Black is the new Red! At least for my redline...

I look at my stats after each session, but I usually only look at my graph once a week.
Before summer, my weekly graphs normally look something like this one from 10NL 6-Max Zoom..

The blue line for showdown profit is high. This means we are normally winning when we go to the showdown (value betting). We can also see that the red line for non-showdown winnings is low . This means we are folding our missed hands before we get to showdown (not paying off). And our green line showing our actual profit is somewhere in the middle.

Since getting back from vacation, I thought I was playing my standard ABC poker. I expected to see my redline pointing downwards as it always has. I was shocked when I first saw my 25NL graph for August!

This is the first time I have had a positive redline. My main stats for VPIP, PFR and 3bet% are more or less where they were in June. So, what has changed? Apparently I am winning more hands postflop without going to the showdown. Perhaps a more interesting question is why has it changed?

At the start of August my bankroll was growing nicely. I was rolled for 5NL and had enough to take a shot at 10NL. I was feeling good about my game after a long summer break, but a bit impatient. I wanted to get back to higher stakes, especially after being inspired by Felix’s video of his “Low Variance” 25NL shot.

I decided to take a calculated risk and bypass 10NL altogether. I  allotted myself two buyins for 25NL (rather than 5 for 10NL). If I lost those I would drop back down to 5NL before taking another shot.

Since I was seriously bending bankroll management rules to take this shot, I thought I better do everything else I could to reduce my chances of failure. I made three important changes, all of which, I believe, had a significant impact on my results.

The most important change was only playing a single Zoom table. This gave me more time than normal to think before acting. Normally I open three or four Zoom tables with one at my shot taking level and the others at a lower level. This time I wanted no distractions. I wanted to bring my absolute A-game in order to make this gambit work.

This change in my red line is a strong indication that one or two tables is my A-game volume; whereas, my prefered high volume multitabling sessions are actually my B-game. In the Ask Jared Tendler thread (post nr 26), he suggested that I describe the differences between my A, b and C games. I hope my redline may be one indicator to be used in this process.

Secondly, I decided to play 25NL Full Ring Zoom rather than 6-Max. I have been focusing on 6-Max the last few months, but most of my ring game experience comes from 25NL full ring. So, I thought it safest to return to what I am most familiar with.  I believe my 6-Max experience earlier this year helped me improve my reading/ranging skills. Now I am not just value betting, but am also recognizing more spots where I can exploit the villain’s weaknesses by betting/raising in order to induce a fold. These lines seem to work particularily well on full ring zoom where a large portion of the player pool is pretty nitty compared to 6-Max.

I have made some horrid mistakes following these exploitive lines like in this hand. I find it extremely irritating to overlook points such as Dave’s that in retrospect seem obvious. Yet, that is exactly what I hope for in a hand analysis. Getting you eyes opened to flaws in your decision making process allows you to make better choices next time around. Nonetheless,I feel like I am heading in the right direction.

Finally, I followed Sandtrap’s method of taking profit off the table. Every time my $25 starting stack got above $35 dollars, I would close the table and open a new one ensuring that I pocketed the ten buck profit. Removing money is really easy on Zoom since you jump right back into the same player pool. I did leave my auto top-up running though. I don’t like playing short stacked. I am not sure how this impacted my bottom line, but it felt “safe” which in turn helped keep me confident.


My 25NL shot got off to a great start. I was lucky enough to double up my first session alleviating a bit of the pressure.  My results have been profitable and more importantly, I am happy with how my game is progressing. I have learned a ton since the Official Full Ring vs 6-Max Challenge #2 was announced a year ago! That was when I switched my focus to cash games. 

I have worked hard to become better, but without PSO I wouldn't have known how to get there. Thank you! Thanks for the continued learning opportunities, for the friendly forum, and for the motivating trainers. I hope I have helped a few of you along the way, too!

GL in September and have fun at the tables!

Roland GTX