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effects of variance

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  • effects of variance

    Hi Everyone.

    I had an interesting session Friday night which raised a question. I was playing $25 six handed NLH on Two tables. The question is?

    How big an impact does variance have on smashing your +EV plays to bits??

    Friday nights session.

    I have hopefully attached a graphic which shows the session in it’s entirety, as they go this was a very “cold deck” session. The green line shows actual winnings and the red line shows EV all-ins.





    Hand 48, can’t remember what it was but as you can see from the graph it paid off nicely bumping my winnings up to $35. Everything ran about even for a while and then the first of the variance hits.

    Hand 211 pocket AA‘s, got my chips in pre flop against a $14 stack and their pocket 10’s all going well until a 10 on the river then bang they make a set. $14 down!!

    From then on things run steadily down hill for another 374 hands, the cards just weren’t coming or when they did I got no action. Toward the end of the session I started to come back a little and then bang!! The second “variance” hit!!

    Hand 585, pocket KK’s on the BB, late position player picked up JJ’s and again the stacks went in pre. And guess what……. Yep. J on the river.

    I now find myself sitting on a $7 (28BB) loss for the session . Whereas if variance hadn’t kicked in I would be looking at a $51 (204BB) profit.

    Now given that EV is finicky old girl and the difference between being a winning or loosing player over the long term can be that marginal +EV play that just gives you the edge, then just how “long term” do you have to play to recover from 2 hits like this?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    If you play a lot more poker you will find out that variance can be even worse than this. Eventually you will also see yourself run bad over thousands of hands. Of course, variance has a zero sum effect on your game over the long run (in theory) so you will eventually run good over thousands of hands as well. So, to answer your question - Variance can have a huge effect on your results in the short run. Also, the long run is hundreds of thousands of hands.

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    • #3
      Variance is a...well...we all know the word
      anyways, yeh the theory says in the Long run, I agree with RockerAA its hundreds of thousands of hands.
      I would count yourself lucky if i was you, your only -$7 loool.
      I have days where i have like $50/60 swings and thats on 10nl.

      However you can certainly aid yourself by trying to reduce variance with at times tightening up or not making some calls you normally do, or even by just being in the Positive frame of mind after a suckout - Easier said than done

      We play poker and sometimes i forget that this is still gambling, even though i never think of it like that as long as you try to learn the game, so yeah variance is there and will always be their...I guess to try and help the not so good poker player ( i.e. Average Joe vs Phil Ivey) , he would need all the suckout, bad beat luck i can get loool.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by behappy621 View Post
        We play poker and sometimes i forget that this is still gambling, .
        This is almost heresy, poker isn't gambling, it's a game of skill.

        Seriously, though, the most important thing is to not let variance affect your game. I sincerely believe that trying to adjust to it is futile, you just have to work your way through it. The balance will swing back the other way, but as others have said, it may take a long time. Just keep making the right decisions, and everything else will take care of itself.

        Bracelet Winner


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        • #5
          Ofcourse its a game of skill
          like i said its not gambling if you know what your doing

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          • #6
            Thks guys.

            So, is variance the 20% that my AA won’t hold up against JJ or is it on top of the 20%? Or am I confusing two different things here

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by will14m View Post
              Thks guys.

              So, is variance the 20% that my AA won’t hold up against JJ or is it on top of the 20%? Or am I confusing two different things here
              Get all your money in preflop a thousand times in that situation and you will win approximately eight hundred. Super bad variance is when you lose the first two hundred. Unlikely, but I know of one or two people on this forum that will claim this has happened to them

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Darkman61 View Post
                Get all your money in preflop a thousand times in that situation and you will win approximately eight hundred. Super bad variance is when you lose the first two hundred. Unlikely, but I know of one or two people on this forum that will claim this has happened to them
                Superbad varience is losing 400 of the 1000 times

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                • #9
                  For me, losing these flips for a week in a row is variance - I hope I never run into a streak that's worse. umbup:umbup:
                  Bracelet Winner


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