re: Poker & What percentage of poker cash game players can beat 2NL?
I was a live tournament player and made the move to live cash games after a few years. I actually was a pretty average/poor player and just relied a lot on awareness and picking spots. I ran really well one year and won over 180K USD online and at the WSOP
(won a ticket).
It wasn't until I'd been playing for a few years and realized that I'd never bothered to study the game. My only study was some basic books and watching WSOP/WPT/HSP episodes and thinking about how each player was thinking about the hand.
I moved to cash games and primarily played 1-2 and 2-3. I was break even in 2/3 for at least a year.
I was always working during this period and money wasn't an issue so there was no financial pressure- poker was a hobby and something I thought I was pretty good at.
Anyway, I started online at 10NL and realized I could play 25NL pretty safely without being outclassed- but the 25NL games were about as tough as a
5-10 game at my local casino. You just have no idea how much tougher online poker is compared to live poker. They are two different animals and online players are the predators.
Anyway, I broke even at 25NL for about 70K hands at 6 max.
I then decided to get a coach after quitting my job with a huge bankroll.
My aim has been to get as good at poker as possible while still working on the side in my business. (Work 3 or 4 days a week, grind online 2-3 days a week.)
Coaching was the key for me to improve. My coach pointed out so many things that I had no idea about. I realized that in any game other than 2/3 at my local casino, I was probably going to break even in the long run at best...The good news is that I adjusted to online quite quickly and started playing full ring games on stars because they were closer to the full ring games I could crush at my casino.
Anyway, I've had coaching since April 2nd (over 7 months) and I've played 93,400 hands. It's been a slow grind, but I'm beating 25NL fullring for 3.98bb/100. That's $929.12 profit over almost 100K hands, not including FPP bonuses lol. Just a painful learning experience and reality check about my poker knowledge.
The good news is that looking back at my 93K hands I can see so many mistakes and spots where I just dumped money and spewed it away with small mistakes. I'll probably play at least 50K more hands at 25NL and see if I can get the winrate up over 5bb.
My coach says I'm ready to take on 100NL and skip 50NL but it's too big of a jump for me at this stage. I want to eliminate variance as much as possible.
My goal is to move up to 100NL and perhaps eventually play 200NL full ring, whilst hiring a manager to run my business for me.
Some key pieces of advice for anyone who wants to get better:
-find a coach or a fellow player that is better than you and get them to challenge your thinking and how you play hands.
-study your previous sessions and go over your mistakes. What positions are you losing money from?
-invest in a HUD and learn it.
-don't be afraid of getting it all in with QQ and even JJ against particular regs who love shoving- these hands are such a huge favorite over the range of most of these shoving regs and I see so many rocks folding these great starting hands when they are probably up against AK 90% of the time.
-find the fish and play pots with them. Position is preferable, especially if there are other regs at the table- but make sure you play against players who are looser and worse than you.
-Keep scouting games while you're playing. Sit down at a table, play a hand and then sit out so you can get more info while you get a coffee/lunch. This is datamining that you need.
-try and think one level higher than you are. Challenge yourself.
-When it's checked to you in a multiway pot and you've got 2 soft/passive opponent rocks doing the checking, then fire away. Fold equity is so huge in poker. Look for spots to steal small pots against tight/soft regs who are too scared to bluff out of position.
-stop calling with mediocre hands out of position preflop unless there is a huge fish. It's better to raise preflop and take the pot down with aggression and initiative against a reg's cutoff open. Obviously try and balance your % range when doing this. Don't just defend your blinds, attack his wide cutoff opens. Then when you have position on him, attack him some more. You need to make your opponents scared of you with your aggression and initiative. Regnits HATE playing out of position against even slightly aggressive players.
-take a shot at the next stakes up. If you're playing 5NL, make one of your tables a 10NL table while the other 5 tables are 5NL. Baby steps.
- understand the value of draws and the equity of draws in position. They are very very powerful and often have as much equity as 2 pair!!!
Don't give up. Do what you gotta do. See you at 200NL.