When Moving Into New Ground... (Longish)
Been going at online poker hard now for months, and I'm starting to feel like I'm really getting my head around it, every week that passes it feels like I'm adding things to my game here and there, fine tuning my play. Months ago, I started out trying to beat games starting at 5NL, 10NL etc. Once I'd really got the basics down when it comes to beating those games, tightness, value-betting fish and all that jazz, beating 25NL full ring was just the same really, except I found that you just had to pay a little more attention to table selection since there are at least a few non-fish...
Anyhow, moving from 25NL to 50NL posed new problems for me, I suddenly realised that online poker wasn't always going to be about sitting there looking for absolute idiots who were going to willingly hand me their cash and check-call every single ragged hand they get. First off I checked out 50NL full ring, since I had always played full ring and had intended to keep it up, but it just seemed so damn nitty and tight that there didn't seem to be too much money to be had. So I thought I'd jump into the realm of 6-max, as I'd heard it was more complex with more plays and less of people just waiting and then playing their premiums, and if people were doing that, then they were rendering themselves more exploitable than in full ring.
Here seems like a good place to put my graph so I can refer to it when I'm getting to what I'm trying to get to with this thread...
I'll just tell you what I was doing from what hand number, roughly:
0-26000: 5NL-25NL Full Ring
26000-29000: Getting used to, and losing at 25NL 6-max
29000-45000: Crushing 25NL 6-max?
45000-50000: Getting crushed at 50NL 6-max? D:
50000-End: Doing alright at 50NL 6-max, having got used to it.
Obviously variance comes into the equation, but the point I want to make with this thread is the kind of mindset and thinking that might be best for moving up levels and moving into different games. After I'd moved to 6-max 25NL and lost basically all my profit that it had taken so long to build up (which was nothing really, but still, I hadn't been playing so many tables at a time and hadn't been putting as many hours in, so it took a while), it really hurt. But after going over where I was losing money in sessions, I managed to fix my game and turn it around. When moving into 50NL, I really felt quite lost with it at first, finding myself frustrated with how I couldn't seem to beat it instantly, but I've looked at my game, and having built upon it, I feel as though I know what I'm doing with the level now. I know the hand sample on there is small on the progession at the end, but I've just played a long session which has constituted that end part of the graph and as I was playing I just felt a hell of a lot more comfortable and felt I had much more of an understanding of what was going on and how to play in certain spots. I'd looked over how I was playing, a plugged a few certain leaks. More specifically, my 3-betting/4-betting game needed fixing up a bit, and I needed to tighten up my flop play and concentrate on villain stats.
Anyway, there's already a ton of great stuff on here and out there on BRM, moving up levels, and tilt. However, when moving up levels, tilt can really get at it's worst. You're playing at double the stake that you were previously grafting at, and it may have taken you a fair amount of time and hard work to build your BR to move up, so when you start losing double the amount it can really get to you. But it's almost inevitable that players will lose a bit of money when first moving into new territory. The best thing to do, I found, is to think of money lost as money paid to learn lessons, to be used to experiment at the new level or in the new type of game. With this in mind, one must analyse where they've leaked their lost money, and really think about what they might be doing in their game that they should be changing. It might all seem a bit obvious to some, but there were occasions in these transitions where I was really starting to lose faith in my poker play.
Anyway, this is starting to sound like some preachy lecture, and I'm not exactly qualified to do all that, but I thought I'd post this account of how the past week or so's made me think about the whole moving up levels thing. Hopefully anyone trying to transition from 25NL to 50NL or some other levels might find it of use.