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Saturday, July 10, 2004

Fun with PokerTracker
Okay, stat time. I'll run some Paradise stats today, then do Absolute in the next week or two once I get a few hundred more hands in.

Since I started PokerTracking on May 19, I've made $194.75 at the Paradise .50/$1 tables over 1,642 hands for an average of 11.86 BB/100 hands. I play only during the evenings, at tables with players-seeing-the-flop percentages in the high 30s to low 50s. I am fairly tight, with a "voluntarily put money into the pot" percentage (VP$P) of 23.93.

Suited Connectors, Pairs, and Big Cards

Interestingly, using the PokerTracker filter to show only hands where I had suited connectors, I have lost $6.50, or an average of 10 cents each time I'm dealt them (this includes the hands where I fold them). The most profitable suited connector by far is AKs, for $17 ($4.25/hand). So far KQs (-2.71/hand) and QJs (-.19/hand) are both costing me money. The specifics are probably an artifact of sample size, but the low overall profit from suited connectors is something to think about. I'm inclined to think that non-paint suited connectors just aren't very profitable at the Paradise .50/$1 tables, but I also have to consider the possibility that I'm just not playing them well.

The filter on pairs shows mostly good news: I've won $75 with them, for an average of 74 cents a pair. Aces ($4.90/hand) and Queens ($1.94/hand) are my most profitable pairs, while Kings are slightly negative right now (-.55/hand), which again is surely due to sample size.

Here are the numbers for some other often-played hands:

AKo: .35/hand
AQs: 2.63/hand
AQo: 1.96/hand
AJs: -.44/hand
AJo: .13/hand
ATs: 3.13/hand
ATo: -.66/hand
A9s: -.25/hand
A9o: 1.50/hand
KQo: .04/hand - wow
KJo: 3.78/hand - weird
KTs: 3.79/hand - also weird
KTo: .57/hand
QJo: 2.61/hand
QTs: $2/hand
QTo: -.30/hand
JTo: 1.24/hand


Not surprisingly, 1off the button is my most profitable position, with $60.25. My next most profitable position is 4th off the button, with 49.25. I've only made $19.50 on the button, and $6.25 UTG. Showing an $18 profit from the small blind and $41 loss from the big blind (which is less than the approximately $80 I would lose if I just folded every big blind).

I've played 320 hands in in UTG and the 2 positions after it, and 534 on the button and in the 2 positions before it. I think that if anything this difference should be greater, and I should be playing even fewer hands in EP.

Number of Players in the Pot

It makes sense that the more players in the pot, the more you win, right? My numbers confirm that to a point, although there is a dip when 4 people (including me) see the pot:

2 on flop - $25.25 profit - .11/hand
3 on flop - $35.00 profit - .09/hand
4 on flop - $30.75 profit - .07/hand
5 on flop - $56.50 profit - .17/hand
6 on flop - $57.50 profit - .38/hand
7 on flop - $8.50 loss - .19/hand
8 on flop - .50 loss - .06/hand

These numbers all go up if you limit the filter to hands where I voluntarily put money into the pot. I ran those numbers, but it starts to get complicated and I didn't I glean much beyond what these numbers show. (And the 4-on-the-flop dip is still there when you limit it to hands I voluntarily put money in the pot with.)

The Profitability of Paradise

Obviously I'm pretty happy with thse numbers (I say "obviously" because I would be happy with any non-negative numbers :) I'd just like to add one thought, which i didn't want to give its own post because i don't want to sound too argumentative:

Not a week goes by that I don't see at least a couple poker bloggers proclaim "you'd have to be crazy to play anywhere else but Party/Empire." I can't argue that Party has the most players and the most fish. However, I don't particularly care for their software, frequent network problems, customer support, or sit-n-go structures. It has always struck me as unfortunate that a site with better management didn't have the foresight to advertise during the WPT; if Stars, Paradise, or UB had put out some good commercials, then they'd be the biggest site out there but they'd have good software and management, too.

My point is not to knock P/E. It's a damn fishy site, and if you enjoy playing there, more power to you. My point is that clearly many other sites have plenty of fishy players and are plenty profitable. So this post is not directed at P/E devotees, but at any players out there who are frustrated as hell with P/E. To those players: Try somewhere else! There are plenty of soft games to be found at other sites.

The Variance of Party

Specifically, I believe that the .50/$1 games ar particulary bad at Party/Empire, because of the maniacs. I plan to never play .50/$1 there again. There's just too much damn variance. Another blogger, I forget who, once called it "poker slots" and that's what it feels like to me. I was winning there for a while last summer, but I had to adapt my play to a style (only suited cards, don't push top pair very hard) that works nowehere but at P/E--and just wasn't fun.

One point in Party/Empire's favor: I think they much better game selection at unusual hours than other sites. During the day or past 1am, the games at Paradise get too tight for my tastes. As I said, I like a table with players-seeing-the-flop between about 38 and 55 percent, and a lot of games at Paradise are at 30 or below. I do love the player-per-flop stat, and its absence on Party is one more thing I don't like about the site. I admit, however, that I may be becoming overly dependent on that stat -- see Sloejack's thoughts on game selection at P/E.

I may give $1/$2 or $2/$4 at P/E a try sometime in the future. But I honestly believe that for the new player, or players like me with a smaller bankroll, the .50/$1 tables at Party are definitely not the best way to build that bankroll.

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