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StrategyFixed Limit

Opponent Types: Short-handed Stats - Recommendations for Small Stakes Hold'em


In this article
  • The most important stats for short-handed
  • Recommendations for your own game
  • Stats have to be interpreted
Tracking programs like PokerTracker or the PokerStrategy Elephant record all the important values of the sessions. This way you keep tabs on your winnings and losses, and on the other hand you have the necessary database to scrutinise your own playing style empirically. It enables you to find leaks by comparing the values with those of other winning players. Do you play too loose? Too tight? Are you aggressive enough? Or even overly aggressive?

This article is meant as a guide for the different statistics. The second part will amplify on how to include the stats on the poker table, which means what role the stats have when determining your opponent's style.
There are no optimal stats. Poker is a situational game. Not everybody is facing the same opponents. They vary from platform to platform, limit to limit, or even at different hours. Different opponents require different strategies to exploit their weaknesses.

Furthermore, not everybody plays equally well. If you know that you don't play very well OOP and without initiative, it might be more sensible for you to defend your big blind a bit tighter. If on the other hand, you can handle marginal situations well enough and know where the weaknesses of your opponents are, you can play much more liberally.

An important value with empirical data is always the sample size. Some values like your own VPIP or PFR are quite accurate as you often have the opportunity to invest money into the pot, and also often take this chance. After 10k hands, these values are already quite trustworthy.

In contrast, special values like e.g. Folded To River Bet need a larger sample size as you are significantly less often confronted with a river bet.

Thus, if you evaluate stats, you should always keep in mind the sample size. Some values are already quite sound in a relatively short time, others need quite some time to converge. The best example is unfortunately the win rate. More about this later though.

That's not the entire article...

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