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Old 01-08-2018, 11:30 PM   #20501
meale
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re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

This whole last bit of this thread has been sooking about this great big abyss of live variance but what if it were entirely avoidably by playing a lower variance play style? Not saying it is, not by any means. But it could be.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:38 PM   #20502
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re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

Quote:
Originally Posted by meale View Post
Are you saying discussion of stdev is unimportant? It's probably THE most important thing when it comes to winning long term?
I'm just going to assume that you're trolljng and consider this your 1 warning.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:39 PM   #20503
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re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

ninja edit bc the king has spoken and I respect the king
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:39 AM   #20504
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re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

For those who think JB is Debbie Downer about variance, he used to be the exact opposite. I remember back in 2014 he would argue that edges in live were so big that variance didn't matter much.

By mid-2015, he was starting to see it intellectually, but didn't really feel it:

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Originally Posted by johnnyBuz View Post
Haha I found this funny as hell man because I am naively optimistic about what I think is an attainable win rate and what I think my future in poker holds. I'm sure I'll look back in a few years and say "wow I was dumb and had no idea" but I feel like in live poker you either manage the ebbs and flows or you go bust.

I haven't had a soul crushing negative variance streak yet but I've had two bad months in 2015 that eventually I crawled out of. Same with positive, I've had good streaks here and there but nothing I felt like is a never ending heater.

I've never really played online but I feel like live gives you opportunities to manage and dig yourself out.

By the end of 2015 he was talking about quitting his day job, and folks ITT tried to talk him out of it.

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Financial independence = passive income. Yah I could stay at my company and retire at 62 with a $3 million 401k but that seems like a waste of a life to me.

<squid telling JB not to quit his day job>


Damn.. this is what everyone always says. Even a guy that left his corporate job to play told me the same thing. Is it really like crossing over a threshold from part time enthusiast to full-time player?

I would be taking a somewhat significant pay cut initially, but is freedom, flexibility and general happiness and well being worth the pay cut?

It starts to sink in:
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Originally Posted by johnnyBuz View Post
I've tried to play dumb and ignorant when it comes to variance, telling myself things like "variance doesn't matter live, the edges are bigger, every session is different" etc. but the more hours I put in the more I notice it.

I can't say I've had a soul crushing bad streak for 6 months or anything, but the last few months have been a slog of 2 steps forward, one step back and sometimes 2 steps forward, 3 steps back. Poker has a way of constantly keeping your ego in check and knocking you down a few pegs on the totem pole.
JB is the voice of experience on this subject, folks, and one who came to it the hard way.

Hell, even I've glimpsed the abyss, and I was playing $1/1 at the time. I remember APD calling me at 3am to make sure I was OK after seeing the look on my face after an Nth ridiculous session in a row. And that was only a $750 loss, but I was near my breaking point after what seemed like 497 ridic bad beats in a row, and the biggest fish in the game folding to my opens when I had AA, even though he'd just called my 25BB open with 75o a few hands before, called my c-bet with nothing, and then turned bottom pair and rivered bottom two to beat my TPTK, etc., etc., etc.

The abyss is real, folks. And my SDev/hour is even lower (by a tidge) than MikeStarr's is.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:44 AM   #20505
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re: Winrates, bankrolls, and finances

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Originally Posted by iraisetoomuch View Post
I'm just going to assume that you're trolljng and consider this your 1 warning.
Just because another rational person has a different opinion than you doesn’t mean they are trolling.

Understanding this stat at least on a basic level is extremely important and not optional for anyone serious about any form of gambling. It’s required to answer many common questions. What bankroll do I need to play this stake? Is this runnad normal? Am I a winning player and can I make enough to go pro?

The Lebron analogy is terrible.

However, I still believe the statistic is difficult to accurately measure for live players.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:44 AM   #20506
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Originally Posted by iraisetoomuch View Post
I'm just going to assume that you're trolljng and consider this your 1 warning.
Not trolling. Go and look at how simulations change with different stdev numbers and tell me it's not an important factor to maintaining your sanity if you're playing live.
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:55 AM   #20507
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I had about a year to 18 months of run bad until around Thanksgiving or so. Was it The Abyss? No. Particularly as I wasn't playing full time. But it was a decent impersonator.

I traveled a lot. I went to NE and was blown away by how good the games are. I piled up a $1500 win in 1/2 or 1/3 my first day, toyed with the idea of moving there even, and returned down for the trip. Something similar happened in the south. There, my last hand was a big 4 way pot where I shoved my set on the turn because I wanted to take no chances and got instacalled by a gutshot.

Anyway, it sucked and I had to do a lot of square work. Then my entire BR, and more (money I was holding for other people) was stolen by someone I trusted completely. One interesting aspect of this is that this person was stealing any money I had. So, say I'd run great and moved up in stakes and done well there. Now it would all be gone anyway.

So my networth was well negative, but I did have a few hundred bucks. I decided to try to try my luck, knowing I would most likely lose it, but what difference did it make?

I ran good initially. Got up to about 2k. Had a 1k downswing in 2 days. Since then: crush, kill, destroy. I've paid down some debts, and all my expenses and have a viable BR for 1/2.

I took a day off to play a special low limit game and lost a couple hundred and then started off losing at 1/2 today. I figured it was finally over, but I got back to even then promptly had AA hold up in a 4 way pot with everybody all in on the turn for 450BBs.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:14 AM   #20508
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If you can pinpoint a few hands that were that detrimental to your wr, then it sounds like you were never properly rolled to begin with -- dunno if id call that running bad for a year.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:17 AM   #20509
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Not trolling. Go and look at how simulations change with different stdev numbers and tell me it's not an important factor to maintaining your sanity if you're playing live.
I'll pretend that I was tired and clearly missed the point.

Suffice to say I think there are many more important factors including win rate, mental attitude, and actual ability to play.

Is it unimportant? Probably not. Is it the most important factor? Absolutely not.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:29 AM   #20510
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If you can pinpoint a few hands that were that detrimental to your wr, then it sounds like you were never properly rolled to begin with -- dunno if id call that running bad for a year.
Most of the time, I do stuff other than poker. Sometimes I'm properly rolled and sometimes I'm not. My autobio is complicated but not all that interesting.

However, even if you have $200 a week to take to the casino from your fulltime job and no separate poker BR, I think you can still run bad or good just as much as anyone else.

I think I mentioned one hand. It wasn't that hand that determined my win rate. It was just one of those spots where you think "this is FINALLY over" and then get fisted.

The point of the story was more that poker variance exists in a bigger context. A great run earlier would have been rendered meaningless, as it might if you had legal problems, a divorce, etc. Even my bad run wound up being pretty much moot.

Now I'm running well and (hopefully) it winds up having a much more significant impact on my life as a whole. But I don't even know that yet.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:41 AM   #20511
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Originally Posted by ES2
Now I'm running well and (hopefully) it winds up having a much more significant impact on my life as a whole. But I don't even know that yet.
If you mean financially, then wouldn't working a p/t job be more prudent than trying to supplement your income at a 1/2NL table with an extra $200 you scraped up having spent any past winnings.
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:15 AM   #20512
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Well, as I said, I do stuff other than poker. I think that virtually everyone should develop other ways to make money, even if they are awesome players (not me) and the other income doesn't seem like a lot.

I enjoy poker sometimes and it's less draining than a lot of other jobs. I also like the comps. So, it was worth it to me to try to get a BR together with a decent run instead of taking a crappy job. If I went bust, Pizza Hut would still be hiring.

I have applied for a couple of jobs that I would not mind and I might land an awesome job. If any of that happens, I'll be in nice shape.

I think I'll always play part time. For now, it pays a decent hourly rate and has a flexible schedule. I'm pretty well rolled now, so poker is a viable part time gig, just when I needed one.
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:54 AM   #20513
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I just dont understand this fascination with SD. I just do not give a sht. Maybe cuz its im old school and did not have these apps etc when I started. I care about playing my best period.

Yesterday I played and got lost in a hand. This does not happen often. And it really pissed me off. I thought about it for a good slug of the night - and even woke up a few times thinking about it and trying to find out what happened/where I went wrong (it was only a 220$ pot). But it was enough to keep me up thinking/evaluating/retooling thoughts v villain types/and strats v those types.


Bickering about who is a stud and who is a moran is y this thread got nuked the first time. AS someone who had been around the block I can say with all honesty I really used to enjoy going into the casino etc. I no longer do - but I am too stoopit to do other stuff so I play poker.

All you young studs - give it 10k hours and get back to me. That is only 5 years of full time. Playing poker full time is a drag, and doing it for 5 years seems like an eternity. And if you do not have balance in your life you will not last
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:11 AM   #20514
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I personally don't care what my StnDev is either. I play the best I know how and whatever happens happens. Its not like Im ever in the middle of hand and Im about to bet the turn and say to myself "Oh crap, if I bet here my StnDev is going to go up"

However, when we are discussing poker in detail like we do here, sometimes there are ways to dig deep inside the numbers in ways that could improve our games. When I compare my StnDev to other good players, most of their StnDevs are much higher than mine. Maybe they are making certain more risky and aggro plays that I could use to improve my win rate. Maybe they are making too many of them and that's why their StnDev is so high but their win rate isnt any higher than mine. If I can figure out which of these more risky plays adds enough EV without adding too much risk, I can improve my game.
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:36 AM   #20515
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does anyone have a link/guide for correctly calculating win rate std dev in excel? my app is definitely not doing it correctly
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:42 AM   #20516
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Originally Posted by browni3141 View Post
The Lebron analogy is terrible.
It was used anecdotally intentionally. A better analogy would be if he knew xx non-important stat that is an effect (and not a cause, this is important) of his game.

Regardless, the point remains, the best live player I have ever seen did not know what standard deviation meant. He cleared $200K per year. This is not an exaggeration or used lightly. I'm not sure I've ever played with anyone that I believed could clear $150K.

There is a good story on these forums about when Phil Ivey first heard the the concept of EV and his reaction.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:01 AM   #20517
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I think it's as simple as very large numbers of people run well below what they think is their expectation, and a few of them are correct.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:51 AM   #20518
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Originally Posted by Avaritia View Post
It was used anecdotally intentionally. A better analogy would be if he knew xx non-important stat that is an effect (and not a cause, this is important) of his game.

Regardless, the point remains, the best live player I have ever seen did not know what standard deviation meant. He cleared $200K per year. This is not an exaggeration or used lightly. I'm not sure I've ever played with anyone that I believed could clear $150K.

There is a good story on these forums about when Phil Ivey first heard the the concept of EV and his reaction.
I dont know what half the **** people here talk about means. Its because I learned from trial and error not from reading books and websites. I still win as much or more than most people. But that doesnt mean I couldnt get better if I understood and was able to apply some of the stuff people talk about here.

So again, I dont care what my StnDev is and the only thing I know about it is the higher it is the more crazy your swings are. But someone who is an expert on stats AND is as good as I believe I am at reading people, situations, betting patterns ect would be a better player (including your friend).
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:56 AM   #20519
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Still not getting it. Stndev is an effect, not a cause.

And there is nothing this kid could do to be better at poker, besides quitting when tired/tilted, which is on the scale of things you should be focusing on, is 20-30 knotches above stdv
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:14 PM   #20520
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Still not getting it. Stndev is an effect, not a cause.

And there is nothing this kid could do to be better at poker, besides quitting when tired/tilted, which is on the scale of things you should be focusing on, is 20-30 knotches above stdv
I get it completely. The point that started this whole discussion is this:

JB has been mired in variance. He's been talking about it for months. It drove him back to a regular job. I dont know if he has posted his StnDev but I bet if he does you will see its super high.

His or anyone's StnDev being super high will give you a clue that he is playing a super high variance style. He may well be running well below average, but hes also bringing a lot of the variance pain on himself. Its self inflicted and its not increasing his win rate based on his own self reported results. That stat tells you that hes playing more big pots than he needs to in an optimum world.

High StnDev is normally associated with a high level of aggression which also leads to massive variance. Anyone with a high StnDev could easily lower their variance and most likely lessen their downswings by playing a less aggro game and if they can do that without hurting their win rate, why wouldnt they?

There are plenty of times where a shove or a fold is probably pretty close to the same EV. I might fold. JB might shove. If he constantly shoves in those spots he could easily lose a bunch of huge pots in a row and get crushed with nothing added to his win rate long term but it is soul crushing short term.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:17 PM   #20521
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Originally Posted by meale View Post
This whole last bit of this thread has been sooking about this great big abyss of live variance but what if it were entirely avoidably by playing a lower variance play style? Not saying it is, not by any means. But it could be.
Early in 2017 I changed my game from already-nitty to extremely nitty (for example, I no longer feel playing 66-/Axs/KTs+/QTs+/JTs is profitable in EP and sometimes MP, so I open fold them; doubt you're going to find anyone more nittier than that on this forum). I also started BIing for just 66bbs instead of my normal 100bbs, again a step in playing an easy peasy shorterstacked and (hopefully) lower variance form of poker (although I'm not exactly sure if that is low variance style, tbh). It look like it started paying immediate dividends, as my break-even year to that point then took a 8.5 bb/hr upswing over the next 258 hours. And then I went on a cute little 3-7 session run over just 76 hours that tied my worst ever downswing of 955 bbs (of which I'm still digging out of).

I don't know anything about SD, and I'm only assuming mine is lower than most here given my nittier low variance style (I think?), but bad things can still easily happen. Course, I'm also guessing that my 955 bbs worst-ever-downswing is probably on the fairly small side for most players.

But I also realize a lot of this has to simply do with your skill advantage over the field you play in. The larger your advantage is (i.e. the better you are as an overall player and the more your opponents suck), the more you can probably do whatever you want and never really do that badly. But the more that gap in skill advantage decreases (i.e. the more average a player you are overall and the less your opponents flat out suck), the more you can probably fairly easily get in some meh downswings.

And of course, all of this over just a lol single lifetime sample size (which may be meaningless).

ETA: And I also don't want to just hilite the negative forms of variance. Remember, this is coming from a me, a guy who once went on a cute little 32-3 session streak, and at one time had a 23 month winning streak (think about the ridiculousness of that for a second given how few hours a once-a-week player gets in a month, noting that it would have been a 27 month streak had a flopped fullhouse held up). Pretty silly things can happen in this game.

GcluelessdownswingnoobG

Last edited by gobbledygeek; 01-09-2018 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:20 PM   #20522
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Higher aggression (the word should probably be "better" aggression) reduces variance.

Mpethy (v/good poster/mod who did database analysis) posted on this a great deal in this thread and in chat.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:22 PM   #20523
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Originally Posted by Avaritia View Post
Higher aggression (the word should probably be "better" aggression) reduces variance.

Mpethy (v/good poster/mod who did database analysis) posted on this a great deal in this thread and in chat.
Good aggression reduces variance. Higher aggression for the sake of being aggressive does not.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:28 PM   #20524
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That's a strawman.

The fact remains. Two players, one tag and one lag, with the same win rates. The lag by definition has a higher VPIP/PFR/3b%. He has higher aggression.

And, perhaps surprisingly, lower variance.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:28 PM   #20525
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Mike - it didn’t drive me back to a “regular” job. I planned on playing full-time for 1-2 years until I found the right opportunity and that’s exactly how long it lasted - 18 months.

As I’ve said numerous times, I never intended on making it a “career.” I am still playing as my primary source of income and it will likely be my primary source for another 12-18 months until I am more established in my new career.

Would it have been exponentially better if my stint as a full-time pro continued on the 45’ trajectory it was on? Absolutely. But I did what I had to do to preserve my bankroll, minimize the downside (while capping my upside) and continue to grind and earn. I’ve been able to supplement poker with some trading income in the market, and while it wasn’t a sexy 18 months it worked for me and with my bankroll intact and money socked away I’ll be ready to ride the next wave up if and when it ever decides to return.

Since I’ve started posting here there are very very few people, maybe no more than a handful, that have been a constant presence on the forum week in and week out consistently logging volume like I have. There is something to be said for the consistency required to keep playing week in and week out through good times and bad. Go back in 1-year increments and see the amount of people that seemingly disappear, likely due to bad streaks, BRM and not managing the variance.

Yah it didn’t go to plan but I’m still pretty damn proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish and the mental fortitude I’ve developed along the way. There’s no doubt in my mind I will be back to where I want to be eventually and I’ll be a stronger player for the experiences I’ve developed along the way.
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