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About MTT ROI (Return on Invesment)

Poker players measure their success in MTTs by ROI (Return on Investment). This is calculated by averaging your net MTT profit divided by your entry fees x 100 to give a percentage. For example, if you’ve played 10x$10 buy-in MTTs and made a total profit of $50, then your total ROI is (50/100)*100 = 50%.

To quickly calulate your or somebody else’s ROI you can use free software such as sharkscope.

What is a Good MTT ROI?

This is debatable because some poker players will be happier with a lower ROI than others.

Poker forums and their communities seem to suggest a 20% ROI is very good, whilst anything above 0% is good for new players.

Your ROI is pretty subjective to how many games you play. Poker tournaments contain lots of variance and you’ll need a big sample of 100+ MTTs to give an accurate figure.  If you’re playing small MTTs such as the $3 KO 90-man events at Full Tilt Poker than you’ll need less than this to get a good sample, but for the major guaranteed events like the UB $200k GTD or Full Tilt Poker’s $10k Daily Dollar than you might even need 200+ games for a decent sample size.  In either case there are plenty of forum threads and MTT players at Pocket Fives who you can ask if you’re unsure.

MTT ROI Stats:

  • <0% Very Bad. You’re losing money in the long run and probably doing everything wrong.
  • 0% Bad. Breaking even but still not getting paid for the effort you put in.
  • 10% OK. This is ok. You’re making more money than 95% of everyone else in MTTs.
  • 20%-30% Great. This is a very good ROI for MTTs. You’re probably in the top 97% of the field.
  • 30 – 80% Pro’s. Professionals will aim for 40%+ ROI in MTTs. For example, Chris Moorman is the UK’s best online tournament player according to PocketFives 2008 rankings and earns around 36% ROI in tournaments.

How to Improve Your MTT ROI Significantly: One of the simplest ways of improving your ROI is by playing in tournaments with softer competition. Most of the scheduled tournaments at Carbon Poker with buy-ins below $30 contain very weak competition and even the most limited players can produce a good amount of ITM finishes. You can sign up to carbon pokerwith a $600 bonus. Enter deposit code MosesBet1 to get a free coupon to the daily $3k Gtd.


ROI Isn’t an Exact Measure of Profitability:

ROI doesn’t paint a true picture of how much money you’re really making. For example, earning 30% ROI in a $40 MTT is much more profitable then earning 50% ROI in a $5 MTT. It’s important to find a balance between a good ROI and stake that suits your bankroll/ability.

About ITM (In the Money Percentage)
ITM % (“In the Money”) is the amount of times you manage to finish a tournament in the payoff places. This is normally at least twice the buy-in, i.e. 100% ROI.
I find this figure more relevant for measuring success in Sit n Go’s than MTTs.
In large MTTs such as a 1000 person $100 MTT for example, you might get a low payoff of $3 for finishing highly in the event. However this doesn’t cover your buy-in so even a 100% ITM might lead to a long term loss and negative ROI.

In small SNGs, ITM is a very useful tool for judging how competent you are. For example, in a 9 person Sit n Go where the top 3 people get paid you’d naturally expect nothing less than 27% ITM. Anything less than this and you’d be losing money on average.

What is a Good ITM?

Most pros will have an 15 – 20% ITM. Personally I think anything above 10% is not bad going.

A lot of players will often play badly in the later stages of a tournament. Passive players in particular will might be able to make ITM finishes, but their conservative playing style will hinder their chances of reaching the final table.

In conclusion, getting a good ITM is good but there is much more work to do to establish a killer ROI and become a top player.

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