Results of 1,700 hands of $.5/$1

Since the beginning of June I’ve been aggressive about tracking my hands as I played $.50/$1 limit holdem, and I think my numbers are good, though my earning rate is a little low.  Here’s my analysis through the evening of June 15th.

I’ve got a VP$IP (voluntarily put money in the pot) of 17.30.  This is
a good number, though it could be a bit lower.  It measures how often
you willingly play a hand.  (When you’re in the blind, you sometimes
unwillingly play a hand because you have to put up the "blind" bet.)

My pre flop aggression factor is 6%, which is a little low I think, but respectable. 

My earning rate is $.69 / hour, which is understandably low since I’m
playing $.5/$1, but also low for expectations.  If you’re playing good
poker, you should expect to make one big bet per hour, or at this
level, $1 / hour.  While 1,700 hands is a small sample, a 30% earning
deficiency points to some leaks in my game.

One is probably my desired to play drawing hands, like 98s, when there are only 1
or 2 people in the pot.  When I miss my draw on the flop, I end up
calling it down to the river even when my opponent obviously is holding
or has hit top pair or better and is eagerly betting into me.  I should
just let it go unless I have a good read on the player.

Another is the fact that when I raise, and get re-raised, I often call
the re-raise without thinking if it means something.  With all that
money in the pot, I tend to go on autopilot because I know my draws are
statistically good, but that’s not actually true.  Not all of them are.

And then there are simply some mistakes, like:

  • calling a raise in the small blind with KQo or 76s, or playing junk hands there like Q9o, J9o, T8o, T2s (just because Brunson can doesn’t mean I can too);
  • playing KQo from early position, or raising with weak pairs like JJ, or calling medium and small pairs like 88 and 66 without another player already in;
  • raising from middle position with weak hands like AJo, 99, 88 (3 times!) and KQs, or junk like JTo; and
  • Calling raises with hands in middle position that aren’t worth the raise (like 77) without a loose-raiser read on my opponent.

So I’ll keep working on my game, looking for hands I shouldn’t play,
and honing my game.  When I’ve cleared a bankroll of $300, I’ll move up
to $1/$2.  In theory you need $600 to play $1/$2, but I think I can
risk it.  My game is pretty solidly conservative.