Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sharkscope At A Glance

2nd place is the new first, evidenced by my Sunday night success where I finished 2nd in all 4 SNGs that I played, including a 2nd place finish in another $3 KO game. I even took 2nd place in a Turbo O8 game; I registered thinking that it was a PLO game. I haven't played O8 in months and found my game to be rusty. I just placed super tight early going, waited until the blinds gave me just enough fold equity, doubled up by taking down an entire pot with nothing but a flopped pair of 4s, and grew my stack from there.

I've been thinking about my last post & some of the comments that were left. Obviously I haven't made an effort to reach my goals quite yet (seems to be a common theme of this blog), albeit some of the goals (Mookie win, MTT win) are semi-dependent on other goals (bankroll building). Additionally, the goals aren't weighted the same - building my bankroll is by and far the most important goal this year. But suffice it to say that I have found success because I haven't put forth the effort to be successful.

One of the areas that has hampered my success has been my ability to stick to one game. Alan had a great post the other day about sticking to one game, and I share that view to a degree. What I'm more concerned with is sticking to one buyin level. My current bankroll doesn't give me the freedom to play a wide variety of buyins, but there are obviously some games that I've found to be more beatable than others.

According to Sharkscope, there are certain games that are significantly more profitable than others.

My least profitable game is a $2 buyin. For the most part, these games were single-table SNGs or heads up SNGs. I'm not quite sure why I've been so unsuccessful at these stakes, and I don't really know if there's a correlation between the stakes and my success (you would figure that, if there is, I'd see a similar correlation at the $1 stakes - more on those next). Additionally, when my girlfriend was playing, these were the stakes she would play, but she cashed fairly regularly, and I'd almost be willing to bet that her winnings actually make my ROI better. My best guess would be that my play was a lot more reckless at these buyins, but I really don't know. I haven't actually played these stakes in a while now, but according to the graph that's probably a good thing.

What's interesting is that, looking at the buyin below that, I've been very successful at the $1 stakes. However, I've played very little of these games, and I think the ROI in this case is boosted by sample-size & one of my cashes being a 1st place in a 5-table game for about $17. Regardless, I've moved beyond $1 and $2 stakes because they don't provide enough profit to make my time worthwhile.

My next least successful game is at the $6 buyin. At these buyins, I most often play Turbo PLO or 6-max Token games. The sample size at these levels is probably too small to determine truly how successful I am, but I have to admit I'm kind of surprised by these games. I've assumed that winning tokens are included as profit, but that might be one explanation. I have been rather unsuccessful at the token games lately, and I might be less successful at the PLO games. I play the PLO games at the turbo level because they seem to fill up faster than the $5 regular games, and I thought I had been doing well at those as well. Looks like that might not be the case.

At the $10 buyin, I've played too few games to really consider what those stats mean.

The two most profitable buyins are the $5 and the $2.50 games. The $5 games are my bread and butter - I've sustained the 40% ROI for some time now. I could probably cash in these things in my sleep. However, the ROI is partially inflated by a 90-seat victory - my ROI at just the single-table would probably be several percentage points less. But these are the games that I'm primarily relying on to build my bankroll, and it's good to know that they're also my second-most successful.

I'm a bit surprised to see the $2.50 games at the number one spot, only because I thought I had donked out of enough of these to make this much lower. These are the $3 KO games, so I imagine I've scored enough bounties to partially offset some of the non-cashes. You don't make the cash until you final table these, but I've been able to do that several times, and have already scored a 1st place, 2 or 3 2nd place finishes, and a 4th to make these games highly profitable so far. The sample size is still too small, but even so, that ROI is pretty sick I must admit.

So what does this all mean? It means that, if I'm going to work on building my bankroll, I probably need to cut out the $6 games, both the Turbo and the token variety. I'm fine with cutting out the token games, because winning a token alone doesn't add to my bankroll. Besides, if I'm going to play a Token game, I should man up, invest another $2, and play the 2-table $8 games, which gives me a 3.6:1 shot at winning a token instead of a 6:1 chance. I've been hesitant to play anything beyond $6 stakes for tokens, but really, the $8 games just make more sense.

As far as $5 vs $2.50 games, I think it's best if I try to play them in a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio. Although my ROI is much higher at the $2.50 games, I have a 9:1 odds of cashing vs 3:1 odds of cashing in a $5 game. Additionally, I'd have to finish (if I recall correctly) 7th or higher to get the same profit I'd get with a 3rd place in a $5 game. So my odds of getting at least $5 profit in either game at 12.8:1 vs 3:1. 1st place profit in a $2.50 game is much higher (about 30x) than it is in a $5 game (4.5x) but it's a more volatile game overall. Ideally, if I can maintain an ROI at the $5 game (20-25%, which is probably where I'm at without the 90 seat victory), I'll use those to steadily increase my bankroll while using the $2.50 KO games as ways to quickly boost my bankroll. I estimated that I would need to average about $40wk profit to get my bankroll to $2k by November. I'm a bit behind that right now, but I think this formula will get me there a lot quicker than I would have if I kept playing the $6 games as well.


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