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Simulating $1-$2


I've been on the site for a week now. Not a long time, but long enough to observe a few things. I really like the site and I think I'm getting value out of it.

My main goal is to get better at live $1-$2 poker, so I've been concentrating on that. I can't really seem to get my bot opponents to simulate my real world experience though. I've discovered that I can get a pot sized open raise through the table at a rate of 85% of the time. This is from all positions, from UTG to the button. This is no where near my experience at a live $1-$2 game. My settings are all hands from all positions. Granted, I always raise and I always play premium preflop hands (Ed Miller's strategy) but very seldom does a bot play back at me. If they do, I fold, unless I have a super premium hand. My win rate is through the roof on the site. In the real world I bleed money because the players will play with more cards.

I'm wondering if I'm missing a setting? I'm playing at the second highest location (the one slightly worse than the dungeon) and I set the table to "more aggressive than normal."

Would changing the stakes from $1-$2 give me better bots to play against? I've left it at $1-$2 so I get familiar with bet sizing.

Would changing the individual bot players make a difference (can I even do that?) Even the "loose aggressive" bots don't play like the players I'm used to facing.

Really like the site so far and I think I'm learning a lot, and there is value to playing out the hands even with really tight bots. My main concern is I may be starting to get a little crazy pre-flop because I know that the bet will get through an overwhelming amount of the time.


  • AllenBlay

    Hi, welcome to the site and thanks for asking this question.

    I will agree that the bots tend to be a little more passive than they are at some live games at levels below KGB's Dungeon. That's intentional because a lot of live games are more passive. However, some are more aggressive like you talk about. If you are crushing the game, definitely move up to the highest level. The other advantage to moving up to KGB is that those bots use the full capability of our AI and they pay a lot more attention to your statistics and history. So I expect that if you play very aggressively with a wide range of hands, they will try to cut you off from doing that in KGB's Dungeon, especially after you play it for a while.

    You don't need to change the blind levels - that does not influence the skill of the table. I would recommend keeping it at $1/$2 if that is what you usually play.

  • russ1409

    Cool Allen, thank you. I'll make the move and continue to work on my game. Thank you for the response.

  • apt_gs

    My experience is similar to Russ in that in the live game it is not unusual for 4 players to go to the flop, whereas against the bots that is much rarer. I have seen that the Big City Lights game comes a little bit closer at the pre-flop level, but as Allen indicated the bots aren't quite as good in that game.

  • think
    edited September 2017

    I'm also one of those focused on the $1-2 game.

    In my experience, the live games can vary from table to table and by time of day. In fact, I would see a lot of tactical changes happening from hour to hour, whether it's caused by one aggressive reg or drunk maniac sitting down and raising everything, or whether it is caused by someone just getting a nice streak of good cards and switching gears (maybe due to increased confidence).

    Specifically, it seems like there is a tendency towards "contagious limping." I don't necessarily buck this trend, because, for one thing, if I am in, let's say, late middle position (lojack, for instance), and I know that there is a 90% likelihood that there's not going to be a raise behind me, I'm getting pot odds to limp behind with a pretty wide range.

    So, I don't know if I should phrase this as a question. I'll keep elaborating:

    A lot of what "good poker" is is about doing whatever the opponents don't/wouldn't want you to do (particularly given access to all relevant information).

    The truth is, I play live $1-2 as kind of a nit, at least right now (partly to reduce variance). But also, if you're at the table and you're observant, you can probably spot the relative skill levels and playing styles of your opponents. And since you don't exactly need a license to put your money down, this game gets "all kinds."

    So, if it's a limpfest (for the moment), I don't that guy who is blowing off steam after work, watching the game on the big screen, and on his fourth drink -- is he going to be in the pot? Can I limp with whatever I'm holding and outplay him after the flop if I hit? Or should I wait until one of the regs at the table felts him and try to get the money from THAT guy?

    For me, I resist the urge to join the limpfest. I found that at least raising to $5 will pump up the pot a little and remove the checking option from the BB. It won't really give you a heck of a lot of information, because, in those games, by the time there are 3 limpers + SB/BB plus your $5, the pot is starting to get big enough that going in with $2 isn't miles away from putting in a red chip. And, although not everyone is like this, the ones who DO want the action really DO want to be in the hand when the flop hits, so they're not going to say, "well, $2 I would do, but $5 is a little rich for me!"

    Of course, then we start to play "Bingo," only we're doing it with red chips instead of white. Like I said, I resist the urge. Seeing a bunch of multiway flops and then folding out when you don't hit is kind of the worst strategy ever -- it's the strategy we design OUR strategy to exploit!

    So the numbers definitely do change between the APT bot games and the live $1-2 games. I think some of this involves the idea that a live $1-2 game "plays" bigger than the blinds would mathematically suggest (again, this is just in my experience, but Ed Miller's "The Course" seems to support this). So a reasonable open can be $10 or maybe $12 very easily, with some people opening for $15 (again, there is no requirement for you opponents to read and follow any book). A $7 open may or may not accomplish much of anything insofar as folding out weaker hands, especially if there is any kind of cascading effect. In my last session, a very competent player was opening every hand he played for $20.

    I was going to start a separate discussion on this, but I'll put it right here: if the preflop round has oversized bets routinely (i.e.: not just during 3-betting), does that make the stack sizes artificially low, strategy-wise? In other words, if opens are $10-15 and I have a 100 BB stack, would a proper strategy be more like a "textbook" 50-70 BB strategy?

    So if the pot is: preflop ($35), flop ($80-100 or so), turn ($200-$300), there really isn't a lot of room for making moves on the river.

    And if you did play "every opener is $20," wouldn't it take the effective stacks of everyone (especially those who haven't won to the point of being deep stacked over the $300 buy-in) down to the point at which THEY would be compelled to play hands with you with a short-stack strategy (or lose EV to you)? I know, it could get into a reraising war, but short of that, if someone's stuck in the mode of the usual 100 BB+ strategy, playing hands that take multiple streets to develop, you'd really be pretty much ready to set them all-in on the flop, if you had, say $100 on the table. "THAT will teach you to play suited connectors against ME!" I've always tried to stay at ~100 BB+ in live play, mostly because I am comfortable with the hand values, etc., but I really think that there is an exploitable approach here that goes beyond the, "play short stack, give up a little EV to reduce variance, put more emphasis on high cards and pocket pairs" thing. Now, if someone would just help me figure it out...

  • maslandom

    Think, you know the answer. A game where people are opening 10x is ripe for three betting. Put the villain on a range and three bet the top half of your range. Play accordingly as you would 50 BB deep with a three bet pre flop. Your range dominates his. When playing that deep a lot of the positional advantages goes away and higher boardway cards gain value. You will be getting all in on the flop with the original raiser folding or in bad situations. Limp raising some hands that you would normally fold vs his range. This player most likely thinks that the game has non thinking players and are playing more face up.

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