# How many poker tournaments must I track to obtain a significant sample

• HokieBalla34
In summary, the individual is seeking advice on the appropriate sample size for tracking results in single table poker tournaments. They have played in approximately 300 tournaments and are wondering if this is a significant enough sample size. Some experts suggest a minimum of 1000 tournaments, but the individual is looking for a more precise calculation based on confidence intervals.
HokieBalla34
How many poker tournaments must I track to obtain a "significant" sample

Good afternoon. My question pertains to single table poker tournaments (aka Sit 'N Go's) and I hope some of the bright minds of this forum will find the question at least interesting.

The type of Sit 'N Go I play is a 6-handed turbo, in which 6 players start and the blinds escalate every 5 minutes until only one person has all of the chips. The first and second place players win 70% & 30% (respectively) of the prize pool. I've played in roughly 300 of these SNGs since the beginning of 2008 and I've tracked my results in each one to create statistics for things like In the Money %, Return on Investment, and Expected Value per tournament.

I was wondering if 300 was a good sample size for this type of tournament and what "confidence" I could place in my data. Some of the posters on poker forums say that you have to have at least 1000 SNGs under your belt to have a high confidence, but this number seems very arbitrary and I have not seen any math to back it up.

So my question is: How do I determine the amount of samples needed to obtain a high confidence in my data? It has been a long time since I've taken a stats class, but I seem to remember a model for calculating a confidence interval based on samples, but the equations I can find online center around samples from a finite number (e.g. x% of a population of a country, which is known).

Thank you very much for your time and any responses.

Last edited:
It depends on what you're trying to show. If you were trying to show a 0.02% deviation from an expected chance, you might need many samples. If you were trying to show a larger effect, with a wide confidence interval, then you might need just a few dozen games.

## 1. How many poker tournaments should I track to get a significant sample?

The number of poker tournaments you should track to obtain a significant sample depends on various factors such as the level of confidence and margin of error you desire. Generally, a larger sample size will give you a more accurate result. A good rule of thumb is to track at least 30 tournaments.

## 2. Is there a specific number of tournaments that is considered a significant sample?

There is no specific number of tournaments that can be universally considered a significant sample. The significance of a sample depends on the context and the purpose of the study. However, a sample size of at least 30 tournaments is commonly used to obtain a statistically significant result.

## 3. Can I track too many poker tournaments?

Tracking too many poker tournaments can lead to a data overload, making it difficult to analyze and draw meaningful conclusions. It is important to strike a balance between having enough data to obtain a significant sample and having too much data that becomes overwhelming to analyze.

## 4. How does the size of the poker tournament affect the sample size needed?

The size of the poker tournament does not have a direct impact on the sample size needed. However, the larger the tournament, the more likely it is to be a representative sample of the overall poker population. This means that a smaller sample size may be sufficient for larger tournaments compared to smaller ones.

## 5. How can I ensure that my sample of poker tournaments is representative?

To ensure that your sample of poker tournaments is representative, you can use random sampling techniques. This involves selecting tournaments at random from a larger pool of tournaments. Additionally, you can also consider factors such as the buy-in amount, location, and type of tournament to ensure a diverse and representative sample.

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