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What benchmarks for ROI or BB/100 exist for reference?


I was wondering if anyone had good sources of information regarding levels of profitability. If we are playing ring games, what would be a good return in BB/100 over the long term? In MTT's, what ROI's are people shooting for? Same thing for SnG's. I'm not talking about within the confines of this site but about actual cash results.

I was thinking about returns on investment and profitability per 100 hands when I realized that I didn't know what the standard benchmarks were. What is "good" in terms of returns? What is "great"? Where would someone even find data about this? How would one know if they are ready to step up in stakes? At what level of profitability should we feel comfortable about moving up?

Thanks in advance for any help on this.


  • highfive

    10x big blind in live poker per hour is generally accepted as very good at a given level.
    4 bb100 is a top player online not counting penny levels. 6 bb/100 is a beast nowadays.
    Tourneys : the biggest winner all time online has 20-23 ROI. Live: saw an article where someone studied Helmuth's WSOP results.
    20% ROI;) Both are good long term benchmarks.
    Note: the best online tourney players cash, not win, 15%.

    Resources varied. Hit the search bar. HTH.

  • 1warlock
    edited March 2018

    Thanks Tony - I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. I did a bit of searching and the numbers were all over the map. I'm going to dig some more to see if I can get a larger sample here but this seems like a good start. I've been playing poker for a long time and knew my own returns because I have that money segregated. Tracking programs gave me results for onine at a glance but I realized that while I could track my results vs my long term averages, I had no idea whether I was over or under performing in general.

    Here are some numbers for SnG's that 1 of the top SnG players on another site told me would be pretty accurate (as upper bands for multi-table grinders):

    Level ROI
    < $6 20%
    $6-11 15%
    $22 10%
    $33 7%
    $55 5%
    $109 4%
    $215 3%

    I'm curious about your numbers for cashing in tournaments though. I don't have the data for online but I've heard that a 33% rate is pretty good for pros cashing live.

    Online is different because of all the multi-tabling so I'm not sure aggregated data is the most useful. You'd expect someone playing 1 table to get more value on that game than someone playing 6 at a time. So, the single-table player should have results more in line with live players. Maybe I should try to break out single table players (live and online) from multi-tablers?

  • highfive

    Official Poker Rankings was the site I used in the past. I was a 97 percentile casher but 78 percentile cash winner. I knew almost nothing. Just played tight and sneaked into the cash. Not too impressive because i would register and just sit out and beat half to 60% by blinding out. Lol
    It was an unscientific experiment I did. Anyhow I studied the results of the top winners. It was +/- 15% cashing at that time over large sample sizes. ROIs were listed too.
    I know some pros use Sharkscope for tourney results now.
    Data mining was unchecked in those days. Now some sites disallow it and have even gone to court to block it.
    Probably not possible to get large sample size results in live tourneys. First, who has grinded live for 10, 20 years for a good sample size? Second does the player have every buyin, game type, win , loss recorded?
    I would expect local and circiut type tourneys to be softer, so one might be able to achieve 33% ROI.
    Sounds possible but i know of no mathmatically proved way to know.

  • 1warlock

    @highfive - Thanks again. I'm going to keep looking around and see what I can dredge up. For now these numbers help. If I can fill in the %cash and ROI for live and online MTT's across buy-ins, that would be a cool set of benchmarks to have handy.

    I've played live cash games for years but only started playing live tournaments ~6 years ago. The very 1st one I played in was a WPT Main Event and I cashed (small). I think I got the wrong idea of what live tournaments were all about from that experience but I've played several more of them and have a positive ROI so that's something :) I'm relatively new to online for cash but I'm enjoying that quite a bit. Games are much tougher online than their live counterparts at the same stakes. Then again, being able to use HUD's and ranging software helps.

    I've heard it repeated often enough to believe its probably true that 90%+ of all poker players are net negative long-term. I suppose that means any long-term positive results are good.

  • 1warlock

    As a follow-up, I went to OPR and created an account. While you cant see everyone's ROI's and %cash numbers in aggregated form, you can see them by site. The ROI numbers are all over the map (from single digits to 300%+) so they are of limited use. The %cash numbers seem to peak at around 20% so this seems to corroborate what @highfive stated earlier.

    Still looking for realistic ROI and %cash numbers for live tournaments in case anyone has that info or a good source.

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