'Play-money' sites...

BabyShoes

BabyShoes

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Does anyone advocate playing the 'free' or 'play' money tables that many of the poker sites offer?

My concern is that the very nature of the site will result in a noticeable drop in poker standard and may affect my game.

Your thoughts?
 
dj11

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Play money games can actually help you and your game. Not all of us are fortunate enough to be able to afford real money games.

I think the trick with play money games is to somehow get as far above the min buy-in tables as possible. The play at the cheapest play tables is horrendous.

Using FullTilt SnG's as an example;

The 250 games are hard. This is where beginners play, and drunkards. Either will play anything and this is not even as good as a kitchen table game. HOWEVER you have to feel comfortable at these and they are beatable.

The 2000 games show some improvement. In order to get into these you have to have shown an ability to do well in the 200 games. These 2000 games are closer to what poker is, and play approximately like a freeroll after the first half have been eliminated. This is a good place (not the best) to practice particulars in your game.

The 10,000 games are where good pretty solid poker is played. This is where you can make that million playchip goal we all have. These play similar to a $10 or $25NL real money game. People at this level are still playing play chips, but they are very serious about 'their' play chips.

Curiously, the 100K games are not as solid as the 10K games, but may be more like real honest to god poker. At the 100K level the play is solid and all styles appear. Few beginners have gotten lucky enough to afford the buy-in to even play in these. Once the LAGs are gone these play very solid.

Personally I have played all these levels, got close enough to my mil goal, and seldom play them any more. But when I need to change something about my play, it is at the 10K level where I can feel confidant that the play will not revolt me.

So the answer to your question is "it depends". It will depend on your approach to the game.
 
NuRelic

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I think the trick with play money games is to somehow get as far above the min buy-in tables as possible. The play at the cheapest play tables is horrendous.

You can parallel virtually everything DJ outlined for PS as well. Lower levels are filled with nonsensical pushes and shoves from fish and Donks, but you can still win if your play is solid and you are reasonable selective with your spots. Then as you move into the higher limits of the Play Chips realm, the play most definitely gets better.
 
WEC

WEC

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Play Tables "may" (and thats a weak may) help your game.

If you want real help, I strongly suggest enrolling in one of the Poker Schools and/or video services (If you are a beginner I suggest the School since it provides help on all levels-Play/Community/Benefits/Sponsorship). They are not very expensive for the real help you will get.

Good Luck
 
Suited Frenzy

Suited Frenzy

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I've always agreed w/ the quote..."the more hands you play, the more experience you recieve & the more experience you recieve, the more knowledgeable you become". <<<(I thought that up myself). If that makes sense to you, then i hope it helps you w/ your question. GL on the tbls
 
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JimmyBrizzy

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You gotta start somewhere. I use play money on fulltilt and at the very upper limits it is similar to .05/.10, althougt not quite there, the chips are still basically worth nothing.

It is also good in tournaments with the 10k or higher buyins especially towards the final table.

Get the practice in and it wont cost you a thing. People are always saying how it can ruin your game. I guess it's possible but I really have trouble believing it. With any level you have to adjust and going from play to real is not different, just like moving up 10NL to 25NL. I doubt many people are at such a high level that play money could seriously effect their game that much. If you just apply the odds and use your observational skills you will see improvements in your game. Just try to stay away from the limit games, these seem to be very unrealistic, although I am not much of a limit player.

On fulltilt there is also a 500,000 play money buy in for the chance at real cash. It usually has around 50 players and it pays at least 2 dollars to each top 18 players. Not hard to cash. This is every night at around 8:40 PM Eastern Time, in the US.

Hope that helps.
 
BabyShoes

BabyShoes

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Very interesting replies, and thank you!

I was expecting an overwhelming NO! answer, and instead it seems that under certain conditions this can be an arena in which my game can improve...

I guess wading through all of the rubbish on the way through the lower tables will be the most challenging, but I do have an awful lot of spare time so perhaps it will teach me patience as well. :eek:
 
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Smokeymar

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Play Money Sites

In my opinion, play money is only helpful for absolute beginners who still need to learn hand rankings and familiarize themselves with the poker site. After that, I don't believe it can help your game at all. Real money is the only way to learn how to control your emotions. Most people react much differently when there is real financial impact at stake. My recommendation is to deposit enough to play micro stakes and learn from there. Consider the deposit as tuition fees that you aren't expecting to get back.
 
MDTed

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I've only played "play money" tables on Ultimate Bet.

I can say this, at any level, it's nothing that will help your
game. I started out with 1000 chips, now I have about 50
million in 3 accounts (you are limited to 21.4 million per
account, if you go over they drop you back to 10 million)
but it's pretty rare that you find a game where people
play as if the chips mean something.

That's from the 10/20 to the 1000/2000 NL tables.

Just as an aside, Ultimate Bet had people selling play
money chips on Ebay back a couple of years ago or so.
That led them to institute a daily transfer limit of 50k
per account. Believe it or not people were paying $100
for 20 million chips. Guess UB didn't like it because they
didn't get a cut.

On the up side of things, I decided since I was so great
in play money that I would deposit real money. While I've
held my own mostly I surely haven't made 50 million in
real money. Yet. lol
 
KingNothing4

KingNothing4

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i think dj said it perfectly, depends on what games u play...it really doesnt matter how far u make it in a 250 game, i have been heads up in the 90 person sng a few times and my opponents still play like crap, very difficult to find players at that level, 2000 seems decent, and 10000 seems real strong, but i've never played 100k
 
BabyShoes

BabyShoes

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Thanks for the replies, guys ~ Kinda like King Midas, huh, MDTed?! :D

Well, I tried the ol' Full Tilt free tables, and it's a real culture shock to be sure...

I'm on the lowest tables, and regularly see an all-in called with cards like 7 4 o/s, pre-flop, where the caller is not even close to being in position, and has no earthly reason to call. :deal:

The quality of play changed very quickly as I took 30 000 chips and moved up from the 5/10 to the 300/600 tables, where I promptly lost my 12 000 starting stack in as many minutes! Bad habits I'd already learned at the lower range affected my play at first, but then I shifted gear, and was beaten fairly.

I'll keep trying...:eek:
 
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MDTed

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If anyone here wants to start playing for play chips at UB you can let me know and I can transfer you 20,000 to start. That way you can avoid the 1000 bingo at the lowest level. There's no daily limit on how many times you can "reload" that 1000 chips on UB so people tend to just go all in every time until they finally win a hand.

I've got more of them than I'll ever need. The play chips are like real money in a way, once you get to a certain amount, 10 million or so, it seems impossible to lose.
 
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