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Plugging Leaks - Based on Stat Ranges (Article #1)

Plugging Leaks using Holdem Manager

Article 1: Determining typical bb/100 ranges based on Stat Ranges

In this series of articles we will be showing you how to use HM to plug leaks and keep a regular check on several key parts of your game to see where you need to improve. When you spot a weakness you should record it and set a target to improve on that for the next review. Ideally, before you run these filters you’ll have at least 50k hands to review and then you can repeat this exercise every 50k to see if your improvements are working. With smaller sample sizes, for example less than 20K hands, you will find the results of many of these filters to be misleading due to variance.

We have also made some assumptions about acceptable ranges for several of the filters based on research, opinions and samples from winning 6 max players at 50NL and up. As this document matures these assumptions will be fine tuned based on contributed data and we will have samples for Limit, Full Ring and ranges based on different stakes.

When you installed this on your computer, all of the filters, stats and reports that are needed should have been installed into the appropriate folders in your Hold’em Manager directory. If you do not have Hold’em Manager installed in the default folder you may need to move these files into the Hold’em Manager folder manually or else change the default installation path during setup of this article.

Please Note: If you plan on editing this document with your stats, comments and goals then make sure you save it to a different folder otherwise it may be overwritten the next time you install an update.

This first article will look at a number of key stats, break down results into 5 equally sized sample groups and compare the median bb/100 for each of these groups. There are a couple of ways to use this information to help your game. First of all, you can see the typical changes for each of these stats and identify where you fit in and secondly, you can see quantitative results showing win rates for people with these stats. Now this does not necessarily mean that if you mimic these stats you will automatically win since poker is a lot more complicated than that but what it does show is that certain tendencies you may have can definitely be leaks in your game.

In the Reports tab select the Report Name dropdown and run the report “Plugging Leaks 01 – Overall”. This will provide a set of key stats that you should monitor. Stats are broken down by Heads Up, 6 Max and Full Ring. If you want to filter for date ranges or stakes then you can do that as well. Use these results to fill out this chart:

Timeframe for sample
Level you Play e.g. 100nl
Total No of Hands
bb/100
V$PIP
PFR
Aggression
Aggression %
WTSD
W$SD
WWSF
3bet %
4bet Range %
Called 3bet%
Flop vs. Raise Fold pct
Flop Cbet%
Turn Cbet %
Fold to Flop CBet%
Fold to Turn CBet%


The following shows average bb/100 for players using a datamined database of NL 6 Max from NL100 to NL1000 over the last 6 months – I took results from the 1790 players with at least 5K hands in the database. For each stat I have grouped results into 5 equal ranges and then taken the median bb/100. Often it is more meaningful to look at combinations of stats but this should give you a general guide.



Median bb/100
VPIP: < 18.3 2.18

18.3 to 20.2 3.46

20.2 to 21.9 3.04

21.9 to 25.3 3.72

25.3 + -2.76


Note, it looks as though from this that a player with a VPIP of 27 is definitely going to be a losing player but please note that it is the upper half of that 5th group that accounts for most of the losses. Basically, this shows that any reasonably standard VPIP is profitable, low VPIP’s less so and the players with the high VPIP’s are the ones that feed the poker economy. Also note that very few of the high VPIP players ever make it to 5000 hands so the amount lost by high VPIP players is even much more pronounced than this chart shows. In fact, if you filter for all players with a VPIP higher than 50 you will probably find that the combined bb/100 for all these players is around -40bb/100!

Now, if you are in that bottom group what do you do? Well, if you have never had a VPIP below about 22 then taking steps to get below this would make a big impact on your game. Throw away a lot more hands from early position and the blinds to get your VPIP down and you should find that you are more profitable and can play more tables and face less difficult decisions. Once you have learned how to play very well with a lowish VPIP and you have spent a lot of time working on your postflop play, that is where you can safely return your VPIP to higher levels. Some of the most profitable players in the game have VPIP’s in that last section but they do this by exploiting players, mixing up their play and constantly making +ev decisions postflop.

The following shows a scatter graph with VPIP %’s and bb/100 for all players with 5K or more hands

article-01.jpg





Median bb/100
PFR < 12.3 -0.97

12.3 to 14.4 2.48

14.4 to 16.1 2.27

16.1 to 17.7 3.84

17.7+ + 3.64


This clearly shows that being aggressive preflop is key. Really you want to generally be above 15% here. Generally profitable ways to increase your PFR% would be raising limpers instead of calling, 3betting raisers especially when they raise from late position and stealing more blinds.





Median bb/100
Aggression < 2.18 -1.93
Postflop 2.18 to 2.69 2.23

2.69 to 3.22 3.42

3.22 to 3.84 4.00

3.84 + 2.98


More evidence that aggressive play postflop is key although unlike preflop aggression, postflop being too over-aggressive seems to have a bit of an impact on winrate. Postflop Aggression factor is calculated by taking total postflop bets and raises divided by total postflop calls. So, the best way to increase this score is when you are facing a bet, your first two thoughts should be whether to Fold or to Raise. After considering that then of course think about calling as sometimes it is easily the best decision.





Median bb/100
Aggression % < 27.6 -0.63
Postflop 27.6 to 30.9 2.20

30.9 to 33.7 3.43

33.7 to 36.6 4.23

36.6+ 3.37


Aggression % is the percentage of time you make one or more aggressive moves on a postflop street. So if you Bet then reraised the flop, checked the turn and called the river you would have 33.3% due to the flop aggressive move. There isn’t quite as big a penalty for having a low value here when compared to Aggression Factor postflop since a low value there more often means you are calling too much. It is easy to increase aggression% - make more river value bets, fire more double and triple barrels, reraise other players when they habitually CBet the flop etc.





Median bb/100
WTSD% < 23.4 2.65

23.4 to 24.9 2.97

24.9 to 26.4 3.41

26.4 to 28.5 2.03

28.5+ 0.89


There definitely seems to be a sweet spot in the Went to Showdown when saw flop stat. If you are above 28% then you probably have other issues as well – either you don’t play aggressive enough or you call too often or both. This will generally also reflect in a low W$SD score.





Median bb/100
W$SD% < 48.1 -4.12

48.1 to 50.5 1.66

50.5 to 52.3 3.37

52.3 to 54.4 4.17

54.4+ 5.15


Kind of a no-brainer here, the more you win at showdown the higher your winrate. As you adjust your other tendencies, your W$SD will naturally increase since you will be making people fold the best hand before showdown more often and you will also be folding more before it gets to showdown and tightening your preflop range so that your hands hit more often.





Median bb/100
WWSF% < 38.7 -0.21

38.7 to 41.1 1.97

41.1 to 43.2 2.33

43.2 to 45.5 4.01

45.5+ 3.60


The won when saw flop stat is more of a product of good solid, select, aggressive preflop and postflop play. It is a good stat to look at to see if your game needs some work. Too low and you are likely playing too many hands preflop and playing too passively postflop.





Median bb/100
3Bet % < 3.9 -1.51

3.9 to 5.2 1.87

5.2 to 6.2 4.26

6.2 to 7.4 3.22

7.4+ 3.56


A relatively high 3Bet% preflop is obviously a key stat for winning players. We are going to have articles completely dedicated to 3betting but generally, if you have any doubt whether your are 3betting enough then you probably need to do it more often. A tactic that often works is 3betting a late position raiser with basically any 2 reasonable cards when you first join a table. Then, tighten up a little bit but still raise with some speculative hands. By the time you pick up a big hand you ideally would have 3bet your opponents a few times and at that point you are more likely to get it all-in preflop.





Median bb/100
4Bet Range < 0.88 -0.70

0.88 to 1.31 0.92

1.31 to 1.68 3.52

1.68 to 2.13 3.46

2.13+ 3.77


4Bet range is based on Preflop Raise % * Raise 3Bet % and roughly equates to the range of hands you 4bet with. You can clearly see that not doing this enough is a big leak. If you do this too infrequently it is too easy to put you on a very tight range and fold just about all hands you are ahead of. You definitely want this to be above 1.25% and probably higher. We will also be having some 4Bet articles that show in many spots vs many players it is profitable to 4Bet with almost any hand you raised with initially.





Median bb/100
Call 3Bet% < 23.7 3.65

23.7 to 29.9 3.48

29.9 to 36.9 2.98

36.9 to 47.1 1.87

47.1+ -1.52


This shows how big of a mistake it is to call too frequently to 3bets – obviously these results would be even worse when calling out of position. Lower this number be 4betting or folding a lot more often than you currently do.





Median bb/100
Fold to < 33.8 0.59
Flop Raise 33.8 to 41.0 2.74

41.0 to 46.5 2.95

46.5 to 52.2 3.44

52.2+ 3.10


As long as you are above 35% or so you are in a solid range but the majority of players that call here too much are marginal winners or losers. Article #3 will be completely focused on dealing with flop raises – in general when you face a flop raise anything below top pair top kicker is getting blown away by the opponents range. Of course this changes based in stakes / opponents but in general do not be afraid to fold more to flop raises with weakfish hands.





Median bb/100
Flop CBet% < 61.5 -0.23

61.5 to 69.7 2.33

69.7 to 75.1 3.32

75.1 to 80.4 3.17

80.4+ 2.38


Here is another stat where as long as you aren’t continuation betting too low you should be doing pretty good here. The problem with Cbetting too often is that good players will play back at you constantly so you really need to be aware but in general it is a much bigger mistake to CBet less often. Future articles will take a deep look at CBetting.





Median bb/100
Turn CBet% < 35.9 2.19

35.9 to 40.8 2.80

40.8 to 45.3 3.70

45.3 to 51.6 2.85

51.6+ -0.08


For the first time we see a stat where being too aggressive is what costs you money. If you are in that upper range you may want to lower your frequency of double barrel attempts.





Median bb/100
Fold to < 47.5 2.65
Flop CBet% 47.5 to 52.7 1.80

52.7 to 56.8 2.46

56.8 to 61.7 3.33

61.7+ 1.72


These numbers are pretty interesting - they are all over the place in terms of win rate. Also notice that the group the folds the least had the second highest median winrate. It is tough to say where you should be with this stat since it depends on how often you are calling preflop raises but in general be very aware of the opponents flop tendencies when he is PFR. How often does he CBet? How often does he fold to a bet or raise? How often does he fire a second bet on the Turn?





Median bb/100
Fold to < 28.3 2.87
Turn CBet% 28.3 to 34.4 2.42

34.4 to 40.0 2.45

40.0 to 47.1 2.18

47.1+ 1.24


These numbers are also pretty interesting – more evidence that folding too often to double barrels costs you money. A lot of players frequently double barrel bluff but then let up on the River so calling the Turn bet, especially when you are in position can be profitable by simply betting the river after this type of player gives up on the River. A 2/3 pot size bet on the river only needs to work about 40% of the time to be profitable for you and for many opponents you will find that they fold in this spot much more than 40% of the time.


This concludes the first leak finding exercise. The stats that we went over are pretty standard and identifying a few spots where you want to change those numbers and then taking steps to do so will definitely help your game. In upcoming articles we are going to be going much deeper, isolating problematic spots, reviewing hands and adding many new reports and filters.

As mentioned at the top, the stats used in the ranges were from data mined NL 6 Max from NL100 to NL1000. If this does not make sense for the games that you play and if you have a lot of player data available you can still come up with your own ranges and Median bb/100 values by following these steps.

1) Go to the players tab and set the applicable filters. You will probably want to set minimum hands to 5000 or higher.
2) Run the default report
3) Click on the very top left of the grid to select all, then Press Ctrl-C and open Excel and press Ctrl-V
4) You can then sort by stats, one at a time and use the median formula to get the median bb/100 scores for each range you split it into. You can also create scatter graphs like I have done for VPIP through Excel.




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