Skill level between different micro games?

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blix177

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Is there a noticeable difference between skill levels when playing cash games?
0.01/0.02 vs .05/.1 vs .1/.25

And would there be strategy that would work in higher amount cash games, but not work on low level micro? Something like a pro does great playing $1000/2000 blinds but would get hammer when playing 0.01/0.02?
 
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pentazepam

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A real pro can always adjust to a lower level pretty fast. They notice player tendencies independent of how high the blinds are.

In very general terms: the players are less balanced the lower you get.

That means that you can value bet bigger and more often against players that call and chase to much. And also value bet thin.

You can often bluff the tighter players more often.

And finally you can more easily trap aggressive players that bluff to often (or over value their hands when we check).

You can also still win a little money pretty easy by being a total nit on the lowest levels. Not recommended for maximum win-rate though. But on higher levels you have to mix up your game to not be easy to read.
 
LevySystem

LevySystem

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Pentazepan nailed it allready. To your first question...
Is there a noticeable difference between skill levels when playing cash games?
0.01/0.02 vs .05/.1 vs .1/.25


At 25-50nl people actually start to care. Meaning that at this point most of them actually start studying the game. Lets not forgett that depending on where you life nl25-50 can be a top notch monthly income. I know people that life from nl5-10....

Fish will still be Fish, but the regulars are going to be way more aggressive, Especially postflop. So while solid ABC-Style poker bring you trough the micros, at lowstakes you should invest more time into studying the game yourself.
 
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fundiver199

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There is a pretty big difference between 2NL and 5NL, at sites that have both stakes, because you find most of the absolute beginners at 2NL. So this is the limit, where fish are most likely to make some absolutely crazy call for their entire stack.

5NL and 10NL tend to play rather similar. It is those regulars, who already graduated from 2NL, so they are a bit better but typically still not all that balanced, although you do find more aggressive regulars at 10NL 6-max but not so much at full ring.

The fish at these limits are still fish, but they have perhaps played a bit more, at least some of them, so they have some idea, what is going on after the flop. They are not mindlessly calling you down, and they have learned, that's its possible to win by making people fold, so some of them are fairly aggressive after the flop.

At 25NL You start to see really good regulars, some of which might already be full time professional players from countrys, where 500$ is already a high monthly income. These guys have played and studied a lot, and you need to play close to GTO poker to just break even against them. Fish are still fish but they become harder to find.
 
BUSB0Y

BUSB0Y

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Is there a noticeable difference between skill levels when playing cash games?
0.01/0.02 vs .05/.1 vs .1/.25

And would there be strategy that would work in higher amount cash games, but not work on low level micro? Something like a pro does great playing $1000/2000 blinds but would get hammer when playing 0.01/0.02?


Generally people don't start playing "poker" until .10/.25. Playing 1cent/2cent can make you into a "worse" player because people are generally just playing like nits. Very rarely are they 3betting, so if you're facing a 3bet it's generally a premium or at least a pair.

I still believe you have to be able to beat 1cent/2cent if you wanna beat higher limits, but me personally I have a very hard time beating 1cent/2cent while I can crush $10NL. Still waiting until I get a big enough roll to tackle $25NL.
 
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fundiver199

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Generally people don't start playing "poker" until .10/.25. Playing 1cent/2cent can make you into a "worse" player because people are generally just playing like nits. Very rarely are they 3betting, so if you're facing a 3bet it's generally a premium or at least a pair.


I still believe you have to be able to beat 1cent/2cent if you wanna beat higher limits, but me personally I have a very hard time beating 1cent/2cent while I can crush $10NL. Still waiting until I get a big enough roll to tackle $25NL.

In my opinion its a huge misconception, that its easier to beat a game with better players. If you can not beat the worst players in the game (2NL), then you have massive flaws in your own game.

Being a good player is also about being able to adjust. So if, like you say, people are not 3-betting very much, then you just fold more to 3-bets. Its not even like, that is a particular difficult adjustment to make :)

In reality the issue might be, that you are not taking it serious, when you play 2NL, because the money is so insignificant. So in fact you are the one, who is "not playing poker", and not your opponents ;)

That being said there is some argument for not playing to much 2NL, because you will learn strategies and habits, that are not working well at higher limits. So as soon as you are beating 2NL (lets say over 20k hands) and have enough bankroll, I recommend moving up.
 
BUSB0Y

BUSB0Y

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In my opinion its a huge misconception, that its easier to beat a game with better players. If you can not beat the worst players in the game (2NL), then you have massive flaws in your own game.

Being a good player is also about being able to adjust. So if, like you say, people are not 3-betting very much, then you just fold more to 3-bets. Its not even like, that is a particular difficult adjustment to make :)

In reality the issue might be, that you are not taking it serious, when you play 2NL, because the money is so insignificant. So in fact you are the one, who is "not playing poker", and not your opponents ;)

That being said there is some argument for not playing to much 2NL, because you will learn strategies and habits, that are not working well at higher limits. So as soon as you are beating 2NL (lets say over 20k hands) and have enough bankroll, I recommend moving up.


I totally agree. I don’t think $10 NL is easier bc it’s filled w/ better players— they actually seem worse than $2NL players. I have a theory that $2NL is filled with broke sharks who felted themselves bc it’s tough as nails, at least on ACR where I play
 
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fundiver199

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I totally agree. I don’t think $10 NL is easier bc it’s filled w/ better players— they actually seem worse than $2NL players. I have a theory that $2NL is filled with broke sharks who felted themselves bc it’s tough as nails, at least on ACR where I play

That does indeed seem pretty weird, but I can not comment on it, since I have not played on ACR. I have only really played 2NL on pokerstars, and there it is certainly softer than any higher limit.
 
BUSB0Y

BUSB0Y

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That does indeed seem pretty weird, but I can not comment on it, since I have not played on ACR. I have only really played 2NL on PokerStars, and there it is certainly softer than any higher limit.


ahh I see. I'll ship you $2 (on a stake) if you wanna give ACR a go and let me know how ACR $2NL compares with PokerStars $2NL.
 
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pentazepam

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I totally agree. I don’t think $10 NL is easier bc it’s filled w/ better players— they actually seem worse than $2NL players. I have a theory that $2NL is filled with broke sharks who felted themselves bc it’s tough as nails, at least on ACR where I play

Maybe 2NL is training level to test out bots without risking to much money before they know they work well?
 
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2tuzai

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At 25NL You start to see really good regulars, some of which might already be full time professional players from countrys, where 500$ is already a high monthly income. These guys have played and studied a lot, and you need to play close to GTO poker to just break even against them. Fish are still fish but they become harder to find.[/QUOTE]


dude are u sure that u need to play GTO at NL25 don't scare people about NL25 u can beat NL100 without gto where does it come from that rages are so good at nl25 what site do u play ???
 
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sryImPro

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I can't support my claim with numbers because i haven't conducted any research for this matter but in my personal experience, on what I've noticed over the years is that in overall you can find way better players on lower limits.
 
honeycrush

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In my opinion its a huge misconception, that its easier to beat a game with better players. If you can not beat the worst players in the game (2NL), then you have massive flaws in your own game.

Being a good player is also about being able to adjust. So if, like you say, people are not 3-betting very much, then you just fold more to 3-bets. Its not even like, that is a particular difficult adjustment to make :)

In reality the issue might be, that you are not taking it serious, when you play 2NL, because the money is so insignificant. So in fact you are the one, who is "not playing poker", and not your opponents ;)

That being said there is some argument for not playing to much 2NL, because you will learn strategies and habits, that are not working well at higher limits. So as soon as you are beating 2NL (lets say over 20k hands) and have enough bankroll, I recommend moving up.

I agree with all this. Additionally it very much depends on which site you are playing. I've played micros at most of the sites over the last 5 years. Mostly on Pokerstars - which definitely has the toughest players. 2nl is very easy to beat with ABC poker. 5nl is tougher as there used to be a lot of multi-tabling nitregs there who were probably playing full time in countries where the value of a dollar is very high. 10nl tends to have more fish as $10 seems like a nice amount to bring to a table for recreational players. However there are again more regs here grinding tables full time.

When you get to 25nl and higher the players mostly know what they are doing. I've really only played 6max and players can very aggressive at 10nl and 25nl. Now that Stars has stopped multi-tabling and the other sites have stopped HUDS I'm not sure there are as many grinders as there used to be. Perhaps they are all playing Zoom?

As for the other sites, they are much, much softer. Party is probably closest to Stars. The other sites have people playing like they do at 2nl way up to 10nl and sometimes higher.

My advice would be to build a roll at 2nl and then move up quickly if you want to take the game seriously.

Good luck at the tables! :)
 
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fundiver199

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As for the other sites, they are much, much softer. Party is probably closest to Stars. The other sites have people playing like they do at 2nl way up to 10nl and sometimes higher.

Most of my experience is also from Stars, and my description of the different limits refer to, how it was on Stars before the 4 table cap. I have mostly played on 888 poker since june 2019, but I actually think, Stars table cap have changed the online cash landscape quite a bit.

I played a short session at 10NL full ring on Stars yesterday, and most of the tables had players per flop above 20, which is absolutely incredible, compared to how it used to be. The numbers were also way higher, than they were at 888 Poker at the same time, when I checked out their lobby.

So I actually think, Stars move have gotten a lot of regs to move to other sites, and this has basically turned the situation upside down. Maybe 888 is the site hit the hardest by regs running away from Stars, since it allow HUDs.

Yesterday on Stars it was definitely true, that 10NL tables played almost like 2NL. There were crazy fish with a VPIP of 80% on several tables, and people went all in preflop with hands like AJ. It was a party, and while I did see a few of the old regulars, most of them were gone.

By contrast I can pretty much only find good 10NL games at 888 at the moment, if I play in the early european morning hours, where only a few tables are running. And presumably this is mostly because, the majority of the eastern european regulars are sleeping at this time.

Interestingly enough on Stars players per flop also tended to be higher at 10NL than 5NL lining up with, what you said about 10NL possibly appealing more to recreational players. If you have the bankroll for it, I dont see anything wrong with moving to 10NL relatively quickly.
 
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simmo5050

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Imo on Stars, 0.01 / 0.02 have about 20% complete fish, 70% ok ish player for those stakes and 10% of dangerous good players.

0.02/0.05 the ratios are maybe 10% 75% 15%.

I am waiting till I've won 100buyin at each level cos I'm not going to go bust.

The total fish get busted so fast they leave game or get better. I am seeing 'decent' regs still on 0.01/0.02 after years.

On Stars I guess there are some v good players at 0.1/0.25.

I gather that on sites for Americans, the standard is much worse .
 
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Dhendrixon

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Most of the fish hang around the micro stakes. As the limits increase so does the skill of the players, still fish around just not as many. When you start playing 25nl I think more people have done studying and/or are better players.
 
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UkoChebuko

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The most noticeable difference is between NL10 and NL25. There are NL16, NL20. Almost no difference between those and NL10. Between NL2, NL5, NL10 small difference, like if you play with 15bb on NL2, this will be 12bb on NL5, 10bb on NL10. Something like that. Can be different, depends on the room, rake. I mean NL10, NL20 are pretty easy. No sense to play at smaller stakes. Without reasons (roll, skills).
The most noticable difference is between NL10-NL25, because the people like "round numbers". And 25 euros or dollars is not so little, you know. It so rare to see this "All in apes" at NL25, still pretty common at NL10.
When you decide to go at NL25, you will need rakeback. Or skills...I mean you must be pretty sure about this. Good win rate at NL10, "real" one...Otherwise, if you have like 7bb at NL10 ("real"), you can expect 2-3bb at NL25. And no much sense to go there.

And would there be strategy that would work in higher amount cash games, but not work on low level micro?

Some high stakes pro still will have good win rate at micros, but not like some good "micro" regs. But this "good micro regs" are like 2 or 3%.
They are "levels of thinking". And the GTO. GTO is actually first level of thinking. But for a range, not for a hand. At this levels (micro) the bad players play at 1st or 3rd level (fancy play). The good players play at 2nd level and 1st, 3rd, then it necessary. One good high stakes pro can play at many levels. But let's say he will use 1-3 level. Imagine this levels like "rock, paper, scissors". First level is a rock, second is a paper, third is a scissors. :D..You can see the picture very clear. The first level is "I have" (GTO as well, as range), the second is "He have", the third is " What he thinks about what I have". And you can see, the best players will have pretty poor win rate at micros. If they do not adapt.
 
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Swat1197

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Nl 25 has 300 players and taught game, hard to beat all in. Nl 10 maybe better
 
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fundiver199

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The most noticeable difference is between NL10 and NL25. There are NL16, NL20. Almost no difference between those and NL10. Between NL2, NL5, NL10 small difference, like if you play with 15bb on NL2, this will be 12bb on NL5, 10bb on NL10. Something like that. Can be different, depends on the room, rake. I mean NL10, NL20 are pretty easy. No sense to play at smaller stakes. Without reasons (roll, skills).
The most noticable difference is between NL10-NL25, because the people like "round numbers". And 25 euros or dollars is not so little, you know. It so rare to see this "All in apes" at NL25, still pretty common at NL10.
When you decide to go at NL25, you will need rakeback. Or skills...I mean you must be pretty sure about this. Good win rate at NL10, "real" one...Otherwise, if you have like 7bb at NL10 ("real"), you can expect 2-3bb at NL25. And no much sense to go there.

This pretty much cover my experience also from playing 2+ years on PokerStars and 888 Poker. Cash games are kind of a narrow window between stakes, that are so small, that they are only for practicing, and stakes where you easily get killed by the rake. The thing is, that if your winrate drop from 7 BB / 100 to 2 BB / 100 by moving up to 25NL, then your actual winrate only dropped from 17 BB / 100 to 12 BB / 100, since the poker site typically keeps around 10 BB / 100, until you get into stakes as high as 100 NL and 200 NL.

A good rake-back deal can be a partial solution to this problem, but for me personally I have found MTTs to be the path of least resistance, if you can dedicate the time to play them. Its not uncommon for good MTT players to have an ROI of 30% up to certain limits. And since the fee is typically 10%, this mean, we get to keep 75% of our net winnings.

To achieve the same a 6-max cash game player would need to crush the games at 30 BB / 100, which is completely unrealistic these days even at 2NL. In my opinion rake is slowly killing both online SnGs and online cash games from above, and in the long run there might only be MTTs left, unless poker sites find a way to cut their costs and profit margin.
 
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UkoChebuko

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I agree with you. MTTs is the way. How many rich cash players you know and how many MTT players!? But you need roll, you need time. It is very diffucult to play for living MTTs , if you don't have money. If you are not rich. With rich parents, with some small business. You need money for living for at least a year. A year, if you can achieve a high volume. Like 1500 tournaments per month. A very few people can do that. And you need a huge roll. In reality this is very difficult, let's be honest.

But you see the things in "dark colors" imo. I am a SNG player. Then I start to play 9 years ago, every one said "This is a dying format, no future for this". And they was right. Ofc this is a duying format. I remember, then I start, I played $15 in Full Tilt. I was a fish. Complete fish, weak player without skills :). But I had a good ROI. Also a rakeback, bonuses every month. I made good money. Even such bad player like me. This days this is impossible. But you still can play in a lot of rooms. SNG...There is a rakeback, they are a leaderboards. You can use multi acounting, also some over illegal things. Like team game for example. It is difficult to make money. But this is also for the other players. The games are so soft. The regs can't survive. And this situation we can see also for the cash games. See what happen in Pokerstars. They made a huge mistake. The owners...With this rakeback. They can't go back ofc, they try to sell it. But the games are so soft now. This is like back in the days. The profit...But higher variance ofc without rakeback. But same profit per hour. You still can make money. If you can survive first 3-4 years, then you always will make money. From poker...No matter what happens...
 
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fundiver199

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I think, its pretty easy to make a small amount of money in online poker like 100-500$ per month even as a part time player. However if you want to get significantly above that number, it might be nessesary to dedicate all your time and energy to the task, as games get significantly tougher at a certain limit, and some game formats like SnGs or full ring cash games die out fairly early. Some will still make it of course, but for the majority of us online poker is probably going to remain a small side hustle rather than something, which will make us rich :)
 
7CardKillR

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Is there a noticeable difference between skill levels when playing cash games?
0.01/0.02 vs .05/.1 vs .1/.25

?
yes significantly fewer and fewer people make the bad mistakes as you go up in stakes
 
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paulydc

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I find it that there are much more variance on those games because of the bad players, one must learned to be patient and coupe with the ups and downs bad beats etc to exploit those same players thus lowering the variance
 
Nathan Williams

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The biggest skill gap in my experience is from the very lowest stakes (usually NL2) to the next highest stake (usually NL5).

And this is because the very lowest stake game is always going to attract the pure beginners and those who are just starting out.

Anybody who has "graduated" beyond this then is usually somebody who takes the game a bit more seriously, perhaps studies and improves their game away from the tables.

At all other levels, there is a noticeable skill difference as well. But in my experience, the biggest relative skill difference is between NL2 and NL5
 
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