Sunday, July 12, 2009

There is No Theme

This post is probably going to be very disorganized, because there are about 5 or 6 things I want to say that seem interesting, not a single one of which is even close to big enough to be an entire post. Some of them are only here goes.

First of all, I'm engaged in an interesting (to me) conversation on the mid stakes low content thread about win rates and how long it is that you can or cannot run bad. The general argument from the online players is always "you live players are lucky you ever win at all, because the long run is 100,000 hands and you could lose for that long". In truth you never really hear about live players running this badly for this long, but that might be because all the ones that do simply give up. I don't really know, but in my experience, and the experience of the few people who have let me know something about their data, running bad for 100,000 hands (well over a year's worth of full time play) just doesn't seem to happen. This simulator can be used to get an idea of what I'm talking about. If you want to see how 100 of me might run for a year, use a win rate of 50, a standard deviation of 440, for 2000*100 = 200,000 hands (here you are tricking it to use 2000 units of 100 hands, when in fact you just want results for 2000 hours), and leave the number of players at 100. The results are usually pretty promising, in that all 100 guys win at least 50K, with almost all of them coming in over 70K.

Anyway...I've been "running bad" for a while now (I did post a $2800 win at the Oaks on Friday, but followed that up with a day off yesterday and a 3 rack loss in the 20/40 at Garden City today), but the conversation on the 2 plus 2 really has helped me realize that that's all it is. I'm getting unlucky. I haven't gotten any worse, and my opponents haven't gotten any (or at least much) better. I just have to keep playing, keep learning, and things will turn around. Friday at the Oaks reminded me just how it feels to "run good". I played a 7 way limped pot with 54 suited and turned a full house. I flopped a nut flush, and did on occasion connect with my flush draws. I made straights, I turned pairs, and when I called down with ace high (something I've been doing more with mixed results) I was actually correct; twice! Everything was just clicking, and by the end of the day I had 5 racks of chips in front of me and was feeling great about life.

Then today at Garden City was quite a different story, however. KQ suited? 753 rainbow flow thank you sir may I have another? Flush draw? Ha, you'll have jack high on the river and like it! Call me with ace high? I have two pair. Not one...two! Things just didn't go my way, and all of a sudden (well, not really....I played for 7 hours), I was in 6 racks and had only 2 left in front of me. My final hand, however, was humorous.

I picked black aces under the gun and open-raised. Kelvin the dealer raised next in (I was in the 9 seat, he in the 1), and then it folded to Shannon, who called all 3 bets in the 8 seat as the big blind. I capped it, both of them called, and as the dealer dragged in the chips I noted that since all three of us had overs buttons, the rest of the hand would be played at 30/60. "That's great" I thought, since I have a monster and all. I counted the pot as 12 bets, multiplied by 2/3rds to get the new number of small bets for the increased bet size (12*20 = 240 = 8*30) and prepared to auto-bet the flop. Shannon checked, I looked out and saw nothing terrifying (3 cards of different suits all with numbers on them) and fired a bet. Kelvin called (by capping I've basically turned my hand face up against him), and so did Shannon. The Ordeal was the Queen of Hearts, putting up a flush draw and bringing a set of queens from Kelvin to the forefront of my mind. Shannon checked, and I fired $60 dollars into the $330 pot (8 small bets, plus the $90 from the last street). Kelvin folded and so did Shannon, and I started to push my cards with $1 chip towards the dealer when suddenly I realized he was...burning and turning the river. WTF is going on here? A quick glance around the table was all I needed to figure this one out; seat 5 still had a hand, and had (presumably) called 6 bets so far, including the turn. Yikes....The river was a brick, I bet, he called, and my hand held up to drag a pretty big pot. I sat out the next hand and racked up my chips, as it was pretty obvious I had slipped a little past my A game.


TiocfaidhArLa said...

Hi Jesse, 2 years ago you posted your lifetime 20/40 chart. Apart from the recent downswing, was it still relatively consistent at $50/hr. If so, how many hours have you now tracked. It's got to be a lot more than then.

A recent 2+2 PokerCast asked a live player how he gets through downswings and he reckoned that he just played longer sessions to grind out the variance.

I know that there is no basis in maths for that, but if you listen to the episode (about 2 weeks before the WSOP episodes) his logic works for him. Just get the variance out of the way and get back to enjoying poker as soon as possible was his goal.

Any objective spectator would have to think that you'll be back to $50/hr very very soon, mate.

jesse8888 said...

I think you are referring to another person, or a different graph from me. My first hand of 20/40 was less than 2 years ago :)

I have 1560 hours life time.

jesse8888 said...

As for playing makes sense. If you are a winning player, the best way to get "unstuck" is to play more. The side effect is a large scale version of the "playing long sessions when you're losing" problem, which may affect your win rate and does affect your state of mind.

TiocfaidhArLa said...

Yip, my bad, the Post was yesterday, you joined 2+2 in May 2007.

Nice graph, mate. Extrapolate it with a cut & paste and see if any of your friends can see the down swing. I think that 600-750 and 800-950 look just as severe.

Stock chartists might draw a line from the origin thru 650 to 700 line and deduce that the recovery is just around the corner.

UPDATE : CAL came along just in time to restore the trend.

CAL just started the next upswing