A couple weeks ago I started playing 1$ SnGs on a popular online poker room(poker site?). I've now played 90 of theses SnGs and I am up 12$. That's not bad considering it took me 15-20 tournaments to adapt to the SnGs format during which time I lost about 10$. So I'm up 22$ in about 70 tournament.

I know there is a thing call variance and I might be just running lucky, but I do feel I play much better than 3 weeks ago. There is a lot of error that I was making (too much bluffing for example) that I no longer make or that I at least can now recognize and work on.

What I'd like to know is how can I know if I'm a profitable player at this game/stake? How many tournament do I have to play and how much do I need to be relatively confident I'm profitable or at least in the good direction?

  • This is hard to answer with out knowing what you mean. If $1 a day is enough profit then you only need to be slightly better than average. If you need to be making $200 a day then you will need to play higher stakes or alot more tables. As the stakes go up the skill of the players do as well. A better question might be what stake you need to play at your target win rate.
    – Chad
    Mar 19, 2012 at 20:32
  • I just want to know if (or when) I am a profitable players. That is when I invest 1$ in a 6max NL Hold'em SnG on this particular poker site can I expect to gain more than 1$ on average. @Jeffrey got what I was asking I think. Mar 20, 2012 at 16:32

2 Answers 2


500 tournaments is probably enough to indicate whether or not you are a winning player. You need a few thousand to have any accurate idea of what your win-rate will be (and, since you're just starting out, your win-rate should improve a lot during the first 500, let alone during the thousands we're talking about, so you'd need a few thousand games after establishing a solid base for how you play).

How many tables you are playing has an impact in all of this. If you're playing 2-4 tables at a time, you can probably trust your winrate a bit more with a smaller number of games than if you're massively multi-tabling. Part of that comes from the fact that you should be using a larger amount of information to make your decisions if you're playing relatively few tables.

It's also worth noting that if you're winning at a reasonable rate through the first few levels of online SNGs, you are probably ready to move up by the time you have played those 500 games.

  • I know it would be a lot. Thanks for your answer. If no one else answer, I'll accept it. Mar 19, 2012 at 16:29

I'd say just keep playing during a month and see how you did. If you think too much about it you might play worse. If you play like 2-3h per day it should give you a pretty good answer.

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