Saturday, May 07, 2011

Where I win

There are plenty of things about poker that I do wrong. But there is one thing that I always do right, and that is keeping meticulous records. In nearly five years living here, I have never once failed to accurately record the results of my casino poker play. (Conversely, I keep no records at all about online play, other than deposits/withdrawals.) As a result, I accumulate a lot of useful data.

It has been close to two years since I last reviewed my records to find out where my play has been most profitable. I did a detailed post on it then, and all the caveats and explanations remain valid, so if you have questions about these data, first go check that post (with its comments), because I may well have addressed them previously, and there's no point repeating myself. Lists here include only rooms that are still open, and in which I have played at least five cash sessions. No tournament results are included.

Interestingly, the results have shifted quite a bit.

My top ten rooms in terms of percentage of sessions that are winners are, in descending order:

1. Sunset Station
2. Tuscany
3. Binion's
4. Hooters
5. Sahara
6. Aria
7. Mandalay Bay
8. O'Shea's
9. Caesars Palace
10. Venetian

But it doesn't do much good if you can score $1 session wins consistently, even though such performance would look lucrative by the above metric. What matters more is dollars per hour, or dollars per session, which is the way I mostly keep track of it. By that accounting, my best ten rooms are, in descending order:

1. Tuscany
2. Suncoast
3. Sunset Station
4. Sahara
5. Bill's
6. Binion's
7. Hooters
8. Mandalay Bay
9. Orleans
10. Aria

The high placement of a couple of rooms on the list is sort of unintentionally deceptive. The Tuscany, for example, is a place in which I have not played since November, 2008, and I've played a total of just six sessions there in five years. But they were just ridiculously profitable, as I wrote about here. Likewise, Suncoast and Sunset Station are places that I almost never go these days; it's been over two years since I last set foot in either of those rooms, and Sunset Station just barely meets my minimum five-session threshold. So the outstanding results could easily be just random statistical variation in small samples. There are a few others on the other end of the scale that, after just a handful of sessions, have equally impressive negative results.

If I restrict the list to places in which I've logged ten or more sessions, trying to reduce that small-sample variance, the lists change to this:

Percentage of winning sessions:

1. Binion's
2. Hooters
3. Sahara
4. Mandalay Bay
5. Caesars Palace
6. Venetian
7. Orleans
8. Suncoast
9. Planet Hollywood
10. Palms

Profit per session:

1. Suncoast
2. Sahara
3. Bill's
4. Binion's
5. Hooters
6. Mandalay Bay
7. Orleans
8. South Point
9. Venetian
10. Palms

So there ya go. Make of it what you will. There's not a lot of rhyme or reason to it. E.g., Suncoast and Hooters and Venetian are about as radically different from each other as three poker rooms could be, yet all three are on both lists. As far as I can tell, there is no clear tendency for me to do better in upscale rooms versus the dumps, locals rooms versus tourist places, or Strip versus off-Strip. I don't know why. To borrow a line from Fox News, I report, you decide.


Mark T said...

I was going to suggest that the tops of your lists tended to represent rooms with high ratios of "easy pickins": many relatively unskilled players (tourists, especially rich young ones, and/or rocky locals) and few pros or experts. This would be a decent description of what one might consider to be the ideal environment for profitable poker.

But the existence of Venetian and (to some degree) Orleans makes me suspicious of that reasoning. Although I will admit I mainly specialize in tournaments, V and O strike me as being significantly more likely to attract skilled players and pros to feed on the fish (especially the Venetian, I would think).

I do note that the non-presence of heavy-hitter locations like Bellagio, Mirage, Wynn and Aria (admittedly, I see you just haven't logged many sessions in Aria yet) have me still leaning towards my original thinking.

Perhaps the cash games at Venetian and Orleans have a significantly higher fish-to-pro ratio than their tourneys?

Anonymous said...

Hi sir

Wondering why bills is so profitable as I understood was just a dollar big blind?


Michael said...

Just curious how many rooms qualified under the 5 and 10 session criteria? I only ask to see if it can be tied into the statistics. If places like Wynn, MGM, and Bellagio are very low in the number of visits/wins in the criteria, you probably could make a bit of an assumption that your most profitable time is with jackpot tourists or local nits. Obviously that means no more then the stats posted, but it's how I would approach it and it's one thing I do like taking a look at is trends and things from data like this.

Rakewell said...

Wynn and Bellagio are less than 5 each. MGM has a lot, though.

Boston said...

I would think that your "losers" would tend to stay "losers" as you would tend to visit them less often given previous history. If you lose at, say, The Flamingo, you're likely to frequent The Flamingo much less. This could lead to conistentcy in "losers" that may be unfounded given the relatively small sample size. That being said I can't blame you for frequenting your "winners." :)