[Mpethybridge's Guest Post continued from Saturday. He is a principal contributor/moderator to the SSFR Stats Thread and is a Poker Coach specializing in database analysis.]
1. Cold Calling Leaks.
In HEM, I go to the Holecards report. On the main filters page I deselect all non-blind positions, and under more filters I apply "did cold call = true."
With this basic filter on, I look for trends in the player's winning and losing hands. Common leaks:
a. Sub-optimal performance with broadway hands.
In full ring, it is very common for players to have a losing win rate with broadways, or to be losing with some and winning with others, dragging down the win rate with these hands below what is optimal.
In six-max, it is less common to see an actual losing win rate with broadways, but it is very often the case that the win rate is below what it needs to be.
If I see a problem broadway hand or two, I will go to the holecards HE tab and select AK down through JTo and check the overall win rate. If there are problems here, you have no choice but to do hand history reviews among this group of hands to try to figure out what problems you have playing these hands.
b. Ragged Suited Aces:
Do the same analysis; this is a particularly important group to check in six max.
c. Suited connectors:
d. Calling with Small Pocket Pairs (22-66)
What you have to do here is go to the holecards HE tab and select pocket pairs. Then, on the holecards report, you look at two things:
i. Win Rate Analysis.
Look for a pattern. Some players are losing with 22, 33 and 44, but win with 5s and 6s. More commonly, players' win rates within the group are random, determined simply by which hands in the group happened to have been paid off or set over setted most often.
If your win rates with these hands are all similar, or appear random, just analyze the hands as a group.
What is your win rate with the group? Any win rate better than -75bb/100 hands is preferable to folding, and the higher the better, ldo. But you should actually be in profit with these hands, and if you have a big sample with them and aren't winning at a decent rate, you are probably leaking (variance is always possible).
Assuming you have a leak, you should try to narrow down the precise situations that cause you trouble:
ii. Frequency Analysis
Compare your calling frequency with small pockets to your calling frequency with middle pockets. You should see a SUBSTANTIAL drop off in the frequency with which you call with small pockets. If you are losing and you don't see a drop off in calling frequency, that's your leak right there, most likely.
Try to determine which situations are causing you the most trouble. Go back to the main filters page and select position of first raiser is "early" and go back to the more filters tab and add the filter "players seeing flop is exactly___" and make it "2."
Check your results. If there is a problem, look at individual hand histories to make sure that it made sense for you to be calling that person to set mine OOP in a HU pot.
Repeat for MP, CO and Btn.
e. ZOMG, Pot Odds!!!
This is a VERY common leak. Something like this happens: You're in the BB with T6s, EP minraises, two people call, and when it gets to you, you are getting something like 7.5:1 on the BB you have to put in to see the flop. So you call, because, pot odds, ldo, maybe I'll flop trips.
Theoretically, the call is maybe justified. But some players (myself included) don't necessarily have a big enough edge in their game to play marginal hands OOP in a multi-way hand for a profit, and this winds up being a player specific leak.
If you have the tendency to call in spots like this, the clue you will see in your DB is a lot of random hands show up with low frequencies (just a few calls each) but amounting to a significant percentage of your calls.
The existence of a lot of these one-off calls in and of itself is not a leak. Some players have the edge necessary to make these calls profitably. If you see a lot of one offs with trash hands, you have no choice but to write down all of the starting hands you called with that fit the profile, go back to the holecards HE tab, and input all of them (because of the leak discussed below, you can't just run a filter for all hands other than your standard calling range).
So filter for all these hands, and check your win rate. If it is better than -.75bb/hand, your loose, speculative pot odds calls are justified, and keep on keepin' on. If your win rate is worse than that, one of two explanations is likely true:
i. Your sample size is too small to rely on.
An indication that this is the case will be if your winrate appears kind of absurdly high or absurdly low. This is a marginal spot from which we would hope to extract a small profit, or to suffer a small loss. If you're crushing or getting crushed, it is likely the result of run good/run bad. The closer your win rate is to break even, the more confidence you can have that it is accurate.
ii. Your skill edge is not sufficient to justify these calls.
If you have a decent sample of these calls and your win rate is, say, -1.3bb/hand, it is probably close to accurate, and you should probably take these loose calls out of your game until you have significantly improved your post flop skills.
f. ZOMG! a Fish!
This is another very common leak. basically, what happens here is that you overestimate your skill edge against a fish and assume that you can play trash profitably against them.
I usually just stumble across this leak in doing win rate analysis and hand history reviews.
If I were going to look for it specifically, I would filter for the group of hands that lies just outside your standard flat calling range, and look at the individual hand histories to see if fish are over represented in the sample of hands as the preflop raiser.
If they are, and you are losing with these hands, this is very likely what is going on--you just have a tendency to dip down too deep in calling against them. Tighten up a bit.
Continued next Saturday....
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