View Full Version : Variance at Party Sngs

02-05-2004, 08:47 AM
I have been hearing a lot about how much better the structure is at Stars vs Party. There seems to be some consensus that despite the worse players at party, good win rates will be plagued by high amounts of variance. It is unclear to me how this can be so.

If a player has a 40-50% $$$rate at stars, and a 40-50% $$$rate at party, doesn't that imply the same amount of variance.

With a 50% $$$ rate, doesn't that mean I'll have the same number of consecutive busts and the same number of consecutive $$$ finishes, on average, at either site?

What I'm really getting at is this - Solid players seem to be posting the same kinds of results at either site. There may be slightly better results at stars because of only 9 players/table, but this should be offset by the slightly smaller prizes.

By this, I am not trying to argue that party's structure is just as good. I know it isn't. The weak players there are what make for comparable results. What i am suggesting though, is that party is easily as profitable, if not far more so due to smaller times/tourney.

Note: I am really only talking about $10+1 -> $30+3 NLHE here. This may apply elsewhere as well, but I don't have too much experience with the higher sngs

Any thoughts?

Brad S

...On second thought, I think you good players are right. Stay at Stars. I don't need you migrating over here /images/graemlins/grin.gif

02-05-2004, 09:22 AM
I am one of many I am sure that play SNG's at both Stars and Party with a breakdown of something like 70% Party and 30% Stars and I can honestly say that both have their upsides. I am slightly more profitable at Party per SNG played but I attribute that to the players at the 10 and 30 level more than any structure differences. Even with one fewer player at Stars, it seems that the games move quicker at Party and the added money of the additional player can make up somewhat for the faster (crapshoot) pace of the blinds.

In looking at my last 100 SNG's at both, even with the better structure and more starting chips at Stars, I have been only averaging about 3-5 more hands per round simply because of the slower pace of play. IMO the number of "fishy" players at Party more than make up for that kind of pace. I think it comes down to taste for 1 table tournaments. However, I love the 2 table format and wish that Party would break in with some.

02-05-2004, 10:14 AM
If a player has a 40-50% $$$rate at stars, and a 40-50% $$$rate at party, doesn't that imply the same amount of variance.

No. Win-rate and variance are two different things. The ROI is the mathematical average of the gains with respect to costs, whereas the variance is a measure of how much your results will flucurate around this average.

02-05-2004, 10:28 AM
I have been unclear. When I said 40-50%, I meant the amount of times a player makes the money, not ROI. Would this affect variance?

I know that the individual %'s for 1st/2nd/3rd might also be important, but again, it sounds like players are getting similar results from both sites, despite the structure differences.

I guess in a way I'm just asking how variance is calculated in the first place?

Brad S

02-05-2004, 11:11 AM
Hi All,

I have been reading this debate with considerable interest and, despite liking the structure better on PokerStars, I find that my $$$ per hour is better on Party. I win very slightly more at PS, but the tourneys take 30-40% longer. In pure $$ per hour, Party is better.
Suprisingly, Party has another interesting advantage and that is the way they provide tournament summaries. On Pokerstars I have to remember to download the hands or set for Auto Request in Poker Tracker. I don't have to do this with Party because they send complete hand histories with a Yes click when the tournament ends for you. I know this is minor, but it is something that I much prefer.
The table table format on PS is great and, right now, is the only reason I play there.
If I start playing the 2+2 tourney, there is another reason!


02-05-2004, 11:34 AM
I guess in a way I'm just asking how variance is calculated in the first place?

See this link (http://www.atis.org/tg2k/_variance.html) for the definition of variance. Generally speaking (ie mathematically incorrect /images/graemlins/cool.gif) you get lower variance if you finnish in the money more often. A more correct mathematical explanation would be to say that you lower your variance if you get your results to stay closer to the mean (which is quite obvious /images/graemlins/smile.gif).

However, I'm still assuming that you are talking about a variance that's associated with win-rate or ROI. You could also specify a variance for the probability of finishing in the money, but I don't see how that would be useful.

02-05-2004, 12:07 PM
The faster the antes rise and the lower the stack size to the ante, the more luck plays a factor. Where as at Party you are forced to push marginal hands at Poker Stars you can still pick your spots.

I dont understand why anyone would think the players are good at Pokerstars. The play is aweful, at least up until the $50 to $100 level. My wife played her first tourney ever last night and she was shocked at the play. She said about 20 times, "That was a really bad play wasnt it?"

02-05-2004, 01:42 PM
despite how often you finish in the money variance can be higher at one site than the other. Let's say you are in teh money 50% at both sites but at stars you record is liek this

bust, 2nd, bust, 3rd, 1st, bust.

and at party it's like this . . .
1st, 3rd, 2nd, bust, bust, bust, bust, bust, 3rd, 1st.

at party you have higher variance that is you go through bigger swings.

As far as this whole debate goes on structure. I still don't get it, the object of poker is to make the most money period. If at party it's because the players are bad then fantastic. With the short stacks it is still a game of skill just a different game of skill then what is at pokerstars.

02-05-2004, 02:54 PM
I don't see how this makes sense. If you finish in the money 50% of the time, will you not experience the same kinds of losing streaks at either site, eventually?

The two examples you gave actually kind of show this. As sample sizes get bigger, you are bound to see the same slumps and streaks.

In fact this would be predictable, wouldn't it?

After 4 tourneys, a probable slump or streak of 2
after 8, slump/streak of 3
after 16, slump/streak of 4
after 32, slump streak of 5
and so on.

If you were really seeing such uniformity as you described for stars over a long period of time, I'd start thinking something funny was going on, like psychologically affecting your rate of a money finish after each cash/bust.

Of course, I have little idea what I'm talking about so I'd love some math-nerd feedback to this post.

Brad S

02-05-2004, 03:49 PM

You are correct. There will be a good correlation between variance and percentage in the money. There will be a perfect correlation between variance and complete knowledge of percentage of firsts, seconds, thirds.

The real question: is there a significant difference between playing a good structure against (relatively) good players, and a bad structure against bad players. I am of the opinion that the structure (1000 chips) of PP's 50+'s makes them overall better than P*, but the (800 chips) 30-'s are worse.

In addition, since the headsup structure is better, one would have slightly higher variance at P* for the same $winrate.

It is probably a close and individually dependent decision,

02-05-2004, 04:22 PM
By definition, a higher variance would mean your "slump streaks" would be longer on party even if your in-the-money is the same. That's what variance means

Though generally variance is used in statistics to show how you might be in the money less often but still of the same ROI.

like if you win less but win bigger then that is a higher variance proposition.

why are we discussing this?

02-05-2004, 06:06 PM
By definition, a higher variance would mean your "slump streaks" would be longer on party even if your in-the-money is the same. That's what variance means

[/ QUOTE ]

This is just what I'm trying to suggest is wrong. Your slump streaks (times that you do not finish in the money) will be a result of your in-the-money %, no matter what site or what structure you play with. If these rates are the same, your slumps will be the same (and your variance will be the same).

I know that you could have a equal ROI with differing variance, but this would mean differing %'s of making the money between sites. For example not making the money as often, but winning when you do.

Why am I discussing this? Becasue I was wondering how variance could be different and a result of tournament structure, when the end results were similar/identical.
I assumed that was implicit in my first post of the thread.

Brad S

02-05-2004, 07:36 PM
Another point is that with more loose, aggressive players, the variance (SD) within each SnG would be higher. With higher SD, your ROR increases. That means you get knocked out more; yet if you are skilled, the extra TC from winning an all-in vs a fish gives you less of an advantage than the pure TC count would appear. (Each extra TC is worth less than the previous one, etc.)

On the other hand, everything I just said can be nullified by modifying your strategy to deal with the fishier players, in order to improve your ROI and $/hr.