Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Missing something?

I wanted to share my Poker Academy stats, more to get some comparative feedback with other PAO players than to toot my tricycle horn. Granted, this is a small sampling and the information very basic. These numbers also only represent play since April 1, 2008. The "bastin" nick has approximately $40K total for about 140K hands, and was my primary nick for the first 2 years of play.

The stats below represent playing only $200NL and $400NL, and would be a lot worse were it not for today's $400NL game. Although I was down a full buy-in, I fought my way back to a $550 profit. Still, I have lost $1500 more over the last couple weeks, which seems to happen a lot when I reach new heights in PAX (the name for the PA currency) accumulation.

Ring Games: 210
Hands Played: 18589
$/Hand: $0.19
Small Bets/Hand: 0.05
Raked: $2,350.77
Net Won: $3,550.09

Now, let's compare my stats for the nick, "ubu roi".

The majority of games were $50NL and $100NL, with a couple mis-spent sessions in the upper rooms (an $800 downswing in just a few sessions), and a few sessions in lower rooms ($20NL) as well, and dates back to April 1. I have also been experiencing somewhat of a downturn for this nick, hovering at about $4K, but recently up to $4.3K, with about 28K hands played in total.
Ring Games: 244
Hands Played: 21867
$/Hand: $0.10
Small Bets/Hand: 0.19 What is this? I believe this may accurately summarize how my game stacks up against the better players at PAO. I perform considerably more efficiently with less in the lower rooms.
Raked: $1,537.82 The rake really starts to establish a frightening ratio to my profit when on a losing streak. Inescapable, it taunts and mocks me, even as I try to widen the gap between it and my winnings.
Net Won: $2,294.49

So, let's take this in another direction. We'll round off the number* of hands played since April to 40,000. In that time I have accumulated around $5,700 in PAX. If we follow a standard online hands/hour of about 50/hr, I have played for 800 hours in the last 7.5 months. And I have "made" about $7.125/hr. And, just because the tongue always goes to the sore tooth, if we add that which I have paid in rake, another $3,800, then my gross wages would equal about $9,500, or $11.87/hr. I did better than that working behind-the-counter sales at a print shop in 1987, plus that paid the bills!

To be a bit more thorough and break down bastin vs ubu, bastin played for about 370 hours and made about $9.60/hr after rake. Ubu played about 440 hours and made about $5.10/hr after rake. Even with the better efficiency of ubu's sb/hand, bastin did better overall, just by playing up.

There are several conclusions one can draw from this:

1) I should quit playing at Poker Academy so much!
2) Small stakes poker with a win rate like mine would be a crappy way to make ends meet.
3) Small stakes poker with a win rate like mine would still pay better than the farm did.
4) All of this is meaningless: it's fake money!
5) Don't quit my day job.

*Exactitude has never been my strong suit. In fact, I can't vouch for my math either.


Forrest Gump said...

I wouldn't say its meaningless - you're the Red Baron in one of the best flight sims around. The problem is those that dogfight with you aren't overly afraid of dying.

But it doesn't mean those flying skills are for nought when you flip a real propeller... :)


Anonymous said...

In PA lingo, a "sb" = small-bet = one big blind.

Win rates are expressed in sb/hand, which is the same as big blinds per hand. More commonly in the online poker world win rates are expressed as bb/100 or big blinds per 100 hands.

In online real money games, win rates of 3-6 bb/100 are considered very good and many players are happy with 1-2 bb/100 when they add in bonuses and rakeback.

At PAO the skill level is lower and sustained win rates of 20 bb/100 are possible.


bastinptc said...

"At PAO the skill level is lower and sustained win rates of 20 bb/100 are possible."

Loki9- If one accepts the approximation of 50 hands per hour, I'm killing the small rooms at 38bb/100 and, at 10bb/hr, doing about 1/2 of what you consider a possible win rate when looking at the big rooms and better players. Sounds about right.

Online cash, where the competition is indeed tougher, I'm slowly bleeding to death.

Crash said...


1. Re your problem with pstars:
I was/am a terrible PAO player, in spite of several nice hints from ubu roi. Freeroll city for me. You already have the answer to pstars: the double or nothing single table tourneys. $1 buy in to $100. Nice to double up $100. I couldn't get anywhere at PAO, but win 3/4 of my double up tourneys at pstars under $10. YOU should be able to kill them. Tourney strategy=survive to #5.

2. Off-thread: Today, over several hours, I read your ENTIRE blog, all you have on it. Fascinating. What a great way to live. You are evidently supporting yourself with a research/writing contract.

My sister-in-law, sister of my own DW, lives in Santa Cruz, CA. Her blog,, combines her interest in art/writing/photography. She is nutty, but her "picture stories" take it one step further than you do, combining both photos and extensive comments in a single article. You could try that. She is trying to attract a publisher for some sort of book.

"Crash" at PAO
Jim Curran, Minnetonka, MNvesse

bastinptc said...

James - I have a tracking software attached to the blog and saw that someone - you - were doing some extensive reading. Thanks for taking the time and glad you enjoyed the writing.

I'm not quite sure why I haven't played more of the double or nothing SnGs. Maybe because I've only played the $1 tourneys and think that somehow they aren't worth the time spent (while I will spend hours grinding it out in .01/.02 PLO). I agree that they are a walk in the park. I will give them another go and perhaps move up to a higher buy-in.

I took a quick look at suzi's blog. There's a lot to look at and read, so I will go there again when I have a little extra time to explore.

bastinptc said...


If you see this, I rec'd your email, tried to respond, lost everything. In short, it's cool.

Crash said...

This post got through in an email, too. Have a nice vacation.