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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Update on the midstacking

I've continued to play a shorter midstack game as in my previous post.

After re-reading Professional No limit Holdem, I tried a few little experiments. PNLH says that the average optimum Stack to Pot ratio is 4 (for top pair). So you should put no more than 4x the pot size by the end of the hand.

Let's say the pot is 10BB on the flop. By the river and action has closed, you want to put in only a further 40BBs (less for tighter players and more for looser). This made me devise of a plan to optimize this information.

The common open raise is 3.5 BB, so if there is one caller, the average hand i'm involved in is about 8BBs. 8 x 4 = 32. So after the flop comes, you want to put in a further 32 dollars to maximize top pair, no more, no less. Working this backwards, we can find out what our stack size should be.

32 + 3.5 (preflop raise) = 35.5. Now considering the stakes I play at, you can push top pair a bit higher. The stack to pot ratio can be 4.5, which would lead me to my 40BB stack size.

So if you're ever playing with 40BB and hit top pair, you are almost always committed and can never be exploited.

Another move at 40BBs you can employ is the flop steal. In the blinds if there is a button stealer who always cbets you can profitably smooth call with any two preflop and then check raise any flop all in. I never had the balls to try it with any two, but I did try it with hands like KJ where I would often miss but have overcards or some sort of draw. Of course if people catch on, you'd need to balance this by doing it when you hit top pair also.

40BBs was good, but I felt that it took away my ability to 3bet. I almost never 3bet lightly b/c it only gave me one chance to win. If they don't fold preflop then a cbet would commit me. I really enjoy having 2 chances to win. I enjoy the 3bet preflop and then if I choose to do so on a good flop, the cbet. This is not possible with 40BBs as any cbet will give you good odds to call someone's all in and you will have to play the guessing game. 50BBs allows you to not only 3bet but also cbet and fold to new information.

Of course the downside of 50BBs is that if you get it all in eventually with top pair your stack to pot ratio is almost at 6. Which is the looser end of top pair.

I'll take that b/c I enjoy the occasional 3bet too much and I play tight as it is and need any weapon I can get to loosen up my image.

posted by joe | permalink | 2 comments


At 2:12 AM, Blogger observations said...

This is really interesting. How's the new strategy working out -- is your hourly going up with a 40-50bb stack? I don't think I've ever seen anyone rebuy to 40-50bb at an online table - is this a totally original idea or did it come from seeing someone else use it?

At 12:37 PM, Blogger joe said...

my hourly has gone down but my EV luck graph also shows that i have been unlucky.

my friend whom was a winning 100BB full stack player at my stakes has been convinced and converted by myself to switch to 50BB and his hourly has doubled.

with only a month of using this strategy, the sample size is too small so only time will tell. one thing is for sure is that his rakeback will nearly double.

i have not seen anyone else use this midstack strategy and it came to me while reading PNLH awhile back (which was when i switched to 65BB and made my highest hourly rate). After rereading PNLH i have decided that 40-50 would be better.


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