Monday, May 07, 2007

From Donkey Devastation:

As one approaches the final table, you begin to again see more and more of these high-variance players, and they actually are more likely than the low-variance players to make the final table, even with no actual edge. In fact the high variance players won 60 out of 100 and were responsible for 535 of the 1000 total final table finishes. Since up to 2/3 of the prize pool in a tournament like this is awarded at the final table, depending on the exact prize structure the high-variance players likely did slightly better money wise, even though their average finish was much lower overall. And this does not even account for any possible increase in edge that their aggressive style could bring. Furthermore, assuming they are winning players, the high-variance players do better from a $/hour standpoint, since it is better to bust out early than on the bubble as you waste less time, which could be used to enter other donkaments.

I ran across this site via Gary Carson’s Math and Poker and found it to be interesting. As an intuitive math player (I know the numbers mean something but I can’t always tell you why), I have always felt my game is more suited to MTTs with fewer entrants. I am less likely than most to get involved in hands as an underdog or a 50-50 but these situations invariably arise. In a massive MTT, the chances of surviving a series of these is slim. In a smaller MTT, you will have much fewer opportunities to be chasing or flipping for your whole stack if you play as I do. My stats show me to be a pretty consistent ITM player but that does not necessarily translate into profit as my many small cashes have a hard time outstripping the many more buy-ins. Like most MTTers, I play for the chance of the big cash that wipes out my debt and gives me the nut for another six months. A cursory glance at this article though, leads me to believe I should be more adventurous as the number of entrants increases. My dumb ass has been getting more aggressive in the smaller MTTs (much to my short-term detriment) while continuing to try desperately to hold on into the money in the big MTTs and then try to double-double after the bubble for a hopeful, final table run. I can’t recall ever having a huge chip lead with 8-20 players left in a MTT. When I have been lucky enough to make it deep in an MTT, I rarely have enough chips to be threatening enough to any but the other small stacks who are desperate enough to call my bets anyway, creating more coin-flip situations. At the final table, I have always been the player who is ten of ten but patiently hits some spots and makes the final three through other’s eliminations and timely doubles and blind steals. The upside is that I cash more than most. The downside is that those cashes are very small in relation to my buy-in and a long run of no final tabling will put a crimp in the bankroll.

Following a more reckless path in a massive MTT will necessarily mean more early knockouts. I think it is a correct view though, to view that as an opportunity to turn your attention to another tourney. An interesting variable to me would be the one of adding how many MTTS do you have to participate in to make a difference. Should the player who plays 5 or 6 a week play with the same level of aggressiveness of one who plays 50-60 in that same time frame? I usually don’t have time to play more than one a day. Should I play that one just as aggressively knowing that I am in bed when I get knocked out and not on to another tourney?

I don’t have the background to be able to judge the truth of the numbers he posts. In fact, he makes it clear the numbers may have some problems. It seems correct though. You know, intuitively.

Everyone sign up for the Hoy. I need a lot of you to test his out.


SirFWALGMan said...

I totally agree with that but the question is where to get more aggressive.. Sometimes the line between aggressive and stupid can be blurry and requires a lot of practice and thought. I have been working on these ideas a lot myself. Only reason I think I am on to something is several Blogger cashes and a 90% ROI in my other games these last 3 months.. but only time will tell.

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