Are you on the lookout for added value? If you’re not, you’re probably not thinking about poker the right way. In any form of gambling, where money is wagered on random outcomes, the successful player is the one who can find an edge. An edge means that the player has managed to create an arrangement where they will get paid for their outcome at a rate that is disproportionate to (and better than) the true odds of the event happening. In other words, they overcome the randomness of the event. The ability to gain such an edge is built into poker, which is what distinguishes it from most other forms of gambling. If you have a better understanding of pot odds and situational factors than your opponents, you will win in the long term. To maximize your winning opportunities, it’s important to press every single edge you can get, and one of these edges is in the area of added value.
What Is Added Value?
Added value simply means that something is worth more than you are paying for it. If someone sells you a seat at the main event of the World Series of Poker for $5000, you have gained value, since it is worth $10,000. On the other hand, if Phil Hellmuth offers to sell you half of his World Series of Poker main event winnings for $6000, you are probably gaining value, even though the face value of such a proposition would be $5000, because he is such a strong player.
How Can You Take Advantage of Added Value?
The most common situation you will find yourself in where you can gain added value is in a tournament with a large guarantee. A guarantee means a certain amount of money will be paid out no matter how many entries they get. Generally, the buy-ins are enough to cover the guarantee but if not, you have added value. For example, with a $100 buy-in tournament with a $200,000 guarantee, the tournament would need to get 2000 players to make their guarantee. If they do not, you get added value, because there is more money available than has been contributed per person. Be on the lookout for these opportunities.