Session analysis

I’ve been doing a lot of hand analysis, but today I was thinking about analysis of an entire session.

Today, to gather some sample data, I played a 4-seat table for 100 hands, and plugged the pot sizes into a spreadsheet and ran some basic stats on them, and came up with these numbers:

4-Ring 200/400
Total Hands 100
Pots won 30
Hands with losses* 50
*includes preflop BB and SB folds
Chips BB
Average Pot 2850 7.13
Average Win 1961.83 4.90
Average Loss -720
Total Chips won 58855 147.14
Total Chips Lost -36000 -90.00
Total Chips Net 22855 57.14
Biggest Win 9250 23.13
Biggest Loss -4000 -10.00
BBs/100 57.14
BBs/hr 64.68
Average Pot Size 2850 7.13

I probably won’t attempt to run this sort of analysis very often, unless I’m very interested in the session, due to the time it takes, but I thought it was interesting and potentially worthwhile to see what I can do with the numbers I can obtain from the site without a huge effort.

During the session, I felt like the table was fairly weak/passive, players over-folded or else were all running very cold, it was hard to build much of a pot, and I hit top pair a lot, pretty much any time I had an Ace or King in my hand, I flopped top pair with it. I also hit my draws a good proportion of the time.

I felt like I was the only player at the table who felt comfortable opening, but due to the weakness at the table, I wasn’t able to open very large, and when other players opened it was very occasionally and never for more than 2BB, while my average opening size was generally 2.5-3BB.

Consequently the average pot size was quite small, but I won most of the large pots, and I lost very few hands at showdown where I was betting, I think only 2 or 3 out of the whole session. I did not try to bluff in any spots.

Looking at these numbers, it seems I could have perhaps done better with bigger openings, and sacrificed some early hands as blind steals until the table decided that they needed to call larger openings if they were going to see any flops. This would have driven up the bet sizing at each street and resulted in bigger pots won, and possibly I could have also won a few more hands through blind steals that I opened but ended up not winning.

What other numbers would be useful to know? What lessons might I infer from such analysis?

Note: Looking at the sum of count of hands won and hands lost, at first it looks like I’m playing a very loose 80% of hands. This is misleading, because hands where I folded the SB or BB preflop, or was allowed to limp the BB and folded it postflop without voluntarily committing more chips to the pot also count for “losses” due to the way I wrote the function used to label wins and losses. So this could stand to be improved, but in order to clean up the data more, I’d need to put more time into the data entry, and it’s too time consuming to be worth the effort to do that. In actuality, I probably opened about 40% of hands, and played a further 20-25 hands from the BB when I was allowed to check to see a flop, and limped the remaining hands.

I don’t play much short handed, and so at 4 or fewer players I think I’m a little more lost about what to do, but 4 handed I’d expect VPIP rates something like…

  • CO: probably open somewhere close to 25% or 30% of hands, and fold the rest. Over 40%, I’d usually think I’d be losing money with the bottom of my range, but specific table conditions might occasionally push me to 50% or even 60%, I imagine.
  • Button: something in the ball park of 50% if the CO folds. CO opens will then knock that overall percentage down to 40% or so, if the CO is pretty active. I’ll limp behind and cold call some CO raises here too, raising my VPIP rate back up again.
  • SB: I’ll play quite tight here on the whole. I’ll probably raise 60% of hands and more if it folds to me, but it mostly won’t fold to me, and with a raise in front I’m going to be quite tight, and will almost always raise or fold. So I’ll probably only be playing 20% of hands or so, assuming strong, active players in front. A limp fest will of course allow me to limp behind with a much wider range.
  • BB: I’ll be defending fairly wide against strong players that are raising a lot from the earlier seats, likely continuing with almost half of my hands, though less vs. CO raises.

Note, the size of the opens I’m against have a big impact here. Larger opens will result in tighter continuing ranges.

There are a lot of things that will push those statistics one way or another, but on the whole, opening 40% of hands strikes me as being perhaps a little on the high side, but reasonable in a lot of spots, 4 handed.

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Your post raises a good point, it would be interesting to compile numbers on the hands I opened, or called a raise, from each position at the table. This would give me a more accurate picture of what my as-played range is from each seat, and could help me correct if I’m getting out of line in some spots.

It can be tougher to figure out what range players are playing short-handed, and having a good understanding of MDF is necessary, but if your opponents are mostly limping or raising tiny, the thing to worry about more is trapping.

At a 4-seat table, position matters less, but it still matters, and there’s fewer opponents to beat and you’re in for the blinds more frequently, so you need to open a correspondingly wider range, but this can get you in trouble, if the rest of the table is tighter than you, and you’re opening both larger than they do on average and with more hands than they do on average, you’re going to get beat a lot.

This can be offset by winning more uncontested pots on average, and winning bigger pots when you show down, so if you do make a 5-card hand or a set, you can do pretty well.

Here’s another set of session stats.

6-ring 1000/2000 61 hands Chips BB
Average Pot 44844 22.42
Average Win 27525 13.76
Average Loss -3485
Count Wins 10
Count Losses 26
Total Hands 61
Total Chips won 275250 137.63
Total Chips Lost -90600 -45.30
Total Chips Net 184650 92.33
Biggest Win 143500 71.75
Biggest Loss -12000 -6.00
BBs/100 151.35
BBs/hr 110.79

Bigger table, bigger pots – not just in terms of absolute chips, but in terms of BB. This table was more profitable, despite my winning a lot fewer hands. I also played fewer hands overall, and only won 10, but one of them was a fairly large pot, and was where most of my profit from the session came from. Again, the losses include folds from the SB and BB seats with no VPIP chips lost, so I don’t feel this should count in the same way, and I just don’t have an easy way to filter these out.

The size of the pots I won was smaller than the average pot on this table, but think this was mainly due to a couple of all-in pots that I didn’t participate in skewing the average, and the fact that the players at this table weren’t super passive. I don’t think it makes good sense to try to chase winning larger than average pots, or you’ll just find yourself on the losing end of them more often.

In general, if your average pot win size is bigger than the average pot size overall, you’re doing really well. But over a small number of hands this is not likely to indicate a skill advantage.

You also want the ratio of your average win pot size and average loss pot size to be as large as possible.

But it seems to me that if you’re average pot size loss is too small, it may be an indicator that you’re overfolding, minimizing your losses at the cost of missing too many draws or being bluffed off too many pots, which can hurt both your win rate and your won pot size.

I probably won’t post a lot of these, or do a lot of them, because they’re more work than they’re worth unless the session is unusual, and there’s probably not a lot of audience, but doing this was an interesting exercise anyway, and it can potentially be useful to look at session statistics and see if you can gain insights about your strategy or how well you did.

I’d be interested in seeing the session stats from other players, or if Replay built in automatic stat tallies and added it to the Activity page, that would be really cool.