Help with Live PFR Size

CloutierCloutier FloridaRed Chipper Posts: 32 ✭✭
So I've been playing a lot of live poker lately. For the most part it's been going really well. However, I often find myself in multiway spots that I just can't win. I've tried adjusting my open sizing but it really doesn't seem to make much of a difference.

And I'm only talking about certain tables. Obviously this isn't always the case, but when it is I find it very difficult to profit. Which usually means I lose a whole day of profit.

Yesterday, for example, I was at a 2/2 table trying to find the sweet spot. I usually sit down and watch for what seems normal for the table. No one ever really raised. So I started at $6 and worked my way up.

Eventually I landed on $20 for while. But it didn't matter. We were still going 5+ players to the flop.

So my question is how do you deal with this?

Surely $20 opens aren't sustainable when you're still going 5+ players to the flop.

What I found was that, even at $20 opens (at 2/2...not 2/5) multiple players were still coming in, but also hands like JJ, QQ and even AA would not raise (partially because of the sizing it would take, imo).

I know 3bets are rare at these stakes anyway but getting flatted by both Q5o and AA, I felt really lost.

I know we want weak players calling us. But the truth is, a game like this can quickly burn your stacks long before the math starts to work out in your favor.

Do you just continue this way, patiently waiting to hit big hands? Do you change tables? (yesterday i couldn't. I was waiting on 2/5 so no other tables were available)

I hate the idea of switching because I know these are the players I want to sit with. And yesterday's table specifically was even a fun talkative table. I had a good time with the everyone there. But it just wasn't profitable enough.

I'd love to hear any advice you have. Please also share any resources or critique.

Comments

  • CriminalBizzyCriminalBizzy Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 33 ✭✭
    That is an interesting problem that I think a good majority of thinking poker players will find themselves facing when playing lower stakes. Personally in my experience I found that looking for 3 bet spots is the most helpful to deal with limpers but when no one is raising pre-flop... well then the only thing you can do is turn up the pressure.

    A couple of questions about these limpers. When you are getting called are you usually in position or out of position? Do you get called when you open raise from under the gun? How many players are at a table? Are you increasing your raise sizes based on the number of limpers in the pot (i.e. Normal raise is 10xBB but +1 BB for each limper)? Is this the only location you can play poker?
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,931 -
    Something that jumped out at me. If your large opens are getting flatted by AA and Q5o, then most of the time you're in a relatively low SPR pot with a real hand against junk.
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  • CloutierCloutier FloridaRed Chipper Posts: 32 ✭✭
    That is an interesting problem that I think a good majority of thinking poker players will find themselves facing when playing lower stakes. Personally in my experience I found that looking for 3 bet spots is the most helpful to deal with limpers but when no one is raising pre-flop... well then the only thing you can do is turn up the pressure.

    A couple of questions about these limpers. When you are getting called are you usually in position or out of position? Do you get called when you open raise from under the gun? How many players are at a table? Are you increasing your raise sizes based on the number of limpers in the pot (i.e. Normal raise is 10xBB but +1 BB for each limper)? Is this the only location you can play poker?

    I've been thinking about this more and more. And it seems like I'm having the most trouble OOP. I guess that makes sense. But I'm pretty tight. Maybe I should tighten up even more though.

    When I open UTG, I will get more folds than normal, especially using the bigger sizing. But not more than 2 or 3 folds (in general).

    I haven't been increasing the size based on limpers. I'm a naturally timid player so bigger sizes already scare me. But I know this is something I need to work on.

    There is another location close to me but the players there are actually better than me on average. And all the tables are deepstacked. Which is nice because no one there can buyin for $40, but I just don't feel like I'm good enough to play there yet. I do go sometimes and do ok. But it's something I'm kinda working up to.

    Usually we're 7-8 handed tables right now. often it will be 6 though.

    I do think about trying to find 3bet spots more. But in these types of tables they don't come up much. And I think once they put money--even just $2--they're seeing a flop.

    And I know going even bigger would probably eliminate my issue here, but I also want to try and get value from my good hands.
  • CloutierCloutier FloridaRed Chipper Posts: 32 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Something that jumped out at me. If your large opens are getting flatted by AA and Q5o, then most of the time you're in a relatively low SPR pot with a real hand against junk.

    You're right but I think I'm missing your point.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,931 -
    Cloutier wrote: »
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Something that jumped out at me. If your large opens are getting flatted by AA and Q5o, then most of the time you're in a relatively low SPR pot with a real hand against junk.

    You're right but I think I'm missing your point.

    The point is having massive range advantage in a low SPR pot is a pretty good situation.

    Yes, in these games with massively multiway pots, it's not uncommon to get stuck five buy-ins. But the win rate for a good player should be high. In other words, it's possible that your issue here is more psychological than technical.
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  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,317 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You are struggling because your large opens don't follow how the game works. You are incentivized to put less money in aggregate in the pot with more actors behind you, not more money. You can lean on large sizings under certain parameters, such as friday night drunk games or whenever some gaping exploit presents itself, but as you play more and more hands the game generally moves closer to what is "correct."

    Once you are in a mw situation your equity declines and giving up more hands is normal, but because of the excess of overcalls the passive money more than compensates you for your give ups and losses in the spots you can continue. So you can immediately see one reason why the initial investment should be small - and there are more reasons than this one. The field literally can't manufacture a WR against a good (read tight) utg range if you play this range remotely correctly, despite essentially colluding to dilute your equity, given their individual flats will nearly always have a lesser share than yours, even though you end up with less than fifty percent of the pot.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,931 -
    If we're playing 100bb deep, opening to 10bb, and going 5-way to the flop, isn't the positional disadvantage massively reduced, particularly when these multiple "actors" are flatting with Q5o? In other words, there are two related problems playing from EP: there are more people who can put you in an OOP spot, and a higher probability that someone has a premium hand. Those two factors are what disincentivize large opens. In the game texture described, both are mitigated.
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  • CloutierCloutier FloridaRed Chipper Posts: 32 ✭✭
    @TheGameKat you’ve given me a lot to think about and that’s what I’ve been doing.

    You’re absolutely right about the psychological vs technical. Some of that comes from uncertainty about how things should be going vs. how they are going, my skill level. And some, probably, is due to impatience among other things.

    I always thought we wanted to go to the flop with as few players as possible.

    The thinking being that one player with a high vpip is a dream spot but 5 players with a similar range is a nightmare. Someone is bound to hit something, leaving my range advantage useless to their collective "nut" advantage.

    So does this mean I should just be waiting to hit big hands that hold up multiway? That feels wrong to me but I understand that’s the nature of live low stakes.

    I feel like I've done well so far playing that way but that could also be contributed to luck alone.

    I just didn’t know if there's anything else I could (or should) do to improve in spots like this. Obviously if there’s more I can do I want to do it.

    I hope I’m interpreting everything you’re saying correctly. I'm kinda slow sometimes so please let me know if not. I appreciate your advice and the time you've given up.
  • CloutierCloutier FloridaRed Chipper Posts: 32 ✭✭
    @persuadeo
    persuadeo wrote: »
    You are struggling because your large opens don't follow how the game works. You are incentivized to put less money in aggregate in the pot with more actors behind you, not more money. You can lean on large sizings under certain parameters, such as friday night drunk games or whenever some gaping exploit presents itself, but as you play more and more hands the game generally moves closer to what is "correct."

    Once you are in a mw situation your equity declines and giving up more hands is normal, but because of the excess of overcalls the passive money more than compensates you for your give ups and losses in the spots you can continue. So you can immediately see one reason why the initial investment should be small - and there are more reasons than this one. The field literally can't manufacture a WR against a good (read tight) utg range if you play this range remotely correctly, despite essentially colluding to dilute your equity, given their individual flats will nearly always have a lesser share than yours, even though you end up with less than fifty percent of the pot.

    When you say, "as you play more and more hands the game generally moves closer to what is "correct." You mean in terms of equity, right?

    I do know my equity declines mw and that's the main reasoning behind the larger opens. But of course, instinctively I see the need to reduce the sizing. I just assumed (based on study) that I was supposed to "make limpers pay". And to try and isolate weak players.

    I think the study for online poker vs live is much different than people realize (myself especially). Aggression is always touted as being the ultimate strategy but it seems like in this situation that might not always be true. At least preflop.

    Since reading your comment and the others' I've been thinking more and more about how I play postflop. I probably have more issues there than I realized. Maybe that's where my ral mistakes come from.

    When I get home I'm going to post a hand from yesterday that I have a feeling is going to highlight my postflop weaknesses.

    Anyway, thanks for your help. I've read and read all these comments and will probably do so a few more times. Lots of valuable insight here. I appreciate it.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,317 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I do know my equity declines mw and that's the main reasoning behind the larger opens. But of course, instinctively I see the need to reduce the sizing. I just assumed (based on study) that I was supposed to "make limpers pay". And to try and isolate weak players.
    Well to be clear you said "opens" in your original post, so I assumed you were talking about your RFI strategy. A limp opens the pot, so what you seem to be saying here is that you are raising limpers, which is a different scenario. Or maybe you are talking about both and we should address both.

    That said, you don't increase your equity through sizing necessarily. If it is the case you get folds from hands that would otherwise call, your equity share increases but if they are truly inelastic to size and always calling, your equity preflop doesn't change. Note however that while equity may not change in this scenario, EV changes as now different hands in your range behave differently at different SPRs. This matters because your strategy should revolve around EV, not equity.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,931 -
    Concerning your point about always wanting to go to the flop with as few players as possible.

    Part of that is an artifact of poker training material, part of it that if we could play every hand HU IP versus one opponent we'd have a great win rate without ever needing to be very good at poker.

    The issue is that some games are going to see a lot of multiway flops whatever we do. But that also means that your opponents are making a massive mistake. So they're should be a way of profiting from that.

    The issue is that to profit from it you have to be in the hand, and you're going to win a far lower fraction of multiway hands than you would HU, so the variance goes through the roof.
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  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,317 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    If we're playing 100bb deep, opening to 10bb, and going 5-way to the flop, isn't the positional disadvantage massively reduced, particularly when these multiple "actors" are flatting with Q5o? In other words, there are two related problems playing from EP: there are more people who can put you in an OOP spot, and a higher probability that someone has a premium hand. Those two factors are what disincentivize large opens. In the game texture described, both are mitigated.

    Yes but this is only if the range is adjusted for the sizing, meaning shrunk to a point that allows itself to go to the felt easily. In other words, if he is opening 10%, a good UTG full ring range, but at 10x, about half of that range will flop poorly enough to cancel out the marginal benefit of shortening the SPR. For example, hands that he may want to open like AJ or 66 now lose too much money in the preflop investment because they aren't able to recoup often enough, unlike KK. In turn, now he also misses out on the high IO of making nut hands with those he is forced to discard.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,931 -
    Uh huh, g point
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  • CloutierCloutier FloridaRed Chipper Posts: 32 ✭✭

    persuadeo wrote: »
    Yes but this is only if the range is adjusted for the sizing, meaning shrunk to a point that allows itself to go to the felt easily. In other words, if he is opening 10%, a good UTG full ring range, but at 10x, about half of that range will flop poorly enough to cancel out the marginal benefit of shortening the SPR. For example, hands that he may want to open like AJ or 66 now lose too much money in the preflop investment because they aren't able to recoup often enough, unlike KK. In turn, now he also misses out on the high IO of making nut hands with those he is forced to discard.

    Yes! that is exactly what I’ve been tying to describe but couldn’t. Big hands flop too poorly mw, so trying to chase out players was the option I chose with those hands. Folding them seems like a huge mistake. So I’m sorta lost.

    But you’ve described the issue perfectly.

    And I think you’re right: im focusing on equity too much and not EV.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,931 -
    I wouldn't describe either AJo or 66 as a big hand.
    Miller has covered all this. Big hands are big hands and flop just fine multiway. Check out "Playing The Player".
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  • RoblivionRoblivion WisconsinRed Chipper Posts: 314 ✭✭✭
    This is a really good topic. Seems like it can't be answered without having an idea of stack depth(s), position, and post flop tendencies.

    I find most 1/2 type games that play this way tend to have a few stacks with like 30-60 bigs, a few at 100 and maybe 1 or 2 with 200+. That shit is super annoying. You're pretty much just forced to make the best hand.

    So, you can either turn the heat way up on the hands you play but only play big hands that do well with a small SPR, or lean into the fact that no one 3-bets and you can name your own price and play a lot of hands that could hit big and get paid by one of the other four guys in the pot. For this latter option, you need a table with the right post flop dynamics.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,931 -
    Stack depth is indeed critical and having a wide range of depths is a monumental PITA. Similarly, our position has a huge impact on what we can do.

    But again, I go back to the OP and this business about such a table leading to the loss of "a whole day of profit". Poker isn't a daily game. If you've been stealing blinds in some nitfest for 8 hours and the table suddenly goes wild, a likely outcome is you're going to get stacked. Another is you triple up.
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  • CloutierCloutier FloridaRed Chipper Posts: 32 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Stack depth is indeed critical and having a wide range of depths is a monumental PITA. Similarly, our position has a huge impact on what we can do.

    But again, I go back to the OP and this business about such a table leading to the loss of "a whole day of profit". Poker isn't a daily game. If you've been stealing blinds in some nitfest for 8 hours and the table suddenly goes wild, a likely outcome is you're going to get stacked. Another is you triple up.

    Yeah that was worded poorly but it probably does highlight a deeper mindset flaw.

    I do very well most days and there's always lots of limps and calls. But this is a table dynamic that's tough for me.

    Honestly, I think it’s the days where the High hand jackpot is really big. I’ve been tracking it (somewhat) and it seems to occur on days where HHJP is more than double its normal amount.

    If that’s true then these players should be the type we’d want to play against. Yet I have trouble with them.

    I could just take off those days and study, but the potential for another 200 - 500, plus learning to win in a setting that I've been losing is appealing.

    However, focusing on the money instead of the decisions has probably distracted myself from focusing on making proper adjustments.

    I’ve started to use a smaller sizing when I notice this dynamic and I think it’s helping — even if for nothing more than making it easier check/fold postflop.

    I might try to update this thread once a week or so with anything new I learn about this type of table.

    BTW, do nitfests exist at 2/2?
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,931 -
    edited October 3
    Cloutier wrote: »

    BTW, do nitfests exist at 2/2?

    Common in Vegas at $1/$2, but possibly nowhere else, g point.
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  • CloutierCloutier FloridaRed Chipper Posts: 32 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Cloutier wrote: »

    BTW, do nitfests exist at 2/2?

    Common in Vegas at $1/$2, but possibly nowhere else, g point.

    Oh yeah I could see that.

    I played in Vegas with once in like 2013 or so. Lost my entire stack in less than an hour.

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