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Downswing Chances

ds2uaredds2uared Posts: 464Subscriber
edited October 2019 in Poker Goals and Challenges
Hypothetical for everyone:

You're a CLP sub who studies and is relatively stable in bankroll and emotional control at the table.
What are the chances of having a 540 hour negative run at a soft $2/$5 game with a $5 rake and $2 jackpot drop?

This is not me nor anyone I know. It is a hypothetical for both a goal and a staking opportunity.

@Garland, @cyclev, @superfly, @latvianmissle, @hustlin


  • CycleVCycleV Posts: 1,196Subscriber
    Well there's the math answer and there's the live poker answer.

    Math guys/online pros will talk about how 540 hours at 25 hands an hour (assuming breaks, etc.) is just over 10K hands, which isn't even a Sunday for some online guys. So ofc it's easy to happen...mathematically speaking.

    But 540 hours in a year is 10 hours a week. That's more or less where I'm at. And I can tell you psychologically I'd find it extremely difficult to lose money over that time frame and keep going. I (mostly) quit PLO after a runbad streak of about 40 hours, which at about 20-22 hands an hour, ain't nothing, mathematically speaking. I'm down a few grand but flip 3-4 pots and I'm break even, that's how close it is...and even as a semi-seasoned rec I decided the variance was too much for me.

    So after probably 100-200 hours tops, someone is either going to drop down to a lower stake, or they will keep playing the same stake but likely not on their A game, or they are going to lower their volume (and likely off the felt work along with it).

    Very very few of us are hardwired to be able to take this kind of beating and keep plugging along, assuming playing winning poker is our goal. We see recs put in volume and lose money all the time (thank god!), but they know on some level that they have other goals than we do.

    So I'd say that if even winning players like us have lots of leaks to work on, a consistent loser (and depending on how many BB/hr we're talking about, that's what this guy would qualify as in my book) has way more.

    None of this means that the person should quit poker, or even drop down a level. If their finances are secure, and they genuinely enjoy the grind of trying to improve, then they could keep at it. But we must then also acknowledge that their main goal isn't actually maximizing their hourly, at least not for the near-term. And as a stable owner, you should want your horses to improve, but they'd better be making you both some money as it happens. Some of us may be only breaking even right now, but we enjoy our hobby, and we do have a goal of increasing our $$ expectation.

    There's another factor, in that if they are doing 10hrs/week for a year to get to 540 hours, and they are actively working to improve their game, well their game by December should be a lot different than it was back in January. In which case, extrapolating future results from past data is somewhat meaningless.

    Finally, I know you said it's hypothetical, but there are so many questions I would have about someone before I staked them, that I can't imagine it ever happening.
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