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Old 12-13-2005, 03:30 AM
N 82 50 24 N 82 50 24 is offline
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Default ZeeJustin: A Case Study

There's been a lot of talk lately about ZeeJustin, MTT ROI, variance, etc. I want to present some data that I have on Justin, strictly on PokerStars. Justin agreed to let me do this.

Okay, first, a quick word about the data I have. It's PokerStars MTTs from February 9th 2004 until virtually current (early on Monday morning, 12/12). I also have what I believe to be almost all of the $215 events (I know of a few I'm missing that I'm planning to database soon). It's not complete. I know it would be better if I had Party too, but I don't. Anyway, on to the analysis.

Clearly, he's not among the most frequent MTTs on Stars, but he's still playing enough to get an idea of where he stands. I know, from a statistical perspective, he has to play a ton of MTTs for it to be "significant" that he's a winning/losing player. However, I think as someone plays more and more, you can say with more confidence whether they are or aren't beating the game. With MTTs, nothing, it seems, is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt -- so this doesn't proven Justin is a winning or losing player, it just improves our ability to guess.

One major problem with our sample is that it has a lot of big field tournaments in it. One would expect to miss the final table pretty much all of the time in these 3000+ person tournaments, but that isn't the case in the smaller 109r. Even the Stupers (the Stars Super) have a pretty decent size field. Nonetheless, I proceed.

Here is a general breakdown of Justin's stats, sorted by # played:



Here is a breakdown of his biggest cashes:



Now, that's kind of a shocking image. Am I really telling you one of the supposed best NLHE players on the internet only has two cashes over $2500 this year on Stars? Yes, it's true. This is where the trolls usually come out and say: "but, if you take out those two cashes, he's a losing player" or "he just got lucky, the rest of the time shows his true skill - ie, he sucks." Well, in a sense, those trolls are correct. Here are his overall results, to my best knowledge:



His ITM is about right... usually 10% of the field gets paid, but he doesn't play to get into the money. The FT rate and top 3 rate are hard to analyze because he plays so many big field tourneys. His avg finish is better than avg, although not by much. Across all the players I've looked at, very few are in the 30s. Most winning players hang around the 40-45 mark. However, his ROI is pretty telling. He's more than tripled his investment on Stars on avg in a tourney. A good player can probably expect to have a 2-4x the buyin expectation, so this seems just about right to me.

If you take out the two wins, he's DOWN over $20K on Stars in that time period in MTTs. That's true as far as I can tell. However, Justin clearly isn't looking for consistency with his game selection... he's looking for big scores. I don't think he'd want to slowly build up his profit $200 at a time in 5 dollar rebuy tournaments. The whole point of playing 3500 person $200 tourneys is to bust out 50 times, win once and be ahead $100K at the end of the day. Justin knows that and he expects, over the long term, to lose most of the time (although he obviously hopes any given week is an exception). The point is you can't say "but if you take away that one win" without saying "but if you take away all those losses" as well.

Another point trolls might make is that he just got lucky yesterday. True, he did. But, like I've mentioned, the big field tourneys are about just hitting it over and over until you break through. Sunday was Justin's day. He's put himself in position to win the Sunday tournament a number of times. I recall one Big Sunday tourney on Stars where Justin had a very healthy stack deep (less than 100 people left), poised to roll over the final table. He got in pre flop with AA v AQ against another healthy stack -- and the board comes with two queens. A great opportunity lost. But that's poker... keep putting yourself in a good spot, things will eventually work out. Just because he won some key races and didn't get unlucky doesn't just make him a bad player.

Anyway, congrats to Justin on his performance on Sunday. It was clearly deserved and was the culmination of years of effort looking for a huge cash on Stars.
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2005, 03:41 AM
ZeeJustin ZeeJustin is offline
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Default Re: ZeeJustin: A Case Study

Wow, this is embarrassing. Ok, a few points in my defense.
1) A lot of those tourneys shouldn't count. Most of the $1-$3 tourneys I just went all-in every hand, and about half of the $30 and below tourneys were probably other people on my account.
2) Sats aren't on here. I've won like 7 or 8 seats to main events that would boost all my stats.
3) I've had MUCH more success on Party than Stars, and I play there far more often.
4) My best success at Stars has been in SNGs, but this doesn't have those stats.
5) What about live poker Stars tournaments like Deavuille or last years PCA. Those don't count either?!?

This is some extremely selective data.
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2005, 03:47 AM
N 82 50 24 N 82 50 24 is offline
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Default Re: ZeeJustin: A Case Study

[ QUOTE ]
Wow, this is embarrassing. Ok, a few points in my defense.
1) A lot of those tourneys shouldn't count. Most of the $1-$3 tourneys I just went all-in every hand, and about half of the $30 and below tourneys were probably other people on my account.
2) Sats aren't on here. I've won like 7 or 8 seats to main events that would boost all my stats.
3) I've had MUCH more success on Party than Stars, and I play there far more often.
4) My best success at Stars has been in SNGs, but this doesn't have those stats.
5) What about live poker Stars tournaments like Deavuille or last years PCA. Those don't count either?!?

This is some extremely selective data.

[/ QUOTE ]

To reply...

1) Those tourneys really aren't affecting the numbers we're looking at here. Granted they make for a lot of red in the top graphic, but that's not really the point of this

2) Satellites aren't MTTs. They're a different breed of tournament poker. Just like STTs aren't in here, HU STTs aren't in here and cash games aren't included either.

3) I said I don't have Party... it's unfortunate, I agree.

4) Like I said, this is just a look at MTTs... a high variance form of poker for sure. It's characterized by long periods of failure and a few moments of success, hopefully resulting in a long term profit of some kind.

5) No, I guess that's what the Hendon Mob is for, although they don't include non-cashes. If there was a way to get non-cashing info for live MTTs, I would start to include those as well.
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  #4  
Old 12-13-2005, 03:50 AM
aLOWdAkING aLOWdAkING is offline
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Default Re: ZeeJustin: A Case Study

Don't sweat it bro, you're still my hero (after Phil Ivey of course).
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2005, 04:00 AM
Exitonly Exitonly is offline
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Default Re: ZeeJustin: A Case Study

nice post. especially nicec because i like to be reminded how crazy mtt's are, while i'm in the middle of a downswing.
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2005, 04:05 AM
scott8 scott8 is offline
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Default Re: ZeeJustin: A Case Study

If you only took my PS stats you would say I am losing player. If you only took my Party stats you would think I had won much more than I had.

Considering how many sites offer lucrative MTTs, I have a major problem analyzing data from just one site to paint the picture of ROI.

It would be like me only looking at my BB/100 in cash games for even days or something.

I think the data is interesting, but should be taken with a grain of salt.

-Scott
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2005, 04:07 AM
Exitonly Exitonly is offline
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Default Re: ZeeJustin: A Case Study

How is it selective data? it's just a small sample size.
And your conerns about the smaller tournaments affecting your stats.. you barely played any of them, and they are such a tiny fraction of your average buyin. they're not going to skew your stats much at all.
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2005, 04:13 AM
MLG MLG is offline
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Default Re: ZeeJustin: A Case Study

Sobering data to be sure, although as far as im concerned not all that surprising. Whats surprising to me is that Justin thinks there's anything to be embarassed about. These are great stats really. Oh, and anybody who would make the comment "he would be a losing player without his top two cashes" is missing the point of MTTs entirely.
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2005, 04:18 AM
bugstud bugstud is offline
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Default Re: ZeeJustin: A Case Study

[ QUOTE ]
Sobering data to be sure, although as far as im concerned not all that surprising. Whats surprising to me is that Justin thinks there's anything to be embarassed about. These are great stats really. Oh, and anybody who would make the comment "he would be a losing player without his top two cashes" is missing the point of MTTs entirely.

[/ QUOTE ]

the guy that is still massively +ev after taking out his top 2 cashes either
A) never goes really deep
B) rhymes with colson
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2005, 04:21 AM
N 82 50 24 N 82 50 24 is offline
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Default Re: ZeeJustin: A Case Study

[ QUOTE ]
I think the data is interesting, but should be taken with a grain of salt.

-Scott

[/ QUOTE ]

Agreed. I set out most of those points in the beginning of my post.
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