Can set mining REALLY show long-term profit and is it worth the effort?
Recently I have begun to wonder if set mining is really all it's cracked up to be.
I used to love it. I would limp in with any PP and just pray for a raise! I would even call if effective stacks were barely 6 times the price to see the flop. I could hit the set and take his whole stack... YAY! THIS TIME COULD BE IT!
Then I learned the actual odds
against me making the set and I adjusted accordingy... because if I hit he was GUARANTEED to fight me in vain all the way to the river!
My thinking evolved further and I gave myself extra headroom because the vast majority of times, He wouldn't hit hard enough to bother battling me after the flop. Effective stacks now had to be 15 times the price to call. Even this wasn't enough though. I was STILL losing longterm with low PPs!
My next step was realizing that VASTLY more money is made when you opened with a raise and I stopped open-limping. At this point I am not often set mining any more but profitability is improving. I can C-bet with 55 after the flop and take it down a reasonable portion of times and I get a big pot every now and then when I make the set AND he hits top pair. Rarely do I make that magical 32bb though!
As I slowly began to see just how powerful position can be and quite recently, I stopped calling and set mining from the blinds. A look through a decent PT3 sample revealed the enormous quantity of cash I was throwing away. Even when I am mulitway with a set in the blinds, the burden of being first to act negates any implied odds. Obviously if I get a good price to call and there are three others to the flop its an easy call!
This brings me to my final two questions concerning set mining... Calling with good effective stack sizes IP and calling a 3bet from an opponent with a strong range when both IP and OOP.
I think the best scenario is when I raise with my 44 in mid-late position and get re-raised by a tight positionally aware player with a low (<3%) PF3bet and a deep stack in the blinds. I can be reasonably sure that he is gonna give me action after the flop that 1 in 8.5 times I hit the set.
There are a lot of "ifs" though aren't there!?
I guess second best would be a 3bet from the same guy in LP when I am OOP. I can probably pull off a succussful check raise when I make the set. I doubt it will pay for all the times I miss though!
Lastly there is the straight flat call with position. I don't like this though as wouldn't he need to be a highly positionally aware uber-nit to make the cal worth while? the 7/8 times that I missed the set I could consider floating his C-bet and see if he has the balls to fire a second barrel on the turn. If he does and the turn card looks like a card I myself would double barrel I could hit him with a large turn raise but this could be risky and expensive!
So much to think about. I am starting to think that I would be better off saving the brain energy and letting the set mining IP go completely (cutting it out like I did when OOP in the blinds) unless I am massively multiway.
What do you chaps think? Can calling a raise or a 3-bet from an opponent with a strong range both IP and OOP to set mine be really worth the effort longterm?
Thoughts and ideas welcome as always!