November 2007
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Is it a rock? No, it’s Supernit!

I’ve been 4-tabling 50NL on the iPoker network for about a week and starting to get some decent data into Poker Tracker.  Not yet sure if I’ll make a mission out of it like I did on PokerStars earlier in the year – I’m not convinced it’s a great game, and there’s barely enough time before the end of the year to get in enough hands for a reasonable win goal.

Mostly I just want to retain the VIP level I achieved playing $2/4 limit (running like God for a couple of weeks, then crashing back down and giving up) for a sweet $100 monthly cash bonus.  Playing for points is only marginally foolish, of course.

I’ve been thinking that there are a lot of super-tight – I mean really stupidly tight – players on there and have been seeing some Poker Tracker stats to that effect, but I just wasn’t really sure if it was just an anomoly at first.  There’s always some nits in every game, but when I seem to be always sitting down to see table averages of % flops seen instantly pop up in single figures, it’s a little unusual.

Sure, I still don’t have enough data to know the figures are accurate, and I often have only half the table tracked, but it’s still a whole load more rocks that you’d like to see at the table.

As my data is grows, these trends continue.  Just now I was playing against two of the nittiest players I’ve ever seen.

The first had paid to see 6.3% of flops – that’s 30 hands played from the 480 I’d seen him be dealt.  Even 12% would be awfully tight, and he’s playing half that.  It’s just one every 16.  That’s only just more than the frequency you should be dealt a pocket pair.  Even if that’s not his strategy, we know he has a very narrow range of hands when he does decide to play which means he’s a fairly predictable opponent (which I like) but he’s using a seat that could be taken by a player who is more likely to dump off his stack the next time I get a lucky flop (which I don’t like).

The other was an impressive 1.8% VP$IP ("voluntarily put money in the pot") over 220 hands.  That’s just 4 non big blind hands played from a sample that’s one less than enough to include every possible starting hand (it won’t – that would be a statistical freak - but it’s big enough to start seeing patterns).  Of those hands played, we saw two at showdown: he raised JJ from middle position and completed a small blind with 88.  Those crazy gamblers.

There are many more players sitting at about 10% VP$IP and that means I’ve been jumping around tables a lot trying to find somebody to actually play with.  There is the occasional juicy loose player that helps to keep the table average out of the gutter, but actually very few who fall in-between these extremes.  A cynical man might say it’s just full of bots and shills…

It does seems like it’s been much easier than I’m used to to steal blinds and stab at pots, but also much harder to get payoffs with monsters so I’ve tried to start adjusting accordingly.  I’m hesitating to go too far with the all-out aggression though because it just seems so unlikely that there would be so many players in one place – a poker site, of all places – who just don’t want to play poker.

I was starting to think that it never, ever went to 3 bets pre-flop in this game, and that all-ins were never called unless it was AA vs AA, or occasionally KK on a short stack.  Plenty of ratholers about, but mostly also sitting back and waiting for a big pair.  Seemed like winning a full stack was virtually impossible.

But you wait around for a week, then two come along at once.

My pocket kings got it all in pre-flop against an ace-jack for a full stack and it held up, and I flopped the nut straight with AK and re-raised all in against two players to be instacalled by AT – bottom pair, but top kicker.  Yummy.

The other player – a 12% rock – said he folded a set.  I believe him.

Those two hands literally doubled my win rate on the week.  Obviously, I still need more data but here’s a graph that I can savour for the time being.