Oh I'm not mocking him, I'm mocking the guy playing so passively with KK, the other guy played the hand fine.. nothing he can do there really. And I know win-rates shouldn't have that much effect, but don't you rate your skill level compared to other players on average at that limit by your win rate?
See, comparing win rate differences of maybe +/- 5bb/100 at sample sizes less than 100,000 hands means very little. Even at 1,000,000 hands and more there is a lot of natural variance in win rates. I know people love to have metrics showing just how much they dominate at a skill-based game like poker, but you do have to also take into account that luck plays a big part of the game as well.
This is part of what drove fx crazy -- the fact that his winrate was a meandering 1-2bb/100, and where he had heard that to be a "good" player was to have a winrate of 5+bb/100. He was measuring his self-worth and his poker play solely by his winrate. Especially when talking about a gap of only 3bb/100 or so, it's silly to think that winrate is only based on skill and that luck has no influence on it.
Now, I'm not saying that there aren't a very select few people out there who could probably slaughter the game and have a consistent 20bb+/100 winrate. I know these people do exist, and the style they play and the careful selection of their tables helps eliminate some of the variance that most people experience.
The thing about winrate is that it is not results-independent. I know everyone sensible about poker always preaches to not focus on monetary results. Well, how can you do that if you hold your winrate as the sum of all your poker play? Perhaps if you calculated a Sklansky bucks winrate -- now that would be something to go by. Since I know of no automated way to do it, the best way to evaluate your poker play is to go through it hand by hand. This is also impossible, so the next best thing is to go through some select hands you remember having doubts about and figuring out if you made the right play or not.
If you go on 2p2 or other forums like that, there will be people flexing their e-peen all over the place, saying look at this winrate, blah blah blah. I'll just tell you now that if you can avoid that trap and just focus on playing poker with a goal to keep bettering yourself, you will probably have a much better time than if you are constantly comparing yourself against others using a statistic that has a good amount of luck built into its calculation.
Well thanks, this has been really useful. Last question (I think): amount of buy ins before you move up? I know you need to be comfortable and have a consistent win rate etc.. but on average? 20+ or 25+? ..and how many hands at a level consist of a decent enough sample.
My general rule at the micros has been to have at least 20 buy ins for the level I'm at, and if I drop below 20 then I drop levels. I also like to have 25 buyins before moving up. So if I have been playing 25nl and my bankroll drops to $499, then I drop down to 10nl until I can get it back up to $625 to take another crack at 25nl. Even playing the best poker in your life, you can drop 4-5 buyins in a single session pretty easily, particularly if you are multitabling. It's always good to have buffer room to help control the swings and limit the amount of tilt you experience after a crappy session, week, or month.
As for hands... there is never enough to be a decent sample. Up and downswings can easily last tens of thousands of hands. I think around 40-50,000 hands you can sort of get a picture, or at least have enough hands to look through and analyze things you are doing right and wrong. It's probably not until you are ready to move up to the next level that you get a clear idea of where you really stood with your current level.