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December 15, 2005

Variance Sucks

Posted at December 15, 2005 02:10 PM in Personal Poker Experiences , by Sack.

When I last wrote with an update I had finally lost after a nice little hot streak there. Well, now eleven days later I’ve managed to drum up several curse words and probably even made up a few new ones in the process. December is quickly becoming a bad month in my mind, as I will always remember this as the month that taught me about a little thing known as variance.

Since we do have some newer players reading this, variance in it’s simplest form is the ups and downs that your bankroll may take. It doesn’t necessarily reflect on how good or bad you are playing at the time, it’s simply an inevitable part of playing. Basically it’s a “you win some you lose some” type of thing. Nobody just outright wins continuously forever. You can play your absolute best and lose, and conversely you can play pretty badly and actually win.

Well, I knew a losing streak was inevitable. I was hoping against it. Especially since the payout structure changed for the sit-n-goes I normally play. Winning them won’t pay out quite as much, but now the top 5 are in the money rather than top 3. Since generally when I’d lose it would be while bubbling out in 4th or 5th, I figured a slow steady profit would be pretty easy. After all, I’m practically a tenant of the top 5, right? That’s what I get for thinking.

I’m not really doing anything different, I just can’t seem to win. So my fallback has been the cash tables, which I’ve done pretty well with overall. That is until the other day when my pocket aces got burned by pocket kings. Preflop he raised big time to a little over 20X the BB with no action before him. I was in late position and bumped it up another 4 times that. I knew in my bones he had KK. It folded back to him and he thought for a sec and pushed. I called with my remaining chips and hoped not to see a king. After an ugly flop, and then a nice turn card there was a pause to tease me, and then of course came a king to wipe me off the table. The perfect end to a god almighty shitty day.

So I cancelled my last withdrawal I had, and set forth the next day hoping for better things. I won a satellite tournament to get into a 15K guaranteed later that day. Came in the money in that one and suddenly all was back right. I’m still struggling with my SNG’s right now, but I’m balancing it well, and have managed to still be up a little for the month so far. Hopefully things will turn back around full circle soon, and I can get back to making some decent money again. Hopefully…

Prices May Vary,

This gets me to wondering if maybe it is because you have kept the same style of play since the payout structure changed that you are not winning. After all, if everone played the same at the table all the time then no one would have an advantage. You may need to over-play the situation sometimes and go straight loose-agressive (or seem to) and sometimes go tight-passive. I have not watched you play, but I have been reading a good bit of what you have written here and seem to think that you are stuck in a comfortable style that needs to be mixed-up some. Good Luck.

Posted by MrGoss at December 15, 2005 04:06 PM

good points and thank you MrGoss. I do try to vary my playing style according to different situations and reads, but I think you are probably right in that I do sometimes lull myself into a comfort zone and fail to adjust in time. Thank you for your comments

Posted by Sack at December 16, 2005 06:16 AM

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