Monday, October 08, 2007

Maximizing your Green line

I was just thinking of a line from the Theory of Poker, and think it applies well to getting your 'green line' up:

"Every time you make a bet that maximizes expectation versus your opponent’s actual hand, you win, every time your opponent fails to maximize his expectation given your actual hand, you win."

Imagine you call a pf opening raise in LP, or a limper or two, when holding Jack of Spades Ten of Spades.
The flop comes down Jack of Spades Jack of Spades Jack of Spades

Villain bets pot. You know he won't pay you off if you hit your flush, and aren't sure about ace outs, so you fold.

Your share of the sklansky bucks here means that even if villain has an extreme tight range your share of the chips is still about 35% of the chips in the pot. If you fold here you are losing all that equity. Even while it may be the correct play.

An example like this shows why it is a mistake to simply call behind two limpers with a hand like AJs or to just call a relatively loose MP raiser while you are on the button.

Simply because if you play too rigid opponents can deny you your Sklansky bucks.

If what I just typed makes no sense to you, you are not positional aware enough. Making sense?

PokerEV, great analysis software

Someone from the 2+2 forums has created this nice piece of software. What it does is show you how well you are running, and has great filter options to help you analyze your leaks.

It can be downloaded from .

To explain, here's my graph from the last two weeks:

What do the lines mean? The red and the blue lines are about showdowns. The red line shows your Sklansky bucks in the hand, which pretty much means the same as your equity in the hand.

For instance, you hold AA on the flop, someone reraises you all-in on a rainbow flop, and the total pot is 200BB while 100BB are your own if you call. You read his hand strength correctly and call. Villain shows 22 while there's no 2 on the board nor backdoor draws. So your Sklansky bucks in the hand equal around (.92x200bb)-100bb = 84BB-rake.

If your aces hold up vs his 2 outs, you actually sucked out, since you win 100BB-rake instead of 84.

That is what the blue line shows. The example is a bit extreme, but the blue line shows your actual winnings in showdown situations. If you get paid off more than your equity in the hands the blue line is above the red one, and is lower if you do not get paid off enough or miss your draws or get outdrawn. It also answers the question about how 'rigged' online poker is: Even while I got some suckouts during these 11823 hands, the difference between my expected showdown winnings and real showdown winnings is only $24 while at one time I were running $50 over equity, and running $100 below equity 500 hands later. It seems the odds hold up on average.

The green line shows your hands that did not go to showdown compared to your actual winnings. How to interpret it depends on your play style and other factors. Like if you are playing with a bunch of donks and play quite tight fit-or-fold poker your green line will be below the blue line on average. This also applies to calling IP with good draws and folding if you miss. If you bluff in bad spots too often your green line will also be much lower.
If it's above the blue line it can also mean different things. It can either mean you play your draws aggressive, pick good spots to bluff, but can also mean you fail at getting your good hands to showdown enough.

What does my first graph show? Well, first of all, do not play after going out. Notice the 11 buyin downswing in 500 hands? Even while I was supposed to lose 'only' 7 buyins in 500 hands, I should not have played at all that night.

How to work on your leaks is by using the filters well. For instance, the previous graph is clouded by hands I folded in the blinds. This is my graph from hands where I voluntarily put money in the pot (filter: action preflop call or raise).

This graph is supposed to run extreme good for any break-even or better player, but it shows better contrast since it filters out the hands you folded in the blinds.

After applying this let's see how well I play my draws:


So I run negative in these spot, so it may be interesting for me to look all those hands up and see how I can improve here.

Flushdraw (I filtered on any flushdraw)

Since the blue line is above the red line I ran lucky at flushdraws, but because the green is higher, I took enough pots down without hitting.

The luck bar shows how well you ran in all-in situations. Again the red line is your expected winnings, the blue your actual winnings. Here I ran about $43 over expectation in 113 all-in situations.

The analysis tab shows how your average betting is on each street compared to your equity in the hand. What you should look for here is that your bets on average are less than your equity in the hand on each street. For me, it seems on average I do fine here but maybe miss some value on the river I need to work on:

Pokerev seems to be in beta phase still, so it's free to use atm. I do not know if the designer has plans to go charge a fee for using it, but it seems to become even more useful than pokerstove for fixing your leaks.

If you want to know if this software is trustworthy, you could search the 2+2 forums for it, but so many users there are using it that it seems fine. Here's the thread that introduced the program:

2+2 Thread