Join date: Apr 25, 2022


Profits vs. Variance

This trade-off appears similar to the last one, but it is quite different. It is also closely related to frustration tolerance. Some people play too passively because it seems less risky than playing aggressively. They check when they should bet, or they call when they should raise, even though the aggressive actions could be more profitable and less risky. Passive play often saves a bet, but loses a pot

Many situations and strategies increase both your profits and your variance, but some people won’t take them. For example, extremely tight-passive Rocks fold many positive EV (+EV) hands, don’t raise with good draws and many opponents, and sacrifice profits in other ways to reduce their variance.

Countless people avoid very loose games because they’re too frustrated by variance, especially bad beats. You can’t get a bad beat without having the best of it, often by five or ten to one. Whining that “these people call with anything” is obviously foolish. You should want them to call with weak hands, even though you will occasionally lose.

But the winners’ objective is long-term profits. If you really want to maximize them, you will often have to join games and make plays that increase both your variance and your frustration. You must decide whether the increased profits are more important to you than the variance and frustration.

That decision may depend on other factors. For example, if your bankroll is small or a losing streak has reduced your confidence, you may be unable to afford—financially or psychologically—a high-variance game. You may need to win more frequently, even if your wins are smaller. Your rating today could be quite different from what it would be when your bankroll or state of mind is improved.



More actions