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Table types

FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 1,906Subscriber
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.


  • QuantumSurfer Posts: 64Subscriber
    I definitely agree that slow, overly laggy tables suck. Basically half of what you wrote summed up what I've been thinking about over the past month, but you've done more to quantify it than I have. About twice a week a game breaks at one of the 5/5 tables that's filled with a group of Aggro Fish. After playing ~20 hrs in some of these intense games, I came to find that while people are very wide pre flop, getting paid post isn't as easy as it sounds. The greatest leak players have is wide pf ranges, but they're more or less competent post flop through sheer experience. They're not at the level where they calculate pot odds & such, but they can make big lay downs when I guy like me who hasn't played a hand in the past hour tries to go for three streets.

    Speaking of 3 streets though... sometimes the SPRs in these games are ridiculously small there's no such thing as 3 streets. My particular game has a $600 cap, so 120bb. When there's a straddle going around 99% of the time, that brings it down to 60bb. On top of that, raises to $80 often end up in 4, even 5 way pots. The game plays much more like 10/20 with short stacks. And even though a hand is usually played out over two streets, the multiway nature of these games slows the hands/hr to a crawl. One time the table was doing a bomb pot every 40 minutes with a dealer change and one of those hands alone took 10 minutes as some doofus pondered what to do with his 7 high flush draw facing 5 all ins that themselves were tanked over forever.

    tl;dr: some games may look juicy but if you're not seeing many hands/hr and can't buy in deep they're likely not worth it.
  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 1,906Subscriber
    Lot's of factors to absorb. I posted this same post on RCP. Lot's of theory guys there. One thing they mentioned which I couldn't put my finger on exactly was "ownership of equity" regarding leveraging the pot in these scenarios especially OOP.

    So say you raise to with QQ and get 4 callers for a pot of $100.
    You bet $60 from UTG or they check to you and you bet. Either way your action is 1st.

    You have committed $80 to win $80 when on a typical board you are to win by the river vs all hands ~40% of the time. Considering 1/2 the players call usually you are seeing some kind of draw + some kind of pair hand. So now you face 11-13 outs to the turn + about 40% of the deck might help one or the other player pick up equity.

    The thing is you are putting in more of your fair share in the pot than your chance of winning or it's really close.

    The bet example was a 3/5 PSB only.

    In a smaller pot like a limped pot you can easily bet fold. People aren't going crazy in small pots. You deny odds, deny pay and on top of that you can get paid by more. But in a fat bloated pot, and as you mentioned, these fish don't pay off like it's 2004.

    I remember many hands in which were like this and I bet a ratio reasonable amount but because it was into so many my hand was obvious strength and everyone folded. I put in that $80 to win $80 when overall I only owned 40% of the pot in the type A games. So if I get called again I face a turn dilemma with 1PSB left effectively. While I am not exactly giving super odds to other players I am risking a fuck of a lot for a marginal +EV spot without leverage.

    It's an additional invisible factor that I was witnessing but I couldn't find the right terms to express it.

    Which is exactly the problems my friends have. And they are pretty good players well above the field of sheeple. Now factor in all of the above I posted.

    I also reversed this thinking. Some OMC limp calls a raise in a multiway pot with AA vs my QQ in the worst relative position. I value own myself in a large pot vs him as he XCs down. If he raised and bet would I give him the same action? Ultimately OMC loses with this play as he doesn't know how to play post flop.

    Thus if we are in this situation OOP vs the field in a bloated pot should we consider checking even on a 973r board vs 5 players and watching the action. Keeping our fair share of the pot cost low while gathering more information on everyone's hand while disguising our own? Well should we be doing it enough.
  • maphacks Posts: 1,868Subscriber
    IMO you think about this in the wrong way.

    EV does not get influenced by variance. what does matter is the skill level of the average player. sure, call happy tables with few bluffing opportunities might be boring and you feel like you can't use all of your tools but in exchange you win so much more when you make a hand.
    and I would really stop using formulas like "$100 is a big hand" or calling recrational players idiots. from your posts you seem to be a nit so certainly not in the position to call the guy who donates you the money because he enjoys playing with the other "non nits" at the table an idiot. I know this sounds very agressive towards you but I would tell this 90% of the people here and it makes me a little sad that almost every hand I read here starts with "I have a very nitty image". be properly rolled and embrace the fucking variance or stop playing. anyone every wondered why the fun players all go to PLO these days?
    sry if this is too much out of line, maybe you are a funny nit and talk a lot of shit and give the recs a good time. but 95%+ that's not case for nits.


    just in case <3
  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 1,906Subscriber
    My play adjusts with the table. I play NIT to LAG depending on the table and how card dead I am. At a non-bluffable table you can't really decide that after 2 hours of folding this is a good spot to 3b 43s because you haven't played for 2 hours. They still call and you screw yourself.

    And yes I do give the recs a huge fun time. One book totally changed my mindset on this. Ace on the River - Barry Greenstein.

    Recreational players are there to have a good time. You are there to make money. So show the recreational player a good time and they will pay you money. paraphrasing.

    The psychological aspect of the game is a lot larger than most people realize. You are treat the fish to a good time they play more predictable vs you, show hole cards, give you pots because they like you, etc.

    Let me rephrase I think 2 different actions can yield different quality of decision points that change the EV because your action changes the range of your opponent and the ease of a decision.
  • Stacks4days Posts: 3Member
    edited January 13
    To be frank, it sounds like those “OMC nits” who limp call you with AA and letting you value cut yourself are outplaying you. It’s immature and counterproductive to be complaining about them having stopped playing their hands face up against you. They’ve adjusted. You haven’t.

    And those “aggro fish recs” who are super loose but adept post flop because “it’s not 2004” and “can lay down tpwk in bloated pots” to not pay you off, yet call down when they can realize their equity, are also outplaying you. Even “idiots” can figure out who to stop giving action to. It sounds like you just don’t know how to deal with high variance games, even when those high variance games are also high EV.

    You’re only capable of playing “LAG” against weak tight opponents. But you have trouble playing against “aggro fish recs”. It’s a good idea to avoid those players if you don’t know how to play against them and they just run you over. Your hands are face up to them. These “aggro fish recs” are trying to win too. You make it sound like everyone is a mindless fun-loving idiot and their sole purpose of sitting down at a poker table is to donate money to you and get frustrated when they don’t.
  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 1,906Subscriber
    I said idiot once in the original post. In South Florida or NYC saying fuck you or you're an idiot is like saying "good morning" or "that was a poor choice" so chill out you oversensitive 2 post hippie. Instead try saying something productive or counter me. I like being challenged.

    When I post something like this it is to engage people to think about something maybe some have a problem with. Not everyone on CLP is a fucking genius. Some are just starting. I have helped quite a few less experienced players be better players. I don't particularly have a problem with any kind of table. A lot of what I know is fairly intuitive but this scenario came up with some friends up and I wanted to work it out mathematically. Thought it would be a good post. Better to know why and how to do something then just how. Understanding the foundations of how something operates far improves your ability to critically think beyond it. I figured out my mathematical answer anyways to this problem.

  • Stacks4days Posts: 3Member
    ^You’re the one being overly sensitive and defensive when it’s pointed out that you are getting outplayed by those you deem inferior. Good luck with that.
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