Saturday, July 4, 2009

Reevaluating opening range

Looking at the stats for my last post made me have a little think about whether I am playing a little too laggy, so I thought I would go back to basics and have a look at my opening ranges.

To keep things simple, I am looking at 6max fixed limit games from 1/2 up. Initially, I am simply looking at my opening range UTG or UTG+1. This opening range more or less calibrates my range in other positions and with other action (limpers, raises in front etc).

Using Holdem Manager's filters, I selected for these conditions and came up with about 11000 hands which is not a bad sample (about 100 of each offsuit hand, 30 of each suited and 50 of each pair). Then I can see what I normally do with each hand in these positions, and what the average result is.

My current opening range is something along these lines: 22+, A7o+, A5s+, K9o+, K7s+, QTs+, QJo, suited connectors down to 87. Sometimes I also play the other suited aces, QTo, Q9s, J9s and a few other marginal hands.

This is a fair bit laggier than the Stox recommendation, which is roughly: 55+, A7s+, A9o+, K9s+, KQo, QTs+, J9s+, T9s, 98s.

Looking at my database, I discovered the following interesting facts:
  • All the pocket pairs are profitable
  • Almost all the suited aces are profitable, except A2s.
  • Suited kings are profitable down to K9 (with the exception of an unusually bad KQ). Lower kings are marginal but not bad.
  • Suited connectors and 1 gappers are basically marginal all the way down. Everything else is not worth worrying about.
  • A8o and lower are pretty clearly unprofitable.
  • KTo is one of my most profitable unsuited hands (weird, must be an outlier I guess). KJo and KQo are also pretty solid winners.
  • All the other unsuited hands are marginal at best. QJ is maybe the only one that is playable.

The conclusion I draw from this is that it is pretty clear that I need to tighten up all around, except for perhaps loosening the small suited aces.

The opening range I come up with is this:

33+, A2s+, ATo+, K9s+, KTo+, QTs+, QJo, JTs.

If I'm at a tight table I can add the following: 22, A8o+, K5s+, K9o, Q9s, QTo, suited connectors and gappers down to 54 and 64. But in general all these hands will do nothing except for increase variance.

Note that this analysis is based on my stats, which means it is heavily influenced by the way I have played these hands postflop. Obviously, the better you play postflop, the more hands you can play pre. I suspect I don't play all that well out of position, hence the need to tighten up in these early spots.

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