Running Bad? You Aint Seen Nothing

Posted: October 8, 2012 in General
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Pokers a funny old game. We have all been there havnt we?

“I cant possibly run any worse than i am doing at the moment”.

How does the saying go? At some point you will run worse than you thought was possible.

I decided to put it to the test after my recent `bad` run and put some figures in to a variance simulator.

Below are the results after I put in my stats for the year:-

Honestly theres not really much to concern myself with there but when I consider the results below and the fact that the largest downswing in those set of results is actually 18 Buy Ins then its plain to see that even with a very good win rate theres still a bit of room to suffer from a really bad downswing.

The simulator also throws out a few other results as well namely how long a break even stretch someone with my WR can expect, and in this set of results the longest BE stretch is 25K hands. So again thats really something I wouldnt expect but it certainly could happen.

I decided to do the test for someone over the same amount of hands but with just a 2bb/100 WR and a STD of 75bb/100, the results are below:-

As we can see the way someone with that WR can run is shocking. One minute they can think they are the worlds greatest player and then within a few thousand hands they can feel like the worst.

When it comes to down swings we are now looking at over 50 buy in swings which in reality could make a slight winning player quit the game altogether.  When it comes to BE stretches this guy could be looking at 170K or so hands of playing BE poker which in itself would be totally demoralizing.
So the moral of the story is that we should try and get as good at poker as we possibly can to try and stop the above or worse from happening. From my point of view I think that its clear that I really cant complain to how I have been running lately and I should just try and ride it out knowing that theres always someone a lot worse off than how I am actually running.

  1. Interesting post. Variance is a bitch,

  2. MonkeyPoker says:

    Given the relatively small number of hands you play, you should consider the highly likely possibility that your true winrate is actually much closer to breakeven and that you have (until now) just been experiencing one of the upswings shown in your 2bb simulation.

    • martl1 says:

      Given my lifetime WR, Im going to have disagree with you here. I think lifetime at NL25 is something like 6bb/100 but the reality is that about 200-300K of those hands were when i were a terrible player about 3 years or so ago. I reckon I can hit 8bb/100 at a canter now over the same amount of hands, if i had the chance to play that much of course. 🙂

  3. I have a friend, one of the best mid-stakes HU players in the world, who went on a 500k-hand breakeven stretch. (And that was before Black Friday, even.) It’s just part of the game. To see true convergence, which is to see truth in statistics, you probably need to play a significantly higher volume. I know that can be difficult, but it’s nonetheless true. Keep your head up, dude.

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