Understanding variance

Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭
edited January 2017 in General Concepts
I am experiencing unusual variances, imo. I lose draws and get drawn out on. I think I am in for a huge run!

Then a friend of mine who is a really good player suggested a different way of looking at it. He said when that happens he starts playing more hands.

I thought about it and remembered a few flopped straights and flushes I missed because the hands were outside the range I was playing in that situation.
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  • Wiki_LeaksWiki_Leaks Red Chipper Posts: 564 ✭✭✭
    Prove its variance and not bad play.

    Variance is so easy to appear to understand looking from the outside in, but can only really be understood from weathering the storm.

    Then a friend of mine who is a really good player suggested a different way of looking at it. He said when that happens he starts playing more hands.

    I thought about it and remembered a few flopped straights and flushes I missed because the hands were outside the range I was playing in that situation.

    Gambler's fallacy?
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭
    Wiki_Leaks wrote: »
    Prove its variance and not bad play.

    Variance is so easy to appear to understand looking from the outside in, but can only really be understood from weathering the storm.

    Then a friend of mine who is a really good player suggested a different way of looking at it. He said when that happens he starts playing more hands.

    I thought about it and remembered a few flopped straights and flushes I missed because the hands were outside the range I was playing in that situation.

    Gambler's fallacy?

    Oregon.
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭
    Wiki_Leaks wrote: »
    Prove its variance and not bad play.

    Variance is so easy to appear to understand looking from the outside in, but can only really be understood from weathering the storm.

    Then a friend of mine who is a really good player suggested a different way of looking at it. He said when that happens he starts playing more hands.

    I thought about it and remembered a few flopped straights and flushes I missed because the hands were outside the range I was playing in that situation.

    Gambler's fallacy?
    Wiki_Leaks wrote: »
    Prove its variance and not bad play.
    http://www.thepokerbank.com/strategy/other/variance/

    Gambler's fallacy?[/quote]

  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 899 ✭✭✭
    Variance goes both ways.

    I just assume when I win it is variance and when I lose it is bad play.

    Maybe that is not good but I think it keeps me honest.

    I mean there are times I know it is variance. If I have AA and go all in against KK and lose that is obviously variance.
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 899 ✭✭✭
    Imperator wrote: »
    Variance goes both ways.

    I just assume when I win it is variance and when I lose it is bad play.

    Maybe that is not good but I think it keeps me honest.

    I mean there are times I know it is variance. If I have AA and go all in against KK and lose that is obviously variance.

    Actually I'm exaggerating.

    Here are my assumptions:
    • When I win I assume that it was variance and try to prove otherwise when I get back to my study.
    • When I lose I assume that I played bad and try to prove otherwise when I get back to my study.

    In both cases, I assume variance is working in my favor, and not against me, so that I will keep myself honest.
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would go a long with Wikki here and ask you to post some hand histories that prove its variance and not bad play. You posted a hand in my $10k goal challenge where I think its pretty spewy vs an overall range.

    AJT HH flop and you said opponent bet big! His bet was too big in your eyes so it was exclusively a flush draw and you called it off with 66.

    That play seems really spewy because Sets, two pair, AQ, AK, JT, and combo draws all play pretty much the same way. AQ and AK maybe not as much but 2 pair + combo draws can all play pretty aggressively on that texture wouldn't you agree?

    I would check your equity. For example AhJhTc board you have 6h6c if your opponent has a hand like 8h7h he is 60% favorite in the hand. Would you still chalk up this loss as variance against a FD and you having a pocket pair so you have the best hand?

    I encourage you to post as many hand histories as possible.

    Playing more hands when losing is what players do when they stuck cause they are in a hurry to get their money back and want to gamble. Some times they get it back other times they just get more stuck. This actually came up in my session last night.

    Couple of the regulars I talk to knew I was stuck pretty large in the game ($1/$2/$2) game crazy action table and I was stuck -$940 at my low point. Some of my regulars were like maybe you should go play $2/5 and play more hands and get your money back. I responded thinking of redchip and all the "coaching" or education I have got from this site a with "I am not in a hurry to get my money back, its one long journey." I kept my ranges tight as I know they have worked for me over the last couple of months. I remembered in the past some of the days where i lost 4 or 5 buyins and how i lost all my money that session. I was "gambling." There were some hands where I had like A2s in the SB where I was facing a $20 raise, but the opener only had like $150 stack. Tempted to call and maybe hit a flush or a FD on the flop, but the math of it is that I will likely flop nothing so I end up folding preflop. During my session I look at spots like these where I want to call SCs and baby pairs, but I know the implied odds are not there. Maybe on your phone keep track of how many times you miss the flop and the money you would of called to see the flop. See how much money you save during your session by folding when you don't have implied odds. I think this will help decrease your variance quite a bit. Did you know the odds of flopping a flush draw is only 11%? When you play your baby Axs with out implied odds 9 out of 10 times you are going to flop no FD and just give away your $20.

    Please post as many hand histories as you can and we can all learn from each other.
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    @Austin my reference in your thread was from a tournament last night. I pulled up my hand replay and I an going to post the hands I lost or won more than the blinds.
    I had A6hh sb 125/250 25 ante 10$ 8K G
    H 4560(E) Call pot 900
    flop A2T 2spades
    check check to V bets 975.
    H calls
    HU turn 2 new two clubs
    H check V put H all in.
    V is new to table. Has won the last few pots. I complete in the SB to see cheap flop with A6hh, on the flop I think V could have AT+ or he has played about every hand he could have KQ,JQ,TJ,TQ,TK, and bet pot to push me off hand. Or Bet/Fold bluff. The 2 on the turn was scary. he could be playing A2ss. I have to give this up if he bets. He shoves. WTF. That makes this look like he has some part, but wants me gone. Really weak A? Or is he trying to win with his PP. It does not make sense. I call. Pot 9345.
    He has 8,5 os.

    I am playing for the money. I am preparing for a couple of tournaments. This tournament I am playing intentionally loose to test building big stacks early in tournaments. Still, this is the first big pot I have played in two hours. I have had no cards and patience to not play big CO+ steals of raised pots. I am not spewing chips, but if I think you do not have a hand based on my spider sense, I will look you up.

    I looked up the 88 hand I mentioned in your thread and I was the favorite after the flop. It was slim, but it was a major mover hand. The money or out. I lost. You have to win flips in tournaments.

    It has taken me a long time to write this post. I am not going to post a whole session hand history. Bovada is down.

    By my replayer I lost 500 with AK and a small amount with 66. I folded the flop with KTss with no draw on an A high board.

    I like how everybody thinks there is no such thing as variance. I was wrong to make that word up. It's only how I play.

    My friend you guys want to play is a six figure plus annual winning poker player. Every thing he tells me is not gospel. But he doesn't read poker books. I have watched him final table a tournaments online, while winning four,five buy-in playing 1-2.

    True. I can not play his style and win. It's a gift. I pry his brain but the answers are like what he said.
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    I had two hands two hands on two tournaments. A7os vs 44 and QQ vs 88. All the money in preflop. I don't have to tell you which hands I had. There are quite a few articles and vids about the variance you guys seem to think is the fault of the player. I think that is wrong and there is such a thing as variance that has jack to do about how you played the hand. You can make the right play and lose. When that happens repeatedly, I think it's unusual.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,376 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Variance is never unusual; that is the wrong word and thinking about it that way will yield to frustration. This is part of its character and the most difficult part to grasp. Yet the faster you embrace this the more stable a player you will be.

    There is a guy out there who just got overquadded twice in a row. It will happen, never mind your latest statistical certainty.

    So there is that. Then, what's just as useful is to realize how downswings and bad play intersect and encourage each other.

    Why are you protesting against beautifully articulate summation by @berkey11 ? You and @Austin are made for each other.

    (And yes, @Wiki_Leaks suggestion is on the money.)
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭
    I think when you say it's bad play, you just put down the person who says they have lost an inordinate amount of draws. It does not show any way or method to deal with it. It doesn't make any difference if you get AA cracked three times in a row how you played other hands. You still got the AA cracked.

    It's comical anybody would try to convince someone it happened because they called pre flop six hands ago with A2os. If they played A2os better, then their AA would not get cracked. That is past stupid.

    Maybe it would help if someone said, I experienced getting AA cracked three times in a row, this is what I did. This is how I handled it.

    There is such a thing as variance.
    http://www.pokerology.com/lessons/variance/
    https://www.partypoker.com/how-to-play/school/cash-games/variance.html
    https://www.cardschat.com/poker-variance.php
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    And @persuadeo , why would you take a potshot at @Austin ? Good grief. All I was asking about was variance and here you are throwing rocks. That's BS!
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,376 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The both of you ask questions and then refuse the answer.

    So it's actually the opposite of BS.

    You morons both got answers from a famous HS player and got pissy about them. They probably took ten minutes of his time, which probably rates to be $40 of his time.

    All the humble players in this forum don't get that attention and you both throw it away.

    I laugh at both of you.
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    You morons
    So now you are calling other posters morons. What is your problem? Someone does not agree with you and you call them names?

    That's pitiful.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,376 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I just explained what the problem is, yet you still don't get it.

    So now we're confused as to what and who is pitiful.

    Sometimes tough love is all you deserve, and yet in the long run, when we don't even recognize the value of that, what happens?

    What happens, when you are being a moron, and no one will say it? Is that brotherly? Is that helpful? What does the world really owe us? Does anyone owe us pity, speaking of it?

    Anyway, don't worry about it or me. You're on the right track.
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭
    I post in this forum to try to improve my poker game. I add what I can if I feel I can help another poster. I started this thread because I was seeking some ideas of ow I might take some different approach to getting the money in the middle. I have run into a string of hands where I got it in with the best hand and the best odds to win, only to lose the hand.

    Now, @persuadeo comes into the thread calling me names and also calling another poster who was in agreement with the other comments morons. What kind of poker community are we if we can't have a different opinion without being labeled a moron.

    This needs to stop and it needs to stop RIGHT NOW. If you want to call people names, why not go to a political forum? I have the right to not agree with your advice. I have many times not agreed with people only later to understand what they said was right. Maybe a person does not agree because they don't understand what you are saying.

    Nobody wants to be called a moron. It's a stupid way to talk to people. I am surprised @ChipXtractor agrees with it. I think you both are capable of more.

    Teacher "2+2=4."
    Student "I don't think that is right."
    Teacher "you are a moron."

    Nope. Time out for that. You may be able to play poker better than me, but that does not give you the right to call me a moron.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,376 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This is such a beautiful moment. You are admitting you care about being called a NAME more than about understanding an essential concept which will yield you MONEY.

    This is called a Teaching Moment.

    When you are done screaming and kicking, you will get up, wipe the tears away, and will be a better player.

    And at that moment, I will respect you. Immensely. Because you changed your mind.

    But until then, no.

    There are no time outs in the pursuit of excellence. You are on the floor with everyone else who thinks that is a strategy.
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    This is such a beautiful moment. You are admitting you care about being called a NAME more than about understanding an essential concept which will yield you MONEY.

    This is called a Teaching Moment.

    When you are done screaming and kicking, you will get up, wipe the tears away, and will be a better player.

    And at that moment, I will respect you. Immensely. Because you changed your mind.

    But until then, no.

    There are no time outs in the pursuit of excellence. You are on the floor with everyone else who thinks that is a strategy.
    NOPE!! You are flat out wrong to be calling people names. It's not a teaching moment. It's putting someone else down, plain and simple. It's not you being some great teacher.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,376 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well, at least we agree on something. I am putting you down.

    Now, back to the main point, which you continue to evade. Why do you do this to yourself? Why would you ignore this painfully, amazingly accurate summation of Variance by an extremely strong mind, offered to you on a plate, in order to lament some dumb runbad? I mean, it was you who presumed to lecture me on what a pro was, after all.

    Here's our way out of this Prisoner's Dilemma: All you have to do is click Agree on Berkey's advice. You can go on hating me and complaining about me. (That's weak, but natural.) What's important, is that I'll get it, though, and we will be done.

    Until then, fellow Red Chipper, I will be on your ass in order to help you.

    How lucky are you? How well do you run, ironically, it turns out?
  • Matt BerkeyMatt Berkey Red Chipper, RCP Coach Posts: 278 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2016
    persuadeo wrote: »

    You morons both got answers from a famous HS player and got pissy about them. They probably took ten minutes of his time, which probably rates to be $40 of his time.

    Good luck getting me at $240/hr :)
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,376 ✭✭✭✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »

    You morons both got answers from a famous HS player and got pissy about them. They probably took ten minutes of his time, which probably rates to be $40 of his time.

    Good luck getting me at $240/hr :)

    Oh, so we're negotiating now? SWWEEEET!
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    Well, at least we agree on something. I am putting you down.



    Prisoner's Dilemma: All you have to do is click Agree on Berkey's advice. You can go on hating me and complaining about me.

    I will be on your ass.
    Why put me down?

    Feeble attempt to save face. I go hit like. I don't hate you. I just don't like bulling. People come here to discuss poker. They watch, read posts and see what kind of community it is. Here you come calling people morons. Who wants that?

    So when I fart, you will be first to know. Thanks a lot.

    Idea. Just don't call people names.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,376 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes... it's an offer to save YOUR face. I have no skin in this.

    But you want to play the mature card and back out, fine.

    Summation of entire thread: Berkey's right, you are wrong, Persuadeo tried to help you.
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    Yes... it's an offer to save YOUR face. I have no skin in this.

    But you want to play the mature card and back out, fine.

    Summation of entire thread: Berkey's right, you are wrong, Persuadeo showed up calling people morons.
    @persuado showed up calling people morons.

  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,376 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Obviously true. Two of them. I confess. It's almost like it's a WRITTEN RECORD and you didn't have to edit the quote.
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭
    Yeah he did call you a name. Not the best thing by any means.

    Fine.

    But Persuadeo is also incredibly frustrated that you can refute a HighStakes Player handing you advice on a platter.

    So he is asking you to look beyond the tough love he gave you and look at the bigger picture. You are wrong here. It's OK to be wrong.

    When you post a situation or question and get lucky enough to garner a response from a HighStakes Reg, you can't just continue laying claim to your biased thoughts.
    OK. I don't know who the posters are. I did not refute him. A HS player isn't getting his feathers ruffled over my comment.

    Calling people morons is just not the way to have a discussion. That is what has caused attention. You would not even be commenting about me "refuting" a high stakes player. It's wrong and trying to make me wrong is not making it right.

  • napncrashnapncrash Red Chipper Posts: 36 ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Remember, poker's a game of up to nine opponents with any random mixture of two cards from a 52 card deck.

    The board is a random mixture of cards left over.

    There are countless tables of poker running all over the world at any time. Casinos, card rooms, back rooms, living rooms, other rooms of rooms rooms.

    You and your opponents arrive with random skill levels, motivations, bankroll considerations, alcohol levels, emotional levels, levels of "gamble" in them, risk aversion, or any number of other factors that will encourage them to play a certain way at any given moment.

    These things mean, over a long enough timeline, every possible outcome is GOING to happen. When it happens for or against you, it's not luck. You can call it running good when the good happens a lot more than its share, or running bad if the opposite happens, that's fair, but we all need to understand it's VARIANCE.

    A terrible, spewy player to your right might eat the wrong salad for lunch and have to leave with a slop in his belly. He might be replaced with the best player in your player pool. Variance.

    Cards get exposed, guys go to the bathroom, dealer shuffles differently, shuffle machine breaks, you were standing up and the dealer skipped you, etc etc etc etc. MASSIVE amounts of VARIANCE in the game. It's cooked in. It's part of it. It's SO much more than running above, below, or even to the math over the short term. The longer you play over your life, the closer to the real math you'll actually experience.

    Understand that, since each possible option is GOING to happen, our job is to maximize profit or minimize loss regardless of situation. You are not unlucky. You are not lucky. You never have been. Every given situation offers us an opportunity to maximize our profit or minimize our losses. Every single situation, every single session. It doesn't matter how bad you've run, it doesn't matter if the spew to your right is in the bathroom shitting; it doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter. What is the best play, the best sizing, the best xyz you can do RIGHT NOW? Do that and variance doesn't matter. And don't just start playing a bunch of hands! That advice is unequivocally terrible and represents a fundamental misunderstanding of variance.

    Being angry or frustrated is pointless. That's short term poker tricking you into believing an illusion. Every combination of cards dealt and run out is going to happen the right amount of times across the world. If you can't handle it, you've chosen the wrong pursuit.

    I'll paraphrase one famous poker player and commentator: "you are but a dinghy in a vast ocean of variance." You're this tiny little craft adrift in this unfathomably huge sea of variance - which is all of the things that can happen in all of the poker games in all of the world at all of the times. It's never luck.

    Did your cards run like shit? Then did you lose the minimum considering the circumstances? Then you played awesome poker. That's your goal, isn't it?

    Most of your opponents are bad. There is plenty of money to be made. Sometimes variance doesn't allow you the opportunity. That's ok. Someday it will and when it does, you better be prepared to maximize and not focused on how bad you've been running.

    So in the meantime, study, work, practice... not only your strategy but your ability to handle long stretches of cold cards, bad cards, bad tables, bad positions, bad spots, etc etc etc.

    Imagine ten straight AA hands your dealt, you're dealt them in the small blind. Oh! Yay, good variance! Oh shit, terrible variance! Your good luck by getting the aces and your bad luck by getting them out of position DOESN'T MATTER. How will you play this hand versus these villains while you're in the small blind to whatever action is in front of you? THAT'S all that matters. If you play poker long enough, you'll get the exact same amount of AA on the button. It may not feel like it, but it will. Short term (which can be reallly longggg) can trick you into believing false things. Don't fall for it.

    Play YOUR best in every spot and, although it can provide you entertaining stories, it's best to ignore variance. Poker is slow - painfully slow if you play live. Get ready for the long haul and get ready to see some weird shit. Get ready for variance to be as shitty to you as it will be kind to you.
  • Riverboat BillRiverboat Bill Red Chipper Posts: 454 ✭✭

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