Full Ring, 6 Max or Heads Up - 6 Max is the Softest?

According to a survey publishded by PokerTableRatings (PTR), the smallest amount of winning players can be found at NLHE 6 max tables, so it had been said this is where we can find the most fish. The PTR website later changed its opinion once challenged.

PokerTableRatings sent out some interesting statistics to its registered members on 15th April.  The PTR site is well-known for having a huge hand history database and created a survey to determine which type of tables the winning players are usually located at. The survey took place between the 4th and 10th April and included NL50, NL100 and NL200 players’ statistics who had played more than 1000 hands in 2010. Here were the results:

Full Ring, 6-max or heads-up

PTR stated in its monthly newsletter, that 6 max is not only the most popular, but also the easiest of all types, because this is where the most fish can be found.
The survey came with great controversy and created an uproar among poker players. Users started to question if the smaller winning rate really means that it is easier to win. It also came as a surprise that the winning rate of players is averaged above 40% in all of the three cases.

This is what csnmf, a PokerStrategy forum member said to challenge this issue:
'Less winning players makes it the softest? That’s interesting logic, I look at it the exact opposite, less winning players means it’s harder to win as less people can do it. Also might mean the skill level in players is more tightly distributed so less people beat the rake.
I don’t NECESSARILY see it as oh there’s less winning players therefore there are less good players I need to beat.
But basically I think those stats are nonsense in determining which are softest. Those figures are "misleading" (for lack of a better word) and I think are a result of simply the effect of rake considering that most people think that only 5-10% of people are winning poker players which I am inclined to agree with, although I can’t explain it.
Although I remember seeing similar figures in my database when i used PT2.
Pretty much I think we can draw very little from these stats.'

Interesting facts to also consider:
We must not forget that the survey made by PTR only went over a time frame of a week. Most of the winning players were the regular grinders of the specified limits and most of the losers were new and beginner players giving poker a go. These new players are most likely not to continue playing throughout the whole year and will lose their poker money eventually, sooner rather than later. This means, that while the winning players don’t really turn over, the pool of beginners is constantly in rotation. This is how the 5-10% mentioned in csnmf’s post holds its ground and becomes relevant.

PTR, because of the controversy, reconsidered their statements on this issue and sent out an adjusted newsletter on the 28th April, covering the topic in the following way:
'Two weeks ago, we showed you some data about how 6 max has a smaller percentage of winning players than heads up / full ring.
We suggested that 6 max games were the softest, but several newsletter readers called us out and said "No way!". The data could be interpreted two ways:
•    6 max games have room for more winners, therefore, they're easier.
•    6 max is so tough that only a small percentage of people are able to beat it
I gotta admit, they made a good point. So, to shed more light on the situation, we broke down the winrate of $50NL, $100NL and $200NL players that played over 1,000 hands in 2010.’

Winrate Distribution PokerTableRatings

'The graph above won't settle the debate - it could still be interpreted several ways. But now, I'm leaning towards what our readers were saying: 6 max games are hard to beat!’ - PTR stated.

This is a quite interesting subject that PTR has risen and there seem to be mixed opinions on this topic. Feel free to share with us yours!