Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Limit holdem = high variance

I've been reading a few articles lately on variance in limit holdem and then general consensus is that since it is a game of very small margins, variance is huge. 300BB swings can often occur and some people even mention up to 750BB swings!!! That would be painful.

What does this mean for me?
  • Well, it means downswings can happen often, and for an extended period of time.
How do I combat it?
  • I keep reviewing my game, and making sure i'm playing correctly.
  • The rakeback and bonus deals I take advantage of also help to smooth out the downswings.
  • Also by ensuring good table and seat selection, and the discipline to quit tables when the fish leave maximises my potential to win at the tables.

Im not really sure what else you can do, other than just put up with variance as a fact of life if you're playing poker.

Given i've written on this topic, its probably relatively obvious that my session last night didn't go well. Again. I played about an hour in total, and whilst I held about even on the $2/4 and $3/6 tables, I again managed to get smashed by some super fishy players at $1/2. I probably lost 40BBs at the $1/2 level in around 120 hands when I couldn't win a showdown to save my life as the fish playing any 2 suited were hitting flush after flush. About 50 of those hands were on fulltilt where I literally did not win a single showdown.

My last hand that I saw a flop in of the session on the $2/4 tables ended with me picking up AA on the button, and managing to get it heads up and capped preflop versus an UTG raiser. Flop was 7 high rainbow, and I ended up capping the flop as well as my opponent is most likely on AA or KK and possibly QQ when he 3 bets the flop. Given I have AA i'm fairly sure i'm ahead. Turn was a blank which he checks and I bet and he calls. River is a Q, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess what he had when he leads out for a bet. And there's my final beat of the night for a 15BB $60 pot. Irritating.

Overall i'm down around 160BBs in my last few sessions. Still hoping it turns around soon! Variance by its nature will eventually turn around and go my way. Also fortunately for me, most of the loss has been on the $1/2 tables, with the $2/4 and $3/6 tables holding up relatively well.

That being said, i'm actually still showing a positive return for January ... just (thankyou rakeback and bonuses!), and I almost have enough points on Ladbrokes to ensure a rake race position.

Current bankroll: $15,900

1 comment:

The blindman said...

Hang in there. Look at the gradient of your graph, and remind yourself that rakeback is part of your winnings that the poker room just borrowed fro a while :)