Re-buying with SSS

    • inf4my
      Joined: 28.02.2008 Posts: 91
      Hi, so I've decided to give the SSS another try, since the first time I tried it it really did not work for me at all. I found myself bleeding away from blinds way too often, while waiting much too long for strong pre-flop hands. When I finally did get a hand, the table would fold to me and I'd gain nothing, and go back to bleeding blinds.

      I realize that in such a short period of time, this is most likely due to bad luck with the big stacks simply having trash hands and not making mistakes.

      In theory, the SSS does make sense to me, except for ONE rule that makes no sense at all. The articles state that I should only re-buy to 20 BB if my stack has fallen to 15 BB.

      Currently, I'm playing NL10 so I buy-in for $2. Logically, I simply see no reason to let my stack fall to 1.50, when my entire strategy is hinging on the chance that I will push my stack all-in. If my stack is 1.50 instead of $2 when I finally do get a hand, I will only gain $1.50, instead of $2. That is a difference of 25% !!!

      Over the course of thousands of hands, that 25% loss is going to add up to quite a bit of lost cash.

      I see absolutely zero disadvantages to re-buying to $2.00 immediately after each round of blinds. This will ensure that when I finally do push all-in as the favourite, that I stand to gain the maximum amount of profit.

      I have seen other people ask this question, and people have stated that SSS is most effective if you do not re-buy right away. However, they have given no explanation or math to support this rule.

      Letting your stack fall to $1.50 seems completely unneccessary, and in my experience so far has caused me to lose a lot of money that I would have otherwise gained if my stack was kept at a constant $2.00.
  • 7 replies
    • delete461
      Joined: 04.07.2008 Posts: 1,036
      When your stack drops to 15BB yeah your reward is lower, but your risk is lower too. I cant explain the math to you sorry but I have been told the risk:reward ratio is at its lowest at about 18BB
    • Fongie
      Joined: 02.12.2006 Posts: 4,978
      I agree with you. I rebuy after having had the big+small bind (from 1.85 to 2) everytime I get a chance (multitabling), and am going pretty steadily. I think if you feel it's better to rebuy, you should just do it.

      Then again, maybe there's a really really good explanation and I'm making you lose money. I will however continue rebuying :)
    • extpan
      Joined: 17.11.2007 Posts: 289
      Is not better to rebuy to play with sss is on NL10 say 1,85 and is not iportand to be on max 20bb because when luze you luze 18.5bb and when win you win there is no diference...SSS strategy best work on 18.5BB....My friends and I make math graph in GeoGebra:)
    • inf4my
      Joined: 28.02.2008 Posts: 91
      Originally posted by extpan
      it's not important to have max 20bb because when lose, you lose 18.5bb and when win, you win there is no difference..
      See, this is what people keep saying, but it makes no sense. In order for that logic to apply here, the win rate would have to be exactly 50%, which it definitely is not.

      The entire basis of the SSS is that when I do get a hand and play it aggressively, that I will be the FAVORITE because the big stack is only calling due to the small size of my bet compared to his chip stack.

      If you consider that I am almost always the favorite, then statistics tell us that I will win much more than 50% of the time, in which case, having only 15 to 18 BB as opposed to 20 is going to lose me money in the long run.

      I would really appreciate some concrete math behind this theory.
    • xarry2
      Joined: 02.01.2007 Posts: 834
      I won't give you math :) but experience. I play SSS for almost 2 years now.

      Your logic is of course true. As basic shortstack strategy player we almost only play very strong hands. therefore we will very often be ahead if we get called / reraised and in a ahead situation we of course want to bet as much money as we can.
      So, now comes the other side of the medal. The bigger your stack gets the more difficult poker gets. the more possible actions a you have and the more you are under pressure if your opponent plays back at you. SSS is designed to be a very easy but profitable strategy. The goal was (imo, i wasn't one of the creators :D ) to find a compromiss between profit and difficulty. I think this is between 15 and 20BB. always depends on the individual player. with basic SSS on low limits I however don't see a big problem always rebuying to 20BB. usually your opponents aren't good and will still give you a payout with your 20BB stack. if you have a auto reload option then use it. if thats to much work if you multitable then play with 15BB rebuy to 20BB. on low limits its much more important to fix all the leaks you have instead of always monitoring your stacksize.
      I personally prefer to blind down to 10BB and then rebuy to like 16-17BB. But I don't play basic SSS. I play on higher limits and much looser than the basic SSS. therefore it is often not clear that i'm ahead if i get action. having a smaller stack helps a lot there. its much easier with a smaller stack compared to the pot. another important point is that players on higher limits don't give you a payout that easy if you have a 20BB stack compared to jsut a 12-15BB stack. in addition, especially when I reraise or resteal having 20BB is very often limiting my reraising range since if I try to make bluffreraises/loose resteals I often risk to much if I just face on raise between 3-4BB. If I have a 15BB stack I still create much foldequity but risk much less.
      But to come back to your question. I like the idea of always rebuying as long as you face opponents who still give you a payout with worse hands often enough and as long as you feel comfortable with it. but you should take into account that having a bigger stack does not only increase the chances to win money but does also increase those to loose, or lets say it this way: with a bigger stack you have more "opportunities" to make faults and loose money. especially if you're not very experienced these faults can easily overcompensate the additional value you get by a bigger stack so that you run -EV in the end.
    • Ironvein
      Joined: 27.05.2008 Posts: 3
      I'm not sure if this is the actual math behind the SSS but this is how I see:

      Presumption 1) only playing big hands only (given)
      Presumption 2) because of (1) you are not going to be playing in many hands (min. big blind)
      Presumption 3) ppl will catch on evenually that you do not play many hands and fold when you do.

      Given these presumptions (and my own experience thus far), you'll be lucky to all-in at all and most likely with just 1 person (the idiot that never learns ;p).

      So with the expectation of only doubling your stack (at best) here's the payout from the 20BB startup:
      20BB => 40BB
      15BB => 30BB
      10BB => 20BB

      This is only if you all-in and get lucky enough to get someone to call. As you can see, at 10BB you're lucky to break even and at 15BB (and win) you have a 50% payoff. I assume that 15BB was an arbitrary number that still showed a decent payrate (i.e. winning at 11BB is only a 10% payoff, to much work for so little at this point).

      Hope I'm making a little bit of sense (it sounds reasonable in my mind).

      Now for my question: Given presumption (3; above); is it wise to rebuy to 20BB at all? Why not cut your losses and move on to another table? As far as I can figure, the math is the same and you start on a table that noone has pegged you as a SSS (or maybe a rock). I would think that would be an advantage, but who knows?..... anyone?
    • xarry2
      Joined: 02.01.2007 Posts: 834
      hehe, actually thats what you have to think about when you want to beat the high limits NL 1k+. its the influence of your image which always determines how your opponents (if they actually know what image ect is) play against you. most of the players on high limits youse poker tracking software which will give them detailed stats about you. so actually leaving the table doesn't give you an advantage. and you usually don't have to care about that on low limits. i assume that like the vast majority of players below NL 400 will still make so many faults that even the very basic SSS (without any thinking at all) is profitable.
      rather try to fix the direct game leaks you have and not that math. it would increase your winrate a bit. but compared to normal work on your game its quite inefficient, takes long time/much efforts but doesn't bring you much.
      thats my opinion. at the start SSS should just be an easy stratgey to build up a bankroll and learn some basics of poker as well as discipline and routine. if you have advanced to NL 1k with SSS you can and should think about that math/image questions again.