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Old 04-27-2010, 11:43 PM   #1
AcePlayerDeluxe
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*** Official Winrates, bankrolls, and finances ***

Venice's Introduction to the Thread.

I make a rule to not change someone's post unless it violates a rule. However this is the exception. Not because APD's post is bad (it is good), but because there's lots of discussion back and forth on winrates, and some people are just looking for a simple answer to winrates and bankrolls.

The simple answer is that winning is good. The majority of people playing poker lose money. Poker is a worse than zero sum game because of rake. Therefore if you are winning, you're doing well.

Harrington wrote that if you are beating a live game for 10BB/hr, you're crushing it. That's $20/hr at 1/2 and $50/hr at 2/5. That doesn't mean that you can't beat it for more, it just means that over time winning that much means you're vastly superior than your opponents. Most people don't sustain that over a long period of time because they move up to win more money.

The second simple answer is to stop worrying about what your sustainable winrate is. In order to get a big enough sample to statistically generate an accurate winrate, you and your opponents have play thousands of hands exactly the same way. Poker doesn't work that way. If you aren't improving your play over that amount of hands, you're falling behind your opponents. Therefore, the results are meaningless.

Finally, Kurt put it best that you need 20 buyins to play a level.

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/78...gement-509726/

On to the rest of the thread.



So here it is... The Win Rate thread (and other finances)!

This thread will basically be a containment thread and will stock pile all of the questions and answers about winrates. I would also like to include bankroll management and other finances into this thread. Bottom line is this, if you are worried about a win rate you should probably be worried about bankroll management also.

Instead of starting this thread like all other winrate threads by asking the question, "What is a good hourly/winrate at live 1/2?" I would rather take the time to explain a few tools live players have to help us with it and to also help us become disciplined. The "whats a good rate" questions I am sure will be asked time and time again.

Online players have some superb tools that they get to use. HUD's, databases, OPR, PTR, Shark Scope, and the list goes on. Live players have one thing, our memory. As we all know the human mind is prone to what is called human error, or in a lot of "winning" poker players cases exaggeration and forgetfullness. I think its important to discuss how we go about keeping track of all this information that will be important to and for our games. So get your pens and pads ready, or phones, and get ready to start logging!

What goes into a winrate? A lot of people simply log the hours played, the amount they bought in for, and the amount they cashed out. At the end they calculate it all together and wala a winrate or, like most live players use, an hourly rate. This is probably the easiest way to do it. When I first started logging my play I would bring a binder with me that kept all my poker "stuff" in it and I would log it into the book at the end of the session. If I had forgotten the binder I would make a quick note in my phone and write it later. I always made it a point to do it right then and there though. Never ever wait! Human error will kick in.

Times have gotten much more advanced though. Live players now have some pretty useful tools that we can use. First one I will talk about is Poker Journal for the Apple fanboys.

Poker Journal by Michael Golden is a program that will track both your live and tournament play (and any game you would like to add to your database) and calculate everything for you. It will give you your hourly rate, time played, average won, average lost, sessions won and lost, and much much more. It will also graph your sessions and run reports for you. You want to know what day or time has been the best to play or what location is the most profitable? Simply filter your stats and its all there. It will also run live cash games. You hit start and the clock goes a ticking. Unfortunately it runs only on the iPhone and iPod at the time and is $12.99.

Next is www.*************.com. I personally have not used this, but going to the website and looking at some of the screen shots and reading the FAQ it looks pretty solid and its FREE! Others on here use this site and I will let them add what they feel is appropriate.

Last is cardplayer.com. Their format is very simple yet boring. If you want something quick and easy with not too much detail then its for you. It definately beats a pen, paper and calculator, but I would go with one of the other ones personally.

There are others, but I think those are some pretty good examples. So why go through all this trouble to tell you about these tools? Simple, you want to know what kind of winrate is to be expected then start logging. What I do is not going to be the same as what you do or anybody else does. Not only will you start to learn about winrates at the different levels but you will be able to disect your game and learn many things. It will teach you discipline. When you are making it a point to log each session you will start to treat your poker more like a business and become more serious about it. Also important is to log your expenses. You need to know if you are spending too much and if it is affecting your roll.

Bankroll is another important thing. I think we all can agree that 20 BI's at 1/2is a good starting point, but if you dont want to wait to save up $2k just to play some poker there is nothing wrong with taking shots. In our world (casinos) this is the smallest game offered and we really have no choice. I will leave the bankroll information out for now as there are many different opinions on it.

Last thing I want to add is that this needs to be a place where people compare rates and notes with little to no brags. If you are going to come on here and brag you better have some proof (I gave you some great material above) and many hours to back your claims up. For those that have been wanting to log their sessions now is the time to start. I can see many good self challenges coming out of this and more disciplined players.

Thats it for now. Let the questions begin (and reappear many times).

Last edited by venice10; 01-09-2011 at 09:14 PM. Reason: Added Introduction
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:07 AM   #2
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

Good thread.

The tough part about win rates in live poker is the fact that there is such a small sample size. On average, players see 20 - 25 hands/hr at a live casino. This is a nothing compared to the 60+ hands per hr/table you see online. So, you might be playing 4 times a week for 5 hour sessions over a period of four months and see that your win rate is 40/hr at 1/2 NL. Wow. 20BB/hr. This means your absolutely crushing the game. But in reality, you shouldn't take this number too seriously. Why? Because your sample size is too small. Assuming 25 hands, you only see 500 hands/wk and 8000 hand in the 4 month period. This is not close to the long run and solid online player can go 40k+ hands of breaking even because of bad variance or luck. Since it's tough to get a large sample size, just be honest about your skill level. Are you just hitting big hands? Are you giving beats to a lot of people? As a rule of thumb, if your winning 20BB/hr+ in a game, you are most likely on a heater (running really good). I think the best players in the game (over a large sample) probably win closer to 10BB/hr with the rare few (in really good games/very competent) winning closer to 15BB/hr. So, in conclusion, just be aware of yourself and be honest. It's the only way to get by with conditions given in live games. Don't let stats determine your skill level, especially when they are not over a significant sample.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:30 AM   #3
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

Thread From uNL
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:39 AM   #4
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

Tracking Software for Blackberry

Free Version

Anybody try these yet? I am a dinosaur so I keep using my old system (as posted in another thread listed above.) I guess I should move into the 21st century but what I've been doing has been working for me. I was going to breakdown and get my buddy that built my 'Sports Betting' spreadsheet to build me a database from the info I record but I haven't got around to it. For me, it's all about the GUI as using a basic Excel database is tedious.

I want somebody else with a Blackberry to 'take the plunge' first... robot? (I know ur a BB user.)
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:49 AM   #5
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

It doesnt look pretty, but seems to get the job done. Not sure if I would pay for it though. May want to wait for something else.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:17 AM   #6
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

Poker Journal sound awsome! Do you have to have an iPhone or can you use it solely on your computer? For my live play at the moment I just use Excel and I am pretty good a graphing stuff. Is it better to use a custom software program to chart and track your live play or should I just continue to use excel? Like I said, I am pretty good at graphing stuff as I am a word processing and presentation specialist by trade.

I had a question for those of us who don't know calculus. How do I determine my standard deviation? My math skills aren't that sophisticated unfortunately. I have read Gambling Theory and Other Topics by Mason Malmuth but wasn't certain how to calculate it using my previous play. I'll have to re-read it. Can anyone help me out with this or is this too complicated to explain over the internets?
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:41 AM   #7
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

Quote:
Originally Posted by ******* View Post
Poker Journal sound awsome! Do you have to have an iPhone or can you use it solely on your computer? For my live play at the moment I just use Excel and I am pretty good a graphing stuff. Is it better to use a custom software program to chart and track your live play or should I just continue to use excel? Like I said, I am pretty good at graphing stuff as I am a word processing and presentation specialist by trade.

I had a question for those of us who don't know calculus. How do I determine my standard deviation? My math skills aren't that sophisticated unfortunately. I have read Gambling Theory and Other Topics by Mason Malmuth but wasn't certain how to calculate it using my previous play. I'll have to re-read it. Can anyone help me out with this or is this too complicated to explain over the internets?

Poker Journal is only for the newer generation iPods and the iPhone. Stats King is pretty good pay to use program for the pc though. I believe its $25.

oh and yes, poker journal is the absolute whip!
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:00 AM   #8
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

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Originally Posted by ******* View Post
I had a question for those of us who don't know calculus. How do I determine my standard deviation?
Most of the tracking software will calculate it for you.

Honestly I don't know how accurate they are. But I figure its better than I could do.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:35 AM   #9
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

If u posted that question in the 'Theory' forum u'd get the answer pretty quickly
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:07 PM   #10
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

standard deviation

if u can explain it to me when ur done reading this that would be great lol
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:40 PM   #11
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

Quote:
Originally Posted by KneedUrDough View Post
standard deviation

if u can explain it to me when ur done reading this that would be great lol
you silly poker players and your maths. Just play your cards and fold when you miss... duh!!!

The program I use doesn't have standard deviation (I dont think), but I am sure with the info I have I can figure it out some how. I am going to post an updated (from when I last posted) graph and stats. Hopefully F'n'Dark updates his also. I would like to see where he is at now even though its only been like 3 weeks maybe.

On a side note I love typing FnDark ITT... DUCY?
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:42 PM   #12
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

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Originally Posted by KneedUrDough View Post
standard deviation

if u can explain it to me when ur done reading this that would be great lol
Holy hell....there is no way in the world I can explain this to you . I was asking for a simple answer to something that is in actuallity a very complex solution. I guess I better forget about figuring out what my standard deviation is.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:45 PM   #13
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

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Originally Posted by ******* View Post
Holy hell....there is no way in the world I can explain this to you . I was asking for a simple answer to something that is in actuallity a very complex solution. I guess I better forget about figuring out what my standard deviation is.
LOL... I think, and dont quote as its been a while, but card players logger calculates std dev. Sign up for a free account and go check it out. Pretty sure I seen it at ************* also.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:41 AM   #14
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

Quote:
Last is cardplayer.com. Their format is very simple yet boring. If you want something quick and easy with not too much detail then its for you.
Possibly dumb question... but I've been keeping notes in Word/Excel with some level of detail (buy in, cash out, time played, location, stakes, etc.). Can I transfer this into Card Player's log for past results or does it just start from "Day 1"? Anyone know?
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:08 PM   #15
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

I use 'Poker Income' For the iphone, its fairly basic but it will track your hourly, daily winrates and will show your most profitable days/stakes/locations to play aswell. I would recommend it
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:14 PM   #16
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

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Originally Posted by grungedave View Post
Possibly dumb question... but I've been keeping notes in Word/Excel with some level of detail (buy in, cash out, time played, location, stakes, etc.). Can I transfer this into Card Player's log for past results or does it just start from "Day 1"? Anyone know?
I believe so... but dont quote me. I know there are some cp users on here so hopefully they chime in. ************* has a csv importer. It may only be for old pokercharts users, so I am not sure if you can export excel csv files or not. Honestly if your log is not that big I would just type transfer it. My personal experience with transferring stuff like this has always been bad.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:19 PM   #17
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

I use Poker Journal and can def say it is a must have for a live cash player. I just wish I could figure out a way to change the damn icon of the app on my ipod because its so ugly. But seriously, I went from having no idea how much I was up or down week to week, month to month, to having an exact hourly and all that bs. Once you set up the defaults it's a snap to use at the table/cage.

Oh and I met the guy who designed the thing at the WSOP tradeshow last summer and he said he would update new versions based on feedback. I haven't looked for these yet, the old one works fine for me.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:29 PM   #18
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

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I use Poker Journal and can def say it is a must have for a live cash player. I just wish I could figure out a way to change the damn icon of the app on my ipod because its so ugly. But seriously, I went from having no idea how much I was up or down week to week, month to month, to having an exact hourly and all that bs. Once you set up the defaults it's a snap to use at the table/cage.

Oh and I met the guy who designed the thing at the WSOP tradeshow last summer and he said he would update new versions based on feedback. I haven't looked for these yet, the old one works fine for me.
I have been in contact with him on a few occasions with some ideas. We worked together on the most recent change which was bankroll management (basically being able to withdrawl and add funds without affecting your stats). I got to beta that before anyone else did! BBV obv. I also gave him some other ideas that he may incorporate later on. He is a good guy and takes feedback seriously. PJ is probably the most solid tool that live players have available. I cant say enough good things about it. It is ridiculously awesome.
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:15 AM   #19
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Bankroll Management in Live Vegas Games

Hi All,

I've been going to Vegas every few weeks and playing 1/2 games sitting down with 100BB.

I read in a book years ago that you want around 30 buy in's at a game minimum to execute good bankroll management, with an absolute min of 25 but around an aveerage of 40.

Through the 1/2 games I've built up my bankroll in between 30 and 40...

Someone mentioned to me they were once told by a good Vegas pro that actually playing with 2% of your bankroll was correct so in fact you'd need 50 buy in's..

So I have 2 questions really.. the first is, I always look at a buy in as 100BB though the Vegas 1/2 games allow a buy in of $300 usually (same as the 1/3 games), so how does this affect my maths. Am I still correct in believing I'm bankrolled if I have for example $6000 for 1/2 or do I technically only have 20 buy in's in that case?

And the second question is, once we know whether a "buy-in" can be classed as 100BB or the table max, is 30 an ok number of buy in's to playing at the limit with or is 50 much better?

It's not hugely important for me at 1/2 right now as I'm bankroll building but I need to make sure I have enough before I step it up to 2/5. I've been consistently winning quite a bit in Vegas at the 1/2 games but still relatively new to the Vegas scene I guess!

Thanks!
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:38 AM   #20
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Re: Bankroll Management in Live Vegas Games

If you are simply playing recreationally and can rebuild from other money when needed, I think you are okay with 20-30 BIs. I always assumed that was based on the amount you buy-in at, not the table maximum.
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:43 AM   #21
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Re: Bankroll Management in Live Vegas Games

What about the next step.. not using your income to supplement bankroll and moving up to 2/5.. would you then prefer 50 buy in's at 100BB?
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:40 AM   #22
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Re: Bankroll Management in Live Vegas Games

I believe the 2% thing is from Ferguson's bankroll building challenge he did a couple years ago. Http://www.fulltiltpoker.com/chris-ferguson-challenge

Sorry about the link, I'm on my phone.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:56 AM   #23
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

Hey guys,

Since we have a BRM thread, I think it should be the place to ask BRM questions. Let me know if you think this is a problem.

Carry on.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:16 AM   #24
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

For live low stakes nl play, 20BIs is plenty. Remember, your winrate has a big effect on your bankroll requirements, since higher winrates have lower variance.

If, for example, you start playing 1/2 with a 4K bankroll and you go broke, you can be reasonably certain its your game, not variance.

Not moving up to 2/5 until you have a 25K roll is off the charts conservative. I would say that 20BIs is still fine. Again, if you drop 10K playing 2/5 the problem probably isnt variance.

Your winrate in 2/5 might be a bit smaller (though not that much smaller if you game select well) but you also have an option that wasnt available to you at 1/2 -- the option to drop down stakes if you run bad and your roll starts to seem insufficient.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:58 AM   #25
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Re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

Im pretty comfortable playing 2/5 with a 5k roll. If I were to drop 4 BI's there consecutively then I go back down and grind again. 10k roll for 2/5 is plenty though. If you want to be a very conservative person though more can never hurt.
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