illustrate what can happen, and how long you have
to wait at times, I ran a number of simulations with
Texas Turbo Hold'em (available from wilsonsoftware.com).
This poker simulation package allows you to specify
playing habits of players and put together a table
of players with characteristics you specify. I simulated
a $10/20 game, with $3 rake and our hero in the simulation
toked $1 when he won a pot. I set up the opponents
so that our hero was a winning player (in a raked
game no one will be a winning player unless the opponents
are making a lot of mistakes). On average (based on
a 7 million hand simulation), our hero was slightly
less than a $10 per hour winner (assuming thirty-five
hands per hour). This is smaller than the one big
bet an hour that is generally accepted to be an achievable
win rate, but its probably closer to what most of
you will experience.
I then simulated a sequence of five-hour playing sessions.
In the first fifty trials I ran, our hero lost money
in half of them. Half. And his win rate was slightly
higher than his overall average-he won $10.77 per
hour. A winning poker player-and he loses half the
time. This can get real discouraging.
The reason he was an overall winner even though he
lost half of the sessions is that his winning sessions
tended to be bigger than his losing sessions. The
range was a high of +$816 and a low of -$615. Twelve
sessions gave wins over $300 and only five sessions
had losses worse than -$300. A few large wins compensate
for many small losses. This is typical of what you'll
experience at the table if you play in loose games.