Have the fish outwitted the sharks?

Boltneck

Boltneck

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Apologies for the trivial post, but there is (sort of) a serious question to follow.

I commented in Chris_TC's "Let's build some bankroll....." thread a few days ago how tight the 50c / $1 limit games had become. That trend has continued. I did a search a earlier today for some of my favourite fish, and found a couple of them playing at the $1 / $2 limit table! I also noted that the table stats for the $1 / $2 tables showing a significantly higher players / flop than the 50c / $1 tables. After a few minutes looking through my PT database, I found no less than 14 players (out of 6 full ring games plus 3 others with 8 or 9 players) at the $1 / $2 tables whilst the 50c / $1 tables seem to be populated with the sharks (presumable in search of fish)!

My semi-serious question is can it ever be justified deserting BRM strategy in search of easy money at higher levels? I have been very disciplined in staying at 50c / $1 so far, even though I believe I can beat the next level, but this is REALLY putting my willpower to the test!!!! Sure, I know that the sharks will catch on pretty soon and have a feeding frenzy, but it really is tempting to move up early - even if only as a short term experiment.
 
bustermoves

bustermoves

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play where your bankroll and skills are comfortable.i would think at higher levels,you would have to be better at bluffing,and knowing when to call a bluff.but then again ,i could be wrong.either way,do what you can with what you got.
 
skoldpadda

skoldpadda

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Track your results and play where you do best. I actually had similar findings at PS for Omaha Hi-Low and I mostly play $1/$2 there because there are more maniac donkeys than at 50/$1
 
DetroitJimmy

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I think it's ok to stab at a higher limits as long as you're disciplined enough to move back down if you fail with your first few buy-ins.

It is hard to retreat to lower limits after you get a taste of the higher,but it does sound like you have it in you.

Just set a limit like 2 buy-ins or so and make sure you stick to it.If varience or bad luck get in the way then drop back down.Once you get 2 more buy-ins,take another stab if you wish.
 
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jeffred1111

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You shouldn't probably sit in a softer 1/2 because:

a) The swings will still be there and LHE is swingy (moreso than NL). 35-50bb swings per session are standard so you can't like in NL, take a two buy-in shot. You can take a shot, but if you run bad, consequences will be disastrous (as you're losing money twice as fast and eveyr mistake is twice as big). I'd wait before you have 400BB before moving to 1/2.

b) Fish don't have good BR management, if they ahve BR management at all and this is why they are fish. They might move up to 1/2 faster than you and lose a lot then drop back down.

c) The good players are going to be better at 1/2 than they are at .50/1. Plus your game might need to adjust.
 
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jeffred1111

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Not that taking shots is wrong, but I'm getting the feel you want to make a complete (even on an experiemnt) transition and risk of ruin is just to great.

The only way I'd do this is set aside 20BB for the bigger game and try my hand with that. No more and if I win 20BB more, I'm quitting and grinding the lower level until I accumulate enough for another 20BB shot at the higher level. If I lose, I'm waiting till I grind 30BB at the lower level and take another shot, ensuring that evne if I bust, I will still be on the up BR wise.
 
DetroitJimmy

DetroitJimmy

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You shouldn't probably sit in a softer 1/2 because:

a) The swings will still be there and LHE is swingy (moreso than NL). 35-50bb swings per session are standard so you can't like in NL, take a two buy-in shot. You can take a shot, but if you run bad, consequences will be disastrous (as you're losing money twice as fast and eveyr mistake is twice as big). I'd wait before you have 400BB before moving to 1/2.

b) Fish don't have good BR management, if they ahve BR management at all and this is why they are fish. They might move up to 1/2 faster than you and lose a lot then drop back down.

c) The good players are going to be better at 1/2 than they are at .50/1. Plus your game might need to adjust.

You may very well be right about this.I am a NL player and I know nothing about FL,besides I suck at it:smile:.

In other words,my advice may be totally wrong and I recant my previous statement.
 
Cheetah

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I have on top of my to-do list research into optimal BR management. For now, I will just give an example to illustrate why it is not a good idea to play beyond BR management rules.

Let's compare the chances to lose 3 buy-ins at the higher limit(which is 2 times higher than our current limit) and the chance to lose that same amount at our current limit.

We will assume that the experiment is successful when we double-up the initial buy-ins or we fail when we lose it. I.e., at the lower level, we start with 6 buy-ins and stop when we lose it or when we are up to 12 buy-ins. Similarly, at the higher level we start with 3 buy-ins and stop at 6 or 0.

Further, let's assume that our profitability at the lower lever is 60% per session. I.e., we have 60% chance to double up our buy-in and 40% chance to lose it.

At the lower level, we start with 6 buy-ins (which is the same money as 3 buy-ins for the high level). We will double up 92% of the time and lose 8% of the time.

At the high lever, we start with 3 buy-ins. Let's assume for now that our profitability stays the same, i.e. 60%. We will now double up 77% of the time and lose 23% of the time!

Usually when we move up our profatibility goes down. So let's say we go from 60% to 55% profitability. Now, we will double up at the higher level 65% of the time and lose 45% of the time.

In summary:

lower limit: 60% profitability, we lose 8% of the time
higher limit: 60% profitability, we lose 23% of the time
higher limit: 55% profitability, we lose 45% of the time

This illustrates how rapidly the risk of loss increases.
 
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jeffred1111

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Cheetah, do you work in a math related field ? Such calcs. I can do, but since I'm currently doing my masters in French Canadian Literature (who would've thought!) but I'm just too lazy :)

Also, you have to take in consideration that the more shots we take, the more our profitability goes up due to us adjusting to stakes/play + better table selection. This doesn't mean that I encourage taking shots while seriously underolled though. First shot I toook at 1/2, I had over 300B hundos (but this was at SHLHE, where 450BB+ is the cutoff for safe IMHO).
 
CAPT. ZIGZAG

CAPT. ZIGZAG

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In summary:

lower limit: 60% profitability, we lose 8% of the time
higher limit: 60% profitability, we lose 23% of the time
higher limit: 55% profitability, we lose 45% of the time

This illustrates how rapidly the risk of loss increases.

Unless our idea of what constitutes playable cards decreases.

Then it all equals out.

-
 
CubanaD64

CubanaD64

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Now, we will double up at the higher level 65% of the time and lose 45% of the time.

Cheetah, I mean absolutely no offense, but you may want to fix your numbers. I don't mean to be nit picky, but I do want to know the actual percentages for myself. I would also like to know what types of calculations you used to arrive at this conclusion if it isn't too much trouble.
 
skoldpadda

skoldpadda

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Cheetah, I mean absolutely no offense, but you may want to fix your numbers. I don't mean to be nit picky, but I do want to know the actual percentages for myself. I would also like to know what types of calculations you used to arrive at this conclusion if it isn't too much trouble.


He's just giving us 110% of his effort.
 
Cheetah

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Cheetah, I mean absolutely no offense, but you may want to fix your numbers. I don't mean to be nit picky, but I do want to know the actual percentages for myself. I would also like to know what types of calculations you used to arrive at this conclusion if it isn't too much trouble.

The calculations are based on the classical one-dimensional Gambler's Ruin Problem.

That problem is formulated as follows:

A gambler(or a poker player:D ), starts with money M. He has the chance of winning 1 with probability P and losing 1 with probability 1-P. What is the conditional probability that the gambler will reach money F before going down to zero?

The solution is:

Pr{F|M} = M/F , when P=1/2 (coin toss, 50% to win)

and (relevant in my example)

Pr{F|M} = (1 - ((1-P)/P)^M)/(1 - ((1-P)/P)^F) , when P<>1/2

(The solution can be derived in a variety of ways. The simplest is to use a recurrence relationship for the probabilities. An easily generalizable alternative to more complex situations is to use homogeneous absorbing Markov chains.)


The probabilities for the 3 cases in my example are given by:

Pr{12|6} = (1 - (40/60)^6) / (1 - (40/60)^12) = 92%
Pr{6|3} = (1 - (40/60)^3) / (1 - (40/60)^6) = 77%
Pr{6|3} = (1 - (45/55)^3) / (1 - (45/55)^6) = 65%

And yes, the probability to lose in the 3rd case is 100% - 65% = 35% (not 45%). I guess I should have used a calculator for the more complex calculations such as subtraction.:eek:
 
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Marko75

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I am just another NL player and have practically no idea about FL so my comments may be entirely wrong, but based on my own experience, I don't put occasional "fishing-trips" to higher limits and really moving up the limits on the same line.

I am a 1/2 player myself and generally manage my BR almost flawlessly, but I believe that there is no excuse not to play an occasional 2/4 game when I notice that a player who belongs to my "donators" list is sitting at such table. What I do is basically play only against this player, and avoid playing pots against others, thus the difference in the overall skill doesn't matter.

Once again, I might be completely off the line with my comment and please accept my apologizes if it's so.
 
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DP_Machine

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Re: Have the fish outwitted the sharks

I don't think that a small and emphasis on SMALL venture into the higher limit is a bad idea, so long as your bankroll can withstand losing 1-2 Buy-ins at the higher limits, because that's all I would set aside for this adventure. I know this goes against BR management, whereby you should only move up when you have a sufficient bankroll to play at the higher limit. I try to abide by this usually, but sometimes I would go up a level just to see where my game was at and to really concentrate on not only winning, but finding gaps that needed to be plugged. I did this a couple of years ago playing on PokerRoom and I got that information over a short period of time and dropped down after losing.

I feel I learned a lot from those small ventures, including to be more responsible with BR management. Before, when I did these experiments, I wouldn't leave enough room in my bankroll to recover when I go back down to the lower limits. Now, I'm more strict with my BR...which is quite easy now, b/c my play is significantly reduced with school right now with tests, papers and exams!
 
Boltneck

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Thank you all for the advice, based on the consensus of opinion I’ve decided to maintain my discipline for the moment and not move up a level / experiment just yet.

When I joined the “Let’s build a bankroll” thread I started at $131.82 which I have since increased to $342.90. I also have a $100 match bonus in my poker account which I have not included as part of my BR as it’s not playing profit. There will be another bonus due at the end of December ($75 – assuming I accumulate enough Action Points). My current thinking is to wait until the end of this month, then include the total bonus’s of $175 in my BR.

Assuming that I break even on cash game play between now and the end of December, that’ll give me $517.90 and will make that up to $600 with new cash (if I haven’t already increased my BR from ring games between now and the end of December). I have (so far) played just over 14,000 hands at 25c / 50c or 50c / $1 profitably, and that will be over 20,000 by the end of the month. That would seem to me to be a reasonable amount of hands to justify the move up (if my BR is adequate).

Thanks again for your contributions.
 
DetroitJimmy

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You don't think bonuses are part of your BR once you've cleared them?IMHO I think they should be added since they are money and they are in your BR.

Just some food for thought.

Edit:now that I've re-read your post I see you are planning on including them.
 
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Boltneck

Boltneck

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You don't think bonuses are part of your BR once you've cleared them?IMHO I think they should be added since they are money and they are in your BR.

I do agree that bonus could normally be legitimately included with your BR. The two reasons that I haven't included bonuses (yet) are:-

1) It would distort the graphs that I'm posting on the "Let's build a bankroll thread", which I would prefer to represent playing profit rather than "other" income.

2) As the $100 initial deposit bonus for the site that I'm at now was so easy to earn, I wanted my judgment of the correct time to go up to the next level not to be skewed by a sudden increase in BR which was unrelated to my ability to show a profit at the lower level.

By the end of this month (and assuming that the current trend continues) I will have played 20,000 hands at the lower limits (adequate in my opinion) and also convinced myself that I can beat the lower levels. At that point, I'll treat everything in my account as my BR, and moves to higher (or indeed lower) limits will be judged on my BR rather than other factors.
 
CubanaD64

CubanaD64

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The calculations are based on the classical one-dimensional Gambler's Ruin Problem.

That problem is formulated as follows:

A gambler(or a poker player:D ), starts with money M. He has the chance of winning 1 with probability P and losing 1 with probability 1-P. What is the conditional probability that the gambler will reach money F before going down to zero?

The solution is:

Pr{F|M} = M/F , when P=1/2 (coin toss, 50% to win)

and (relevant in my example)

Pr{F|M} = (1 - ((1-P)/P)^M)/(1 - ((1-P)/P)^F) , when P<>1/2

(The solution can be derived in a variety of ways. The simplest is to use a recurrence relationship for the probabilities. An easily generalizable alternative to more complex situations is to use homogeneous absorbing Markov chains.)


The probabilities for the 3 cases in my example are given by:

Pr{12|6} = (1 - (40/60)^6) / (1 - (40/60)^12) = 92%
Pr{6|3} = (1 - (40/60)^3) / (1 - (40/60)^6) = 77%
Pr{6|3} = (1 - (45/55)^3) / (1 - (45/55)^6) = 65%

And yes, the probability to lose in the 3rd case is 100% - 65% = 35% (not 45%). I guess I should have used a calculator for the more complex calculations such as subtraction.:eek:

I'm not going to even pretend that I understood that, Cheetah. I assumed that the formula would be more simple but that's what I get for asking someone with a Ph.D in Physics to explain what's in their mind, lol.
 
Cheetah

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I'm not going to even pretend that I understood that, Cheetah. I assumed that the formula would be more simple but that's what I get for asking someone with a Ph.D in Physics to explain what's in their mind, lol.

Lol. This is why I try to not post the more complicated formulas but just the results. Of course, when I am asked about how I did something, I have to respond so people can see that these numbers are based in reality.:)
 
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