I have several very smart poker friends who play in different parts of the country. Some play 2/5 some 1/3. We were all discussing table types and I saw a pattern developing from my own experiences and their own. I was curious of the CLP community's experiences.
Here are some general points....
#1 There is a balance between making money from bluffing and from value. A table that allows you to do both is a better table than one where you can only get one or the other.
#2 We have all seen bet size correlating to fold % generally representing f(x) = log10(x) where x is the amount you bet and the f() is the ratio of the log to 1 in chance your opponent folds. It seems that the chart is correct to a certain point. After specific amounts, depending on the limit, the chance to fold is much higher for many poor players not relevent to the actual pot size.
#3 Table speed has a direct correlation on winrate two fold. 1st off in the number of physical hands you play an hour as a direct impact, 2nd image. So let's say at a normal table you get 32 hands per hour. At a slow table you get 25 hands per hour. That is 22% less. If you translate this into BB/hr assuming max winrate it is 2.2bb/hr loss. The 2nd factor now applies. If the hands are slower and you are tighter you appear to be way more tighter. Looser players spend more actuall time per hand playing a hand while you are greater perceived to be a nit even though your overall VPIP hasn't changed. Just the perception of it. What this translates to is that the players perceive you tighter than you are and don't pay off as often. At a fast table no one notices that you are playing tight. Hands are fast with more of the real time spent between hands not during hands. Then there is the information constraint as a function of time. With faster tables you accumulate more information on players quicker to exploit them before they leave or go bust. At times you get a player playing so unusual it takes time to decipher what they are doing. But if the table is slow they might swap tables or be time to leave before you can figure them out. Now a new unknown sits down. This also directly impacts winrate.
What I found from speaking to everyone is that the worst kind of table is the one in which you have many callers and aggression is higher than normal with little bluffing available. This isn't 2004 where people just pay you off. Since with the constraints mentioned above this table plays out very poorly.
If we raise big, we get a mountain of callers
If we raise small, we get a mountain of callers
Regardless the pot is enormous post flop and often times decisions are harder.
In both examples we assume players are bad....
A) Loose slightly more aggressive than normal table (unbluffable). Say players are calling with 40% of their hands post flop. Pots are bloated, raised more than average aggression. On average you get a 5 way pot. You have QQ with 2 limpers, raise $30, get 4 callers... Pot is now $150 you have $470 left. Preflop QQ has a 40.5% chance to win this hand. But due to the SPR of the pot things are difficult. We can expect to have 2 callers. Flop comes down. We bet $115 players all fold. The bet size is too large to extract value as per #2 above. We risked $145 to win $120. Now lets say we have callers or a caller and someone XRAI. Now we have a decision to make. The pot is enormous. We dumped $145 in the middle already which is almost 1/3rd our stack. Is the idiot with a $400 stack shipping the FD? Is he shipping TPTK? What about the guy in the middle? It seems from the information gathered at these type of tables where the SPR drops ont he flop your winrate has a massive accuracy adjustment based on the factors above. While the players that continue with their draws or hands have less odds than one hoped for they still hit implied. So in this example you bet $115 into $145. Some draw calls, and some pair calls. You are facing 14 outs to the turn with 1/4 to 1/3rd your stack in the middle. It's so hard not to lose the rest. I am not sure if this is simply a function of the same winrate as normal with skyrocketing variance or a lower winrate with skyrocketing variance.
B) Mixed normal aggressive table (bluffable). With the split between loose and tight players most pots having 1-3 opponents. Usually pots are 3 way. What I found is that this is optimal. A 3 way hand builds a pot for value but also allows maximum bluffing power. You have a player squeezed between the raiser and the one with relative position. The middle player is usually the dead money in the hand. Because you CB into 2 players you look stronger than heads up when bluffing and have more pot manipulation with value to have a greater chance to win a larger pot. Technically this table should be tougher than the (A) example due to the tight players. I always make pretty steady low variance income from this kind of table. Usually above the 10bb/hr mark with average luck. So take a hand example using the concepts I listed.
I raise and get 2 callers @ 2/5 with QQ again. In this spot I am 60% to win the hand preflop which is a 50% improvement over playing 4 players. The money I put in better correlates to the chance to win
POT $60 - I bet $40 get one caller
POT $140 - I can bet bluff $110 or value bet under $80. Due to the dynamics of concept #2 my larger bet will get a fold correlation much higher than expected from a cb/fold log chart and a $80 a higher chance of calls. At least this is my experience at 2/5 $100 good hand, $200 strong hand. If you want to bluff the turn or river make your bet over $100 or $200. But lets say in this example I have value and bet $80 and we get a call.
POT $300 - If I bet $150 here I got a lot of good value for my hand $270 of my opponent's money.
But with this pot I have room to fold and it is very unlikely someone will make some XRAI with a draw because the pot is small enough not to warrent it making decisions easier.
Translate this into a 4 way value pot Raise $20
POT $80 - bet $60 - get 2 callers
POT $240 - bet $140 - get 1 caller
POT $520 - I got $380 left to shove.... Or even if I have 1 caller the pot will still be very substantial but to an exact point that let's say my fish XC, XC, Shoves when the spades come it is way more unlikely he is shoving $300 -$400 as a bluff.
I have been seeing tables differently in the past 2 years and I have been accumulating data on it.
f(speed) * f(image adjuster) * f(aggression) * f(pot size) * f(information gathering) * f(bet risk to # of opponents) * f(bluffing power% + value power%) = winrate.
Variance is adjusted by all these variables also. Players aren't that idiotic anymore to just stack off TPWK vs the NF at least from all my experiences at 2/5. The 1/3 games my friends play seems to be more of the (A) games. These games are in LV, LA, and Ohio so 3 different parts of the country. And these games play slightly different. Each of these players are more than competent and highly intelligent players. That last player plays 2/5 and 5/10 and is a better player than I am.
Thoughts? Wouldn't mind the pro's opinions on this? I rarely lose at a (B) type game.