Playing During IGM/Party Bonuses Pt. 2

There was another Party reload bonus which started just over a week ago, and I wanted to further explore my previous experiences with low-limit play during a party bonus. Once again, I observed that during peak times, the absolute highest pot games were getting huge waiting lists. If you were willing to attach yourself to an 8-person waiting list based upon the pot size at a given point in time, you might have been dissapointed to find out that the table-complexion had changed when you actually sat down.

Once again, I tried joining the “first available” waiting list instead of specific tables. This resulted in quickly getting a seat. After playing two rounds, I was able to get a feel for the texture of the table and some preliminary table information from Gametime+. Over the 26 sessions I played, I was consistantly hitting tables with 22% VP$IP (Voluntarily Put $ in Pot), and was even able to find a couple tables over 25%. As tables fell below 22%, I’d leave and find another. For those 26 sessions, I played 765 hands, but only 429 raked hands (56% raked). Not a great stat, nor were the games really soft, just tolerable. Not at all like the 18% VP$IP games I was experiencing after sitting on an 8-person waiting list.

Trying the $1/2 game was pretty successfull last time, so I tried again. First off, I only played 6 sessions because it was so easy to find games hovering around 30% VP$IP. In 496 hands, I played 392 raked hands (79% raked). I was getting just under 66 hands per hour at each table vs. the 55 hands per hour I was getting at $0.50/1.

Hmmm… After reading that back, it occurs to me to explain where I ‘m getting these stats, and why I think they’re important. Here’s the procedure I used to extract them:

  1. Open Poker Tracker
  2. Open up ring-game stats
  3. Go to the Preferences Tab
  4. Select the level(s) you want raked hand and/or hands-per-hour stats for (I usually select auto-save here)
  5. Select the date range for the sessions you want to see (eg. the bonus period
  6. Select the Session Notes tab, which will give you the number of sessions, total # of hands played during those sessions, and the total minutes played for each session.
  7. Select the Game Notes tab, which will give you the total hands played (again). Click on the “Get All” button in the upper right, then get the “TRH –>” number from the bottom of the first table. That’s “total raked hands.”

Why are these stats important? Well, think about it as $/hour. The Party reload bonus was 7 raked hands for every $1 in bonus. At $0.50/1, I was only able to play 429 raked hands in 831 minutes, which is about 31 raked hands per hour, or $4.4/hour in bonus dollars. At $1/2, I played 392 raked hands in 452 minutes. That’s 52 raked hands an hour, or $7.4/hour in bonus. Of course, that’s a per-table statistic, as well. That means, I can four-table 208 raked hands an hour at 1/2 and clear the bonus in just under 3.5 hours, while at the lower limit, I’m four-tabling at 124 hands/hour and taking 5 and 2/3 hour to clear. It just doesn’t seem to make sense to try to clear a bonus at $0.50/1 with the way the play is there, unless you don’t have the skill or bankroll to play at $1/2.

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