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Variance / standard deviation (please read, very interesting)  +12   
OK - I wrote a little on this in one of the rigged threads, but since most people (*cough* rigtards *cough*) probably aren't reading a thread to the end anyway, I'm guessing it will largely be missed.

What a lot of people don't understand is just how severe variance can be.

As I can't make a direct link to this thread (it's from the PKR forums) I'll just credit its writer here first:

LockeLamora - PKR forums (great player, live & online)

Here's what he wrote:


Posted: Sun, 21 Nov 2010 17:50
How bad can poker variance get?

Before you blame the RNG, the donkey who called you, or the fact that you were not wearing your lucky underpants stop and take a deep breath. Read Jabba's article then come back for a further eye opener. People just don't get how extreme mathematical variance in poker can be. If you want still be playing poker in ten years, and not dead from a stress induced heart attack, or in prison for manslaughter after throwing your monitor out the window and accidentally killing some one, then it is time for some home truths. Even the best poker players on the planet get bad beats. They get them day in and day out, sometimes all day long, all week long and and all month long. The difference is that they shrug most of it off as what it is, standard.

Tournament grinding is all about playing volume and hoping for one big bink amongst a see of bad beats. Cash game players have it a little easier but even they can suffer horrendous downswings. First of all if you are not the worlds greatest player then strive to be. Don't use bad beats as an excuse for not looking at the holes in your own game and the errors you gloss over. Good players and bad players both get bad beats, the difference is that a good player is winning more from better play in the long run. Once you have improved and are satisfied that you really are as good as you think you are have a look at the examples I have generated below and truly begin to breath in just how s%&$y variance truly is.

The hand sample below is based on the following concepts. The average I am using is based upon a person playing 2,000 cash game hands a day for 5 days a week over 46 weeks of a year for a period of ten years. Clearly a good pro can play a lot more but a decent part time reg will play less. This gives a sample size of 4,600,000 hands of poker for our example.

If we take 100 poker players with a win rate of 2 big blinds per 100 hands over this sample size using a fairly typical standard deviation of 80 big blinds per 100 you get the following data over one set of simulated runs:

The luckiest player in the sample wins about 130,000 big blinds over the 10 years of play.
The unluckiest player in the sample wins just 38,000 big blinds over the 10 years of play.
The average for the 100 players is about 90,000 big blinds over the ten years of play.

Increase the number of players or keep running the same model and you can find even more extreme highs and lows. My favourite stat is that one player in this sample suffered the worst downswing of 15,000 big blinds. Imagine your worst ever run then imagine a 15,000 big blind down swing!

This of course assumes a consistent winning player is the subject. Take a break even player or a losing player and numbers quickly get extremely ugly.

Let us reduce the sample size to a shorter term 100,000 hands and drop the win rate to -1 big blinds per 100 hands keeping the standard deviation at 80 bb per 100. Over a sample of 100 players I got the following data back on a simulation.

The luckiest player won 4,200 big blinds over this period.
The unluckiest player lost nearly 6,000 big blinds over this period.
The expected average would be a loss of 1,000 big blinds over this period.


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Unfortunately the rigtards will either choose not to read this. Read it and choose not to understand it. Read it, try to understand - but completely fail to comprehend it.

But to all of you I know who are thinking players - I know you will all read this and if you haven't pondered standard deviation before; you gonna start thinking about luck in a whole other way now !

Edited by jessthehuman (27 April 2011 @ 02:27 GMT)


     
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interesting stuff Thumbs Up

     
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it's pretty intimidating.

10years worth of solid play, ONLY 100 people included in this sample and the difference in 'luck' for the luckiest of the 100 and the unluckiest is 130,000bb vs 38,000bb. For the exact same skill level Thats nuts.

If that was nl100 (fairly low level for a reg grinder who's winning) - that's $130,000 vs $38,000 Shock

------------
WIKI on standard deviation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_deviation

WIKI on standard deviation in Gaming mathematics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaming_mathematics#Standar...

     
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yea just had a look at that wiki stuff and came right back out lol all the math stuff is way over my head lol but it is crazy the difference between the lucky and unlucky very interesting.

lol btw i like how your always putting in the work to beat down the rigtards Big Smile Thumbs Up

     
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Posted by Flippedchips:
lol btw i like how your always putting in the work to beat down the rigtards Big Smile Thumbs Up



lol I try man, I try.

     
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"as the number of rounds increases, the espected loss increases at a much faster rate. That is
why it is impossible for a gambler to win in the long term (if theydon't have an edge). It is the high ratio of short-term standard deviation to expected loss that fools gamblers into thinking they can win"...add to this the rake and the Black Swan Theory. Good thing I just like playin, doing this for a living must be very stressful.
As far as the Black Swan Theory, I understand this from my studies of old world traditions. Know as a POOKA in the ancient Celtic worldview. The characteristics of the Pooka and Black Swan are the same. Seemly rapid, random moving events that tend to confuse and/ or disorientate do not cause true harm. Instead the event(s) lead to a better understanding. Here's the catch...provided one has the capacity to actually learn from the event(s) however unpleasant.
I like this one "luck is when preparation meets oppertunity".
I learned about SD quite awhile back. That is why I pay close attention to how the boards are playing relative to my folded hands. One thing I learned from a buddy who plays alot, he told me if I don't learn
anything else to always remember the game is cyclic. Pay attention to when I'm out of sync with the boards and wait until the cycle comes round again. That little piece of advice has gotten me into more cash zones. I may not win it,at least I haven't waisted all that time.
In cash games knowing SD taught me to limit my orbits, variance, and create and use stop loss limits.
It is in fact a useful tool, I have a book that fully explains SD relative to holdem. It's a wonder anyone wins anything at all. I think SD is the biggest reason it's difficult to be consistant,for the informed,it constantly reminds us to revise and improvise.

Edited by rbdflyboy (27 April 2011 @ 05:10 GMT)


     
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Awesome thread Jess! I was going to say thanks for saving me the time of having to visit the links in my other thread, but you posted two more links you a**hole! Joking! Big Smile Very,very interesting thread. Way above the head of the average "rigtard" though.

     
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Thats a very interesting read. thanks for sharing. I assume this is very close to real facts but i never could imagine that luck can make such a huge difference in poker. Of course you can't deny that poker has a certain part of luck involved but it seems it makes a way bigger difference in time than we all imagined. Still, i personally think that you apply a strictly bankroll management you can massively reduce the effects of bad luck on your play. I mean if you ever have at least 20 - 25 buy ins for a certain limit and on a session you only allow to lose 1,5 or 2 buy ins i'm sure on this example you would still be close to $100.000 even with the worst bad luck possible.
After this post i must admit once again that the best strategy and rule in poker is bankroll management.

     
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Standard Deviation my head is on fire have not heard that since A lvel Maths lol which i never finished lol. Will need to look into this a bit more as i never fully understood it. but want to.

     
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Unfortunately the rigtards will either choose not to read this. Read it and choose not to understand it. Read it, try to understand - but completely fail to comprehend it.


Thats really interesting. I am facing extreme ups and downs in my tourney play at the moment. So this article hits the bulleye for me. Well, at least I will _try_ to cromprehend it. For being called dumb, I just realized that it was dumb to be too fast on the trigger, with one of my earlier replies in another thread, without thinking a bit longer about it and I regret that.
Maybe it helps to handle losses from a cooler point of view to learn more about this.

     
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VERY nice thread, as per usual Jess. Blink

I posted a thread once on Holdem Statistical probabilities considering all possible card combinations, and the results were staggering, to say the least.

At a 10-man table, the various possibilities actually start to approach the possible combinations in Chess. Still somewhat less, of course, but still staggering numbers.
That´s why the win/loss stats on particular holdings (like AA) are always "rough approximations" of the actual percentages, and you will see many such statistical tables vary somewhat in the numbers they mention.
I´ve read articles on university computers running billions of possible combinations of holdings and results, to try and get as close as possible to the correct numbers for these stats.
Billions!!

That pretty much explains the HUGE varience players can experience from one lifetime to another.
We cannot possibly play enough hands in a lifetime to actually approach the same degree of luck (varience in this case) from one person to the next.

Excellent post !

way too many sentences for the *cough* rigtards *cough* though, like you said... lol

Edited by IslandJack (27 April 2011 @ 11:09 GMT)


     
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Something I was aware of, the info in this thread. Mind you, I of course didn't realize a lot of it. Nice posting here Jess, very nice. Hopefully some of the rookies will read this and think about what you are trying to get across here. It does help me understand a few more things in my play. In the average tourney, I might win my BB maybe 3-4 times in 4-5 hours of playing. Not a lot of BB winning, but it is the facts. Same goes for the SB, but will win more with the button in different spots.
Like I have always said, you have to pay attention to the position of the button. I have always played the button according to when I get great cards, and they hit. Button position is most important in online poker as well as live games. But online poker is just a little different than live games.
Thanks a whole lot for this very intersting read, I am 1 of those who reads the entire thread not just a few sentences. Trying to build a BR from nothing can be very frustrating, this gives a lil more info to think about today.........

     
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Posted by Doberhain:

Unfortunately the rigtards will either choose not to read this. Read it and choose not to understand it. Read it, try to understand - but completely fail to comprehend it.


Thats really interesting. I am facing extreme ups and downs in my tourney play at the moment. So this article hits the bulleye for me. Well, at least I will _try_ to cromprehend it. For being called dumb, I just realized that it was dumb to be too fast on the trigger, with one of my earlier replies in another thread, without thinking a bit longer about it and I regret that.
Maybe it helps to handle losses from a cooler point of view to learn more about this.


Thumbs Up Smile

I'm glad to hear this

     
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Im not reading all that, but know its worth of a Thumbs Up Worship
jessthehuman putting rigtards in thier place since Apr '09

Without reading...heres the cliff.
1. Variance is a bitch
2. STFU rigtards.

     
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Posted by B1gfoot:
Im not reading all that, but know its worth of a Thumbs Up Worship
jessthehuman putting rigtards in thier place since Apr '09

Without reading...heres the cliff.
1. Variance is a bitch
2. STFU rigtards.


As always b1gfoot. You're correct in all things there. I did highlight some stuff in bold also for those who would prefer to skim it.

     
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Great thread, the poster did an awesome job in summing up SD and variance without getting to technical.

Hey Jess do you know off hand how many standard deviations the big winner and loser were? That would be fun to know.

Seeing such a large sample size does put it in perspective.

     
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Great thread Jess, i hope this will stop the wining threads about 'online
poker is rigged' and 'look how unlucky i am, bad beat' etc, etc, etc.
Now i hope they can read and put it in perspective Cool
Good players rarely complain!

     
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erm................... not a chance me reading all that just having a quick scan of all the threads,


but i pretend i read it alll............
yes jess that was very good i totally agree with what you wrote thumbs up for ya Smile Big Smile

     
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Good article Jess, thank you for posting it for us to read. Even the best players go through rough times where the cards turn against them for extended periods of time.

I posted a link to this blog on my blog a couple of days ago, so here it goes again: http://robeebee.blogspot.com/
I played against this guy years ago at NL400 and NL600 and he was already very tough, I can only imagine now. Anyways, this guy makes a sh*tload of money every month, but if you read the entries over the years, sometimes things just don’t work out. That’s the game.

     
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Hey, I actually read it all more than once!
Great read, I got a thing about variance articles and tend to absorb as much stuff as I can.
After all, a player that fully understands variance has the best possible approach to poker...

may the variance gods be nice to u
+1

     
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