The value to play money
Here's a link to my (overly long) intro to the forumhttp://www.cardschat.com/f8/18-year-old-chess-poker-229148/#post2161639
And in that introduction I mention how I started with Zynga poker, now We all know that the play on a place like Zynga poker or the play money option on poker sites
is to put it bluntly, crap. But is there any use to these apart from the obvious learning the software/rules approach?
When I started playing on zynga I was brand new to the game of poker, however pretty quickly I came to the conclusion that the players were crap and that I might pick up bad habits if I stayed too long. However I'm now going to make the argument that infact there is some useful skills to learn. Namely ADJUSTMENT learning to adjust to a range of situations from tournament structures and playing conditions, to fish and regs, through to typical play and isolates incidents. I think that learning to adjust is perhaps the most important skill one can learn in order to be a winning poker player. and interestingly play money offers a range of situations that can be utilised as a lesson in adjustment.
For example before I had ever come across the concept, I had formed my own BRM rules even though it was just play chips. I also created what I determined to be good strategies for beating whatever I was playing such as the SNG's which it was pretty clear the way to go was just fold everything except premium hands until you reach the final three for easy money except still being flexible in regards to if there are certain tendencies to pick up on in particular players or the rising blinds create certain dynamics. But even though I had a sure fire money making strategy, I found more lucrative one on the cash tables where I came across a host constantly changing table dynamics and found ways to maximize my already easy winnings to the maximum. I'll just mention one more interesting point in that the site had a shootout tournament structure where because of the structure and payout and player tendencies, it was actually best to go all or call all in with any two cards on the first hand.
Anyway the point of this thread isn't for me to give details of my various play money strategies I developed for a brief time of play money experience, I'm sure none of you are interested in that and it's kinda pathetic anyway. Instead what I'm getting at in this thread is that it seems so often people think playing with play money will only hurt your poker development and that there isn't any use beyond software testing. However I think that it gives a chance to pick up atleast some experience in being a flexible player who can adapt to situations.
Don't misunderstand, I'm not advocating play money as a training ground or that it will offer you anything of major value. All I'm getting at is that I don't necessarily think playing occasionally at a play money table (say if your bored or don't have a roll and don't feel like depositing or freerolling) will seriously harm your poker development, provided you keep in mind that play money is nothing like real money
and the only value is experience in adjustment. So what are other peoples thoughts on this subject?