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tiger1
02-25-2003, 02:48 PM
1) Population: All people who play limit poker over the course of their lifetime
Hypotheses: 90% of people who play poker lose, 10% win?
What is the correct percentage?
2) Population: All people who played poker last Saturday.
Hypotheses: 90% of people who play poker lose, 10% win?
What is the average percentage of winners vs. losers on any given night (this number could fluctuate a bit I just opinions)?

Daliman
02-25-2003, 11:48 PM
1. Probably closer to 95% of all people who play poker lose. Big fish theory applies.

2. On any given night, at a regular casino, I'd say probably about 25% of the people win, given that the rake takes an average of about 5-7% of ALL winnings, through rake and tips.

Bozeman
02-26-2003, 02:10 AM
First, let me say that all these estimates are provisional and depend on what fraction of the players play each limit.

One could reasonably estimate that the house (plus tips) makes about 0.5-1 BB/hr. on each player. Let's use .5 for this calculation. Considering that 1BB/hr is a good rate to make, we can estimate that the SD of the EV distribution at this time is 1 BB/hr. (about 7% of player will make 1 BB/hr or better). The mean is -0.5.

If all these people play an infinite amount of time, 30.85% will be ahead. However, in a real situation, most of the losers will leave, and many of the winners will move to limits where they can't win or will go broke from fluctuations. Thus the actual percentage of lifetime winners will be much lower (probably about 5%).

If we suppose that we keep the same players (reasonably valid for a one hour time period, loses accuracy as people leave because of bankroll considerations):

On a given night (let's say a 4 hour session) with luck SD of 20 BB in 4 hours, ~46% of players will be winners.

After 100 hours ~35% of players will be up and as time passes we closely approach the 30.85% that would be expected winners in the normal distribution with mean -.5, SD 1.

Regardless, the lifetime percentage of winners must be smaller than the nightly percentage of winners due to fluctuation affects, unless something bizarre occurs, like more winners quitting poker forever than losers.

Craig

tiger1
02-26-2003, 04:18 PM
It would have to follow there are more winners during a ramdom night than lifetime winners. You could win small amounts of $ over multiple sessions, but lose a large amount one night. Then you could theoretically be called a winner 4 out of 5 nights but be a lifetime loser for your 5 sessions.

You think only 5% of poker players are winners over their lifetime?? Yet, the 95% keep coming back every weekend to donate to the blessed 5%. It's amazing that anyone still likes this game besides the 5% and it's a special accomplishment when you do become part of the 5%. It must be the 30% chance of winning on any given night that brings most back to the felt if they believe that poker is a game of luck. If people actually knew that only 5% of the population win at poker, do you think they would still play?

Can we safely say: Over time, skill is the ultimate factor in poker, and eventually all the money goes to 5% of the people who win.

"I had no idea poker was so difficult."

AmericanAirlines
02-26-2003, 05:33 PM
I suspect it's the hope of joining the 5% that keeps people coming back. Same as going to college, getting job etc.

After all the much talked about Upper 5% (or upper 1% often) means that most of us will be stuck in the servant classes all our life.

Surprises me that more folks aren't fed up with that too.

But then maybe that's why folks keep trying at poker... hoping to earn a living without the rat race.

I've often suspected a similar phenomenon drives the golf industry... "Geez, if I could just hit par I could go on tour..."

Sincerely,
AA

J.R.
02-26-2003, 07:20 PM
I suspect it's the hope of joining the 5% that keeps people coming back. Same as going to college, getting job etc. After all the much talked about Upper 5% (or upper 1% often) means that most of us will be stuck in the servant classes all our life.

This is one of the poorest analogies I have ever seen. The implication that going to college and getting a job is for suckers with pipe-dreams is rubbish.

chaos
02-27-2003, 02:36 PM
If people actually knew that only 5% of the population win at poker, do you think they would still play?

Hey they play slots, craps, roulette, bacarrat, etc. where virtually no one is a long term winner. They come to gamble.

tiger1
02-27-2003, 04:19 PM
The truth is that most people are average. They are of average intelligence, average physical ability, just average. There's no doubt that being in the top 1-5% at anything is an accomplishment whether is be the SAT's to get into college, poker, or a sport etc. It also could mean what college you go to whether it be MIT or a community college. Only the top 1% of their class are accepted to MIT. It doesn't mean you are less of a person if you don't go there, it just means you may not be in the top 1%. But, you could be a great baseball player and be in the top 1% of baseball players. You can either study hard or play harder to get in the 1%. Not everyone can be a great poker player, it is a gift just like being a genius or pro athlete. You must practice, train, study, and you must have a gift to be at the top in the poker world.

Most people choose to be average at most things, but most have their own interest or certain area of expertise.

I hope most people play poker to have fun and gamble. Not to make money...that means more profit for the poker professionals.

AmericanAirlines
02-27-2003, 10:02 PM
You're missing the anology.

Most folks go to college expecting to be "big time" successes. (Unfortunately we are young and dumb when we go.)

Unfortunately most end up worker bees.

That's just a fact.

In the end the Ivy League schools (all 8 or so of them) are
still the insider's club. And that's still a small percentage.

It's the idea that a degree insures massive success that is BS. And the colleges don't do anything to dispell that myth.

I wrote Harvard business school and asked, "With all the scholars you have there, have you solved the biggest question of all? How can a working stiff get into the upper classes quickly? If not, then what exactly are you folks working on?"

They declined to answer.

Some lesser schools admitted I posed an valid question, but also could not give an answer.

Poor analogy or not, it's still true. Just look down any major metropolitan interstate at rush hour any day... are all those folks going to the sky scrapers really "kicking ass". I think not.

If you work for someone else, you are a servant wouldn't you say?

:-)

Granted, there are some mighty well paid servants in the upper ranks of Corp. USA (the biggest employer right?) but again that's a mighty small sliver... again supporting the analogy.

In any event, I have a degree, also went to Law School but dropped out, and have about 8-10 Fort. 500's on my resume, so I think I speak from a lifetime of experience with the world of "jobs".

As I see it, if a jog doesn't get me to wealth and autonomy, it isn't doing its "jog" for me... and well fact is, few working folks retire securely... so how are we not suckers to the hierarchy with the rich at the top?

Sincerely,
AA

tiger1
03-01-2003, 04:37 PM
Most people are in the herd. Moo moo. Most people do the "rat race". Everyone wants to be their own boss. Corporate America is taking over. It is true that many are not "living their dream" of getting rich or successful.
Some people punch the timeclock their whole life just to pay the mortgage.
Most of us are suckers to the rich at the top if you're talking about monetary success. Most people find meaning and joy in life in other ways...

KDF
03-03-2003, 05:16 PM
Getting a little off topic...but,

1. If the value of life (i.e. winner or loser) is based only on money, then I have pity for those who think this way.
2. If the value of Poker (i.e. winner or loser) is based on fun and gambling, then I have no pity and please sit at my table!

Some have said that life is a game, I think not. If it is, itís not very fun. Life is life and you only get one shot, if you want make it a game go ahead. Long term success is not measured by money. Just look at the life stories of the majority of the top 1%'ers in history...mostly full of greed, insecurity, unhappiness and eventual despair. What a success!

Poker is a game, and thats all it is. For anyone who takes it even a little serious, long term success is measured by money and nothing else. It's really only one dimensional. Equating the same type of success to life in general is also one dimensional, and just plain wrong. IMHO

BTW, many of the so called- 95% in the poker world don't even know it and good chunk of them don't even care. If you told them they'd say, "how do you know?". Your correct response should be, "oh..I don't know, it's all a bunch of BS, you can't measure luck anyway." /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

Vehn
03-03-2003, 05:31 PM
Craig I don't think the .5 bb/hour figure is very good for a typical B&M. My normal game is 8/16 HE here at canterbury in minnesota. The game is raked at 5% to $4, and there's a $1 JP drop whenever a flop is seen, plus more or less mandatory $1 toke. If I win 3 pots an hour I'm frequently already being charged a whole big bet. And consider this - the cardroom list of hold'em games on a typical weekend night looks like this:

2/4 - 5 tables
3/6 - 4
4/8 - 3
6/12 - 2
8/16 - 2
15/30 - 2

So the "average" player is at 3/6 or 4/8 and getting charged much much more per hour in terms of big bets. A tightish 2/4 player is paying a whopping 3-5 big bets per hour in rake! I think you've certainely overestimated the number of people who win on a given night.

AmericanAirlines
03-03-2003, 08:25 PM
Hi Tiger,
Fair enough. But my personal observation about my own life is that the only thing that ever stood between me and anything I wanted in life, both material and non-material has been the price tag.

:-)

Working to be able to go back to work is a really cruddy way to have engineered the economy for us in the moo-moo herd.

Sincerely,
AA

AmericanAirlines
03-03-2003, 08:29 PM
Hi KDF,
I agree with what you are saying, for the most part. Life is *not* a game... and you do only get *one* shot far as anyone can say for sure.

Hence, to have the world engineered so that we all work away most of our lives seems plain stupid, and something we should collectively be looking for a solution to.

But, as long as individual initiative is the main thing that is rewarded, and the treadmill of "what the market will bear" pricing goes on... hoovering the majority of the wealth upward, and the majority of the work downward, we *will* continue to was our lives in the work-to-live / live-to-work conundrum.

Sincerely,
AA

kbnz
03-04-2003, 06:52 PM
1. I do agree that the long term winner rate is roughly 5-10% at the low limits (1-4-8-8, or 4/8- 5% rake to $3).

2. I think your daily winner percentage is most likely low since many recreational players play hit and run and only play long sessions if they are chasing a loss. I'd very unscientifically guess that it is closer to 25 or 30%. I'd say of a random sample 20 players who sit down to play, 5 book big losses (+10 bb), 1 books a big win, 4 book small wins(-10bb) and 10 book small losses. This is a guess, mostly coming from experience at the 4/8 and 1-4-8-8 games in Las Vegas.

Most non-professional players do not play uniform sessions, so this could be a difficult number to peg down.

Net Warrior
03-04-2003, 08:54 PM
AA, you wrote:
"As I see it, if a job doesn't get me to wealth and autonomy, it isn't doing its "job" for me... and well fact is, few working folks retire securely... so how are we not suckers to the hierarchy with the rich at the top?"

To be autonomous is to be an independent moral agent. Itís having personal independence and the capacity to make moral decisions and act on them. A job has nothing to do with autonomy. In fact an autonomous person would likely have a many things as priorities ahead of wealth. If you see yourself as a sucker to the hierarchy then you should try to adjust the way you see things. Society is organized in hierarchies. Thatís just human nature at work. By definition there are only a few at the top. Thatís just the way it has to be. You should try to get over it. You should try to become autonomous instead.

J.R.
03-05-2003, 06:22 PM
I agree. All I was saying is that going to college is a sound way to ensure that you can survive, put food on the tabel, take the wife out , get the kids presents, etc. I think you are a fool if you think you can be in the top 5% of every endeavor you undertake, but to imply that college is for suckers or a pipe dream just because you don't end up making $250,000+ a year (top 2% or so of earners) is rubbish. We need moeny in this society, and I see a college education as a solid way of getting it.

J.R.
03-05-2003, 06:41 PM
Most folks go to college expecting to be "big time" successes

I disagree. Most people go to college to give them a stable career and a chance to not have to work peforming menial tasks that typically involve physcial labor. Those are the type of jobs many with only a high school degree can obtain. We all gotta work, might as well not be digging a ditch in the middle of winter or in the heat of summer.

It's the idea that a degree insures massive success that is BS

I don't know who you hang out with, but I have never heard this in my life. I got a professional degree and I don't know many people who did so to beocme massive successes, but I know a lot who did so to acheive a decent living, to challenge themselves intellectually with their work and to have a degree of freedom afforded to the professional class that is not often earned with just a college degree.

If 25% of the people in the US go to college, and massive success is defined as top 5%, then you are a moron for thinking college = massive success.

... are all those folks going to the sky scrapers
really "kicking ass".

They doing much better at earning a living than the people who walk into a casino or poker room with the expectation of a profit.

As I see it, if a jog doesn't get me to wealth and autonomy, it isn't doing its "jog" for me... and well fact is, few working folks retire securely... so how are we not suckers to the hierarchy with the rich at the top?

No doubt the rich have it well, but why take such a negative approach. Just like in hold'em I take the cards I am dealt and try to make the most of it. I was not dealt AA in the hand of life like some others, but does that mean I should quit the game. Am I better off having gone through law school? IMO yes, and that's all that matters. I could sit around a bitch and complain about my bad fortune in not picking the right parents, but instead I choose to live my life, and to make the dam best of it while I have the blessed opportunity to be here on earth.

I look at the problem from a marginal approach- am I better off today than I was at some other point, not from an aggregate appraoch, wherein I may never be better off working my whole life than somebody else. But the point is that i am not soeemone else, I am me, and I believe I should make the most of what I have and not worry so much about everybody else. Life is to damn short to sweat the stuf you can't control.

gilly
03-13-2003, 12:17 PM
I would say that saying 25%-30% of players in a low limit game win is too high. I play a lot of lower limit
stud and holdem and I can say that there are plenty of $1-5 stud games in AC and in Tunica where the percentage of winners
is 0%. Between the rake and tips over a course of the night some low limit games will not have any winners.
Now all it takes is one loose player to throw his chips around to get this number up.

tiger1
03-13-2003, 05:34 PM
From everyone's post, and we're talking strictly in monetary terms relating to poker,

5-10% lifetime winners
25-40% winners per session played

There are serious problems with being so general. Is it possible to find the average $ amount -EV of playing poker including the rake (why many more people lose)? How about a chart that shows a normal poker distribution?

I think it would be grossly skewed to the left (few people making lots of $$), many breakeven, many many many people losing a small amount, and few people losing lots of $.

It is also a misleading factor that a loss of $5000 to one player is no big deal (he's a millionaire) and a $5000 loss is a huge deal to another player.