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Grinding away with chip, chair.... and hopefully + ROI

With it being the end of the month, I thought I’d use this blog to show some of the things that I look for when doing a month-end stat review and looking for things to work on in my game, as I’d bet some of you are in the same situations.  All of us, regardless of playing ability or level, need to constantly keep reviewing and improving our game.

The first stats that I look at are my VPIP/PFR/3-bet and for July, I’m at 19.28/16.4/6.18 overall.  The VPIP and PFR are normal, but I see that my 3-bet is a bit lower than I’d expect, as with a 16% preflop raise, I’d expect my 3-bet to be closer to 8%.  Well, as I dig a bit deeper into this, I see that in SNG’s (either STT or MTT), I’m actually at 10.34%, which is higher than I’d expect, but I had more opportunities to do so this month.  Where I see the number is low is in my rebuy MTT’s, but with a 2-week series that I’m in right now, where I have to ladder climb for leaderboard points… that’s where I’m low, as I’m only at 3.6% in those games.  I’d expect those to be lower (my vpip/pfr are also lower in them), so that’s where the discrepancy is at, which is ok.  In comparing these to my yearly numbers, they’re actually better (16.98/14.44/5.7 so I’m heading in the right direction as my target numbers are 20/16/8.

The next numbers that I look at are my WSD/WWSF and they’re at 59.75 and 49.29.  These are also higher than normal, as in the tourneys where I’m ladder climbing, I’m only putting my chips in when I’m way ahead of the opp’s range, so in those tourneys, I’m at 65.52 and 48.44 (I’m letting go of more marginal postflop spots due to ladder climbing in them, which the WWSF is lower).  The WSD is a lot higher than I normally run (near 53-54) but since it’s only due to the ladder climbing games, I’m ok with it.  If I was running those numbers in my regular games, I’d be playing way, way too tight and as a comparison, I’m running 54.13% and 44.28% for the year.

Next, I go to the flop numbers.  I’m c-betting 58.76% of the time, and I’m successful in 51.92% of them along with another 37.5% success on the turn, so between the flop and turn, I’m successful in taking down 36.2% of the pots where I see the flop, either on the flop or turn without a fight… and I always like free chips.  I’ve done better this month with my success rate, as I’m at 55.08% with a success rate of 45.69% for the year.

One area that I’ve been working on has been my fold to c-bet number.  A few years ago, I was folding to about 85% of flop bets, but working on this has lowered me to 66.18%.  I’d like to have it closer to or just under 60%, but it’s a work in process and moving in the right direction.  The reason for it is that everyone hits about 1/3 of flops, plus another 10% of the time they will have a pocket pair, so they’ll have something around 40-43% of the time and then another few % of the time, they’ll have unpaired cards that are better than what I have.  Here’s a surprise for me when I compare this to my yearly numbers, I’m at 64.64% for the year.  I thought I’d be lower than what I’ve run for the year, so this is something I’m going to need to go in-depth and look at the spots I’m folding and see where I’m missing floating a street so that I can take the pot away on the turn or river.

The next number I’m looking at is river call efficiency.  I’m at 3.03 this month, which is way too high, compared to my 2.33 yearly number.  This means I’m not calling down enough as I’m right 3.03 times for each time I’m behind.  I wonder if that is due to the ladder climbing games, so I sort those out and I’m at 3.33, but I’d expect those to be higher.  The surprise is when I go to my STT’s and see 2.92, compared to a yearly number of 1.71.  I was on a variance run with my 9-man STT’s from mid May to mid July, so here’s another group of hands that I’m going to need to go thru, as I’m missing spots where I should have been calling… which I’d bet is from being gun-shy due to the variance run I’ve been on.  I ran these games at a 30% ROI during March/April but then after every really good run, variance hits and I ran the variance run of about 150 games at a -5% ROI.  Obviously, the variance run has changed my game some here, so I need to correct these spots and get back to where I was at earlier this year.  After seeing this, fixing it will be priority #1 for August as I’ll need to have this back to normal before the big MTT series starts on the 13th.   Looking into it by position, it’s from the cutoff and middle position where I need to adjust.  I’m ok out of the blinds, EP and button, but the cutoff is at 6.3 and MP is 5.21.  Especially with the cutoff being too high, I’ll have to see where I’m opening light, getting to the river and having to fold.  I’ll bet there are a number of these spots where I need to stop opening against opps that are sticky, where I should be folding, or even more likely, spots where I open light and stay in the hand on the flop/turn where I should be folding.

Then, I go to my steal numbers and see 35.09% attempt to steal (up from 34% for the year).  A 3-bet steal of 10.2%, which is similar to my 9.92% for the year.  Also, a 77.55% fold to steal, which is up from 72% for the year.  I’m happy with the steal numbers, but I’ve been working on the fold to steal, so I need to look and see if this is due to the ladder climbing games (as it should be higher in those than normal) and I see that those games is the cause for it.  In the ladder climbing games, I’m actually at 80.56%, so when I take those games out, I’m really at 71.6%... so in reality, while it still needs work, it’s moving in the right direction.  I’ll continue to work on it, but it is moving in the right direction (years ago, I was closer to 88-90%), so seeing it closer to 70% for my normal games is a marked improvement.  I’ve still got work to do though and after digging into the positional stats, I’m doing ok from the BB, but need to work on the SB.  If one of them has to be high though, I’d rather be folding too much from the SB, due to the positional disadvantage postflop.

I then go into the positional stats and see where I have any large discrepancies from what I’d expect.  The first thing I see is that I run like absolute crap in the cutoff for the month.  My all-in adjusted is +108.14bb but in reality, I lost 28,434 chips or -50.68bb.  YIKES!  Now, I need to take this with a grain of salt, as it’s only a few hundred hands, but I need to find some rungood there, for sure.  I also ran really bad from the button, as I’m 20k chips below EV there too.  I do see that I need to look for button spots that I’m missing though, as I’m about 6-7% lower than I’d expect to be for VPIP/PFR from the button as I’m only at 20/18/3.6.  I need to look at 3-bet spots here too, as my 3-bet number is low for the button, compared to the other table spots (which is why my overall 3-bet number is low for the month).  In comparing to my yearly numbers from the button, I see I’m 2% light, so it’s definitely something I’ll need to look into and see what spots I missed as there should be a number of hands where I called from the button and should have 3-bet.

One number that I do see out of line, but after looking into the exact hands, is just due to the cards that I got this month is in the SB.  My spot where I played the most hands this month, instead of being the button (or BB if I saw free flops) was actually the SB.  I was 33/31.94 from the SB, but with it only being 904 hands, as I look into these numbers further, I was hitting monster hand after monster hand along with a ton of hands where it actually folded to me in the SB where I had real hands.  It’s just an inordinate number of big hands and spots where I had hands BvB to raise with, so while it’s not something I’m going to work on right now, I will absolutely keep an eye on it for next month and see if I go down to where I have been at the rest of the year.  I do see a few spots where I opened really light that I should have just let the hand go, so this I will keep an eye on and fold the junk hands a bit more often.

The next category I look at is how I’m doing facing which actions preflop.  I’m winning chips in unopened pots (running better than I should), killing pots where someone limped in front of me, but I’m not doing well in pots where someone has raised prior to my action.  However, when these hands get to showdown, I’m winning almost 2 in every 3 hands.  Yes, I’m losing 300bb’s in this spot, but when I dig into it, over 250 of these bb’s are from folding when I’m in the blinds and someone has raised before me, so while these hands are ones to look at, it’s not as big of a problem as it seems, but I still need to look at these hands and see where I can improve and not be as sticky with marginal hands against a strong opponent's range.

Hopefully this gives all of you an idea for some of the areas that you’ll want to look at in your own games and see where you have areas that need improvement, then once you see an area where you do need to improve, look into the individual hands and see where your problems are and plug the leaks.

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