Tournament Variance Calculator

The Poker Tournament Variance Simulator calculates variance for poker tournaments, MTTs and SNGs. Enter your tournament(s), hit calculate and let the simulator do its magic. An explanation how this simulator works can be found below.

Beta Test: Please note, the new Tournament Variance Calculator is in beta. In case of errors, malfunctions or if you have feature requests, send me a note at info@primedope.com.

If nothing works, you can still access the old Tournament Variance Calculator:

» Tournament Variance Calculator (legacy version)

How does the Poker Tournament Variance Calculator work?

Let’s go through an example simulation.

First, you need to enter the poker tournament (or SNG / Sit-and-Go) schedule. Let’s say you’re playing the Sunday Million regularly and want to check what variance you can expect. That’s how the settings can look like:

Settings

Poker Tournament Variance Calculator Settings

  • Players: Number of players for the tournament. We assumed 5,750 players (entries) for the Sunday Million.
  • Structure: How many places get paid. Standard payout tables are used. You can also choose satellite structures.
  • Buyin and Fee: In any currency you fancy – buyin must be greater than zero. Buy-In for the Sunday Million is $215, but for this calculator we split up the real buy-In ($200) and the fee ($15).
  • ROI: In percent, any value greater than -100% is ok. Let’s just assume, we have an ROI of 50% in the Sunday Million.
  • How many are you going to play?: How many tournaments should be simulated. For this example we want to know what results we can expect over the course of one year. That’s roughly 50 weeks and 50 Sunday Millions.
  • Sample size: How many samples should be simulated – higher numbers yield more accurate results, but also take longer to compute.

Click on Calculate and the Poker Variance Calculator does its magic. It simulates whatever tournament schedule you have entered over as many samples as you have entered. In our example it would simulate 50 Sunday Millions 10,000 times.

Distribution

Poker Tournament Variance Calculator Distribution

This distribution shows the cumulative likelihood function for the results. In this example it shows you that about 70% of all samples had a negative result and only the top 5 percent of the samples showed significant winnings.

By clicking the the “N”-Button inside the diagram you can compare the distribution to how a normal distribution (with the same expected value and standard deviation as the original distribution) would look like.

Poker cash game results are, if played over a couple of thousand hands, normally distributed. Playing only a few (50 in this example) tournaments yields quite different results:

20 sample tournament runs

Poker Tournament Variance Simulator Sample Run

The next graph shows 20 sample runs from the simulation as well as the best and worst run over all samples. In this example, in at least one sample we managed two first places (not that unlikely over 10,000 samples) and most other samples show much lower winnings.

Poker MTT Variance Statistics

Poker Tournament Variance Calculator Statistics

Lastly the Tournament Variance Simulator shows some interesting statistics, like your probability of loss, your 70, 95 and 99.7 confidence intervals as well as the statistical standard deviation, skew and kurtosis.

In our example, 50 Sunday Millions, the probability of loss is a whopping 71% despite having an ROI of 50%. Obviously, since poker tournaments are so top-heavy it needs a lot more than just 50 tournaments to turn this ROI into a secure income.

All those numbers are derived by Montecarlo simulation, thus they are not completely accurate. But going with a decent sample size (1,000 or more) they are correct within a 2%-margin of error.

More options

You can enter up to 10 different tournaments, MTTs, SNGs or sit-and-gos and the Tournament Variance Simulator will simulate the whole schedule. By clicking on “Compare tournaments” you can compare the distributions of the different tourneys you entered.

Should you have any questions, remarks or feedback, please leave a comment!

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fabian barrera
fabian barrera
19. July 2021 18:29

why when i type 1,65 or 1.65 (with the point) it din´t read the info?. i mean whwn i write 2 or 3 etc, numbers without decimal number it calculates with no problem. but when i type numbers like 1.65 1.10 it dosen´t. thanks ¡¡

geroge
geroge
22. June 2021 14:33

Need to fix… When you enter a new tournament your bankroll/sims run reset and need reedited [still useful anyways though]

Eric
Eric
24. May 2021 23:37

Would really prefer to enter rake as a $ amount and/or have the option of choosing the $ amount or percent.

Bandi
Bandi
19. May 2021 20:17

OMG I really hate this new version give us old one

Matt
Matt
5. May 2021 17:16

The new version is awful! Much more difficult to use. We have to calculate the percentage of fee, some SNG formats are impossible to calculate (45 man MTTs, with 7 payouts. Why did you remove 7, but allow 6 and 8???) The graphs look worse and we can no longer see info on each point of the line. The old version was pretty much perfect. Very disappointing and non-sensical change.

I do sincerely thank you for making a tool that has helped me a lot over the past few years tho!

S R
S R
30. April 2021 02:03

Why did you fuck things up so bad? Like, what was wrong with the old one? This one is awful. What a fucking train wreck.

Eric
Eric
13. April 2021 16:35

Hello, Is there any way to edit the payout structure? I am interested in satellite tourney variance. So 10 players recieving 10% of prize pool for instance. Is this possible? Thank you for the website/tool 🙂

Charmonium
Charmonium
11. April 2021 23:05

Thanks for working on this. Other comments are pointlessly dickish, your stuff is great
Tbf, I prefer the stats and distribution of the old version.

Denildson
Denildson
5. April 2021 04:44

This new verson is shit

Imyou
Imyou
4. April 2021 11:51

I’m having trouble figuring out bankroll management and variance calculating for Rebuys + Add-ons tournaments. Any suggestions?

Tom
Tom
30. March 2021 22:54

Hello, i am looking for the data table of the histogram of the distribution or all tournaient please.

ADRIANO
ADRIANO
25. March 2021 16:33

For sng 45 man, the itm is 7 players, but on selection “places paid”, have 8 or 6 players for itm. It is a report to add 7 players paid.
But if i wanna simulate 45 man, it is better put 6 or 8 in places paid?

Denildson
Denildson
5. April 2021 04:45
Reply to  ADRIANO

This new verson is shit. Use the old

felipe
felipe
17. April 2021 04:17
Reply to  Denildson

link old calculator plz

john donnelyl
john donnelyl
18. March 2021 21:45

hello,

I am wondering what does “confidence interval ” mean and how is it calculated?

BoomHeadshot
BoomHeadshot
1. March 2021 20:02

I like being able to see the distribution so am still using the legacy version

BoomHeadshot
BoomHeadshot
1. March 2021 20:05
Reply to  BoomHeadshot

Also side note, your website is amazing thank you for providing these free tools

Denildson
Denildson
5. April 2021 04:46
Reply to  BoomHeadshot

this new verson is shit.. I too use the legacy.

Diogo
Diogo
1. March 2021 19:39

Where is the probability of loss? It used to show that info. If I play 400 tournaments with 700 players and a 20% ROI, paying top 20% of the field, how many times will I be losing at the end of the 400 mtts?

Diogo
Diogo
2. March 2021 04:02
Reply to  Primedope

Thank you!

Diogo
Diogo
7. March 2021 05:33
Reply to  Primedope

Were you able to do it? Still cant find it

Diogo
Diogo
18. March 2021 05:17
Reply to  Primedope

Many thanks!

Diogo
Diogo
24. June 2021 14:15
Reply to  Diogo

It would be interesting to know what’s the probability of a certain observed ROI%. For instance, with a 20% theoretical ROI, what’s the probability of having just 10% ROI after 1000 tournaments of a particular structure?

Thank you

Best regards,

Diogo Morais

Georgi Nikolov
Georgi Nikolov
24. February 2021 14:52

Thank you for this tool! So great!

Daniel
Daniel
17. February 2021 14:10

Thanks a lot for the new tool, its awesome!

Do you have any suggestion on how can I calculate my risk of ruin if I’m willing to move down stakes depending on how many buy-ins I’m down?

I’m trying to figure out the threshold (optimal number of buyins I’m UP or DOWN to move up or down in stakes). Thx.

Daniel
Daniel
6. March 2021 20:02
Reply to  Primedope

Thanks a lot. Yes I’ve heard about the Kelly Criterion but never realized how to apply for Poker Bankroll.

John Doe
John Doe
17. February 2021 06:51

The risk of ruin/bankroll part doesn’t seem to be correct? Why would it suggest lower bankroll requirement the higher your risk of ruin is? Shouldn’t that be the opposite? Higher risk of ruin, thus bigger bankroll requirement?

Capture.PNG
John Doe
John Doe
17. February 2021 22:40
Reply to  Primedope

Is it possible to have adaptive Bankroll in the risk of ruin calculation? E.g. you want to run a simulation for different game types roughly 6k game sample and set a bankroll to like $4,000. But since the sample is 6k games, obviously with a positive ROI the bankroll should grow along the way with sample. Nobody really puts 100% of their profit into growing their bankroll, but have maybe an option to add X% of profit into bankroll after certain interval/games etc. And then have risk of ruin calculated taking that into account? Because nobody really uses a static bankroll all the time right?

asdf asdf
asdf asdf
14. February 2021 08:14

Sim fails if >~350 ROI is entered

Miel
Miel
15. February 2021 01:28
Reply to  asdf asdf

damn you must be pro

BigPapa
BigPapa
12. February 2021 04:05

While i think the new update is good, with more useful info, i believe you should somehow get back the interactive graphs, where you can see stuff while your mouse is on the graphs. Thanks for this amazing tool btw.

fuck you
fuck you
11. February 2021 23:24

Are you serious???? You’ve made this tool suck balls.

Fury
Fury
18. November 2020 12:08

Hi, can I use this calculator to calculate variance based on ABI mean and AFS mean?

Fury
Fury
18. November 2020 13:41
Reply to  Primedope

ABI- Average Buy-In
AFS – average number of players in a tournament

Leonardo
Leonardo
16. November 2020 20:00

Hi!

First, let me congratulate you by this awesome tool, it really has changed all my tournament grid. Right now I’m rethinking about some strategies and a doubt pops up, my plan is to find some metric to guide me to figure out how much risk I can take on scaling stakes. I thought “standard deviation” would be a good metric to achieve this goal, but I hadn’t understood how the logic of it works. I ran this sim:

  • Number of players: 400
  • Payout structure: 216 places paid (15%)
  • Buy-in $5
  • Fee $0,5
  • 500 games played
  • 1000 sample size

But with different ROIs: 10% and 40%. The result was:

  • With ROI 10% = $1.149 standard deviation
  • With ROI 40% – $1.309 standard deviation

My question is, shouldn’t standard deviation be lower on ROI 40% scenario? Because as this player is way more skilled, I expect it to have a way lower variance but got surprised to see that it was even higher. Can you explain it to me? Oh, and the standard deviation is the same as “variance” in poker vocabulary?

Guilherme
Guilherme
27. February 2021 00:43
Reply to  Primedope

interesting! very nice reply.
What leaves me thinking we should have a sortino ratio for poker, where just downside variance would count to really differentiate SDs by ROI.

Jamie
Jamie
15. November 2020 14:54

Yh compare tourneys not working, plz fix 🙂

Barndog
Barndog
13. November 2020 16:20

The “compare tournaments” button doesn’t work anymore?

Hal
Hal
1. August 2020 20:50

any chance of adding, for tournaments, the biggest loss in buyins, AT ANY POINT, for each sim in the report. would be very useful for judging how big a bankroll would be needed

Hal
Hal
14. August 2020 12:47
Reply to  Primedope

awesome. thank you

Andreas
Andreas
25. July 2020 00:43

hey can you please share the formula that was used to create the graphs?

Kharn
Kharn
15. June 2020 17:21

Hi,
First, thx for this, it’s really great !
Would it be possible to had a bankroll advice for less than 5% ruin, like in cash game mode ? Or maybe the “95% confidence interval (simulated)” gives this info, i’m not sure…
Wish you my best 🙂
 

Last edited 1 year ago by Kharn
Daniel
Daniel
29. June 2020 21:57
Reply to  Primedope

it would be awesome if you could add that! thx

Daniel
Daniel
9. July 2020 16:05
Reply to  Primedope

wow, thanks a lot for that!!!

Daniel
Daniel
5. August 2020 23:36
Reply to  Primedope

Any update on the progress? thx!

Alexandre Kotchenko
Alexandre Kotchenko
24. April 2021 04:01
Reply to  Primedope

is the new version already avaiable?

Mark W Estes
Mark W Estes
1. June 2020 22:55

Perfect!

Salvatore
Salvatore
17. November 2019 16:32

comment faire pour avoir l’application en français ?,merci

.|.
.|.
15. March 2020 23:22
Reply to  Salvatore

ai putea sa folosesti translate sau sa inveti putina engleze rahatel mic

Jake
22. June 2019 15:29

I built a web based hand range calculator: handcombos.com

scott
scott
12. August 2018 14:32

this tool is crap

fimusda
fimusda
2. September 2018 07:42
Reply to  scott

you just suck and dont know what its for

Duff
Duff
7. September 2018 08:15
Reply to  scott

qu est ce que tu racontes, sur quoi tu te base pour dire que c est de la merde ? Je trouve au contraire que c est tres fiable.

scott
scott
12. August 2018 14:27

thanks for the reply that i did not get

scott
scott
12. August 2018 01:29

i do not understand with the number and the sample size? how many tournaments should be simulated and how many samples should be simulated? i do not understand what the difference is

Mother fuckin savage animal
Mother fuckin savage animal
10. January 2019 03:04
Reply to  scott

Its fuckin obvious mate.

Assuming you play 20 tourneys a day 5 days a week = 4800 a year
How many you are going to play = 4800
Sample size is samples of those 4800.
So if you make 10 samples, that is 10 “snapshots” of the 4800 mtt’s a year

Ideally you want to run as many samples as possible for the most accurate results

taaaaaaaata
taaaaaaaata
8. October 2016 13:53

Guys,

Can you help me with the answers to the following questions; since I don’t seem to get is;

-How do I determine my ROI for $2.50 sit and go’s where $0.5 is fee; with 9 handed tables within a field of 180 players; where the pay-outs are spread over 29 players

-What is the difference between the number and the number. I assume that the number is how much I plan to play of this format; and that the samplesize is the times I run a simulation based on this n-amounts of times I want to play? So if I plan to 50 sit and go’s; with a sample size of 1000; then the tool calculates its varians distribution based on a simulation where I play 50 games for 1000 times ? ? ?

– What are skurt and kurtosis

THANKS

Sofie Thijs
4. September 2018 16:54
Reply to  taaaaaaaata

– Its hard to determine your ROI as it is dynamic. If you have a tracker and tracked how many 180 sng of 2.5 you played, you can get a raw estimate of your ROI.

– The number is indeed the number of SNG’s from this tournament you want to play. Samplesize is how many times you want to let the computer play that amount of SNG’s, if you only let it play once then you don’t know wether the computer his result comes through hot run, or bad run or just standard run. Thats why u want the computer to go through the process of playing that conserning number of tournaments a lot of times (take sample size as high as possible for stable results). Because then, you include the times in which we ran bad, ran good, ran standard, and this we average to become an avarage profit 🙂

– In simple words skew and kurtosis are statistical properties that discribe how a distribution differs from a standard normal one. I think in this application, you need to look at it as an indicator for reliable results in all other estimates. If both are 0 (which is the case for standard normal distribution) you can rely better on the results then if they where different from 0. You want to assume a stardard normal distribution (aka skew and kurtosis = both 0), because you want to have your errors/variance balanced (= as much as good runs as bad runs). Obviously, this will be the case when the number of tournaments and/or the sample size gets higher and higher.

Atlantic City
30. December 2015 08:00

I’ll consider this for next time. Thanks.

Dzo
Dzo
30. July 2015 06:09

It will be cool to know, what is the probabillity of worst run?

Pad
Pad
7. June 2015 12:36

Hi,
would it be possible to include spin and go ? With the probabilities of jackpot i would be interested to see simulations.

Thx

oscar
oscar
22. May 2015 05:59

Which satellite do I have to select, to run a Hyper 6max with two tickets? I don’t really understand the satellite distribution.
Thank you

porthLA
porthLA
22. January 2015 03:02

Hello,
First of all very interesting and useful tool…
I have 1 question though.When it comes to calculating variance and SD in a non-winner take take all tournaments(like 6man or 9man SNGs),what formula or algorithm do you use to actually calculate SD for those?I mean when it comes to those formats with a set payoff structure(65-35,and 50-30-20)I would assume that in order to calculate variance and SD for these formats you have to know what % of the time should a player finish in each place when he is ITM and also how often does he not finish ITM.But since the only ”money regarded parameters ‘ here are a player’s ROI,a preset optional pay off structure and buy in size,how do you actually determine what % of the time a player finishes in each of the above stated positions based only on these three parameters,since ROI and ITM finish % s are not proportionate mathematical sizes(i.e.if someone has higher ITM % finishes than other does not mean that he is more profitable player, and also if two players have the same ITM % does not mean hat they have the same ROI) and can you give me a brief example?

B
B
11. January 2015 19:35

Very useful, thank you. Consider adding a dead/added money option to calculate outcomes of loyalty freerolls, guarantees with overlays etc.

Alex
Alex
3. October 2014 15:37

Please add a possibility to add Twister SNGs and Spin & Go, where only 3 players, and 1 buyin out of 3 payed goes off to the Jackpot.

Hello
Hello
11. September 2014 11:45

Hello, can you add TURBO double or nothing?:)

john
john
6. September 2014 11:32

could you please post the calculation for 18% MTT ( non satellite pay out structure)? this only goes up to 10-11% which isnt really reflecting what the variance would be on a say a schedule of sunday majors on Stars

Travis
Travis
4. April 2014 09:32

I use your calculator mostly for sit n gos with 6 entrants where first pays 65% of the prizepool and 2nd pays 35%. I don’t think the pay outs for two players paid out of 6 total entrants are the correct 65/35 that I need. Could you verify that?

Mark C
Mark C
28. February 2014 00:59

I find this tool most useful but is there a way to add “winning and losing streaks” into the equation? I’m playing Jackpot games on I-Poker at an 18% ROI over a 500 sample and I know my graph is towards the top end of your calculations. Even with such a high ROI my biggest streak is 2 wins and 8 losses and I’d just like to know over what sample I’d have a chance at winning a jackpot.

Many thanks for a great tool.

ritsar
ritsar
18. December 2013 00:34

Could you add calculation of profits with cuts, commonly used in stacking now? You just need in each profitable sample to subtract cuts. It would be good to have all these statistics not only from a player’s point of view, but from a backer’s point of view too. All backers will really appreciate it.

Tony
Tony
28. October 2013 14:30

Very nice tool, when I went on a 125 buy-in downswing over about 1,000 to 1,500 tourns with an approx 15% ROI on Bovada I became suspicious that it was rigged in some way so I started writing my own simulation program…before I could finish it I pulled out of the downswing and abandoned it. Your program that you created is largely what I was trying to do. It shows 1 sample out of 1,000 to be that of a losing player, and I’ll bet that one player didn’t lose 125 buy ins also! How would I figure out what the probability of going on an x buy-in downswing over y sample would be? Do you have plans to add this feature? You made an excellent program!

Fraction.Calc
19. April 2019 10:12
Reply to  Primedope

I think you are the only only who understand and knows how to use this tool.


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