Good games at the $25 no limit tables are getting harder and harder to find. By good games, I mean tables that are abundant with loose/passive calling stations. I don't mean that they're all gone. But the majority of players are much more conservative, and they play with better knowledge of the game than the fishies. So the games are becoming more of a grind, the kind of games where you expect to win only about $5 to $10 per hour. So what should I do?
It's not that I can't beat the grind. I can certainly sit for hours at a time trying to grind out $5 per table per hour. If I can play profitably at four tables, this may not be such a bad thing. But I can't play my best at four different tables at once. My multi-tasking skills limit me to three at most and even that gets hectic when I catch good hands on more than one table at the same time.
So I took the most obvious way out, and that was to move up in limits.
Even though the games may be a bit tougher, and still a grind if all the fishies are away, my expectation is still greater than it would be at the $25 buy-in tables. So instead of $5 per hour, I can grind away to about $10 to $15 per hour. This, of course, is when the fish are not around, and I'm playing at off-peak hours against fairly knowledgable players.
I was hesitant to do this earlier because of my limited bankroll. But since I'm above the $400 mark, I thought I'd give it a shot and sat down at two 6 max no limit $50 buy-in tables. And a couple of things surprised me.
First off, the play here is not any harder than at the $25 buy-in tables. Fish were in abundant supply and they filled my pockets very nicely. And the games are still soft and passive. Even people who seemed to be winning consistently through intelligent play were not as aggressive as I expected it to be. So I can only attribute this to the kind of players Party Poker draws. Like Iggy
says, if you're not playing at Party, you're losing money!
I believe that over the past year since I started playing poker, my play has become better and smarter. But it's not that I know more fancy tricks or plays to use against other players. Instead, I attribute my consistent winning to my mental outlook towards the game of poker.
At a short-handed table, a player was chatting with two other guys about how the games at Party seem to be "crooked." He stated that he's never seen so many draw-outs as at Party. "I never fold 7/4," he said, "it wins more often than AA." And the others chimed in concurrence. Then the player went on to talk about how he never saw such things at Poker Stars.
That got me thinking. At the beginning of my poker playing days, I would have whole-heartedly agreed with this fellow. I've suffered bad beats after bad beats, just as much as the next player. But when he said these things, I disagreed in my head. These bad beats aren't caused by bad software. It's caused by bad players, bad players drawing out on you.
The reason why you'll never get out-drawn on Poker Stars as much as at Party Poker is because there are more bad players at Party than at Stars. And these bad players will call you with nothing hoping to get statistically "lucky." And yeah, they do hit their cards even when their chances are slim. That's poker. And you know what? I like it. I like these players. I like them drawing out on me occassionally. Because over the long run, consistently, I will beat them. So what if they take one big pot away from me? I know that in the future, I will take many more and bigger pots off of them. That's my reasoning. That's my mentality towards the game today.
I also like no limit more than limit. The reason for this is that it gives me a greater chance to maximize my winnings with better hands. With limit, there's a cap to each betting round, and only so much can be won with optimal conditions. But with no limit, you set your own conditions and limits. You can take your opponent for all he has with a single hand. But of course, the opposite of that is you can lose all your money with a single hand. But that's poker. It's making the least amount of mistakes possible and capitalizing on your opponent's mistakes. And with no limit, you can capitalize to table stakes. How can poker get any greater? With a single hand, you can bust him, or he can bust you.
In many respects, I believe life is a no limit hold'em game. Enjoy the game, and play your best.
Current Bankroll: 493.72