I think every PLO cash game player’s goal is to make money. I think it is safe to assume that. Sure, some people play because they love to, but a way to see how good they are is how much bankroll they build through poker. Selecting your action carefully is essential to be a profitable player. Modern-day poker will entail most platforms offering stats on the players. VPIP is one such stat.
What is VPIP? VPIP keeps track of the percentage of hands in which a particular player voluntarily puts money into the pot preflop. That is, the more hands a player chooses to play preflop, the higher the VPIP. This includes opening, limping, calling, and raising. Assuming the VPIP numbers from a game with 4-6 players.
Remember we discussed the kinds of hands to play in our previous posts such as,
Remember, the goal is to flop hands that dominate your opponent’s. Say your opponent choose to play his king-high flush with a gutter aggressively, whereas you have the ace-high flush with even top pair; you would have him dominated. Now it is safe to assume that the high VPIP players don’t follow this fundamental rule. They are happy to see more flops, sometimes flop big and felt the opponents. This is not the most rational thought, and a good player should make a note of this.
The low VPIP players like to follow the fundamentals, maybe a bit too much. They want to play tight and do that at the cost of being a tad predictable. The higher VPIP players are unpredictable; they can have any holding, wide range. They get paid off more when they hit big, but they also lose by putting in their money behind or dominated.
ALSO READ: Finding The Right Spots To Bluff In PLO 5
The low VPIP players can be exploited easily as sometimes they play their hands face up, and the range can be played against them (for really low VPIP players). But these players can play it coy, too, knowing that they have a tight reputation.
High or Low VPIP stats and deductions based on them can be a little tricky at times. For instance, a player playing more HU compared to bullring games will have a highish VPIP, but the tracking software will not distinguish between the two-game categories. Also, he might be tight and loose on different stakes, so you must tread lightly there as well. The ones whose VPIP is between say 45-60 are tricky players- they are tough to play profitably against in PLO 5.
So this above explanation was historic VPIP that is VPIP developed over larger periods. Another one is something called – the last hour’s VPIP. Sometimes before sitting on a specific table, I like to see a couple of rounds and spot the one that I can beat. The player is often the one who is down, losing an enormous amount, seeing more flops to break even asap. The guy will have a High VPIP on that day.
Ho to play against high VPIP players- be patient, play with the nut hands as defined above- wait to flop big. And don’t pounce – if your opposition has a high CBet ratio in addition to a high VPIP, wait for him to cbet. Even flat the cbet if you feel you might scare him off with a raise/check-raise. Remember, your hours of grind will bear fruit if you play these 1-2 spots right.
So my advice, use these metrics and stats.
● Historic VPIP- give a good sense of how tight or loose a player generally is, but with certain caveats as discussed in the article. I choose to play against higher than 65 VPIP players in PLO 5 as that can significantly improve your win rate.
● The Last hour’s VPIP- to see a player on an hour’s data and play more against him.
Hope you liked this read. Feel free to ping me your thoughts. Stay tuned for the next one!
Aditya Sarkar is an online Pot Limit Omaha player. He has a day job (Marketing Lead in a startup) but he manages to squeeze in 25-30 hours of PLO every week, mostly PLO 5 cash games. Why does he love PLO? It’s just faster and more exciting to play. He picked up PLO in college (MDI Gurgaon) way back in 2015 and has been playing the game ever since 🙂 Sarkar is also an author as he recently wrote his first ebook on PLO. Having worked with a poker company, he wanted to help out players to work on their fundamentals. Through the book, he aimed to bridge the gap between the sharks, the amateurs and beginners.
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