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Old 10-04-2016, 08:36 AM   #16351
Bluegrassplayer
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re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

Rake in proportion to your stack and rake in proportion to profit per hand are very different things. The former is not my argument.

This will go pretty deep into derail territory and affect very few though so not going to get into it.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:03 AM   #16352
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegrassplayer View Post
When people look at variance they are focused on the X-axis when they should be focused on the dotted line.
Yep this. Also, i find these graphs can be misleading because
1) people tend to compare a realization to the mean by projecting onto the mean when they should project down to the x-axis and consider where that projection line crosses the mean. This visually makes it appear like there is less variance.

2) the higher WR results in a graph with much larger range (y-axis) so the noise can appear muted as well.

It should be stressed that if you took a cross sectional slice of these two graphs for a given # of hands and shifted the dotted line to 0, it would be impossible to tell which distribution generated which image.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:13 AM   #16353
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Quite honestly - more incorrect statements have been posted in the last 24 hours than correct ones. I actually discourage anyone from trying to learn about stats from discussions in here. (Yes, there are several correct things posted - but someone looking to learn won't be able to tell the difference).

The amount of incorrect information ITT is too much to overcome.. the actual message gets lost in the noise, people get defensive, and then thread derails.

I applaud bgp for trying to consolidate some common questions - but I fear it is like writing in the sand at low tide.

Here is the big one I want to address:

How do I play so that I don't go broke?

People always want to believe the answer to this is that there is some low variance winning style. As if in-hand decisions can be made by primarily considering variance. This is cart before the horse..
Try to win first and foremost. The single biggest factor in minimizing risk-of-ruin is to maximize win rate. Winning poker involves aggressive plays that carry risk. Playing scared (weak tight) can be lower variance, but it is not a winning strategy - and the probability of going broke is 100% certain (despite "low variance"). FWIW - I am not advocating LAG play, I am advocating TAG play. Take away the small risky edges... and you are left with no edge.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:15 AM   #16354
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Yeah that's exactly why it's important to just make a faq as things get discussed. No one will ever be able to tackle everything. Just grab the thing I started and add/remove from it.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:47 AM   #16355
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A FAQ explaining mean winrate, variance, standard deviation and risk of ruin would be useful to me.

Also bear in mind that a lot of us don't have a strong maths background and stuff that's obvious to someone with good maths skills can be totally opaque to others.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:53 AM   #16356
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Originally Posted by Ragequit99 View Post
A FAQ explaining mean winrate, variance, standard deviation and risk of ruin would be useful to me.

Also bear in mind that a lot of us don't have a strong maths background and stuff that's obvious to someone with good maths skills can be totally opaque to others.


I will write something up on this. Something specific to poker and lighter on the math.
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:02 AM   #16357
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Bip, Re. How do I avoid going broke?

Thanks for your explanation. It's important to understand that there is no better way to play than the most +EV. Also important to realise no winning style is without risk.

However, in a soft game surely there are a wide variety of winning approaches that you could take and it isn't necessarily true that the most profitable winning strategy also gives the lowest risk of ruin?
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:04 AM   #16358
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Thanks Bip! Appreciate it. I can get maths when I see how it's applied to something I understand but moving from theory to application by myself is much more tricky.
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:30 AM   #16359
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for those that advocate "looking for better spots" to reduce variance, the impact is probably not as big as they think.

For a 100BB flip with probability of winning = x the standard deviation is 100BB * sqrt((1-x) * x) and the EV is 100BB * (2x - 1).

so if you're
50/50: EV = 0BBs , Std = 50BBs.
55/45: EV = 10BBs, Std = 49.7BBs.
60/40: EV = 20BBs , Std = 49BBs.
...
80/20: EV = 60BBs, Std = 40BBs.

That's not a huge difference in Std.
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:34 AM   #16360
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Originally Posted by Ragequit99 View Post
Bip, Re. How do I avoid going broke?

Thanks for your explanation. It's important to understand that there is no better way to play than the most +EV. Also important to realise no winning style is without risk.

However, in a soft game surely there are a wide variety of winning approaches that you could take and it isn't necessarily true that the most profitable winning strategy also gives the lowest risk of ruin?


The reason this trips up tons of players is that:

- minimizing risk-of-ruin for short term (say anything from 1 to 100 hours) can actually be to play a weak and losing strategy.. however, if the strat is losing, it will end with ruin 100% of the time in the long run.

- minimizing risk-of-ruin for long term (hundreds+ hours) is to maximize win rate.. but this strat might actually have higher risk of ruin on a small initial bankroll.

NOTE: this doesn't mean "play low variance until I have a roll" - because you won't ever get that roll. Poker start-up involves risk. Don't try to dodge the risk. (unless recreation is your goal - then get a job and lose slow)

It takes a long time for winning results to clearly diverge from ~break-even results. This is thanks to how big an influence variance has.

A big edge is the only thing that will keep you in the game for thousands of hours.. especially if you withdraw from your roll.


It is the great long con of LLSNL - the slow noisy bleed captures so many people. It is why small stakes buy in cap games are so healthy and will continue to be healthy. So many people trying to extend their time and so few trying to win.
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:50 AM   #16361
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re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

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Originally Posted by MikeStarr View Post
People always reference 25 hands/hr. I dont know where this number comes from. Ive sat and counted on several different occasions over 3 straight days each time (about 12 hrs each time) and every time Ive gotten between 35-42 hands/hr.

Maybe its slower at 1/2 where more people see the flop. Not sure about that.
I use 30/hr. So do a lot of people and seems like the common number. Not to rip on you too much, but kind of interpretation may be why your results aren't syncing with what people are telling you, you're mis-reading/interpreting them.

This number varies a good bit with game and location. A juicy home game with drinking and naked waitresses will be slower than a nit-filled $1/2 game. Lower games with more people to the flop tend to be a little slower than larger games, until people start tanking their decisions. Also depends on the quality of the dealers. Dedicated poker dealers are faster than guys that rotate out of the pit games, etc.

The impact on winrate is probably not worth worrying about unless you play *exclusively* in one place under the same set of conditions all the time (extremely unlikely).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bip! View Post
Quite honestly - more incorrect statements have been posted in the last 24 hours than correct ones. I actually discourage anyone from trying to learn about stats from discussions in here. (Yes, there are several correct things posted - but someone looking to learn won't be able to tell the difference).

The amount of incorrect information ITT is too much to overcome.. the actual message gets lost in the noise, people get defensive, and then thread derails.
Yea, this blew up with exactly the back and forth that we have with "variance" talk all the time.

I think the biggest issue is that many of us just use "variance" to mean "volatility". When what we're really talking about is closer to the standard deviation. Our style of play and game conditions can and do influence the STDEV (as well as the mean). Which in turn will influence our mathematically defined "variance".
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:00 AM   #16362
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I work as a data scientist. Bip! is of course doing a great job explaining these things. But I think the discussion is way too involved. Variance simply measures how much something varies--that's it. I hope this helps.

Let's say I played 1k sessions of 1/3. And I win $100 every single session. Or, alternatively, I lose $100 every single session. My winrate (or EV or mean) will be either great or terrible. But my variance will be identical in each case--and obviously quite low because my results don't vary at all.

Let's say I play 1k sessions of 1/3. And my local game is an odd array of folks with all sorts of skill levels. Sometimes I play with all maniac droolers, other days I play with a bunch of solid players. And I have wildly different results each session. Maybe I won over $2k 150 times. And I lost $5k several times. And I broke even a ton. And I had some rather "normal" results too. And after all this my winrate (or EV or mean) is $25/hr, just like it might be for you at your normal card room with a more normal lineup of players. But my variance will be through the roof because my results vary like crazy.

In scenario 1, it will be easier to understand my true winrate quicker due to the low variance. I would need more volume (a larger sample size) in scenario 2 to realize my true winrate due to the high variance nature of the game.
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:51 AM   #16363
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re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

Quote:
Originally Posted by bip! View Post
Quite honestly - more incorrect statements have been posted in the last 24 hours than correct ones. I actually discourage anyone from trying to learn about stats from discussions in here. (Yes, there are several correct things posted - but someone looking to learn won't be able to tell the difference).

The amount of incorrect information ITT is too much to overcome.. the actual message gets lost in the noise, people get defensive, and then thread derails.

I applaud bgp for trying to consolidate some common questions - but I fear it is like writing in the sand at low tide.

Here is the big one I want to address:

How do I play so that I don't go broke?

People always want to believe the answer to this is that there is some low variance winning style. As if in-hand decisions can be made by primarily considering variance. This is cart before the horse..
Try to win first and foremost. The single biggest factor in minimizing risk-of-ruin is to maximize win rate. Winning poker involves aggressive plays that carry risk. Playing scared (weak tight) can be lower variance, but it is not a winning strategy - and the probability of going broke is 100% certain (despite "low variance"). FWIW - I am not advocating LAG play, I am advocating TAG play. Take away the small risky edges... and you are left with no edge.
Very much this. I started by playing online and then "on credit" with my friends. I was conditioned not to worry about the swings and I think it really helped. Once you stop worrying about the swings and just start making the right plays everything else has a way of working itself out assuming you're not playing with one bullet or something (like I was a few months ago).

Last edited by spikeraw22; 10-04-2016 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 10-04-2016, 12:46 PM   #16364
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Originally Posted by Ragequit99 View Post
OK I guess what I'm really trying to do is find a buy-in + strategy combination with which I can achieve an acceptable (to me) risk of ruin with the smallest possible bankroll whilst still standing a chance of actually winning.

Reason is that I'm trying to find a balance between two things:

1) My desire to improve my game and find out if I can actually win over a meaningful sample.
2) Pressure from family/friends for me to a) not lose much money b) find out if I can win ASAP and if not then stop spending so much time on poker!

It is a fine line to tread.

I feel like I'm finally feeling my way to a satisfactory solution but I guess only time and hands played will tell.
I actually don't think you're going to find a satisfactory answer here regarding family/etc. vs numbers/stats. I'd suggest taking a totally different line:

- poker should be looked at as entertainment / hobby / sport, and nothing more; in all other forms of entertainment / hobby / sport you are guaranteed to lose money at it, whereas with poker you have a *chance* at breaking even (or better)
- you need to sell poker to family as simply a hobby you are interested in and want to participate in; fit it into your life around all other family activities as appropriately and reasonably as you can, just like all of your other hobbies, making sure you play at stakes you can afford; make sure it doesn't become out of balance with everything else with your life
- if you have a job / income, it shouldn't be hard to afford playing poker at appropriate stakes, just like any of your other hobbies

Looking at this from a winrate / variance / BI / risk-of-ruin / etc. point of view isn't the way to go about things for a recreational player trying to convince family of why they should play poker occasionally, imo.

GgoodluckG



Quote:
Originally Posted by spikeraw22 View Post
I made $30 in 3.5 hours tonight. Did I run good or bad Bip?
If you were wearing the getup in your avatar, you ran bad.

GIwouldpayyouoff,imoG


Quote:
Originally Posted by meale View Post
People say 10bb/hr at a live game is a good winrate.
Kinda wish we had a very easy way to search thru this huge thread, but I actually don't recall very many (if any???) that have posted 10+bb/hr winrates over non-silly sample sizes, especially at low stakes live with 100bb BIs. Not saying it's not possible, just guessing it's more than just "good".

GimoG


Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeStarr View Post
People always reference 25 hands/hr. I dont know where this number comes from. Ive sat and counted on several different occasions over 3 straight days each time (about 12 hrs each time) and every time Ive gotten between 35-42 hands/hr.

Maybe its slower at 1/2 where more people see the flop. Not sure about that.
I'm guessing the number of hands at my room has come down significantly since dealers have now taken on most of the responsibility of handling cash-for-chip transactions (one that used to be only the responsibility of chip runners).

I'm also guessing really good games get way fewer hands per hour than really bad games, and that there is probably some weird equilibrium point where a great game almost starts tipping towards bad if it becomes too slow.

GcluelessguessingnoobG
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Old 10-04-2016, 01:03 PM   #16365
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Bip: ok I'm persuaded. I will take my £2,000 and buy in for £140 (70bb) rather than £80. It is still 14 buy ins. I agree it will open up some more options to me from the start of each session rather than waiting to double up before I can play properly. It'll see me covering most of the worst fish too.

Scrybe: good point re. marginal spots aren't much worse than spots where you have a 5-10% edge. Only criticism is if rake is 5% then and your below cap then a 5% edge is no edge. That's only an argument around where "marginal" begins though. I need to give up a little less often and this will help me justify being a little looser.


These two posts made me think:

For me it's not so much the flopped marginal hands I'm avoiding, more the preflop spots where I think it's going to be marginal on average so I fold pre. Now that of course means I'm missing out on a non-negligeable number of huge value spots postflop (value and bluff spots).

I think this is where the slow bleed occurs. In an attempt to nurse a small roll back to health you either miss out completely on too many +EV spots, or don't get max value as you are shorter than villain, or you go to flop but then ditch the marginal spots so often that the more infrequent big value spots can't make up for the bleed on the flop.
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Old 10-04-2016, 01:07 PM   #16366
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GG - thanks, good points on hobby front. A few of my friends have recently taken up cycling and I guarantee they're spending more on that each year than I could possibly lose at poker in two years.
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Old 10-04-2016, 01:13 PM   #16367
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GL

Tight pre is the way to go, but more specifically in position is the way to go. GL GL. Post hands. Range people during hands (even ones you folded) and your skills will quickly progress and make you a winning player.
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Old 10-04-2016, 01:45 PM   #16368
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+1. He's not even close on SD. ~75-100 bb/hr would be realistic, which is anywhere from 250-400 bb/100 depending on how many hands per hour you estimate (25-30).

There are also very complex factors to calculate for that differ from online, which factor in greatly to bankroll requirements. I've played in 2/5 games that play as big as a 10/25, and 5/T games that play smaller than a normal 2/5. I used to have a regular 1/2 game that played more like a 5/T.

Plugging the numbers into a formula is a place to start, but it's not the end all be all of bankroll management for live poker.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianNit View Post
Pokerdope gives me a bankroll requirement of 2936BB if you use a SD of 280 BB/100 (70 BB/hour, assuming 25 hands per hour) and 183BB if you use a SD of 70 BB/100.

My guess is that it is unrealistic to have a SD of less than twice your win rate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by meale View Post
Also asiannit ye my bad I forgot to multiply sdev by 4 lmao

Standard deviation scales by the square root of time, not linearly. If your SD is 100BB/hour and you play 25 hands per hour, then when you convert to BB/100 that is four times as long, so multiply by sqrt(4) to get 200BB/100.

For SD:
BB/h*sqrt(100/(hands/h)) = BB/100

For the record, my live SD is about 110 BB/h, which equates to around 200 BB/100 if getting 30 hands/h.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:44 PM   #16369
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragequit99 View Post
Bip: ok I'm persuaded. I will take my £2,000 and buy in for £140 (70bb) rather than £80. It is still 14 buy ins. I agree it will open up some more options to me from the start of each session rather than waiting to double up before I can play properly. It'll see me covering most of the worst fish too.

Scrybe: good point re. marginal spots aren't much worse than spots where you have a 5-10% edge. Only criticism is if rake is 5% then and your below cap then a 5% edge is no edge. That's only an argument around where "marginal" begins though. I need to give up a little less often and this will help me justify being a little looser.


These two posts made me think:

For me it's not so much the flopped marginal hands I'm avoiding, more the preflop spots where I think it's going to be marginal on average so I fold pre. Now that of course means I'm missing out on a non-negligeable number of huge value spots postflop (value and bluff spots).

I think this is where the slow bleed occurs. In an attempt to nurse a small roll back to health you either miss out completely on too many +EV spots, or don't get max value as you are shorter than villain, or you go to flop but then ditch the marginal spots so often that the more infrequent big value spots can't make up for the bleed on the flop.
If you have a job, you can buy in for 200.

If no job, then 140 is OK. I have been experimenting with 150 lately.

Problem is, you aren't going to be shallow very long. Unless you are constantly table hopping or just trying to win 140 per night.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:42 AM   #16370
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^ I have plenty more money I could put in my BR, it is pressure from family/friends and myself to make do with what I've already won that's holding me back from hypothecating £10,000 and buying in 200bb deep every session. That's my weird situation and I now realise it isn't something anyone else can help me with.

Re. Being short only initially; that's fine. I'm quite happy playing deep stacked. The deeper the better from a purely game play perspective.

I just figure if I buy in short and then only play deep when I won it in that session then I setup a kind of BR ratchet that allows rapid forward progress occasionally but can only lose relatively slowly. Don't get me wrong though i will stay to play in a juicy game evenue if my whole drep stack was in my rold at the start of the session.

Say I buy in short and lose a couple of 40bb or 70bb buy ins then build back up to 160bb or 280bb so I'm even for the session but have > 10% of my pre-session BR on table. Normally i'll leave and cash my chips. However, If the game is super profitable or even if I just have one villain targeted with a good read and my exploit is working I'll play on. I'll risk losing those 3 or 4 buy ins in one go if I think it's hugely +EV.

Does that seem sensible?
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:48 AM   #16371
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No. Buy in whatever amount will give you the highest ev.

What is the rake, average buy in, typical aggression, players to flop and anything else you think is relevant to this game

Last edited by Bluegrassplayer; 10-05-2016 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:55 AM   #16372
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GG - thanks, good points on hobby front. A few of my friends have recently taken up cycling and I guarantee they're spending more on that each year than I could possibly lose at poker in two years.
This is by far the most important perspective for anyone who's playing as a rec (as I do). You don't have a bankroll, you have a budget, and the question is how much you're willing to lose in a given period of time for your poker hobby. Of course you hope to win, and it's great to have a hobby that makes money rather than losing it. However, if you golfed, or cycled, or collected memorabilia, or were into cars, or did anything else, you'd think about how much you were willing to spend for the hobby. Poker is the same way.

I'm a rec player, and if I ever lost $5k in a year I'd start to rethink the amount I play and how I play. Never come close and significantly up this year, which in my view gives me shelter if I have a bad run. My view is that if I golfed, I'd easily spend 5k in a year and wouldn't even think about it, and poker is the same.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:07 AM   #16373
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Bluegrassplayer

£1/£2 NL holden, 9 player, 40bb min/200bb max buyin, rake 5% capped at £10

50:50 bad regs:bad recs

The younger, looser regs buy in 200bb deep, older, tighter regs 40bb-100bb.

Recs mostly buy in 40bb-80bb.

Tournament players vary between min and max buy in.

Most flops are multiway, many are limped, £10-£12 open raises are standard in EP 9 handed. Isolation raisles can go up to £20. 3bets are usually min 3bets. Short handed or late position opens can go as low as £7.

Mostly everyone calls too much but there is nevertheless more bluffing going on than normal due to huge number of bad tourney players (tourneys run most nights when I'm there).

Generally aggression is low. I and maybe 2 other regs are the only ones capable of triple barelling on a bluff, aggresing with draws beyond cbetting flop, or thin value betting. Raises are usually either for informaton with top pair. Most play ABC poker and err on side of loose/passive.

Physical tells are prevalent and obvious, reverse tells are highly effective against most.


There are usually 3 or more tables at 1/2, 1 or 2 at 1/3, 1 or 2 at 2/5 and 5 at 1/1. I can usually quickly table change or swap seats if I need to but 1/1 is unbeatable due to 10% rake and 2/5 is beyond my roll at present.
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:33 AM   #16374
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bip! View Post
Try to win first and foremost. The single biggest factor in minimizing risk-of-ruin is to maximize win rate. Winning poker involves aggressive plays that carry risk. Playing scared (weak tight) can be lower variance, but it is not a winning strategy - and the probability of going broke is 100% certain (despite "low variance"). FWIW - I am not advocating LAG play, I am advocating TAG play. Take away the small risky edges... and you are left with no edge.
Not sure I totally agree with this.

Some games are so good with opponents making so many obvious and horrendous mistakes that just sitting back and playing a fairly weak/tight nit style will definitely be profitable (although admittedly not maximizing / crushing), imo.

Gweak/tightaggrospewmonkeynitG
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:44 PM   #16375
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Ragequit: I highly doubt the game is beatable for much even at 70 bbs. I think you'll need to buy in even larger. That rake is pretty steep.

Risk of ruin means different things to different people. For you it's an arbitrary handicap you've put on yourself. Using your cycling example: you've decided to start cycling but don't want to spend too much so you bought a cheap fixie. This is going to put a limit on how you progress and also how much fun you have.

Buying in short to this game is going to result in you not playing much at all, having very few actual decisions, and also putting a limit on how much you can win. Assuming you're a winning player I'd just buy in for whatever you think gives you the highest +ev and remove the fake limit you've set on yourself that "I can't lose more than 2000"
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