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Old 09-15-2012, 02:10 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2012
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VP$IP: Please help me understand how to use this stat

Hi everyone, this is my first post (and I'm re-learning how to play poker - or should I say, I'm trying to learn how to play the right way)...

So I'm trying to figure out how to meaningfully use VP$IP - so my understanding is that it's how much/or how many times a player voluntarily puts money into the pot pre-flop (is this correct?)

My follow up questions are:
1. How can I keep track of this in a live game (without the help of software & without tipping off the other players I'm tracking them)?
2. What are the implications of this stat? In other words, how can I use that knowledge to my advantage in a game? Is it as simple as, if they have a high VP$IP they're more likely to bluff... what insights can you guys offer about this stat.

Thank you in advance, apologizes if this is a repeat question or a really dumb beginner question. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:21 PM   #2
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Re: VP$IP: Please help me understand how to use this stat

I would say to use tracking software (aka Holdem Manager or Poker Tracker). As far as tipping players off, don't tell them you're using software and DON'T criticize or comment on their play. You may say nice hand once in a while, especially if they played poorly, to encourage their dumb play. VPIP is best used in conjunction with other stats such as flop continuation bet and postflop aggression levels. Someone with a full ring VPIP of 30 and high aggression levels is more likely to be bluffing than a 6 VPIP uber-nit with similar aggression levels.
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:14 PM   #3
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Re: VP$IP: Please help me understand how to use this stat

I've never played live. I've always assumed it's 'just' a case of simple observation, working out who's loose, who's tight. Part of that is going to be seeing what cards guys are showing down.

A guy played AA from UTG? Nothing unusual there.
He opened with 73s from UTG? That's different. Fair to assume he's somewhat looser.

Basically, the higher the VPIP, the wider their range, and the less likely that they're going to have hit any given flop.

Someone who's only opening the top 5% of hands is going to be much stronger on the flop (on average) than someone opening 50% of hands.

Originally Posted by TaePoker View Post
Is it as simple as, if they have a high VP$IP they're more likely to bluff
No, that wouldn't be a safe assumption.
Sure, they might be loose AND bluffy, but they could just be loose, but only go to war when they flop strong.
(Someone else could be relatively tight, but still love to bluff, especially when they sense weakness.)
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
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Re: VP$IP: Please help me understand how to use this stat

Here's a thread that tells you what VPIP percentages typically translate to:

Now, playing live, you won't have access to the exact numbers. You'll also have a small sample size, as the number of hands played per hour is so low in comparison to online. Someone that is usually a total nit might just get dealt big pairs several times.
All you can do is try and categorize players in terms of how loose and how tight they are, and then also look at the sort of hands they show down. Typically, tight players start with strong hands and only go to showdown with strong hands like TPTK, two pair, sets. Loose players start with weak hands and often win with surprising hands that make straights and flushes. Mostly they lose, because they have kicker trouble, or they chase draws and miss.
As for bluffing, you'll just have to watch closely and see if you pick up any tells. If you play solid yourself, you won't need to do much bluffing at all. When you flop a good hand (e.g. strong top pair) then bet it in order to get value from players with weaker pairs or draws. Good luck!
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