Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Overemphasis on ROI

Before this year I used to place great emphasis on having a high ROI. It's nice bragging rights and results in pretty graphs. However in doing so, I neglected some basic economics, namely that the most valuable resource is the one that is most rare. If there were a fixed number of trials, then having a high ROI is probably the most important thing. Examples would include playing a tournament series that runs 6 tourneys for a week, or Hellmuth's quest for bracelets given that he only has a certain number of years and opportunities to accumulate more.

However for most of us outside of poker and especially within online poker, TIME is the most valuable resource. We should aim to make each unit of time spent playing online poker as efficient as possible, which would imply maximizing our HOURLY RATE. Really, nothing else matters. And there are only a few variables in computing the hourly rate that we can adjust.


Basically, we can adjust our ROI or skill level, our average buyin, or the number of tables / hour that we play. As mentioned before I was quite a perfectionist, only 4-tabling so I could maximize reads and taking lots of mental breaks. I could've gone one step further, just playing one table a day to craft the best and highest ROI, but that would've gotten me nowhere.

This especially applies to the new / old school debate about single table focusing vs the mass multitablers. Perhaps my play isn't as optimal as someone single tabling, but my argument is that their play isn't 12 or 24 times better than mine. In addition, I get the benefits of diversification and lower volatility for free, as well as rarely going on tilt. I welcome your thoughts and opinions.


Here's my mid-month update. I'm up about $1340 / 672 SNGs for this month, so I'm confident I can hit 3-4K this month. This includes the fact that I've missed about 7 playing days so far and will make all attempts to heavily increase the volume for the rest of the month.

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