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Old 01-01-2017, 08:34 PM   #1
KickingWater
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Stats + Results = TAGfish?

I mentioned in another thread I wanted to post my stats after I had 10k hands, and with that expressed my frustration that I think I'm playing pretty solid but over that stretch I'm losing pretty solid. So here's a brief self-analysis aired with some trepidation but wanting any insights that might be helpful (not "Do you have to play poker? Maybe consider golf." - I've already thought of that one).

I use DriveHUD and so far have played Ignition exclusively at $1/$2, $2/$4 and some $3/$6, almost all 6h. I began with enough bankroll that I should be able to play $2/$4 with little chance of going broke (unless I prove to be a losing player!).

My tables normally feature mostly Maniacs, BadLAGs, Fish and Whales, with one or two others who play as tightly as I do or are even Nits. These classifications are based upon only 50-200 hands typically but still offer some useful info.

hands: 10580
VPIP 26.7
PFR 17.9
WTSD% 37.9
W$SD 51.2
AGG% 53.3
W$WSF 42.4
Steal% 36.5
BFtS 64%

Total Won ($1,565.35)

In fairness I should note, 1/3 of this loss total was due to one single session of $3/$6 in which I ran very badly but still believe I played well. I analyzed several hands of this session to see if I could find any stupidity, but what I found was people getting lucky against me with alarming regularity for one session. My fault was playing $3/$6 without the 400bb bankroll to sustain it.

By position:
BB: 27.4 VPIP/8.7 PFR/45.6 AF/30.5 WTSD/2053 hands
-17.78 bb/100

SB: 33.3/19.7/56.8/35.3/2002
-19.73 bb/100

BTN: 29.5/23.6/56.4/44.9/2028
9.09 bb/100

CO: 26.8/22.5/57.3/42.8/1983
5.79 bb/100

MP: 19.2/16.3/59.6/46.0/1583
4.89 bb/100

EP: 17.2/14.3/53.2/45.6/931
1.45 bb/100

I would guess based on a few stats I've seen that I'm losing WAY too much from the blinds and/or not winning nearly enough bb/100 in all other spots. A blind fault might be overdefending after the flop heads-up?

Possible TAGfish signs: for what it's worth, though this could be a case of a fish not knowing he's underwater because he knows no different. Evaluation based on (http://www.pokerlistings.com/strateg...ure-a-tag-fish)

Think about opponent range but not my own: guilty

Misapply Skills I've Learned? I read, re-read, and repeat, and learning has never been a problem for me - rather a strength. I believe(d) I understand and apply key concepts. Only my results cause me to wonder (which in itself might be confirming TAGfish status!)

Call same range in cutoff as on the button: Not guilty

Overestimate your implied odds: I'll open with 55+ from most positions, 22 and 33 only late. Jury is out.

Leaks post-flop: When I play a hand really poorly I usually know I did and regret it. It's the other leaks I have not detected that keep me awake at night. I DO consider my opponents and situations to a degree as opposed to just playing my cards.

Look at each decision as a separate entity: don't think so.

Tilt too much: don't think so.

And the jury weighs in...and I prepare to be on the receiving end of "the truth hurts."
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:48 AM   #2
tiger415
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

I'll give this a shot.

I believe your biggest leak is preflop. With that said, the rake is also pretty high at these limits. I think you're better off just trying to learn and plug leaks. If your goal is to make money, I believe ur better off learning another game with the bankroll you have now.

Regarding ur stats,
1) ur BB defense is insanely low.
I try to defend anything with over 35% equity against a single open. I don't know what the magic number is since it probably varies from villain to villain. What I do know is that you can profitably play significantly more hands when you get a 50% discount closing the action. iirc, BB defense was slightly over 50% for a lot of players.

To give an idea,
22 has 39% eq vs 10% open, 44% eq vs 25% open, and 47% vs 50% open.

A2o has 34% eq vs 10% open, 42% eq vs 25% open, and 48% eq vs 50% open.
K5o has 29% eq vs 10% open, 37% eq vs 25% open, and 43% eq vs 50% open.
T9o has 32% eq vs 10% open, 35% eq vs 25% open, and 42% eq vs 50% open.
65o has 30% eq vs 10% open, 33% eq vs 25% open, and 35% eq vs 50% open.

A2s has 38% eq vs 10% open, 45% eq vs 25% open, and 51% eq vs 50% open.
K5s has 33% eq vs 10% open, 40% eq vs 25% open, and 46% eq vs 50% open.
T9s has 35% eq vs 10% open, 39% eq vs 25% open, and 45% eq vs 50% open.
65s has 33% eq vs 10% open, 37% eq vs 25% open, and 39% eq vs 50% open.

2) ur limping, overlimping, cold calling way too frequently
there should be almost no difference between ur VPIP and PFR (from EP to BTN). I think it's justifiable to overlimp or coldcall after several players. But I still think the diff in % between vpip and pfr should be in the decimals.
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Old 01-02-2017, 11:33 AM   #3
steveistheman84
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

you're too tight pre in opens and especially defending your bb. you're too aggro postflop. check more.

Last edited by steveistheman84; 01-02-2017 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:13 PM   #4
KickingWater
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger415 View Post
I'll give this a shot.

I believe your biggest leak is preflop. With that said, the rake is also pretty high at these limits. I think you're better off just trying to learn and plug leaks. If your goal is to make money, I believe ur better off learning another game with the bankroll you have now.

Regarding ur stats,
1) ur BB defense is insanely low.
I try to defend anything with over 35% equity against a single open. I don't know what the magic number is since it probably varies from villain to villain. What I do know is that you can profitably play significantly more hands when you get a 50% discount closing the action. iirc, BB defense was slightly over 50% for a lot of players.

To give an idea,
22 has 39% eq vs 10% open, 44% eq vs 25% open, and 47% vs 50% open.

A2o has 34% eq vs 10% open, 42% eq vs 25% open, and 48% eq vs 50% open.
K5o has 29% eq vs 10% open, 37% eq vs 25% open, and 43% eq vs 50% open.
T9o has 32% eq vs 10% open, 35% eq vs 25% open, and 42% eq vs 50% open.
65o has 30% eq vs 10% open, 33% eq vs 25% open, and 35% eq vs 50% open.

A2s has 38% eq vs 10% open, 45% eq vs 25% open, and 51% eq vs 50% open.
K5s has 33% eq vs 10% open, 40% eq vs 25% open, and 46% eq vs 50% open.
T9s has 35% eq vs 10% open, 39% eq vs 25% open, and 45% eq vs 50% open.
65s has 33% eq vs 10% open, 37% eq vs 25% open, and 39% eq vs 50% open.

2) ur limping, overlimping, cold calling way too frequently
there should be almost no difference between ur VPIP and PFR (from EP to BTN). I think it's justifiable to overlimp or coldcall after several players. But I still think the diff in % between vpip and pfr should be in the decimals.
Thanks for the response, Tiger. I'd like to respond to some of your points.

The Blind defense percentage is a bit deceptive because it's both SB and BB combined (I have not figured out how to separate them in DriveHUD). I defend hands with 35% or better equity in the BB against a single preflop raiser from various positions, and I have guidelines charted with that specific criteria. This ends up being somewhere around 70%+ hands from BB but 20% or less from SB. Apparently the combination of the two puts me at 64%.

I never open with a limp. Always raise in 6h or less game. The difference between my VPIP and PFR represent those times I enter the pot after other limpers or call rather than raise from a blind.

I do not know how the impact of the rake might be impacting me, so that might be worth some elaboration. By "another game" do you mean a different limit, a different game type (e.g. microstakes NL) or are you advocating bowling?
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:27 PM   #5
KickingWater
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveistheman84 View Post
you're too tight pre in opens and especially defending your bb. you're too aggro postflop. check more.
Thanks for your response, steve. I'd like to go down this path a bit with you. When I open preflop, I always raise, that this most often makes me the preflop aggressor against one or sometimes two opponents, typically. While I do C-bet often post-flop, my tendency to do so is founded on a concept I learned from Winning in Tough Hold'em Games (Grudzien) which makes sense, "When heads-up post-flop and the pre-flop aggressor, you should bet every flop."

There are some exceptions, and I think I C-bet the flop in this specific situation about 90% of the time. I'll check far more often when I'm not heads-up, whether the flop misses me or not. My reasoning, following Grudzien, is that checking heads-up as the preflop aggressor too seldom may give away too much information and checking too much may give up too much value. But it is possible I'm misapplying this concept (?) and am open to thoughts.
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Old 01-02-2017, 06:40 PM   #6
steveistheman84
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

if you're not confident in your game, c-bet every flop hu. cbetting 100% hu isn't a leak. you have leaks. simplify where you can and work on the other stuff. my guess is you're too aggro on big bet streets, but more so, you're too tight pre. and stop cold-calling. 3bet or fold unless multiway or in the bb.

Last edited by steveistheman84; 01-02-2017 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:06 PM   #7
jdr0317
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

Cosmetically your VPIP/PFR is fine (at 15/30, I'm a 26/19 nit), but these are alarming:

Quote:
BTN: 29.5/23.6/56.4/44.9/2028
9.09 bb/100

CO: 26.8/22.5/57.3/42.8/1983
5.79 bb/100

MP: 19.2/16.3/59.6/46.0/1583
4.89 bb/100

EP: 17.2/14.3/53.2/45.6/931
My gaps from the non-blind positions in these stats are almost non-existent, as I only overlimp or cold call in 6-max games under pristine conditions (ex: two limps, LP fish on the BTN, you have 76s CO). Can you post some of the hands where you're coming in for something other than a raise from the BTN or CO? And what rate are you opening from these positions when folded to you? My suspicion is that you're unsure of what to do w/ some medium strength hands (ATo, 87s, 44) and are just limping or cold calling them. If so, you'd be better off folding them for the near future until you know what kind of opponents that you can play these against.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:06 PM   #8
KickingWater
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdr0317 View Post
Can you post some of the hands where you're coming in for something other than a raise from the BTN or CO? And what rate are you opening from these positions when folded to you?.
Jdr, thanks for your willingness to help. I'll spend a little time to do that this evening and post a reply.
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:44 AM   #9
KickingWater
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdr0317 View Post
Can you post some of the hands where you're coming in for something other than a raise from the BTN or CO?
I did a search of all 10k hands first to find the ones where I cold called a raise and was in either the CO or BT.

CO: I almost never cold-call a raise preflop. I've called preflop 76 times in over 1900 hands, only 18 of those to a raise. Typically when I call it's with one or two limpers ahead.

BT: called preflop 104 times in over 1800 hands, about 30 to a raise. Mostly to a limper or two, or a raiser and caller. Here are some examples of where I did:

I hold A6 on BT (six players). HJ (34.8/17.0) raises, CO (24.2/4.7) calls, I call. I'll often call one limper with Axs but raise A7s+ here.


I hold T9 on BT (four players). CO (42.9/3.6) calls, I call. Not sure what possessed me to call this. Normally with one limper I would call JTo but raise QJo, KTo, A8o.

I hold K7 in CO or on BT (six players). UTG calls, HJ calls, I call. I'll call Kxs from BT and K5s+ from CO vs 2 limpers (with 1 limper I'll fold these). I'll raise KTs+ in either place and with even 1 caller.

I hold 22 - 33 in CO (four to six players). I open with these hands from CO or BT only, 44 from HJ. I usually raise with them and am not sure why I just called these a few times. I'll raise with 55+ from anywhere.

In any case, I call preflop vs. raise or fold so seldom, can this really be a significant leak?
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:56 AM   #10
jdr0317
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KickingWater View Post
I did a search of all 10k hands first to find the ones where I cold called a raise and was in either the CO or BT.

CO: I almost never cold-call a raise preflop. I've called preflop 76 times in over 1900 hands, only 18 of those to a raise. Typically when I call it's with one or two limpers ahead.

BT: called preflop 104 times in over 1800 hands, about 30 to a raise. Mostly to a limper or two, or a raiser and caller. Here are some examples of where I did:

I hold A6 on BT (six players). HJ (34.8/17.0) raises, CO (24.2/4.7) calls, I call. I'll often call one limper with Axs but raise A7s+ here.


I hold T9 on BT (four players). CO (42.9/3.6) calls, I call. Not sure what possessed me to call this. Normally with one limper I would call JTo but raise QJo, KTo, A8o.

I hold K7 in CO or on BT (six players). UTG calls, HJ calls, I call. I'll call Kxs from BT and K5s+ from CO vs 2 limpers (with 1 limper I'll fold these). I'll raise KTs+ in either place and with even 1 caller.

I hold 22 - 33 in CO (four to six players). I open with these hands from CO or BT only, 44 from HJ. I usually raise with them and am not sure why I just called these a few times. I'll raise with 55+ from anywhere.

In any case, I call preflop vs. raise or fold so seldom, can this really be a significant leak?
Fold the A6s. HJ has a tight range and A6s is performing poorly against it. It's also not multiway enough where you can get value just from flopping a NFD often enough.

Overlimping T9o is a pretty major leak after one opponent. You're giving SB 7:1 to come along and the BB gets a free flop. You should fold this because it just doesn't perform very well.

K7s is a raise for me after two limpers. There's more ways that K7s dominates limpers than otherwise (as it's rare for them to show up w/ many better kings given how they'd likely play KT+ pre, almost impossible for them to show up w/ better 7, and we can flop dominating flush draws. Plus, we have position with a hand that's doing well versus loose limpers. So raise it up.

I open 33 from CO when blinds are generally straightforward. The issue w/ 33 HU (and I'm sure you're aware) is that it often flops itself into SA/WB (slightly ahead / way behind) spots, so you'd want to play straightforward opponents in order to realize your equity. Other than that, your PP strategy makes sense.
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:42 PM   #11
KickingWater
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

Thanks again, jdr.

So other than the T9o I played once (and don't normally) can we agree my preflop calling is too rare to be a major leak contributing substantially to my losses, and it must be something else?

With a late raiser, I'll call these from BT: ATo, A9o, KQo, A8s, A9s, KTs, KJs, QJs, and 66-77. With a raiser and CC, just KQo, KJs, QJs.

With a limper from the CO I'll call: A2s-A6s (you identified this as a weakness), Q9s-T9s, T8s-98s, JTs, 22-66. From BT I'll add J8s, 87s, and JTo, and raise the 66.

With 2 limpers from CO I'll add: K5s-K9s, JTo-KTo and Q9o and call 66-77. From BT I add Kxs, Q8s, T7s, 87s, 76s.

I can see eliminating some more of these like Q9o.

If preflop isn't the culprite, where I feel I may be leaky is in calling down very aggressive opponents HU with 2nd best. When more passive opponents show post-flop aggression I'm more prone to quit, but I often catch AGGS bluffing with very little and win with low PP or even Ace high (when my AK or AQ gets no help). I may be getting the short end of this more often than not, but have not done an analysis. I know when I lose lots of bets, this is how it's often done.
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:56 PM   #12
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveistheman84 View Post
if you're not confident in your game, c-bet every flop hu. cbetting 100% hu isn't a leak. you have leaks. simplify where you can and work on the other stuff. my guess is you're too aggro on big bet streets, but more so, you're too tight pre. and stop cold-calling. 3bet or fold unless multiway or in the bb.
Steve,

I posted some more about cold-calling. I don't do much of it. If you take a look at what I posted today about what I will cold-call from CO or BT, does it look like way too much to you? Jdr offered some help on where some of these may be better raises or folds so I'm going to take a look at some of those from an equity perspective vs. the opening standards I normally see in my opponents. Over 50% of them typically fall in the range of 40-80% VPIP (no, that's not a typo) Would welcome your thoughts, too. I could see logically opening up my standards just in response to that fact.

As for "too aggressive on big bet streets" that may be true and I'll have to look at some changes if so. But what do you mean be "too tight pre"? Is that a preference, because I compare well with acceptable ranges statistically. Wondering why you see it as too tight?

My standard opening hands in non-blind positions represent 37% of possible hands (502 hands). If I do get to open from SB that goes WAY up, of course (58% of hands).
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:26 PM   #13
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KickingWater View Post
So other than the T9o I played once (and don't normally) can we agree my preflop calling is too rare to be a major leak contributing substantially to my losses, and it must be something else?
1 hand in 10k is never going to be a major leak, but it may reveal a major leak, and I think it has. But the leak is not that you overlimped T9o that one time, it's that you frequently overlimp or cold call when you'd probably be better off taking a raise/fold approach.

Quote:
With a late raiser, I'll call these from BT: ATo, A9o, KQo, A8s, A9s, KTs, KJs, QJs, and 66-77. With a raiser and CC, just KQo, KJs, QJs.
I would 3-bet every single one of those hands against a single raiser (sans cold caller). With the cold caller in, I'd still lean towards 3-betting most of them, though cold calling with hands like Axs (where x < 8), QJs, QTs, JTs, and 77-22 is a reasonable strategy imo. Stuff like ATo and KQo can be 3-bet for value, for immediate fold equity against the blinds, and for implied folding equity against the players already in the pot.

Quote:
With a limper from the CO I'll call: A2s-A6s (you identified this as a weakness), Q9s-T9s, T8s-98s, JTs, 22-66. From BT I'll add J8s, 87s, and JTo, and raise the 66.

With 2 limpers from CO I'll add: K5s-K9s, JTo-KTo and Q9o and call 66-77. From BT I add Kxs, Q8s, T7s, 87s, 76s.

I can see eliminating some more of these like Q9o.
When you say "with a limper from the CO" do you mean the limper is in the CO or you are in the CO? Given the sentence about the BTN, I'm going to assume the latter. If I'm wrong, disregard the specifics, but the general ideas should still apply.

There's a few things going on here. When your opponent is loose/passive and the blinds are loose/passive and no one is going to exploit the fact that you split your range into raises and calls here, I think there's nothing wrong with having an overlimping range (either from the CO or the BTN). I'd lean towards limping more often (though with a stronger range) in the CO (or even the HJ, i.e. MP).

So overlimping with hands like Q9s-T9s, T8s-98s, JTs, 22-66 seems reasonable to me, assuming the conditions are right (see above). I'd probably raise the stronger hands in that range like Q9s, JTs, and 66 while limping the weakest hands like 22 and T8s. Hands in the middle could go either way.

Overlimping more with an extra caller in there also makes sense, and I don't think your ranges are way out of whack. I would avoid overlimping with most of those offsuit hands, and I'd also prefer an iso-raise over an overlimp if the blinds are tight. If you have a decent chance of getting heads up or even just knocking out the blinds, it's usually worth a raise to improve your chances of winning the hand. The limpers typically have wide ranges (and if they don't, you shouldn't overlimp so much) so your hands have pretty good equity against them.

In terms of overlimping mentality, you should make sure you're not asking yourself, "Can I play this hand? Well...maybe. I guess I'll just call." Instead, ask yourself whether you honestly think that an overlimp is the best way to extract value from the hand. If you really think it is, then great. Do it. Maybe post the hand later even if it just seems like a dumb preflop question. But if you don't think it's the best way to get value from the hand, raise (or fold if you think there is no way to extract value from the hand).

Quote:
If preflop isn't the culprite, where I feel I may be leaky is in calling down very aggressive opponents HU with 2nd best. When more passive opponents show post-flop aggression I'm more prone to quit, but I often catch AGGS bluffing with very little and win with low PP or even Ace high (when my AK or AQ gets no help). I may be getting the short end of this more often than not, but have not done an analysis. I know when I lose lots of bets, this is how it's often done.
It's hard to call down too often heads up against very aggressive opponents. Just make sure you're thinking about their preflop range, how they're likely to play that range on the flop, and then how the turn and river hit that range. You shouldn't always call down no matter how the board runs out, but you can call down very liberally when there are draws available and they miss. Post hands.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:33 PM   #14
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

Jdr,

I was reading a recent post of yours in Small Stakes Limit that got me thinking. You said that preflop is where the money is made in small stakes. I mentioned in my thread opening that it seems I'm not making enough when I do win. This gets me thinking I probably need to open up my 3-bet and even 4-bet ranges preflop against my loose opponents playing 45%-80% of their hands. Any comments on that thought?

Steve,

This goes right along with your admonition to loosen up a bit, I think. My opening range I'm pretty comfortable with, but maybe where I need to VPIP more (with a 3-bet or even 4-bet, not a call) is when there are loose maniacs in the pot ahead of me?
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:44 PM   #15
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantBuddha View Post
1 hand in 10k is never going to be a major leak, but it may reveal a major leak, and I think it has. But the leak is not that you overlimped T9o that one time, it's that you frequently overlimp or cold call when you'd probably be better off taking a raise/fold approach.


I would 3-bet every single one of those hands against a single raiser (sans cold caller). With the cold caller in, I'd still lean towards 3-betting most of them, though cold calling with hands like Axs (where x < 8), QJs, QTs, JTs, and 77-22 is a reasonable strategy imo. Stuff like ATo and KQo can be 3-bet for value, for immediate fold equity against the blinds, and for implied folding equity against the players already in the pot.



When you say "with a limper from the CO" do you mean the limper is in the CO or you are in the CO? Given the sentence about the BTN, I'm going to assume the latter. If I'm wrong, disregard the specifics, but the general ideas should still apply.

There's a few things going on here. When your opponent is loose/passive and the blinds are loose/passive and no one is going to exploit the fact that you split your range into raises and calls here, I think there's nothing wrong with having an overlimping range (either from the CO or the BTN). I'd lean towards limping more often (though with a stronger range) in the CO (or even the HJ, i.e. MP).

So overlimping with hands like Q9s-T9s, T8s-98s, JTs, 22-66 seems reasonable to me, assuming the conditions are right (see above). I'd probably raise the stronger hands in that range like Q9s, JTs, and 66 while limping the weakest hands like 22 and T8s. Hands in the middle could go either way.

Overlimping more with an extra caller in there also makes sense, and I don't think your ranges are way out of whack. I would avoid overlimping with most of those offsuit hands, and I'd also prefer an iso-raise over an overlimp if the blinds are tight. If you have a decent chance of getting heads up or even just knocking out the blinds, it's usually worth a raise to improve your chances of winning the hand. The limpers typically have wide ranges (and if they don't, you shouldn't overlimp so much) so your hands have pretty good equity against them.

In terms of overlimping mentality, you should make sure you're not asking yourself, "Can I play this hand? Well...maybe. I guess I'll just call." Instead, ask yourself whether you honestly think that an overlimp is the best way to extract value from the hand. If you really think it is, then great. Do it. Maybe post the hand later even if it just seems like a dumb preflop question. But if you don't think it's the best way to get value from the hand, raise (or fold if you think there is no way to extract value from the hand).



It's hard to call down too often heads up against very aggressive opponents. Just make sure you're thinking about their preflop range, how they're likely to play that range on the flop, and then how the turn and river hit that range. You shouldn't always call down no matter how the board runs out, but you can call down very liberally when there are draws available and they miss. Post hands.
Very helpful! Thank you! Your suggestion to 3-bet many of those hands I call with also falls into line with my latest wonderings in this thread today. If we're onto something here, I'm pretty excited about it. I'm also relieved to hear my call-downs with AGGs HU are not big flags, though I understand I can't be automatic here and have to think. I just hate when I isolate some guy opening 80% and 50+ AGG% going to river with junk only to find he held AKs this time and my high pair with good kicker isn't good. Probably impacts me in ways I should not let it.

Yes, you understood me correctly. I am in the CO with the ranges I gave.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:39 PM   #16
BigBadBabar
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

the rake at those stakes is such that probably (almost) no one can win in a big sample unless you are always clearing a bonus at the same time. the hope/advice for someone in your situation is to get your game solid and relatively leak-free and then (assuming your finances and bankroll can support it) to take shots at 5/10 or higher where the rake isn't as onerous. of course, this depends on your overall poker goals. some people want to make as much money as possible or challenge themselves as much as possible and these necessarily will entail moving up in stakes over time. some people just want to scratch their poker itch or have a fun hobby without too much money on the line. within that framework it's perfectly fine to stay at lower stakes if that's what works for you.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:55 PM   #17
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

I like what GiantBuddha has to say, but I tend to take a much more aggressive approach against fish preflop (ex: I would three bet A7s assuming the original raiser has it in his range and the cold caller is sufficiently loose passive, as our stronger ranges serve as a form of implicit collusion against the fish for playing such a wide range. A more concrete example would be when, say, you have a set of Tens on a QJT-K board and both opponents elect to jam their naked Ax; they aren't doing anything sketchy, but have implicitly agreed to keep raising to exploit the fact that you're trapped and calling bets).

About your cold calling range:

1) The hands you listed (ATo, A9o, KQo, A8s, A9s, KTs, KJs, QJs, and 66-77) make up 5.13% of starting hands. Meaning that you'll be cold calling a fair amount

2) The hands above these (your theoretical 3 bet range) is just 7.4% of hands. That's way too tight. For the record, my CO open range is ~ 28% of hands, and ATo is smashing that range (54.5% equity). A8o is even close to a three bet. In fact, every hand you listed in your cold calling range is a standard 3 bet against a TAG CO opener, and I'd even include hands like 55 and potentially even JTs into that range. So I'm three betting nearly 3x as often as you are against a generic TAG CO open.

3) One thing to be aware of is that 3 betting ranges are way more fluid than opening ranges. When you open, you're simply making a bet that your hand has value when it receives action, or that it's likely enough that no one has anything so that your raise will win the dead money in the pot (and that in the event that you do get action, your hand is sufficiently strong enough). When you 3 bet, you're making a bet that your hand is better than your opponent's hand. So while my button open range is fairly static, but button 3 bet range of CO open will be very fluid based on opponent. I might fold ATs to a supernit open, but gladly three bet 44 or A3s against another guy. Having an overly systemitized range (as indicated by saying "against a CO open, I cold call X, Y. and Z"), you aren't playing your opponent enough. Against some opponents, cold calling ATo is missing value, while vs others it's lighting $ on fire.

4) In NL, it's okay to play hands in such a way that you only commit if you flop the joint, and get away cheap otherwise. Like dude raises EP w/ $1k stack in 2/5 NL, you cover him and flat it with 55. It's okay to "see a flop" here because we can leverage our deep stacks + position to try and flop huge (namely flop a 5) and stack an overpair that can't get away. If our loss when we miss is $15 and our win when we hit averages $200-$300, then taking a flop is okay. In FL, though, a large portion of the $ that will enter most pots happens before the flop even occurs. Take ATo again, say we three bet and call down a flop xr on a QT4tt board. A full third of the money we invested into the pot happened before the flop. Even in the aforementioned case, we cold call ATo and raise some flop that gives us top pair and get called down by 88. Even then, 1/4th of the $ we invested happened before the flop. So there's not a lot of value in waiting to make a big hand and sticking $ in, the value comes from small equity edges.

5) In already tight range spots, bifurcating (splitting) your range is generally a terrible idea. Like your range when you three bet is very Ax and PP heavy, meaning you're an easy attack on something like Q64 or K85, and people will value raise and bluff effectively. On the other hand, your range is easy to define on AXY boards; calling twice will usually mean you have a marginal ace, which makes you easy to play against again. Sometimes there's nothing you can do regarding your range (ex: you three bet SB against a CO open and bet 974r, turn T, and you're stuck playing a guessing game w/ AJ), but you don't want to be screwing up and narrowing your ranges so early in the hand.

6) By cold calling raises, you do something else that's terrible: You let the BB into the hand for cheap (5.25:1). So while it feels good to take those mediocre hands and throw them into a calling range, what you're effectively doing is reducing the dead $ in the pot. Say you take that 28% CO open range and flat call with KTs. You allow the BB into the pot cheap and have something like 35% equity, still a +EV situation. But by three betting, you often give yourself dead $ in the pot so even a slight equity dog spot against the CO (maybe around 48% equity) is countered by the extra $ in the pot from players who can't realize any equity on their hand, as well as fold equity generated by uncapping your range. In general, it's very rare to find a hand where cold calling first in is better than folding or three betting, from an EV standpoint.


As a general philosophy, limit hold em is a game of pushing small equity edges. Therefore, every decision has to be calculated and planned out. Your preflop gameplay suggests that you need to do more work away from the table to determine why you make plays against opponents. Like GiantBuddha said, your preflop mentality in a lot of spots seems to be "can I play this? Maybe...I call". Until you're more comfortable with situations, you should limit yourself to a "yes" (raise) or "no" (fold) mentality. The exception will be the big blind, where you're allowed to call raises to try and hit a hand because you're getting a price preflop and are unlikely to face raises behind (so CO opens, you can call in the BB getting 3.25:1, versus on the button, where you're getting 3.25:2 and could face more action behind). It does sound like you could stand to benefit from ramping up the aggression preflop.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:01 PM   #18
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBadBabar View Post
the rake at those stakes is such that probably (almost) no one can win in a big sample unless you are always clearing a bonus at the same time. the hope/advice for someone in your situation is to get your game solid and relatively leak-free and then (assuming your finances and bankroll can support it) to take shots at 5/10 or higher where the rake isn't as onerous. of course, this depends on your overall poker goals. some people want to make as much money as possible or challenge themselves as much as possible and these necessarily will entail moving up in stakes over time. some people just want to scratch their poker itch or have a fun hobby without too much money on the line. within that framework it's perfectly fine to stay at lower stakes if that's what works for you.
Thanks for answering the "different game" question, BBB. I want to move up and make $ and challenge myself. But I want to know I know how to play well enough for EV+ before I do.

I do understand to some degree the rake factor in B&M games. I played $2/4 at Commerce in CA a few times years ago and quickly observed (after estimating how much $ was leaving the table every hour) "How can anyone make any money with this rake?!"

But aren't online games (I play Ignition - no meaningful bonuses) more proportional about their rakes at lower limits? Maybe someone could elaborate on how to properly think about the rake factor?

I need at least $3000-$4000 bankroll to enter into the $5/10 realm. I already burned through half my requirement at $2/4 and $3/6, but I could put up that amount comfortably if/when I knew my game was ready to expect a positive win rate.
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:26 AM   #19
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

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Originally Posted by jdr0317 View Post
As a general philosophy, limit hold em is a game of pushing small equity edges. Therefore, every decision has to be calculated and planned out. Your preflop gameplay suggests that you need to do more work away from the table to determine why you make plays against opponents.
Extremely helpful insights again. I think the responses to this post have been more valuable to me than reading three more books on small stakes hold-em. Can't tell you how much I appreciate the thoughtful feedback from you and the other responders.

I quoted just this concluding comment from your great response, all of which is packed full of thought-provoking stuff for me. What kind of edges am I typically looking for? 52% equity vs. one opponent, 35% equity vs. two, etc? Something more, something less? I can see myself experimenting with an equity calculator through various hands given the ranges of my opponent(s) tendencies and learning a lot from that, if I know I'm looking for an edge of x%. But is that a useful away-from-the-table approach to discovering why raising A6s on the BT may make sense in one situation while folding it is better in another? Is there a better use of my away-from-the-table investment?
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:04 AM   #20
steveistheman84
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

actually at the stakes you're playing, you're vpip stats are prob ok. it looks like your biggest leak is folding bb waaaay too much and not opening your btn enough. you should try to double those vpip's and your bb even more so.
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:21 PM   #21
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

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I can see myself experimenting with an equity calculator through various hands given the ranges of my opponent(s) tendencies and learning a lot from that, if I know I'm looking for an edge of x%. But is that a useful away-from-the-table approach to discovering why raising A6s on the BT may make sense in one situation while folding it is better in another? Is there a better use of my away-from-the-table investment?
So apparently my preflop calling IS a big leak. I wanted to throw this out there one more time before letting this thread rest, because I'd love some responses. I'm intrigued with jdr's recommendation to spend time away-from-the-table to fix my preflop leaks, especially those times I am NOT first to enter the pot preflop. One golf coach reminded me that to get better you have to "dig it out of the dirt." In other words, find out for yourself what works and doesn't. I can find out for myself what situations call for a raise or a fold, putting a stop to my 5% calling preflop. I'm considering going about this in the following way...

Since LHE is about exploiting the small edges, especially preflop, am I essentially looking for those places where I'm >50% vs. one, >33% vs. two, etc. verses the specific player ranges of my opponents? Is that the edge or is it something higher due to other factors? I'm sure that's an oversimplification that ignores other factors, but I'm looking for a place to launch my away-from-the-table study time to understand what to raise, what to fold with players in front of me.

For example, I can investigate A6s on the BT versus a raiser before me, looking at a 15/20 up through a 75/40 kind of player, and note the equity values that are >50%. This helps me make raise/fold decisions when I have that hand in that position. Sometimes it may be a raise, sometimes a fold, depending on my opponent's ranges and tendencies.

I can also add a layer of complexity to the above scenario - the possibility that one of the blinds will enter the pot after I raise, also looking at the blind's "range of ranges" (e.g. 15/20 through 75/40), and see if my equity vs. both still exceeds 33%. From these observations I can start to get a feel for what hands will play well as the variables of my opponents' ranges change.

Make sense? Maybe theres a better approach? This is where I'm thinking about starting. Please steer me elsewhere if there's a better way.
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:18 PM   #22
jdr0317
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

You don't need the plurality of equity. My general rule of thumb is 45%+ equity versus an opener's range is enough, as my position + fold equity + the chance to blow the blinds out and create dead money makes it a profitable play.

And the fact is, if I saw a guy w/ your preflop stats on the BTN, id probably start pushing to around a 35% CO open, as you won't be three betting much and your cold calling range will be easy to play against. If I saw someone opening that crazy from the CO, i'd definitely start three betting light, possibly over 20%.
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:07 PM   #23
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

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You don't need the plurality of equity. My general rule of thumb is 45%+ equity versus an opener's range is enough, as my position + fold equity + the chance to blow the blinds out and create dead money makes it a profitable play.

And the fact is, if I saw a guy w/ your preflop stats on the BTN, id probably start pushing to around a 35% CO open, as you won't be three betting much and your cold calling range will be easy to play against. If I saw someone opening that crazy from the CO, i'd definitely start three betting light, possibly over 20%.
Excellent. And what if you have more than one player in front of you? 30%? 25%?
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:33 PM   #24
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

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Excellent. And what if you have more than one player in front of you? 30%? 25%?
Depends how loose.


Let's say you have a tightish guy opening UTG with a range of:

55+, A8s+, KTs+, QTs+, JTs, T9s, ATo+, KQo

CO is a fish that has a three bet range (10% or so regardless of opener's range, a lot of fish play this way) and cold calls everything else he deems "playable". Maybe the 40/15 fish cold calls with:

77-22, A8s-A2s, K9s-K2s, Q9s-Q4s, J7s+, T7s+, 97s+, 87s, ATo-A2o, KTo+, QTo+, JTo, T9o, 98o

Against this guy, going nuts may be ill advised. Like I wouldn't three bet 55, JTs, and stuff like that (but I'm still three betting 66, QJs, etc). He has bad hands in his range, but he has some good hands too, and I need more hand to implicitly collude against this player with the opener.

Now say we're up against a truly special player. Someone who can't fold Ax, ATS, Broadways, etc for the life of him. So something like:

77-22, A8s-A2s, K9s-K2s, Q9s-Q2s, J2s+, T2s+, 92s+, 82s+, 72s+, 62s+, 52s+, 42s+, 32s, ATo-A2o, K7o+, Q8o+, J9o+, T8o+, 97o+, 86o+, 76o, 65o, 54o

Now we can pretty much three bet with the same range as the opener.

You can think of it like a split pot game, where say one guy has A2KK and the other guy has AA76 on a J54-3 board. If you knew the other guy had a set of 5's, you'd both keep raising your nut high and nut lows and force him into calling bets, even though the guy w/ the nut high here only has a tiny equity plurality. In this case, the equity you'd have in the pot with a three bet would exceed your investment, so you 3 bet.
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:05 PM   #25
GiantBuddha
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Re: Stats + Results = TAGfish?

Has all of this play been since Dec 13th? (i.e., since the Ignition rake increase) If so, do you know how many BB/100 you've been paying in rake?
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