Monday, January 31, 2011

Short Handed Cash Game Statistics

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One way to improve your game is to purchase some tracking software such as Holdem Manager or Poker Tracker and use it to thoroughly analyse your game. Each piece of software is different but they basically share the same statistics, some of them which more importance than others, with the three major preflop statistics shown below.

Although you will need to look much deeper into your database of hands in order to fully plug any leaks you have, using VPIP, PFR, and 3bet% as a starting point is a good idea. VPIP stands for Voluntarily Put money Into Pot and shows, as a percentage, how often you are putting money into the pot when it is your turn to act. Paying the blinds does not count towards your VPIP but completing the small blind would. PFR is the acronym for PreFlop Raise and like VPIP is shown as a percentage shows how many hands you are entering the pot with a preflop raise. Finally, 3bet% shows how often you have put in a three-bet or re-raise before the flop, again as a percentage.

Using these three statistics, whether using the betfair poker signup bonus or not, you can use build up a decent picture of your preflop game, an area where you should look for problems in the first instance. For short handed games a major weakness is continually limping into pots and only raising with the most premium of hands. An example of this would be someone playing a 33/8 style, meaning they play almost a third of all hands dealt to them but only raise 8% of them.

Those looking ahead to Betfair Poker Live note that a solid tight aggressive style would see the player have statistics that read something along the lines of 20/18 where a good loose-aggressive player would look something like 30/27. Notice how in both case each of the players preflop raise percentage is in close correlation to the number of hands they play, almost every hand they are willing to play they do so with a raise, as aggression and taking the initiative are vital in short-handed cash games

The final statistic, the percentage of hands you make a three-bet preflop, is becoming increasingly important in online cash games as the aggression has risen to almost ridiculous proportions. As players are more aware of blind stealing and isolating limpers, the need to re-isolate and protect your blinds is greater so you should be looking to ramp up the aggression yourself and have a 3bet% of around 8-10%. This may seem alien if you are not used to three-betting preflop, especially doing it light, but after a few thousand hands you should feel right at home.


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