Home / Community / Forum / Support Area / Support Center /

Showdown Tracking

Thumbs down
Showdown Tracking - Sat Mar 29, 2014, 09:04 PM
Dodgey34's Avatar
Since: Dec 2012
Posts: 3

I have always figured that PokerStars shuffle program or whatever surely has to be accurate and fair game due to the number of people using it and probability that someone has checked it out properly. Surely.

When I started playing I felt that after getting to showdowns pre-river I was losing more than I mathematically should. Figuring that I was giving myself too much credit and was probably inaccurate in my beliefs I started tracking my real money showdowns and how they were turning out. I set up a tracking system that categorized the likelihood of me winning from the showdown into 5% increments and tabled whether or not they were won so I could see the % which were actually being won and lost.

To my surprise, it turned out that mathematically I was way under the odds- to the point where it seems suspicious.

For example, when I have been all-in in a tournament, my results are as follows:

% Should have won % actually won Sample size
95.01-99.99% 80.00% 30
90.01-95.00% 70.59% 34
85.01-89.99% 72.00% 50
80.01-85.00% 72.58% 62
75.01-80.00% 64.71% 51
70.01-75.00% 66.13% 62
65.01-70.00% 70.91% 55
60.01-65.00% 56.82% 44
55.01-60.00% 43.75% 64
50.01-55.00% 51.85% 54
45.01-50.00% 46.94% 49
40.01-45.00% 40.82% 49
35.01-40.00% 34.48% 29
30.01-35.00% 26.53% 49
25.01-30.00% 28.26% 46
20.01-25.00% 25.93% 27
15.01-20.00% 10.71% 56
10.01-15.00% 34.48% 29
5.01-10.00% 0.00% 19
0.01-5.00% 0.00% 2

This is obviously only a very small sample of the statistics taken given it only includes instances when I've been all-in in a tournament situation pre-river. It does however indicate the issue I'm having.

20 categories:
Above % expected: 3
65.01-70.00% + 0.91%
20.01-25.00% + 0.93%
10.01-15.00% + 19.48%
Within % Expected: 4
50.01-55.00% 51.85% (just below perfect)
45.01-50.00% 46.94% (just below perfect)
40.01-45.00% 40.82% (bottom wall)
25.01-30.00% 28.86% (perfect)
Below % Expected: 13
95.01-99.99% -15.01%
90.01-95.00% -19.42%
85.01-90.00% -13.01%
80.01-85.00% -7.43%
75.01-80.00% -11.3%
70.01-75.00% -3.88%
60.01-65.00% -3.19%
55.01-60.00% -11.26%
35.01-40.00% -0.53%
30.01-35.00% -3.48%
15.01-20.00% -4.30%
5.01-10.00% -5.01%
0.01-5.00% -0.01%

The above % expected categories are all insignificant except for the 10-15% where astonishingly I win 35% of the time. Now though, is when I mention a statistic which I have not included in this particular post: size of the pot. I will let you guess whether the majority of those (10-15%) have been for more or less than 10 BB. Then I will allow you make the same approximation with regard to the pots above the 80% range. Hint: they are opposite in size as a general rule. That is a topic for another day though.

While not all of the categories are under the expected % by significant amounts, the more important ones are. And the proportion of categories which are under also makes the statistic/s significant.

I'm sure people can understand that with further statistics to the ones which have been presented here, it makes me question PokerStars. I personally love poker, but how am I supposed to improve my game and develop my play when the odds don't play out as they are supposed to? It makes it very hard to play after having actually taken down the numbers for a long period of time and have them look the way they do.

Does anybody have any thoughts or rebuttals?
Sat Mar 29, 2014, 09:30 PM
JWK24's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 24,802
The first thing that I notice are the sample sizes. These numbers are very, very small. I don't even count 15-20k hands as a representative sample. I do however, know people with over a million hands and go figure... the numbers go right to the expected values.

In the short term anything can happen. In the long term, they'll go right to the averages.

The security of the games is something that PS takes very seriously. Here is a link to their page about the RNG, where it was tested and approved by an outside source.

Good luck at the tables.

John (JWK24)


6 Time Bracelet Winner

Sun Mar 30, 2014, 07:24 AM
Dodgey34's Avatar
Since: Dec 2012
Posts: 3
I understand the sample sizes are small, but that's because the sample situation is very small, as was made clear. The total hands played is obviously much larger. It takes a lot of time to build up numbers of all-in showdowns. You would need to play 10's of thousands of tournaments to have 10's of thousands of numbers in the sample which I displayed earlier. This is a sample taken from approximately 436 (I didn't include situation where I was all-in at 100% or 0%) tournaments. Not that it is overly relevant in terms of mathematics, they were mainly deepstack/regular tournaments, as I only play these due to the skill level required being higher than that in turbo tournaments.

Over 436 tournaments I'm sure it is reasonable to think that one would be above the line just as much as below the line and not have the numbers which are shown here, no? It is difficult to justify trying to improve my game through plowing money into a site whereby I'm getting pummeled mathematically...
Sun Mar 30, 2014, 08:03 AM
royalraise85's Avatar
Since: Jul 2011
Posts: 26,020
(Community Coordinator)
Originally Posted by Dodgey34 View Post
It is difficult to justify trying to improve my game through plowing money into a site whereby I'm getting pummeled mathematically...
Hi there,

There's nothing wrong with the software but if this is how you feel then you seriously need to consider stopping playing poker in my opinion. Your head is not in the right place and you are more focused on the bad beats then you are at making good decisions at the tables.

There has been numerous RNG posts in these forums down through the years and none of them have been found to have any merit. But the best advice is the simple advice, if you don't feel comfortable playing somewhere then simply stop playing there



Bracelet Winner

Sun Mar 30, 2014, 10:49 AM
Grade b's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,604
Originally Posted by Dodgey34 View Post

Does anybody have any thoughts or rebuttals?

I have a thought,

You say you feel you should stop learning on a site where you are getting mathematically beat yet mathematically you do not have the sample size to be able to say this.

you can test this your self. you need a coin, a 4 sided die, 2 6 sided dice and 2 10 sided dice.

each trial will run 30 times

Toss a coin 30 times record how many heads you get ( should be 50% of course)

roll the 4 sided die 30 times record the % of 1's you roll (should be 25%)

roll one of the 6 sided dice record the % of 1's you roll (should be 16.6%)

Roll 2 6 sided dice record the % of times you roll 2 1's (should be 2.77%)

roll 2 10 sided dice and record the % you roll 2 1's (should be 1%)

I would like everyone to try it and post results.

Grade b

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill

13 Time Bracelet Winner

Sun Mar 30, 2014, 11:02 AM
Grade b's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,604
my results


expected 50% actual 53%

4 side die

expected 25% actual 43%

6 sided die

expected 16.6% actual 10%

2 6 sided dice

expected 2.77% actual 10%

2 10 sided dice

expected 1% actual 0%

Grade b

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill

13 Time Bracelet Winner

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 08:21 AM
Dodgey34's Avatar
Since: Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Thanks for the response Grade b,

I am aware the sample sizes for these particular situations are small. But I'm not certain that they are insignificant.

I started playing on here because I love poker, and I don't have the finances to play them number of tournaments required to build up the statistical backing I would like...yet. As is evident, I have yet to have that one really good day which leapfrogs me up the socio-economic scale. Fingers crossed that day is around the corner.

I have however been plodding away, doing what I can, and from these 436 tournaments grew a pattern whereby almost all the categories were recording below expected returns. There was not the expected variations from the mean of above and below expectations. +3%, -6%, +8%, -5% etc etc. A few were within expectations, which is perfect, but the vast majority are just below (within perfectly reasonable variation) or well below expectations. But largely below. That seems significant. In order to reach the floor of the expected returns for the 90-95% all-in showdown category for example, I would need to come out on top in 69 consecutive hands from that exact situation. That required number will obviously increase quite largely for every hand which is dropped. Now hopefully that run is about to hit for all those categories it should, which would be great, but it does seem a little fanciful. Not impossible, but it has yet to occur.

I just wanted to put these out there and see what was said (as they are a small sample of a greater portfolio of statistical "oddities"), so thank you for your replies everyone, much appreciated.

Last edited by Dodgey34; Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 08:24 AM..
Sat Apr 05, 2014, 04:49 PM
Grade b's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,604
I would have been more concerned if 80% of your samples had falling into the "expected range" with this size of sample.

As that would show a fault in the RNG (self correcting statistics to hit the 'norm'

ie if you toss a coin 20 times and it lands heads every time what are the odds it will be tails on the 21st try.

Grade b

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill

13 Time Bracelet Winner

Fri Apr 11, 2014, 07:19 PM
anti5ive's Avatar
Since: Feb 2010
Posts: 225
i know your % are playing on stars. do you play other sites ?
if so, have you same % of hands.
hate to be party pooper but you % are over a smallish sample size
and really too many people use the rigged line . crap happens.
can i just say look at your play before blaming the software.
look at my stats in opr and they are bad, but i enjoy the game and win games lose games.

if you really want to get there in your game, study study study and study some more and read/watch everything that is chucked your way, because by the time its there you will have to do it again.

Getting PokerStars is easy: download and install the PokerStars game software, create your free player account, and validate your email address. Clicking on the download poker button will lead to the installation of compatible poker software on your PC of 51.7 MB, which will enable you to register and play poker on the PokerStars platform. To uninstall PokerStars use the Windows uninstaller: click Start > Control Panel and then select Add or Remove programs > Select PokerStars and click Uninstall or Remove.

Copyright (c) PokerSchoolOnline.com. All rights reserved, Rational Group, Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Road, Onchan, Isle of Man, IM3 1DZ. You can email us on support@pokerschoolonline.com