When using poker tracking software to display profits onto a graph there are often several different lines drawn to the graph.  The focus of this blog post is going to be on the dreaded red line

What is the red line? Should it go up or should it go down?  If it is going down, is that bad?  First thing we have to do is figure out what the red line is.

The red line is represents 'Non showdown winnings'.  Whenever you put money into the pot and win the hand before showdown, your redline goes up.  Whenever you put money into the pot and fold your hand before showdown, your redline goes down.

So it would seem obvious that an increasing red line is good and a decreasing red line is bad?  It turns out though, that it really is not that simple.  An increasing red line by itself is a good thing, but if you pair it with a decreasing 'net won' line and 'showdown winnings' line it is bad.  When taken in that context it suggest that you are often folding out opponents worse hands before showdown, then going to showdown too often against all of their hands that beat you. 

Now, what aspects of our game are effecting the red line the most?  The definitive #1 aspect of our game contributing to the red line is our play in the blinds.  To see the effect that being in the blinds has, take a look at the following graphs showing overall results, 'blinds excluded' results, and 'blinds only' results:

Overall

Overall

Blinds excluded

Blinds excluded

Blinds only (shows small and big blind only)

Blinds only

Our positional dissadvantage becomes painfully clear when isolating the results from the blinds.  That dissadvantage is costly.  The vast majority of red line losses are from the blinds.

So what can be done to improve our red line results?  Well, a more accurate question if your playing the micros is, "What can we do to reduce red line losses?"  Try playing as 'tight and aggressive' out of the blinds as possible.  Passivity out of the blinds is going to drive down that red line faster than anything else.  Other ways to increase your red line are 3-betting more, bluffing more, and stealing the blinds as often as possible.

Only so much significance should be given to the red line.  At the end of the day your 'net won' will matter more than anything else.  If your playing the micros, the biggest mistake other players make is calling too much.  This fact alone means you will be more likely to go to showdown, resulting in less profits going into 'non showdown' and more into 'showdown'.  There is really only so much you can do to increase your red line when that is the case.  Even so, it is still worth looking into and thinking about what you could do to make your red line better.