Been gathering data on realistic live win rates

Chris FChris F Red Chipper Posts: 85 ✭✭
Intro
A month ago I sat there wondering if I should continue with poker as a hobby or dedicate time and take it more seriously. To help guide my decision I figured I would see how much potential money I could make. To put it simply, if little money was to be made I would continue as a hobby, if there was a decent amount to be made I would put some real time and energy into it.

I found that there was money to be made but it seems that no one agrees on just how much.

What The Pros Say:
I believe Splitsuit said that a realistic outlook was 10% of the capped buyin per hour. That means at a 1/2 game with 200 capped buy in, a $20/hr could be expected once the player has the correct amount of skill.

Doug Polk has said that a very good player at 1/2 and 2/5 could expect an average of 7 big blings per hour.

Andrew Neeme (vegas pro and vlogger) said that 10 big blinds per hour at any given stake was crushing it and that most talented players would see an average of 7 big blinds per hour.

Daniel Negreanu claims that at stakes below 5/10 even the best players will only average out 4 - 5 big blinds per hour at most.

Bart (forget his last name), the lead coach on another training site, says its unrealistic to expect more than 3 - 4 big blinds per hour win rate at 1/2 and 2/5.

So now we have some guys saying the top end is 10 Big Blinds per hour while others are saying that anything above 5 is unrealistic. Pretty drastic difference.

Bottom Line
There is a drastic difference in opinions on what realistic win rates look like in live poker. Why could this be? While i'm no pro (very far from it) I speculate it has to do with many factors including, but not limited too:

- Your skill
- Where you play
- What time and days you play
- Your opponents skill
- Table selection

Conclusion
So, how much money is in poker? I still have no idea. I'm not sure there is an "across the board" answer to be hand. Focus on improving, strive to always play an A Game, and seek out soft tables. At the end of the day, what more can one do than that? Probably not much.

Feel free to add your own thoughts and opinions on the matter.






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Comments

  • SliverOverlordSliverOverlord Red Chipper Posts: 169 ✭✭
    I play at Foxwoods, Mohegan sun, and Twin river, and I'm beating the games for around 10bb per hour over the past 100 hours. I would say I'm the average 1-2 live weekend warrior skill wise, but I pick my spots in the game selectively. I know who the regs are and I know the fun players, and I make the most of the hands where I can get to a turn heads up with a worse player.

    On a side note, I took one shot at 2-5 and felted a guy with my top set. My hourly there is 500$ and hour over 1 hour... not sure if that's statistically significant for this study though...

    If you factor in all the time spent studying the game over the course of the winter, spring, and all the hands at 2NL and 5NL, and the small donations I made last summer, I would say I'm closer to 2-3$ an hour overall in my career, possibly lower.

  • sullyooosullyooo Red Chipper Posts: 517 ✭✭✭
    Chris F wrote: »
    Intro
    A month ago I sat there wondering if I should continue with poker as a hobby or dedicate time and take it more seriously. To help guide my decision I figured I would see how much potential money I could make. To put it simply, if little money was to be made I would continue as a hobby, if there was a decent amount to be made I would put some real time and energy into it.

    I would ask myself if 5BB-7BB is worth putting in real time and effort. I believe you can get higher towards 10BB and above but setting your sights that high right away is asking for disappointment unless you catch the wave early

    Is $10-$14 or $25-$35 per hour worth extra effort?
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 535 ✭✭✭
    edited July 10
    I don't know assumptions about hands/hr to translate bb/100 exactly but I have very large sample at 2/5NLH winning $48/hr after expenses(dealer/food/beverage tips)

    I know other pros who are in the 40-60/hr range at 2/5 on pretty big sample sizes.
  • Chris FChris F Red Chipper Posts: 85 ✭✭
    kenaces wrote: »
    I don't know assumptions about hands/hr to translate bb/100 exactly but I have very large sample at 2/5NLH winning $48/hr after expenses(dealer/food/beverage tips)

    I know other pros who are in the 40-60/hr range at 2/5 on pretty big sample sizes.

    If you don't mind me asking, what are you considering to be a "large" sample size? :)
  • EazzyEazzy Red Chipper Posts: 527 ✭✭✭
    This September, will give me 4 years of playing 1-2, ... keeping pretty good records....that is I count the money before I leave home, and the money when I return. I estimate the hours played by looking the tear credits I earned that trip...I get 26 tear credits per hour. Its a little off as I play a little video poker (very little)

    I pay for everything in cash, but expenses are quite low as most rooms are comped most food is comped (just pay $5 tax on room and a couple $ for tips for the maid and the food servers type thing. ) Transportation is pretty much free or slightly positive as the buss I take gives more in free play then it costs.

    I've made a little over $60,000 playing over 3600 hours. For an hourly win rate a bit over $16.50.....expenses are roughly $1.50 an hour...so it compares to about $18 an hour before expenses. I do not count money I payed out for poker books, and few webinars...




    When I broke $50,000 I posted this chart, and discussion...
    https://forum.redchippoker.com/discussion/5898/fifty-thousand-at-1-2-in-just-over-3-years


    And I went though some monkey tilt. made tons of stupid movers (the type you look at later and wonder what was I thinking), and still do upon occasion.

    Compare this to the 15 ish years I played bridge for master points (cost me entry fees drinks after a few dinners before and a number of trips to major bride tournaments) or the the two years I played chess on line (that just cost me $50 a year to join Blizen and a couple of chess programs and books.)
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 535 ✭✭✭
    edited July 10
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 535 ✭✭✭
    Chris F wrote: »

    If you don't mind me asking, what are you considering to be a "large" sample size? :)

    Since Pokerjournal stopped working on iphone about 2 months ago I can't tell you exact number but it is more than 3500 hours, and other database were at least 1K hours.

  • Chris FChris F Red Chipper Posts: 85 ✭✭
    kenaces wrote: »
    Chris F wrote: »

    If you don't mind me asking, what are you considering to be a "large" sample size? :)

    Since Pokerjournal stopped working on iphone about 2 months ago I can't tell you exact number but it is more than 3500 hours, and other database were at least 1K hours.

    I'd consider that a decent live sample size. Thanks.
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 2,252 ✭✭✭✭
    2080 hours would be a full time pro over the course of a year. Last couple hundred hours im averaging over 3bb \ hr.

    My flaws is playing too lose from EP. Cbetting maybe too much. Not going for the throat on big pots. I tend to go for small value too often instead of applying pressure for stacks. My overall bets post flop need to be bigger and maybe preflop as well.

    I think 5-10BB\hr is possible. My goal recently was a fresh start and make 20k @1\3 and move up to 2\5.

    I've seen a few players at my casino move up who I absolutely crush. Idk if they are winning but it inspires me to move up as fast as I can. Maybe on a couple big winning nights ill take some shots.

    3-10bb very reasonable. I've seen a complete nit make 3bb\hr so a good tag can make 5-10. Maybe an aggro tag can make more. I think lag crosses the line at 1\2 and you end up value owning yourself. But someone playing like 25\20\5 should make quite a bit I think if they play well post flop. Ill try and keep my session stats next hand in terms if vpip\pfr.
  • eugeniusjreugeniusjr Red Chipper Posts: 201 ✭✭
    Do full time pros play 40 hrs a week? I've heard some say it's a full schedule, considering off table work, to play 25-30 hours per week.



    I think you'll find many feel odd about answering this question. It's not in our culture to talk about earnings publicly. I'm shy to post because I don't want questions from the IRS, or to be judged by my win rate. It also draws attention to it, when, I hear, edge is more to be focused on than win rate.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 535 ✭✭✭
    eugeniusjr wrote: »
    Do full time pros play 40 hrs a week? I've heard some say it's a full schedule, considering off table work, to play 25-30 hours per week.

    I feel like many "live pros" play 30+ hours, and online guys play less. I know more than a few pros likely averaging much less over the course of the year as it is very easy and sometimes necessary to take time off.
  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 3,504 -
    Chris F wrote: »
    Intro
    A month ago I sat there wondering if I should continue with poker as a hobby or dedicate time and take it more seriously. To help guide my decision I figured I would see how much potential money I could make.

    Let's take an average "solid WR" from the sources you listed and call it 6BB/hr (or $12/hr at $1/$2).

    You don't need to answer this publicly, but my line of questioning would be:

    1. What is my current hourly given my hobby status?
    2. What is the delta between my hobby WR and $12/hr?
    3. How many hours/month do I currently play?
    4. Does that number of hours increase as I take poker more seriously?
    5. What is your monthly delta between hobby WR*hobby play hours vs serious WR*serious play hours?

    Is that worthwhile over 6mo, 12mo, and 24mo timespans? (keeping in mind that of course you may move up during those timespans)

    Then, if the "solid WR" is actually higher and closer to what people like myself and Neeme have quoted - is it worth your time to put in the work?
    Check out my latest course - The Hand Reading Lab
  • Chris FChris F Red Chipper Posts: 85 ✭✭
    SplitSuit wrote: »
    Chris F wrote: »
    Intro
    A month ago I sat there wondering if I should continue with poker as a hobby or dedicate time and take it more seriously. To help guide my decision I figured I would see how much potential money I could make.

    Let's take an average "solid WR" from the sources you listed and call it 6BB/hr (or $12/hr at $1/$2).

    You don't need to answer this publicly, but my line of questioning would be:

    1. What is my current hourly given my hobby status?
    2. What is the delta between my hobby WR and $12/hr?
    3. How many hours/month do I currently play?
    4. Does that number of hours increase as I take poker more seriously?
    5. What is your monthly delta between hobby WR*hobby play hours vs serious WR*serious play hours?

    Is that worthwhile over 6mo, 12mo, and 24mo timespans? (keeping in mind that of course you may move up during those timespans)

    Then, if the "solid WR" is actually higher and closer to what people like myself and Neeme have quoted - is it worth your time to put in the work?

    Thanks for chiming in. The serious WR will be worth it when I move up to 2/5 which I will be doing as soon as possible.

    Also, not to put the horse before the cart, or to seem like a braggart, but due to my intelligence, work ethic, and love of study I plan on eventually being a better than a 6BB/hr player. All in good time.

    Now back to studying for me ;)
  • Ryan ARyan A Red Chipper Posts: 88 ✭✭
    I know that the long run of live poker is really long and answers to this question will be best guesses, but if you had to guess - what number of hours constitutes a big enough sample size to justify a winrate? Is there a certain number of hours played for the average Joe where if they are not winning they can assume its a huge lack of skill rather than variance?
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 2,323 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pretty much a skilled player/pro ends up making 40-60$/hr at 2/5. Stack depth matters, but is not completely correlated as the cap games are played very poorly and can yield surprising returns. I average 20hrs/week but most pros and me at my busiest put in a lot more.
  • ChipXtractorChipXtractor Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 1,109 ✭✭✭
    As usual I think @persuadeo has just about nailed it.
    Twitter = @ChipXtractor
  • bigburge10bigburge10 Red Chipper Posts: 734 ✭✭✭
    As usual I think @persuadeo has just about nailed it.

    I wish I could write like @persuadeo. I hope he isn't as good at poker:)
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 2,252 ✭✭✭✭
    Online I use to play around 30 a week, longer if I did well in MTT on Sundays (1 day a week where I played mtt)

    Live I was doing 60+ a week. When you enjoy it, its not hard to do. Espcially if your doing 7 days a week and make it a social game. If your just a guy with ear phones it can be boring and makes 4hrs seem like 8. I think 40 hours a week is a piece of cake.

    Lets say @ 40 \ hr if you want to make a 100k that's 48 hours a week. 100k \ 40 = 2500 hours divide by 52 weeks.

    Really depends on your yearly goal.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 3,183 ✭✭✭✭
    One interesting thing to note if you're following the RCP forum is that advice regarding table and seat selection takes a back seat to getting better. In other words, short term win rate is sacrificed for long term improvement. That doesn't help your win rate, so you have to factor that in as well.
  • Faustovaldez123Faustovaldez123 Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 507 ✭✭✭
    edited July 14
    bigburge10 wrote: »
    As usual I think @persuadeo has just about nailed it.

    I wish I could write like @persuadeo. I hope he isn't as good at poker:)

    o my friend, that man is good

    im sure he is up vs me lol
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  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 535 ✭✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    One interesting thing to note if you're following the RCP forum is that advice regarding table and seat selection takes a back seat to getting better. In other words, short term win rate is sacrificed for long term improvement. That doesn't help your win rate, so you have to factor that in as well.

    I feel like I have always been able to do both. It really isn't a either or situation imo.

    ie back in the day grinding online I would table select at 6m and pretty much always had 2-4 other strong players to battle against while chasing some weaker players.
  • ChipXtractorChipXtractor Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 1,109 ✭✭✭
    edited July 14
    bigburge10 wrote: »
    As usual I think @persuadeo has just about nailed it.

    I wish I could write like @persuadeo. I hope he isn't as good at poker:)

    o my friend, that man is good

    im sure he is up vs me lol

    Rumor is you softplay your friends @Faustovaldez123 lol
    Twitter = @ChipXtractor
  • chip_hoggchip_hogg Red Chipper Posts: 49 ✭✭
    I just checked -- turns out, my win rate is 18 bb/hr over 15 sessions so far at my usual stakes.

    Of course, my usual stakes is 10c/25c... ;)
  • Chris FChris F Red Chipper Posts: 85 ✭✭
    A well known pro on another site said this:

    "At 100BB cap I would say top 1% might make 5 or 6BBs per hour. Reasonable would be 2-3BBs."

    15 bucks at hour at 2/5 seems ridiculous to me but he seems to think thats "reasonable."

    I like persuadeos thoughts on it more :P
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 535 ✭✭✭
    Well $15 way better than the average 2/5 players, and I think it might be a "reasonable" WR for a recreational player.

    If you are successful at playing this game for a living you likely are already in the top few percent of players, as most poker players lose money.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 2,323 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't know why it caps around 60 but after many years of talking, that's what it is. I $100/hr for a year at one casino but it proved unsustainable, right back to 55 or so.
  • bamboobamboo Red Chipper Posts: 30 ✭✭
    This is my first post to the RC forum.

    Using StatKing I keep very accurate and careful records. The fllowing stats cover the time period of 9/1/2010 to date, all played at 1/3 NL in Las Vegas, all at Orleans, Wynn/Encore and Bellagio. These numbers are net after dealer tips.

    Hourly Rate 15.15
    Standard Deviation 128.48/hour

    I did not start studying the game seriously until very recently, primarily by watching Splitsuit videos. I was shocked at how many leaks I found in my game,

    I now think the 1/3 games in Las Vegas, are worth in the area of $30.00/hour to a skilled player. which falls in line with projections made by several others.......

    Blackchip
  • bigburge10bigburge10 Red Chipper Posts: 734 ✭✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    I don't know why it caps around 60 but after many years of talking, that's what it is. I $100/hr for a year at one casino but it proved unsustainable, right back to 55 or so.

    This is the rate I see myself over thousands of hours. However, I know that a big factor is my player pool--it's generally fairly weak. Obviously, if my table consists of 8 @persuadeo or 8 @Faustovaldez123 or 8 @kagey or 8 (insert Red Chip member), I would be praying my rate is any positive number!
  • bamboobamboo Red Chipper Posts: 30 ✭✭
    Lineup is everything if you want a plus winrate. Games in Las Vegas are soft with a ever changing player pool. If tab le is tough, I just change tables, usually at least 5 or 6 to choose from!
  • bigburge10bigburge10 Red Chipper Posts: 734 ✭✭✭
    bamboo wrote: »
    Lineup is everything if you want a plus winrate. Games in Las Vegas are soft with a ever changing player pool. If tab le is tough, I just change tables, usually at least 5 or 6 to choose from!

    I think we've had this conversation before....this is fine under certain circumstances (short bankroll, shot taking, etc) but it shouldn't be a long term strategy. If it is, at some point, players are moving to your table because you're there.

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