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Old 09-01-2011, 09:43 AM   #1
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What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

To answer the "which is the most profitable game?" for my own interest, over the past afternoon I decided to see if I could actually quantify the first question rather than rely on personal opinion and hearsay. I am getting back into playing after a time off so wanted to get a factual idea of the state of the different games currently.

So off to good ol' PTR to get some data.

Firstly, I did a search for the top 50 players in each game and each level.
The search was restricted to pokerstars to keep all things such as rake equal.
To provide a view on what a winning player can realistically achieve in the long term playing a decent sample of opponents and thus weed out heaters, bumhunters, and table selection nits I removed all players who had less than 100k hands at that level for the year to date.
I restricted the search to this year, thus providing a decent sized sample while still restricting the results to current game conditions.
I then calculated the BB/100 or ptbb/100 over the data for the remaining players.

The following table should provide a rough idea of what a solid winning player can realistically make after rake over the long term at each level at the micro and small stakes in todays playing environment (not including rakeback / fpps)

NLHE (ptbb / 100)
=================
NL2: 4.6
NL5: 2.6
NL10: 2.5
NL25: 2.0
NL50: 2.4
NL100: 1.9

LHE (BB / 100)
=================
0.02/0.04: 1.7
0.05/0.10: 2.3
0.10/0.20: 1.4
0.25/0.50: 1.5
0.50/1: 0.9
1/2: 0.7
2/4: 0.9
3/6: 0.7

PLO (ptbb / 100)
=================
PLO10: 2.9
PLO25: 2.7
PLO50: 4.8
PLO100: 4.2

From this I draw the following:
1) Enough of the "omgz NL2 is just unbeatable these days, you don't understand how hard it is!". No, the micros and small stakes are still quite beatable for a reasonable rate if you are good enough. If you are not beating the micros long term it is because of your poor game, nothing more, nothing less.
2) It appears LHE has gotten tougher than what I had thought. From 0.50/1 onwards an average solid top 50 player does not even make 1BB/100.
3) PLO does appear to have a possible higher winrate over a reasonable sample than NLHE even with the higher rake. However less hand are dealt per hour which partially negates this. Due to the higher rake PLO provides more rakeback, which partially negates the less hands per hour.

Cliffs:
* The micros are still quite beatable for a reasonable rate
* PLO appears to be the most profitable game (if you can handle the swings)
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:42 AM   #2
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Great post. Thanks for sharing. Should be stickied imo, given how often the 'what's softest?' question comes up.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:13 AM   #3
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

wow. Great post

Stick it
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:29 AM   #4
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

wow

I think it's cool that you did this but you can see from the results themselves that you should treat them with caution

plo8 might be interesting
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:33 AM   #5
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Thanks for this. I assumed the micros were a lot more beatable than this. And this is the top50 players for each level !

The holy grail would be to see the differences vs each site.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:37 AM   #6
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Excellent research, thank you for this great post. Stick it on top of this forum.

Interesting for me personally is the convergence of LHE and NLHE at a couple points, stakes that I have played either live or online.

2/4 LHE has roughly a $4/100 and .50/1 NL has nearly $4/100 avg winrates in $$
Also at the low end, 5NL and .05/.10 LHE both are roughly $.25/100

But I can see why so many players take a swing (pun intended) at PLO, by far the best winrates once you move up in stakes.

Last edited by PapaPyrite; 09-01-2011 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:39 AM   #7
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

turbo sngs tho
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:39 AM   #8
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by denks View Post

The following table should provide a rough idea of what a solid winning player can realistically make after rake over the long term at each level at the micro and small stakes in todays playing environment (not including rakeback / fpps)

NLHE ($$$$$$ / 100)
=================
NL2:______$0.092
NL5:______$0.26
NL10:_____$0.50
NL25:_____$1.00
NL50:_____$2.40
NL100:____$3.80

LHE ($$$$$$ / 100)
=================
0.02/0.04:____$0.068
0.05/0.10:____$0.23
0.10/0.20:____$0.28
0.25/0.50:____$0.75
0.50/1:______.$0.90
1/2:_________$1.40
2/4:_________$3.60
3/6:_________$4.20

PLO ($$$$$$ / 100)
=================
PLO10:______$0.58
PLO25:______$1.35
PLO50:______$4.80
PLO100:_____$8.40

I was curious, so I converted all the ptbb to dollar amounts.

For NLHE and PLO I doubled the blind and multiplied by the ptbb number he had in the original post. That should give a cash value per 100 hands.

I think my LHE numbers are correct? For LHE I assumed because ptbb comes from LHE to begin with, I just multiplied the ptbb number by the winrate. If I need to double this too, please let me know and I'll edit my post.

Last edited by Lord_Crispen; 09-01-2011 at 11:44 AM. Reason: formatting
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:48 AM   #9
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

So crispen if I am reading your post right if it is per 100 hands for 25nl over 20,000 hands doing the conversion taking out EV the winning players are winning $200 or am I reading that wrong?
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:55 AM   #10
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

You're right. People use ptbb instead of $$$ to describe win-rates because it's easily accessible from a tracking program, and maybe more because it's easy to compare ptbb across different limits without having to do any conversions.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:56 AM   #11
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Why didn't you start with the lowest stakes PLO games? I've seen people beating PLO5 at 14bb/100 (that's 28ptbb/100?) over 100k hand samples.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:58 AM   #12
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masq View Post
Why didn't you start with the lowest stakes PLO games? I've seen people beating PLO5 at 14bb/100 (that's 28ptbb/100?) over 100k hand samples.
it's 7
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:24 PM   #13
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

I used the converted chart Lord_Crispen made, and assumed you start with a BR of $1200 to find that you could make $3.60/100 hands playing Limit (2/4) and $2.40/100 playing NL (NL50) using the general min BRM of 300 BB for Limit and at least 20 BI for NL

So at least at micro/small stakes a player with a smaller BR could make more in LHE per $1 of BR if he were following typical BRM parameters.

Of course you need eleventy-four gazillion BI minimum to play PLO so I'm still waiting for my BR to grow enough to play that crazy game and see how much I could make.
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:28 PM   #14
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Nice post. I was actually surprised to see how low WRs are fo the winning players.
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:50 PM   #15
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsiciliano View Post
Nice post. I was actually surprised to see how low WRs are fo the winning players.
People with larger win-rates than those posted generally move up to larger stakes.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:05 PM   #16
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by denks View Post
To answer the "which is the most profitable game?" for my own interest, over the past afternoon I decided to see if I could actually quantify the first question rather than rely on personal opinion and hearsay. I am getting back into playing after a time off so wanted to get a factual idea of the state of the different games currently.

So off to good ol' PTR to get some data.

Firstly, I did a search for the top 50 players in each game and each level.
The search was restricted to pokerstars to keep all things such as rake equal.
To provide a view on what a winning player can realistically achieve in the long term playing a decent sample of opponents and thus weed out heaters, bumhunters, and table selection nits I removed all players who had less than 100k hands at that level for the year to date.
I restricted the search to this year, thus providing a decent sized sample while still restricting the results to current game conditions.
I then calculated the BB/100 or ptbb/100 over the data for the remaining players.

The following table should provide a rough idea of what a solid winning player can realistically make after rake over the long term at each level at the micro and small stakes in todays playing environment (not including rakeback / fpps)

NLHE (ptbb / 100)
=================
NL2: 4.6
NL5: 2.6
NL10: 2.5
NL25: 2.0
NL50: 2.4
NL100: 1.9

LHE (BB / 100)
=================
0.02/0.04: 1.7
0.05/0.10: 2.3
0.10/0.20: 1.4
0.25/0.50: 1.5
0.50/1: 0.9
1/2: 0.7
2/4: 0.9
3/6: 0.7

PLO (ptbb / 100)
=================
PLO10: 2.9
PLO25: 2.7
PLO50: 4.8
PLO100: 4.2

From this I draw the following:
1) Enough of the "omgz NL2 is just unbeatable these days, you don't understand how hard it is!". No, the micros and small stakes are still quite beatable for a reasonable rate if you are good enough. If you are not beating the micros long term it is because of your poor game, nothing more, nothing less.
2) It appears LHE has gotten tougher than what I had thought. From 0.50/1 onwards an average solid top 50 player does not even make 1BB/100.
3) PLO does appear to have a possible higher winrate over a reasonable sample than NLHE even with the higher rake. However less hand are dealt per hour which partially negates this. Due to the higher rake PLO provides more rakeback, which partially negates the less hands per hour.

Cliffs:
* The micros are still quite beatable for a reasonable rate
* PLO appears to be the most profitable game (if you can handle the swings)
Great post, and this finally answers my question about PLO and whether having to tie up twice the BR in $$$ is worth it. It looks like it is, as long as you have the stomach.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:57 PM   #17
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julebag View Post
Great post, and this finally answers my question about PLO and whether having to tie up twice the BR in $$$ is worth it. It looks like it is, as long as you have the stomach.
Rakeback's pretty sick too I'm sitting with over 80k FPP and I made platinum last month because of the promotion. I was able to get gold every month when I was playing more regularly.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:21 PM   #18
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masq View Post
Rakeback's pretty sick too I'm sitting with over 80k FPP and I made platinum last month because of the promotion. I was able to get gold every month when I was playing more regularly.
Rake is pretty sick too I think I'm down 500$ lifetime and I paid $1700 rake or smth playing mircros
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:22 PM   #19
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Great post! thanks a lot
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:27 PM   #20
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Quote:
Great post, and this finally answers my question about PLO and whether having to tie up twice the BR in $$$ is worth it. It looks like it is, as long as you have the stomach.
I had done the numbers to higher however these were of the greatest interest to micro / small stakes players. PLO remained roughly 1 ptbb/100 higher than the equivalent NLHE stakes all the way up to PLO1000, NL1000 above which there were not enough players on either PLO or NLHE with a large hand sample for the stakes to get any meaningful results.

Quote:
People with larger win-rates than those posted generally move up to larger stakes.
Very true. However on the flip side that means these numbers are for an "average" winner rather than a top player, which means they should be realistic for anyone willing to put in the work to achieve them. I specifically left out players with less than 100k hands at a level because we see so many amazing graphs of 5 - 7 ptbb/100 over a sample of maybe 20k hands then never hear from the player again which likely indicates that their run was due to nothing more than a heater. I do not consider a heater as a realistic representation of an average winning player.

Quote:
turbo sngs tho
...do not interest me in the slightest, I look forward to reading your research on the subject On a serious note, if anyone is willing to put some time into hunting down MTT / SnG results we might be able to once and for all resolve the "which is more profitable, cash, sng or mtt?" I have no idea where to find mtt results or how to interpret them even if I did find them.

Quote:
I think it's cool that you did this but you can see from the results themselves that you should treat them with caution
Yes and no. I hardly pretend that this was a scientific study and proper statistical analysis, it was merely an afternoon of looking through trying to resolve the question for myself and I found the results interesting so figured they would likely be interesting for others too. I was hesitant about putting numbers in for PLO25 for example as once the <100k hands players were removed the sample was becoming a bit too small to be meaningful. Having said that, for all the NLHE limits the samples were over 10 million hands per limit. NLHE would be the most accurate representation due to sample size, PLO would be the least.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:43 PM   #21
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masq View Post
Why didn't you start with the lowest stakes PLO games? I've seen people beating PLO5 at 14bb/100 (that's 28ptbb/100?) over 100k hand samples.
14bb/100 is 7BB/100
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:09 PM   #22
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostyice View Post
Rake is pretty sick too I think I'm down 500$ lifetime and I paid $1700 rake or smth playing mircros
Rake at the micros is sick indeed. In (just under) 40K hands at 25NL 6 max at stars, ive payed $782 in rake. I wish Full Tilt was around, 27% of that is a hefty sum of money for a months work!
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:11 PM   #23
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostyice View Post
Rake is pretty sick too I think I'm down 500$ lifetime and I paid $1700 rake or smth playing mircros
I can beat that, $2400 in rake paid for me according to PTR playing PLO and not really higher than 0.05/0.10.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:20 PM   #24
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

If PLO is the most profitable game then why dont you hear of people moving from 2plo to 50plo+? Seems like people switch to PLO once they have already "made it" playing NL.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:21 PM   #25
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Re: What is the most profitable game? Are the micros still beatable?

Can't figure out your random guestimates :|
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