Originally Posted by jbrennen
To maximize your win rate in Razz requires putting a fair amount of money in the pot with hands with a great deal of uncertainty.
The point is that in Razz, unlike most other games, you can have a verifiable sizable edge on your opponent, but still not have a made hand. In fact, this happens a lot in Razz. Maximizing your EV requires that you push these edges, but doing so greatly increases variance as well.
This pushing your small edges is what makes Razz both mechanical and high-variance.
Ok, let's not get on the crazy train here. There is substantial evidence that razz is one of the lowest variance poker variants, if not #1 on the list. Some playing styles will increase your variance in razz, but the equivalent style will also increase your variance in other games as well.
My arguments with Ray are many itt, including:
Maximizing your EV in razz means adjusting to not only the skill level of your opponents, but also the size of the antes. If you're playing in a low ante structure, being nitty is pretty much correct regardless of who you're up against, but that's not so in a high ante game. Of course, against good players you'd like to have an equal or better hand when you take them on, but why are so many old schoolers averse to mixing it up with bad players (I assume you mean "loose" here) unless they're sure they're ahead? Bad players usually make more mistakes than just playing too many hands on 3rd st, and if you're not in the pot you can't take advantage of them. Obviously you have to be more cautious if the good players have position on you, but only when they show strong door cards.
A mechanical player may beat you if you try some wild and creative stuff, but a mechanical player is only as good as the rules he plays by. Often they include small leaks (and sometimes a couple of big ones) that can be exploited but they get away with it by practicing good game selection. One place you can't bumhunt is in MTTs, and I've beaten plenty of mechanical and fishy players in those. It often takes different lines, but both can be beaten.
I do apologize tho for assuming you were playing a nitty style to keep your variance down. I'm glad that you're always trying to maximize EV (and giving advice based on those lines), I just disagree that you'll get the most money playing a purely mechanical game.