Downswing Frequency

    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Hi all,

      I'm just wondering, how often do you guys experience a 10-15 buy in downswing? I'm aiming more at cash game players but I guess having some numbers from sng grinders would be helpful too so the more the merrier!

      I play SH cash and have noticed that I go through a pretty aggressive 10-15 buy in downswing roughly once every 30k hands; the down part of the swing tends to last around 10k hands. This isn't over a huge sample, only 100k hands so I don't think for a second anything will come from this other than maybe some re-assurance for new players who might underestimate variance.

      Oh, and try not to include random tilted spew in this... Those 'downswings' aren't really what I'm interested in :f_confused:
  • 21 replies
    • NoOneSpcl
      NoOneSpcl
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.04.2011 Posts: 118
      In shorthanded cash games, It's common to see stacks flying across the tables and being quite a few buy-ins down is common, and should also be fine, as long as it's not the only direction in which they're going (that is, that after the aforementioned 100k hands you have a nice positive winrate).

      15 sounds way too high to be common, but since you're talking about 30k hand sequences in a 100k hand database , it doesn't sound that bad to me, again. 6-7 buy ins down sounds normal for short handed (NOT normal as in - every few sessions (that would be abysmal) , but, it happens from time to time), so 10-15 ....3 times or so in 100k hands, well, I think that's quite likely.


      Once again, as long as you're a solid winning player usually, and after a 100k hands, you should have a nice positive winrate. If not, THEN it's a good time to worry :)



      There are many programs that calculate the likelihood of a certain size downswing. If you write your winrate and your SD (standard deviation) as it appears in your Holdem manager (or pockertracker, or whatever you're using for it), I can provide a more mathematically correct answer.


      For now, plugging some normal values into my variance simulator I get this:

      bb/100 (in big blinds, not big bets, since the default bb/100 written in HM is in big blinds anyway, and so is the default SD written under the "stakes" report) - 14

      SD = 80


      results:
      In the course of 100,000 hands, that player has a 20% chance of having a 1250 bb downswing (almost 13 buy-ins...),
      and a ~17% chance or so to experience a 15k break even period.

      Now just change that player's SD in short handed cash games to 100, and now he has a 40% chance to encounter a 15 buy in downswing during the course of a 100,000 hands!!!

      So these stats are important to answer your question.


      Note also that the number of hands is very important....because without limiting it... heh, well, in an infinitely long number of hands, you'll encounter any finite downswing of any size with probability 100% :P


      Hope that helps with answering your question :)
    • NoOneSpcl
      NoOneSpcl
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.04.2011 Posts: 118
      Don't know what happened, but it posted my reply twice, so I removed this one:)
    • luizsilveira
      luizsilveira
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.11.2010 Posts: 2,320
      I only have a very small sample since I just got PT3 only this year. But this is what I have:

      27k hands tracked on NL10 this year and had 4 downswings. On the first I was really trying to adapt to NL10 coming from NL4 so I'm not sure it's a downswing, I started losing 10BI in roughly 6k hands.

      Then over the other 21k hands I had 3 downswings, two of 6BI (one right now, knock on wood, lasting 1,5k hands) and one of 7BI down over 2k hands. On the other hand, I had a 14BI heater over 8k hands in the meantime and few smaller upswings so I'm still up and happy.

      On NL4 I have 35k hands tracked this year. At first I was transitioning from FR to SH so I had 8k hands losing 12BI. Then I think I got the hang of it and won 25BI over 12k hands, had a downswing of 3k hands losing 7,5BI *(pretty sick coolers, many KK vs. AA, I still remember clearly I was whining on the forums and saying I'd start to fold KK preflop). After those 3k hands it got back on track and I never looked back. So only one real downswing over some 27k hands (knock on wood), but NL4 is just too beatable.

      Now my graph is slightly down at the end because every time I'm tilted/mad at some fish for sucking me out but I still want to play poker I just step down back to NL4 and spew a bit. Sometimes I win, sometimes I loose, but 1 or 2 BI up or down on NL4 I don't really mind at all. I have the roll to NL25 and tomorrow will be my 2nd real shot at NL25SH (I've played NL25FR before). The 1st shot was last week, I was following a super-donk, after the FIRST orbit I got JJ on the SB, got all in with the donkey who showed 88 and guess what. So after a couple of hands I just made a spewy play and lost some 25BB 3betting/cbetting ATs, so I noticed I was tilted, went back to NL10 and didn't try NL25 again.

      Ok, I wrote much more than you asked, sorry for that. I just like writing, plus this appeared like the perfect
      procrastination
      break for an assignment I really have to finish asap.

      This is all for SH, since that's what you've asked. FR is another story :f_biggrin:

      edited to add the highlights so you don't have to read all I wrote

      more procrastination :f_cry:
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Thanks for your reply NoOneSpcl... it's a good explanation but I'm not concerned about my own swings - I am showing a good win rate over 100k hands at my current limit so it's all good.

      I was more just looking for other peoples experience with variance. I mean, new players hear about variance all the time but do they actually know what it means? I sure didn't! If some people respond here then there's some good info for any new players... also I find it interesting to see how others see it because we're not on the same paths, the cards fall randomly so chances are everyone will have a different experience.
    • Wriggers
      Wriggers
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.07.2009 Posts: 3,250
      Unfortunately I don't have the time to write out a nice well thought out response, so i'll just post my swings :p

      So far in a 260k hand sample i've had 6 downswings that were over 1,000bb. I believe most of them happened when transitioning through limits so not all of the losses can be attributed to just running bad, but I think the majority are.
    • NoOneSpcl
      NoOneSpcl
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.04.2011 Posts: 118
      Originally posted by luizsilveira

      Then over the other 21k hands I had 3 downswings, two of 6BI (one right now, knock on wood, lasting 1,5k hands) and one of 7BI down over 2k hands. On the other hand, I had a 14BI heater over 8k hands in the meantime and few smaller upswings so I'm still up and happy.
      Another mathematical point: it's hard to call being 6 BIs down a downswing...
      As it's quite easy to reach in a single moderately bad multi table session (4-6 tables would suffice to reach it sometimes without too many disasters), and the odds of it happening are too high to call it that. During the course of your 21k hands, if you're a good winning player overall (10 big blinds / 100 hands or close to it (or more...)), and have a normal SD (about 80),

      your odds of reaching a 6 BI downswing in these 21k hands are actually higher than 60%!

      That gets close to the 95%-100% range when you check for the odds of it happening in a 100k hands...

      Hope these will be the worst "downswings" you'll ever encounter!!!
    • NoOneSpcl
      NoOneSpcl
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.04.2011 Posts: 118
      Originally posted by Wriggers
      Unfortunately I don't have the time to write out a nice well thought out response, so i'll just post my swings :p

      So far in a 260k hand sample i've had 6 downswings that were over 1,000bb. I believe most of them happened when transitioning through limits so not all of the losses can be attributed to just running bad, but I think the majority are.

      Wow you guys are lucky!!!
      if you're a 10bb/100 (blinds, not bets, just to make sure we use the same terminology), and have an SD of 80, after 260k hands, the probability of a 1000bb downswing is over 95%....

      If that's the worst you've seen, you're extremely lucky!!!!! many players who posted monstrous downswing graphs on forums on the rest of the planet would give a lot to be you (Poker-wise) :)

      Best of luck:) Hope to reach you platinum guys in a few months (few days to gold...)
    • Saruniks
      Saruniks
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      Joined: 30.08.2010 Posts: 1,213
      maybe he is beter mentally prepared to not make mistakes on downswing so he just makes it smaller.
    • Wriggers
      Wriggers
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.07.2009 Posts: 3,250
      I said over 1,000bb downswings ;) My biggest is about 1,700bb.

      And tbh, as Saruniks mentioned, without triyng to sound arrogant, I think my mindset is better than the majority of microstakes players that post their "downswing" graphs, where they've been unlucky but then added to that by spewing off 5 stacks. That's never been me, if I feel myself spewing due to emotions I just stop, and as proven it makes the downswings easier to cope with :D
    • Saruniks
      Saruniks
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.08.2010 Posts: 1,213
      mindset improves when you go up levels

      and yeah, it's impossible to be on suckouts and setups based downswing on micros (more than 1000BB).
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Originally posted by Saruniks
      and yeah, it's impossible to be on suckouts and setups based downswing on micros (more than 1000BB).
      This is utter bollocks. Mathematical variance doesn't change from limit to limit... I went through a swing at nl5 where I was 16 stacks below ev... nothing spewy about that particular stat, all of it all in with the best hand and losing. That is variance and entirely possible at any limit.

      I'm not saying that I never spew stacks off btw, my mindset still needs work but saying that 1000bb+ downswings due to nothing but variance is impossible at the micros isn't right.

      In fact... at any limit it's possible to go on an infinite 'downswing' since probabilities are constant and the cards don't remember previous hands. It's entirely possible to be a loser over an infinite number of hands even if you play better poker than anyone else - Obviously the chances of this happening are infinitely small but it is still possible.
    • purplefizz
      purplefizz
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.03.2008 Posts: 4,508
      really anything is possible. just read in poker mindset that downswings dont exist :) they dont have shape or amount limit or time frame. gosh im not coherent enough to explain it right now. super sleepy. but just because we are unlucky today means we will be lucky tomorrow, etc.
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Originally posted by purplefizz
      really anything is possible. just read in poker mindset that downswings dont exist :) they dont have shape or amount limit or time frame. gosh im not coherent enough to explain it right now. super sleepy. but just because we are unlucky today means we will be lucky tomorrow, etc.
      Yup, I've been reading this... nearly finished it - Excellent book, all poker players should read it over and over.
    • Saruniks
      Saruniks
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      Joined: 30.08.2010 Posts: 1,213
      I play 250K hands on NL2 without a downswing with over 1000BB and if I succeed you pay me 10k$.
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Originally posted by Saruniks
      I play 250K hands on NL2 without a downswing with over 1000BB and if I succeed you pay me 10k$.
      That's a pathetic statement... I played 100k nl2 sh hands without a downswing, a break even stretch at best but that was 24 tabling so my own fault. The point is that you can't say it's impossible because it is possible for you to have a downswing, even a downswing so big that with 1000 buyins you still go broke - this is a fact.

      Also, what do you class as a downswing? I would say it's a sustained period of running below ev in terms of both setups and all ins... This is difficult to quantify and really doesn't exist until after the event because you see it in a graph or whatever. All that really exists is probabilities and probability just means that a certain outcome is probable, it does not mean that it is guaranteed even over an infinite sample.
    • fuzzyfish
      fuzzyfish
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.01.2010 Posts: 862
      Originally posted by Wurble
      Hi all,

      I'm just wondering, how often do you guys experience a 10-15 buy in downswing?
      Weekly :(

      And whats worse - no upswings yet.
    • gadget51
      gadget51
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      [quote]Originally posted by Wurble
      Hi all,

      I'm just wondering, how often do you guys experience a 10-15 buy in downswing?

      I only play nl4 multitable and I do get 'downswings', sometimes I feel I can't win a hand, but it only lasts a day or two and I'm quite good at limiting the losses now.
      I think my biggest loss was about 12 buyins in one session.
    • NoOneSpcl
      NoOneSpcl
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.04.2011 Posts: 118
      Originally posted by fuzzyfish
      Originally posted by Wurble
      Hi all,

      I'm just wondering, how often do you guys experience a 10-15 buy in downswing?
      Weekly :(

      And whats worse - no upswings yet.

      If that response was written seriously, then, while it is possible it really does happen, you will most probably find these "downswings" are assisted by leak-ridden play.

      Post hands in the hand evaluation forums, questions about your play and different ideas you have, ways you differ from the articles and about potential problems you think your game has.

      But the most important thing is really to read and watch everything you can about leakfinding sessions with a tracking software, and work hard on that (if you're not already doing that. I don't think a Poker player can call himself serious in his intentions to improve and be a better winning player without doing it regularly).


      Hope your luck improves. :)
    • fuzzyfish
      fuzzyfish
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.01.2010 Posts: 862
      Well it seems that some people only care about the profit. Have you forgotten about the VIP-system. Who cares if I lose 5 bb / 100 hands at NL100. If i rake just 300$ more this month I get a free baseball cap and a WSOP Super Satellite ticket. If I get to the final table (8000 players) I get to play at the WSOP Mega sattelite. If I manage to win that I get a coupon to the WSOP Ultimate satellite, which is released as soon I rake 800$. The winner of the WSOP Ulitimate satellite goes to the WSOP! As part of the audience of course, but there's a raffle and the winner gets a free dinner with Tom Dwan. And if you're not gay you can still go cause the food is great. So I hope I made it perfectly clear to everybody. Poker isn't about the money. It's about the challenge and the guts to take long shots at big goals. GG.
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