re: Poker & Higher stakes poker easier?
I've never played a very high stakes tourney, but when I look at the player pool (which I do sometimes for the hell of it), I can't help noticing that there are not a whole lot of players. Might be interesting to observe the play all the way through one of the biggies and see if there are a lot of groaner suckouts (i.e., hands won with garbage). I bet not. I also bet there are fewer LAGs, but that those few don't necessarily do badly.
I regularly play the Double Deuce on Sundays at Full Tilt, which has a $20 buy-in and thus is over my usual buyin limit. I always sat in, as do many others, and the pool is pretty big, although it does not always beat the guarantee level. In that tourney, there are still foolios who (I assume) satted in and are playing badly. But, even though the first two hours have high casualties, there are relatively few horrific suckouts with garbage hands in EP -- unlike freerolls
and daily dollar level tourneys. Note, however, that I do not consider a suited connector (if others let it get to the flop cheaply) a crap hand. It's a very valid hand to play cheaply (or even aggressively, if folded to) from late position.
The couple of times I have played tourneys with $200+ buyins, the play was even more careful (albeit aggressive), more thoughtful. Many many fewer idiotic plays. And therefore, to some extent, most players did have a definable range which somewhat favors a skillful player. Not that I am skillful, but I did find it less worrisome to try to guess what the other guy might have and decide accordingly. I could pretty much rule out serious stupid, but couldn't rule out the big bluff. It was less of a crap shoot, more poker -- and quite full of danger. For the most part, I felt I was constantly in danger of being outplayed. I worried that nearly everyone
else was better than I am. My perceptions may have been affected by my discomfort.
That's anecdotal rather than statistical, so my observations may not be completely valid.