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Is there any way to be profitable in NL2?

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  • Is there any way to be profitable in NL2?

    Hi, Guys!

    6 months ago I made my first deposit on PS to play real money games. I prefer the cash games, 6-max, because of the absence of the clock and blind raising all the time, and the possibility to re-buy and recover my losses/bad beats/coolers/unlucky.

    Now I have 65539 hands played, and an injury of US$ 63.90.

    I kknow that I am learning, and it will cost more money, but now I am asking myself if the way I am going is the right one. Sometimes I win, sometimes I loose. That's poker. But the majority of times I am loosing money to weaker hands pre-flop, even when I raise pre-flop, usually I am called and, on the river, I have easily beaten hands.

    Is this normal is the level (NL2) (being called by weaker hands)? Is OK to believe that in games like NL10 or NL25 this kind of behavior is not so usual as it is in NL2?


  • #2

    Good decisions!


    • #3
      Hi giovanimd

      Welcome to PSO

      Joe is right when he says "good decisions", but I'll try to elaborate on what he means. Firstly, I would strongly recommend staying at 2NL until you are winning there. It doesn't get easier at the higher levels.

      If you play a decent ABC style game, you will be profitable at 2nl.

      From personal experience, I undestand what you mean about losing to weaker preflop hands though. I was a turbo tourney guy where nearly all the action was preflop. Cash games are different!

      Yes, you still want to raise your good hands preflop. This gives us value from all the people calling with weaker hands. Postflop is where we need to be careful though. I try not to go crazy with top pair top kicker hands, but rather wait until I have a set or better before getting all my chips in the middle. Being careful and patient helps to reduce our loses, but still lets us win big on our big hands.

      There is a mountain of material here at PSO that can help you learn more about microstakes cash games. Check out the videos, take part in a live training, or post a difficult hand for review. Or, even better, do all three!

      GL and have fun at the tables!

      Roland GTX


      • #4
        mate that is poker happens alot, it seems to balance itself out over long periods of time but during short periods of time it will look like its all luck, but over longer periods of time the decisions you make, will pay off, i think i remember reading something like poker is 53% all luck over 1 month but over 1 year the luck drops to like 12% over a large period of time. And from reading what you said you where doing it seems that you are making the right dissisons just getting unlucky.

        Don't be afraid to fold. It sucks folding pocket rockets but when there are 2 kings on the flop and the Russian across the table goes all in what would you do..... dont bother chasing gut shots unless you can afford to.
        Last edited by xSCOTTIEx; Tue Dec 04, 2012, 11:33 AM.


        • #5
          Hi giovanimd

          Welcome to PSO, hope the answers you received were helpful to you.

          As Roland said we have some great features here and this link will help you find your way around.

          Good luck.


          • #6
            Originally posted by giovanimd View Post
            Is OK to believe that in games like NL10 or NL25 this kind of behavior is not so usual as it is in NL2?

            No it is not OK. While it is true you will most likely see less weak hands played at NL10 and NL25, that does not mean you will perform better. Players playing less weak hands does not equal less losses for you. I can assure you that you will lose more money more often at higher stakes if you were to abruptly jump up.

            What I suggest you consider is this:
            Your losses are not being caused by other players playing weak hands.


            • #7
              Do NOT move to NL5 or NL10, expecting the games to be easier. They are significantly tougher, because there are fewer complete novices.

              Your figures indicate that you are losing 9.7c per 100 hands. That's almost 5bb/100. This isn't a terrible figure, as there are plenty of fish losing 20bb/100 or more.
              Bear in mind that only about a third of all players are profitable. On Stars, there are lots of break-even nits winning between 2-4bb/100.

              You could turn your results around if you learn to fold more often post-flop. Give more credit to bets and raises. Villains are seldom bluffing. If you only have a one pair hand, and villain raises the turn, or bets the pot on the river, make a disciplined fold. You might have had the best hand pre-flop, but if it's no good at showdown, you save money by folding.
              Bracelet Winner


              • #8
                Originally posted by ArtySmokesPS View Post
                Your figures indicate that you are losing 9.7c per 100 hands. That's almost 5bb/100. This isn't a terrible figure, as there are plenty of fish losing 20bb/100 or more.
                Probably I'm not the best person to responding to this thread, because I didn't start off learning poker at cash tables. But I didn't start off at cash tables being profitable, so I can relate to that thing of wondering, like 'omg, what does it take to turn a profit? How am I supposed to turn a profit when I keep losing to 2-outers on the river? What do other people know that I don't? And where do I go to learn? etc etc' Also, I've been profitable at cash tables for a while now, and I *still* have trouble folding to all sorts of hands when I'm beat, so there's that too I was looking at my graphs for 2nl, and the rake seems to be over 5bb/100 ... somewhere between 5+bb/100 and 6+bb/100. So if your 'losing' rate is less than 5bb/100 ... like that must mean you're at least beating other people (but are still losing to the rake). So that should be pretty encouraging ... like it sounds like you're doing some things okay? umbup: The rake is high though, eh? In addition to better learning how to fold (work in progress ), I remember having to learn a ton of other stuff too before I started turning a profit, like: - how to better hand read ... I still struggle with this sometimes because some peoples' ranges are so wide. Also, sometimes people employ deception to mask the strength or weakness of their hands - pot odds (after putting people on ranges) - turns out of I was chasing draws too much - how to bet larger to better extract value when our is hand is winning - how/when to (semi-bluff) when our hand misses, but it has potential - etc And then in addition to the Live Training Classes and Hand Analysis Section and Video Sections that Roland mentioned, aren't there also those classes where you can sign up to play in the PSO Home Game Club (for both cash and play money), and a trainer will watch everybody play, and give people tips and stuff? The Live Training Classes and the Daily Game are on all the time, so hopefully you'll be able to find something to fit your schedule GL!
                Last edited by TrustySam; Wed Dec 05, 2012, 06:38 AM.


                • #9

                  Welcome Giovanimd

                  I come to these forums looking for help and it is rare I get to help others but here is my chance.
                  As a clever man once said to me, simply "READ!"

                  The Theory of Poker - David Sklansky: it is old and isn't all NL Hold'em but is a very important book in regard to start you thinking the right way.
                  Super Systems 2 - presented by Doyle Brunson: again it's not all NL Hold'em but it is a MUST read for anyone looking to improve their play.
                  Harrington on Online Cash Games; 6-Max No-Limit Hold'em - Dan Harrington: Online NL 6-Max is your game; sleep with this book.

                  To be a winning poker playing is hard and requires hard work. If it was easy nobody would make money doing it.
                  When I started playing poker I wish somebody has said the following to me and I would be a richer man now.
                  A: BANKROLL CAN HANDLE IT - don't buy-in for $0.01 more then 5% of you bankroll at one time.
                  B: HIGHER STAKES = HARDER GAMES(PERIOD) - you need bad players in your game. That's where your profit comes from.

                  I got a bit preachy at the end but if I save you money it will be like the MAJOR hole I dug myself into never really happened.


                  • #10

                    Hi Guys,

                    Thanks everyone!

                    Since the post, I am reading two books (Building a Bankroll - Pawel Nazarewicz and a book about PLO, don't remember the author). I will look for the books Klumn told me to read next week.

                    The main question, which I believe You guys answered perfectly is that there is a way to be profitable in NL2, and there is no reason to go to more expensive games without a much more detailed knowledge about poker.

                    I run the Poker Basics and Cash Game courses here, at PSO, and I believe that it can improve my knowledge.

                    Thanks, again, all of You guys. I will try to keep my motivation and effort focused on the books and practice.

                    Giovani Marinho


                    • #11
                      You are losing around 5-6bb/100 but thats not too bad considering the high rake.

                      Could you post your stats?


                      • #12
                        Hi giovanimd,

                        I play more tourneys than cash but i do play 2-4 hours a day $.01-02 till i get my 150VPPs needed for top Prizes in the Premier league. I do a "find a player" on each player B4 i start to play]. I note who is playing 4 tables or more with a red note(use whatever colors u want)and put an M for each 2 tables they are playing.SO, a guy playing 8 tables will have MMMM in his note. When the find a player does not find, i assume they are also multi-tabling)M-T), But, i don't know so i give them a different color with 2 MMs & a ? (MM?)--(When i encounter them the 3rd time, i chang the color to red), and those who are playing 2-3 tables(maybe 1 a tourney) i give a yellow(normal) & to those players playing just 1 table i give my "weak" note'

                        This information will help u "get a read" on many players at the table as up to 100% of all the players u have at your table may be M-T players. They will all be playing a very Tight-Aggressive style & can be robbed on a regular basis from Button & Cutoff(no other callers) with a simple 4bb raise preflop(they won't normally call 4bb with ,22,33,44,55,66,77,(but you can raise with those if you have them) & C-bet after. If they call both u r probably beat(if you haven't hit & can fold to any bet. SO, this means you'll have to play as good a starting hand as they do or you're doomed.

                        I play 3 tables to keep the action going & still find time to note some players opening ranges & pre-flop bets (the reason is, because they don't have time to introduce different betting schedules for the same holdings)(except for position). SO, after a short while you will know what you should be expecting out of 75% of the players you're up against. For maximum value at the $$ tables, try to find tables where 3-5 are normal & 1 table players. They will be starting with weaker holdings overall than the M-Ts.
                        I am slightly positive over the $$ tables for the last 18 months and can get my 10 VPPs daily and make a few bucks(sometimes as much as $10) while holding my losses to $3-4 on losing sessions which i limit to 2 hours.
                        I hope this helps.

                        ps: I've never deposited or gone
                        while playing PS for 2.5 years

                        Originally posted by giovanimd View Post
                        Hi, Guys!



                        • #13
                          The BIGGEST change you can make that gives you a huge edge at NL2 tables is playing tight pre flop. When you're cutting your average %flop seen down below ~12% you'll be missing out on so many kicker over kicker coolers etc. and saving so much money.
                          NIT and TAG styles of play are king at the lowest limits.

                          Also take a spare second to label anyone you see ever shoving rubbish hands. You'll feel way more comfortable calling an all in with your pocket jacks when you know his hand range includes things like 97o


                          • #14
                            I am not a big player, but i have been playing a little small stakes poker thru the years, and i love to read books, watch poker on tv and such to become better.

                            Within the last 12 months i have played 25k hands on NL2 full ring cash games and i have 17bb/100 hands profit.

                            I am fully aware it should be higher, because i tend to lose too much when i lose and i tend to be little bit too carefull when i have the best hand. I am working on that.

                            I dunno why i keep playing at the lowest stake thou, cause i have a bankroll to move up a few steps, but i kinda like it there :p



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