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-   -   SSH and Utility: The Case for the Terrible 20 (http://archives2.twoplustwo.com/showthread.php?t=390716)

Zim 12-03-2005 07:30 PM

SSH and Utility: The Case for the Terrible 20
 
(catchy title, huh?)

Hey guys,

In a nutshell: I see no reason to play anything other than twenty hands, total.

---------------------------------

I've only recently been interested in improving my Limit Hold'em, so I went out and bought SSH. Very impressive, received it last night and I'm blown away by all the subtlities I was missing.

That said, I've always been a huge fan of abbreviated strategies (for multi-tabling purposes) and while I can respect the book's emphasis on maximuming your EV as opposed to minimizing the variance (and I recall a post by Ed addressing just this issue), but what info I've come across, suggests there is simply very little to be gained outside of the top twenty hands.

---------------------------------------------

Zipping by Pokerroom stats, I found that the top twenty hands (which, incidentally, virtually mirrored Skalansky's top 3 groups) were responsible for 90% of the EV of all players recorded.

Monster and big and medium pairs, big and little suited broadways, and big offsuit broadways.

On page 47 of SSH, Ed et al. give a chart that represents an expert player's database of 60,000 hands. Sure enough, right around pocket 88s ... EV falls off rapidly.

Of course, none of this can be argued to definitively typcast the EV from a winning player, but taken together it appears that regardless of your skill level, the top 20 hands are responsible for about 80% to 90% of your EV.

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As a new player to limit, if I can make 80% of my EV by only playing half the general recommended starting hands, and compensate by playing twice the tables (8-10?), wouldn't this be near optimal?

Variance would likely reduce, and *perfect* play would be more readily attainable.

Even 80% of a winning player's EV should amount to about 1 bb/hr, so at the 2/4 level ... this is still an impressive return on your money.

I know such an approach wouldn't work in a live casino, but online?

Sorry for the rushed nature of this post, I had hoped it to be a bit more polished, but this can't be a new idea ... so any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Best,
Zim

soko 12-03-2005 10:57 PM

Re: SSH and Utility: The Case for the Terrible 20
 
Nothing wrong with playing the top 20 hands, as im sure others will say, it's +EV but it's not maximum EV, if you're interested in maximizing your edge to the max there are many marginal hands to play, however you can't forget that if you're avoiding all marginal situations, many observant opponents (anyone using PT) is going to be getting out of you way which will lower your edge some as well, at lower limits this shouldn't be a problem.

jba 12-03-2005 11:20 PM

Re: SSH and Utility: The Case for the Terrible 20
 
hi Zim

---------------------------------

interesting post, but unless you're playing against total idiots, I don't think simple strategies are going to work very well. By playing this tight I think you are setting yourself up for failure against better players.

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also, having your win rate drop by even .25bb/100 will make your variance much higher.


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also, it's more fun to play a lot of hands.








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if you want to make the big bucks, you need to learn how to play good poker.

12-04-2005 12:14 AM

Re: SSH and Utility: The Case for the Terrible 20
 
How are you figuring Position in, or are you?

winky51 12-04-2005 12:37 AM

Re: SSH and Utility: The Case for the Terrible 20
 
If you sat at my table and I saw that you played super tight guess what? Every time you raise I fold. I am only reraising when I have you beat. If there were no blinds your play would be fine but there are. You will get eaten alive by blinds as no one is ever going to play with you when you are in a hand.

I used to be really tight and I remember one night live where anytime I raise they just all folded in a 10/20. I lost money and I didn't know how? I didn't take any bad beats, folded right, raised right. I just never got any action and when I did they had a set or better.

You have to play more hands, position, and be aggressive. Then players won't know what the hell you have when everytime you enter a pot you are raising just about. 1st in raise, 5 limpers raise on the button, 2 weak limpers, raise.

Lots of hands your missing that can win big bucks. You just have to know when to play them.

12-04-2005 03:21 AM

Re: SSH and Utility: The Case for the Terrible 20
 
no offense here, because i think that its actually fairly good discussion... but this is similar to me going to chess and saying that the queen is the best piece so ill just move that one around the board the whole time.

poker is an incredibly complex game... in some games and situations its profitable to raise 27o preflop, in others you will be folding AK. its a long road and there are no shortcuts, just go play and get the experience and you will see how and why to use the concepts from SSH and other books.

eventually you will realise that the profitability of those hands is just an outcome of overall strategy

Fabian 12-04-2005 10:36 AM

Re: SSH and Utility: The Case for the Terrible 20
 
[ QUOTE ]
eventually you will realise that the profitability of those hands is just an outcome of overall strategy

[/ QUOTE ]

Quoted for emphasis.

ianlippert 12-04-2005 11:16 AM

Re: SSH and Utility: The Case for the Terrible 20
 
Not to mention the majority of players are losing players so those stats that you are looking at are skewed. For example I played 98o profitabily against a maniac yesterday at my local casino, but I expect if you check those stats 98o will be a big loser. Playing marginal hands is all about looking for the right situation, and I expect that these hands make up more than 10% of a good players profit.

threeonefour 12-04-2005 01:52 PM

Re: SSH and Utility: The Case for the Terrible 20
 
for the record. his variation should remain almost unchanged. look at the variance of 30VPIP player and 15VPIP players its not a huge difference... at lease from the data i just casually glanced through.

your coefficient of variation however will change drastically if your winrate drops a small amount however.

nomadtla 12-04-2005 04:53 PM

Re: SSH and Utility: The Case for the Terrible 20
 
[ QUOTE ]
(catchy title, huh?)

[/ QUOTE ]

I've seen catchier but not many

[ QUOTE ]

As a new player to limit, if I can make 80% of my EV by only playing half the general recommended starting hands, and compensate by playing twice the tables (8-10?), wouldn't this be near optimal?

[/ QUOTE ]

As new player to limit I see nothing wrong with restricting your preflop choices to minimize the dificulty of your postflop play. This will also help you from going bust before you even get your feet wet. In the long run it is a bad idea cause as many have said you become predictable and you are not making all that you could off the fish. At limits less then 1/2 I don't think many would notice and the few that do have more then enough fish to pick on rather then squezzing quarters out of a "predictable" player.

When I started LHE I did something similar only with regards to position. It looked something like.

Super Simple Super Tight Preflop strategy
Early Position
Raise: JJ+, AQs+, AKo (7 hands)
Call: 88+, AJs, KQs, AQo (6 hands)

Middle Position
Raise: eveything I would raise or call in EP (13 hands)
Call: KQo, AJo, and any 2 suited higher then ten (8 hands)

Late Position:
Raise: everything I would raise from MP (13 hands)
Call: all of MP's calls and 22+, A8s+, T9s, 98s, and any two offsuit that are higher then ten (24 hands)
* If first in raise with all playable hands in late position.
** If it's raised in front of you only play the hands you raise from EP and 3bet/cap with them

As you can see all totaled I was only paying 37 hands and it averaged out over the positions so I was playing about 13% of hands, and raising 6-7%

This worked till I got used to my play, and would probably show a decent win at 8-10 tables and keep you from blowing your bankroll in a hurry.
It will not win the maximum and it will not trick anybody but at 1/2 or lower you can make fairly easy money like this. You have to play them at least decently postflop as well.

Edited for further clarity and to add the low PP in late position category.


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