Well, I made it! 2008 is over and I succeeded in achieving my goal of +10 BB/100 in NLHE cash games. I will admit I did not play as much NLHE in December as I would have liked, mostly due to the fact that I have recently gotten very into Pot Limit Omaha and put in a lot of my limited playing time in that arena. But the NLHE play I did put in produced a December win rate of +8.83, which placed my final 2008 YTD win rate at +10.29 BB/100.
I’d like to summarize my PokerTracker stats that produced this number. Note that the majority of my play (90% roughly) was 6 max, not full ring, so these numbers are mostly reflective of 6 max games.
First the traditional stats (for definitions of these PT abbreviations, see prior blog entries):
Flop AF 2.02
Turn AF 1.80
River AF 1.96
Total AF 1.94
Won $ WSF% 48.99
Went to SD% 28.59
Won $ at SD% 53.11
I think those stats are pretty typical of my game. At any given table dynamic, I will adjust to try and exploit that dynamic. For instance, at a very loose-aggressive table, I will take more flops in position on deep money, and call down looser. Also spend more time oop in check-call mode to extract value from players who routinely attack weakness. Almost station like when I do enter a hand at times. My AF in such a session might be around 1 or even lower. At a tight table, I’ll play more loose-aggressive, semi-bluff more, apply pressure in position more on the right depth of money with favorable SPR’s for maximum leverage, etc… my AF in that session might be 4 or higher.
I also like the last 3 stats, won $ when seeing the flop, went to showdown, and won $ at showdown. I won $ when seeing the flop almost half the flops I saw, but only went to showdown 28% of the time, which means I’m taking down more than my fair share of pots post flop without getting to showdown. And when I do get to showdown, I’m happy with winning more than half the time.
The other stat I’d like to share with you is my cold call preflop % by position. In limit hold’em cold calling raises is rarely correct, and this is one of the biggest leaks limit players have. In NL however when you’re playing deeper money, calling raises IN POSITION preflop is an important part of an exploitive strategy. My cold calling % from UTG+1 through the button was (Position # off the button):
As you can see, I tend to cold call a preflop raise very little from the early and middle positions, but the % rises significantly from the cut off and button. If you’re failing to see this kind if rise in your own positional stats, you’re not making good use of your position enough, and if you see consistent %’s across the board, you’re getting involved in raised pots from EP and MP too often when you’re not the aggressor.
If you want to learn more about how to do all this, I strongly encourage you to plan on taking my next NLHE Cash Games Phase 1 and 2 class series, coming up in March and April. Registration info for the first class can be found here: http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/members-only/session/view?id=137 Put it on your calendar.
During 2008 I invested a fair amount of time in playing limit poker. I always get a large amount of limit hold’em into the mix. But I also spent part of the year playing a lot of limit Omaha/8 or better, as well as the occasional sessions of Stud, Stud/8, and HORSE. After a thorough review of my 2008 year, it’s clear to me that I need to shift my attention more towards the big bet arena to maximize my profit potential. So my goal for 2009 will be to increase my volume in the big bet poker games (NLHE and PLO) while using limit games mostly for a refresher or break from big bet poker, instead of as a primary focus of my already limited playing time.
Thanks for riding along on this journey with me, it was a challenging and fun year.