Originally Posted by tenbob
Assume something like this.
A good nl$2 player realised that to 3 bet from the blinds its for value.
A good nl$10 player realises that to 3 bet from the blinds is for value and to resteal.
A good nl$400 player realises that to 5 bet-bluff from the blinds vs a button steal's 3bet he knows that the button knows his 3 bet is a re-steal, so he 4 bets small. He has a basis in history though, and knows what his ranges are, and because he has gained previous experience he knows what spots and what players to do it against.
This is good, but more specifically:
A good 2nl player knows how to play his cards well
A good 10nl player realizes that you're playing other people and need to adjust your play based on opponent
A good 400nl player realizes that there are ranges and that other good players also know there are ranges. They are better at seeing a small amount of information and extrapolating that to better understand the opponent's overall strategy, and understands how to exploit overall strategies with various parts of their range without opening themselves up to getting exploited too much.
A good 5knl player sees ranges and realizes that against other world-class players anything more than a slight adjustment from gto will be seen and exploited very quickly, so generally they attempt to play in such a way that an extremely good opponent can not exploit anything they're doing. They will make minor adjustments and re-adjustments but generally will be attempting to play very close to gto in pots against non-fish.
I'm not even close to a good 5knl player so that might be a bit off but it's my understanding. As for the other stuff though the biggest thing I notice that lower-stakes players do badly is they just don't understand the what's actually going on in the game and they don't understand the correct adjustments to make even if they did know their opponent's exact game plan.
Whereas for example let's do this quick exercise. You're playing someone HU who is 3-betting you a lot (say 25%) and being extremely aggressive. What would you be looking for now to determine how to adjust? A lot of lower-stakes players would either just start tightening up or trying to play back/call down lighter without really thinking about why. But the better players are the ones who think about how this affects his other ranges. Is he 3-betting thinner for value? Some people 3b 25% and their range is literally JJ+/AK/bluffs. How is he going to react with his bluffs to a 4b? Is he going to barrel them a lot postflop? What do the answers to those questions change about our game plan? What does this do to his flatting range? If he's really 3-betting a ton of value hands and broadways what does that tell you about his flatting range? How are you going to exploit that? And as you adjust to him think about what he sees. Every hand you show down think about what that does to what he perceives to be your game plan. If he sees you call a 3b with J4s what's his most likely adjustment? How do we stay one step ahead of that?
I'm not just talking out of my ass here these are really things that I think about when I'm playing on a daily basis, and not that I'm amazing or anything but I do think I understand what it takes to beat 400nl and I have a general idea what most 25nl or 50nl regs need to do to improve. I haven't played a ton of 2nl so couldn't tell you that but the biggest difference between 50nl and 400nl is that a lot of 50nl regs are sorta playing their cards/hud stats whereas the 400nl players are thinking a lot more deeply about the ranges going on and how to adjust to various perceived leaks in other players' games. Not to say they're perfect or anything I'm sure the average 5knl reg would laugh at all the leaks I have in my game I'm just trying to help you understand at least the difference between the micros and midstakes.