Hi, I'm C9, and I used to be a NLHE player. I played 6-max, with a super laggy, 4-bet bluffing
, screw you I'm taking you're money style, and I was okay at it. Not great, wasn't a huge winner, but I was earning some decent money. However, after playing 100NL for about a year, I realized that my game was actually getting worse. I used to win 2EZ, but for some reason, the money wasn't pouring in anymore. Run bad, play bad, my opponents got better, whatever. I could probably keep playing NLHE and be okay, but that's not the point of this little memoir. The point is to tell you why I think I'm better suited not to play NLHE.
About a year ago I switched most of my play from NLHE to limit games. And while people will tell you that you can make more money playing big bet games, and that limit games are a bad choice, I'd like to offer three reasons why you should at least consider playing these silly min-bet/min-raise/no-fold'em-hold'em games:
There is Edge
In poker, the object is to earn money (ldo). And the way you earn money is by using your skill advantage to make your opponent make a mathematical mistake. This is called your "edge". My Skill * Opponent's Mistakes = Money (or at least Sklansky Bucks) or something like that.
Thus, every NLHE player will say "No Limit has bigger bets, and thus the mistakes our opponents make are bigger, and thus No Limit games have a bigger edge". And while its totally true that No Limit games do give your opponent a chance to make some really colossal mistakes, they neglect the other part of the edge equation: the skill of your opponents.
Because limit games have far less exposure, and far less written about them than any of the other games, your opponents playing limit games (or capped games, or other non-hold'em games) will not have nearly the education that your opponents playing NLHE will.
Additionally, while you can't get your opponent to make that colossal "put all your money in drawing slim" mistake, they do offer up small edges... TONS of them. While the mistakes fish make in this game are smaller, they compensate for this by making tons of them. You won't win very many giant pots playing limit, but you can win a shit-ton of medium sized ones.
I Don't Like Folding
Playing NLHE, I had two really big leaks:
1) I bluffed too much.
2) I tried to catch bluffs too much.
I just didn't like folding, and I would find reasons to make that optimistic river call all the time. After playing NLHE for a year or two, I got better at suppressing this type of thing, but I was never able to make it go away.
Looking back now, an easy solution to this problem was to switch to a game where making a speculative bluff or call wasn't as big of a mistake.
NLHE promotes a lot of folding. You're usually getting odds
around 2:1 on a call, which means your hand has to be good around 33% of the time, which, is an awful lot!
Fixed Limit games, on the other hand, you're often getting more than 10:1 odds on a river call. A series of events like this will show a profit:
Lose, Lose, Lose, Lose, Lose, Lose, Lose, Win, Lose, Lose
Nine losses to one win when we're getting 10:1 odds sounds like a winner to me! The same thing applies to bluffing, when you spend 1 big bet to win ten, it doesn't have to work very often.
So by switching games, I was able to turn leaks into... smaller leaks. And since no one ever folds in these games, I've almost all but eliminated the bluffing problem from my game.
I have more fun
This one is easy to explain. I played NLHE for years. I was bored. When you get bored while playing poker, you'll often do stupid things to entertain yourself, which costs you money. After playing a session one night, I had won $200, but I realized that I was just absolutely irritated by NLHE, the variance it put me through to win that money, and how I thought it was an absolute drag. It was a big turning point that caused me to play other games.
The big take away message from this section is, you'll play better if you're having fun.
So yeah, in conclusion, consider the other games. While NLHE is certainly the most popular game, it might not be the best game for you.