Wednesday, February 07, 2007

SNG ROI Expectations vs Winning Players

This post was inspired by yet another thread on the 2+2 forums... someone was asking how many fish do you need in a SNG to make it profitable? No easy answer of course, I replied with my thoughts on ROI against winning SNG players as mentioned here some weeks ago... (will paste it below)... then the thread (as they often do) turned into egotism and posturing, comments such as 'well I have an edge over players X, Y and Z'. 'You have to learn to beat the winners too so stop crying'. etc etc

As regular readers will know we try to be rational about things here at plan3t gong! So, time to have a look at the effect of other winners on the table - not from an ego perspective - but using the numbers... the twist this time is that we look at it from the perspective of someone who has an edge over the winners.

First, here is a recap of the effect of winning players at your table (this was my 2+2 reply);

- Prize Pool, 10 man SNG - $100 pool - on 'average' your 3 winning opponents take home $12 each, remaining 7 (inc you) now fight over 64 / 7 = $9.1 each - your ROI = 20% so you now can expect $1.8 + 9.1 or an average of $10.9 (so your ROI is now 9%)... of course this is simplified - your ROI also affects the other winners and we did not include rake, hopefully point still valid though!

- Expectation vs table. If your ROI of 20% comes from losing players and you now put winners on the table... so vs 9 donks you have 20%, vs 3 winners you have 0% over time. so we reduce your 20% by 1/3rd to reflect your average against the whole table - thats 13.33%

- Strategy considerations... more complex and harder to put in numbers. We ask the question where does your profit come from... simple answer = opponents mistakes, in SNGs this is mostly bubble mistakes. Here is the key for me when it comes to ROI - in order for the donks to make BIG bubble mistakes you need a critical mass of them, 1 donk at the bubble is likely to kill your $ev at the same time of his own - if you get 2 or even 3 bad bubble players you have more profit as they will make errors against each other too. Against the winning opponents your edge can thus be reduced a long way.

Now we can factor in the player who has an edge over the winners... a super-player!!

First the baseline... 10 players, $100 prize pool (50/30/20).... our winner has a 40% ROI (probably not achievable long term but for this example we use it), this is vs the 'average player). Thus for every $10 invested he makes $4.

Next we add in 3 winners but exclude the edge against them from our super-player for now. If we give the 3 winners a 25% ROI then $37.50 is gone from the prize pool (on average) leaving $62.50 for the remaining 7 players or $8.90 each... out winner has +40% and so makes (again on average) $12.46 per game. His ROI with 6 average and 3 winning opponents is 24.6%.

We can then factor in our super-players edge vs the opposition. Here we have to calculate that edge by doing the maths backward from the above example.... if our super-player takes $14 from the prize pool we have $86 left for the other 9 = $9.5 each - our 3 winners have 25% so $11.85 per game or 18.5% ROI - thus the edge of the super player against the 3 winners is 6.5%.

Now we get to the key question - what is the true ROI of the super table vs the 3 winners and 6 losers. Well it is all in the calculations above (40% *6)+(6.5%*3)/9 = 28.8%

So his edge vs the winners has increased his expectation from 24.6% to 28.8%... not much.

Let me ask a question, though the maths was simplified above (no rake / round numbers etc) would you - as a super player - rather be earning $4 per game or $2.88 per game. My feeling is that those who are playing with their ego rather than their logic are costing themselves money even when they are correct about their edge vs other winners .... now let us be honest - how many of them really have an edge!!

OK enough maths, the keys are obvious - to be a winning player we must practice good table selection and good site selection, even if we are better than the winners, playing with them is going to bebad for the bankroll.

Will include some links to my 'Beyond Table Selection' Series which looked at some alternatives to the major poker rooms at the bottom of this post. Suggest my US readers check out Full Tilt for SNGs and Non-US readers try Titan (the new 'Fishtank'!).

Take some action, whatever it may be - idling along at your regular site trying to outfox the known winners is going to impact you right in the wallet in the end!!!


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The Following Older Posts Should Pop up in new windows (he writes hopefully!)

Beyond Table Selection Series:

Beyond Table Selection #1 - The Problem and the Solution!

Beyond Table Selection #2 - Absolute

Beyond Table Selection #3 - Titan (Not US Friendly)

Beyond Table Selection #4 - Poker.com

Cheers, Mark

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