .


Flop . Morgenstern checked, Newhouse bet 325k, and Morgenstern called.
Turn . Morgenstern and Newhouse both checked.
River . Morgenstern checked, Newhouse bet 760k, Morgenstern raised to 1.6m, and Newhouse folded.

Newhouse’s Turn Check

Imagine that we froze time immediately after Morgenstern’s turn check, looked at Newhouse’s situation, and found a bunch of similarly-situated players in our database (see Our Data).

We used those similarly-situated players to ask a couple of questions that would have been on Newhouse’s mind. See if you can guess the answers.

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Just Calling With Queens

In this hand, we look at Jason Mann’s choice to take a passive and out-of-position stand with Queens.

Jason Mann

Full table, blinds at 60k/120k with a 15k ante.


Castelluccio (6.025m) raises to 240k from the hijack with , Mortensen (11.67m) calls from the cutoff with , Mann (7.005m) re-raises to 890k from the small blind with , Castelluccio puts in another raise to 1.54m, Mortensen folds, and Mann calls.


Flop . Mann and Castelluccio check.
Turn . Mann checks, Castelluccio bets 1.36m, Mann calls.
River . Mann and Castelluccio check.

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Folding a Flush

This week’s episode featured a bewildering fold. Was there any sense to a seemingly senseless action? We explore.

Bruno Kawauti

Eight-handed, blinds at 50k/100k with a 10k ante
Kawauti (4.46m) raises to 200k from the button with
Lindh (13.31m) called from the SB with
Benefield called from the BB with

Flop .
Lindh bet 240k, Benefield and Kawauti called.

Turn . Lindh bet 510k, Benefield and Kawauti folded.

We used our huge database of hole-card-up hands (see Our Data) to answer a two-part question: How could Kawauti get the flop so right, and the turn so wrong?

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AK v. QQ v. AQs: a Setup Hand With Subtlety

In this post, we look at the roads that were (and weren’t) taken in hand that didn’t produce nearly as big a pot as one might have expected..

Chris Lindh

Full table, blinds at 40k/80k with a 10k ante.
Farber (7.14m) raises to 170k UTG with ,
Lindh (11.94m) calls from UTG+2 with ,
Mader moves all-in for 1.125m from UTG+3 with .
Farber and Lindh both call.

Flop comes , Farber bets 1.8m, and Lindh folds.
Turn , River

A Preflop Minefield – What Usually Happens?

59% raise, 40% call, 1% fold

@dave_j_thornton thought QQ would raise more often here.
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Mortensen Gets Away from Kings

There’s been a lot of talk about this hand. But here, at, we’re going to use our massive hole-card-up database (see Our Data) to analyze the hand that had Carlos Mortensen in the tank for 15 minutes.



First a recap of the action:

Full table, blinds 30k/60k with a 10k ante.

Mortensen (2.965m) raises to 135k UTG with .

Walthaus (7.38m) calls from the hijack with .

Reed (3.69m) calls from the SB with .


Reed and Mortensen check, Walthaus bets 215k, Reed gets out of the way, and Mortensen calls.

Turn . Mortensen check-calls 510k.

River . Mortensen check-folds to Walthaus’s 975k bet.

We wanted to focus our analyses on a few aspects of the hand.

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