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Old 06-18-2008, 01:15 PM   #1
LunaEqualsLuna
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Angry The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

When i first started lurking on these forums I always found it being said that a learning player should always buy in for 100BB and as a result I did so myself.

After reading PNL and finally understanding the importance of stack sizes I realised that my natural reluctance to stack of 100BB in a non-3bet pot actually had some proper theoretical grounding, and made me realise why 100BB stacks made TPTK hands so hard to play and decided to develop a 40BB-60BB style. I chose this stack size because:

1) its perfect for TPTK and overpair type hands

2) its not as dull as short stacking 20BB

3) this staack is often enough to just about cover the majority of fish. Fish tend to buy in for weird amounts ranging from 20BB-80BB or buy in for 100BB and don't reload so end up with mid stacks.

4) It allows me to play back at the annoying allin 20Bb short stackers by calling their shoves and squeezes without worrying about that full stack left to act just waiting to stack me for 100BB with AA

5) it works perfectly at exploiting the tendency of opponents to call with speculative hands that cannot get sufficient implied odds from my mid stack.

6) Many experienced players seem to think anyone who buys in for 50BB is a clueless idiot and tend to stack of 50BB far lighter than if i had bought in for 100BB where they would be less likely to pay off 50BB in the same scenario.

Point 5 is the main one i like because with the exception of the most clueless of fish, most people know better than to set mine or call with suited connectors trying to stack a 20BB shortstacker...but they will readily do it for my 40-60BB stack because "I read that if stack sizes ~10x raise...I should set mine my 22's!!!!!"

I also learnt a LOT about what hands to play and how to play them depending on stack sizes by simplifying the game and restricting the subset of hands I can play and then gradually adding more hands as i increase my stack size.

Right now I have moved up from a 40BB-50BB style to playing a 45-75BB stack size where i buyin for 45 and leave if get over 75BB. I have learnt how to adjust my playing style as my stack size increases, gradually mixing in more speculative hands and deemphasising TPTK and over pair hands in non 3bet preflop pots.

I personally hate when i see someone post 'never buy in for less than 100BB' or 'always reload' to beginners. Some people learn different ways and I've restricting the game to a 40BB stack size and gradually expanding the scope of the game has worked for me. Jumping into 100BB can often be so overwhelming that it is easy to miss some subtle points that become much more obvious playing shorter. Also, I must say mid stack is not an awkward stack size to play with (as i often see written by some posters) its only awkward if you are not used to playing it.

Don't be afraid to practise buying in for shorter and learning a different way of playing, because it will definately improve your overall game.
Just my 2BB.
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Old 06-18-2008, 01:17 PM   #2
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

yah but you can't win as much ldo
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Old 06-18-2008, 01:19 PM   #3
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

in 2 yrs ull look back on this post n ask urself 'jeez wtf was i thinking back then; i was so bad!"
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Old 06-18-2008, 01:20 PM   #4
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

Buying in deep teaches you how to play a wider variety of poker, than just the "I have a pair, lets get the chips in the middle" game.
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Old 06-18-2008, 01:21 PM   #5
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

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Originally Posted by Bushleague24 View Post
yah but you can't win as much ldo
Yes. But how much do you lose?
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:10 PM   #6
LunaEqualsLuna
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Angry Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

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in 2 yrs ull look back on this post n ask urself 'jeez wtf was i thinking back then; i was so bad!"
After 2 years of doing ANYTHING i would hope I improved enough to be able to look back and see that I have significantly progressed...

Quote:
Buying in deep teaches you how to play a wider variety of poker, than just the "I have a pair, lets get the chips in the middle" game.
Anyone who plays 45BB-75BB poker knows this is not always 'I have a pair lets get all in poker', unless you are playing on a table of complete of mostly idiots (in which case I reload to 100BB after a few orbits). I specifically play this range because its not always just get a pair and go all in, But it is easy to manipulate the pot into such a scenario if you wish.

Additionally the aim is to learn to play deep but by gradually playing deeper to better appreciate how stack sizes affect the game and make the process smoother slowly adding more playable cards. Additionally experience playing with mid-stacks for 20K+ hands means I can often determine what stack size I feel would be most best for me to use at a particular table since very few tables have 100BB full stacked fish at them only.

Either this mantra of never buyin for less than 100BB is just a case of people thinking closed mindedly because 'everyone' says always buyin or 100BB and they themselves learnt poker by playing 100BB deep so everyone should learn the same way. Or its just a case of wanting new players to 'pay their dues' by donking of their 100BB stacks to better players (as they probably did at first) instead of 40BB stacks. (There seems to be a huge angst against shortstackers for no reason other than the fact that people do not want to adjust to them being there)

I'm still a beginner but I'm constantly learning and improving and have been fortunate enough to have run my initial $100 deposit up to a healthy bankroll for 30+ buyins at 25NL without ever having to redeposit and being profitable right away (mostly due to 2+2).

Either way all i'm suggesting is there are better ways to learn to swim than to jump straight into the deep end (pun intended). Some people prefer (and learn better) by starting in the shallow and slowly venturing into the deeper end as they gain more confidence.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:18 PM   #7
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

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Originally Posted by Bushleague24 View Post
yah but you can't win as much ldo
And if his AA gets cracked by a set or any other strange stuff he can't lose as much either. I have a friend who never buys in for the max and he a very winning player and I had brought the very same point up to him not long ago and that was his answer to me and it makes sence, so now I never buy in for that max unless I'm just goofing off.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:23 PM   #8
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

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Originally Posted by udbrky View Post
Buying in deep teaches you how to play a wider variety of poker, than just the "I have a pair, lets get the chips in the middle" game.
The important point of books like PNL is that 100bb is not deep. 200bb is kinda deep. Playing for 100bb might force you to play better, only because it's such an awkward stack size.

I think OP is has taken one step past the "buy in deeper, you can win more" mantra, and is learning to understand the game better. A further step forward will be when he can buy in for 100bb and show better profits despite the awkward stack. kudos for learning to see how stack size affects your play.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:30 PM   #9
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

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Originally Posted by ImLiL"C" View Post
And if his AA gets cracked by a set or any other strange stuff he can't lose as much either. I have a friend who never buys in for the max and he a very winning player and I had brought the very same point up to him not long ago and that was his answer to me and it makes sence, so now I never buy in for that max unless I'm just goofing off.
Dude, no, just, no, that's like the worst reason to buy-in short.

You should *WANT* to have as much money at the table when you're all-in preflop with Aces. If you lose, cooler, oh well, but you should want your chips in the middle when you're an 80% favorite, if you don't, you need to re-evaluate your play.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:48 PM   #10
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

Man, I wish people wouldn't read Eric Miller or PNL, because short-stacking isn't Poker, and you'll never learn to play Poker if you short-stack. Just play limit, getting AA cracked only costs 8 PTBB there

200BB or go home.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:49 PM   #11
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

I've always been a believer that you either do one or the other, buy in deep for 100BB or short for 20BB and nothing in between.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:50 PM   #12
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

Your stacksize should reflect your skill level relative to the skill level of other players on the table. Often when moving up, I'll play 40-60bb until I get my feet under me.

From a SPR perspective, it's much easier to get the pot the correct size for a push with big pair when you're playing 40bb rather than with 100bb.

However, that being said. Playing deeper is much more profitable for a solid player with a good post-flop game. All of this is explained in detail in "professional no limit holdem". Very good book.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:51 PM   #13
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

Long term, I think learning to play a full range of stack sizes is crucial, because the effective stack sizes you'll find yourself up against these days are all over the place. You can certainly learn faster buying in full, but the lessons tend to be more expensive, too.

So my suggestion is to buy in short, but never rathole. You double up, that means you're ready for a lesson at midstacks. Double again, and you're ready to learn medium-deep (with a bonus chapter on defending against those pesky shorties - you'll need it).
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:52 PM   #14
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

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Originally Posted by Cruzerthebruzer View Post
Dude, no, just, no, that's like the worst reason to buy-in short.

You should *WANT* to have as much money at the table when you're all-in preflop with Aces. If you lose, cooler, oh well, but you should want your chips in the middle when you're an 80% favorite, if you don't, you need to re-evaluate your play.
The AA thing was just an example I ment any situation you find yourself all in.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:53 PM   #15
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

It was a bad example.
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:00 PM   #16
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

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Originally Posted by Cruzerthebruzer View Post
Dude, no, just, no, that's like the worst reason to buy-in short.

You should *WANT* to have as much money at the table when you're all-in preflop with Aces. If you lose, cooler, oh well, but you should want your chips in the middle when you're an 80% favorite, if you don't, you need to re-evaluate your play.
I don't see where the poster you responded to specified getting it in pre-flop. Or is that inherent in the word "cracked"? Does the word cracked only apply if you got it in way ahead and they sucked out? If you were unable to lay down aces post-flop against clear indications of a set/straight/whatever mean you can't say they were cracked? (<--not sarcasm, I seriously want to correct my vocabulary if I've been screwing this up)
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:08 PM   #17
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

I need lrn2reed.

My mistake, still should not buyin short because of fear of losing with AA. Saying Aces cracked can refer to anytime your Aces lose. I don't use the term unless I'm all-in preflop, though.

Apologies.
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:19 PM   #18
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

If you want to play shortstacked, why play cash games? Just play SNGs instead. When you're comfortable with that, move to playing deeper stacks in cash games.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:18 AM   #19
LunaEqualsLuna
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Angry Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

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Originally Posted by ngaskin View Post
I've always been a believer that you either do one or the other, buy in deep for 100BB or short for 20BB and nothing in between.
I believed this exact thing as well, but as i'm not a fan of blindly believing something without understanding the reasons behind i did some reading and after going through PNL and Mathematics Of Poker, I realised there is no reason a mid stack strategy based on exploitive play couldn't be successful at the levels I play and decided to try it myself.

Quote:
So my suggestion is to buy in short, but never rathole. You double up, that means you're ready for a lesson at midstacks. Double again, and you're ready to learn medium-deep (with a bonus chapter on defending against those pesky shorties - you'll need it).
Well to rathole or not is a touchy issue, I have no problem with people doubling up through me and ratholing, so i don't lose any sleep over ratholing someone else, If i don't want to play 100BB+ poker its my choice not to. I prefer to focus on a narrow range of stack sizes by ratholing once i go above my maximum range and then once i feel i'm ready to increase my stack size I gradually extend my rathole upper bound.

I personally believe every game has an optimal stack size that can extract the most BB/100 per unit risk that is dependant on:

1) the general skill level of the players at the table
2) the stack sizes at the table
3) the hero's playing style and skill level.
4) The biggest mistakes being made at the table

If the biggest mistake at a table are 100BB deep players stacking of TPTK then I buy in for the max and setmine a bit more and start felting two-pair i'm not ratholing this table.

If the biggest mistake is 20-40BB deep players set mining and playing suited connectors and Axs type hands I will buy in for 40-50BB and entice them to limp call with virtually no implied odds and can safely felt my TPTK hands while not getting caught by other full stackers exploiting me.

If the biggest mistake are above average (for whatever level you play at) 100BB players not adjusting to the above average 20BB shortstackers resteals etc. Buying in for amount inbetween these two stack sizes can be very profitable allowing you to exploit both the tendency of the short stacker to stack of light and being able to still have enough behind to make life tricky for the full stacker who perhaps knows the shorty is stacking off light but has to worry about your midstack.

I have every intention of maybe eventually learning 200BB+ deep stack poker, but there is more than one way to rome and i'm just presenting my experience of an alternate route to get there for those that for whatever reason do not feel like playing 100BB.

Quote:
If you want to play shortstacked, why play cash games? Just play SNGs instead. When you're comfortable with that, move to playing deeper stacks in cash games.
Because shortstacking cash games is not equal to being shortstacked in SNGs.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:22 AM   #20
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

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in 2 yrs ull look back on this post n ask urself 'jeez wtf was i thinking back then; i was so bad!"
this.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:26 AM   #21
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

i suggest to rethink buyin sizes more towards the players at your table and where you are seated in relation to them.

but your skill level and comfort zone needs to be taken in to account as well.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:33 AM   #22
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

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Originally Posted by Ray Zee View Post
i suggest to rethink buyin sizes more towards the players at your table and where you are seated in relation to them.

but your skill level and comfort zone needs to be taken in to account as well.

Hmm, does that mean that if I am rolled for NL25 (35+) buyins, but playing on scared money (I mean, 25 bucks is alot to me, and swings can be up to 5+ buyins per day), then maybe I could buy in for 15$-17$ and play like that?
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:34 AM   #23
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

Buy in for max allows you to out play your oppents if they have a max buy ins aswell,
Only time where you dont really want to buyin for the max is when you feel like gambling
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Old 06-19-2008, 01:11 PM   #24
LunaEqualsLuna
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Angry Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

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Originally Posted by si777 View Post
Buy in for max allows you to out play your oppents if they have a max buy ins aswell,
Only time where you dont really want to buyin for the max is when you feel like gambling
What a ridiculous statement. So 100BB is 'poker' but 50BB is 'gambling'. Maybe its 'gambling' when you play with 50BBs...

Its amazing how closed minded some people can be to certain things and are happy to regurgitate what they have been told with no basis for its truth except the fact that others have also stated it.

At no point did I advocate playing only ~50BB forever (though I see nothing wrong with doing so) 100BB is an extremely tricky stack size for a beginner to play with and 40-60BB poker provides enough room to learn the basics like when to commit with TPTK and when not to as well as how to make it easier to play TPTK by controllilng preflop raises. It turns the game into a 4street game and prevents new players from getting outplayed while they don't know wtf they are doing.

While I found this forum EXTREMELY helpful and without it I would definately be much more a noob than i am now, it does seem pretty odd that so many people are adamant that 100BB is the only way to learn. If deeper is best then why not learn on 200BB tables? Why are most of the hands posted here from 100BB tables and not 200BB tables if deeper is better?

The main benefit to playing 100BB as opposed to any other stack size for the beginner is that the majority of the advice in this forum is tailored towards 100BB poker so players that don't understand the subtlety in how stack sizes affect how the game is played will often misuse the advice they read here, But none of it is rocket science and it really does not take long to realise how the game plays differently depending on how short your stack is. Unfortunately for those wanting to try out shorter stack sizes, posts advocating shorter stack sized strategies are usually swamped by the usual:

1) Play proper poker buy in for 100BB plz.
2) Win rate is lower with shorter stack. 100BB = more moneiz.
3) You won't learn the pokersz if u don't play for 100BB.
4) If its less than 100BB its not poker
5) U suck.
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Old 06-19-2008, 01:23 PM   #25
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Re: The Never Buy in for less than 100BB 'rule'

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Originally Posted by jcl View Post
in 2 yrs ull look back on this post n ask urself 'jeez wtf was i thinking back then; i was so bad!"
Basically I agree, but I think if OP continues to develop his game and his bankroll he'll realize that he was simply a beginner. After I read PNL I breifly played an 80BB stack for some of the same reasons as OP. The real problem was that I was just not that comfortable with post-flop play... something that IMO is much more dependent on experience as opposed to learning a rote strategy.

I think we should all respect the fact that OP is putting this much thought into his strategy and if he continues to do so I'm sure he will be a much better player in 2 years as you indicate.
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