Friday, March 11, 2011

Goddamn I run good!

Somebody asked me awhile back in the comments what my EV was for each limit. So I checked it out in HEM and found out that I was down about $500 over my last 2 million hands. This seems a little excessive since:

1) Its a huge sample


2) I played 75% of those hands at NL2 and NL5.

And in the small amount of hands that I have played this year I have run very poorly as well. Its very disheartening as most any regular poker player knows and can have devastating effects on your game.

But when I posted those numbers in the comments...

Here again:

NL2 + 62 buyins
NL5 - 28 buyins
NL10 + 1 buyin meaningless sample
NL25 - 29 buyins
NL50 + 8 buyins
NL100 - 2 buyins meaningless sample

...I didn't even look at the buyin amounts. I was simply fixated on the number $500. Negative $500.

But, if I count the EV in terms of buyins won or lost I am actually ahead by 12 of them (7 now as of the writing of this post) over those 2 million hands! I am running above average! Thats right, I run good! I'm just down a bunch of money because most of my run bad has come at higher limits.

But I think the EV of buyins is a much truer measure of your overall luck than total money won/lost because the latter can easily get skewed by your higher limit results as in my case. Unfortunately I don't know how to easily display this in HEM (hence the manual counting above) although you can graph in big blinds and big bets.

I don't want to ever look at these stupid numbers again. I always had them turned off in HEM for that reason. I see countless poker players whine and whine and whine some more about them. Yet twist them around and you might actually be running good.

This is a quote from Nanonoko the other day on 2+2 when asked how he thinks he runs:

"I think I run well but that's cuz I'm an optimist. Being a pessimist tends to hamper your performance in a lot of things..."
I totally agree. As far as I am concerned I run like God all the time. And don't let me ever try and convince you otherwise again ;p

Nathan Williams aka "BlackRain79" is a microstakes grinder, poker coachDragTheBar instructor and the author of Crushing the Microstakes. Now available in Spanish and Russian as well.


  1. Sorry i ask you about your Ev :).It's amazing how many opinions you get from players on Ev and should you be running close to it or not :} .Hope your having a good month .
    Thanks Chris

  2. Haha no problem at all. Ya, I think its just wasted energy. I know because I've spent far too much time worrying about it over the years =/

  3. Hey Nathan! wasup my man, good to see u at NL2 at a few of my tables! u been killing it lately and so have i. On ptr me and you were number 1 and 2 for the day with $26 and $25 respectably. I just want to thank you for crushing the games down there, since i met you i have studied ur game substancially to try and get better and its paying off!

    TYVM for all your help so far!


  4. Thank PTR not me haha. Nice job, glad its going well for you.

  5. Are you going to attempt to move up in stakes at all this year? I know you could beat 100nl easy.

  6. Yup. Trying again now. We all got our issues right? Else we'd all be playing NL5k. I'm no different and negative variance when I try to move up continues to haunt me. I'm trying to battle through though.

  7. hello i see you are back at NL25 another dark blue marked reg (solid) on tables :):) im finally winning at NL25 and i was holding first place in this year winnings in NL10 when i played NL10, maybe we can talk some hands if you want through email etc

    i gonna grind hard these days(8hours+) to catch some milestone bonus from pokerstars promotion

    gl at tables