View Full Version : Too Good to be True: Hourly Rate and SD

06-08-2003, 03:07 PM
I have been playing recreationally over the last year and a half and keeping meticulous records. I have been very happy with my results but in many ways they just look too good to be true. I cannot find any mistakes in my calculations and yet something tells me I just cannot be that good. Here is the data:

20-40 HE (started playing this high 18 months ago)
600 total hours (about 60 sessions)
Hourly Rate: $47
Standard Deviation: $300

Now the reason I know there is something wrong with this picture is that by these numbers I would fit the expert status of what S&M describe in their books, i.e. someone who makes over one big bet an hour with a reasonable SD. I play poker purely for fun and though I do take it very seriously and try to excel, I doubt I have reached such heights so quickly. The other problem with my numbers is that the required bankroll for my 20-40 HE game based on my results will be only $4,700 which is impossible. (BTW my numbers are right: I have done the calculations by hand, Excel and StatKing and they all agree).

I am not sure how to explain the anomaly in my results. Have I just been too lucky for a long period of time? I cannot come up with an alternative explanation. Comments appreciated.


06-09-2003, 01:18 AM
Maybe you just play really well?

600 hours really isn't a lot. Those numbers could really change a lot over the next 600 hours. Heck, a couple of really bad sessions will have a significant impact on your overall numbers.

06-09-2003, 11:20 AM
Does anyone know of a formula which tells you how acurate you results are?

crazy canuck
06-09-2003, 03:46 PM
Did you mean (original poster) the variance is 300?

Does anyone know of a formula which tells you how acurate you results are?

Yes you can actually calculate the confidence interval for the estimated parameters. However, this assumes that the parameters come from a normal distribution (which is probably not the case). Anyhow, if your estimated expected value is "E" and your estimated variance is "V" the 95% confidence interval for E is:

E +/- 1.96*(V/n) , where n is the number of data points

and the 95% CI for V is:

V +/- 1.96*(2*V*V/n).

06-11-2003, 05:41 PM
An easy explaination could be that you are in a very good (soft) game. S&M description for the "expert" player winning at that rate is for the typical mid to high limit games that they see in Vegas. It is certainly possible for very good players to win more than this in the softer lower limit games. And while most games at the 20/40 limit would have a higher caliber of player, this is not always the case ( there might be some rich guys that are regulars who just play for fun, and the money is inconsequential to them). If you have happened on a juicy game, good for you.