Variance vs Profitability

    • supeyrio
      supeyrio
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.11.2009 Posts: 3,106
      different poker variants have different nature of variance involved. as we all know, risk has to be compensated by reward; by taking more risks, one expects more returns, likewise for taking lesser risk, one expects lesser returns.

      question: does a poker game of higher variance mean that one can potentially reap more returns? any evidence? so would it be wise to switch to games that has highest variance if one intends to seek out maximal returns?
  • 22 replies
    • Atoks
      Atoks
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.06.2008 Posts: 1,354
      There is little to no correlation between the two IMO. This is by no means a simple matter, however thinking about it briefly I see no reason why variance would play a factor in determining a players overall winnings (if we take take the idea that a player has played 25million games or more). There might be the illusion of such an effect, however I believe variance and profit are two of the less important things in poker.
    • bradomurder
      bradomurder
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.10.2008 Posts: 1,329
      I would say fish tend to hang out in higher varience games cos the can beat them short term. in terms of bankroll needed vs reward they probably all run quite close though. At least looking at NL cash, sng and MTT that seems to be the case
    • ihufa
      ihufa
      Gold
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 3,323
      Everyone knows that good HU players have higher winrates than SH players.
      Same goes for your ROI in tournaments. In sngs you can have like 8% at highstakes STTs but probably closer to 30% in MTTs.

      So yes, go play mtts and hu ...like me
    • bradomurder
      bradomurder
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.10.2008 Posts: 1,329
      but HU you need twice as SH the roll to play the same stakes. MTTs you need about 3x the roll of sng

      the higher varience games are softer though. And way more fun
    • alejandrosh
      alejandrosh
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.07.2008 Posts: 4,346
      while it's true that your winrate / roi is higher in HU and mtts is not equal to having the higher hourly rate.

      as long as you don't tilt with huge swings play whatever the hell you want and take maney.
    • kiromanAAKK
      kiromanAAKK
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.10.2009 Posts: 4,022
      But for high and low variance games, at which one your refer?
      Or better, which one in your opinion is the most high variance game and which one is the lowest?

      For example, PLO has a big swing compared to FL Holdem or as you say guys you will need more bankroll for MTTs the SNG because the variance is high in the MTTs as the payout allowed big gap beetwen winning.

      Again, you may profit more in HU even if you need large bankroll.
      But, in the end, which game you consider with less variance between all the NL Holdem discipline? Maybe cash game will have less variance then a SNG or between very close format of the some seed like BSS and SSS, would you considerate maybe SSS with more variance then BSS due the increase of the risk as you often bet for all your stack? But in this case crash the idea of big reward with big risk as the return is low in SSS.
      Can you please help to give me an idea of which game may have a bit of less variance?
      Thx :heart:

      P.S. Many apology for be lazy and using this thread for a personal question but it was so identical and the topic was so fashinated that I cannot resist. Many sorry m8! :)
    • alejandrosh
      alejandrosh
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.07.2008 Posts: 4,346
      I guess the lowest variance in NL would be cash fullring, while the biggest being superturbo SH mtts
    • OZSA
      OZSA
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.05.2009 Posts: 804
      variance can hit you anytime...i play nl fullring, and my ev is over 2x then my winnings...not in 1-2k hand, more then 300k..i just lost today 12 full stacks, due to.."variance" lowest ev on flop was 55%, highest 95%..

      i see ppl never having a day that ran under ev, and they play sh..so, its all about ur luck, do u have it, or do not..
    • supeyrio
      supeyrio
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.11.2009 Posts: 3,106
      Originally posted by OZSA
      variance can hit you anytime...i play nl fullring, and my ev is over 2x then my winnings...not in 1-2k hand, more then 300k..i just lost today 12 full stacks, due to.."variance" lowest ev on flop was 55%, highest 95%..

      i see ppl never having a day that ran under ev, and they play sh..so, its all about ur luck, do u have it, or do not..
      huhhh
    • OZSA
      OZSA
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.05.2009 Posts: 804
      and that would mean..?
    • bradomurder
      bradomurder
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.10.2008 Posts: 1,329
      what? post a graph of this
    • OZSA
      OZSA
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.05.2009 Posts: 804
      i dont have my lifetime graph sadly but the last 30days look like this, lifetime is pretty much the same

      graph
    • Nunki
      Nunki
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2006 Posts: 865
      Originally posted by supeyrio

      question: does a poker game of higher variance mean that one can potentially reap more returns? ...
      No. You need a higher expected win rate for more potential returns. Variance is simply a measure of how swingy your profit graph is likely to be.


      Originally posted by supeyrio

      ... so would it be wise to switch to games that has highest variance if one intends to seek out maximal returns?
      Only if the highest variance games were in some way super-soft.


      High variance => easier to go broke ie. tighten-up on BRM
    • paaaaau
      paaaaau
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.10.2010 Posts: 69
      http://www.fulltiltpoker.com/tip-email-247-deposit Phil gordon talks about variance
    • ihufa
      ihufa
      Gold
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 3,323
      "I want you to play very small tournaments. A twentieth of your bankroll, max! If you play much higher than that i promise you it will not be pretty"

      Fuck Phil Gordon
    • OZSA
      OZSA
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.05.2009 Posts: 804
      lol, ye fuck him, absolute noob..no shit
    • andreibalint
      andreibalint
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.04.2009 Posts: 872
      does a poker game of higher variance mean that one can potentially reap more returns? any evidence? so would it be wise to switch to games that has highest variance if one intends to seek out maximal returns?


      If players would think rationally it should be the case. It's a basic thing in economics that if you want to make more money you have to risk more.

      Not universally true in poker but it's a good guideline.
    • Helipacter
      Helipacter
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.07.2010 Posts: 474
      A couple of noob questions regarding variance in poker:

      1) Fixed Limit Hold em/Omaha hi-lo are said to be the least swingy of the number of varieties of community card poker. But are there other types of poker that are also good for the risk averse? (For example, are there varieties of Stud or Draw poker like that are the equivalent of FLHE or FLO?)

      2) Is there a reason why PLO is universally seen as more swingy than NLO? I've never played Omaha, but one would assume that NLO would cost you more in the long run.

      Cheers
    • andreibalint
      andreibalint
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.04.2009 Posts: 872
      Well 2) is pretty simple to answer. Omaha is played with 4 cards, that's about it. You're never preflop ahead significantly more then 60% and you have a lot of draws on the board. In hold'em AA vs AK preflop is 93%-7%, so less variance.

      Fixed limit is less swingy but in terms of big blinds. It's standard for NL to loose 1000BB that's 10buy-ins but it's 33% of your bankroll (respect it!!!). In Fixed limit let's say you have 200BB downswing, sounds better but remember your bankroll is 300BB!!!

      However if you're a "noob" i don't find much sense in twisting your brains too much with this variance problem. Pick something you like and have a lot of material to learn and just play it. Maybe it should be cash games since you are a little risk-averse. I'm sure you can survive a few tens of buck of a downswing! Good luck!
    • 1
    • 2