Should I be winning with ALL starting hands in my range?

    • SilverSag
      SilverSag
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 512
      I am asking because I am trying find the leaks in my game.

      The way I am thinking now is:

      Whatever type of game you play, whatever the limit, EVERY hand in your starting hand range (whatever that range is) over long period (insert any period you think is sufficient here) should bring you profit (be in green, when you look at the stats).

      So, if I look at the stats and I see that I am losing money with certain hand then I should either:

      - stop playing with that starting hand (tightening up your game)

      - analysing the way I play that hand and adjusting my play until its profitable

      Is my thinking correct here?
  • 10 replies
    • Shevtshenko
      Shevtshenko
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.12.2009 Posts: 4,087
      Is my thinking correct here?


      No. Check out 87s, it's not going to be on green after sample. Yet, if you compare your winnings with aces to someone elses aces that doesn't play 87s, youl'll get why your thinking isn't correct. Obv. that's just one example but should be enough to prove the point.
    • livelydolphin
      livelydolphin
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.04.2010 Posts: 30
      It depends actually. You'll need a very large sample of such data for it to be accurate (sometimes u hit, sometimes u don't. it really depends on the board, flop esp, on how much it hits your opponent's range vs your range) which position you play those hands is another important consideration. More importantly you have to observe if you overplayed or played wrongly certain hands in the game. For e.g. against an opponent who often calls down 3 bet preflop and doesnt fold often to cbet, I'll tend to fold my blinds with suited connectors and suited ace instead of 3 betting (cut off/ button open raised vs my blinds). IMO it's really table dependant. Tighten your range when table is loose, loosen your range when the table is tight.
    • livelydolphin
      livelydolphin
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.04.2010 Posts: 30
      Originally posted by Shevtshenko
      Is my thinking correct here?


      No. Check out 87s, it's not going to be on green after sample. Yet, if you compare your winnings with aces to someone elses aces that doesn't play 87s, youl'll get why your thinking isn't correct. Obv. that's just one example but should be enough to prove the point.
      Is that the case? I thought hands like 87s you'll usually win quite a big pot for the times you win, which make up for the numerous small pots that you lose with. Hence it should still be green as long as you play correctly? Ofc aces will be more green. Hmm...
    • SilverSag
      SilverSag
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 512
      Originally posted by Shevtshenko
      Is my thinking correct here?


      No. Check out 87s, it's not going to be on green after sample. Yet, if you compare your winnings with aces to someone elses aces that doesn't play 87s, youl'll get why your thinking isn't correct. Obv. that's just one example but should be enough to prove the point.
      I dont quite get it. Are you implying that main reason to play with 87s is only so ppl start calling and 3-betting my AA more? Not about winning with actual hand? So, just breaking even or even small loss would be OK?
    • SilverSag
      SilverSag
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 512
      Originally posted by livelydolphin
      It depends actually. You'll need a very large sample of such data for it to be accurate (sometimes u hit, sometimes u don't. it really depends on the board, flop esp, on how much it hits your opponent's range vs your range) which position you play those hands is another important consideration. More importantly you have to observe if you overplayed or played wrongly certain hands in the game. For e.g. against an opponent who often calls down 3 bet preflop and doesnt fold often to cbet, I'll tend to fold my blinds with suited connectors and suited ace instead of 3 betting (cut off/ button open raised vs my blinds). IMO it's really table dependant. Tighten your range when table is loose, loosen your range when the table is tight.
      :f_biggrin: When thinking about how to ask this question I was really trying to avoid these types of responses. I failed :f_biggrin: I am talking about the general concept only. No ifs, buts, etc.

      Do you play all hands to win? Or do you, as Shevtshenko suggested, play some hands only to balance out the AA and should be happy to brake even with them?

      As I said - whatever the game, the limit, the position, villain, whatever. If you don't think a particular suited ace is not suited to play in the current situation, then don't play it. But in the end it should still be profitable?

      Yes, No?

      Thats my question here :f_cool:

      p.s. just for you lets say sample is 300 000 000 hands :f_biggrin:
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      Every hand would be losing hand if you'd just fold it pf so breaking even with them or losing at lesser rate is already more profitable thing to do than folding + add more aggro image yada yada.
    • MatejM47
      MatejM47
      Black
      Joined: 21.01.2010 Posts: 1,193
      I think what Shevtshenko was trying to say is that if people see you 5-bet jam 22 or A3s in BvB your way more likely to get paid off when you do have your aces unlike if your 5-bet broke range is KK+ only.

      And no, every hand you play does not have to be profitable, breakeven is more then enough. If you can play every hand breakeven, then you will still make a ton of money from your monesters.

      However if 23o is in your UTG open raise you will most definetly lose a ton of money with it and you there for should not play it. Generally you should analyse a range of hands like mid suited connectors or low PP by position. If you notice that flatting 22-77 in SB is losing you money, you should either start 3-betting or folding them.

      Important factor to consider is also the hands that you play on the blinds. If your standard is to flat 56s on BB and your breakeven with it or even slight loser, its still profitable to play it as long as you don't lose more then 1BB per hand which you will lose if you fold your hand.
    • MisClick
      MisClick
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.05.2008 Posts: 1,186
      Originally posted by SilverSag
      ..........

      So, if I look at the stats and I see that I am losing money with certain hand then I should either:

      - stop playing with that starting hand (tightening up your game)

      - analysing the way I play that hand and adjusting my play until its profitable

      Is my thinking correct here?
      No, I don't think 1. is correct. Your selection of starting hands it is just that: the start. Everytime a new card situation appears (flop/turn/river), the probabilities are reshuffled (have you heard of Bertrand's box paradox? A modern version of this problem is Monty Hall ). If you fail to re-evaluate, then you will be losing money in the long term. In a poker game where the players take only one decision preflop (you go all in or you fold and that is it), your starting hands selection will be making you money in the long run against players who go all in with every hand. But that is not the game we are playing here.
      S.
      (2. is basically learning to play, and I think that is what you need to do)
    • SilverSag
      SilverSag
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 512
      Originally posted by MatejM47
      Generally you should analyse a range of hands like mid suited connectors or low PP by position. If you notice that flatting 22-77 in SB is losing you money, you should either start 3-betting or folding them.

      Important factor to consider is also the hands that you play on the blinds. If your standard is to flat 56s on BB and your breakeven with it or even slight loser, its still profitable to play it as long as you don't lose more then 1BB per hand which you will lose if you fold your hand.
      Thank you very much for this bit! This is the first time on these forums when I managed to squeeze out some info about HOW you actualy analyse your game. :f_cool:
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Against observant opponents who make particular types of mistakes, you might benefit from playing some hands which lose (more than the blinds). However, this is very rare. The idea that it is good to play some losing hands is very exciting so people like talking about it, but usually it is not correct. If you are losing money outside the blinds with some class of hands, this is a sign that you have leaks, and that you should reduce the amount of hands of that type that you play or find ways to play them better. My goal isn't to play balanced poker ranges, it is to win money. I only balance my ranges when I think that will win more money.

      Very few low stakes opponents are really observant.

      Your sample sizes will often be small if you filter to an exact hand, and if you keep dropping hands which haven't won recently, then you may end up playing a range which is too tight since you will keep eliminating hands which are marginally profitable, but with which you have been slightly unlucky. A small sample shouldn't convince you that a hand is unprofitable. However, if you do become convinced that a hand will lose money, you need a very clear reason to play that hand anyway.