Thursday, July 14, 2016

Let's Run The Numbers

Those of you that have read my blog for any length of time know that my goal in grinding these No Limit cash games online is to accumulate a total bankroll of $2,000 and then with that bankroll start playing $2/$4 limit games live with the intention of moving up stakes everytime 500 big bets is achieved for the next level. So when the bankroll is $3,000 start playing $3/$6, when it's $4,000 start playing $4/$8 and so forth and so on.

Many of the people that I communicate with whether it be on 2+2, Twitter, or comments on the blog, I would say at least 95% of you I hear the same thing from.  The rake cannot be beat at $2 $4. Those that say this are wrong. It's not just my opinion there are people at this moment playing $2/$4 live in Vegas and other places around the country and  winning consistently. They're not winning great deals of money, but they are winning. I decided to go over the numbers to see if I cannot show you why $2/$4 beatable when you look at the numbers.

In order to show this we are going to have to assume certain numbers or averages.  The numbers and averages we will assume for the purpose of this is a person that wins money when they see the flop 40% of the time an average pot size of $30 before the $4 rake is taken out. With that said out of 100 times that I will see a  flop I will win 40 of those times. On average the 40 times that I win the pot I will put on average about $12 into it. Of the 60 times I don't win I will on average put in $6 into the pot. if we take those numbers 60 times $6 equals $360 and then 40 x $12 equals $480.  We will also have to add another $40 for a dollar tip for the dealer each time we win. When you add those numbers up $360 + $480 + $40 that comes to a grand total of $880 that I have put in to the pot in the 100 times that I have seen a flop.  With an average pot of $30 we now subtract $4 for the rake which means on average the dealer is  is pushing $26 to me when I win. There will be times that the pots will be $40 and there will be times when the pots are 20 something dollars that's why we are using an average, but an average of $26 being pushed to me when I win 40 times out of 100 equals $1,040 that has been sent my way less the $880 that I have put into the pot during those 100 instances equals a grand profit of $160 for every 100 flops that I see.

If we figure that the average dealer will deal 25 hands an hour and I will see a  flop 20% of time that means each hour that I play I will see 5 flops and thus it will take me 20 hours of table time to see those 100 flops. If we take the $160 in profit and divide that by those 20 hours we are looking at earnings of $8 an hour which is 2 big bets per hour playing in a $2/$4 live limit game.

ClaudePOKERAA asked me in a comment in my last blog entry why is it that I think that I can beat $10/$20 and $40/$80 if I chose to play that high. That's a very good question one deserving of an answer. The reason is even though I've never played those levels the fact of the matter is when it comes to poker everything is a progression. You start at one level, when you've proven yourself you go to the next level, and there's no reason to think that I will not be successful at each level that I play. Basic poker skills will be in place so there's no reason in the world to believe that I will not be successful at whatever level I am playing.

You also have to remember this is limit poker that I will be playing and there is only so much that any player can do.  Let's say you have a hypothetical overly aggressive player at a limit table that is trying to steal pots and push the other players around they can be controlled and by simply initiating a check/call approach with that hypothetical player one would be able to see, rather cheaply at that all things considered, exactly what they're doing and with what. It's not like no limit, they're not going to be able to stop other players from getting information on them because they're shoving $200, $300, or $500 dollars into the middle to prevent others from seeing what they're doing, but it only comes in one single bet at a time.

Limit poker is a science and you have to have the ability to truly outplay your opponent's hand after hand after hand. No offense to the No Limit players out there, but it doesn't take much to shove $300 in a single bet to scare the other players off.  In limit poker you have to make money the old-fashioned way, you have to earn it dollar by dollar, bet by bet, and hand by hand.
It also may be a situation where I will not want to go to the higher levels. It has been suggested to me that the limits higher than $4/$8 or perhaps higher than $10/$20 are simply filled with 90% regs waiting for the occasional tourist. I have not been able to find out if there is a casino in Vegas that offers $5/$10 limit hold them. If anybody knows this one way or the other please let me know  I mean I will try out the higher levels a few times once I reach the bankroll for it, but it's possible I might want to stop at $4/$8 especially if I'm making two big bets an hour like I expect to make at $2/$4 which would be $16 an hour and I would be more than happy with that kind of money coming in. It would give me the opportunity to live my life and enjoy it clearing approximately $3,200 a month. Right now I get $826 a month from disability so an increase of four times that amount per month for someone like me would make me feel like a millionaire.

The online grind continues to be a daily struggle dropping ($16) yesterday and earning a profit of only $6 tonight. This seesaw that I'm stuck on shows no end in sight unless you consider the smallish loss yesterday and small win tonight a sign that things are slowly starting to change, but I still find myself in relatively deep holes before scratching and clawing my way out. In yesterday's ($16) loss I was down $61 at my worst point and fought my way back to a ($16) loss. In tonight's session I was down ($35) and fought my way back to a $6 profit. Another $10 in bonuses and $4 in daily rakeback helped make it a $21 day, but this stretch that I am going through, well frustrating doesn't even begin to describe it.

At the same time I'm feeling fortunate and proud of myself because the struggles I'm going through are relatively tame as far as dollars involved. I'm down about $65 at the tables for the month, but I'm fortunate that bonuses and daily rakeback has helped overcome that.  I'm also proud of myself. if this had been two months ago I would have been going off of these cash game tables, completely given up on the prospect of them, and been searching for greener pastures, but that is not the case this time. I have stuck with it and will continue to stick with it running 14 hour sessions each day that I play or close enough to it to guarantee myself 2500 hands played each day. Like Rayz Rayl says in one if his Vlogs it's all about the volume. The dollars are immaterial, we look at things on a monthly basis, but when it comes down to the poker it's all about the volume.

On a final note I would like to share a hand that came up during yesterday's session. I was talking over this and with a fellow poker player and I wanted to get the opinions of my readers as to what you felt was the correct play. The screenshot is below. UTG had min raised to $0.20.  The Hijack cold called and I 3 bet to 95 cents with KK.  The button called and both blinds folded and UTG 4 bet shoves for $19.  The Hijack folds and it's back to me.

Now the player I had this conversation with said that this was one of the only ways they would fold KK preflop here,but since I had no information on him I don't see how I can assume that he holds AA.  To me,it would have been more likely to be an AA situation if UTG had limped/3bet preflop, but while I realize AA is a possibility I have to consider other possibilities as well.  QQ and JJ spring to mind along with AK and AQs.  Hell I have seen crazier all-ins preflop on these tables.  I made the call, but what would you have done?  Keeping the results secret for a few days was I right or was the player I discussed the hand with correct.  Are you snapping or are you folding?

That's a wrap up.  Tomorrow is a new day and a new 14 hour session.  Maybe tomorrow and the following days are the days I bust out of this frustrating funkiness I have been in all month.  One can only hope.  Until next time, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $522.83
Progress:   26.1% 


  1. I used to play LHE exclusively but quit when the games dried up. I've never heard of anyone making 2BB/hr. Not saying it can't be done, but there are so many assumptions in your calculation above... I mean, what are the ranges on those input parameters? If the flop is typically seen 5-ways the average pot size will go up which helps, but there's no way you win 40% of pots. The only way to estimate your hourly is simply to do it, or rely on population averages of the best players. I'm not aware of any $5/10 in Vegas, but the V $4/8 HK is effectively the same limit. At $10/20 you start running in to relatively sharp players.

  2. Flush, if you decided to skip limit maybe a solution would be $1/$1 NL $100 buy-in at the Linq?
    As for the hand: It pains me to say this, but I'm folding. We don't know if the guy is on tilt, drunk, or holding AA. Without more info, I'm willing to give him credit and my $1 already in the pot. Find a better spot. As Rayz Rayl says, "Money saved is money earned."

    1. If someone gave me $2k and said "double this in a month playing poker" that is exactly the game I'd play.

  3. If you can win 40% of the time you see a flop in a 2/4 limit game, you should find a better game, seriously.

    In a typical good 2/4 game, you are going to have 5 or 6 people seeing the flop. The only time you can win 40% is when the game is very tight and weak, which means small pots.

    I don't understand your logic for beating higher limit games. Don't you think the players are going to be better on average when you move up? Do you think a player with skills to beat 2/4 is going to beat 20/40 with the same set of skills?

  4. Min raise UTG then shove 200BB to your 3 bet, almost always AA unless he is a known maniac. If the effective stacks was less than 100bb that is a different story.

  5. I play 3/6 on a regular basis and no way you win 40% of flops. 2/4 is even worse. You have 5 - 7 players seeing every flop and at least half won't go away for any price. I've dropped 2 racks in 30 minutes with second best hands. I don't play to make money, just for fun, But I don't see anyway to make a consistent profit at low limit holdem. There is just no way you win consistently.

    I would seriously think about no-limit because Grump and even Tony grind out a consistent profit.