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Old 07-11-2017, 03:39 AM   #26
dadjoey
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

Winrate will vary based on many factors. What is the largest game in the room? If there's no game to move up to, all the best players will either be there or in a different game in a different card room. Is your room a destination for recreational players? Las Vegas during the WSOP / weekend or LA during the tournament series come to mind.

Is there a ladder to that game or is there a huge jump between the biggest vs the second biggest game? If there isn't a reasonable way for a shot taker to win $ and move up, they won't. Also when players are losing or running bad, they'll often want the option to move down and rebuild. All players overrate their skill and this gives them cover to keep going.

Who are the worst players and how often to they play? What is their leak and how do you plan to exploit it? Games often end up with many good players just grinding out the bad players. Yes, there will be games with multiple donators who have bad leaks, but as you move up this is less and less likely. Even the spots will know how to bet when checked to, defend the blinds correctly, and have good post flop lines.

The largest game in one of the rooms I play is a 30/60 game. 1 big bet a hand = $120,000 / year at 2000 hours. I doubt there are five people if even that'll haul that much from the game alone. Of the three that come to mind, all exercise textbook preflop strategies and don't have over aggressive tendencies. They don't make 'moves' and at flat out consistent at calling with the best hand and getting called by a worst hand. $120,000/year seems like a lot because it's 'just' $10,000 a month. We've all had several run good sessions we hit that. Several good/great sessions != a year of sessions. You can't take your run good and multiply that infinite.

That said, if you're taking away half that, I would consider that very good. Poker is stupidly skewed because you have to play against players worst than you either by skill or enough run good. It doesn't matter if you're better than 90% of the card room or the entire poker playing population. To move up you just have to be flat out better than the people at your table.

Even with the $60k figure as a very good benchmark, I know for a fact most dealers are taking roughly that much home in tips and reported income. So the truth is your 50% run of the mill dealer is going to out earn your very good player without risking anything.

If you're in decent job making >$60k and earning $15-30k/year off poker, you're already huge winner. For LHE, I do think you need to be playing $40/80+ to even consider leaving the decent job. I'll leave it to regs from LA/LV/FL to talk about other regions.

Last edited by dadjoey; 07-11-2017 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:52 AM   #27
dadjoey
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

From my experience, a realistic winrate is somewhere between .25-.50 big bet / hour. You can't take the biggest winners and from that conclude everyone can run like that. This seems silly, but this is LHE. There is a finite game tree. HU is solved. The differences between the buttons you click versus the buttons the best players click should be small.

At 2000 hours of live poker things beyond your play will matter. How much is the drop? Example, $11 per half hour at the Bay 80/160 vs $9 at the Bellagio. Do you have life leaks like alcohol, drugs, sports betting, pit gambling? Do you spend lavishly when you win but cheap as sh*t when you lose? How much do you tip per hand? Even if you're winning at poker, what is the cost of not building a career in a specific industry? How much do you value your time? The best games are often nights and weekends not the 9-5 weekday grind.

Last edited by dadjoey; 07-11-2017 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:23 PM   #28
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

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Originally Posted by dadjoey View Post
The largest game in one of the rooms I play is a 30/60 game. 1 big bet a hand = $120,000 / year at 2000 hours. I doubt there are five people if even that'll haul that much from the game alone.
There used to be more than 5 people capable of winning 1 BB/hr. I haven't played in a while so I can't say for certain now, but I'd probably take over 5 on the number of 1 BB/hr winners.

The problem is that the game may not run 2,000 hours/year. And even if it does, it doesn't have a regular schedule, so it's really hard to be a pro. The irregular schedule is part of the reason the games are that good. I'd take under 5 on the number of people who win 2,000 BB/year (and the only reason I wouldn't say under 1 is that there's got to be a few people who put in 1,000 hours and run at +2 over that year so they make 2,000 by chance).
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:51 PM   #29
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

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Who are the worst players and how often to they play? What is their leak and how do you plan to exploit it? Games often end up with many good players just grinding out the bad players.
I disagree with a lot of this.

1. Your winrate is primarily a function of your skill differential vs the field, not your skill differential vs the worst. Being the second worst player at the table isn't much better than being the worst, at least financially (morale-wise, it's good to shot-take with a known fish so you feel better). If you're not in the top third of players, it's really unlikely you'll be making a solid winrate.

2. Almost every player has multiple leaks. The most obvious is that they play too many hands. But as you move up, you should identify multiple small/subtle leaks in your opponents. Even among people who play solidly preflop, many will cbet the flop wrong or wait for the turn wrong. These are exploitable.

3. Games rarely have that many good players. Sure, relative to the entire pool of people who play poker, a middle of the road 80/160 player is good. But at the 80/160 table, being the 4th best player puts his winrate about 0.

Really, the longevity of the games, especially the 30/60, is about the middle of the road regs who think they are elite. Variance is a ***** and there are plenty of people who have won 500 BB over 500 hours who are not 1 BB/hr winners. When you exploit them, it's a real long term catch because they think their strategy is +1 BB/hr and they can't understand how it is they run so bad and they feel almost zero pressure to change.

Sure, it's nice to have a whale come in every few months and drop a rack of Sklansky bucks on the table. But really, the day to day money comes from the guy whose unpunished leaks at 15/30 have allowed him to build a bankroll and play 30/60 as the 4th-6th best player.
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:31 PM   #30
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

I've posted it before and ill post it again, winrates in terms of bb/hour just don't matter as much as people think they do because its relatively easy to manipulate them by just being a massive bumhunter.

You can easily have a 1 bb/hour+ winrate (I shouldn't say easily, but fairly easy if you play reasonably well) but you will spend countless hours sitting at an open table watching other people play in pretty good games that they are making .5-1bb/hour in while you wait for the best possible seats in the softest games.

For example, ill pay 2bb/hour to crossbook in 40-80 if you let me cherry pick which sessions I want to do it in (I'll pick before it starts obviously). Now imagine, I only played those cherry picked sessions, at the end of the year I would have an enormous winrate and great hourly but have substantially less money.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:44 PM   #31
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

I mean, if it was online play, and you can get an inexpensive program, you can get neat info on people's win rates, and then it'd help you bumhunt. But, questions as to how to play better are entirely independent of win rate. And even knowing your win rate slipped, perhaps, it still doesn't adequately tell you a story that you can use in itself.
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:06 PM   #32
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

Callip is exactly right about where the money comes from, with one minor caveat.

He's too generous on the number of winning players out there. Pre-BF, about 4 percent of limit players online were winners. That means that it's highly unlikely that someone who is consistently the third best player is going to be a winner. (Especially so because rakes were actually lower online, so if anything there are fewer winning live players. We just don't have Table Ratings to show it.)

The reality is that you actually have to be an elite player compared to the vast majority of people who play at your limit, and you need to be the best or second best player at your table a significant amount of time. There may be exceptions in situations where that whale is dumping that rack of Sklansky dollars on the table, but most of the time, this is how it works.

And the poker world is simply riddled with players who are break-even or even small losers who think they are significant winners. And one of the reasons that illusion is maintained is precisely that such players often realize they are one of the better players at their tables, and don't realize that you can consistently be that and still lose.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:03 PM   #33
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

Meh, when you move up most of the regulars know where they stand. Perhaps they hit a winning streak and convince themselves they've gotten better at poker or something, but that's the exception to the rule.

It's only non-regs (new folk), people who hit a tournament win, or people who are simply in denial who can't see themselves as anything other than a winner. The denial portion is not all that large by my observation, and the non-regs are scarce.

Is NL gaining ground over FL?

Last edited by leavesofliberty; 07-12-2017 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:19 PM   #34
6MaxLHE
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

NL cash has been more popular since 2003 because the masses view it as a low variance way to win with a limited bankroll.

If I had 8k to my name, got laid off, and could collect UC of $400 a week for 6 months with living expenses of 1k a month, I am going to play 1/3 with 100 BB stack and really not have to worry about going broke that year.

But I wouldn't even consider playing 20/40 b/c I could go broke in a week and have about the same winrate over 6 months playing 1/3. The edge in LHE is just not enough these days to handle the massive swings over a decent sample size.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:44 PM   #35
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

Does the 4% account for rakeback? Even if I did, live play elements like tells. could theoretically justify a higher number of winning players
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:52 PM   #36
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

It's a lot easier for losing players to rebuy live than it is online. It's also easier for them to believe they are winning players.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:56 PM   #37
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

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Does the 4% account for rakeback? Even if I did, live play elements like tells. could theoretically justify a higher number of winning players
Yes, there is some more skill live. I always assumed it was about 5% of winning players, and about half of that are marginal winners.

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It's a lot easier for losing players to rebuy live than it is online. It's also easier for them to believe they are winning players.
You might be right, but I am at a loss as to "why". The ones that seem most in denial are "marginal losers" who remember the times someone sucked-out on them, and have complete amnesia towards the hands they played poorly, and no conception as to how they play on tilt.
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:15 PM   #38
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

People who play poker live may forget how much they have bought in for, how much their total wins and losses are. Even winners have to bring money to the casino every time they play. Online, if they have to keep putting more money on the site, they know they are losers.
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:33 AM   #39
NedSchneebly
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

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Even if I did, live play elements like tells. could theoretically justify a higher number of winning players
Lol live tells at limit? C'mon now. Even if there was the number wouldn't change.

My guess is in an average 20-40 limit game there are 2 winners long term in a game, 40-80 there are 3, 80-160+ there are 5.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:08 AM   #40
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

Not just tells, also alcohol usage and unbalanced ranges in many situations. Pros won't need to invest the same amount of $ making gto plays that would be standard in other settings Just being able to make a few exploitative folds (also calls where the alternative is raise to a lesser extent) a night is huge for winrate.

Also not sure why you wouldn't believe in live behavior/patterns being meaningful. In limit players are actually moving chips into the pot far more frequently than nl games. Players talk more during the hands. Game speed can also be quick so pauses and tempo change can be more informative. Any info like this that can make decisions in close spots easier goes a long way.

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Old 07-13-2017, 03:48 AM   #41
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

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Originally Posted by lawdude View Post
Pre-BF, about 4 percent of limit players online were winners.
If this is calculated by taking a database of everyone online that has ever played a hand of LHE, and then seeing what % of those players have won money overall, it has basically no bearing at all on what % of players at a live LHE table are winning.

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That means that it's highly unlikely that someone who is consistently the third best player is going to be a winner.
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:51 PM   #42
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

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If this is calculated by taking a database of everyone online that has ever played a hand of LHE, and then seeing what % of those players have won money overall, it has basically no bearing at all on what % of players at a live LHE table are winning.
I was more sophisticated than that, Cap. I did my searches with a minimum 10,000 hands. The 4 percent figure was pretty consistent at different limits too.

Bottom line, the math of the game requires a bunch of losing players to support each winner. Bear in mind, also, a lot of players are slight losers-- in other words, even if there were no rake, a typical regular who loses 0.2BB an hour or something would have to combine with four other similar losers to support two 0.5BB an hour winners.

And when you add in rake.....
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:53 PM   #43
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

I do think online hands are scientific in this respect also. It in many respects is live poker without the live elements. We can debate about how much the live elements change the numbers, and in which direction, but it's at least in the ballpark.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:33 PM   #44
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

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I was more sophisticated than that, Cap. I did my searches with a minimum 10,000 hands. The 4 percent figure was pretty consistent at different limits too.

Bottom line, the math of the game requires a bunch of losing players to support each winner. Bear in mind, also, a lot of players are slight losers-- in other words, even if there were no rake, a typical regular who loses 0.2BB an hour or something would have to combine with four other similar losers to support two 0.5BB an hour winners.

And when you add in rake.....
This is such a misleading discussion. If you sat in an online game at 10-20 or higher a minimum of 50 percent and probably closer to 75-80 percent of the people you play against are winning players. The fact that only 5 percent of total players win is somewhat irrelevant.

Table 1 is a fish and 5 wizards. Table 2 is a different fish and same 5 wizards, table 3 is..... You play 5 tables and 50 percent of the player base are fish get every game you sit in will have 5 world class players.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:53 PM   #45
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

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This is such a misleading discussion. If you sat in an online game at 10-20 or higher a minimum of 50 percent and probably closer to 75-80 percent of the people you play against are winning players. The fact that only 5 percent of total players win is somewhat irrelevant.

Table 1 is a fish and 5 wizards. Table 2 is a different fish and same 5 wizards, table 3 is..... You play 5 tables and 50 percent of the player base are fish get every game you sit in will have 5 world class players.
I'm not entirely sure about this (it isn't exactly what I remember, but i haven't played seriously online for over six years), but even if it is true, it would be true due to multitabling while losing players going busto or cutting their stakes.

The fact is your winnings have to come from somewhere. Poker is not Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above average. Big time whales can of course create the pool of winnings that the winning players can share in, but when you don't have whales, the reality is that you need quite a few slightly losing TAGfish and weak-tight nits and slightly overly loose cold-callers and the like to support a small pool of winning players, because those sorts of losers don't lose THAT much and the rake also has to be paid. That math ought to be relatively obvious to anyone here.
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:22 PM   #46
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

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I was more sophisticated than that, Cap. I did my searches with a minimum 10,000 hands. The 4 percent figure was pretty consistent at different limits too.
This is pretty meaningless. You would have to take a snapshot of all of the players actively playing at a table and then determine what % of those are long term winners.

Because, like, that's what we're discussing -- how many people sitting at a table when you play are winners. I'm not going to explain why, because it should be pretty damn obvious.
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Old 07-14-2017, 03:08 PM   #47
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

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This is pretty meaningless. You would have to take a snapshot of all of the players actively playing at a table and then determine what % of those are long term winners.

Because, like, that's what we're discussing -- how many people sitting at a table when you play are winners. I'm not going to explain why, because it should be pretty damn obvious.
I don't claim that 4 percent of the people you are sitting with are winners. That's ridiculous. Obviously, some of those 4 percent busted out, dropped down, etc.

But I DO claim that the number of winners at typical poker tables is probably a lot lower than even regular players think it is. There's no way the poker economy can support, for instance, consistently having 3 winning players at a 9 handed table. A player who is consistently the third best player is almost certainly a losing player unless there are big donators around.
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:41 PM   #48
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

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Pre-BF, about 4 percent of limit players online were winners. That means that it's highly unlikely that someone who is consistently the third best player is going to be a winner.
No it doesn't. Those numbers are unrelated.
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:57 PM   #49
Jon_locke
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

lawdude, open offer. come to Arizona or have somebody here that you trust take care of it, well pick games I'll let you book the third best player, deal?
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:25 PM   #50
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Re: Live LHE Win Rates

I have zero hard evidence but my sense is that lawdude is not right on this one.

I'm pretty sure the third best player in most games is doing just fine winrate wise
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