Hello all, welcome to my online poker blog.

I've been playing on and off for a decade after being introduced by a friend.

I played regularly for a few years during the poker boom and had a decent record at the micros, particularly Rush and Zoom No Limit Hold'em games (here's one of my graphs).

Around 2012 I began a new career which involved immersing myself completely in study in my spare time, so I had little to no time for poker. However recently this burden has eased and so I have been gradually dipping back in.

I'm an amateur player who still hopes to some day beat the rake.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Some Insight on Big Blind Loss

I was doing some stats work and thought this information might be of use to someone. Sorry about all of the maths.

As part of my ongoing work on improving my blind play I decided to quickly deduce where the number comes from, and why my losses normally converge on somewhere around -52 bb/100 (which is terrible, imo).

Theoretically if I was to fold every single big blind (including those times that it was a limped pot and I chose to fold instead of checking to see a flop) and I also gave back my walk money because I didn't want it (bear with me a second) then I'd lose 100 bb/100 hands when I was sitting in that position. Pretty obvious.

In reality of course, I do get walks some of the time and I get to see flops for free some of the time too. When I filter my entire playing history (more than 500k hands) for every single hand where I did NOT voluntarily put money in the flop - which includes folding to a raise - then I actually lose about 68 bb/100 hands. This would probably get worse at higher stakes where aggression is more common, but for now I'm going to treat this as a constant in any equations I use.

Big blind losses therefore come from the following equation where VPIP means 'Voluntarily Put money In Pot' which is a percentage:

Big Blind Losses = (VPIP)*(Winnings when VPIP) + (1 - VPIP)*(-68)

Solving that equation isn't too useful yet, it's necessary to further break down the 'Winnings when VPIP' part first. There are two instances that are quite drastically different in terms of win rate (actually three but I'm not going to go into this that deeply). One is when I contribute money pre-flop by raising and the other is when I don't raise (and just flat call). The Raise part includes both the times that I 3-bet and also the times that I raise limpers. So the Big Blind Losses equation is now

 Big Blind Losses = (% Raise)*(Winnings when Raise) + (% Flat)*(Winnings when Flat) + (1-VPIP)*(-68)

I have extracted the relevant numbers from my database. I raised in the big blind 6% of the time for a win rate of 167 bb/100. I flat called in the big blind 5% of the time for a win rate of -47 bb/100 (yeah, I know). Here is the equation using those numbers:

{0.06*167 + 0.05*(-47)} + 0.89*(-68) = -52.9

I'd never done this calculation before but now my mediocre win rate makes much more sense to me. 
What it tells me is that I need to do a lot better when I flat call and probably better when I raise too. 

If I was to improve my losses when I flat call to break even then my overall losses would improve to -50.5 bb/100. 

If I was to increase the raise winnings to 200 bb/100 and also break even when flat calling, then my losses would improve to -48.5. That would really add up to a lot of extra money over any large sample of hands. 

The target I mentioned in my last post was -45 bb/100. I'll now explore a few numbers that would get me to that total. Imagine again that I'm breaking even when I flat call about 5% of the time but now I'm raising (either raising limpers or 3-betting) 8% of the time at 200 bb/100. 

0.08*200 + 0.05*0 + 0.87*(-68) = -43.16

It should be becoming clear now that significant improvement is going to be required in all areas for me to get to where I'd like to be. This will be improving my 3-betting strategy, flat calling strategy (more aggression required) and making sure that I'm not raising limpers with too loose a range. 

That was a lot of numbers, I'm off for a lie down. GL

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