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Long-Term Variance or Bad at Poker?

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Long-Term Variance or Bad at Poker? - Sun Mar 02, 2014, 12:17 PM
(#1)
Starwrangler's Avatar
Since: Jan 2014
Posts: 1
I'm fairly new to PSO, though I've been playing poker for a while online, usually just for fun.

But last summer, I deposited around $50 at a poker site, qualifying for a bonus of the same, released in increments. I decided to play 50/50 STT's after figuring that would be the best way to clear the bonus the fastest, but also build my bankroll.

I played slowly and over the course of about 5 months, everything was going well. With about $35 of bonus payments as well as winning, I reached a high of about $220 in my account, and all seemed well.

Until February started. For 5 weeks now, it seems like nothing has been going right. Of course I've still made the money in some tourneys, but for the most part I've fallen off a cliff. Tourney after tourney, I seem to lose far more hands than I should when I am the favorite, and rarely catch a break and win an underdog hand. Despite releasing a few more bonus payments, my bankroll has fallen to $135.

Luckily, I have been following proper bankroll management so that I've only lost that much, and not everything.

What I want to ask is: Is it really possible to experience variance for this long, or was my initial play simply 'good luck' and I'm simply not very good?

Or, could there be a third possibility, such as I'm losing too much from tourney fees, or my opponents have figured me out and I'm too predictable?

Just looking for some guidance from those with more experience about whether to ride this out, switch to a different game, change tactics, or just take the money I have and simply walk away.

Thanks for any responses

Last edited by Starwrangler; Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:18 PM.. Reason: fix typo
 
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Sun Mar 02, 2014, 12:37 PM
(#2)
Ovalman's Avatar
Since: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,778
Hi Star,
I began Pokerstars playing D2Ns which have changed into 50/fifties. I done OK out of D2Ns and it established me on Stars. I just posted on my blog about variance that supplied a great Poker Calculator .

Sample size is important as is your comfort zone and bankroll management (which I think you're addressing). Table selection is less important (and I always say this is the most important thing) as you only have to be one of the top 50% of players and not 30% or 20% in every game you select.

Tilt could be an issue as could over confidence (now under confidence). Take a break or try a different game imo.

Why not lift out your initial $50 and play with the winnings? It's a freeroll after this and by adopting sensible bankroll management you shouldn't go broke again.

Have you stats you could share?

Try posting a few hand histories or tough spots you face. Remember 50/Fifties are all about making the cash, look at the spots you exit in and think could you done any different. Is it better to fold than shove with AJo if there are other players that are shorter than you? Think about making the cash always before being chipleader in these games.


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Sun Mar 02, 2014, 01:06 PM
(#3)
spand42's Avatar
Since: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,496
People can certainly go on extended losing streaks, especially those that play MTTs, even the best players have losing months, occasionally more.

Without knowing anything about you, it is impossible to say if you are suffering from run bad, run bad leading to play bad, or you're just not a good player.

Like Ovalman says, post some of your hands on the forums, we'll definitely be able to help you out and maybe spot some ways you can improve on your end!

Also post some of your general questions on the appropriate thread and we'll be able to give you some tips!
 
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Sun Mar 02, 2014, 02:59 PM
(#4)
TrumpinJoe's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 4,557
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starwrangler View Post
What I want to ask is: Is it really possible to experience variance for this long, or was my initial play simply 'good luck' and I'm simply not very good?

Or, could there be a third possibility, such as I'm losing too much from tourney fees, or my opponents have figured me out and I'm too predictable?

Just looking for some guidance from those with more experience about whether to ride this out, switch to a different game, change tactics, or just take the money I have and simply walk away.
You don't say what buyins you're playing, but improper bankroll management is a possibility in addition to everything above. Good and bad swings can last for months, not just a few weeks.

My question is: Are you still making good decisions? It's very common when you're on a cold or hot streak (where you can begin to feel invulnerable) to change your game.

Are you playing higher or more often to make up your losses? Are you pushing thinner edges or calling too often.

If your confidence is shot, drop down a level. You might want to analyze more hands and play a little less.

Most player's bad streaks turn into poor decisions. We've all been there multiple times.

Good decisions are +EV to the bankroll!
 
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Sun Mar 02, 2014, 05:33 PM
(#5)
Fadyen's Avatar
Since: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,917
Hi Starwrangler,

Welcome to PokerSchoolOnline!

Firstly I'd like to say yes, you can experience bad variance for periods that long. But often losing streaks are a combination of bad luck, bad play, opponents good play.. various factor. And the thing you want to ask yourself is how to move forward. Of course reviewing your games and the hands you played and working on becoming better and making more correct decisions is always a wise thing to do, running bad or good. Another thing is to look at how the down swing is affecting you; are you playing worse? getting tilted? If so maybe take a break, move down stakes, do something outside of poker to lift your spirits. And sometimes you just have to grind through it. If you play well in the long run things should work out. Good luck!

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