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FlopZoom Tutorials: Intermediate

VPP is a measure of overall player looseness. Low VPP numbers indicate that a player is either waiting for big hole cards or only playing in late position, the net effect being playing very few hands. High VPP numbers indicate that a player is willing to play a wide range of hole cards and may not be concerned with the advantage of being in late position.

Knowing how often opponents put chips into the pot preflop is vital in figuring out their playing styles and how to counter those styles. You can see their VPP numbers change as you're playing against them in real time with FlopZoom.

Here, the word "voluntarily" means that chips put in the pot preflop for the big blind aren't factored into the number if the big blind player wasn't raised. Checking your big blind doesn't count. The big blind player's chips are only counted in the VPP if another player raised and the player in the big blind called that raise.

In the following example, FZ_Hero (in yellow) didn't play very many hands. The percentage of hands in which he voluntarily put chips in the pot preflop (VPP) is half that of opponent_B (in blue) and villain_1 (in red). This means that the number of hands in which he voluntarily put chips into the pot was very small. We've selected "none" in all the other statistics menus to keep it simple.


Players with VPPs higher than 30% or 40% when the table is full in a tournament are either catching great starting cards or they're just playing too many hands. In short-handed and heads-up play, the number of hands you play must increase unless you want to let the other players run you over and take your blinds. So, necessarily, your VPP will increase as fewer players remain at the table.

Going Beyond the Numbers
In the above example, FZ_Hero (in yellow) played only 16.3% of the hands dealt. His opponent, opponent_B, played 37.2% of the hands dealt. Did FZ_Hero play too few hands? Did opponent_B play too many?

That depends on many things, mostly the blinds schedule. If the blinds are increasing rapidly, you need to get busy and play some hands. You can't just sit around and wait for pocket aces. You'll need to outplay people as well as outcard people.

So who played more correctly? We can't tell from just the raw numbers. To find out we can just click back to the session pane to see how many chips everyone started with. We can click the blinds button and the inflection points buttons to see how fast the blinds increased and how deep everyone's stacks were.


Yikes! The blinds went up more often than every 10 hands and everyone started with 50x the big blind for an M of 33.3. (Remember our M discussion from the basic tutorials?) That's not a whole lot of chips. And 10 hands later, even if you don't play a single hand, your M drops to 25 when the blinds increase. So waiting around for big hands isn't the way to go here. You need to get in there and outplay people when you have nothing and get paid off when you do have a big hand.

Getting back to the VPP numbers, FZ_Hero's 16.3% means that he's playing barely more than one hand per blind level. His stack chart confirms that he's playing way too few hands: it pretty much declines slowly until his bustout hand.

opponent_B played more than twice as many hands, with his VPP of 37.2%. If we want to see how he won and what hands he showed we can just click on the hand in the stack chart where we see his chips increase sharply. Then we can click over to the playback pane and pow: there's the hand everyone's hole cards, ready for playback. That's how you can instantly check to see if he outcarded people at showdown or just bluffed then off big pots on any specific hand.

One of FlopZoom's strengths is the tight integration of the four panes. You can get a far deeper understanding of the raw statistics by browsing the session pane's stacks charts and playback pane's hole card display. And it only takes a fraction of a second.

Short Handed and Heads-Up Play
The above example only shows full table play, since our hero busted out early. But when you get deeper in a tournament, FlopZoom can filter its results to show how you and everyone else at your table(s) played as the number of players at your table decreased. If you got down to short handed and, hopefully, heads-up play in a session, the "short" and "heads-up" buttons on the statistics pane will be enabled. Click either one to filter your all of your statistics for short handed or heads-up play.

We've clicked the short handed button in the next example. We see that none of the four players is too far out of line in terms of voluntarily putting chips put in the pot preflop. You can see that the "full" button is disabled. This is because this particular tournament was a 6-handed sit 'n go. FlopZoom considers full table play to be when there are 9, 8, or 7 players at the table. Short handed play is when there are 6, 5, 4, or 3 players. And, of course, heads-up play is when there are 2 players.


Clicking the heads-up button, we can see the VPP of the two final players. (Note that you'll need to be sure you've selected both of the final two players to see their statistics.) As you would expect, both players' VPP percentages went up dramatically. There's nowhere to hide heads-up. You need to play hands.



Specific Positions and Position Ranges
OK, so we can get full table, short handed, and heads-up statistics. Now let's try looking at players' statistics in different positions and position ranges. We'll click back to "any" number of players just to make sure we're looking at all the hands in the tournament. Then we'll try clicking on "UG", or the under the gun position. We'll see how loose these four players were when they were first to act.


Our hero and the opponent he faced heads-up played fewer hands out of position under the gun that the two who busted out earlier. Coincidence? Maybe. It's possible that the early bustouts just plain got unlucky. But it's also possible that they didn't understand the importance of position in no limit hold'em.

Now we'll click the "BT" button to see whether any of the players used their positional advantage when they were on the button.


Looks like the final two heads-up players used their button position to their advantage and played a little more often. The earlier bustouts played just as many hands under the gun as they did on the button.

What Happened?
We know how to find out how often the players put chips in the pot voluntarily preflop. And we can filter the results for when they were facing different number of opponents and when they were in different positions. But what actually happened when they were, say, on the button heads-up? Just click back to the session pane to see what happened to their chip stacks.


Above, we've clicked the stacks button to show players' stacks throughout the tournament. The lines are broken since they only show us the hands each player played on the button. Back on the statistics pane we clicked BT to get players' VPP when they were on the button. The BT button remains clicked when we go to the session pane, so we can instantly see the changes in the players' chip stacks when they were on the button.

Looks like FZ_Hero lost just small pots and won big ones on the button. The sharply increasing yellow line segments show us where he won big pots. His opponents didn't win nearly as much.

So how did everyone do in, say, early position? Just click the early position button.


FZ_Hero only lost small pots in early position, but his heads-up opponent won and lost big ones. Her stack line appears in red. Now we can go back to the statistics pane to compare their VPP numbers heads-up in early position.


Wow. FZ_Hero played only about half as many hands as his opponent. Why? You need to play lots of hands heads-up, whether or not you're in position, right? Well, we can click back to the session pane and take a look at their M.


We can see that in heads-up play their stack were fairly deep. An M of 20 or more means that you're in the green zone, and that there's no urgency to move in and try and double up.

Instant Playback
If you are looking at a single session, you can click any player's VPP bar to play back all the relevant hands. If you click back to the playback pane you'll see just those VPP hands for that player in the hands list for you to choose.

Your VPP and other players' VPP can give you a quick idea of how many hands you and they played. Clicking on the full, short, and heads-up buttons will show you whether or not you or anyone else increased the number of hands played as the number of opponents decreased. Clicking on the specific position buttons or position range buttons shows you whether anyone changed the number of hands played in different seats or position ranges.

And you can add depth to the raw VPP number by clicking back to the session pane to see what happened. Raw numbers are just data. Data in context is information, and information is power in poker.

The other intermediate tutorials will refer back to this tutorial when we discuss clicking back to the session pane.

Intermediate Tutorials:
VPP | PRP | AF | C-Bets | 2/3/4+Bets | SDP | SWP | UBP | AIP | Intervals