Is "tight" really "right"?

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ez2cy

Enthusiast
I've been wondering for sometime about if moving up levels prevents suckouts and you get better play. I've had PokerTracker for sometime now and this is what I've found.
I have 79,500 plus hands downloaded (one site), 5,685 players. Of those players only 15 that pokertracker rated as "rocks" have made money. The people at the top of the list for money won are, calling stations, fish, manics and gamblers. This is in micro limits, NL .10/20- .25/.50 . Also I raised the limit on "50 hands to rate" to 150, hoping to get a better picture. So, at these micro levels, it seems to me that it is more just luck than anything. If a person is TAA, you would expect them to be the ones making money, but it's not so. Any ideas???????? I'm getting tired of playing TAA only to be beaten (constantly) by hands that should have never called the raise. Not on tilt, but man I'm getting pissed! LOL
 
Lo-Dog

Lo-Dog

Cardschat Elite
Well I don't think being a rock is a money maker. TAG is though. Its just so much more than that though. A lot of noobs will only play premium hand but have no idea what to do post flop. Anyone can sit and wait for AA or KK but you have to know when to lay them down as well.

TAG is a great base style but just playing strictly one way will get you nowhere. I'll take a stab and say the tight players at low limits not making money have just been told to only play these hands but not what to do after so they go all in on the flop thinking there is no way they can lose.

I play tight at the lower(micro) limits and don't have much problem taking money off of any type of player (ok the maniacs sometimes put me on tilt:D ). Starting hand selection is one thing but you have to know how to play post flop and to mix it up. A forum such as this one is a great place to learn different techniques and ways of thinking about the game. It worked for me.:)


So I guess I am saying that your stats are deceiving. :eek:
 
P

pokrjoker

Rock Star
dont know if this is answering you or not but...

i find the $1 sngs..and .25/.50 and lower ....are damn neart impossible to beat....i dont keep stats or anything....and i generally play satelites...but when the funds run low...everyone stops in at the micro limits....and its a fish fest...you will get called by more trash and see more runner runner 4 boards at these limits.....

ofcourse im a terrible player....with only 1 site with a positive roi%....so dont listen to me

ive played just about every style in these loer limits..and none seem to really pay off...IMO
 
Bombjack

Bombjack

Legend
See this thread:
https://www.cardschat.com/showthread.php?t=70931

I analysed my Poker Tracker DB and found there's very little correlation between tightness and win rate - if anything, looser players win more on average. Loose styles have higher variances, but this may just be because lots of bad players and beginners play loosely.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
Since PokerTracker tracks specifically preflop patterns, the "tight" that you're referring to is almost certainly preflop hand selection. I realize this wasn't your question, but there are a couple of key points I need to make (for those keeping score, I've had a few beers, again):

1. You win money by making fewer and/or less serious mistakes than your opponents.
2. Tight is a playstyle that causes you to make fewer and/or less serious mistakes.
3. Aggressive is a playstyle that causes your opponents to make more and/or more serious mistakes.
4. Any hand statistically has a decent chance of winning, preflop.

When you're looking at the rocks, you're looking at players who are (presuming you're using the default settings for PT) very tight preflop and not very aggressive. The fact that they don't make many mistakes preflop doesn't mean that they don't make them later on.

... and non-aggressive players don't induce mistakes from their opponents, so their earnings go down.

The mistake that a loose player makes preflop (someone who, let's say, limps in early position with K9) is nowhere near as bad as the player who calls a bet and a raise on a fourflush river with aces up. Preflop is where the small - but many - mistakes are. In a loose game against poor opponents, preflop starts to matter a lot less, though, because the implied odds will go up.

Furthermore, while on topic about why your numbers may be skewed, the absolutely most profitable style of play is the maniac - when he hits his cards. If you're sorting for "most profitable" in your PT database, you're likely to find the players who have gone on an amazing hotstreak while simultaneously getting lots of actions. The only players who get really wild action with their monster hands are the maniacs, because people don't trust them.

Tight and aggressive are words, and words are subjectively interpretted. When someone says that tight-aggressive is the best style, it's really up for grabs what exactly that means when you're on the button in a full game with 9-9 and someone raised before you.

Which style is the most profitable? The one that exploits your opponents' mistakes. When you're playing a tight and aggressive game, how have you adjusted to the fact that your opponents call too often with weak hands?

You say that only 15 rocks have made money, which doesn't surprise me much. In games where everyone plays most of their hands, the rock is the one getting the worst of it. Mr. Reverse Implied Odds won't be very profitable if he can't be aggressive at the right times, and rocks aren't.

I'm starting to digress. Good time to click "Submit Reply," perhaps.

/FP
 
Bombjack

Bombjack

Legend
When you're looking at the rocks, you're looking at players who are (presuming you're using the default settings for PT) very tight preflop and not very aggressive. The fact that they don't make many mistakes preflop doesn't mean that they don't make them later on.

Rocks make plenty of mistakes pre-flop, by folding the best hand, and/or folding when they have the implied odds to call.

You're right though when you mention that these mistakes aren't as expensive as mistakes on the river.

Furthermore, while on topic about why your numbers may be skewed, the absolutely most profitable style of play is the maniac - when he hits his cards. If you're sorting for "most profitable" in your PT database, you're likely to find the players who have gone on an amazing hotstreak while simultaneously getting lots of actions. The only players who get really wild action with their monster hands are the maniacs, because people don't trust them.
It's true that the most profitable players are looser than the average player. Loose players have a higher variance, but within the bounds of error, average winnings are the same whether you're tight or loose. It's this average which is the important stat to look at.

It would be good to get a bigger database to repeat the test on. Results could also be different depending on the limits involved.

I would expect in Limit hold'em, tighter play is more favourable since more hands go to showdown and there aren't the same implied odds to play.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
Rocks make plenty of mistakes pre-flop, by folding the best hand, and/or folding when they have the implied odds to call.
You're right. I meant that rocks often have, looking solely at VP$IP, a number that's near what is considered "optimal," but I didn't phrase that well. Rocks do indeed make many mistakes preflop.
I would expect in Limit hold'em, tighter play is more favourable since more hands go to showdown and there aren't the same implied odds to play.
I'd say yes and no. Tighter preflop play, maybe to some extent. But looking at which hands I play in limit, and which I play in no-limit, I find that the number of hands I play don't differ much between the two games, but the hands themselves do.
 
Four Dogs

Four Dogs

Legend
I also would like to note, that at the LL tables, the sampling of players is way to small to assess the success or lack thereof of any one player. For instance out of 3000 players I've face at .05/.10, I've only faced about 10% more than once. It's even fewer than that that have played the requisite 50 hands needed to show a player rating (Default).
Of course, given ony one or 2 sessions to go by, the suck-outs will be well represented among the most profitable. But I'll bet you find alot of them down in the cellar too.

Most pro's agree, that at a loose table, tight is best. In NLH, when you can expect to have high implied odds, such as in a game of loose and or inexperience players, the best stategy is to wait for a good hand in late position, or a great hand in early position. Don't be afraid to push your super strong hands AA-QQ harder than usual. At these limits, your more likely to get called, so roll the dice. It won't always work out though. The other day I lost my entire stack twice with AA vs 44 both times. The bandages are just about ready to come off my right fist.
 
mrsnake3695

mrsnake3695

I'm confused
There was an interesting thread a couple days ago about a loose player who stated he would call a big raise with say 6-8 suited because he knew that player had a premium and an if he hit or low cards came on the board he could make lots of money. There was a big back and forth over that playing style and I will not go over all those arguments here. Obviously different "styles" are needed at different times and at different types of games. A style that works for limit, won't necessarily work for no-limit and a style that works in ring games might not work in tourneys or sit N go's, etc.

There is no one right way to play. I think the key is being able to adjust your "style" to the type of game and the players at your table. Sometimes a TAG style will work best, sometimes being a "maniac" will.

For instance, I had noticed that although my MTT results were decent as well as my Limit ring games, my no-limit ring game results were pretty bad.
After reading the other thread I started to loosen up my starting requirements, even agains raises, and found myself winning big pots with hands like 7 5 os and such. I also noticed that my big loses were with "premium" hands. I lost big with KK, AA and AK. The AA was raised preflop and called by 3 players. Flop came QJ9 rainbow and after some back and forth raises I lost a huge pot when villan turned over 10-8 os for a flopped straight. He was playing the style I was trying and won big with it, while I played that hand "standard" and lost a lot.

I am constantly trying to learn in this game and my last few days playing no-limit ring games has been a real eye opener for me. It's early yet but it appears that playing a smart but "looser" game in no-limit cash games is the most profitable way to play. And no, I am not saying that's the way to play MTTs, SnGs, or limit games. I'm just saying that playing TAG in every type of game and every type of table is probably not the way to play to profit consistantly.
 
-2222-

-2222-

Guest
I've been wondering for sometime about if moving up levels prevents suckouts and you get better play.

OP, nice topic.

Hopefully, refresshingly for you, I agree.

Personally, I can't win at .25/.50 or .5/1.00 NLHE but do well at $1/2 and have far fewer hands, but I have also won when taking stabs at up to $3-6 NLHE.

The problem with the lower limits is that you may raise your 6-8 suited on the button hoping to trap and when the Flop comes 6-K-8, there is no way to get the moron with K-2off calling your raise oop, off the hand. Invariably, the 2 hits the River.

I'm not joking folks, this sort of thing happens regularly....eg, 5 limpers to the pot, I raise to 7 x BB with KK and get four callers! To cut a long story short, I get stacked when the dude with Q-4 suited flops trips....this is really, really, not uncommon in the lower levels.

It's not so much about whether you play LAG or TAG, it's about playing Poker vs Bingo so much of the time.

The other thing about the lower limits for a decent player is that many of the concepts you understand, can't be applied due to the way the game plays....either your game stagnates or degenerates as a result.

I have found that going essentially from .10/.25 to 1/2 has been the best thing I could ever have done.....there are still plenty of suckouts but they have reduced by a minimum of 70% so I feel like I am playing poker now, not Bingo.

I find that a good basic ABC type strategy works at 1-2.....nothing too fancy. More advanced principles don't apply until 2/4 and really start to kick in at 3/6 - this is where you are playing the player more than you are the cards.

But winning at poker is not about LAG or TAG. It is about being able to spot opportinuties eg, look at this hand from a 2/4 game I played last night...Here is the set up....I had been playing the table for about 15 minutes and the aggressor had raised it up from Late Position an average of 1.5 times per rotation. Then he bet pot every time. He never had anyone call.

In this hand I am in the BB with a pocket pair and I have a plan for the hand.....

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [8s 8c]
URaACEhole folds
Cyric29 folds
Ferodin folds
ivAAron folds
fernolium calls $4
edawl raises to $18
diamondfly folds
Tiema folds
Hero calls $14
fernolium calls $14
*** FLOP *** [5d 9c 6s]
Hero checks
fernolium checks
edawl bets $56
Hero calls $56
fernolium folds
*** TURN *** [5d 9c 6s] [Qd]
Hero bets $120
edawl folds
Uncalled bet of $120 returned to Hero
Hero mucks
Hero wins the pot ($165)

Obviously, If I flop a Set, I'll play the hand a different way but what happened here is that the aggressor raised from the cut-off and then potted the Flop when everyone checked. I called the Flop Bet to send the message that I had a stronger hand than his.....then I was first into the pot on the Turn to affirm how strong my call was....the factors that influenced my decisions were:

A: I had seen him make the same move 3 times in 15 minutes
B: He would interpret my Flop check-call as a sign of strength
C: He knew I was playing for my stack (so trying to re-bluff me wouldn't get me to lay down).
and D: he wouldn't want the pot to become too big without an overpair himself.
E: He was a thinking player that was capable of laying down a hand like AK/AJ etc.

This is called a Float Bluff and it worked beautifully but it is something I do not even try in 1/2 unless I have seen a player lay down big hands in these kind of situations (and rarely do I see this).

So what I suggest is that you start playing 1/2 as soon as you can afford it and adopt a pretty ABC style whether you are LAG or TAG, look for expoloitable opportunities and have a plan for every hand....ask yourself...."Do I want to play a big pot here or keep it small?"
 
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Bombjack

Bombjack

Legend
Hey 2222, why just call the flop bet and give a free card? Why not check-raise? You probably have the best hand on the flop (I wouldn't put him on A9). And why then bet on the turn? If he has an overpair he's calling you. If he has a Queen he's calling. If he has A-high, you're winning anyway so it's not a bluff. By betting into him on the turn you're denying him the opportunity to bluff, and he's not folding the hands that you beat. Obviously you bet because you don't want him to outdraw you, but there doesn't seem to be much reason to wait till the turn to do this.
 
E

ez2cy

Enthusiast
Thanks for all the replies. 2222 (or however many dueces you have in your name..LOL) thanks for your thoughts. It has kind of backed up what I've been thinking for sometime. My next coarse of action I think will start grabbing hands from 1/2 dollar games for a few weeks to see if the "rocks" make money there, or the "fish", I'm thinking the more solid play will win versus the "oh well, it's only 40 cents more to call" idea. Tourneys, especially SnG's i do extremely well at. Patience I've found is the key, the donks will knock themselves out and you just wait for the premium hands. The cash games have been different. I'll get pocket A's or Kings, bet 6, 7 or 8 times the BB to hopefully get heads up. What happens is I'll get someone that has a "but they were suited" hand and no matter how I bet, they call you to the river. Maybe you don't get that kind of play higher up. Guess I'll have to take the plunge and see.
Thanks again for the replies.
 
-2222-

-2222-

Guest
ez2cy....good luck!

Bombjack....a thoughtful reply.

My reasoning is that a check-raise on the Flop is often picked off by a 3 bet....what do I do if he re-raises me in that spot with my pair of 8s? Check-raising the Flop is typical of a small pair so it telegraphs my hand more with the result that I am raised all-in far too often.

A call in that spot is a much stronger play ironically because of the reasons you mention....ie, I am prepared to give a free card. Therefore in this case, it is more likely that he will think that I have a Set and this is exactly what I want him to think. On other Flops, he might think that I have two pair. The way I played the hand, I am getting JJ-AA to lay down some of the time and much more often than when I check-raise the Flop and AK/AQ is not raising me AI trying to represent JJ-AA.

Cheers

Paul
 
Four Dogs

Four Dogs

Legend
ez2cy....good luck!

Bombjack....a thoughtful reply.

My reasoning is that a check-raise on the Flop is often picked off by a 3 bet....what do I do if he re-raises me in that spot with my pair of 8s? Check-raising the Flop is typical of a small pair so it telegraphs my hand more with the result that I am raised all-in far too often.

A call in that spot is a much stronger play ironically because of the reasons you mention....ie, I am prepared to give a free card. Therefore in this case, it is more likely that he will think that I have a Set and this is exactly what I want him to think. On other Flops, he might think that I have two pair. The way I played the hand, I am getting JJ-AA to lay down some of the time and much more often than when I check-raise the Flop and AK/AQ is not raising me AI trying to represent JJ-AA.

Cheers

Paul
Paul, I like your logic as far as just calling goes, and I credit you for great table awareness. He probably has AK, AQ or something along those lines; not anything that's likely to have connected with that flop. I also like the way you played the hand. 88 and 2nd pair is not strong enough to checkraise with. By check calling you're telling him that you have a hand and know he's FOS and are willing to keep on calling if he's willing to keep on betting, so- shit or get off the can. But I'm not sure about the check raise reasoning. I think you're giving an unknown opponent to much credit for multi-level thinking. In my experience, a 3 bet means just what its supposed to mean. An opponent would have to have a superhuman read on you to be that sure you're not going to at least call.
 
Bombjack

Bombjack

Legend
If you're representing a set, wouldn't it be more realistic to check-raise the turn, or, if your opponent also checks the turn, bet the pot on the river?
 
bubbasbestbabe

bubbasbestbabe

Suckout Queen
I have found that going essentially from .10/.25 to 1/2 has been the best thing I could ever have done.....there are still plenty of suckouts but they have reduced by a minimum of 70% so I feel like I am playing poker now, not Bingo.

Actually this quote here describes micro limits perfectly. It is a bingo game to most of the players there. But that is not to say you can't influence the drop of the ball. The perfect style for micros is a LAG style. You have to open your hand selection PF and be ready to fold alot after the flop. The key to micros is when you hit on the flop. No matter what is flopped you will almost find someone to call what you bet 99.9% of the time. This is when you make your money. Most of these players at the micro tables are major fish. Most times you can take a minimum buyin of $.40 and turn it into $10 within an hour or less of play.
 
-2222-

-2222-

Guest
Four Dogs and Bubba....it's great to hear from you....it's been to long.

I still lurk here from time to time as you can see!

Four Dog's....you were always a (very) popular member here...why don't you have a row of 10 or so little green dots?

Fourdog's....I agree with you to some extent....especially at the 1/2 level and below but multi-level thinking does happen more often these days due to the playing styles adopted at the higher levels and mimicked at the lower levels (even I am 3 betting small pairs PF these days when I only did so with QQ-AA until recently).

Like I said, I belive that my play gets some of its value from getting 99-AA to fold some of the time by repping a Set. Lots of 2/4 players are capable of this level of thinking IMO.

Bombjack, most players will check behind in these circumstances so taking the pot away on the Turn is more profitable and does not give medium -high pairs another opportunity to hit.

Bubba....reads like sound advice to me...as always.

Cheers

Paul
 
P

PIGGEBANK

Rising Star
Being a rock, and multi-tabling 3/6 NLHE is very profitable. The lower you go from here, the less skilled the players are, which creates a much greater variance. The higher you go from here, the more skilled the players are, which makes your methods rather inaffective at times.
 
Four Dogs

Four Dogs

Legend
Four Dogs and Bubba....it's great to hear from you....it's been to long.
I still lurk here from time to time as you can see!
Four Dog's....you were always a (very) popular member here...why don't you have a row of 10 or so little green dots?
Paul
Thanks and welcome back. Um, the green dots? I don't know. That's a good question. But I'm kinda fond of my little evil black one.:cool:
 
1FOOL4POKER

1FOOL4POKER

Guest
Just try to stay calm and stick with a good poker strategy. The cards are not always going to go are way, so we need to be able to stop instead of keep pushing are chips in the middle when they should be saved for later day or different table. Try to stay positive and believe that things will improve and usually they will as long as you are smart and manage your bank roll wisely!:eek:
 
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