Thursday, September 09, 2004

There’s plenty of money out there. And there’s plenty of room for poker specialists. I mean, there are limit ring games from blinds $.01 to $60, no-limit ring games, Omaha-8, 7-card stud, Hold ‘Em, single-table Sit and Go’s with six or ten seats, 20-seat SnGs, and multi-table tournaments in every flavor. People are playing online, in casinos, in card clubs, and in home games. I firmly believe that there is a style of game out there that matches everyone’s possible playing style. It’s just a matter of finding out which poker game fits your style the best. Given all of the permutations of game, limit, blinds, and table format, I think changing your style of play is less important that finding out which game matches it best.

Granted, many people gravitate towards NLHE because that’s what they show on ESPN, FoxSports, Travel, and Bravo, but after reading many of the blogs out there, I realize that many have found their niche playing $1/$2 or $3/$6 online or $6/$12 in casinos or (like me) online SnG tournaments. Felicia wants to be the best stud player in the world, others have a set financial goal in mind. Me? I just want to win enough that my wife doesn’t yell at me.

My point is that it isn’t wise to seek to advance in limits or jump around in different games, since success at $1/$2 doesn’t necessarily mean comparable success at $3/$6 (“Gee, I’m up $300 at $1/$2, so I should win $900 at $3/$6”). Yes, it’s still Hold ‘Em, but it’s a fundamentally different game. Think about the US Olympic Basketball team. Playing in the NBA did nothing to prepare them for international play. It was still basketball, but it was played differently, meaning they needed to adjust their style to be as successful. These are the most skilled athletes in the world, and they couldn’t adjust. And they lost… and looked bad doing it.

Or tennis. For you other old farts, remember Martina and Chris? Chris would win on clay (limit) that favored steady high-percentage play while Martina would win on grass (no-limit) which favored power all-in moves and bullying. Someone might win on the other’s favorite surface but would be a distinct underdog.

We have the luxury of freedom of choice. We can stay at the same table with the same rules and same limits 24/7 if we want (think Spanish clay court tennis players). So, if you’re successful somewhere, why fuck with it? If you’re killing the $2/$4 game online, then you should KEEP killing it! Maybe try playing two games at once, but stick to the $2/$4. There are different people at the other limits, with different motivations, different styles, different rhythms, different patterns, different incomes. Why drop to the bottom of the learning curve?

Of course, this applies to the recreational, for-fun-preferably-for-profit player. If you’re trying to build your skills to go pro someday, or poker is already your chosen vocation, then knock yourself out playing whenever and wherever you can to learn as much as you can. Or don’t listen to me at all, I could be wrong… but I doubt it.


At 2:03 PM, Blogger Chris Hanel said...

It goes even farther with it. I will generally walk home with lots of money in my pocket when I play 2/4 at Commerce.

When I go online... no such luck.



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