Week 1 has come and gone. Some of you may be saying, "LOL at another lame poker graph." But poker's been going well so far. I took the first 5 days off to go see the in-laws. I lost a bunch of big pots at 2/4-3/6 (the downswing) but am churning away and improving at 1/2 Rush. Not losing money is the new winning. Is that Mrs. Fly saying "that's loser talk!"?
Recently the topic of variance came up in the forums because one of the regulars was basically breakeven over 200K hands and complaining about his "bad luck." And NO! This is a real "regular." It is not me!!! Above is a graph of your possible winnings over 200K hands for a 3ptbb win rate. As you can see, the simulator results are all over the place. So you can be a very good reg and be flat over 200K hands, or you can win at an absurd 6+ptbb.
The million dollar question is... when you are breakeven for 200K hands, what does that mean? While you can point to "bad luck" and that you are in the bottom 5-10% of observations, I think the more prudent course of action is to assume your TRUE WIN RATE IS ZERO! This is because mathematically, your current sample is the best estimator of your "true" win rate. In fact, the odds that you are actually a 3ptbb winner and running at zero is the same as if you were a 3ptbb LOSER and running at zero. That is, the data could be telling you that you could be a 3ptbb loser. Of course, no formerly winning player is ever going to admit that they may be a 3ptbb loser. But the facts are the facts.
So if you plan on playing poker seriously, you have to put ego aside and be objective about what the data is telling you. As you can see from some of my posts earlier this year, I too attributed bad luck to some of my early struggles. To be fair, part of it was learning a slightly different game (6max - regular and rush). But as time went on, it slowly dawned on me that a big portion of it was not luck - it was just a bunch of leaks that got magnified the more I played 6max. It all starts with honesty - I guess that's why all Alcoholics Anonymous plans start with admitting you have a problem. So I hear.