Or, I’m Using the Skill League Differently Now

My original thought for the PSO Skill League was to play a minimum number of games and see how I ranked against others as a means of showing me--through data--how my skill stacked up overall.  This is, after all, the "Skill League" right?  Prize winnings are moot in my mind. 

I'm realizing that this is a failed concept:  the top players seem to make a full-time job out of this league, so for a player like me the ranking is skewed.  For instance, yesterday I earned 36 points... and dropped 10 positions in the league.  I’ve randomly looked up folks in mid- and low-pack, and they’ve got three and four times more games in than me.  Believe me, I’m not knocking anybody in the top of the rankings as they are superior players than me, but it seems to me that for ranking purposes this is more of a “Skill and Frequency League” if you’re using it to find how you truly stack up against others.  As a matter of example, if I multiplied my current points earnings by 4... I'd be somewhere in the top 50-100 range.  Surely there are better players than me out there in this same position.

My suggestion for the PSO Skill League Administration is for them to publish a second ranking list for the month based purely off of the first five games.  This way, all members of the league who play the minimum five games can see how they rank against everybody else who played this set number of games.   Outside of poker, I'm a competitive shooter in Steel Challenge, which uses a similar system:  five attempts are made in each round of play; the worst performance is thrown out, and the remaining four are averaged.  Throwing out the worst performance is nice because it helps to eliminate "outside" variables (ie, equipment malfunction) that skew the data away from anything other than skill. 

This shouldn't be a big deal for the PSO to accomplish, but rather just a simple addition to whatever computer programming already exists.  I'm not suggesting that this be a paying list either, but rather something published for informative purposes to help us grow as players.  In this fashion, all players in the league can see how they rank against each other as a matter of skill for a set number of games, taking play frequency out of the equation.  For me, this is where the "School" portion of Poker School Online comes into play.  Being a vice-principal of a large high school, I can't help but think this way!

If there’s anybody else out there who thinks this is a good idea or has a suggestion for modification, post a comment on my blog so the PSO can be aware of our thoughts.

Personally, I’m not going to invest a ton of time in the Skill League because I don’t feel it’s possible for me to rank correctly based on the fact that I can’t invest the number of hours into it that’s required to properly utilize the system.  I'll still play the minimum 5 games per month to make use of the data collection function, as well as practice with the quality competition, but I'm going to do it exclusively to try to steadily improve my overall finish rate as measured by percent in pack. 

This month my average ending position was in the 20% of the pack range; if I throw out my worst game I'm at 14% of the pack, which would put me, on average, in the money here at PokerStars.  Okay, but not fantastic.  Next month, I'm aiming for 15% for five games, and I'll measure it only off the first five games.  This way, I can still play more than five games if I want, but my measuring stick will be consistent, rather than "I did bad that tourney so I'll do great the next one to even it out."  I think this is the best way to utilize this wonderful school, and maybe others can use my thoughts to their benefit as well. 

Happy New Year everybody!