Max Buy-in for cash games

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ph_il

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When you sit down to play a cash game be sure to buy in for the max amount. I play in micro-limit cash games on FTP, usually the .05/.10 blinds. The max buy in is $10 and the minimum is $4 and I'll often see players buying in for the minimum. Right off the bat this tells me a few things about the player.

-Its possible they have a small bankroll and dont want to risk too much money.
-I can assume they'll play tight poker, so I can probably steal a lot of pots from that player by playing aggressive.

The only real pro of buying in for the minimum is you minimize your loss (if you lose your entire buy in). Im not saying you can win money with a minimum buy in. If you play solid, smart poker, despite all the bad beats and suckouts and everything, you will make money in the end. However, you can play the same smart poker with the max buy in and still make money in the long run. The difference is when you max buy in, you are maximizing your profits.

Its Minimum Loss vs. Maximum Profit. For me, I can take the bad beats, but when I get a big hand, I want to make sure that I paid off for it and I really cant if I only buy in for the minimum.

Take this for example:

You sit down at a 10 handed table and buy in the minimum for $4 and everyone else has $10. You're the big blind and you are dealt 3d 7d. Amazingly, everyone limps in and you check.

The flop is 4d 5d 6d.

You flopped a straight flush, you and the small blind check. Then magic happens, a player bets and another player raises and another re-raises and then someone goes all in and then you call and soon everyone is all in. You see the hands-flushes, flush draws, sets, straights, straight draws, and you have the best hand in the end. the second best hand is quad 4s.

You jump for joy in the privacy of your room because you just got paid on your monster hand, right? Yes and no.

Yes, technically, you did.

No, because you only bought in for the minimum, so you only recieved $4 from the other players for a total profit of $36

What about the player with the quad 4s? He won the side of the remain $6 of all the other players, except yours for a total profit of $50.

So, even though you had the best hand, he made more money.

Of course this would never happen...well, i shouldn't say never. Its highly unlikely it will ever happen, but imagine if you were playing in a game that was a $100 max buy in and a $50 minimum buy in and the same thing happend.

An interesting thing is, you are probably more likely to lose more money by buying in for the minimum then you are for the maximum. The reason being is because $4 doesnt seem like that much in certain situations.

Say you have a $50 bank roll and you buy in for the minimum of $4. You lost to a rediculous suck and you are tilting. You cant believe some donk called your raise with a 2/9 against your KK and beat you on the river. You are steaming mad and you buy in again for $4 and a few hands later the same donk sucks out on you again. Now you are really pissed and you buy in again for $4 and this time you lose it to a different player who plays similar garbage and gets lucky on you. You cant seem to win and you are tilting. Then you go to rebuy back in and you see your BR is now $38 ($4 x 3). Now, you are scolding yourself for risking so much, you want to get those players back for sucking out on you and you want to make your money back, so what do you do? You buy in for the max of $10. Heck, you even say to yourself 'if they can play garbage and win, then you can, too.' Except, you end up losing that buy in. Finally you call it quits at total loss $22.

Now, its not that you were on tilt that you risked so much so fast, its the fact that $4 doesnt seem like a lot of money. Even if you lost to a better hand and you werent on tilt, $4 can be decieving. You think its only $4's...but what about after 3 or 4 buy ins? Its no longer just $4.

Even if you look at your BR everytime you buy in, you can still fall under the 'its only $4.' $50 - $4 = $46. Its only $4. $46 - $4 = $42. $42 - $4 = $38. Even if you down to $26, $4 doesnt seem like that much.

Now if you do this with $50 - $10 = $40, you can see the change in your BR. You are now down to $40 from $50. So, you really can tell your self $10 isn't that much compared to your BR, now...so, you might make the wise smart move of leaving the table, tilting or not, and waiting to play another day.

So, to recap-Max buy in always because you want to maximize your profits. You dont want the other players to bully you around, especially if they think you don't want to risk a lot of money and will be playing very tight.

Oh and one thing I forgot to add, when you max buy in, you can bully the minimum buy in around and this can mean money for you. Since you have more money, you can raise and push and steal pots from the small stack, especially if they play tight. Now, say you suckout on that player and take all his money and he buys back in again for $4. Now you have even more ammo to work with, and you can be just as aggressive. And you suck out on the same player again for all their money..and they buy in again! Now, its clear this guy wants his money back, hes in every pot you're in, he calls every bet you make...and hes playing really loose, wreckless poker and you tighten up and set traps for him. You raise with KK and he comes over the top and you call. He shows a 7/9 off and you win.

And then he comes back with $10...steaming like crazy, playing stupid, seeking revenge from you for your suckouts, and he wants to get his money back.

Look familiar?
 
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buckster436

buckster436

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i think Doyle Brunson said you should buyin for 200 times the buyin, i could be wrong though,, but i know its best to have the most money at the table,, buck
 
Jack Daniels

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Nice post. And I always buy-in for the maximum allowed at a table I'm sitting at.
 
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ph_il

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i think Doyle Brunson said you should buyin for 200 times the buyin, i could be wrong though,, but i know its best to have the most money at the table,, buck

I think he said that also, and I agree. You want to have the most money on the table or at least more than most of the players. Online cash games, I dont think this is possible...though Ive heard of double stack buy-ins for cash games on some sites.
 
titans4ever

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Here is a hand to shows you need to buy in for the max or reload to stay close to it. I just lost a big hand right before and did not get to reload before the cards were dealt. I probably would have taken $25 from the one. Did not anywhere near what I should have on that hand. These two have been going after each other no matter who else was in the hand.

*********** # 73 **************
pokerstars Game #10218656027: Hold'em Pot Limit ($0.10/$0.25) - 2007/06/01 -
16:38:26 (ET)
Table 'Maja V' 9-max Seat #5 is the button
Seat 1: Benson27 ($26.30 in chips)
Seat 2: titans4ever ($7.25 in chips)
Seat 3: Puchatt ($44.80 in chips)
Seat 4: Hasdrubal69 ($32.65 in chips)
Seat 5: sobraogirl ($55.60 in chips)
Seat 6: Anne86 ($11.20 in chips)
Seat 8: mikeim101 ($34 in chips)
Seat 9: Duge750 ($19.50 in chips)
Anne86: posts small blind $0.10
mikeim101: posts big blind $0.25
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to titans4ever [6h 6s]
Larsen32 leaves the table
Duge750: folds
Benson27: folds
titans4ever: raises $0.50 to $0.75
Puchatt: raises $1.85 to $2.60
Hasdrubal69: folds
zolie joins the table at seat #7
sobraogirl: calls $2.60
Anne86: folds
mikeim101: calls $2.35
titans4ever: calls $1.85
*** FLOP *** [Jc 9s 6c]
mikeim101: checks
titans4ever: checks
Puchatt: bets $10
sobraogirl: folds
mikeim101: calls $10
titans4ever: calls $4.65 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [Jc 9s 6c] [As]
mikeim101: checks
Puchatt: checks
*** RIVER *** [Jc 9s 6c As] [6d]
mikeim101: bets $5.25
Puchatt: folds
*** SHOW DOWN ***
mikeim101: shows [Kc Ac] (two pair, Aces and Sixes)
mikeim101 collected $10.15 from side pot
titans4ever: shows [6h 6s] (four of a kind, Sixes)
titans4ever collected $23.30 from main pot
Puchatt said, "fish"
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $35.15 Main pot $23.30. Side pot $10.15. | Rake $1.70
Board [Jc 9s 6c As 6d]
Seat 1: Benson27 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: titans4ever showed [6h 6s] and won ($23.30) with four of a kind, Sixes
Seat 3: Puchatt folded on the River
Seat 4: Hasdrubal69 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: sobraogirl (button) folded on the Flop
Seat 6: Anne86 (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 8: mikeim101 (big blind) showed [Kc Ac] and won ($10.15) with two pair,
Aces and Sixes
Seat 9: Duge750 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
 
rob5775

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Excellent post philthy, good thread. Should be made mandatory reading for some of the newer members.
 
HartAttack3

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excellent post +rep definitely, I have been buying into the 25 NL with 10 and I must say, everything is true. I think its only 10 bucks but if I were to lose the whole 25, id just leave, lose 3 or 4 10 buy ins before that happens.
 
dj11

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Yes , I agree, good post, and well presented too. With a weak br I have been afraid of making it weaker, and usually only buy in for the min.

Funny thing is on those occasions when I have bought in for more than the min, but maybe not even the max, I found that I did better.
 
bubbasbestbabe

bubbasbestbabe

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You opened my eyes to something I never even thought about. And because of this i saved a bit of change. Thanks.
 
AZE

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This is a great post, and a good read -- my only question is.. how do you manage on the .10/.25 table at FTP?
I've tried to grind the table out, but I find it too difficult to play with most of the tables. Too many wild people who come-and-go too fast for me to be able to get a good read on them. The table seems to just about completely get re-amped every few minutes.

Any words of advice for playing these tables?
 
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ph_il

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This is a great post, and a good read -- my only question is.. how do you manage on the .10/.25 table at FTP?
I've tried to grind the table out, but I find it too difficult to play with most of the tables. Too many wild people who come-and-go too fast for me to be able to get a good read on them. The table seems to just about completely get re-amped every few minutes.

Any words of advice for playing these tables?

Patience. You have to have a lot of patience in these games. Dont expect get rich quick at these levels.
 
stormswa

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although I do agree that buying in max is most of the time good,


there are some real good short/stackers in the game. These guy usually play 5/10 and above and they play the shortstacks very very well and make decent money doing this.

at low limits I think these players are not playing shortstacks on purpose but more of the lines of playing with scared money. Just if you go to higher levels 5/10 and above be careful these shortstacks in this game (a lot of them) have game.
 
Wolfpack43ACC

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I don't think it matters what you buy in for. It's how you like to play the game. If you like buying in for max, like I do and having a good amount of $ to start out by all means. Some people prefer SS poker and even think their at their best when being low $ at the table. Buying in for the minimum does create an image, but it is an image one can use against his opponents in a profitable way.
 
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ph_il

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I don't think it matters what you buy in for. It's how you like to play the game. If you like buying in for max, like I do and having a good amount of $ to start out by all means. Some people prefer SS poker and even think their at their best when being low $ at the table. Buying in for the minimum does create an image, but it is an image one can use against his opponents in a profitable way.

The point of the thread was about maximizing profits in cash games. I dont think there is anything wrong with playing SS if you're comfortable doing so.
 
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