The set-mining multiplier (again) (probably)

TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,070 -
edited January 2017 in General Concepts
I stumbled into a conversation on Twitter with Ed and James about the "correct" multiplier for set-mining and the observation that it's got bigger over time from 20x to 30x. I'm sure the protagonists would qualify their 140-character-or-less remarks with the usual "it depends," so I thought it might be useful to discuss what it depends on.

The usual reason given for set-multiplier inflation is that people no longer shovel in chips with top pair against our flopped sets, thus we require deeper effective stacks to have the right odds to set mine. But how does increasing the multiplier actually work in practice?

For example, if we're facing a raise from a somewhat competent opponent who understands SPR, and who simply isn't going to put in much money when we flop a set (some sort of "One street wonder"), then does it really matter what our multiplier is? Similarly, when Mr. Sticky-Nit, who only open-raises AA/KK and will take his overpair to the felt every time to prove to the table the universe hates him, can't we get away with a multiplier even less than the old 20x standard.

Further, all open-raises aren't created equal. Facing an active and decent player opening from LP is very different from the aforementioned Sticky-Nit up front.

Thoughts?
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  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,668 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2015
    Yeah, good topic. I've been wondering about this myself. I was just reading the section in Harrington's book on this multiplier the other day.

    IMO, not only can we get away with <20-30x, higher multipliers might actually be bad for us.

    Like so many times, in poker there are conflicting principles at work, and maybe this is one of them. When stacks are deep, and there is the "hammer of future bets" as Ed would say, it can actually cause someone to fold earlier in the hand, and be less likely to pay off a monster. Players might be far less likely to stack off with a 30x multiplier than, say 15.

    So while it might be theoretically ideal if we had >20x, that assumes that we're getting all of it. I'll bet you that if you come up with a calculation that includes the probability function that your opponent stacks off (a function, at least in part, of the stack depth), then you'll find the sweetspot is actually lower than we think it is.

    Take your One Street Wonder above. If he understands SPR and is competent, then he's definitely going to stack off with a multipier of 5x. But of course that's too low to set mine. So the question is, how deep will he pay off that will also be profitable for us? Or to go back to your comment:

    "The usual reason given for set-multiplier inflation is that people no longer shovel in chips with top pair against our flopped sets, thus we require deeper effective stacks to have the right odds to set mine."

    Could it be that since people no longer shovel in chips with top pair against our flopped sets, we require shallower effective stacks (i.e. less than 20x) to have the right odds to mine?
  • ChibberChibber Red Chipper Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    I do think it depends on the game size and the villain. If you are 100bb, you'll almost never have the correct multiplier to set mine. If the effective stacks are 150bb - 200bb deep, you'll get closer. So I would consider the game size and overall effective stacks. Additionally, these numbers should be viewed as guidelines rather than hard and fast rules.
  • The MuleThe Mule Red Chipper Posts: 779 ✭✭✭
    I play nl4 on 888. Most of my opponents during the week seem to be nitty multitabling regs, playing 13/10 and looking to stack the fish when they hit the jackpot with a big hand. I know they're doing this, so I'm not getting stacks in against these guys without the nuts or close to it.

    They're also smart enough to bail out from top pair and maybe even overpair hands when someone wants them to put their stack in.

    This gives me great fold equity when I raise their flop or turn bet with my draws.

    Cutting to my point, I think the required multiplier is a function of how aggressively you play the rest of your hands. I think I need sets in my range to be able to play a balanced strategy.

    Put another way, if I can't profitably set mine at 100bb deep, how can I raise the flop on a 4h 7d Th board ? (Actually if I can't set mine I probably don't have the implied odds for suited connectors either !)
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,070 -
    Thanks, guys, interesting thoughts. Let me add a few.

    Back when poker was easy and in the context of tournaments, we used to make do with a 15x multiplier. I think the logic was roughly as follows: If you flop a set and get paid ~50% of the time, 15x is about the depth you need given the odds of flopping a set.

    The first caveat to this was that OOP you probably preferred 20x because it's harder to maximize.

    The second caveat was that IP you could probably pull the odd hoodflat on the grounds you had other ways of winning the hand without hitting your set.

    The third caveat was that LP opens were wider and maybe set-mining against a weak range wasn't such a great idea in the first place.

    Now it occurs to me that some enterprising individual with a large PT/HEM database could do some mining and establish, as a function of position and opponent type (range), what multiplier we actually need as a function of those parameters.

    Or maybe it could be modeled with something like CardRunnersEV, although I suspect GIGO might dominate the results.

    The only thing I'm certain of is that the current situation is unclear.
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  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,668 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Another caveat being you can flop a set and lose a lot.
  • KemahPhilKemahPhil Red Chipper Posts: 101 ✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    Another caveat being you can flop a set and lose a lot.

    Case in point:

    Last week, playing a weekly 5-5 game. In the cutoff with :Kc :Ks . Three limpers to me. I make it 35 to go and get two callers including Villain 1 in middle position. Hard for me to describe his game but let's just say that "loose" is part of the description. Flop is :Kh :5d :4d . Pretty good flop for me. It's checked to me and I bet 100. Villain calls. Turn is :5s . Villain says something like "That's a bad card" then checks. (Should have seen the red flag but I was too intent on thinking about how to extract value). I bet 175 and he calls almost instantly. River card is :Ad . He immediately bets his last 300. I call and he turns over :5c :5h .

    Ouch!!!

    I know it's not really relevant but I had to get it off my chest :-(
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,668 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Interestingly I was just reading Little's low stakes cash book, and he specifically says you're looking for 10:1 for sets (20:1 for suited connectors).
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,070 -
    jeffnc wrote: »
    Interestingly I was just reading Little's low stakes cash book, and he specifically says you're looking for 10:1 for sets (20:1 for suited connectors).

    You'd have to be in a pretty amazing game for 10x to be profitable IMO.
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  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,668 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I was surprised to read that. Could have to do with number of players in the pot, or likely to be in the pot?
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,070 -
    Yeah that's fair, if you're massively multiway it helps a lot.
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  • DeleuzerDeleuzer Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 25 ✭✭
    I'm being earnest when I ask this question, "What place does set-mining have given the current state of poker?" Does it even have strategic relevance? It seems to me that if you're playing in an exploitative way, then your hands always have more value than flopping big.

    From my perspective as long as someone is willing to raise with something other than AA, I have a fairly decent amount of fold equity against them, and as long as AK is in the mix, then both actual equity and fold equity is relatively high. Even an AK, TT+ range only flops well 60% of the time. If I can have 40% equity against that range, why would I need 30x to play 33?

    It seems like the logic of set-mining requires relative certainty that your opponent has AA or KK at which point we're probably in 4-bet territory. In the 1-2 games I play in that usually means at least a $25+ raise. Effective stacks then need to be about $750 for 30x in that situation. This set of circumstances is so rare, I'm not sure what the benefit of saying 30x is other than, fold pocket pairs to a 4-bet.

    Obviously, I'm simplifying a little bit, but I'm just not clear on the value of set-mining as a strategy any longer. And if it has no strategic value, then there is no legitimate multiplier. Even 20x makes the situational frequency extremely low for the games I play in. Perhaps I'm just confused about set-mining all together.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,981 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You're not confused, or if you are, it's a good confusion. It is not a clear cut thing. The best way forward is to think about the equity of your hand and your stacks and your position and your opponents and play poker from there, whatever your two cards are. Set-mining for its own sake can take you away from solid strategy by confusing you about how to play your entire range; but the truth is that in many games, you barely need a coherent strategy, so set-mining is just a good phrase poker players use for calling to hit a hand. Bingo!
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,755 -
    William wrote: »
    Even an AK, TT+ range only flops well 60% of the time. If I can have 40% equity against that range, why would I need 30x to play 33?

    This kind of quoting of equity contains a logical flaw. That is all-in pre equity. There will be action and 33 has difficulty actualizing it's full equity under fire. Remember we often hope to flop a set with 33 not call three barrels and win unimproved.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
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  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,668 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2015
    William wrote: »
    I'm being earnest when I ask this question, "What place does set-mining have given the current state of poker?" Does it even have strategic relevance?

    Pure set mining certainly is relevant in some of the games I play in (I notice you're talking mostly heads up, but many of my pots are multi-way). But there's also a lot of gray area. It's a very difficult calculation to figure out the "value" of a pocket pair such as 33. It depends on so many things it's probably beyond our means, but one of those things is certainly the potential to flop a set+. We can at least attempt to have that conversation.

    After that, you can see how that part of it fits into your overall strategy. If you think you can play 33 profitably without ever having to flop a set, then that's great and in that case any "multiplier" can be ignored for you. But it still would be a good thing to know, if for no other reason than to see how your opponents play. If they're playing fit-or-fold with 33 and a 5x multiplier, that tells you something about them.

  • DeleuzerDeleuzer Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Doug Hull wrote: »
    This kind of quoting of equity contains a logical flaw. That is all-in pre equity. There will be action and 33 has difficulty actualizing it's full equity under fire. Remember we often hope to flop a set with 33 not call three barrels and win unimproved.

    Your critique also has a logical flaw (assuming my flaw was a logical one) and that flaw is that someone who misses with JJ on an A, K, or Q high board is going to triple barrel. I wouldn't expect to win at showdown with 33 unimproved, but I would expect to win on the flop or turn a significant amount of the time. Certainly enough to not need 30x or 20x to make the hand profitable. After all it was Mission 4 of Poker Plays You Can Use that showed me I can play 33 profitably without worrying about making a set! :-)
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,070 -
    Jeff's idea that really big multipliers may actually be counter-productive reminded me of a principle in PLO.

    Now, this is going to sound backwards, but stick with me. One of the rationales in PLO of 3-betting good rundowns is that it increases your implied odds. The idea is that if you're up against some sort of overpair+outs, lowering the SPR with a 3b makes it more likely you'll stack your opponent when you hit. If your opponent is OOP with a decent made hand they're more likely to check-fold when remaining stacks are deep.
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  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,668 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 452 ✭✭
    Cash games. I just limp with 22-66, or call up to 3BB in a three+ way pot. $6x30=$180. Does 30 times mean total pot or pot minus what you put in? The V would have to have top two to get you that kind of return and have no clue he was beat. Play just like 78ss. Hit the flop, continue. Miss fold.

    As mentioned. Set over set, it's 2s-6s that are usually the loser. I think the old 10X is enough.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,668 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's effective stacks.
  • Marc-KevinMarc-Kevin Red Chipper Posts: 27
    Cash games. I just limp with 22-66, or call up to 3BB in a three+ way pot. $6x30=$180. Does 30 times mean total pot or pot minus what you put in? The V would have to have top two to get you that kind of return and have no clue he was beat. Play just like 78ss. Hit the flop, continue. Miss fold.

    As mentioned. Set over set, it's 2s-6s that are usually the loser. I think the old 10X is enough.

    If you're going to give up every time you miss, wouldnt a high multiplier be even more important?
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 452 ✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    It's effective stacks.

    I knew that. Thanks for the reminder.
  • BradWIBradWI Red Chipper Posts: 42 ✭✭
    Pocket 2's don't have the same value they did in 2009. Adjust.

    The online guys haven't played those hands from UTG in years. What's the big deal if you can't profitably play 22 UTG in a live game? Just muck it like you'd muck 86o UTG.
  • MtipsterMtipster Red Chipper Posts: 131 ✭✭
    I think some people just try to find a reason to set-mine. We should be honest, filter our database for 22-55 and check it out. You'll see it's not really big deal, it shows slight profit if you set-mine properly or slight loss if you're not. You won't get rich by set-mining.
    People just like the feeling flopping a set and stacking it, but if you are showing slight loss by doing it it's like you are paying a juice to experience excitement when it hits. Don't do it, it is what gamblers do.
  • JCWJCW Red Chipper Posts: 93 ✭✭
    When in position, I can get away with calling with a smaller multiplier than out of position as I will win more pots when I miss. Same is true of when I have better reads on the player, I can call less deep.
  • Christian SotoChristian Soto RCP Coach Posts: 2,195 ✭✭✭✭
  • bmaddenbmadden Red Chipper Posts: 35 ✭✭
    It depends

    Lol! I didn't respond when I read the question because it was the only answer I could think of.
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 452 ✭✭
    edited April 2016
    I call 3bb. I raise in position 3bb or more. If I have a small PP in position and raise, the flop more often than not is checked to me. Hit bet. Miss and the board is scary, check to see a free card. Twenty times. Who is going to pay you 20bb? Say you have 4c4h. The board is 4,7,9 rainbow. Who is paying you 20bb? KK4 double suited, yes. But if an A or a J comes on the turn, how are you playing the hand? A flush board or a straight board is even tougher. I won't call a short stack with small pp.

    ^^ I reviewed my previous post in this thread.
  • vandwellervandweller Red Chipper Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Calling pre-flop to "try and make a hand and get paid off" is so 2004. I hope no Red Chippers are focused primarily on making hands.
  • TravisTravis Red Chipper Posts: 455 ✭✭✭
    I typically use 10x for pocket pairs, but base my pair selection close to gto for my position. I find this to work very well to balance weak pairs versus mid pairs.
  • RCP Coach - Fausto ValdezRCP Coach - Fausto Valdez RCP Coach Posts: 829 ✭✭✭✭
    These are the type of rules that hinder ure growth if u follow it black and white. You guys should think about the SPR ure getting ureself into, how many players are involved in the hand along as the likely range ure facing. Other than that think about how else you could win the hand post and what boards will help you
    COACHING NOW AVAILABLE HERE

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