Taking Shots

zek

zek

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What percent of your time, if any, do you spend playing some time 1 or 2 levels above what you have previously established as proper bankroll management levels? Do you wait for the weekends when the tables are looser? Do you file all of this under bingo instead of poker? Thoughts?
 
reverie

reverie

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taking shots is fine if you can handle the psychological effect of losing twice or four times as much as you normally would if you had a bad session. The good players who go busto are the ones who can't handle this and end up tilting it off, chasing losses etc.
 
Stu_Ungar

Stu_Ungar

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Dont take shots until you are BR'd for that level (as in you have 4 or 5 buyins over the minimum)

Play a few games, if you lose those buyins, go back down a level, build you BR up again so that yo have 4 or 5 buyins over the minimum for the next level and then repeat!

If you are not BR'd dont take shots!
 
lektrikguy

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If durrrr never took shots he'd never be playing the games he is now.

None of us are durrrr. I rarely do it, usually when I'm tilting. It's like calling an old girlfriend. You know it's bad and know how it's probably gonna end, but you do it anyhow and then sit there wondering why you did it.
 
Stu_Ungar

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If durrrr never took shots he'd never be playing the games he is now.

As far as I know Durr didnt really take shots.

In interviews I have heard him talk about his progression, he says that he never really found the next level all that much different to the last and that he was crushing it within a couple of months.

If you are crushing a level and playing full time, then you are going to be easily BR'd for the next level within a couple of months.
 
KyleJRM

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Taking shots is overrated and usually a sign of impatience. Sure, some players have a great natural gift and will find themselves blasting up through the levels.

For most of us, its just an invitation to Tiltytown.
 
Wes747

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Recently the way I have been taking "shots" is by having a few tables of the higher level open and having the rest at the level i'm comfortable with. I have 30 buyins for the next level, but I don't feel like I'm good enough yet to switch over. If you play multiple tables and have the BR for the next level I suggest you try to play 1 or 2 tables of the higher level and then play the rest at the level you are currently at. Its helping me to get adjusted.
 
zek

zek

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I might have used the wrong term to start the thread. I'm stuck between conflicting rules. I set a bankroll rule at the beginning of the year that I would not start mixing in a new limit until I have at least 40 max buyins for that limit (cash tables) and 100 buyins for SNG's. The problem is that as I start to approach the next limit and 40 buyins for it I start also breaking the only play with money you care about rule. For example lets say you're playing for $10 in dimes and have $900. The limits above say don't start playing the $25 buyin for quarters until you have $1000, but when you have $900 you start to not care if you chuck away $10 here and there. Is it taking a shot? Is it reasonable to start mixing in some tables but not playing all the tables at the next limit until you have at least 40 buyins?
 
Stu_Ungar

Stu_Ungar

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I might have used the wrong term to start the thread. I'm stuck between conflicting rules. I set a bankroll rule at the beginning of the year that I would not start mixing in a new limit until I have at least 40 max buyins for that limit (cash tables) and 100 buyins for SNG's. The problem is that as I start to approach the next limit and 40 buyins for it I start also breaking the only play with money you care about rule. For example lets say you're playing for $10 in dimes and have $900. The limits above say don't start playing the $25 buyin for quarters until you have $1000, but when you have $900 you start to not care if you chuck away $10 here and there. Is it taking a shot? Is it reasonable to start mixing in some tables but not playing all the tables at the next limit until you have at least 40 buyins?

What you are describing is poor BRM not taking shots.

Its your money, if poor BRM is your thing then do it.

If not stop.

Its one of those questions.. do you really need to ask?
 
L

Lofwyr

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I must have a different idea of what "taking a shot" is. To me, taking a shot is when you decide for some reason to play a level or two above your normal limit for a session. It's not the same as moving up, you're taking a shot at this higher level to see how it feels and to potentially add much larger amounts to your bankroll. You don't intend to continue with the higher limits the next day.

I think if you're BR is comfortable with losing a few buyins at a larger level and you feel up to the challenge of a larger/tougher game then go ahead and take a shot every once in a while. Like once or twice a month play a session a few levels higher than normal.

Moving up is a whole other devil. I would look to go up in limits but down in table count when actually making the move up. Get comfortable playing the limit with fewer tables (probably around the same$$ at risk as your previous level) and then just add tables.
 
Stu_Ungar

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This thread is testament to how difficult good BRM is and how few people actually achieve it.

On the surface its easy, there is a certain number or buyins you must have before you can play a certain level and a certain number below which you must move down.

Sounds easy, actually sounds kind of dumb classing it as a skill.

Yet OP has probably stuck to good BRM for months because there hasn't been anything to tempt him not to stick to it.

The very second something comes up that could tempt OP to not stick to good BRM.. he actually starts to struggle to stick to it.

Therefore its most definitely a skill and not something that everyone can actually do correctly.
 
c9h13no3

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I'll take shots at higher games when they're good, and you should too. But keep in mind there's a big difference between playing 100NL when you have say, a $2000 roll, and playing 5000NL when you have a 10K roll. I'd consider the former taking a shot, but the latter being reckless.

The thing about taking shots is this:

1) If the game is soft enough to where you're taking a shot, your edge will be bigger, and therefore you won't need as big of a bankroll cushion. So even though you may be under-rolled by traditional bankroll suggestions, you might not be. Or at least your increased edge will help make up for the larger bankroll risk you're taking.

2) Even when you're taking a shot, the risk to your bankroll should still be pretty small. So while it may set you back a month or so at your regular stakes, a slightly higher risk than average shouldn't keep you out of a really juicy game.

3) Taking shots at tournaments is typically a losing proposition, especially if you're typically a cash game or SnG player (since your edge won't be as large in the MTT). And satellites are not an excuse to take shots. If you win a $200 ticket in a satty, that's not an excuse to play a $200 tourney that's usually outside of your bankroll. Also, shots are usually taken at tournaments with large fields, and high variance, which is exactly what you should be looking to avoid when you're playing outside of your bankroll.

Moving up to try out a "tougher game" is probably the worst idea I've ever heard.
 
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BelgoSuisse

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Well, if you really want to take shots, you really need to set a stop loss. Even at stakes that you beat by a significant edge, it's not entirely unusual to have downswings of 10, 20 buy-ins. Needless to say it's a lot more likely when you're playing stakes above those you're used to.

FWIW, I consider that I'm taking a shot when I play with less than 50 buy-ins for the stake. And I don't think that's a really clever thing to do unless there's a huge fish at the table.
 
Wes747

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Well, if you really want to take shots, you really need to set a stop loss. Even at stakes that you beat by a significant edge, it's not entirely unusual to have downswings of 10, 20 buy-ins. Needless to say it's a lot more likely when you're playing stakes above those you're used to.

FWIW, I consider that I'm taking a shot when I play with less than 50 buy-ins for the stake. And I don't think that's a really clever thing to do unless there's a huge fish at the table.

Do you ever doubt your poker abilities when you get those 10-20 buyin downswings? I lost about 8 buyins last night and it made me wonder if I'm playing bad poker or if I was just on a bad run of cards.
 
ericgarner118

ericgarner118

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If you want to take poker serious and treat it as a "poker career", then you probably shouldn't take shots. If, on the other hand, you are wanting to have a little fun with some of your winnings then by all means go for it. But don't take whatever happens to seriously. Whether you win or loose, treat it as just entertainment. If you triple up, congratulations, your entertainment paid off. If you loose a buy-in, that sucks you had to pay to have fun.

Like stu said, this just shows how hard it REALLY is to stick to BRM. Just about everyone I know has taken a shot or two at some point in their poker lives. You should try to stick to the rules you have set for your self, and good BRM SHOULD be one of those rules.
 
zek

zek

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Do you ever doubt your poker abilities when you get those 10-20 buyin downswings? I lost about 8 buyins last night and it made me wonder if I'm playing bad poker or if I was just on a bad run of cards.

My mentality starts to shift from "this is normal variance" to "something is wrong" in the 5-8 range. I drop down a limit about here. I certainly don't want to let myself lose 10-20 buyins at my top level. Drop down, take a break, check your stats for hands losing money, mix it up and play some SNG's, take some of your previous winnings and buy yourself a sweater. When I can have 3 winning sessions (3+ days at 90 mins+ per day per day) I'll go back up.
 
B

BenLZ

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I'll do this when my bankroll gets around the level I've determined is best fit for playing.

IMO, BRM has its place but I feel too often it restricts good players from challenging themselves and putting themselves past the micros and only delays the inevitable for bad players.
 
L

Lofwyr

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I think if you're actually using poker as a career and currently earning a living off of it, taking shots can be a bad idea. But those are probably the minority of cases of people who are trying to take the game seriously so that it might become a career.

On the flip side, I think taking shots is important for a person's development as a player. Reaching higher than you're used to and challenging yourself won't make your winnings at all certain, but it'll likely make you a better player. Taking a shot is something that lends itself to those "aha" moments, where a concept you just weren't quite getting or using properly suddenly becomes clear because you're in a place where you can see it.

So while it doesn't meld with perfect BRM, I think "perfect" BRM is somewhat overstressed and can stifle the growth of other poker skills. Each person has to find their own, right, balance
 
U

Ubercroz

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So while it doesn't meld with perfect BRM, I think "perfect" BRM is somewhat overstressed and can stifle the growth of other poker skills. Each person has to find their own, right, balance

what?

Why do you have to be in a hurry to develop these "poker skills" you're talking about? With "perfect" BRM you will have the opportunity to develop them, just not right now.

And for that matter, why do you need to move up in stakes to develop these "skills"? I think that the majority of the skills that most players need to develop are developed in smaller stakes games.

The biggest hole in most players games dwell in the knowing how to read hands (its easier to read a bad player than a good one) and value betting.

Those two things are what make someone good at poker. Everything else is either fluff or balance/defense. The entirety of most good poker play is all designed around getting value from your value hands. Of course picking up uncontested pots is a great side benefit, and making people lay down a big hand is nice too, but ultimately your bluff should be there because sometimes you have the hand and you WANT them to sometimes call you when you do have it, more importantly than folding when you don't. Because if they are always folding when you have it you haven't bluffed enough, or haven't been caught bluffing :)

So, why risk more of your bankroll than you should just so you can "take a shot" and learn some skills that probably can be learned 1: where you are now, and 2: more cheaply while maintaining the NUMBER ONE poker skill: BRM.
 
Stu_Ungar

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So while it doesn't meld with perfect BRM, I think "perfect" BRM is somewhat overstressed and can stifle the growth of other poker skills. Each person has to find their own, right, balance

This just dosent make any sense.

To be able to win at a higher level, its fair to assume that you must be able to win at the current level. IF you cant win now, they you cant win at a higher level.

Therefore a player winning at the current level will always become BR'd for the next level.

So taking shots at the next level whilst not being BR'd for it is not needed in order to progress.

BRM is not practised in order to lessen the effects of bad play.

BRM is practised to lessen the effects of variance (bad run of the cards, running into the top end of villains range, suckouts etc)

Therefore skill is not a factor in determining correct BRM.

So taking shots whilst being under BR'd puts you in a position where you can lose larger portions of your BR that good BRM dictates.

Good BRM only exists to keep you afloat when on a downswing.

So by ignoring BRM you run the risk of hitting a downswing and not having sufficient money to withstand it.

This in turn means that it will take longer to recover form the DS that it would had you stuck to BRM. Before the DS you weren't rolled for the next level, after the DS which is eating your BR up at twice the normal rate, you may not even be rolled for your current level let alone the next!

Why would good practice suddenly stifle a players development as he gets near to being BR'd for the next level?

Good BRM has got him to this point, but for some irrational reason you think he should change tactics when the end is in sight
 
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F Paulsson

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All the time.
I'm the same. I don't even have to go through a downswing. I'm constantly questioning whether I actually have an edge at the tables.

This is not me being cute and trying to make some peripheral point about how it's good to be table selecting heavily or anything like that; I'm really like this. It was only recently that I even accepted that the last two years haven't been just one hot streak, but I'm still hesitant whenever I sit at a tough table. Whenever someone plays well against me, I feel like I'm being outplayed.

Is this why I spend so much time analyzing and working on ranges? It could be part of it. I don't think that's the whole truth, though; I actually like thinking about these things and my mind tends to drift to poker-related topics when idle, so to speak. But there's no doubt that I'm nervous about beating the games that I play, and even a medium-sized downswing makes me freak out over having "finally come to the end of my two year good run."
 
TheUndertaker

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i DO THIS ALOT BUT IT NEVER WORKS OUT GOOD FOR ME LOL. i TRY TO STOP BUT THE REWARDS LOOKS SO BETTER THAN MY LEVEL.
 
tenbob

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Stu, your looking at it fairly basically, BRM can vary vastly from player to player.

While I consider being "rolled", for a game 100 buyin's, the wisdom out there is that 20 buyin's is enough, (really it isn't but whatever).

Taking myself as an example, I'm playing nl$50 with 150buyin's, and going by my own rules I'm under-rolled for nl$100. That is not going to stop me taking shots at a nl$100 game with a fish that I spot, or indeed stop me playing nl$200 on a live table. For me that's what I define as "taking a shot".
 
Stu_Ungar

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Stu, your looking at it fairly basically, BRM can vary vastly from player to player.

While I consider being "rolled", for a game 100 buyin's, the wisdom out there is that 20 buyin's is enough, (really it isn't but whatever).

Taking myself as an example, I'm playing nl$50 with 150buyin's, and going by my own rules I'm under-rolled for nl$100. That is not going to stop me taking shots at a nl$100 game with a fish that I spot, or indeed stop me playing nl$200 on a live table. For me that's what I define as "taking a shot".

but whatever that player sets as the figure for good BRM, why would that figure change as he neared the next level?

Its a personal choice, and its up to the individual to do what they want.

I do not think its a good idea to give people bad advice, and suggesting deviating form good BRM is bad advice.

You may well decide to break your own BRM and play 100NL when you are under rolled (by the standards that you yourself decided). You state that you would do it if there were known fish. However the flaw in the logic here is that BRM is dictated by skill. The fact that you have and edge over the fish has no bearing on required BR to play that fish at a given level.

BRM protects against variance.

Therefore the skill advantage you have over a fish has nothing to do with the minimum BR required to play that fish at a given stake.
 
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