re: Poker & Building up BR at Stars
I do much better in cash games too. I started out at Stars playing SnG's and did well at first, placing ITM in at least every other tourney for awhile there, and winning several. Then I got a taste of ring games. I could play a $6.50 SnG for an hour and maybe make $30, or I can play a cash game for as little as 15 minutes and often make the same $30, even more. Last night I made $150 in probably 30 minutes playing $50NL, I was running hot. In a tourney (particularly a cheap one), no matter how hot you run you're going to get paid off no better than 1st place, often after hours of play in a MTT. In cash games you can stop the bleeding if you're running cold and step away from the table (no buy-in to worry about forfeiting), while if the cards are running hot you can maximze profits in a short amount of time. Maybe at the higher limits, with better players all around, it will be harder to get ahead as much, but at the $25 and $50NL games, the majority of players seem to be ATM's.
Not saying tourneys can't be lucrative, and with a tiny BR they're probably the best option for most people. It's just a different way to play the game, and I seem to be better at ring play. I think I've just about ruined myself on tourney's. Every time I try one now I start getting impatient after the first break, and tend to get reckless. Or I'm shortstacked from playing TAG too long, stack with a premium hand to try and catch up, and then get drawn out on. It's frustrating when those bad beats come after a couple hours of clawing your way to the top 25% of a MTT.
Once in awhile I'll change things up and play a cheap tourney, more for cheap practice at low risk than anything else, but I tend not to do well at all in them now compared to when I first started. The strategy is completely different compared to cash games and I have a hard time switching gears.
So once you build a bit of a BR you might try some low stakes cash games, but be prepared to adjust play style if all you've played are tourneys. On Stars I find the lowest penny stakes to be as much a donkfest as a freeroll or cheap SnG, but once you hit $25NL and up it's a lot easier to play even ABC poker and turn a profit. Not a huge profit, but a profit nonetheless.
Just my $0.02...