Should I Ever NOT max buyin when bankroll is not an issue?

Jb213Jb213 Red Chipper Posts: 8 ✭✭
Hey everyone.

Just thought I could get everyones 2 cents on a specific spot.

I play 1.2 and 1.3 live NL. I currently have a win rate of about $37 an hour at about 400 hours of play ( a very small sample size i know)

Despite this, i consider myself very ignorant in the game of no limit holdem and quite frankly i am starting to get frustrated as I dont think i am growing despite watching numerous videos a week. I currently have a bankroll of about 36K (although my personal trainer is taking a big chunk out of this as i havent been playing much live as im usually totally exhausted after a 2 hour workout)

I always used to buyin for the max (500) and usually add on when neccessary to keep that.

Lately, i have been debating this.

The biggest argument for me actually comes from The first chapter (The Lobsters) from Jorden Petersen's book "12 Rules for Life" (an absolute must read btw)

Without getting too specific (as theres no way im typing it all out and i dont got the ebook) it has to do with serotonin. If i buyin for 100 instead of 500 and double (or triple) up it, my brain will produce Serotonin and i will perform better after said double up. However I am unsure if this argument is valid enough when it comes to producing winrate. I have been experimenting with the $100 buyin and already i have gone through 2 session where i have dumped 5-6 buyins only to win it all back. It doesnt seem to be that effective.

Hand 9 in Soto's Late Position book gives an example of limp shoving KQ suited against a maniac. In the hand he states.

"Most players do not even bother asking themselves this question, but it is an important one. At this table, I decided to buy in for the table minimum: 50BB, or $100 at this $1/$2 game. If the game was going to be splashy it would be easy to get all-in pre-flop with an edge."

This is certainly true and is a very good short stack play that i take advantage of whenever the situation presents itself, but is it optimal? Wouldent my win rate be hire if i had the maniac covered?

Dont think im hating on short stackers. If i am taking a beating in the game and im obviously getting rattled i will often play short until i cool off (or win a big pot). Im just unsure as to the benefits of playing a short stack in certain situations trump playing a deep stack (when bankroll is no issue)


  • EurocratEurocrat Red Chipper Posts: 46 ✭✭
    I personally don't really buy the serotonin argument. As poker players, are we not supposed to have a mindset focused on quality of our play and not the short-term financial outcomes? So with the right mindset, you should produce the same amount of serotonin regardless of your stack when you make the same level of quality strategic play?

    I do see the point that as a short stacker, you can have a preflop edge, but I would also say its a much less entertaining way of playing the game, so you would be much faster depleted.

    Lastly, from a strategic point of view, I would argue that if you sit down at a table with 7 regs that are exactly as good as you are with 200 bb each and a fish with 80 bb, you should buy in for 80 bb only.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,840 -
    Most discussions I've seen on the topic have concluded that, while short-stacking is an unbeatable strategy when executed properly, it caps win-rate.

    That said, when I played cash I switched from a 150bb to 100bb buy-in to force myself to play tighter until I had a read on the table. I wrote a fluff piece on it a couple of years ago.

    I suspect at some level there's a complicated interplay involving an individual's skill level and personal psychology. Given that, the guiding principle may be to take whichever path is the most fun.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,888 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 11
    My guess is that if you're trying to determine your buy-in based on serotonin levels as a way of optimizing your win rate, you're going about this poker strategy thing wrong.

    If your opponents make a lot more errors against a short stack strategy, buy in short. If they make a lot more errors against a deep stack strategy, buy in deep. And then just learn to pay attention.
  • EazzyEazzy Red Chipper Posts: 992 ✭✭✭✭
    In this deep stacked hand of the week, Johnathan little talks a bit about buying in short. Kind of interesting.

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