Achieving the status of a “winning player” in the game of No-Limit Texas Holdem is no easy task these days let alone the task of matching your gameplay to the Statistics of a Winning Online Low Stakes Poker Player.
This is due to the game being tougher than ever, and the wide range of opinions when it comes to what a winning player looks like.
Today’s Online Player has access to more tools, more data, which is making the game more competitive every single day.
To keep up, you should absolutely have at least on Tracking tool, if not several. Personally, I use Poker Tracker 4 software to track my own game, as well as to analyze my opponent’s game play.
I can not recommend Poker Tracker 4 to you as something you should buy, here’s why…
I think a free trial of Poker Tracker 4 (PT4) would benefit most new players, but the full version of this Poker Hand Tracking and Analysis Tool is a too high of a price for anyone to pay for such clunky, buggy, inefficient software.
The code in PT4 is ancient, the user interface is a user experience nightmare, and worst of all it is a resource hog.
I can barely run my HUD (Heads Up Statistical Display) when playing more than one table, and when I do it is only working properly about 30 – 40% of the time. 70% of the time it as if I did not even have the software – the hud, it’s menus, and the software itself is just nowhere to be found.
While many Online Poker Pros will complain about today’s Online Poker game being much more difficult now than it was in 2009, or before Black Monday.
You can still find plenty of profitable games and fishy opponents online – you just need to spend some time polishing your game, play at the right time, and seek out the right opponents.
I have tried to polish my game by doing what I do best, that is to copy what other successful people are doing.
To model my game after those who win regularly, I use the leak tracker tool in PT4 which shows me in a graphical interface, how I measure up to other winning players statistically. Leak Tracker also gives you tips as to how you can get all your stats inline with other winning players.
Most good Poker Players are number crunchers, they crunch numbers before, during, and after the game. I have reluctantly come to realize I will need to do this as well if I am going to be able to continue playing for any extended period of time.
PT4 says that I have a VPIP of 39 after playing 65,000 hands.
The VPIP of an average winning player (according to PT4) is about 23.
So, it would seem that I am way out of line in this statistical element, but I am in fact not.
The 65,000 hand sample that I was using to measure my VPIP represents every hand I have played this year, and since I am a much better player now than I was a year ago, we have to be careful to measure for the right time period.
We should also consider the types of games we are measuring for, i.e., single table Sit-n-Go tournament statistics are much different than a multi-table Tournament statistics, as are cash games vs tournament play etc.
A sample of Hands Played in the last month, and only including Sit-n-Go tournaments, would be a more accurate look at my current VPIP.
So, for the past 30 days, I have played 130 SnG Tournaments, or 5,660 Hands, in which I carry a VPIP (Voluntarily Put Money Into Pot) of 31.91, still high according to PT4 but still a much more respectable number.
When I realized how the stats differed based on what I was actually measuring and when,, I started looking more closely at what I was measuring, time period, stakes, tournament vs cash games etc.
PT4, or any other Poker Tracking Software will not mention a lot of these very important elements to consider when adjusting your game to meet statistical guidelines.
They just broad-brush everything and say this is a winning player and you should be in the same window statistically. This is very, very, misleading.
This is due to many of the things we use to determine what a winning player looks like, changes over time.
Software Companies do not incorporate elements into their software that are considered timely, or time sensitive. The content in a software program should be as timeless as possible in order to keep maintenance, upgrades, adjustments to a minimum.
So, this is why you should take everything you learn from these software tools with a grain of salt.
You can be a winning player with a VPIP of 46 if you are really good at playing post flop, a great bluffer, and an extremely intimidating player with a high aggression factor (or AFq as PT4 calls it).
For all of these reasons we find it difficult to get a clear perspective of a winning player in today’s online game of poker. Every once in a while, you will find a resource that offers unique content, something new you never heard or saw before.
This was the case for me recently when I downloaded a free book written by Bill Vosti called “HOW TO BEAT NO-LIMIT HOLD ‘EM 6-MAX CASH GAMES”.
It’s just an OK book when it comes to great reads, but this book has some “timely” content that just happened to be not-so-timely, and there is quite a bit of it.
I think Bill was just enough of an inexperienced author to not realize he was including some content that should not have made it to the final edit.
He speaks of very specific statistics for being a winning player at low stakes poker, but the book was written in 2011 when the game was much more fishy so one would think these numbers are worthless.
These “worthless” statistics, that probably would have been omitted had he had a good publisher at the time, made it into his published work, and we can benefit from them now.
Not because the game has come full circle and the stats are now back in fashion, but because Bill has a unique perspective of the game, and a great intuition as a Poker Author, Coach and/or Teacher.
His “way of thinking” is the timeless factor responsible for the value in his opinionated content which under any other circumstances would have ended up on the editing room floor. For this reason alone his book, while not the most intriguing book you can read about poker, is one of the most valuable books to have an effect on my game – and I have read almost all of them.
You can Download a free copy of Bill Vosti’s book at: SkilledOnlinePoker.com
Although Bill’s book was published back in 2009 or so, it remains a good resource for any aspiring poker player who wants to build a good foundation, and for those who want to beat Low Stakes 6max Cash Tables (under $4), other Cash Games, as well as Tournaments, both SNG and MTT..
Most importantly, the statistics presented in “HOW TO BEAT NO-LIMIT HOLD ‘EM 6-MAX CASH GAMES” are solid winning statistics to aspire to no matter what game you fancy
Rarely do players discuss actual stats, their own, or their opponents, in a formal environment such as a published book, this is what makes this find worth me sharing and writing about.
Even when you do find a player or an author willing to discuss specific stats, they are rarely based on anything solid other than that person’s opinion, which is often over exaggerated in an effort to make a point.
The following stats are also just the opinion of the author, but I happen to agree with his opinion, and agree that these are great stats to use as goals for yourself when playing at any low stakes table.
Source: “HOW TO BEAT NO-LIMIT HOLD ‘EM 6-MAX CASH GAMES” by Bill Vosti
According to Bill’s book these are the stats of a winning low stakes player who plays 1$/2$ 6 max Cash Games
| VPIP 18-23 | PFR 15-19 | AF 2-3 | ASB 30-35 |
| WTSD 22-28 | FTSB 80 | FTBB 90 | W$WSF 45 |
Here are my stats for the last month playing Sit-n-Go Tournaments with ABI of $3.00. After each stat, I provide Bill’s assessment of the statistical element and where it should be if you are a winner…
Preflop raise (PFR): 17.5%
This number should be around 15% to 19%. You can be a winning player with a 12-14% PFR, but you’re giving up a lot of value by not raising more, especially in late position. If you follow my preflop chart (in the book) you should land around the 15% to 17% range. •
Voluntarily put $ into pot (VPIP): 20.5%
We’ll be putting money into the pot around 18% to 23% of the time. As you can see, it’s not much higher than our PFR. Nearly every time we come into the pot we should be raising. There are times such as calling a pocket pair to flop a set when we’ll call raises, or when we’ll complete the SB when there’s multiple limpers before us. But for the most part, when you play a hand, you’re raising.
Aggression factor (AF): 2.5
It’s hard to tell you a good AF to have. Generally, the AF on the flop will be higher than the turn and river since you will be Skilled Online Poker [HOW TO BEAT NLHE 6-MAX CASH GAMES] Copyright © 2008 Bill Vosti. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this ebook may be copied or sold. 30 continuation betting a lot and giving up on the turn. Your overall AF should be above 2 but not much higher than 3.
Attempt to steal blinds % (ASB): 32.5%
This is an important number to have high. It should be at least 30% and getting up to 35% is a good goal. There’s just so much value to be had on the button (refer to Chapter 23 for more info) that you should be raising any decent hand when it’s folded to you.
Went to showdown % (WTSD): 25%
You should be going to showdown between 22% and 28%. This number will be affected strongly with how often you decide to pick off river bluffs. This stat can range widely since so many different factors will go into how this number is made, but if your WTSD is outside this range you may be doing something wrong. •
Fold SB and BB to steal: 80% (BB) to 90% (SB)
You should fold your SB in the high 80% while folding your BB in the low 80%. You shouldn’t surrender your blinds too easily but you shouldn’t be playing out of position too much, as the person in position has such a huge advantage.
Won $ when saw flop (W$WSF): 42.5%
It’s important to have this number around 40 to 45%. If it’s too low, you are either folding too much postflop or are playing too loose (thus playing too many losing hands). If it’s too high, you’re playing too tight preflop because you should be playing more hands that win less often, but show still show a profit in the long run. Get these numbers in line and you will be halfway to a complete game.
The other astounding realization I made reading Bill’s Book was that I was folding way too much post flop and not firing off enough continuation bets. In fact Bill says that if you’re in the pot, and the first to act post flop, never check, ever. Checking does not win pots, betting wins pots.
So always fire of a continuation bet, even if you do not flop anything, and make the bet significant.
One half, to three quarters the size of the pot seems to be the sweet spot.
Always fire off the same size continuation bet no matter if you have flopped a set or come up with nothing. This way your opponent has no idea what hand you are betting.
If no one raises you after your continuation bet, and if you get called by only one other player, fire off another Continuation Bet, as there is a good chance your opponent is just chasing a set or mining out a flush draw.
The bigger this bet the better. You will get called sometimes, and lose on the river or at the showdown sometimes but if you do not bet, you have almost no chance of winning the pot.
Since I have incorporated this strategy, and using my intuition to flod certain hands I know aren’t winnable, I have improved my game significantly.
I play less hands, and bet big on the hands I play, all the way until the end of the show. this is Tight Aggressive Play, and it is the type of play Bill Vosti recommends as the most winning profile you can aspire to as a Poker Player.
Try this “Betting Until The End” Strategy and see if you can get your Game to the next level.
Let me know how it works out and if you send me some hand histories from games where you have implemented this, we can review them together and a follow up post out of it so everyone can benefit from our review.
Good Luck at the Tables and Never Fold Those Cards