Thanks for the response,

@DrStrange, there's a lot to digest there.

Overall, the idea that I'm playing badly (or at least non-optimally) is exactly why I started this thread. I would expect to have occasional losing sessions in a wild game like this, but seven in a row? That shouts to me that I'm either getting unlucky, not playing/adjusting well, or both.

That said, I do want to comment on a few specific things you said. Sorry, novella coming!

Win rates in big bet games often are much higher than variance. My win rate was something like 15bb to 20bb per hour, and I wasn't the best player in the game most nights. The standard deviation was 17bb per hour.

No doubt each of our games will be a little different. Even so, the math remains similar. Any given hour, the variance and win rates are similar in size. But the win rate scales ratablly, you get an average of 15bb per hour for each hour played. But the standard deviation scales with square root of the number of hands played / hours played.

Most online sources talk about bb/100, so for the sake of argument let's say your games averaged 30 hands/hr. That puts your stated winrate at 50-67bb/100 and your SD at 57bb/100.

I've tried to do some research today and get an idea for "typical" SD in live NLHE. It obviously varies based on a

**lot** of factors, but the numbers I've found consistently seem to be in the 50-150bb/100 range.

Unfortunately, I haven't been keeping detailed stats on this game - I plan to change that in 2023. But I can approximate:

- I've played 115 hours of NLHE cash play with this group since April. The game moves slowly (20-25 hands/hr), so let's call it approximately 2500 hands.
- April-September, I was winning or breaking even consistently, and by the end of this period, I was ahead of the game in the low 4 figures, up about $1500.
- October-December, I've booked seven consecutive losing sessions for an approximate total loss of $1800.
- Based on these approximations, I've got an observed winrate of -24bb/100 since I started playing with this group.

Play a hundred hours, win an expected (100 X 15bb) = 1,500bb. Play a hundred hours and the standard deviation is SQR(100) X 17bb = 170bb. You will note that the 1,500bb win rate is much larger than the 170bb variance. The chance of a solid winning player who should be winning 1,500bb over a hundred hours actually losing is essentially zero - it is more than eight standard deviations from the expected value.

I think the math you give here is good for your specific winrate and SD. But I don't feel that it generalizes well to my situation, so I'm going to try to math it out.

Using the estimates above (and this

SD calculator), I think my SD in this game so far is about

**230bb/100**. Yikes.

Let's say I believe I should be absolutely

*crushing* this game for 60bb/100 and call that my winrate. I plugged this into the

Poker Variance Calculator along with my other estimates (-24bb/100, 2500 hands, SD 230bb/100), and here's what I got:

Winrate 60bb/100, observed winrate -24bb/100, SD 230bb/100, 2500 hands | |
---|

95% confidence interval | [-800 BB, 3800 BB]
[-32.00 BB/100, 152.00 BB/100] |

Probability of loss after 2500 hands | 9.6058% |

Probability of running below observed win rate (-24.00 BB/100) over 2500 hands with a true win rate of 60.00 BB/100 (»?«) | 3.3919% |

My losses of 600bb fall within the lower bound of the 95% confidence interval (-800bb), and there's a 3.4% chance that my true winrate is 60bb/100, and I'm just running really, REALLY badly.

I'm not sure I buy it. So let's try again, but this time with a more conservative "true" winrate of 30bb/100:

Winrate 30bb/100, observed winrate -24bb/100, SD 230bb/100, 2500 hands | |
---|

95% confidence interval | [-1550 BB, 3050 BB]
[-62.00 BB/100, 122.00 BB/100] |

Probability of loss after 2500 hands (»?«) | 25.7144% |

Probability of running below observed win rate (-24.00 BB/100) over 2500 hands with a true win rate of 30.00 BB/100 (»?«) | 12.0215% |

Still well within the 95% confidence interval, and this time there's a 12.0% chance that I could be a 30bb/100 winner in the game and still end up with these results over 2500 hands.

I'm not saying that my true winrate in this game is 30, 60, or anything else. I honestly don't know. But at least it's mathematically reasonable that I'm a winning player who is on a bad downswing.

This isn't bad luck. This isn't run bad.

Well... I'm still not convinced.

I have not always played my best in this game. Sometimes I've played really badly, and I've lost money that I shouldn't have. There are definitely adjustments that I can (and will) make to fix that.

But I'm also confident that I'm running substantially below EV over the past 50ish hours of play. I've lost a lot of large pots in the last few sessions where I got stacks in as a 65-95% favorite. (Yes, I got stacks in on the flop once recently as a 95% favorite and lost to runner-runner perfect.)

I know I sound like every other bad player who is trying to justify his losses, but I genuinely don't believe I'm a long-term losing player in this game.

PS By the way - if the weak players are willing stack off with hands worse than TP/TK Hero should accommodate them. Waiting for the near nuts leaves a lot of value on the table. Variance is higher but so is the win rate.

Yeah, overfolding and not betting thinly enough are a couple leaks of mine in this game.

Against certain players, it's almost always a mistake to fold TPGK. And some are never folding any piece of the flop - I should be getting three streets a lot more against these players rather than checking behind TP-type hands.