Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gimme a break!

I played two HORSE sit-and-go tournaments on PokerStars tonight, simultaneously. I came in first in the $10 one, and third in the $5 one. Big double cash for me.

One hand after we got down to three-handed in the $5 game we switched to razz. We played 33 hands of razz, then switched to stud. We played 37 hands of stud before I was eliminated.

I got the feeling that I was being assigned the bring-in an unusually high frequency during this stretch of 70 hands. But such perceptions can be misleading--you get a few in a row, then really start noticing every bring-in you have to make, even if it's only about one out of three (as it should be three-handed). So I checked the hand history to see if I was just overreacting.

Nope. Out of 70 hands played three ways, I had the bring-in 36 times, just over half.

How unlikely is that? Let's turn to our old friend the binomial probability calculator! We input 70 for n, 36 for k, and 0.333 for p. In a flash, we learn that the probability of getting the bring-in 36 times or more in 70 hands of three-handed play is only 0.00134, or about 0.1%. That is, if you played 1000 blocks of 70 hands, you'd expect to have to bring it in 36 times or more in a block only one of those 1000 runs.

I was not imagining things. PokerStars really was sticking it to me in a major way.

It's all totally rigged, you know.

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