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Move Up in Limits? Frustration..

Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 17, 2009 11:51PM
I've been playing for about 8 months now and have devoured every book, etc that I can get my hands on regarding holdem. I have my good days and my bad days..bad beats, etc, like everyone else..

So here's my story. I play on Pokerstars and Fulltilt, and seem to do pretty well when I play $13 S &G, 6 players max. I'm placing 1st or 2nd every 2 out of 3 games I play. So that's good. However, when I play cash games, micro limit around one/two cent or two/five cent limits, I consistantly lose It seems like I just can't get ahead cause these guys just play any 2 cards they get, and usually suck out.

I admire people who build up their bank roll gradually, starting at these limits and moving up as their bank roll grows But I can't seem to get there . I've observed tables at higher limits, $1/$2 , etc, and I actually think I could play those limits better, as I've gained a good understanding of pot odds, etc. I've given up on figuring pot odds and implied odds and outs at the microlimits. It just doesn't seem to work out, as people just don't respect your raises, position, etc.

I read an article by Chris Ferguson, who said he challenged himself to build a bank roll from $0 to $20,000, but how difficult it was making his first $100. He said it took him 6 months to get that first $100...lol Negreanu is currently doing the same challenge.I'm not sure where he is in his bank roll right now.

So my question is, because I'm struggling so much with the micro-limit cash games, and getting frustrated, should I just invest $500 or so and try some slightly higher cash games to see how I do? It would be nice to play with some people who actually somewhat know how to play....lol or is this just an excuse on my part not to work my way up????

I live in Texas where we don't have local casinos, so that is not an option. I play the freerolls at a local bar, and deal with the same type of people who play any and every 2 cards, etc.. and just don't feel like I gain good experience there

Any feedback would be cool...thanks a million , love Dr Check Raise, Donkey Kong, Jon and everyone else on here who is so helpful !

Texas Terry
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 18, 2009 04:29AM
Hey Terry, I can totally understand what you are experiencing. Micro Limit does tend to play a little different, but I think what you are experiencing has more to do with the adjustment between SnG vs Cash games. These are totally different animals. It would be like being a great athlete who is great at baseball and then putting them on a soccer (football for all you international folks) field. Not to mention that SnG's are a specialized form of tournament poker and tournament poker is so different that a ring game as it is.

You are not alone. There are plenty of world class cash game players that would get eaten up by a SnG specialist in a single table SnG. I recently posted some Sharkscope SNG results of some well known pros and almost ALL of them had -ROI and -profit.

Not to discount the difference in micro stake vs low stake cash games, but I really think you are experiencing the difference in the style of play found between SnG and Cash. I won't list all the differences, but a couple big ones are that in an SnG when your out your done, but in a cash game you can reload at any time, even between hands. Another reason for different play is that SnG have a laddered pay out structure in the top 3 and cash you can come and go whenever. And of course there are escalating blinds in an SnG while ring games blinds are constant. SnG's have a distinct start and end time, while cash games are more fluid. These and the many other differences account for drastically different approaches to the game.

So how do some of these factors effect the way people play? For one, because there is less fear of losing a big all in confrontation in a cash game, people are going to play looser. For example, in an SnG, it's often correct to fold 50-50 or marginal situations to avoid either busting out or diminishing your very valuable chip stack. In a cash game you want to push every edge, and there are even times when you can afford to take the take the worst of it.

Because the blinds are constant, there is less need to push, steal blinds, and less shove or fold scenarios in cash. Therefore there will be a lot more limping and calling in a cash game, and therefore wider ranges of hands. You can call raises with all kinds of junk because the risk vs reward in a cash game is much wider, mostly due to the risk factor being much lower.

So does this mean that if you are a good SnG player you should just not play cash games? Absolutely not. But just recognize that it's a very different game. You wouldn't bring your holdem game to an Omaha table would you? Naturally some of the fundamentals are the same between Sng/tourny and cash but I personally approach the game very differently in each venue. So is the answer to move up in limits because it might make the game more predictable? I don't think so. As a matter of fact, the higher you move in limits, the better the players at the table, and better players can and will play a much wider range of hands because they can do so profitably. It takes more skill to know how to play 5-7 offsuit than A-A right? To me, moving up in limits should primarily be based on bankroll considerations.

On a side note, I have found that playing cash online is much more difficult for me than playing cash live regardless of the limit. This might be because cash games are much more nuanced and live I have a lot more information available to me to make my reads, whereas online sometimes I just throw my hands up in the air, roll the dice.

I hope this has made some sense and helps with your dilema. BTW, if you ever want someone to analyze your SnG play, shoot me a PM.

DK
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 18, 2009 06:14PM
I knew cash games were very different than tourneys and S & Gs, but didn't quite know how. Thanks for breaking it down for me.
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 18, 2009 06:19PM
And thanks for the offer to analyze my S & G play. I have started using Poker Tracker, and may send you some of those stats...etc.

Texas T
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 18, 2009 11:10PM
You won't be dissapointed should you decide to take DK up on his analysis offer.

His summary and the way he dispalys the info makes it really easy to see where your strengths and weaknesses are and honestly, lokking at the info you can almost pinpoint the holes in your strategy thinking if any. Sounds like you have the sng's licked.

After you are presented the anaylasis you maybe able to tweak it even further, move up in sng levels and countinue to grow that bankroll!

I am a little behind you in this process, but with some practise and beingable to see the info and graphs he gave me, a few small changes will make a huge difference.

Imagine how much $$$ you would be raking in if you start beating $25 and $50 games like the $13 ones? Well on your way to meeting the goals set in Fergusons experiments.
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 19, 2009 01:03AM
Just wanted to give my 2 cents on micro limits as per my experience.

To make the change over from S&G to micro is really bad, you get people playing right to the end and sucking out on you.

That being said tho once uyou get the feel for it its not too bad.

I used to allways play S&G's, and thought one day hey i'll play some limit holdem it cant be that bad, 3 deposits later i finally worked out that it is way more complex than S&G in my eyes.

There is no way to bluff, there is no way to take them off there hand so dont even try, use the flop hit strategy. For example i recently took a bad swing again, my bankroll is no where near enough to be able to play the S&G's properly and mcro MTT's are harsh so my bankroll went from 14 dollars down to 3. I was so dissapointed hence my post about quitting, but i cant quit i enjoy the game i'd play even if it was freerolls lol (thanks for drumming it into me DK) smiling smiley

Anyway on to my point, in the past day i have taken my bankroll back up again from 3 dollars to 8 dollars grinding out 2/4c limit holdem lol. It is hard but i have noticed people chase and chase hoping to hit that river card so they get a big score off a hand. This is the type of players you want at the table, why you say? wont they get lucky and suckout on you? yeah they sure do but you shrug it off and play the next hand. The points i'll make is dont ever try bluff unless you know you can get away with it but be careful its probably the hardest place to pull a bluff off. Only continue playing a hand if you hit the flop, and watch the board texture theres other things but i'ma keep them too myself until i test them out a bit more.

Anyway hope this gives you a little insight and help you maybe, and grats at being at your level, try being at micro for over a year lol

Lee
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 19, 2009 01:55PM
It seems that I HAVE been trying to play the cash games same as S&G. Today Lee, I'm going to focus on a few things
...and that is playing some cash games, starting hands by position, but mostly hitting the flop...or not hitting the flop, and folding if I don't...

No bluffing, no fancy plays, Let's see what happens...my bank roll is $35.42 this morning...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2009 01:56PM by TexasTerry.
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 19, 2009 02:57PM
gl mate smiling smiley

btw, another way to do it is play NLH which gives you a way to bluff and use the three bet rule and stuff, but the way you said your gonna play is probably the best, and watch out for the call stations.

my BR has risen to over 10 dollars now.


Lee
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 19, 2009 03:06PM
I forgot to ask, how do you go about chooosing the table you play at?

Do you just choose one and sit there or is there a strategy to which one you choose?

my choice is normally the ones with a low average pot prolly lowest or medium depending on the other table, this is because they mainly call every hand to see flops and you can steal blinds quite easily, tends to work for me.
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 19, 2009 03:15PM
I look at the stacks and try to choose a table with lower stacks, also lower pots. Not sure if that is good or not, lol.

BTW, I am up right now about $3.00 playing 01/.02....

sounds like ur having a good morning too....yawning smiley)
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 19, 2009 04:24PM
Bankroll is $39.74, so I'm up by $4.32 this morning...

Basically I'm limping in more with a wider variety of hands, and playing more small ball, but folding if I don't hit the flop... if I have a good flush draw with 1 or 2 limpers, I'll figure my odds and see if it is worth pursuing.

Also adjusting my opening raise amounts, not based on the hand, but based on position. In other words, min raising in early position, raising 2.5 x bb in mid position, and 3 x bb in late position. Only raising with good/premium hands, otherwise calling or limping with marginal hands.

This strategy seems to be working for me. I'll have to continue testing it for a while before I feel that I've hit on something....
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 19, 2009 11:28PM
Sounds like a good approach so far. Cash games are definitely more of a post flop game. Very few pots go down before the flop so you have to be able to play flop turn and river well. There are many styles that can be effective, my recommendation is to find what you are most comfortable with first, then find out how to maximize with that style.

Position is one of those things that is just as important in tourny and in cash. Maybe even more so in cash than tourny. So you are on the right track by implementing position specific strategies.

Pot size control is another one that is probably more weighted in cash too.

Thinking deeper into hands comes more into play. In tournies, big decisions come preflop and flop. Cash, you need to often think ahead 1 or 2 streets to turn and river.

As Lee pointed out, bluffing is not as useful in cash games. Mainly because the blinds aren't going up so there is less pressure to need to bluff And at the same time, bluffs are less effective because there is less fear of calling a bluff because if you are wrong you aren't out, you can reload. People will call lighter, float flops more, draw more, value bet more, etc etc.

The strategy you are employing is a common effective strategy, I call it loose - tight. Meaning loose Preflop, and tight on the Flop and beyond. See a lot of flops with a wide range of hands, but dump it if you don't connect very hard on the flop. For example, you might call a preflop bet with A7 suited, and the flop is 872 giving you middle pair. Don't hang around to try to hit a 7 or A. You might even have the best hand. Just fold and move on. It's a fairly basic strategy, and you have to be able to maximize your bets post flop, but it works in low stake NL games, especially passive ones.

These are just a few thoughts.

DK
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 21, 2009 06:25AM
just my 2 cents on this. I like playing the Cap limit games. you can call all in with a cap of 60 cents at a 1/2c table and if you lose you move on. there really is nothing you can do in this kind of game cause you dont risk all in with 15dollars like in a normal no limit game. you only risk the cap. Think about it. you are risking 60c and so is everyone else that is at the table. if 5 people call your 60c all in bet and you win you pick up 3dollars. if you lose your out 60c. its a lot of fun and sometimes i just waist 60c just to laugh it up with the table. one table i sat down at i had loads of fun calling all in for 60c every hand. everyone at the table called all in every hand as well. 9 players 60c in the pot best hand wins the pot.(or splits if a tie) i made 20 dollars that night.
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 21, 2009 01:22PM
Wow, not THAT is an interesting game it sounds like. I will most definitely try it out today.

I'm still not doing so well at the NL 1/2c Sunday morning I was sticking to my strategy, cranked out around $4.00, then Sunday night lost $3. So I'm going to have to keeping trying some different things. But I like the idea of cap limit.
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 21, 2009 05:23PM
Terry, i wouldnt recommend the cap limit strategy, it doesnt work in most cases. I used to play that same strategy on FT and donked my BR, for example going all in which was 3 dollars the cap with aces as i got the same advice, it just got me zero bankroll as theres always some lucky fecker who will call with KQ and make 2 pairs or a straight. I tested the same bankroll strategy on PS and again got busted.

I wouldnt recommend playing this way its just the experience i've had but everyone is different.

Using the strategy outlined before i am up to 11.50, i've had swings but u shrug em off and move one. The thing i would recommend for you tho is play the 1/2 NLH and play your proper game, i have been doing it for the past few days and as you can see i've had a nice br increase, i woulda had more but played a 2k guaratee and a few STT for fun.

I must stress tho at these limits they will call an all in with allmost anything which is the same as STT, play your position watch for leaks and take advantage. And dont play everyhand which is easily done in cash games.

PS. be prepared to grind and dont rush trying to hit profits, keep a good attitude and things will come good, and if your taking a big cash loss take a break as it will just keep grinding you down.

Lee
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 21, 2009 07:40PM
I was not trying to recommend the CAP limit games either. I play them for fun not to build a bankroll. if you use the right technique and strategy in those types of games you can do well but its a lot of up and down and will in the long run not be as profitable. Again i use it mainly to have a good time and chat with friends and sometimes i come out on top. the example i gave you above about winning 20dollars on one setting is because of the fact i was lucky and i was there about 4 hours playing all in every hand with nine other players. my hand won about 10% of the time. overall i tried the cap limit strategies for a few months and ended up with less than what i put into it even with that one lucky win. If your not worried about money and just want to have fun i recommend it cause you can have hours of fun and not lose a whole bunch in one setting. If you are there to increase your bankroll follow lees advice and stay away from the cap limit tables. and go to the 25/50cent NL tables cause there you will find it a little more reserved and better players(less donks). Anyways good luck and see ya on the felts.
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 29, 2009 05:41PM
I will give the .25/.50 tables a try, however I am seriously considering just sticking to S & G and MTT for a while. I seem to be doing really well with them, and being that I have only played poker for 7 or 8 months now, I think I need to focus on that for the time being.

I am attending a WSOP academy in June (woohoooo), that focuses on tournament play, so I'm busy studying and memorizing my odds charts, etc. so I don't look like a complete fool when I walk into the academy. I'm so excited !
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       April 29, 2009 08:35PM
WSOP Academy sweet smiling smiley

Also on the note of your bankroll always stick to what your playing good at at that moment it can change from time to time, and go with the flow.

Mind you i've got room to talk what with my bankroll being wiped out and all.

If you stick to your best tho tilt wont come as much and u will enjoy it more.

Just my 2 cents.

PS grats with the WSOP.

Lee
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       May 02, 2009 05:10AM
Terry,

Pick 1 game and stick with it. On your bankroll you should be in $1.00 SNGs, not cash games. Specialize. Helmouth is relatively lousey at cash, but great in tournaments. You're all over the place, playing in games that require seriously different skill sets. Some people are great at 10 second chess, and fail miserably in unlimited time, and visa versa.

Humility is very important in business, sports, and poker. Because I could run a computer company, doesn't mean I can run a warehousing company. It's possible, but not likely. So be humble, pick one and become the best in that category. Then LEARN another game.

Good luck.

Kathleen
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       May 02, 2009 02:08PM
Kathleen:

Such good advice...You are absolutely correct, and I did not realize how different they really were until the last month or so when I was losing my tail..lol

Right now I am really enjoying SnG, and have put the cash games on the back burner for a while. I'm really looking forward to the WSOP academy in June and think it will straighten some things out for me..

Thanks for your advice !

TexasTerry
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       May 08, 2009 12:14AM
TT.. time time time +experience = know how ....put in the time at any game and you will prosper ..just realize that all of the games this thread has talked about are different ..ie cash, SnG ,even different sites ..the 1 cent 2 cent .on PS is alot different then on FT ..u should refine your SnG talents into a BankRoll that allows you to spend the time at a cash game (and yes i would recommend you start one level above micro limits..for the reasons you and others mentioned..ie donkfests) so go ahead and crack some donks at the Sng's till your BR is such that some losses at the cash games wont hurt or your sure you could get it back from a couple Sng's.....I play cash games some at the Bicycle casino at the 1$-2$ 40$ buy in level and see people lose large amounts playing any 2 ..but those same players get plenty of action for there monster hands and usually get even and leave feeling they won..and see some regulars getting no action anytime they bet cause we all know they wont play anything but monsters...i havent done to well at the cash games there ..but when i play 100$ buy in 2$ -5$ i do pretty well ...so stay away from micro ..goto the real players and crush them ...LOL


GL from a DONK
Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
avatar Subject :  Re: Move Up in Limits? Frustration..
Date:       May 08, 2009 02:29AM
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