When not to move up?

• Black
Joined: 02.11.2008
...When you reach the BRM required BR at the top of an upswing.

Well, actually this is a question rather than a statement. Here's the thinking:

Let's say you play SSS, FR, NL25. You read your BRM articles and know that you can move up to NL50 with 30 BI, i.e. \$300. You're current BR is 240\$ and you are running at about 2.5BB/100 hands after, say, 15,000 hands. So far, so good.

Then you play a real heater of a session. Over the course of a couple of days, you win 12BI (\$60, or 240BB) in around 3,000 hands. So your winrate for these two days is: 8BB/100 hands (for an overall winrate of about 3.3BB/100). Your BR stands at 300\$ and you're ready to move up. Or are you?

Should you assume that you are very likely to suffer a downswing to compensate the upswing that would bring your winrate back down to 2.5BB/100? If so, it seems sensible to stay at NL25 rather than move up immediately. If you move up immediately, the cost of the downswing is much greater (in \$) than if you stay put.

So I guess my question is this: is it ok to move up as soon as you have the BR or should you only move up once you have achieved the BR with what is a realistic winrate for the previous limit?
Another way to put this is to ask about the thinking behind the 30BI BR requirement for SSS advised on this site. Presumably it's set at a level where it's intended to be pretty unlikely that you'll have to move down a level? If so, there must be some mathematical model which shows that a downswing of more than x BI is statistically improbable enough to justify a given minimum BR. And if that's the case, does it make any difference if you move up a level at the top of an upswing?

currently playing NL50 on Titan (and wondering when it's safe to move up)
• 9 replies
• Bronze
Joined: 08.11.2008
Hello!

A downswing/upswing is a matter of past, not presence or future. Maybe you will run hot for the next 10k hands or maybe you'll start losing. Who knows. Every hand you play is completely random. You can't predict if you will win or lose it before you play it. That's why you should move up a limit when you have the required BR. As for the variance and winrate, you can only measure it in a very big sample, let's say 30k or even 50k-100k hands. You shouldn't worry about it too much, you'll have a lot of swings until you reach 100k hands and it isn't neccessary that you will "hit a downswing", you might just play breakeven for some time and your winrate will slowly decrease. You also have to take into consideration that by climbing the limits the skill of oponnents increases as well so you can expect to have a smaller edge and therefore a smaller winrate. However as you move up the rake/100 hands usually slightly decreases as well so it won't be that bad. Table selection is the way to go!

Oh and move up a limit after you've beaten the previous limit and feel comfortable playing the new limit. Don't have scared money!

Regards,

Primzi
• Bronze
Joined: 12.08.2008
Imo 30BI for a limit you've never played on is kinda low. I'll play NL25 until my BR reaches 500\$ that's 50BI, then i'll switch to NL50. And i've beaten NL50 before, but i want to be sure that i won't play with scared money. When variance hits then it's tilt mode when you see all those \$ flushed from your account. So it's better to have a soft cushion.

Try playing few tables of your comfortable limit and open two tables of hihger limit and try to play. If you'll feel comfortable step up a limit but also set yourself a conservative stop loss limit, let's say if you loose 10 BI you just step down at your old limit. That's the safest way to do it.
• Bronze
Joined: 02.01.2009
For myself its a matter of confidence level, hand sample size, and my risk of ruin.

confidence level: am I confident I can play in the next limit with little to no adjustments?

hand sample size: Have I playeds 5-10k hands at the limit previous to the one i'm wanting to move to? ( am I profitable enough to warrent moving up?)

risk of ruin: Am I prone to tilting? Do I find it easy/difficult to use stoplosses to control amount lost?

finally if i'm using SSS

strategy: Is it worth my while continuing with SSS at the next stake are while there be too many competant players who understand SSS make BSS more profitable?
• Black
Joined: 14.10.2008
I depends on your mindset. If you are scared, stay where you are. If you are anxious to improve and crush the higher limits (and you don't need to cash out, you are not playing with scared money), move up. You can always move back down when things don't work out.
As Primzi said, the fact that you got your BR due to upswing doesn't mean anything. Cards do not have memory. It's your skill level that matters.
• Bronze
Joined: 26.10.2008
Originally posted by Tim64

Should you assume that you are very likely to suffer a downswing to compensate the upswing
This should not be assumed. As primzi was saying, whether you had an upswing/downswing is irrelevant to right now. The math is the same, you could have another upswing, you can look at a large upswing as a much of little upswings, all the way down to each hand, you can suckout, get a bad beat, or win the hand when you're head, etc. What happened the last hand, does not change at all the chance of it happening the next time.

For me however, I tend to have a "downswing" after an upswing, but thats because i get more confident and I no longer play my A game because i'm overconfident. But that has nothign to do with the cards .
• Bronze
Joined: 19.03.2009
For me however, I tend to have a "downswing" after an upswing, but thats because i get more confident and I no longer play my A game because i'm overconfident. But that has nothign to do with the cards .
But that's a good point though on whether to switch to higher limits in upswing period. I think it's in human nature to make more mistakes when you feel your mastering everything and the same mistakes that might not be troubling on one limit, could mean problems on higher limits with better players. Of course, if you're up to it, there is no problem, but I think it's -EV to run in higher limits all high on your upswing winnings, while your play might not be as good as before upswing.

However, I tend not to worry about that. I always play tighter at first when moving to higher levels just to get used to bigger amounts of money. And because the same variance measured in BBs can mean 1x more in \$ in give myself some buffer with 20 or 30 BBs more than BRM requires and I look at that money as "learning investment" - I consider it as a collateral damage of moving to higher limits and don't mind losing it. With that buffer I don't play with scared money and feel much more comfortable.
• Bronze
Joined: 08.11.2008
Originally posted by Berkstajger
I always play tighter at first when moving to higher levels just to get used to bigger amounts of money.
fix that, that's scared money, it's -EV because you miss many +EV spots
• Bronze
Joined: 19.03.2009
"At first" means like first 50 hands until I get used to the amounts. In the time of the next 10.000 or something hands I then play on that limit I think it's not worth bothering over about. It's just the "adjustment buffer" I give to myself.

And it's not like I wouldn't raise with appropriate hands, I just don't cap a set, but merely raise/call it, for instance.

EDIT: yes, I'm aware that a perfect player wouldn't mind money at all and just keep track of success in BBs, but I'm merely an everyday human being and bigger sums can affect me in first. For now it worked ok, but I'll try to improve on this area also when I gain more experience and knowledge.
• Black
Joined: 02.11.2008
Thanks for all the thoughtful responses to my OP. The following seems to be agreed:

You can't 'predict' a downswing or an upswing, so your decision to move up should only be based on two things: