re: Poker & I'm not going back
I am still trying to build a bankroll, so I am often in those small buy in events. after a while the poor players weed themselves out.
I don't know where the "good" play starts, because I have seen some bad play, including my own, at $5 & $10 buy ins.
If you can move up to $1 or $2 buy ins you might see slightly better play. The other suggestion I would make is the smaller SnGs.
They tend to pay out a higher percentage of players and it takes less hands to get there. While that could mean less variance for the single event, over all you would have more opportunities to cash by playing in more tournaments with a payout being statistically more likely.
For example, playing two $1 nine player SnG's where three players cash for a minimum of $3 is better than making your way through 160 players in a $2 180 man event, only to make $3 unless you then reach the final table.
Just my worthless opinion!