shynepo3, on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010, 3:05 PM, said:
how many hours (live hours, not online) do you think a player needs to play to accurately assess his skill level?
When playing live, you get to see on average 25 - 30 hands per hour (depending on factors such as automatic shuffle machines, average local dealer speed, etc.) Over the long run, I'd expect the average hand per hour rate to be closer to 25 rather than 30 when playing at your average 1/2 NLHE table. Thanks to poker tracker and HEM, we know it is possible to run (significantly) good or bad for 100,000 hand stretches. This translates into 3300 - 4000 hours of live play. Personally, I have played ~1550 hours of live poker (mainly on weekends) since I started taking detailed statistics back in January, 2006. That would roughly translate to only around 40k or 50k hands.The bottom line is that it is good to keep track of long term win rates, but do not stress if they seem to fluctuate wildly, even after having played once or twice a week for a couple of years: you are actually still dealing with a relatively small sample size. I would not let this stress me, but rather just focus on making good decisions at every opportunity.I would say that anything less than a sample size of 1000 hours of live play (~25k hands) would be too small to say anything significant. If you want to guess a true win rate, you would probably need *at least* 4000 hours (~100,000 hands) of live play. Depending on how frequently you play per week, this will take several years. Here's a rough break-down on how long it takes to get a *bare minimum* 1000 hour sample and a more reasonable 4000 hour sample based on your average amount of poker play per week:If you play one 8 hour session per week: .... 1000 hours = ~2.5 years; ..... 4000 hours = 10 years.
If you play two 8 hour sessions per week: ... 1000 hours = ~15 months; ... 4000 hours = 5 years.
If you play 40 hours per week: ................... 1000 hours = 6 months; ....... 4000 hours = 2 years.
As you can see, even if you are a full time live grinder, who *averages* 40 hours per week, it takes at least two years to get anything close to a reasonable sample size. For the average casual player who plays once or twice per week, it will take several years before a reasonable sample size is obtained to determine something approaching a "true" win rate. This brief analysis also underscores why internet players can become so skilled after a seemingly insignificant amount of time. A lot of online grinders can put in over 1 million hands per year, or in essence, crunch 20 years of full time live play into only 1 year online. That's a lot of hands to learn from. And that does not even factor in all the online training sites, poker forums, poker books, and coaching which is available these days and which weren't available 5 or 10 years ago.
Dramatic hand gestures on all-ins ftw!A day in the life of Checkymcfold:
My cats are freaked out, I have a headache, and I'm probably going to put on pants for the first time in three days and find somewhere to go that's not here.