As I get back to normal life after a summer spent competing at the WSOP, I get asked the same question a lot. “How was your summer?” This is pretty standard. People are curious, they want to know… (btw I always appreciate that people care and the support they offer, it is pretty awesome)
Then the conversation inevitably goes like this:
Me: “I had a great summer” or the very serious “it was really good” or possibly “I’m really happy”
Then they ask some form of “why?” or “what happened?”
Me (beaming, cuz I really am happy): “I came in second in the 10k PLO, it was my biggest tournament cash ever!”
And then they ask THE question: “How was the rest of the summer?”
I probably should start telling people I lost it all in the pits just for personal amusement, but I don’t. I tell them the truth. The rest of the summer (after you take out my single biggest win EVER) was breakeven-ish. They always look disappointed. Then I have to remind them that I had a great summer and I am really happy.
The actual numbers are close to this: winning 13k at cash, entered 35 events (30 bracelet events and 5 megas) and cashing in 7 of them. The total buy-ins were roughly 110k and the cashes added up to ~670k. So if you take out the 630k!!!! that I won in the PLO event, I actually lost. But why would you ever want to take it out? It really happened.
I think people often think about poker results in bad ways. Poker is a volatile game. Tournament poker is even more volatile. At the end of the year for a cash player, if you add up their 10 biggest daily wins, it likely exceeds their annual win. For a tournament player, the number is likely between 1 and 3 wins.
In a lot of data science, people leave out the outliers to do analysis. In poker you play for the outliers. You play to have that top 3 finish in a big tournament. So much of the prize pool ends up in those top spots, that if you took them out of everyone’s calculations, no one would win.
I think it is important to keep accurate records of your poker. I also think it is equally important to have a good understanding of your records when you are reviewing them. The trends are really what matters. Are you winning over a significant sample? Is the rolling 3 or 6-month window positive on a regular basis? If this is true, the path can be very different for everyone, but you can all still be very happy with the results.