Thursday, 17 January 2013

"airing my dirty laundry in public" .. that simple, huh ?

welcome back.

here is a copy of an email I sent. I hope the recipients respond but I'm not holding my breath. Said recipients have zero interest in poker. They have less than zero interest in my poker. By default, I believe they have zero knowledge of poker as well.

Disclaimer - I'm simply trying to get an idea across, therefor the math is NOT real world. 

This started out as a short message .. but sort of grew out of proportion as I went along. The long and the short of it is .. I'll be playing tonight, beer in hand. Ergo, pretty much free chips if you run into me later on in the evening.

After tonight, I'll pretty much be beerless .. yup, I'm pretty much life skint. So if you run into me after tonight and kick my ass, I'll have no excuses what so ever.

So much for a short explanation !

So last time I played poker was Tuesday night, email attached of the small-field mtt tournament which I won. This is the reason I play poker. It’s about real money.

I've never made much overall because I may win before the beer kicks in but mostly give it back once I've had a few. I think I'm pretty good (but almost all poker players think that !) since I have not had to deposit money on a poker site since 2009 (.. or was it 2008 ?). I really think I can make some good sweetie money playing non-alcoholic poker.

and it will only be sweetie money to start. Let’s be honest, playing cash games at the 1c/2c level and $1 or $2 tournaments (in my "spare" time) i.e. micro-stakes,  means that I can only expect to make micro-prizes.

You are probably surprised to know that I practice good poker bankroll management. i.e. I play these tiny stakes to avoid going busto. You will also be surprised to know that if I did go busto, I would wait till my £50 pocket money hits my poker account (yes, that’s how I perceive my xxxxxxxxxx account) before I would deposit money onto a poker site.

In a nutshell, I'll continue small stakes poker, continue practicing good poker bankroll management and start to play non-alcoholic poker (no choice since I just won’t carry spare cash about that I can blow on the booze)

As a side note, I need to get the money off Neteller and also off that trading site, whatever the hell it’s called these days.

You once asked why I played "so many tables" at the same time ?


I'll try to explain.

If you have the best starting hand before the community cards are dealt, then you'd expect to win that hand and any money that had been bet on that hand by yourself and by any other player who played in that hand.

If poker were that simple then it would be very boring. (and no-one would ever ever make any money in the long term.)

So you start the hand with the very best starting hand and two other players decide to play their hands as well (matching any bets that you make). This single hand of poker ends when the five community cards have been dealt and once the betting has finished.

Assuming the three of you are still in the hand, it’s time to flip over your cards and see who has the best finishing hand. The guy with the best hand at this showdown wins the money that has been bet.

The "problem" is, of course, that people do not just play the very best starting hand.

Even though you started the hand as the favourite and with two others in the hand, you will only win 2 out of three times. It's mathematically, statistically and any other "....lly" you can think of, impossible to win one hundred percent of the time, if the hands go to showdown. And the more people in a hand, the less likely you are to win said hand !!

As a general rule of thumb, the lower the stakes, the more often a hand will go to showdown.

In the above hand, if all the betting takes place before the community cards are dealt .. and you lose the hand .. this is commonly referred to as (negative) variance.  ((strangely enough, no-one seems to talk about positive variance i.e. when the best starting hand actually wins))

The above example is an extremely simple one (yes, I'm that simple) and is highly unlikely to occur like this in real life.

If we stick with this simple example model.

You'll only get dealt the very best starting hand once every 221 hands .. you'll win every two times out of three .. so you'll basically only win two out of 663 hands dealt .. eek !

Keeping with the simple, if you only play one table, it could take 5 hours to be dealt those first 221 hands .. I don’t think anyone has that much time to waste.

So, too overcome variance (i.e. the times your best starting hand does NOT win) players want to play a lot of hands.

You cannot play a lot of hands playing only one table.

To play as many hands in as short a time as possible .. play at as many tables as you can, simples.

I know it’s a really really simple hypothetical model but I'm just trying to get the general idea across.

Oh before I forget, here is the email regards my win in that small field multi-table-tourney.

PokerStars Tournament #671827734, Triple Stud
Buy-In: $2.00/$0.20 USD
68 players
Total Prize Pool: $136.00 USD
Tournament started 2013/01/15 19:20:00 WET [2013/01/15 14:20:00 ET]

Dear ResdentEvil,

You finished the tournament in 1st place. A USD 37.50 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

As you can see, I "won" $37.50 .. minus the $2.20 entry fee .. so let’s call it $35.

My net profit for Tuesday night was actually only $22 .. err, how come ?

I'd be more than happy to win that every night. Sadly, I'm subject to variance as much as the next guy and it’s entirely possible that I may not have won any cash at all. In fact, it’s more likely variance will intervene and I won’t make any cash at all.

To overcome this I played in six or eight tournaments on Tuesday night, won bugger all in the other tournaments but cashed in this one for an overall profit on the night.

and that’s the overall idea .. play a shit load of tournaments or cash tables, play good poker, overcome the negative variance and make a profit.

Tried to keep it simple and just look at the length of this email ! If I tried to explain in real world terms, this email would be easily 10-times as long !

Congratulations if you actually read this thing in one sitting ! and I sincerely hope my explanation has not been lost in the translation :)

Seriously, if you read it all, nice one.

pleasant dreams

1 comment:

Littleacornman said...

Nurse!! Good work on the tourney win mate and I reckon you're spot on re tourney variance.You need to be playing as many tables as you can to ride it out.