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  1. #1
    Mobster Emeritus Marm's Avatar
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    Default Buy-ins (Bankroll Spinoff)

    Ok this is kinda a Spin-off of the Skinny thread. There the topic of BUy-ins came up. A while ago we had a similar discussion, and I think it could use a little rehashing. Since I have seemingly specialized in limit, only playing NL (rarely PL except O8b) on occasion, I will mainly discuss Limit, leaving Big bet theory to the NL/PL gurus we have.

    In limit, you cannot commit more than 12 BB's in 4 bet cap game (15bb's in 5 bet cap) per hand. There fore, if you have more than 12bb's (i won't refer to 5 bet games again, because the ideas are identical) in front of you, you will always get full value for your hands (or your opponents getting full value for theirs if your a pessimist). So the question is, how much to buyin for?

    Simple answer; 20bb's for live and 30bb's for online. I used to buy-in for 20bb for both, But Bonch showed me something that made a lot of sense, more on that later. Why 20/30? Cause its easy to count out. 3/6 is $120/$180, 5/10 is $200/$300, .5/1 is $20/$30 (ok you're not goign to see much .5/1 live). This gurantees you always have enough in front of you to fully play a hand.

    It usually also puts a large enough stack of chisp in front of you to indicate (live or online) that you will not be bullied by playing scared. Sitting with nice round numbers indicates to other players that this is just a small (hopefully) chunk of your BR and are quite comfortably within your BR. Especially when you multitable with the same amount at each table, shows you are a system player that will not be pushed around with tactics that work on weaker players. At least thats how I see/feel it to be.

    Why the difference between live and online? If you notice 30bb's should be enough to cover 2 full hands. When you get busted or take a huge hit live, you scream "CHIPS!" (or whatever your local custom is) and the dealer will deal you in and somehow keep track of what you owe to the pot until you can get chips. But online this doesn't happen. If you get the shaft and only have 1.5 bb's left, your rebuy won't take affect until 2 hands after the beat! The dealers don't wait for you to rebuy if you still have a few chips in front of you, you play with what you got until next hand when the rebuy you just ordered takes effect. If you immediatly get dealt AA and flop quads, you will not get full value for it! By having 30bb's in your stack, this minimizes the damage and allows your rebuy to not be as critical.

    Over buying is bad. This is a ploy that only has merit in Big Bet games. Sometimes you see players sit with $700 in a 1/2 game. What is the point?? There is none. There is no advantage over the knowledgable player to sit with such a huge stack. They know you cannot commit more than 12bb's to a hand, so they have nothing to fear from your big stack. Some players may read into this large stack as a unskilled player sitting in a game he thinks will not hurt him. This may make the big stack make stupid calls or plays. They see this huge stack as fodder to feed on. Depending on the stack and the style of play the present with, this can give the observant player insight into the big stack. Since there is no real advantage, and only possible disadvantages, there is no reason to buy-in for more than the 20-30 bb's for a game.

    For Big bet, I have always tried to play with nothing less than 100bb's. But I think Steve-O, Alex, and others can dissect this a little better.
    Luck is a Residue of Design.

  2. #2
    Moderator Steve R's Avatar
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    Good post Marm.

    I agree totally, especially about having enough chips for 2 buy ins online.

    Another factor to think about is this, mentally you do not want too many or too few chips in front of you.

    When you buy in short many people will play scared, rebuying is embarrasing to most people it shows you have lost and other players in the game are beating you so you may play timidly to avoid this.

    When you overbuy you may play too loose, since you have all these chips why not take a few shots???

    As far as big bet poker, most games now set caps on the buy ins, in these games you should always buy in for the max.

    If you play in a game with no cap how many chips you pony up really depends on; the other stacks in the game, who is sitting behind those stacks, your style of play and the strategy you intend to employ in this game, the pot sizes, and obviously how well you play the game.

    When I play pot limit I always like to have everyone covered, sometimes this is impossible or just unneccassary (I used to play a 5/5 pot limit hold em game where 2 players routinely bought in for $2,500+). Unless the game had monster pots which was very very rare, I would buy in for $800-$1000 or 160-200 bets.

    I'm not as strong at NL so my buy ins when I play vary, but I never buy in short where I can get bullied. Basiccally even if someone has me covered I want a potential double up from me to cause damage to his stack. For instance if 4 people at the table have between $3,000-$4,000 buying in for $800 is pointless. the players will run right over you. however buying in for even $1500 puts a completely different spin on things.

    If you double up with $800 from a $4000 stack they all still have double the money you have. If you double up with $1500 from the same player you now have $3000 or the same as the other players and the player you beat is now down below you.
    Quote Originally Posted by G9OLT
    I just think you guys didn t want it enough this month
    Read my musings on poker and life at PokerNewsBoy.com, and My Poker Blog

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  3. #3
    Major Girevik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marm
    Over buying is bad. This is a ploy that only has merit in Big Bet games. Sometimes you see players sit with $700 in a 1/2 game. What is the point?? There is none. There is no advantage over the knowledgable player to sit with such a huge stack.

    Time for a Girevik stupid comment of the day!

    How about this for a reason to sit down with way more than necessary?

    Online you have a lot of turnover at a table. Often within 30 minutes after sitting down at a table, over half the players are new. They have no idea what you bought in for. Having the huge stack at the table might make them assume that you WON at that in this session and make them fear you, allowing you to bully them around.

  4. #4
    Specialist dietDrThunder's Avatar
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    I didn't see this thread at first, so I asked about this issue in the other one. If you read that (I think most of you guys read all of the threads) you saw my question.

    Now that I've read Marm's post, I can see the error of my ways (not in how I played the hand which I'm sure I'll hear about shortly ) but in my buy-in mentality. I think if I sat today at a 10/20 limit game with $400 I'd feel like I was playing scared, but I now see that I need to ovecome that myself, and not by buying in for more.

    I am certain that my scared feeling comes from my lack of limit-play skill. I think I have come to rely too much on betting big into weakness in NL games, and this causes me big problems in limit. I think this problem probably boils down to me playing too loose in limit games. Does this make sense?

    It never even occured to me until I read these threads, but I think I rely on my ability to outplay people post-flop in NL (percieved ability, not nec. real in comparisson to truly good players) too much, and therefore end up getting in too deep with marginal cards in limit play.

    Hmm.

  5. #5
    Specialist dietDrThunder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O
    For instance if 4 people at the table have between $3,000-$4,000 buying in for $800 is pointless. the players will run right over you. however buying in for even $1500 puts a completely different spin on things.

    If you double up with $800 from a $4000 stack they all still have double the money you have. If you double up with $1500 from the same player you now have $3000 or the same as the other players and the player you beat is now down below you.
    This is very valid thinking to me, but I wanted to relate a recent experience I had that was contrary, and get your thoughts.

    By the way, if these n00b questions are annoying please tell me to shut up and I'll go back to lurking for a while...I don't mean to be spamming your forum, I'm just a little excited that I've rebuilt my br so that I can play again (bought a house a few months ago...yikes that's expensive ).

    Ok, I was in Vegas on my honeymoon in Sept. and I sat at the Golden Nugget 2 nights in a row in the 1/2 NLHE game. Each night I bought in for $600, and each night there were at _least_ 3 other people (at times 4) with between $3000 and $7500 or so in play.

    I knew going in that I was over my head buy-in wise, and I was prepared to get run over. Frankly I was thinking of my $600 as a sort of entertainment/education fee, as I'd never played a ring game like that live, and I wanted to try it out.

    My strategy going in was to get there early (like 7pm) and play ultra-mega tight starting hand-wise, and make absolutely no moves at all, and assume that others are also not making moves...the idea of course is to maximize the chances that I have the best of it when I'm involved at any given time. This really boiled down to playing the cards almost entirely and not playing the person, so to speak.

    Then, when I won a hand, I always showed that I had it, in an effort to build my tight table image. As the night wore on, it became obvious that it was working. It became increasingly difficult to get action, as the players increasingly assumed that if I was in, I had big cards. At this point, I loosened up a bit and played 'my normal game.'

    The end result was that on night #1 I won approx. $500 and on the second night I won maybe $350 or so...I forget the exact numbers. One interesting note was that over the course of the 18-20 hours I played, I pushed all-in for between $400 and $900 a total of 4 times, and I didnt' get called once (ok, one time, but it was a dumb tourist w. about $100 left).

    Here is my analysis of this...would you guys comment on it?

    1. Luckily, the table dynamic both nights largely ignored me, as there was one tall-stacked maniac who was intent on bluffing out other big stacks when they were involved...and if he actually had cards, look out. He didn't ever pay any attention to me...if he had tried to, he surely could have kept me out of many pots by putting me all-in repeatedly. He didn't, and I just stayed out of his way, as he was seated directly to my right.

    2. At all times, there were at least 2 weak 'tourist' players, and I was as successful at taking their chips as the big $$ guys were.

    Was I just ridiculously lucky? I know the answer might be yes...anyway, thanks for your indulgence.
    Last edited by dietDrThunder; January 25th, 2005 at 08:18 AM.

  6. #6
    change my title babo bonchkid's Avatar
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    Online limit, I generally buy-in for 40 or 50 bbs, depending on which number looks better to me lol..
    “There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what you're talking about.” - John von Neumann

  7. #7
    Moderator Steve R's Avatar
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    Diet, I think what happened here is the people with the chips were good players. Why risk any money against you "the rock" when there is plenty of other money for the taking.

    They realized if they were going to get involved with you they needed a hand.
    Quote Originally Posted by G9OLT
    I just think you guys didn t want it enough this month
    Read my musings on poker and life at PokerNewsBoy.com, and My Poker Blog

    "Galfond is a mind reading wizard & we should consider burning him at the stake." Hockey Guy

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  8. #8
    Specialist dietDrThunder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O
    Diet, I think what happened here is the people with the chips were good players. Why risk any money against you "the rock" when there is plenty of other money for the taking.

    They realized if they were going to get involved with you they needed a hand.
    Right, that was kinda my point... What I was getting at there is that contrary to the statement about it being a waste of time to buy in low in a NL game, doesn't this present a way to do ok in a bigger game with a small buy in?

    Or, was my experience more likely an anomoly, and if I tried it over time, I'd get slaughtered?

  9. #9
    Corporal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O
    I'm not as strong at NL so my buy ins when I play vary, but I never buy in short where I can get bullied. Basiccally even if someone has me covered I want a potential double up from me to cause damage to his stack. For instance if 4 people at the table have between $3,000-$4,000 buying in for $800 is pointless. the players will run right over you. however buying in for even $1500 puts a completely different spin on things.

    If you double up with $800 from a $4000 stack they all still have double the money you have. If you double up with $1500 from the same player you now have $3000 or the same as the other players and the player you beat is now down below you.

    If you can play your A-game comfortably with that $800 and it puts you far enough above the blinds that you aren't rushed into doing anything rash, then I would contend that it doesn't matter if 4 people at the table have between $3,000-$4,000. I believe that in NL ring games, bullying is only really effective against weaker players and scared money. If you are either of those they'd take your $1500 stack just as sure as they'd take your $800.

    On the other hand, if your game is solid and you're making good decisions, you can chop down their big stack.

  10. #10
    Moderator Steve R's Avatar
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    If you continually put yourself in the situation of buying in short in a NL game you will get eaten up most of the time.

    there are 2 reasons to buy in short

    #1 you don't have enough money

    #2 you are afraid of losing that money

    Either way you are making a bad decision.

    On the other hand, if your game is solid and you're making good decisions, you can chop down their big stack
    Not if they are solid also.
    Quote Originally Posted by G9OLT
    I just think you guys didn t want it enough this month
    Read my musings on poker and life at PokerNewsBoy.com, and My Poker Blog

    "Galfond is a mind reading wizard & we should consider burning him at the stake." Hockey Guy

    "Stud is an art form, sorta like martial arts, without the karate chops and the "hi-yah's." Pikachar

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