Variance is killing me

MnpokerMnpoker Red Chipper Posts: 230 ✭✭
edited May 28 in Tournament Poker Hands
Been playing casino poker for 35 plus years so I am use to down swings but have never seen one like this. I play tournaments ranging from $150to $1600. 2021 started out great, my play was spot on and I was getting standard variance from the deck. All of the sudden I get to Aug 2021 and variance we bonkers, I have lost more rivers, more 80% or better binds, more 90% flops and such during this time period than I ever have. Examples AA v's AJ he runs a straight, AA v's Q4 flop comes Q44, KQ v's QJ flop KQ4 V runs out a straight. These are just a few of the examples. I have a friend who has over 3 Million in cashes and ran hands with him for about 6 hours and he said I am playing solid. I'm just not sure if I should stop playing for a while, play a different game for a while (but non NLH tournies are rare) hate limit and no-limit is not legal here for cash play so switching to cash is a non starter. Any ideas? Expensive to wait it out. The other issue is I would love to go to Vegas this summer but if I'm running like this I'll be at the G-N instead of the strip. Thoughts?


  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 5,479 -
    I think the critical point to remember is any streak, good or bad, is only recognizable historically. That is, at any given time, you're not currently running like anything. As of now, 0 hands have been dealt. It's simply meaningless to say you're "currently" in a downswing.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • elvidaelvida Red Chipper Posts: 105 ✭✭
    The question is whether you think it is impacting your play (or your mental health). The thing about variance is it is only biased against you if you personalize it and is a likely a function of the time frame you are looking at your results. When you analyze the shooting percentage of a jump shooter in basketball who is in a "slump," the slump is generally consistent with their shooting percentage over time when you expand out the time frame for the data at which you are looking. It is only because we are restricting the range of time that we are looking at that the "slump" is visible. If you are playing well then your perception of the downswing is nothing more than a restriction of the range of hands that you are likely looking at, but broadening it out your winrate is likely consistent with the rate based on your quality of play. Your post speaks to this because the year "starts out great" for the first 9 months, but then from Aug through now (9 months) the deck is beating you up. As Kat said, perceiving you are "in" a downswing is meaningless and is nothing more than falling prey to the gambler's fallacy. Please note I am not commenting on your play or being critical. Everyone (me included) is subject to these cognitive biases and has to manage them in some way.

    Bottom line is you can't wait it out by playing or not playing. The question is whether it is fun or not (presuming this is not your career). If you are not having fun, take a break, clear your head, and start back when you feel like it is enjoyable.

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