• Bronze
Joined: 14.04.2006
Variance and Downswings

by Unam1337

We hear it a lot of times: „You can't imagine!“, „That's not possible!“, „This is so unbelievable, it's rigged!“.
Be honest, we all are inclined to say things like that when our BR kept getting smaller and we must go down a limit level even though our opponents are unbelievable bad.
This week, I'd like to pick up this rather psychological topic and going to show you some charts. The charts are not mine but they will give you an understanding of this topic and will help you to overcome your downsings more easily. The following chart shows how big the deviation of our True ROI (Return of Investment) might be after 1000 Sit and Gos.

As you can see, the smaller our ROI, the larger our possible deviation after 1000 tournaments.
It can be illustrated in a simplified way if we see how this deviation influences our BRM.

The chart shows us the probabilities of getting a downswing for a player with a given ROI when playing a certain number of tournaments.
A concrete example: A player with a ROI of 5% has the probability of 5% for a 100BI Downswing when playing 2000 SNGs.
You really should take a closer look to this chart in order to know where you get into when playing SNGs.
Another chart shows what this can mean for your bankroll, or in other words, how the probability is that we go broke when playing a certain amount of buy ins.

Again a short explanation:
A player with a ROI of 15% after 2000 SNGs has a probability of 6% of going broke with a BRM of 20BI.
But a player who keeps an ROI of 5% after 2000 SNGs has a probability of 40% of going broke with a BRM of 20 BI.
What I wanted to show you is that variance is always a crucial factor in poker. This factor may assume alarming dimensions by the many hands which are played to showdown in SNGs. Even solid winning players are not spared of this variance. The only prevention of swings like this is a solid BRM. It's left to one's own devices how this BRM is supposed to look like. It depends on factors like the own ROI, the favourite limit level, the ability to go down a level if necessary and particularly on the psychological strain.
I hope you can draw hope from this article because everyone has his swings. It's very important to realize this fact in order to be well prepared by having a adequate BR and a good psyche.
The credits for the charts and analyses and also my thanks goes to the originator of this excel file.
• 20 replies
• Bronze
Joined: 21.09.2007
nice article!

I don't like ps's brm. Off course early on playing 30-50 BI is fine, but my BRM is:

Move up with 110 buy ins for the next limit. Move down with only 100 BI on the current limit. This way, I always have at least 150-200 Buy ins for each limit. I wouldn't like to go broke, and I play with minimized risk, since the money is good on every limit I played till now.
• Bronze
Joined: 12.03.2008
wow cool charts. so how do i find out my ROI? (i assume its pretty low ) after how many games will i be able to get a gauge?
• Bronze
Joined: 03.10.2007

ROI is your total profit divided by the total amount you've bought in for..

so if you've got 200\$ profit over 50 games of \$10+\$1 sitngos, this is 200 divided by 550\$, or 36.4% ROI
• Bronze
Joined: 12.03.2008
ohh! thanks for the info. now only gotta play 800 more games to find out. i think i'll be happy not to bust out before then. hehehe
• Bronze
Joined: 03.10.2007
if you follow proper BRM i'd say you don't need to worry about that!
• Bronze
Joined: 22.03.2008
my ROI is 18% after 1000 games and I have 100 buy ins for the limit I play whats my chances of going broke?
• Bronze
Joined: 03.10.2007
also need to know when you start moving down.

if you move down at 50buy-ins (100 buy-ins for the limit before), i'd say it's very very close to 0
• Bronze
Joined: 24.05.2007
nice graphs!!!

made some money with cash-games but somehow im playin 45er sitngos for now... started with 1.1\$ on Stars for about 30% ROI... cashed out a lot in the past...

kept my winnings of the last weeks to play for higher limits... and i also prefere a more secure BRM than Pokerstrategy... maybe its ok for 1table-sitngos but i think it is more possible to get broke at mtt`s....

i used to move up to a higher level with 80-100 BI and switched back when i felt im wrong at this level (happened twice from 6.5\$ BI to 3.25\$)

now im playin 6.5\$ (10%ROI) and 12\$ BI (75% ROI not this many games played)

what is a good ROI for 45er sitngos???

is there any fishy smell left at 27\$ BI 45er sitngos????

big up

lx
• Bronze
Joined: 19.04.2009
Originally posted by chenny8888

ROI is your total profit divided by the total amount you've bought in for..

so if you've got 200\$ profit over 50 games of \$10+\$1 sitngos, this is 200 divided by 550\$, or 36.4% ROI
I find there is something wrong with this sentence, you bought in for a total of \$550 but your total profit is \$200. Doesn't this mean you are behind by \$350? Or is there something I don't know. sorry noob here
• Global
Joined: 22.11.2006
200=750-550

ROI is return on investment, you invested 550 and got 750 back making 200 on your original investment of 550 so your return on investment is 200/550*100=36.4%
• Basic
Joined: 08.10.2009
What is a good average of a beginner for ROI? I'm sure anything positive but what is usually considered doing decent?
• Bronze
Joined: 06.01.2009
depends on stakes. at the \$1 Im sure +15% is easily attainable for a good player. 10% is decent
• Bronze
Joined: 01.01.2010
Does the ROI already include the rake? Is it just money you have after 1000 games minus money you had before?

I'm asking, because the rake in the 1\$ games is 20%, in the 2\$ games it's 10% (cake poker).Imagine no poker bonusses and a ROI of 10% in the 1\$ snG's, does it mean that a ROI without rake would be 30%? Accordingly, in a 2\$ game with only 10% rake it's 20%effective ROI, making the money per time earned twice as high because of the higher ROI, and another 2 times as high because of the higher stakes?

And when playing with a 33% rakeback(i.e 13% rake in the 1\$ games, 6% in the 2 \$ games), the ROI would still be 6% higher in the 2\$ games?

That would mean: If you would use 50\$ to play the 2\$ games, the ROI might increase a lot, so the "only" reason to stay in the lower limit is the BR management(a 20% lower chance to go broke)?

And another question:-)
according to the charts, with 50 BI chances to go broke are about 20% for a "decent" player. I think it is quite a lot, especially because I don't know whether I'm decent or not^^ Is it even a good idea to use the starting capital to build up a bankroll in SnG's, or should i play something different with less variance, and come back when my money increased enough to stand the variance in SnG's? My bankroll decreased to half the amount recently, meaning the chances to go broke should lie around 40% now, even if i had 10% ROI....
• Bronze
Joined: 04.12.2009
Originally posted by farbwenz
Does the ROI already include the rake?
Yes, Return on Investment, your investment includes the rake.
• Bronze
Joined: 27.04.2010
Experiencing my first downswing:

I have had near enough 10 consecutive non cashes in 1.20 sng's on stars, at this rate I'll be broke in no time.

Is this normal, I'm trying to follow the strategy listed to the letter.
• Bronze
Joined: 13.03.2009
Interesting observations. This is why I stopped playing normal speed double or nothing. The rake is so high it's pointless, it takes a major part of your earnings.

Originally posted by farbwenz
Does the ROI already include the rake? Is it just money you have after 1000 games minus money you had before?

I'm asking, because the rake in the 1\$ games is 20%, in the 2\$ games it's 10% (cake poker).Imagine no poker bonusses and a ROI of 10% in the 1\$ snG's, does it mean that a ROI without rake would be 30%? Accordingly, in a 2\$ game with only 10% rake it's 20%effective ROI, making the money per time earned twice as high because of the higher ROI, and another 2 times as high because of the higher stakes?

And when playing with a 33% rakeback(i.e 13% rake in the 1\$ games, 6% in the 2 \$ games), the ROI would still be 6% higher in the 2\$ games?

That would mean: If you would use 50\$ to play the 2\$ games, the ROI might increase a lot, so the "only" reason to stay in the lower limit is the BR management(a 20% lower chance to go broke)?

And another question:-)
according to the charts, with 50 BI chances to go broke are about 20% for a "decent" player. I think it is quite a lot, especially because I don't know whether I'm decent or not^^ Is it even a good idea to use the starting capital to build up a bankroll in SnG's, or should i play something different with less variance, and come back when my money increased enough to stand the variance in SnG's? My bankroll decreased to half the amount recently, meaning the chances to go broke should lie around 40% now, even if i had 10% ROI....
• Platinum
Joined: 01.10.2009
hey Unam, tnx for this post but now that i learned what ROI is and i searched on sharkscope what my averege ROI is, its just 2%, is it that horrible, what should normal ROI for decent sng player??? tnx
• Bronze
Joined: 19.12.2009
Hi, I can't see the images.