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The Weekly PokerNews Strategy Quiz: Favorites vs. Underdogs

03-20-2016 70825 responses Top results

March Madness is well and truly underway — that is, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament that started this week. From 68 teams just 16 will make it through to continue next week in the single-elimination tournament, with the Final Four coming the week after that before at last one team emerges as champion.

The American Gaming Association reported this week more than 70 million NCAA brackets would be filled out as part of pools wagering on the game. A few days ago in “Pumping Up the Variance Against Better-Skilled Opponents,” we were noting how the seeding of teams in the tournament creates a “favorite vs. underdog” dynamic that may be somewhat artificial, but nonetheless adds an extra layer of fun when trying to pick games, not to mention another storyline to follow when they play out.

There were plenty of “underdogs” winning in the round of 64 this year, with 13 lower-seeded teams winning out of the 32 games. That actually tied the record (from 2001) as the most “underdog” winners since the tournament was first expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The most stunning win by an underdog was Middle Tennessee State, seeded No. 15 in the Midwest Region, knocking out Michigan State, the region’s No. 2 seed and a pre-tourney favorite of many to win the entire thing.

In today’s installment of “The Weekly PokerNews Strategy Quiz” we’re continuing a similar theme with eight quick questions featuring “favorite vs. underdog” scenarios. Choosing the best answer at least six out of eight times will earn you a passing score, and if you happened to get whistled for missing any you’ll get an explanation of the correct response.

By the way, you won't get called for a technical for checking answers with the PokerNews Poker Odds Calculator. And while there’s no 30-second shot clock, it shouldn’t take you too much longer than that to complete.

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Question 1

Following a 9d-2c-Qd flop, which hand is the favorite?

Question 2

In a three-way preflop all-in, which hand is the favorite?

Question 3

Which hand makes you the bigger underdog before the flop?

Question 4

Which hand is the underdog before the community cards are dealt?

Question 5

The flop comes Jh-Th-8h. Now which hand is the underdog?

Question 6

In the same hand, the turn makes the board read Jh-Th-8h-9s. Now who is the favorite?

Question 7

Which is the bigger preflop favorite?

Question 8

Which hand would be the worse underdog to have in an all-in situation versus an opponent holding A-K?

What do you think?