What is Small in Small Stack Strategy

    • locotyson
      locotyson
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.01.2011 Posts: 20
      Hi,
      Of course, the stack is small and this is a kinda duplicate post, so sorry but can be posted in both BSS and SS.

      I read in the articles that SSS is less risky, you earn little money but you may loose only little money as well.

      But except the stack and the starting hands which are pretty the same, what does the SSS less risky knowing that there are more all in cases in SSS than in BSS?

      Regards,
      Loco Mehdi
      :f_zZz:
  • 17 replies
    • CreamyGoodness
      CreamyGoodness
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.10.2010 Posts: 229
      Im a born again beginner myself, but I think I can help you out...

      Bacically, the SSS is designed to steadily increase your bankroll by almost garaunteeing you have the best hand when the money goes in. Most hands are over preflop or on the flop so you never give your opponent(s) the chance or odds to draw. You are making it unprofitable for them to play against by removing implied odds.

      The flip side of this coin is that you lose very little on the few times they do draw out on you. Also, the cost of any mistakes you make while learning are very small.

      Someone please correct me if I am wrong!
    • MeanGreen
      MeanGreen
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.09.2007 Posts: 862
      The cases where you go all-in are very basic with SSS and take place mostly postflop and on the flop. When you go all-in it's like Creamy said: you'll have the best hand most of the time. With BSS you will be faced with decisions on the turn and river far more often, which can lead to more mistakes.

      Less chance for mistakes = less risky.
    • Gerv
      Gerv
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.05.2008 Posts: 17,678
      How about looking it if you are playing BSS.

      By default in a single raised pot you are most likely to play Preflop, Flop, Turn & River.
      Beginners are mostly prone to raising too many hands at some point because they can't stand being so tight.

      So their first mistake preflop is that they raise too many marginal hands. If one gets called and makes a standard cBet, the pot will only grow. Now let's say on the Turn Hero hits a flushdraw with his marginal hand while villain has toppair.

      Now it is very tempting for Hero to bet again and then we still have to talk about the river (if he misses the flushdraw)

      I saw many cases from students that the mistake could be prevented by just folding preflop.

      With SSS there is a cap of 20bb, BSS is a cap of 100bb
    • CreamyGoodness
      CreamyGoodness
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.10.2010 Posts: 229
      Originally posted by Gerv


      I saw many cases from students that the mistake could be prevented by just folding preflop.

      Like Dan Harrington says, often the only mistake made in a hand is the initial decision to play the hand in the first place.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Bacically, the SSS is designed to steadily increase your bankroll by almost garaunteeing you have the best hand when the money goes in. Most hands are over preflop or on the flop so you never give your opponent(s) the chance or odds to draw. You are making it unprofitable for them to play against by removing implied odds.
      Unfortunately, this paragraph is pretty far wrong.

      You are not close to guaranteed to have the best hand when the money goes in. Even if you are playing tighter than optimal, you will often have the second best hand and get coolered. This does not mean you did anything wrong, or that the strategy should be even tighter.

      Getting your money in ahead is one way to win, but it can also be a symptom of bad play, not winning play. If you play nothing but AA, you will start with the best hand when you play, but you will blind off waiting for AA, and even slightly observant opponents will simply avoid paying you off when you finally play a hand. Solid poker involves taking pots no one wants, including times when you do not have the best hand. Solid poker involves making correct calls when you do not feel you are ahead, but are getting good enough odds. Solid poker means looking for good situations, not good hands.

      Draws are strongest on the flop. When you are short-stacked, you often do not have the threat of making a punishing turn bet. This means you can't protect your made hands from decent draws. Nor should you be folding your decent draws against possible made hands.

      When you play with a short stack, you have a relatively simple strategy which capitalizes on many of your opponents' common mistakes, such as playing too loosely preflop, without the danger of being outplayed in a few big pots. Many of the other short stacks are bad players, and you can target them without exposing yourself as much to players with big stacks who have position on you or who can outplay you. Your opponents with big stacks may also make some plays which are not errors against other big stacks but which become errors against short stacks, such as calls or raises with speculative hands which rely on implied odds, or folds of hands which are good enough to call all-in, but not good enough to call when there would be more bets to call later.
    • CreamyGoodness
      CreamyGoodness
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.10.2010 Posts: 229
      @ Phzon

      I was speaking strictly preflop and on the flop. Arent you mostly going to have a pair or a big Ace when you play from almost any position in SSS?

      Surely this means that the (however slight) majority of the time you will have the best hand preflop, and often on the flop too. We all run into Aces when we have Kings, of course, but moslty we will be playing good percentages. This is the point of SSS right?
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Well, why not guarantee that you have the best hand by only playing AA, and only playing it by going all-in preflop? Wouldn't that mean your bankroll would grow steadily as you get your money in ahead over and over? No. Most of the money you put in would be the blinds, and you would lose the blinds over and over while waiting for aces. That you are ahead on average when you voluntarily enter the pot does not mean your strategy is good, or profitable.
    • CreamyGoodness
      CreamyGoodness
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.10.2010 Posts: 229
      Originally posted by pzhon
      Well, why not guarantee that you have the best hand by only playing AA, and only playing it by going all-in preflop? Wouldn't that mean your bankroll would grow steadily as you get your money in ahead over and over? No. Most of the money you put in would be the blinds, and you would lose the blinds over and over while waiting for aces. That you are ahead on average when you voluntarily enter the pot does not mean your strategy is good, or profitable.
      We seem to be going around in circles here.

      Nowhere in any of my posts did I say that waiting for Aces is the best way to play. What I did say is that according to the SSS starting hands chart, you will mostly be playing medium to big pairs and big Aces, and that optimal strategy when playing SS is to get all in preflop or on the flop when we hit or seem to hold up (which our small stack allows us to do), or to take down the pot with a Cbet on the flop when we miss.

      I am sitting here with the SSS strategy printed out and in a folder with me, and that seems to be the jist of it. I dont understand the point you are trying to make pzhon.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      I'm saying that your arguments are logically flawed. Your arguments say the AA only strategy would be good, but it is not. You have to overcome the blinds you post, and an ultratight strategy may not do that.

      Playing tightly does not mean you are getting your money in with the best hand, or that you are playing well, or that you will win in the long run. That is a common misconception. There is an optimal level of tightness, and to be safer for beginners, the strategy articles recommend being tighter than optimal, losing some money compared with optimal play by being too tight. As you play tighter and tighter, proportionally more of your money gets posted in blinds you abandon rather than with a good hand, and eventually you will lose on average.

      You deprive your opponents of profitable calls based on implied odds, but you deprive yourself of profitable situations based on implied odds, too. So, that doesn't make playing with a short stack profitable, either.
    • CreamyGoodness
      CreamyGoodness
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.10.2010 Posts: 229
      Originally posted by pzhon
      I'm saying that your arguments are logically flawed. Your arguments say the AA only strategy would be good
      Please show me where I said that. Im beginning to think your taking the piss out of me.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      See where I quoted you?

      Bacically, the SSS is designed to steadily increase your bankroll by almost garaunteeing you have the best hand when the money goes in.
      This is wrong in several ways. One way to see that it is a bad argument is that it would also imply that a clearly bad strategy, of playing AA only, would be even better. I am not saying that you told everyone to play AA only. I am saying that having the best hand when you get all-in does not mean you will win money on average. (Also, the SSS does not "almost guarantee" that you have the best hand when you get all-in.)

      If you think I'm joking, I won't bother explaining further in a fifth post. Good luck.
    • supeyrio
      supeyrio
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.11.2009 Posts: 3,106
      Bacically, the SSS is designed to steadily increase your bankroll by almost garaunteeing you have the best hand when the money goes in.
      lol @ statement. either you're a super good shortstacker or you have never played short stack. Oh wait even super good shortstackers get their $ in bad at times. So you cant be one...
      U
      R
      Probably
      A
      NIT

      almost guaranteeing lmao.......
    • CreamyGoodness
      CreamyGoodness
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.10.2010 Posts: 229
      Originally posted by pzhon
      See where I quoted you?

      Bacically, the SSS is designed to steadily increase your bankroll by almost garaunteeing you have the best hand when the money goes in.
      This is wrong in several ways

      If you think I'm joking, I won't bother explaining further in a fifth post. Good luck.
      Im not having a go at you Pzhon, I was genuinly confused. I am a bronze after all!

      Obviously I misphrased my initial point. Is this a better alternative?

      Originally posted by CreamyGoodness
      according to the SSS starting hands chart, you will mostly be playing medium to big pairs and big Aces, and that optimal strategy when playing SS is to get all in preflop or on the flop when we hit or seem to hold up (which our small stack allows us to do), or to take down the pot with a Cbet on the flop when we miss.
      Also something in your last post confused me further:
      Originally posted by pzhon
      I am saying that having the best hand when you get all-in does not mean you will win money on average.
      Can you elaborate?
    • Semesa
      Semesa
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.06.2008 Posts: 294
      Hey, just played a quick 1500 or so hands on the new CAP tables NL50 SSS, I used to play SSS exclusively, probably had around 150k hands under my belt so I do understand the strategy etc... annyways... Down 8 BI for the session, which I don't mind so much as I remember the swings quite well.

      However what I noticed when looking at the graph is that even with that, my all in EV is still -$50 and my graph is steadily sloping downwards.

      If I recall correctly, SSS graphs are meant to stay about breakeven as far as non showdown winnings go, then climb with all in EV.

      Is basic SSS just not profitable at NL50 CAP tables or did I go wrong somewhere?
    • thazar
      thazar
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.09.2009 Posts: 6,560
      Hi Semesa

      Iti s hard to tell 1500 is not a big enough sample; your graph could go anywhere with such a small amount of hands. Have a look at your graph every 25k+ hands

      Regards

      Thazar
    • Semesa
      Semesa
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.06.2008 Posts: 294
      at -11bb/100 hands I'll be very far past broke by the time I get a sample even close to that...

      That being said I have nothing else to do and after dropping 12 buy ins at NL25 6max today I think donking the rest in SSS seems the way to go. I'll post my graph when I'm broke.


      edit: 2 sessions, 3k hands(1.5k hands exactly per session), playing pretty damn close to optimal.



      Uploaded with ImageShack.us

      first session: following SSS to the letter according to SHC and post flop play.

      second session: Using gerv's loose blind steal approach, stealing wider vs players with 80%+ fold to steal.




      Session stats:

      Session 1:
      VPIP: 5.0
      PFR: 4.9
      3bet%: 3.1
      agf: 6.0
      WTSD%: 48.3
      W$SD%: 42.9

      $USD: -$81.05
      $USD EV: -50.61



      Session 2:
      VPIP:11.2
      PFR: 11.1
      3bet%: 7.7
      agf: 4.0
      WTSD%: 63.4
      W$SD% 34.6

      $USD: -$103.60
      $USD EV: -80.13




      If current trend continues, a short stacker can expect to go broke with a 50 buy in rule within 9000 hands.

      Good strategy there!



      edit: Sure I run bad etc, I'm 10 BI below EV on NL25 "BSS"(i.e. standard cash) 6max over about 20k hands, but I somehow doubt that variance is the cause of a 19 BI "downswing" over 3,000 hands. The strategy just doesn't work. I honestly believe in the beginning it was "invented" mainly to get lots of very high volume, and therefore, high rake producing players.

      The fact that its mainly taught and advertised mostly at sites with some sort of deal running with some online poker rooms seems to support this theory(e.g. $50 from pokerstrategy)


      Don't get me wrong, It "worked" marginally about 2-3 years ago when I first started playing poker, you could expect around 1-2bb/100 hands NL10 basic SSS, that is, if you didn't go out of your mind grinding it.

      But I see way too much adaptation to the strategy for it to be profitable nowadays. SSS is a money sink.
    • pokerkingspades
      pokerkingspades
      Basic
      Joined: 07.12.2010 Posts: 12
      I couldnt agree less with u.
      Not sure what kind of strategy u r doing,we must have a different hand selection preflop