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What game/stake should I be playing next?

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  • What game/stake should I be playing next?

    I would appreciate some advice on where I should be investing my poker time for the next month or so. Which style of game and at what stake level? My twin aims are to grow my bankroll safely (I am not in a position to just reload if I go bust), and to continue to learn and improve my game.

    Forgive me if this is a long rambling post, but I wanted to give as full a picture as I could about where I am up to with my fledgling game.

    My bankroll had grown slowly from zero since I started playing poker just last October. It is now up to $120. In the longer term I would love to be able to significantly supplement my income from poker if I can improve my game sufficiently. Although I am definitely one of life's low stakes grinders rather than a high stakes gambler. As such, it is important to me psychologically that the bankroll keeps growing, if only slowly.

    I started up my bankroll from freerolls, then once I had $20 I played a little 1c/2c cash, to earn vpps to make me active for the PSO skill league. So far the skill league has been the biggest contributor to my modest bankroll. In subsequent months I grew bolder and also tried 2c/5c and 5c/10c cash games for the vpps.

    I didn't enjoy the cash games as much as tourney play, although I was quite successful in this small sample, at least until I hit the 5c/10c tables. I have stuck to no limit holdem throughout.

    More than half my bankroll so far has come from the skill league, with $30 finishes in Dec and Jan, and $15 in Feb.

    Meanwhile I have been playing and enjoying sit and goes the last two months. In Jan I played lots of the 25c 45 player games, consistently running deep in them and making a decent (small in cash terms) profit.

    Then in Feb I discovered the 50/50s and played 100 of them, adding $30 to my bankroll, and gaining a lot of confidence. This was my best month so far, and the first that PSO skill league wasn't the biggest contributor to my increase in bankroll.

    Here are the numbers from my play, in chronological order (small sample sizes and all):
    NL 1c/2c: 2500hands, +19BigBlinds/100h
    NL 2c/5c: 800h, +12bb/100
    NL 5c/10c: 800h, -18BB/100 (!!bad idea, bad beats, bad result!!)
    25c 45player s&g: 85 played, $9 profit, 42% ROI
    $1.11 50/50s: 100 played, $30 profit, 27% ROI

    So, after all that, where do I go from here? Would it be too cautious to continue playing $1.11 50/50s? Can I afford to move up to the $5 level in these now? Or should I consider multitabling them at the $1 level? I'd like to get into multitabling at some point, but I worry that doing it so early in my development as a player will slow my learning, even though the bankroll may thank me in the short term.

    I quite fancy switching back to the standard sit and goes, perhaps the 18 or 27 player version, but I am put off by the high rake applied to these at the $1 level, and the potential higher variance. I also want to take advantage of the 30day trial of sitngowiz some time, to try and improve my ICM knowledge and bubble play. Now might be the time.

    Should the skill league still be in my mix? I don't feel I am learning much of anything from it anymore, it just provides a safe way to add a little monthly profit to my bankroll.

    If anyone is still reading at this point, I would love to hear any suggestions or comments you may have about my best path forward.

    Thanks for reading.

  • #2
    Your bank is $120.00 Correct ?
    Ok first thing you need to do is stop going to high limits such as 5c/10c NL
    5c/10c NL is too high for your bank
    when a player plays above his bank roll that player can not play correct poker
    so 5c/10c nl is off limits
    points are worth money
    a lot of money
    however points are kinda worthless unless you have the ability to play 10 tables at once
    you should not play just for points , points just happen
    you should be aware of them though
    Poker Stars has the best points system of all IMO
    with $120.00 I suggest playing 1c/2c NL points are dismal
    once you can do 20 sessions and say win 16 and lose 4 and show a profit\
    your bank will be stronger
    and your experience better
    at that point move up to 2cent/5cent NL
    there the points flood in as long you are plying 6 plus tables at a time

    heres an example
    keep in mind I play 10 to 14 tables at once

    04/01/2011 Session 128 VIP Status 0012 VPP's 4492 Hands 1111 Time 1H13M Profit $1.38 Bank $217.63
    04/01/2011 Session 129 VIP Status 63.46 VPP's 4544 Hands 1605 Time 1H30M Profit $1.19 Bank $218.80
    04/01/2011 Session 130 VIP Status 86.87 VPP's 4567 Hands 606 Time 0H38M Profit $21.15 Bank $239.95
    04/01/2011 Session 131 VIP Status 324.48 VPP's 4805 Hands 6783 Time 10H15M Profit $0.84 Bank $239.34
    04/02/2011 Session 132 VIP Status 439.57 VPP's 4920 Hands 3510 Time 5H45M Profit $4.71 Bank $249.56
    04/02/2011 Session 133 VIP Status 485.77 VPP's 4966 Hands 1566 Time 2H17M Profit $6.88 Bank $256.32

    notice the dates and hands played and the VIP Status shows how many points you make
    this is a mixture of 1cent/2cent NL and 2cent / 5cent NL about 90% 2cent/5cent
    I use 1cent/2cent to warm up
    then switch to 2cent/5cent

    my bank is $300 now and I never play 5cent/10 NL , however I am now beginning to study the buy ins and stack sizes of 5cent/10cent NL tables

    Nanonoko and Durrrr both have the best charts showing $0 to $2,000,000 plus and both of them played mainly NL 6 max tables

    my advice spend some time on 1cent/ 2cent NL , gain experience
    move up to 2cent/5cent NL
    use 1cent/2cent to warm up before you sit at 2cent/5cent
    I think 6 max is far better than full ring
    stay away from 5cent/10cent NL
    once your bank reaches $600 then its time for 5cent/10cent NL
    stay away from home games , S+G's , MTT's all of these take away too much from a small bank
    once your bank grows to $200 plus and you are multi tabling on 2cent/ 5cent NL
    the points generated will mean that you can earn Tournament Dollars and then you can play MTT's and S+G's for free.
    For any player who wants to rise up the tables and make serious money multi tabling is a must

    go to that link nanonoko went from $0 to $2 million plus , he started on micro stakes
    mainly he plays 6 max nl
    Last edited by XXChris123; Sun Apr 03, 2011, 11:46 PM.


    • #3
      Join Ventrilo easier to help there


      Our group (going on 80-strong) uses Ventrilo
      (a voice-over-internet program) to meet. We cheer
      each other on, discuss strategy,
      share game theory, and just generally have a
      good time while trying to improve our poker games.
      We'd be thrilled to have you join us.

      To download and install the software, please follow these directions:

      1. Go to
      2. On left hand side, under "menu", click on Download
      3. Under "Client programs" click on the link for your specific operating
      system (if you're not sure if your Windows OS
      is 32-bit or 64-bit, follow this hint from Microsoft Support: )
      4. Scroll down the page and click on the "I agree" button.
      5. Click on "Save file" on the window that pops up.
      6. Install the executable file ventrilo-3.0.7-Windows-i386(2).exe
      7. From Internet Explorer the "save as" box will open. Click on
      "Desktop" (on the left) and save the file to your desktop.
      8. Click "ok" to run the executable file
      9. Click "Run" on the Open File - Security Warning box.
      10. Run the Installation Wizard
      11. Start Ventrilo (double click on the icon on your desktop)
      12. At the top, next to User Name, click on the arrow pointing
      to the right " -> " (not the drop down arrow pointing down).
      13. Choose "New" and enter your PokerStars name in the box that
      comes up. Click ok, then ok again.
      14. Back at the Ventrilo window, behind Server, click the arrow
      pointing to the right.
      15. On the Connection Editor screen, choose "New" and enter
      SuitedAces in the box that comes up, then click ok.
      16. Back at the Connection Editor screen, in the Hostname
      or IP box, enter (note:
      this is DarkstarLLc, not 11c)
      17. In the Port number box, enter 4556 then click ok.
      18. Back at the Ventrilo window, click "Connect" on the
      right hand side.
      19. Once you're connected, click "Set up" on the right hand side.
      20. "Enable outgoing voice communications" should be checked.
      21. "Use push to talk hotkey" should be checked.
      22. "Use direct input to detect hotkey" should be checked.
      23. The best way to set up your microphone is to set it as
      "Touch to talk" (think of it as a walkie-talkie, where you
      have to click
      a button to transmit).
      24. To do this, click in the large box next to "Hotkey".
      Choose which key you want to press in order to transmit
      through your microphone,
      and press this key one time (I use the right Ctrl button on mine).
      25. That's it for set up. If someone is too loud, or too quiet, you can change an individual's volume settings by right-clicking on their
      name, then click on Miscellaneous, then Special Effects, then in the right hand column,click on "Volume", then click the "<- Add" button.
      Now slide the bar left or right to adjust the volume for that one chatter, then click ok, then ok again.
      26. Ventrilo also has a text chat feature, for those who aren't able to, or choose not to voice chat. To access this, on the Ventrilo window,
      press the "Chat" button, directly under "Disconnect" and "Comment". This will bring up the chat window, where you can type in your chat.
      Please note: this chat window is viewed by everyone in our Ventrilo, regardless of which room they're in. So even if you're in an
      adult room, people in the general rooms will see your chat. And if they have "Text To Speech" enabled, their computer will speak
      your text, so please remember to use appropriate language.

      If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask. Someone will be glad to help!


      • #4
        Sounds to me your tourney player and prefer them to Cash tables as I the same way

        SNGs are one of the best ways to build a BR for sure 9 players 3 make $$$ and as ya feel compy then the 2 tbl 3tbl and so on can come into the mix

        I never consider my whole BR my BR if i at $120 i would say my BR is 2/3rds that so $80 i do this in case Variance Kicks me below the belt as I will have something to fall back on

        Pick they Buy-in and game you feel is best for you and grind them I like to set small Goals We will Use the $1.20 Single tables as an Example

        i set out to run 30 (for some reason i like the sets of 30) of them and i keep a notepad by me or Excel sheet on the puter and after i have ran the 30 games i will go back an reflect on if I up or down and how did I feel with this, Should I try another set of 30, should i move down was i getting out played, As being a SNG player can get boring in a hurry but it truly is the best way for a Non Cash player to Build a Small BR up as every one wants to play the MTTs for the nice paydays but you going to take more losses then winns in these and your BR can go down in a hurry

        Now at the end of the 30 games if i have done well i will take a small part of the Winnings and play an MTT or few MTTs if thats what i enjoy as a way or a reward, You need to remember Poker is a game and until your at the level of making a living from it you should treat it as a game and have fun with it and be sure to reward your self for doing well as all the positives will make you much more comfortable as you move thru the different stages

        Most of the full time grinders i know who play for a living still have fun with the game but at the level they at its just 2nd nature to the Big picture for them

        Hope I did not babble on as i do that some times lol

        Best of luck with your game and on building your Roll

        7 Time Bracelet Winner


        • #5
          Many thanks for the replies.

          I entirely agree about the 5c/10c NL being too high for my bankroll, Chris. Trying those was a one-off when I wanted to earn some vpps in a hurry, and in hindsight it was a mistake. Even then, I was only ever going to play a small number of hands there, so I wasnt about to allow it to break my bank.

          If I do switch to cash games it will be as you suggest, 1c/2c to start with, with an eye on moving up to 2c/5c in time.

          I notice you recommend the 6max rather than full ring. I know that Dave (The Langolier) also prefers 6 max. What are the advantages of 6 max? Is it simply that with fewer players it takes less time to get a read on specific opponents and make appropriate adjustments?

          Multitabling is something I know I need to do eventually (have only experimented very briefly with it so far), but I fear that it might slow my learning curve at this point. Reading opponents and putting them on ranges is something I need a lot more practice at. If I am multitabling I will by definition have less time per table to do this. But perhaps if I start adding tables slowly I can overcome this.

          Too2Coo, thanks for the advice. The small goals, 30 games at a time does sound a good approach. I already keep detailed records of all my games/sessions in excel.

          The nice thing about the 50/50s I think, is that of all the SNGs/MTTs, they should afford the lowest variance, as 5 out of 10 make the money each time.

          I'm still not sure whether to jump back to cash games or stick with the SNGs, but I do appreciate the input and advice here.


          • #6
            I think 99% of all players overthink poker
            multi tabling takes that away and allows you to gain experience rapidly
            you should watch nanonoko's video
            pros prefer 6 max because poker skill comes into play
            on a full ring its like you must have best hand at river to win
            mtt's and s+g's are hardest way to build a bankroll
            you get poor point return and its hard to profit overall
            good poker on cash tables yields profit and points easier


            • #7
              +1 to Chris's posts. umbup: I am on a similar path as him and I think it is very good advice. If your not into multitabling your strategy and goals may vary some though.


              • #8
                I like this site. Check out the two tools, the bankroll calculator and the fergulator. They are in the small box below the chart, about halfway down the page. The bankroll calculator will have tips for how to play your bankroll too..but the calculator is just for cash games. Hope this helps. umbup:


                • #9
                  That is weird i played a batch of 30 same as you before thinking should i move up or stay same ormove down


                  • #10
                    WELCOME TO THE FORUM
                    A LOT OF INFO. HERE FOR THE TAKING
                    GOOD LUCK

                    sometimes i laugh so hard tears run down my leg


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rolo834 View Post
                      That is weird i played a batch of 30 same as you before thinking should i move up or stay same ormove down
                      Welcome in rolo. umbup: So how did you do in these 30? ..btw..this is an old thread and a lot that contributed here were in the us and may not be around a whole lot. Main thing in this thread is to play within bankroll mgmt guidelines. Stick with that and you'll be comfortable at the level you're in, because you're where you should be. Let us know if you have any questions. ....and yes, Dennis is here for the taking.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by !!!111Dan View Post

                        ....and yes, Dennis is here for the taking.
                        YEA BUT NOT BY A GUY PLEASE
                        JUST LOOKED AT THE PIC. DIDN'T YOU DAN

                        sometimes i laugh so hard tears run down my leg


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hemetdennis View Post
                          Just tryin' to help a brother out. umbup: ... I make a good wingman. Mostly because I'm married. ...didn't check the


                          • #14
                            ty ty


                            • #15
                              ohh hahaha pic is of charlotte church a singer from Wales ..when she was younger she was christened by the press as "voice of an angel" and mainly sang classical music but when she grew up sang pop and I really like her (sick of being chatted up by men though especially in play money) but as soon as I mention im a man they lose interest fast phew so thats a good thing

                              You may regret sayin ask plenty of questions lol



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