I've been working hard trying to keep good records and comparing those to some goals that I set at the beginning of the year. I've had some good streaks and some bad streaks with some good play and some bad play. I've had periods of really good and bad stats in certain areas. All of this leads me to the question:
What is the best way to judge MTT success? What is the most important indicator or statistic?
I'll mention a few and comment on them:
Money won: I don't think this is the best indicator because we've all seen the fish take down a WPT event or a Sunday major that make's his year look great. This IS the MOST IMPORTANT statistic, but I don't think really the best indicator as to skill level.
Final Table %: Very good indicator. But, would you rather have 6 8th place finishes or 2 wins? Closing ability is a great skill.
Winning %: Great indicator, but do you sacrifice some return by always "going for broke"
In the money %: Good indicator for consistency. I do believe that you need to get in "position" in order to win the tournament. Position is "in the money", so it's key. Might be a top indicator in my book. It's hard to pinpoint what a good number should be. Tourneys pay top 10% generally, so if you were twice as good as the average player, you should be 20%. I'm amazed at the claims of 40% success. My personal 2005 goal is 30%.
Average % finish: I track my average finish as a % in all my tourneys. I figure the average guy will be right at 50%. My 2005 goal is 20%.
ROI: Again, a properly placed win by a lucksack could easily blow this number out of proportion.
Leaderboard points: This might be the best indicator because it takes into account the quantity of opponents while the buy-in level takes into account the quality of the opponents (to some degree, anyway). Of course, not all sites compute this the same, but they appear to be similar. I think it's more important to play well in the big events than in the mid-day $20 rebuy tourneys against a field of 300.
Anyway, give some feedback. What do you measure in your own game? Any other ideas as to what may be an important statistic?
PocketFives staff: What do you guys consider the most important? I see lots of emphasis on final tables which is good. I would like to see less emphasis on mid-level tournament success against limited fields, but I guess those are the bread-and-butter for most online pros - I'm also mad because I don't get to play those ;-).
Good question nutz - IMO $$$$ is the only thing that would really matter to me. :)
Great question, Nutz.
In money % would be my guess.
Everything else can get skewed by luck, but it takes skill to navigate the minefield at all levels and consistently make the money.
Once a player becomes consistent enough to keep putting himself into position, the wins will start to come.
After all, the luckboxes can't win every time... can they?
iam gonna agree that its the person who can get in the position to win the most.. that will indeed benefit in the long run.
so ITM% is my vote.
I would have to say that first of all the amount of money won is the key factor for anyone that plays simply to make money. BUT... for those that play to compete, to challenge, to set goals, and to WIN, then you must consider nothing less than the number of wins.
Obviously the ROI would be skewed by a luck sack making a big win. But on the other hand, I think it is skewed for anoyone with a win. The ROI for a MTT is so large for 1st place that it continues to draw even the most successful cash game players. Some cash game players make the same amount they would win in the tournament in only a couple of hours of a side game. The reason they play the MTT is because of the ROI.
I think I like the Avg position finished as a confidence booster, but using this as a goal could cause you to 'just hang on.' Overall the win must be the ultimate goal.
Nutz, in my opinion you should measure your particular MTT success by two factors. I would focus on Final Tables/#of Entries and Wins/#of Final Tables. Use both of these numbers together as well.
For what its worth,
I use ROI, though my spreadsheet does have all the other categories, etc.
Last year, I took off a 2nd in one of the PP Million Guarantees and that was $123k so it did skew the numbers for the rest of the year. But as I look back over the last several hundred MTTs, I can see a few things and ROI crystalizes it for me. First, that there are sites/structures that I have done very well at and others I cannot crack through. The ROI on the former crushes the latter. What it causes me to do is evaluate the structure and make specific changes to my tourney style for structure and (hopefully) improve. It took me a while to realize that with the starting chips at 1000 in the party Supers that you really needed to be acquiring chips early to have success.
Nevertheless, ROI clearly shows me an overall view of my tourney game; game selection, ability to adjust to player types and structure, etc, as well as well as showing me my strengths. I actually just use dollars versus a percentage; this year I am earning back approx. $3 for every dollar in invest. For great players, I imagine this number is somewhere higher between $4 and $6.
It also highlights the beauty of tourney play. I split my time between limit ring games and tourneys and the ROI from a limit game is dramatically different and requires way more hours/patience/etc. But, it is far more consistent money. Same with SNGs; I would guess a decent ROI to be around !7-20 percent, so to consistently earn, you have to grind out a lot of tables a day. MTTs provide the ability to get the highest ROI with the highest commensurate variance to your bankroll.
I don't play a lot of tourneys but I play a ton of sit and gos and the way I keep track is whether or not I make mistakes. I keep up with every mistake I make and as long as I don't make mistakes the money doesn't matter. It is hard at first but after a while it really helped me. There are tons of times I have won after making mistakes and also tons of times when I have played perfect (to the best of my knowledge anyway) and lost. I just think of myself as a "professional non-mistake maker" lol. I know it sounds corny but hey, whatever works for you......
Beau, it's funny you mentioned those two. I've got to hold the world record for most 11th and 12th place finishes as a % of tourneys played. As a result, my FT % may be a few points off where it should be. Conversely, I probably have the fewest 9th and 10th place finishes because I play aggressively at the FT bubble when 6 handed.
I do like the Wins/# of Final tables stat because "bringing it to the house" makes all the difference in the bank. I'm very satisfied with my stats in this category.
An ROI of 200% is my 2005 goal. So, I'm thrilled to be in the ballpard of making $3 for every $1 spent.
If someone makes 4 to 6 consistently, it would be like printing money.
The other areas have lower % ROI's but with a great deal less variance.
My ROI focus has led me to discontinue the use of "gambling" and I now call poker "investing". Makes the mother-in-law feel better.
Geez, I don't know if they make a computer with enough memory to store every "mistake" I make in a year.
Seriously, though, do you consider a mistake in hindsight, or as of the moment you made the decision. If you go all-in over the top of an UTG raiser with KK and he calls with AA, is that a mistake???
I bet the information you save is very useful and really points out any false assumptions that you consistently make.
I would tend to think that something like Top Fives would actually be a better indication than final tables. To make real money its not good enough just to finish 8th or 9th unless its one of the real big tourneys.
You mentioned in your post the spreadsheet that you use. Is it one of the commercial ones often mentioned or do you have your own? I have been researching them and would appreciate hearing about ones people use or like.
I hope you will
But I guess it depends on which site and which events you play
With the Ub structure for the regular events I guess it's possible to reach the 200% ROI with lets say a 200 tourneys sample but I doubt it's possible with the Stars structure (I mean the 162$ and below)
I keep records for myself of the 50$, 100$ and 150$ on Stars and for the players who played more than 60 NL tourneys so far , only two got a ROI>200% and ten got a ROI>100%.
For the buy-in under 50$ I think the player ROI can be above 200% on pokerstars but as you seems to be professionnal player, I guess you rarely play events under 50$
This is a great post. I've been working on my spreadsheet for about 2 years, and have been wanting to write a program to track things the way I want to see them. Just havent had the time.
The underlying item I think any pro should look at is $/hr, because this becomes your effective rate of pay. But since we can play multiple games at one time, this may not be a good indicator by itself for any one tournament. It should be the major factor overall though. A pro should be playing enough in the right events in order to make a living.
For instance, many of us can crush $5 SNG's, But depending on the tournament structure that we're crushing, we may only be netting $5-$10 an hour in doing so. It's hard to pay the bills for a family with that kind of hourly rate. But if we are able to crush $5 SNG's while playing a more profitable MTT, then we are basically adding $5-$10 an hour to our rate.
Concurrently playing multiple tournaments is very difficult to track and get good numbers on. We may be giving up a little on return by playing multiple events, and maybe not. They almost have to be tracked individually AND concurrently to find out.
Also, I like to track different events separately, and get ROI and $/hr numbers for each category of events. For example, ITM% is a VERY important stat for supersatellites, whereas they are less important for an MTT. Deep finishes (like the suggested top 5) is more important for MTT's.
Another thing I do is to combine supersat feeds with the main events they feed into, and see how the combination looks, especially in $/hr. Some of the direct feed supersats are so soft that its worthwhile to spend the time and effort to get in that way instead of directly buying in. There are also direct feeds in which this isnt the case, especially for someone like me who has VERY limited time to play. So some of these numbers help me match up the combinations of events I need to play with the amount of time I have to play. Kind of a time management thing.
So what I look for is ROI, ITM%, etc. for individual events, then try to see how I can match up simultaneous events for maximum $/hr.
One other thing that helps determine your success that has been left out.....
Tournament Trophys, Plaques, Watches and Rings (and the corresponding picture of you with all their chips).
Even when all the money has gone to women, parties and purchases--and you are having such a bad month that your ROI stats just dont do it for you.
I find spending some quality time with my Tournament Bling Bling always helps me out.
If I really need an ego boost--I wear a championship ring and watch out to the casino, Stick my finger OUT and wrangle my wrist, then wait for someone to gush bout them.
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