Tuesday, June 15, 2004

You just don’t play well enough

YTD: +$18804.12...and moving...

Of all the crazy things that crazy people talk about online, the conspiracy theories about poker sites are right there on top of the kookaburra tree. There is the "action flop" theory, where the site deliberately generates flops that hit everyone, with the river, of course, being the coup de grace for the best hand. Even more bizarre is the "cashout curse" where winning players suddenly turn into walking bad beat stories simply because they took money out of the site. Here's my view:

"An excellent book, now out of print, was written by a poker playing social anthropologist, focusing on poker players as a group. He estimated, and I've seen no evidence to the contrary, that probably 80%, if not more, of poker players are losing players over their gambling lifetime. EIGHTY PERCENT. I used to find it pleasing, in those halcyon days when I still played live, to look around my table and realise that at best there was probably only one other winning player there.

That's it in a nutshell. Nearly everyone loses. The majority of posters on The Hendon Mob are LOSING players. What makes them losing players? It’s simple...they don’t play well enough, or the rake kills them, or variance wipes them out before they get a chance at the long term.

Incredibly, the Internet is the BEST place for most players, as the rake there is so comparatively small. This is almost certainly true for tourney specialists and NL cash game people. For Brits, the rake of limit vs. NL/PL doesn’t necessarily compare well from online to bricks and mortar, but bad or mediocre players suffer more in big bet cash games so moving to limit may be better anyway.

So why do so many people think they are winners live but tumble to an online conspiracy? More than likely they don't keep good records live and they haven’t been through the long term yet. What do I mean by good records? Every session, every tourney all detailed and analysed. Graphs. Profit and loss, the works. What do I mean by the long term? I've got good records for 8 years, and I am not sure I'm in the long term yet.

Yesterday I sat down in the 15-30 game on Party and played pretty well and had a lot of good hands. In an hour I had lost 60BB. Today I got up and played again and was perfectly happy and made a tidy, but not quite so tidy, profit. It never crossed my mind that the international-industrial-war machine conspiracy had taken my money. Losing happens. Get over it."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The 80% figure is quite comforting I suppose, but it depends on how you look at it -I'd rather hear that 80% of all poker players were winners. The key is though top 20% should be makeable by most who are willing to put the effort in.

I noticed you mentioned the rake..... No doubt we have diametrically opposing views on the subject. It is apparent that you keep very accurate results, do you keep time played as well ? One record that would be very interesting to me, would be a figure along side your profits for the year - the estimated rake you've paid. It is still a subject that I feel is ignored for many reasons` - no doubt this would be an excellent way of rasing awareness of the subject - I've just got to convince you to agree with me !