Starting Level

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DukeDrew

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May 13, 2006
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I've been playing NL ring games a lot more lately and have been thinking about some of the posts I've read here. Most of the sage advice I see recommends starting off small, managing the bank roll correctly, etc. Got me to thinking - is a recommended start level set by bank roll, experience or both? Seriously, is there an inherent benefit to playing at lower levels and thrashing it out for $5 at a time at .10/.25 for the experience, or should you just jump into 1/2 if you feel like you can swim in the deep end of the pool and have the bank roll to back it up (never more than 5-10% on the line, etc.)?

Again, I'm not trying to push anyone's buttons here. Just seems like most of the advice I've read is geared towards 21-25 year old college guys on tight budgets. Thoughts?

(FWIW - I've been at .1/.25, buying in at $10 and checking out at $20 after reading some threads here. I don't have a whole hell of a lot deposited at this point, but that's primarily due to my ability to get money INTO/OUT OF the damn sites)
 
tenbob

tenbob

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May 16, 2005
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IF you feel that you have an adquete amount of skill, and you can easily beat the $25NL and $50 NL games then depositing a couple of grand and playing $100 NL is fine.

The advise for starting off at the lower levels, whilst bankroll managment is a big issue for lots of players, the skill sets you find yourself learning as you move up is more important. I would never buy-in for under the full amount allowed at a table as an example, if you cant see why that is, or you have a very valid reason for buy-ing in short (which very few players actually have) then Id stick with playing $25NL for now.
 
Schatzdog

Schatzdog

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Jun 29, 2005
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I think your decision is based on a few things.

1. Skill level of both you and your opponents. Where do you have your biggest edge? Add to this your personal experience at the tables.

2. What do you want to achieve from playing poker? Supplement income, serious semi-pro, playing for fun etc....Think about this and then think about what level to play.

3. Consider your own personal financial situation. How much are you comfortable putting at risk? Especially when you just start out your risk management on your bankroll should be very tight.

These are in no particular order and there are other things to consider.
 
Irexes

Irexes

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Oct 10, 2006
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It's important to get a grounding in the fundementals at a low level and also to demonstrate that you can beat it. Ultimately you need to be able to beat the fish in the long run.

However once you have done this I think it's necessary to find a level where you are playing for an amount of money that has meaning.

I play at a level where I stand to win amounts of money that have some meaning, yet if I go on a losing streak for a month or two I'm able to cope without impact on the bank account. For me this means playing around the $33 and $55 tournies (SnG and MTT).

I was fortunate enough to win the cash to do this from a deposit of $100 (looking back now I was clueless and very lucky) but depositing to enable you to play at a level that has meaning doesn't seem like a horrible thing to do if you can beat the micro or very low levels.

Of course the temptation must be to move up before demonstrating a winning game conclusively and there are plenty of fish at every level who are playing with their own money, rather than money they have won.


Ultimately I'd advise that you view building your roll as the quickest way to demonstrate you are a winning player and kill two birds with one stone.
 
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DukeDrew

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May 13, 2006
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IF you feel that you have an adquete amount of skill, and you can easily beat the $25NL and $50 NL games then depositing a couple of grand and playing $100 NL is fine.

The advise for starting off at the lower levels, whilst bankroll managment is a big issue for lots of players, the skill sets you find yourself learning as you move up is more important. I would never buy-in for under the full amount allowed at a table as an example, if you cant see why that is, or you have a very valid reason for buy-ing in short (which very few players actually have) then Id stick with playing $25NL for now.

I've been buying in short based on the Chris Ferguson bankroll philosophy. Normally, I'd buy in a .1/.25 at $25 and use my stack based on pretty sound pot-odds/outs strategy. The thing I've found most interesting about not playing so deep is the idea that you can push (disciplined, with AA, KK, AK and that's about it) and more people tend to call at lower levels because of the $10 stack size. I could never push with $25 and think I'd get a call, and anything over 3x blind (unless someone has a monster hand) is almost guaranteed to get a fold.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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Aug 24, 2005
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Not knowing anything about you specifically, I feel obliged to point out that no one is half as good as they think they are*. The only way to know that you're able to beat the micro limits is to actually beat them. It takes tens of thousands of hands to get a feel for how well you play. I don't know if this answers your question, but I'd recommend Bill Gates to start out with a $50 deposit, too.

Thing is, if you have lots of money, then the initial deposit of $50 won't matter to you, so you'll have to do a lot of playing before you start winning money that means anything to you. But chances are that you'll never become good enough to beat the game for money that will make a difference to you if you already have so much money that you can easily start at 1/2 (I presume we're talking NL) without flinching about the deposit of $5000.

So start with $50. If you're in it for the thrill, you have a challenge in building your bankroll. If you're in it for the money, you might as well start small and prove to yourself and the world your ability to move up the ranks. Many of us here have done it just that way.

*That goes for me, too.
 
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