Variance or leaks?

    • Orion801
      Orion801
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.03.2012 Posts: 84
      I've been playing 10 man normal sit and go tournaments on Poker770 for a while now and am fairly comfortable with the strategy having read all of the articles available to me, watched a couple of videos, posted hand evaluations and had plenty of practice on ICM trainer. Despite this I'm not making any money and am down by $15 after 75 tournaments. I know this is a small sample size but I don't know whether I'm on a downswing or if I'm just not playing in a style that is profitable. I certainly have had a fair few bad beats throughout but then I've also been the one winning the bad beat a few times as well (although it certainly feels like I've been the victim of bad beats more than the other way around).

      I'm using HM2 and my luck adjusted winnings are fairly healthy, saying I should be $5 up overall, so $20 better off than I am. With my small sample size though I'm not sure how much to trust this.

      Anyway, I suppose my question is how would you suggest going about looking for leaks and what sort of sample size do I need to be able to tell for sure whether I'm playing well or not? Also it would be useful to know how often some of the profitable S&G players on here win tournaments as well as how often they come 2nd or 3rd so I have some sort of reference.

      Thanks in advance for any help!
  • 11 replies
    • batukas
      batukas
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.06.2009 Posts: 34
      i think 75 tournaments is really not enough to make real conclusions. You should play at least few hundred...and still practice daily with icm trainer, watch videos and read articles.
    • Orion801
      Orion801
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.03.2012 Posts: 84
      Thanks for the reply. I realise the sample size is small, my point is that if I play for a few hundred to find out if my strategy is working or not then, if it's not, my bankroll will have diminished to nearly nothing before I can look into any leaks.
    • batukas
      batukas
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.06.2009 Posts: 34
      well as i realized you already post hands in evaluation forum so you doing right thing already, try to post hands you don't know how to play or check them in sng wizard. It's hard to advice something else as you didn't write a lot of information about your previous experience in poker, etc..
    • Orion801
      Orion801
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.03.2012 Posts: 84
      Thanks for the tip, I'll try post a few more hands in the forums of situations I'm unsure of.

      I haven't invested in sng wizard yet (quite expensive for a micro-stakes player such as myself yet to turn a profit :P ). Do you think it's worth getting the free trial? I've just been using the ICM trainer at the moment and have been trying to do 1000 hands in that every day.

      I don't have a lot of previous experience in poker except for playing recreationally with friends and for play money online when I was younger. I've only been playing for real money online for the last month or two and have only been playing sit and go's with proper strategy for 2 or 3 weeks.

      Thanks for the help! Had another bad session today with some bad beats coming my way as usual but my $EV curve is still on the up so hopefully it's just a matter of having a bit better luck come my way soon!
    • kurrkabin
      kurrkabin
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.10.2010 Posts: 5,976
      Hi, Orion801!

      I think you are going in the right direction. I judge by your attitude and effort you put in your game. To be successful in poker, you have to make this a habit. By "this" I mean- work daily on your game, always question yourself whether you are doing the right thing, read articles, watch videos, post hands and play with wiz/icm trainer. I will be very honest with you. You probably have leaks. I think everybody does. Especially players on the micro limits. That's not something to be worried about though, improving is a never-ending progress and there are always things to get better at. How far you can go- depends on your goals/effort you are ready to put.

      When I started playing SnGs the only source of knowledge I used was this site. I watched all the videos for bronze and basic, then I read most of the articles and eventually started posting hands. I think I even watched some videos twice or trice just to double check some spots. That was good enough to beat the micros. So, I do encourage you big to keep on doing all these things and you should be able to make it work for you.

      Now to your questions- SnG Wiz is a must! I understand it's a lot for a player who plays the micros, so just use ICM trainer instead until you get a comfortable roll to buy one. Yes-try the trial. Be, however, aware that the default ranges set in wizard are not good and it's you who have to give an estimate call/push ranges for the other players. It might be a bit confusing in the beginning, thats why when you feel unsure about how to play a hand/situation- just post it in our hand evaluation forums. Our hand judges(including me) will be more than happy to help.

      You need a decent sample. It's very dependent on the type of SnG/blind's speed, but I would say play at least 1k games to get a somewhat ok sample and see whether you are winning or not. Be aware though that 1k sample is still very small and for sure not accurate enough. The more games, the better.

      Also, I saw that you posted some hands already-did you know about our weekly promo- Click?Chenny is one of our top coaches/hand judges for a long time already, so it will be a big hit if you happen to win. The more hands you post, the better chance you get.

      Cheers!


      P.S. I will look at my database and post some numbers about finishing positions- I guess you play 9-player SnGs?
    • Orion801
      Orion801
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.03.2012 Posts: 84
      Thanks for all the tips. There are a fair few videos I haven't watched that I think I'll check out. I'm also seeing noticeable improvements in my ICM knowledge now that I've been doing 1000 hands a day in ICM trainer for a while.

      Yesterday was horrendous for bad beats (AA beaten by 44, QQ beaten by JJ and similar ones on at least 10 occasions!) but my $EV line in my tournament winnings graph is still definitely on the up and I don't think there were many plays that I wasn't happy with looking back on them. Today I had my first win in a while which was encouraging!

      I play $1.20 10 man sit & go tournaments on Poker770 at the moment. Once I've got through my bonus and paid $50 rake I think I'll cash out my bankroll and move to a site with lower tournament fees though.

      I noticed the coaching promotion, looks very appealing! Has certainly encouraged me to be more active on the hand evaluation forums which has also helped me improve my game.
    • kurrkabin
      kurrkabin
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.10.2010 Posts: 5,976
      Hi again, man.

      If EV's moving up- things are going fine.

      You also asked about finish distribution and I will share my numbers with you. If anybody else wants to do it- please, go ahead.

      So, these are all 9-player SnGs on stars, both normal and turbo speed.

      Number of SnGs-4263

      First places-585-13.72%
      Second places-537-12.59%
      Third places-563-13.20$
      ITM finishes: 39.51%

      However, if anybody can come up with a bigger sample, it would be better.

      Cheers!
    • Orion801
      Orion801
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.03.2012 Posts: 84
      Thanks for the info. Yesterday went much better for me as I won 3 SnG's in a row and came 2nd in another out of only 6 or 7 entries. Hopefully this signifies the end of my downswing but unfortunately luck doesn't always work that way!

      My ITM finishes are at 30% so far so it doesn't look like I'm a million miles away from being profitable. I think I'll keep plugging away at the SnG's and hopefully, along with some help from ICM training and hand evaluations, I'll make a profit soon.
    • Orion801
      Orion801
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.03.2012 Posts: 84
      Well I was too quick to think my bad streak had come to an end and have finished out of the money for the past 13 tournaments in a row with little luck for the 20 preceding those.

      It does seem to me that I've been having rotten luck as I keep losing hands where I have the opponents hand dominated as well as encountering monsters when I make +$EV pushes (eg. pushed 33 as SB to encounter BB holding QQ along with many other similar examples).

      That said however I'm also aware that it's very easy to blame bad luck as the cause of a down swing and miss out on potential leaks and mistakes to learn from.

      I've attached a graph of my tournament winnings (or losses in this case :P ) along with HM2's luck adjusted winnings. I'm unsure of how much to trust the luck adjusted winnings as a good indicator of whether I'm running bad or not. Does anyone else have any opinions on this?

      I'm now down to 44 buy-ins for $1.20 SnG tournaments. Do you think I should move down a limit or would that be a bit premature?

      I'm keeping up with my ICM, now scoring between 94 and 95% on average over each day's 1000 hands in ICM trainer and have been keeping up with strategy articles and watching a few videos. I'm basically wondering whether I should put this down to bad luck or if I need to seriously re-evaluate my playing style. Regardless of looking at an increasing EV curve and reading that it's likely variance with my sample size I have to admit this has knocked my confidence a fair bit!

    • angalius
      angalius
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.11.2011 Posts: 388
      I`ve seen you`re pretty active in SNG hand evaluation forums lately. I`ve been around SNGs for about 3 months and I wasn`t really a good player until I started to work on my game.

      It was all inspiring to learn a lot of new things in the start and I was running good (not to say I was able to fight tilt like a boss) so it was all going really well. The problem wasn`t lack of knowlege in SNGs, it was in psychology. So I red all psychologic topic from basic to bronze (twice!) and it really helped. I was able not to tilt even after losing 10-15 games in a row, I knew when to stop and I knew how to win.

      So then I made the biggest mistake which you can make - stop working on your game. Ofcourse my confidence was high and I tought that I`m a winning player and I dont need anything to learn no more(wrong!). I started to play alot of cash games, tournaments which ended up really bad for my bankroll so I`m alsmot back where I started from. Sometimes its better to get that punch and see what are you doing wrong just to not live in illusion that youre a poker god who just runs good.

      Btw my ITM% is 43% over 813 games with total profit of -22.18$ , but I play knockout sngs on stars which covers those 22$ by a lot (In 1.50$ SNGs you get 0.27$ for every player you knockout of sng)

      I sended you a friend request so maybe we can share skype for future hand evaluation, strategy discussion, sweat sessions and much more because I think were in a very similar situations and we can really work out something together(if youre interested ofcourse)
      Thats all :f_cool:
    • circoflax
      circoflax
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.02.2010 Posts: 413
      Your graph says that you're just running bad. Don't give up, 120 sng's is nothing, i used to play that much in 2-3 hrs back in my sng days. It's sometimes hard to keep confidence in your game when running real bad, but try not to pay attn to results, focus on your decisions. Results will follow if you put in enough volume. Keep on studying the game and follow BRM.