My poker struggle / Possible winrates in poker today

    • Avatars91
      Avatars91
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 2,689
      So here's my story:

      Poker seems to have consumed my life. By no means am I an addictive losing player, but I would say, however, that I am an addictive somewhat-winning-and-aspiring-to-reach-that-very-high-winrate player. It is very stressing and a bit depressing to try and survive college (I hate it but there does not seem to be a way around it) while devoting all of the free time for studying and playing poker. I am, of course, improving, but hardly at the rate that I was dreaming about when I first started.

      Yes, indeed, I too was stunned by the idea that I could avoid working in a boring and low-paid job and do something that I like and enjoy, and feel free while doing it at the same time. So deposited $10 on Pokerstars, started playing, reading a few articles, watching a few videos without putting too much effort in the process. I played cash games but enjoyed rather moderate results. I hit some sick upswings and got somewhere around $300 playing SS. Then I went to FTP via PS.com and switched to BSS, which didn't do too well for me, hence why I switched to SNGs.

      Having played very actively for a bit less than a year and a half without much studying I had somehow (I still do not get how) amassed a 3k+ bankroll playing single and multitable SNGs at FTP without really studying the game too hard (at least compared to how I am overworking myself right now). Here is my FTP graph:


      I really did not mind such results. I also had no difficulty persuading myself that either a) I am a poker God, or b) poker is INCREDIBLY EASY. And then Black Friday came. I received the First Aid bonus from PS and went on playing on WH with a 100$ bankroll. I thought that I was so good that I started playing 10$ and 5$ SNGs since I thought that in that way I would reach my initial bankroll faster. I actually managed to get myself up to ~$180 in a matter of a few sessions. I obviously thought that I am Isildur2. Well, until I hit the below-$10-mark. That is when I realized that it would be probably be better if I studied the game a bit more, which I did but still somewhat unwillingly and unproductively, e.i., without putting too much effort in it. After a 2k sample size (although my entire focus almost 7/24 was on poker I was not able to put in higher volume / study more for the certain private reasons) my graph looked like this:


      Not quite what I was used to. You can only imagine my frustration. My dream seemed to be dead. Because I was (and still am) so addictive, I decided to analyse this situation, and came to the conclusion that whatever it was that granted me those previous 3k results is not something that is present in my current situation. I started to study a bit more and asked here in the forums whether SNGs on WH are profitable (I mean, there has to be a reason why such a poker God like me is breakeven at best?). Upon hearing that neither WH nor higher stakes SNGs are too profitable I immediately bought HEM2 and switched to SH cashgames, which is also the game I am playing right now.

      I still kept playing on WH, but decided to put a lot more emphasis on studying. Ever since that switch the effort and amount of time dedicated to studying poker has been increasing with every day. I can say exactly the opposite about my poker ego. Anyway, there were time periods where my study/play ratio would look like 80/20. I brought my laptop to the lectures in which it was allowed and read articles/posted hands on the forum while trying to hear the most important information during the lecture, if there was any. Usually there was not. After lectures I went to my doormroom and continued studying until evening when the fish appeared.

      That is actually how I spent most if not all of my free time. With one goal in mind – I have to obtain at least that $10/h winrate and eliminate all my money problems (I am currently trying to pay my bills and survive on an everyday basis while enjoying my youth and being addicted to nicotine with a monthly bankroll of $270, which, although I do not have anyone to compare to, is really not too cool). You can imagine the stress. On top of all that – there have been and still are ton of problems in my personal life, not to mention all the additional factors that stress me out. I still keep pushing myself towards that goal, and, indeed, my life for the past few months has been solely poker-oriented.

      So where is it that I currently stand?
      I finally switched back to Pokerstars 2 weeks ago to get the reload bonus and try out the seemingly better player pool. I have been playing a little bit more than I have been studying lately, and my study emphasis is more on videos now. Just to mix it up. My game is solid, I would say, since I have studied a lot, but certain questionable moves and spews are common in my play (although their frequency seems to be decreasing) because I just still cannot get my head around the idea that one is supposed to play SO ABC most of the time. Two days ago I switched to Zoom poker in order to to be able to release a bigger bonus due to higher volume. My SH cash game results have not been as great as I would like them to me:
      WH SH:

      Pokerstars SH:


      So why am I posting this all?

      I basically humbly beg you to reflect upon three things in this thread:

      1) My obsessiveness / psychology / mindset, e.i., how unhealthy is this all? How should my attitude change if it should change at all?
      2) How do you rate my goal? Is it realistic to obtain a winrate nowadays that could cover my survival costs? If the goal is ok, approximately how longer should it take for me to reach it?
      3) What are realistic winrates in poker nowadays? Say, we are talking about pokerstars and its player pool – how much can you win on average per hour on NL25, NL50, NL100, NL200, NL400?

      Rereading this right now, it actually seems rather depressive. And in all honesty it is depressing. I am even considering to quit poker altogether since it has so many negative effects on my life. It is just that I love the game (I would not play it without earning money though), and I know that I have what it takes to get to that level. It is just that I have no idea how long it will take me and whether it will be worth it in the end. I know I am ambitious but hard work pays off. It should, at least.
  • 23 replies
    • RasTweet
      RasTweet
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.12.2009 Posts: 4,553
      Hi Avatar91!

      That was a huge post! First I want to say one thing though. Can you press enter a couple times more :D It's much nicer to read then.

      Like you said your story is well rather depressing. I play/study a lot of poker as well and there a lots of ppl who do. That isn't problem but you shouldn't become to obsessed with it. You have a life outside poker as well!

      You want to make it as a pro poker player right? Well that is possible, but it takes years of studying and improving your game. I'm not sure which stakes you must play to make enough money for a living, that depends on where you live. With the BR you have right now it's going to be hard to really make enough money each month! Or you must have a God-run like you had on FT (nice graph btw!)

      My advice: study for school first! Study poker in you spare time. Get a job, play and study poker in your spare time. First poker must become like a second income imo before you start 'professionally'!

      Last bit of advice: Create a blog! :D This way we can track your progress and maybe even help you on your journey!

      Best of luck on the tables!

      RasTweet
    • JohanRember
      JohanRember
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.09.2011 Posts: 137
      Do you have any friends that you can reach this goal with? Certainly, joining up with someone else that is motived ought to help you play optimally.
    • Avatars91
      Avatars91
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 2,689
      (nice graph btw!)


      Full Tilt giveth and Full Tilt taketh away, lol.

      that depends on where you live.


      I live in Latvia. I think that I do not even have to have THAT big of an hourly winrate to survive here. Most people with jobs earn from $800–$1200 a month here.

      Last bit of advice: Create a blog! This way we can track your progress and maybe even help you on your journey!


      Do the benefits of creating a blog outweigh the loss of time needed to create/develop/maintain it? I have thought about it, but I always come to the conclusion that although it might be somewhat fun, a lot of time has to be spent – time that could be used for watching videos/reading articles/posting hands/playing.

      Do you have any friends that you can reach this goal with? Certainly, joining up with someone else that is motived ought to help you play optimally.


      Not really. But the advice seems good. Do you have such friends? If yes, how do they help you improve?


      In general, what I have understood so far is that I should slow down. I am burning myself out. I also am unproductive.

      The initial idea of pushing myself like that was to improve in a small amount of time via extreme hard work to gain a decent winrate, then slow down and just play while earning an acceptable living, and then after college start working hard again to get to the top or semi-top. I suppose it is not that easy, is it?
    • RasTweet
      RasTweet
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.12.2009 Posts: 4,553
      Hey Avatars91!

      It doesn't take that much time to make/maintain a blog. Well the first post does take a little bit more time, because you want a good/appealing first post. The posts after that don't take that much time tbh.

      I used to think the same way like you do about a blog, but it isn't a time waste imo, it's time well spend!

      But in the end it's all up to you!


      Yeah you might have to slow down. You just have to realize that there is more in life then just poker.

      RasTweet
    • Avatars91
      Avatars91
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 2,689
      it isn't a time waste imo, it's time well spend!


      What are the benefits of it?
    • RasTweet
      RasTweet
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.12.2009 Posts: 4,553
      Originally posted by Avatars91
      it isn't a time waste imo, it's time well spend!


      What are the benefits of it?
      You can keep track of your game. In my case I set goals and this time I DO try to active them. Many people read it and they can learn from you and you can learn from others since they'll be posting in your blog as well.

      And it's just fun :f_biggrin:
    • Avatars91
      Avatars91
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 2,689
      Thank you for the great advice!
      I will be more inclined to consider starting a blog in future now.

      I am, of course, still open for any advice regarding the three points I listed from other community members.
    • tolari
      tolari
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2010 Posts: 761
      Wow I can see so many similarities in your current situations to mine ~2 months ago.

      i made 2,5k$ bankroll playing FR rush on FTP then black Friday,

      then long break, then started semi stacked with 500 euro on pokerheaven on september and I was 2k euro under EV over 6 months - ~250hands and my ev winrate wasnt that great either.

      I have constantly felt bad, studied a lot, read everything that I got in my hands, analyzing every bad session, every missplay, I was basicly feeling really depressed about how this situation looked.

      I love to have results, I know and understand variance but I wasn't and probably am still not prepared for 6 months of such unfortunate events.

      But... it all goes away at some point and it is really only fluctuation on which you can do almost nothing - just embrace it and keep on going.

      But look at this this way, if you really really want to be able to make a living out off poker, bad runs is something you, well, preffer to expierience in the begining - it was the case for me.

      I wouldnt learn 20% of the stuff I did over the last 6 months if I was running good or be with ev line. I just felt this overwhelming urge to improve and beat this f******* game, more to prove it to myself then anything else.

      You need to stop giving a flunc ; ) as Tommy Angelo wrote.

      The main turning point in my case was - 2 weeks hitchhiking trip - I did it in a great moment right before implementation of zoom on P*, a break is so refreshing, preferably a break on which you dont have acces to poker.

      Also the specific of travelling by hike did marvels for my mindset (as I analyze the situation and my game approach after the trip) you really get to understand that you dont have any influence over that river or over those 10 last flips you have lost,

      you can only keep on standing on the road, waving your hand and know that someone will eventually stop. And people do stop. Its just the same in poker - good runs do come. just keep on going in the right direction ;)

      and also it made me spazz so much much less, I have immerse trust problems - this expierience thought me to trust more and give up hands I know I'am behind. I think you might be familiar with that little voice in your head telling you "what if he is bluffing? he is a reg..."

      I know it all sounds a bit cheesy but it kinda is, its a very basic truth that everyone has heard some time in their lifes but its perfect in its simplicity and accuracy, just make good decisions, f*** the cashier, what you have learned is yours and keep on going with keeping constant improvement in mind. I think its the only way.



      according to your questions, well

      1) My obsessiveness / psychology / mindset, e.i., how unhealthy is this all? How should my attitude change if it should change at all?

      - learn to trust people;
      - get enough money to put money issues out of the equation, go work to Norway or Netherlands in summer;
      - start eating healthy and do some sports if you are not doing it atm - it help so efing much!
      - I smoke to, but i will quit after finals... yeah:D D

      2) How do you rate my goal? Is it realistic to obtain a winrate nowadays that could cover my survival costs? If the goal is ok, approximately how longer should it take for me to reach it?

      yes its very realistic, but your goal itself sucks a**.

      Forget about that, how much time does it to get to stakes XX blablabla, how much money i will make per hour blablabla it doesn't matter - as long you will ponder over these thingsoutside the table as long this stuff will stay in your head while playing. It really does influence your playing style, decisions if you are constantly worried about this.

      Make yourself, dont try, just do it - stop looking to cashier at first during play, then limit it to once a day, then 1 a week, then 1 in 2 weeks etc.
      Play with conservative brm - helped me.

      your only goal as poker player should be - make the best decision in each hand - how you run, how much money you make doesn't depend on you - you shouldn't punish nor reward yourself for monetary results - just analyze decisions.

      3) What are realistic winrates in poker nowadays? Say, we are talking about pokerstars and its player pool – how much can you win on average per hour on NL25, NL50, NL100, NL200, NL400?

      no idea and to be honest I don't recommend dwelling in such stuff not much of good out of it xD

      ok to sum it all up - I wish you lots of good decisions and willpower to accomplish what you need!
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      2) Ofc 10$/hr is easily attainable but very unrewarding to live from that, extremely hard to move up etc and grinding out all month just to pay bills sucks. How long would it take you I have no idea, it's up to you rly.

      3) Talking in hourly I think you can easily achieve >10$/hr @ NL25 by just nitting it up on sh zoom.

      Not rly sure about avg hourly for every stake, avg winning NL100 reg makes ~30k/year I'd say.
    • Avatars91
      Avatars91
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 2,689
      - I smoke to, but i will quit after finals... yeah D


      Who of us won't? :D

      On the serious note, however – some really good advice from you all, especially regarding my goals. I already am taking it a bit easier than I used to, and it seems to help!

      For my defense I can only say that I might not agree that me being so focused on potential future winrates is a horrible thing if we are talking about evaluating the decision of whether or not to continue playing poker, but I do agree that it is too easy to become obsessed with that, and I will definitely look out for that in future!

      3) Talking in hourly I think you can easily achieve >10$/hr @ NL25 by just nitting it up on sh zoom.


      Surely, one has to be considerably better than average as a player to have such an hourly winrate on NL25 playing Zoom? I've read here on PS in a thread a coach saying that 4bb/100 is reachable on Zoom playing NL10–NL25, and that very good players can reach 8bb/100.

      2) Ofc 10$/hr is easily attainable but very unrewarding to live from that, extremely hard to move up etc and grinding out all month just to pay bills sucks.


      Yeah, I of course am aiming higher, but that would be an excellent start, and I could really use even such a small cash flow.
    • JohanRember
      JohanRember
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.09.2011 Posts: 137
      Originally posted by NightFrostaSS
      2) Ofc 10$/hr is easily attainable but very unrewarding to live from that, extremely hard to move up etc and grinding out all month just to pay bills sucks. How long would it take you I have no idea, it's up to you rly.

      3) Talking in hourly I think you can easily achieve >10$/hr @ NL25 by just nitting it up on sh zoom.

      Not rly sure about avg hourly for every stake, avg winning NL100 reg makes ~30k/year I'd say.
      Really? Only $30,000 a year? Ok... it's tax free so it's decent. But in all honesty I thought you'd make more at NL100. That's demotivating - I'll just stick to my job :D .
    • fuzzyfish
      fuzzyfish
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.01.2010 Posts: 862

      2) Ofc 10$/hr is easily attainable but very unrewarding to live from that, extremely hard to move up etc and grinding out all month just to pay bills sucks.


      Yeah, I of course am aiming higher, but that would be an excellent start, and I could really use even such a small cash flow.
      IMO you shouldnt ever talk about "cash flow" in poker in terms of steady income. It might happen that one month you are up 50 BI and you think you are the next big thing, then the next month you are down 30 BI and you ask people to shoot you in the head.

      Setting monetary goals is only bad for your game, as they are never accurately attainable due to variance and when you deviate from them it'll make you feel depressed and under lots of stress. Instead embrace the variance and try to play your best regardless of which way your graph is heading.

      OMG what the f did I just write, this isn't trolling at all!
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      Originally posted by JohanRember
      Originally posted by NightFrostaSS
      2) Ofc 10$/hr is easily attainable but very unrewarding to live from that, extremely hard to move up etc and grinding out all month just to pay bills sucks. How long would it take you I have no idea, it's up to you rly.

      3) Talking in hourly I think you can easily achieve >10$/hr @ NL25 by just nitting it up on sh zoom.

      Not rly sure about avg hourly for every stake, avg winning NL100 reg makes ~30k/year I'd say.
      Really? Only $30,000 a year? Ok... it's tax free so it's decent. But in all honesty I thought you'd make more at NL100. That's demotivating - I'll just stick to my job :D .
      Not tax free in every country.

      Be glad you aren't from my country where 5k/yr in a regular job is pretty okay. :f_biggrin:


      Originally posted by Avatars91
      3) Talking in hourly I think you can easily achieve >10$/hr @ NL25 by just nitting it up on sh zoom.


      Surely, one has to be considerably better than average as a player to have such an hourly winrate on NL25 playing Zoom? I've read here on PS in a thread a coach saying that 4bb/100 is reachable on Zoom playing NL10–NL25, and that very good players can reach 8bb/100.
      4bb/100 is 10$/hr + whatever you get from bonuses if you avg 1k hands hr which is standard while 4 tabling.
    • MatejM47
      MatejM47
      Black
      Joined: 21.01.2010 Posts: 1,193
      Originally posted by JohanRember
      Originally posted by NightFrostaSS
      2) Ofc 10$/hr is easily attainable but very unrewarding to live from that, extremely hard to move up etc and grinding out all month just to pay bills sucks. How long would it take you I have no idea, it's up to you rly.

      3) Talking in hourly I think you can easily achieve >10$/hr @ NL25 by just nitting it up on sh zoom.

      Not rly sure about avg hourly for every stake, avg winning NL100 reg makes ~30k/year I'd say.
      Really? Only $30,000 a year? Ok... it's tax free so it's decent. But in all honesty I thought you'd make more at NL100. That's demotivating - I'll just stick to my job :D .
      Yeah but in a job you actually have to work 180hrs per month. You also can't pick your own hours, you don't have a boss telling you what to do and you have the freedom to just pack up and go to vacation tomorrow when ever you want to with out having to beg for a week off. You can also live where ever you want. There are more benefits to being a poker pro then just financial side of it.

      The reason most nl100 regs make only 30k is because everyone's to f***ing lazy to put in the hours. If you would play 180 hrs a month at 25$/h your making 4.5k or 55k a year. And if you cant make 25$/h with rakeback playing nl100 then your probably better off getting a job.

      The games are pretty tough, even lowstakes regs are fairly solid so it probably takes more effort to beat nl100 nowadays then it took to beat nl1k 5 years back.
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      I don't think that avg regs are that lazy comparing to regular job guys because 180hrs/month for a poker player means 180hrs of serious, stressful work, while in many cases 180hrs/month in a regular job would mean a bunch of time spent on facebook etc. :f_biggrin:
    • LudiCoka
      LudiCoka
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.06.2009 Posts: 266
      Originally posted by NightFrostaSS
      I don't think that avg regs are that lazy comparing to regular job guys because 180hrs/month for a poker player means 180hrs of serious, stressful work, while in many cases 180hrs/month in a regular job would mean a bunch of time spent on facebook etc. :f_biggrin:
      That is true; poker players are slightly less lazy than "regular" people. But you surely know that average person is really damn lazy. As well as in world of poker, there are people with regular jobs that are not lazy. What I'm saying is everybody's lazy, poker career makes no big difference in that matter.
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      Originally posted by LudiCoka
      Originally posted by NightFrostaSS
      I don't think that avg regs are that lazy comparing to regular job guys because 180hrs/month for a poker player means 180hrs of serious, stressful work, while in many cases 180hrs/month in a regular job would mean a bunch of time spent on facebook etc. :f_biggrin:
      What I'm saying is everybody's lazy, poker career makes no big difference in that matter.
      Yeah, that was pretty much the point I was trying to make actually.
    • LudiCoka
      LudiCoka
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.06.2009 Posts: 266
      Originally posted by NightFrostaSS
      Originally posted by LudiCoka
      Originally posted by NightFrostaSS
      I don't think that avg regs are that lazy comparing to regular job guys because 180hrs/month for a poker player means 180hrs of serious, stressful work, while in many cases 180hrs/month in a regular job would mean a bunch of time spent on facebook etc. :f_biggrin:
      What I'm saying is everybody's lazy, poker career makes no big difference in that matter.
      Yeah, that was pretty much the point I was trying to make actually.
      I thought you were saying everybody's on the same NOT lazy level :)

      But glad we agree.
    • JohanRember
      JohanRember
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.09.2011 Posts: 137
      Originally posted by MatejM47
      Originally posted by JohanRember
      Originally posted by NightFrostaSS
      2) Ofc 10$/hr is easily attainable but very unrewarding to live from that, extremely hard to move up etc and grinding out all month just to pay bills sucks. How long would it take you I have no idea, it's up to you rly.

      3) Talking in hourly I think you can easily achieve >10$/hr @ NL25 by just nitting it up on sh zoom.

      Not rly sure about avg hourly for every stake, avg winning NL100 reg makes ~30k/year I'd say.
      Really? Only $30,000 a year? Ok... it's tax free so it's decent. But in all honesty I thought you'd make more at NL100. That's demotivating - I'll just stick to my job :D .
      Yeah but in a job you actually have to work 180hrs per month. You also can't pick your own hours, you don't have a boss telling you what to do and you have the freedom to just pack up and go to vacation tomorrow when ever you want to with out having to beg for a week off. You can also live where ever you want. There are more benefits to being a poker pro then just financial side of it.

      The reason most nl100 regs make only 30k is because everyone's to f***ing lazy to put in the hours. If you would play 180 hrs a month at 25$/h your making 4.5k or 55k a year. And if you cant make 25$/h with rakeback playing nl100 then your probably better off getting a job.

      The games are pretty tough, even lowstakes regs are fairly solid so it probably takes more effort to beat nl100 nowadays then it took to beat nl1k 5 years back.
      That makes a lot of sense. Plus, finding the motivation to play 8 hours a day might be very difficult without a boss and with good financials backing you up. Especially during the summer when you can spend time on the beach.

      Thanks for clearing that up!
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