BRM and Ascending Mt Micro
BRM and Ascending Mt Micro
Please note, my examples and explanations apply to NLHE cash games, although the same rules and idea can be used for whatever game you are playing, taking into consideration standard BRM limits. Also, this may have been discussed somewhere else before, I’m no god-like being that is proclaiming this to be the new way, just putting the alternative out there, if so, I am not intentionally plagiarising and I am happy for the post to be removed or links posted to other material.
I’ve been meaning to write a post about this for a few weeks now but have been busy and haven’t got around to it. I’m not sure if this will help anyone, but wanted to put the idea out there and worst case, have it up for debate if people disagree.
It stems from seeing a few posts from members, can’t remember who in particular, who are doing well and trying to move up themselves but facing problems, or are asking about buyins needed for x. You know the posts, here and over at 2p2 there’s always a regular flow of posts from noobs or just new ‘taking poker serious’ players, asking how many buyins they need for whatever game they are playing.
For the sake of the ultra new guys, 1 Buyin (bi) is equal to 100 big blinds at the level where you are currently playing, for example, if your playing 10nl, 1 bi = $10 (10c x 100), at 5nl, 1 bi = $5.
The set guidelines are generally 25 - 30 Buyins being a comfortable zone in which your bankroll can withstand ‘standard’ swings, there are ofc shockingly bad runs where you may drop 15 Bi’s in a week, but then discipline to move down comes into play, which will be spoken about too!
But the thing with these, is that they are all set guidelines, standards that have been written into every online poker beginners guide for the last half century, and everyone just follows them blindly, not really thinking about it, and maybe not adapting it as they improve, I did anyways, its only recently that I’ve started thinking like this. But every poker player is different, not only in the way that they play, but in the level of experience, it goes without saying that all poker rules are bendable, try telling a 30/28 Lag that he should only open AKs QQ+ from UTG at a FR table, the same should apply to BRM imo.
So, you’ve deposited $100, played 5nl for the past month and your now starting to think about moving up to 10nl, so you google ‘moving up’ to see how you should be doing it, I pretty much guarantee that wherever you find this answer it will probs sound something like,
“You should move up when you have 25 bi’s for the level above and take a 5 bi shot, if you drop back down to 20 bi’s then move back down to the limit below and grind it back up again, rinse and repeat until you stick.”
But....... lets put this into numbers, your grinding 5nl, 25 bi’s for 10nl = $250, which also equals 50 bi’s for 5nl, you take your 5 bi shot at 10nl and for whatever reason things don’t go well, your now back at $200 so you move back down to 5nl and grind it back up, but to do that you’ve got to grind another 10 bi’s at 5nl, which could take up to a month depending on rungood and volume, now failing shots is common place, so its granted that the first one will fail and your not so bothered about grinding it back up......
Fast forward a month, your back to $250, the past month hasn’t seen any huge improvement to your game because well pffft 5nl is easy peasy and it was just a matter of grinding, so you load up your 10nl tables, confident that you’ll stick this time, but things don’t go to plan, you lose another 5 bi’s at 10nl (over however many sessions) and your right back where you were at the beginning of the month, all that hard work and time at the tables was for nothing, you review your 10nl play and it was mainly coolers, with a tiny bit of tilt near the end from running so godawful whilst shot-taking, its understandable! But this is where some players lose focus, they can’t be arsed with another month of 5nl, that next shot seems so far away, and they tilt, in whatever way they choose, they tilt, and soon enough your back to $100 and promising yourself that this time you’re gonna make a go of it, you’ve learnt your mistakes. And if this is you, the next few paragraphs might save your game and put you in a better place.....imo!
A different approach
Think now about the level that you’re at, not the one above that your aiming for, but the one that you’re playing at now, and (hopefully) beating. How many bi’s would you say that you’d be comfortable grinding that level with? For some this may be 45, for others it may be 20. If your world caved in and you had to withdraw every dime online (maybe not the best analogy right now!) when you finally got the money to re-deposit to be back playing at your old level, how much would you feel good with, I personally would redeposit $75 and get grinding 5nl again, whatever the number that you come up with, when moving up and thinking about shot-taking this should be the only number that matters.
Look at the example above, when you had to drop back down to grind 5nl again you would have had 40 bi’s for 5nl, 40!! You really don’t need to be sitting on a 40 bi roll as a recreational player trying to move up, unless you’re really bad, and if so you won’t be reading this, you’re not going to lose $200 at 5nl......so why choose that as your move back down point? Infact, why wait until you’re at 50bi’s for your current limit to take a shot at the next one, why does it matter how many bi’s you have for the level that your shot-taking?
What should matter is how many bi’s your comfortable with at your current level, anything above that is money for the next level. When climbers go up a mountain, they establish basecamps along the way, if they try to ascend further and hit some bad weather or get injured, they will drop back down to their basecamp and re-coup, build up the energy for another ascent and then go for it.
Poker players should take this same approach, for me, $100 (20 bi’s) is plenty for 5nl, this is my 5nl basecamp, when I hit $130 I have 3bi’s for 10nl, so I take a shot, if it goes badly then I move back down and build up again, if it goes good.....then i’m playin 10nl baby, with maybe $200 after booking a few nice winning sessions, so while joe down the street is looking at another month or so before he can take another shot, I’m there already, and I’m building up my database, getting history on all the ‘regs’ and looking to find where my comfort zone is at 10nl, ready for my shots at 25, this then carrys on up the limits, when I get to $250 I might have played 30k hands at 10nl and think “Yeah I can beat this, I’m comfortable with 25bi’s, roll on $325 25nl here I come!!” whereas joe is just starting to get ready for his next shot at 10nl....I’m testing myself at 25.
Points to note
The key to using an aggressive approach like this is having the discipline to move back down in stakes when you have to, just because I say that $75 at 5nl is enough for me, I’m not naive enough to think that if the worst happened and I did drop to <$40 I could just carry on grinding 5nl, I have the discipline and sense to know that 8 bi’s isn’t enough for it and I could go broke easily if I have a bad month/week, BRM is there for a reason after all, and that reason is to not go broke, so moving down is still important and should be kept in mind, remember your comfort zones for the level below and make sure you move back down when you need to.
Also, i’m not saying for one minute that this can be applied any higher than 25nl, the reason being that i’ve never played higher than that before, i’ve never even shot-took at 25nl in the recent past, but I’ll be using it myself (planning to take a 3bi shot at 25nl when i hit $400 i think) until proved otherwise by my own results, and I know for a fact that it works from 2nl-5nl and 5nl-10nl.
And, finally, i’m not saying that the standard acceptable way is wrong, its worked for many players, but this is just something else to try.
Thanks for reading.