MSS -- is a positive winrate even possible?

    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      I read the MSS material a while back, and decided when my roll allowed, and I was going to move up to NL25, I would start w/ MSS

      I practised it at NL4 for a few hundred hands, and it seemed to work fine.

      At NL25, though, it has been a disaster (over only 500 hands)
      Even after eliminating all the non-poker mistakes such as:
       :diamond: Mis-clicks
       :diamond: Not noticing that there was a 3rd player in the hand

      and the poker mistakes
       :diamond: It was just a flush draw, not a monster draw
       :diamond: Raise instead of bet

      My winrate at MSS is still an astounding -15 BB/100

      At all the tables so far:
      If I raise, I either:
        :diamond: get 3Bet (chart says fold, so I fold)
        :diamond: everyone folds, and I use AA to steal blinds.
      It seems that at NL25, everyone is using a HUD, and as soon as they seem my 40BB stack, and my 8/8 stats, they know exactly what to do.

      I'll give it 4 more buy-ins, then I no longer am rolled for NL25
  • 36 replies
    • roopopper
      roopopper
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      I played nl25 and nl50 when I first tried mss and I ran the same as yourself, early on they did not have many hands on me so it was easy to rollercoast over them, but once they started to get a read of my game then(quite rightly) they started to exploit me.

      Sounds like nl25 is the point in the game where you have to take your game to the next level, your hud will tell you if its profitable to fold to every villian who 3 bets you surely? I think the charts only take you so far, and you really now need to start to put your opponents on ranges. Ie if they are 3 betting your ep raise 9% of the time would you fold your ak or jj tt?
      Same with following the post flop charts if there is an obviously better hand against you (flush to your overpair) dont keep raising!

      I have only started playing mss again a few weeks ago, and am hanging aroung nl2 and nl4 at the mo to practice bringing my game up to scratch, also I'm not playing loads of tables as I want to concentrate on whats going on in the game, I really dont think you can just follow a chart open up ten tables and expect to win when playing poker.

      The mss strat is a basic game for begginers, but I do think there is plenty of room to open up and expand this game to make a profit.

      Even at nl4 i know its not profitable to go all in sometimes with my ak or qq as some players only 3 bet with kk aa and i dont want to spew my chips!

      i have found some of the bss post flop play articles really helpful.

      i have to say I am by no means any kind of expert with this game its just how im seeing it at the moment. maybe you could help me expand my Ideas too and we could help each other?

      Roo
    • nathanrenard
      nathanrenard
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      You're basing the thought over 500 hands?

      Still, the charts are as usual a basic idea. You need to adjust to your opponents as well. Observant players will be adjusting to you.
    • Targetme
      Targetme
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      Joined: 04.05.2009 Posts: 1,888
      MSS -- is a positive winrate even possible?

      yes but not a very big one
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Originally posted by nathanrenard
      You're basing the thought over 500 hands?

      Still, the charts are as usual a basic idea. You need to adjust to your opponents as well. Observant players will be adjusting to you.
      I had a reasonable couple of sessions at NL4, but it seems that at NL25 they are wise to MSS, observation was not based on # of hands, but on observing other players reactions. It is quite possible that I just ran into a bunch of PokerStrategists :D

      I had a good second session -- my first session on the plus side -- and I am now up to a -10bb/100 "winrate".

      I did several things differently -- and there were some situational differences.
      First off, I had nits to my left (not as nitty as me, but nitty enough), and some LAGs on my right. I stole blinds a wee bit looser than suggested by the chart, and waited to pounce on the lags, and as soon as I had stacked him, I left. In at least one case, I think I overplayed AQo in EP (I posted the hand in the evaluation forum)

      I didn't do this, but I thought -- would it be a good idea to suddenly switch to BSS after stacking a fish? You might be able to take advantage of others at the table for a short period before leaving.
    • nathanrenard
      nathanrenard
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      If you have a good BSS play i don't mind keeping your 100bbs at the table after a MSS double up. Could be a good mix of play too.

      You just need to know that over 50bbs MSS is REEEEEEEALLLY not optimal. And about the winrate, you can expect a small one, how much? Will depend on how many tables at the same time are you in.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Marathon session today: 1548 hands.
      Some interesting notes:
      Overall -- a loss ~$18
      No big deal.

      What is interesting though:
      Rake: $44
      Strategic errors in hands where won/lost > 20BB
      $48 I could have saved
      $25 I would not have made
      $23 net leakage.
      I'm sure there are much smaller strategic errors in hands where win/loss is less than 20BB. For example, I fold on the button the bottom end of the steal range where blinds are v loose or v aggressive or both. It may be -EV to play like that, but it is +comfort.

      In a world with rakeback (damn you Full Tilt) I would only be out $4 from this session.

      I'll keep at this a while -- at least until I have to drop a limit.
    • Kruppe
      Kruppe
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      it is impossible to win if you play MSS
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Originally posted by Kruppe
      it is impossible to win if you play MSS
      Would you care to elaborate?
      It is touted as a way to build bankroll with little risk.
    • tryhardnoob
      tryhardnoob
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      I read this "At NL25, though, it has been a disaster (over only 500 hands)"

      Then i stopped reading. MSS is high variance, you can easy have downswings for 5k hands.
    • chimpboy
      chimpboy
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      Hi all,

      As some of you guys are "gold" rated, are you using the gold MSS articles or the starting MSS articles?

      Just thought I would ask as we might be getting the two mixed up.

      I guess the gold MSS will start using stats for 3/4 betting etc.


      Thank you,

      Chimpboy.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Originally posted by chimpboy
      As some of you guys are "gold" rated, are you using the gold MSS articles or the starting MSS articles?
      I guess the gold MSS will start using stats for 3/4 betting etc.
      You make a very good point.
      I have only been gold for less that a day, and playing MSS only twice that, not counting a few experiments. I started out with MSS "by the book", but I have already thrown in a few bluffs, and I have been stealing more loosely when the opponents allow it.

      My session review from my last one show an interesting pattern, though:
      1. MSS has a lot of raise/fold and bet/fold standard plays. These are costly
      2. Out of 1500 hands I had 4 wins > 20BB, and 8 losses > 20 BB 6 of which I had the edge preflop

      Between the suckouts and the demands of the strategy the margin will be always be small at best.

      The biggest advantage of MSS that I can find, is that even at 8 tables, there is not a lot to do -- I can only handle about 4 tables BSS

      I'll look over the gold articles over the next while.
    • roopopper
      roopopper
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      Originally posted by Kruppe
      it is impossible to win if you play MSS
      why do you think this? on what basis are you making this statement? Why would ps make such a strategy if you could not win?
    • roopopper
      roopopper
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      why not tell us all why it cannot win instead of making statements like this?
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Originally posted by roopopper
      Originally posted by Kruppe
      it is impossible to win if you play MSS
      why do you think this? on what basis are you making this statement? Why would ps make such a strategy if you could not win?
      I think he was just trolling.
      I do think, though that things are magnified by MSS, since the small stack means you are all-in far more often.

      If you 3Bet pre, and get called, then want to CBet, you will need to invest almost 1/2 your remaining stack to make a 3/4 pot CBet -- so you may as well ship it right there. If you DON'T ship, you are left with a crippled stack, and no matter what happens on later streets, your fold equity is gone.

      Also, at higher limits, better players will know exactly what your pre-flop range is. They know that your are playing raise/fold on a large portion of that.
      So, if you open raise from MPwith a mid stack, they can 3-bet you. If you shove they can fold, otherwise YOU will fold. I have not done the math, but I think that you need to fold about 60% of the time for them to 3Bet ATC each time a mid-stack open-raises. I tried a 4Bet shove on one player who had high 3Bet stat and he folded. After that he did not 3Bet me quite so often, but by then he had already grabbed a bunch of my money.

      I'll try some logic:
      Assume MSS on the button, BSS in the BB
      MSS Raising chart for BTN says:
      QQ+ AK -- Raise 4BB and shove if re-raised
      88-JJ AJ-AQ, ATs, KQ Raise 4BB and fold if re-raised
      Equilab range form:77+,A9s+,KQs,ATo+,KQo

      This range has 68% equity against a random hand.
      In the BB the BSS player needs only 3Bet an additional 7BB to minraise, since he already has one in the pot.
      Even to just call the button's raise, the BB has a break-even equity of 35%, so any better hand, or any fold equity at all makes the 3Bet profitable.

      If you use the steal ranges from MSS, it becomes even more profitable for BB to 3Bet, especially since a huge portion of the MSS steal range is tagged as raise/fold.
      The steal range is:
      22+,A2s+,KTs+,QTs+,JTs,A9o+,KTo+,QTo+,JTo
      This range has only 64% equity against a random hand.
      against Any pair, any ace, any king, any connector, the MSS steal range is almost a coin flip

      I don't know how to put this mathematically.
    • roopopper
      roopopper
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      Thanks Vorpal really interesting reply!! This has given me so much to think about! :)
    • vuckom1
      vuckom1
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      Well if they adjust you readjust. Charts wont get you far no matter what strategy you play.
    • nathanrenard
      nathanrenard
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      Originally posted by vuckom1
      Well if they adjust you readjust. Charts wont get you far no matter what strategy you play.
      Even in blackjack charts will only give you a small edge. It's poker you can't play purely by the charts or you will be read very easily.
    • VorpalF2F
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      Well, it appears that this idea that MSS is vulnerable is not too original.

      From the first Gold strategy article on MSS:

      Due to the bigger stack, it is easier for your opponents to effectively attack your open-raises with 3-bets. As the 3-better doesn't automatically commit himself against you (as opposed to a 3-bet against a short stack), you are theoretically more vulnerable to 3-bet-bluffs.
      I don't seriously think there would be too many 3Bet bluffs NL10 and less, but this is something to watch for. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the articles have to say.

      One other thing I noted from the first article:
      We recommend a general BRM of at least 50 stacks. This is not yet a conservative BRM; of course you can raise the number a bit because the swings in MSS can be quite large. It might happen that you will run 40-50 stacks below EV after 50,000 hands. You should be prepared for this and adjust your limits correspondingly.
      So theoretically, I'm not really rolled for NL25 MSS, whereas I am rolled for NL10 BSS, since BRM suggests only 25 BI in reserve for BSS.

      Interestingly in the introductory article for MSS it uses the phrase "less risk", yet they suggest more conservative BRM.
    • nathanrenard
      nathanrenard
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      I think you miss something for the basic articles as they suggest you move up to 40 BI on NL10 as the swings get bigger.
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