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Old 11-22-2013, 06:09 AM   #1
fluxboy
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2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

Quote:
Are you still short stacking live poker? I'm going to give it a shot. What did you do to study for this? Read MTT stuff? Biggest downswing? Thanks.
Hey guys,

A while back I did a thread on shortstacking the live, low stakes games. I've received a few pms asking about my experiences, so I thought I'd give an update.



Yes, I shortstacked for over 2000 hours, and lived to tell the tale, lol! Turned my bankroll into about $50K. The graphs I posted in an earlier thread continued. The win rate was about $25/hr, standard deviation about $125/hr.

Generally speaking, I'd have maybe one losing night a week (I'd lose about 3 buy ins of $100 each), a good night would be about +$300 ... and the rest around $200. I think the worst downswing was about 5 buy-ins over the course of a week. However, I think it's important to not be affected, mentally, by any loss. I'd always have $2K in my wallet, so $100 meant nothing. I was determined to always play my humble, tilt free "A" game.

Playing 200 hours a month, I'd pull in about $5K.

I played with a few different SS strategies, but they generally followed the pokerstrategy.com guidelines for playing short:

http://www.pokerstrategy.com/strategy/sss/1373/1/

The only difference is I'd raise about 15% of the effective stack size. So for $100 buy in, I'd raise to $15. Then follow all the other suggestions.

It's really that simple in loose, aggressive games. Play one or two hands an hour, maybe c-bet against one opponent if you miss. Multiway, hit top pair or better and get it all in. And if forced to choose, play faster than slower. Hit flop, shove worked fine in aggressive games. Someone was always going to call with their draw.

***

Last few hundred hours, though, I've been playing deep stack, and my win rate has risen to $40/hr. Again, it should be mentioned I play in very loose, aggressive games. I'm in a oil rigging town, so a lot of "gamble" amongst the locals. Buy in max is $500 for 1-2, and multiway action with preflop raises to $15-$25 is common. It probably plays more like a 2-5 game. So now I simply nut peddle. Set mining for the most part. It's not "good" poker but someone always seems ready to stack off with their overpair or draw. The win rate has improved, and it saves me the hassle of moving from poker room to poker room.

Anyway, hope that helps. I will stress, however, my games are VERY soft. I went to Vegas and found them to be nitfests compared to what I have.

All the best,
Flux

(ps if anyone wants some shortstacking material, I would actually recommend Colin Moshman's S'n'G strategy. The suggestions on Low to Mid blind play are what I gravitated towards, chip utility theory and ICM be damned ... I added them both together, divided by two, and found myself where I started. In any event, nits will always co-opt any strategy that allows them to play tight, hah! However, I will emphasize not to get too caught up in obsessing over short play in small stakes, live games. Playing 1 or 2 hands an hour, then getting it in when you hit is sufficient.

The real trick is not going insane waiting for your hands. Good luck!)
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:27 AM   #2
Olaff
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

I admire your accomplishment. You've amassed $50K playing $1/$2 in a relatively short period of time. Have you considered moving up? As you were amassing this roll, along the way have you experiencing feelings of ambition to compete higher? For example even $10K is rolled enough for $2/$5. I've heard some of the best players in the world say that one the main ways and probably the biggest way to get better is to play players who are better than you. I'm not trying to take away from your accomplishment in any way, I'm just curious.

P.S. Do you consider a $100 stack to be "short" at $1/$2? I consider it to be "midstack".

Last edited by Olaff; 11-22-2013 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:06 AM   #3
CallMeVernon
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

It sounds like you play in Alberta. Am I right?
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:18 PM   #4
Richard Parker
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

God, please don't ruin the game at its current condition.

Regardless whether your strategy actually works, imagine a table full of people that just hit and run...
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:22 PM   #5
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

very impressive, i always thought the best idea was to buyin for max at any table however
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:29 PM   #6
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

Impressive stats and nice looking steady-as-she-goes consistent giraffe.

What did you do after you double / triple up, thus no longer being a shortstack? Hit and run? Or did you just keep playing, but a much different "deeper" stack style? If so, couldn't it be the case that your early session shortstack style was actually hurting you (as it almost looks like it was just comparing your shortstack vs deepstack winrates)?

ETA: Ah, it looks like you do hit and run, and then actually have to move to another poker room in order to get on the table (if I've read that right). Seems to me this transition period of moving between rooms, waiting for a table, gas money, etc. should almost be factored into your hourly winrate to bring it down way more...

GEdm?FtMac?G
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:41 PM   #7
Avaritia
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

I don't see how it is possible to only have a 5 bi downswing over 2K hours with a SS strategy.

Nevertheless, thanks for the link. I've never understood SS strat b4, kind of always wanted to just to understand the methodology.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:06 PM   #8
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

If the games are always loose/aggressive you should be able to make $25/hour sitting with the max.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:19 PM   #9
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avaritia View Post
I don't see how it is possible to only have a 5 bi downswing over 2K hours with a SS strategy.

Nevertheless, thanks for the link. I've never understood SS strat b4, kind of always wanted to just to understand the methodology.
Its not possible. Just like winning 50k at 1/2 isnt possible.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:44 PM   #10
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

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Originally Posted by ShadyJ1 View Post
Its not possible. Just like winning 50k at 1/2 isnt possible.
40hrs a day, 52weeks a year, for two years. I figure at about the two-month mark, my wife kills me. So yeah, it's impossible.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:17 PM   #11
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If you live where I think you live driving from room to room in the winter must be brutual.
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Old 11-23-2013, 01:16 AM   #12
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olaff View Post
P.S. Do you consider a $100 stack to be "short" at $1/$2? I consider it to be "midstack".
The strategy that OP linked to in his post is particularly aimed at 20BBs, whatever that may be, so $40 at 1-2, $100 at 2-5. Note that this strategy has you getting up whenever you add 25% of your stack, so they admit that this strategy is not mathematically correct at 25BBs or more. Playing above 25 BBs changes the maths involved to the point that your risk exceeds the potential rewards, making it incorrect to blindly follow this strategy at 50BBs.
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Old 11-23-2013, 01:24 AM   #13
daniel9861
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

Yeah, I was also wondering what state do you play in OP?

And not to knock your accomplishments or anything but I think short stacking vs. playing deep stack is putting a cap on your potential and growth as a poker player.
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:46 AM   #14
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

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Originally Posted by Buster65 View Post
The strategy that OP linked to in his post is particularly aimed at 20BBs, whatever that may be, so $40 at 1-2, $100 at 2-5. Note that this strategy has you getting up whenever you add 25% of your stack, so they admit that this strategy is not mathematically correct at 25BBs or more. Playing above 25 BBs changes the maths involved to the point that your risk exceeds the potential rewards, making it incorrect to blindly follow this strategy at 50BBs.
... except that the way the games play is a lot more important than how many big blinds deep you are. From my experience, it isn't uncommon to have multiple players straddling or people raising to $15-25 and getting multiple callers. These things change the optimal buy-in amount for a SSS. That website was designed for SSS beginners playing in online games and live games just don't play the same. I'm not saying it works or it doesn't work, just that either way you should throw out the buy-in guidelines if you are going to play live.

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Originally Posted by ShadyJ1 View Post
Its not possible. Just like winning 50k at 1/2 isnt possible.
Being a winning player at 1/2 isn't possible?
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:37 AM   #15
fluxboy
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

Hi guys, I'll try to answer some of the questions/observations. If anyone is so motivated, some of the concerns have been brought up before in my first thread a few years back:

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/17...-1-2-a-920294/

That said...

Olaff:
Quote:
Have you considered moving up? As you were amassing this roll, along the way have you experiencing feelings of ambition to compete higher?
I'll be honest, I'm still a bad poker player. Horrible. But moving up was always the intent, and I felt playing a tilt-free, simple, mechanical strategy would give me the best opportunity to do so. However, what works in theory stumbles in the real-real world. Vegas was a shock. I was expecting loose, aggro play at 2-5 and 5-10 with 10x raises multiway, and money splashing everywhere.

What I found was nitty poker. Undoubtedly if one looked hard enough, a good game could be found, but even traveling from poker room to poker room and getting on a table took an inordinate amount of time. Whereas in my city, I'm a hop, skip and a jump from place to place. I read a post by Aesahi, that confirmed my impressions. There simply aren't a lot of big games anywhere in the world that play on a regular basis. Less so a selection of maniac players with deep pockets, low rakes, and multiple venues catering to them.

Vernon: Bingo!

Richard:

Quote:
God, please don't ruin the game at its current condition.
No fears there. I've patiently explained the approach to a number of friends who were going through a tough run and needed money. They all failed miserably. I've discovered people play more for emotional needs, than rational ones. Remember that rat that had orgasms wired into his head? He had a choice between two buttons: pleasure or food.

He died of starvation. We're no different.

Gobbledy:

Quote:
Seems to me this transition period of moving between rooms, waiting for a table, gas money, etc. should almost be factored into your hourly winrate to bring it down way more...
Yeah, its a valid observation. In Vegas, it took over an hour to get on a new table ... on average. I was new to the city, so I think the logistics could be improved, but it's an important factor. Its also one I feel is underplayed a little regarding "success" at a strategy. The actual poker strategy itself played a very minor role, I believe, overall. It's all those factors that trump playing x-hand from y-position with z-buy in that probably determine results. Do you have access to soft games? How quickly can you get to them? Are you playing for emotional or financial needs (I've found the two to be mutually exclusive).

Stuff like that.

Barry Greenstein once mentioned that most of the money won or lost in a live game results from tilt. Shortstacking does a great job of curbing that.

Avarita:
Quote:
I don't see how it is possible to only have a 5 bi downswing over 2K hours with a SS strategy.
We'll revist that. I have a few questions myself regarding variance that I hope some may help me with. Perhaps a new thread on this might be the way to go.

Eldiesel: Actually, I'd say $50/hr is what a good 1-2 player can make, deep stacked, in my games. The top 2-5 players are pulling in between $80-$100/hr in their games over sample sizes of 1000-2000 hours. Again, my games play twice as large... and looser... than what's common.

Dave: lol!

Fun:

Quote:
If you live where I think you live driving from room to room in the winter must be brutual.
Oh, it's a real treat. I assure you of that. Particularly in my clunker with balding all season tires. And a defroster that decides not to work once we hit -20...

Buster:
Quote:
The strategy that OP linked to in his post is particularly aimed at 20BBs, whatever that may be, so $40 at 1-2, $100 at 2-5 ...
Yes and no.

If you look at the stack to pot ratios, you'll find that a 20 bb game with 4 bb raises plays the same as a 50 bb game with 10 bb raises. The stack to pot ration is the same postflop, so you are very much "shorting" the game with $100 buy in.

Ph:
Quote:
"... except that the way the games play is a lot more important than how many big blinds deep you are. From my experience, it isn't uncommon to have multiple players straddling or people raising to $15-25 and getting multiple callers. These things change the optimal buy-in amount for a SSS."
To add to this, once you stick more than 10% of your stack in preflop, you are playing a short stack game ... regardless of how deep you may be playing. At which point you've crushed all the speculative hands, and can ship with top pair. I refer to PNL by Ed Miller and Co for further elucidations on this matter.

I've played "short" with 500 big blinds.

Easy game.



All the best,
Flux
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:14 AM   #16
Olaff
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fluxboy View Post
I'll be honest, I'm still a bad poker player. Horrible. But moving up was always the intent, and I felt playing a tilt-free, simple, mechanical strategy would give me the best opportunity to do so. However, what works in theory stumbles in the real-real world. Vegas was a shock. I was expecting loose, aggro play at 2-5 and 5-10 with 10x raises multiway, and money splashing everywhere.

What I found was nitty poker. Undoubtedly if one looked hard enough, a good game could be found, but even traveling from poker room to poker room and getting on a table took an inordinate amount of time. Whereas in my city, I'm a hop, skip and a jump from place to place. I read a post by Aesahi, that confirmed my impressions. There simply aren't a lot of big games anywhere in the world that play on a regular basis. Less so a selection of maniac players with deep pockets, low rakes, and multiple venues catering to them.
Well, $2/$5 live is not $1/$2 live, and $5/$10 live is definitely not $1/$2 live if you know what I mean. It seems like you expected $5/$10 to be like $1/$2 and of course it's not. $5/$10 requires a substantially higher skill level to succeed than $1/$2. As far for $5/$10 live games, Vegas has plenty, every day and night of the week. Are they money bleeding games populated by maniacs? Largely not. $5/$10 is a tough game. Can it be crushed? Absolutely. But you can't crush $5/$10 with the skill of $1/$2.

P.S. Could you please refer me to the post by Aesahi?
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:08 PM   #17
fluxboy
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olaff View Post
P.S. Could you please refer me to the post by Aesahi?
Sure:

"Well I did pretty well up to around the $5/$10 step, then I realized oops, bigger games than that don't really run regularly. In fact even the $5/$10 level probably only regularly runs in casinos at like maybe 15 different cities in the US. When I realized this I panicked for awhile. I'm 25 years old, and was faced with the prospect of basically being at the end of my career. Yes, I could improve my game and winrate, but there's diminishing returns and I basically am currently making as much money RIGHT NOW as I will ever make in poker. Being 25 with basically nowhere left to go? Was this really happening?"

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/54...-life-1383555/

All the best,
Flux

(ps What I've observed at the higher games is something akin to shark infested waters waiting for some whale to come along and dump money. For instance, we generally have a 2-5 game or two going on the weekends. I remember one year a BIG fish came, and there were literally half a dozen tables waiting to transfer to his table. It was funny and sad in the same moment.)

Last edited by fluxboy; 11-23-2013 at 12:13 PM. Reason: link correction
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Old 11-23-2013, 01:15 PM   #18
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

Delete thread asap
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:06 PM   #19
Olaff
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Re: 2000 hours of shortstacking, update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fluxboy View Post
Sure:

"Well I did pretty well up to around the $5/$10 step, then I realized oops, bigger games than that don't really run regularly. In fact even the $5/$10 level probably only regularly runs in casinos at like maybe 15 different cities in the US. When I realized this I panicked for awhile. I'm 25 years old, and was faced with the prospect of basically being at the end of my career. Yes, I could improve my game and winrate, but there's diminishing returns and I basically am currently making as much money RIGHT NOW as I will ever make in poker. Being 25 with basically nowhere left to go? Was this really happening?"

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/54...-life-1383555/

All the best,
Flux

(ps What I've observed at the higher games is something akin to shark infested waters waiting for some whale to come along and dump money. For instance, we generally have a 2-5 game or two going on the weekends. I remember one year a BIG fish came, and there were literally half a dozen tables waiting to transfer to his table. It was funny and sad in the same moment.)
Thank you. Imagine your game at such a level where you don't need a whale, and "the sharks" are your whales. No one said it was easy but it's very possible. There are people who consistently CRUSH $5/$10 live, $10/$20 live and all the way up to nosebleeds.
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