Sunday, December 4, 2011

Future Plans and an Interesting Discussion That I Had Last Night

Well I can finally get back to playing poker here again soon! I have had a couple of others things on my plate as of late lol, but now my schedule is clear. It's not a huge deal because I knew I didn't have enough time to regain supernova again before the end of the year anyway. And I won't be attempting any kind of sick three week grind like I did last year. So I'd much rather just start anew in January. But my plan is to try and largely abandon 24 tabling.

I have experimented with 8 tabling and playing lots of short handed full ring tables and I really much prefer it to mass tabling. Too many years of mindless clicking. Now I think I have said this before in this blog, probably several times, but that's what new year's resolutions are for right?

So my tentative plan is just to get back to grinding some NL2 or NL5 (I haven't played in a month, longest streak in 5 years) and then hit up the NL10 deep tables starting in January. I have long since known that these tables are a gold mine. And there are many specialists out there these days who concentrate on playing only them with vigorous table selection. The kind of winrates that are possible when doing this are pretty sick.

On another topic, last night I had a long and interesting discussion with a student and friend of mine about what the difference is between his winrate and mine at NL2. He is a hardcore grinder 24 tabling 6max for about 3BB/100. I 24 table full ring at 9 or 10BB/100.

Previously we had worked at length on his big winning and losing hands. This is something that I like to do with all my students. And I do consistently see tilt and more crazy flip out blow ups with marginal hands than I would make. And I usually say to them. Well you know you can't do that blah, blah, blah.

But is it really just a question of me being a bit more disciplined in some situations? I have also worked with him, like all my other students on maximizing their gains with monsters at the lowest stakes. And this usually just involves getting them to bet bigger amounts and more often.

But again, is that the end of it? So we got to comparing our winrates with all sorts of hands over huge samples in HEM. As expected I was winning more than him with AA and KK. And the same thing when we filtered for all pairs and for big aces. However, the difference was not enormous. It was usually around a 5 to 4 ratio at best. If I am winning at say 5BB/100 with some hand, he was at 4BB/100 etc.

However, when we finally filtered for all hands that weren't premium (basically everything BUT the hands above) this is where we found a big difference. Both of us had lossrates but I was losing only half as much as him. So a 2 to 1 ratio in this case.

Over time this adds up in a big way. Whereas he was losing $500 every 200k hands with these hands I was only losing $250. That represents a difference of 3BB/100 between our overall winrates!

So while I will have to dig further with him to find out more information I was pretty surprised by these findings. And I will have to perhaps change up the way that I coach a bit. I guess the point of all this is that if you are having trouble maintaining the winrate that you want, it's probably best to start looking at the more simple, everyday decisions that you are making.

There is probably some issue with your fundamentals such as calling 3bets too much, not getting thin value on the river, not cbetting enough. I think people tend to focus too much on the big all in hands, myself included. You see this all the time in forums. Rarely do people post hands such as "do I cbet this board against this particular player type?" etc.

No it's usually "omg! I have top two pair in a 3bet pot against a nit and he has raised me all in on the turn!" These hands generally play themselves and you won't be making a huge mistake in the long run no matter what action you decide upon.

If you are making significant fundamental mistakes for a couple bb's here and there in the smaller pots that you play, this is probably what is really going to affect your winrate in a big way over time. And this is because these pots happen FAR more frequently than your big cooler hands.

Something to consider next time you are reviewing your play. If you enjoyed this article please "Like" or "Tweet" it below!

blackrain79 - micro stakes strategy


  1. common, go up, learn more poker and destroy regulars, they have more money than fishes.


  2. Nice post BR79!

    Are the short handed FRgames in general _much_ softer than 6max you think?

    I also hope that you will go into the 10NL/deep games strategywise.
    (How to play drawing and made hands 200bb+ etc.)

    All the best!

  3. Hi Jeff,

    It's hard to say if they are softer or not. Fish don't like to use waiting lists so I think that by starting a bunch of 6max tables you will probably find a bunch of great action as well.

    I will try my best with the strategy. To be honest I have a lot to learn still though. It is kind of funny to say that since I might have played more hands than anybody in history with a 200bb+ stack at NL2 and NL5.

    But that is against really bad players where you can get away with all sorts of ridiculous nonsense like over-raises and three streets for value with top pair. Also they are so passive that they generally don't put you in any difficult spots.

    Against good players (although there are still plenty of bad ones at NL10) things are quite a bit different. I know who the big winners are though, and I will be studying what they do.

  4. Nice post. Regarding 24 tabling and dropping down, probably one of the more significant things you could do for your game. I've been also following that advice(trying to anyways). Best of luck at NL10!
    And much respect for the way you're keeping it humble and for the work ethic. GL!

  5. When you go back to 8 tables do you continue to stack or do you switch to tiling?

  6. I tile when I play 9 or less tables (the amount that fits on my screen)

  7. hehe glad i could teach you something for a change bout the short handed games where fish turn up, you were up 10 nil in teaching me things but i'm on the board :p!

    Fish love winning pots so they try full ring and lose a buy in vs a nit with AA but when they play 6 max they have more fun winning pots and being involved, 3 handed vs 2 fish is a gold mine!

    And if you ever you want the ultimate gold mine one day try out PLO2 4 cards = more cards = more strategy = the thinking players win! Plus you can imagine the < there!

    GL Rain

  8. Haha, yes thanks for the input on that. And PLO definitely does interest me. Just gotta sit down and really learn it one day. I know you have had great success at it. Maybe I will have a look at some of your hands.

  9. cool man no worries check them out, you should definetly give it a try!

    Imagine having trip aces with the nut flush draw and nut straight draw in the same hand vs people that dont like to fold! Plus the vip points you accumulate is off the chart compared to holdem.

    Jump into some play money games to start off with it can't hurt! There's more money to be made in omaha in my opinion cos of the action.

    And one last thing you might think this is silly but you can find things to add into your holdem game by playing omaha in terms of how to play draws better.