Thursday, July 14, 2005

Comfort zone and Miscellaneous topics

I've played close to 1000 hands at $20/$40 live since moving back up, and I'm starting to get significantly more comfortable in that game.

The cost of my mistakes are running at -0.55 BB/hour (-$22/hour), and my net results are a little better than +2.0BB/hour (+$80/hour). My target goal for 10000 hands is to have my mistakes at less than -0.25BB/hour (-$10/hour) and net results at > +1.5BB/hour (+$60/hour). I think these are reasonable targets. The "mistakes" goal is almost fully in my control, and the "net results" goal is extremely reasonable given the average $20/$40 player I have encountered.

Assuming the 10000 hands go according to plan, I should be ready for $40/$80 at that point. If my net $20/$40 results are in excess of +2.5BB/hour after 5000 hands (from playing well, not just from going on an amazing rush), I may start "taking a shot" at $40/$80 when the game looks good. Timing may also be influenced by how my online results contribute to my bankroll.
(By the way, my assumptions are that 10000 hands take approximately 220 hours to complete)

Generally speaking, I don't want to take substantial risks. Conversely, time stands still for no one, so I want to minimize the time it takes me to advance through levels. I would prefer not to have to stop playing because my bankroll reaches $0. Given my time constraints, I would be willing to take a 30% overall probability of going broke (in my poker bankroll) in my quest to move up in limits.
I do not know what level I can achieve. Maybe I will top out at $20/$40. Maybe I have been a lucky donkey, and I actually belong at $8/$16 or lower. My gut feeling at this point is that my max attainable limit is above $20/$40.

From what little I have observed of $40/$80, the game looks reasonable to good. My guess is that I require a moderate amount of additional live play experience (emphasis on learning to read people and the avoidence of giving out tells) and a solid bankroll.

I know that during his early years Daniel Negraneau played at $80/$160 with a mere 20BB, and that a very large % of world class cash game pros have gone completely broke during their early times.

My entry requirement for seriously playing $40/$80 will be less than -0.25BB/hour in mistakes at $20/$40 for the last 40 session hours and a 250BB bankroll.


As an aside, I wonder if there are any other metrics besides "mistakes" and "net results" that I should track.

I really don't think I need to track my VP$IP (volunterily put $ in pot), PFR% (preflop raise %), or postflop AF (aggression factor), because I have a relatively good feel for how these statistics should look for me given that I know my online statistics, and my starting hand selection and playing style would be fairly comparable. Besides, it is infeasible to track those metrics live.

I love to count things. For now, I'm not sure what else to count.

My new method for counting mistakes is simply to estimate the cost of a mistake in BB's. This often requires estimating the probability of actions taken by my opponents ~if~ I had made the "correct" play and also taking into account pot equity. Determining what someone ~would have done~ is not an exact science, but I thing my estimates should be reasonable enough for my purposes.


Good game.... better game?
I was playing at a 9 seated $6/$12 game while waiting for my seat at the $20/$40 game. During a 15 minute timespan, there were 3 occasions where the action was capped preflop with at least 5 players. It was the loosest preflop action I have experience at the $6/$12 level. This was definitely a good game. My evaluation was that there were 3 maniacs, 2 very loose aggressive, 1 loose aggressive, and 2 tight aggressive players at the table.
I estimate that in the long run I could earn more than 5 BB/hour in such a game (with a high variance).
When I was called for my $20/$40, I observed that there were 4 players that I had never seen before at the $20/$40 table. In my recent sessions, I have been playing with roughly 70% regulars, so from a learning experience point of view I thought it would be a better use of my time to take the $20/$40 seat depite the good $6/$12 game.
The table change was a good one however. 3 of the players were very loose aggressive.
In the first 3 major hands I was involved in, I won big pots where either the looseness or the over aggresiveness of the involved opponents provided me with 6BB more than I think I should have won.
The net quality of the opponents was noticably higher than the 6/12, but in this case, the higher stakes overcame this factor. Based on the information I had at the time, I made the incorrect choice to change tables, but the actual choice turned out to be better anyways.

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