finding the right format.

DaveE

DaveE

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When I first started playing holdem for money I played ring games. Every session I'd start out well but piss away my stake by playing too many hands and chasing flushes etc. (yes...a donk...lol). Then I discovered sit n goes. Started playing break-even right away. With research and experience (ongoing) I started turning a profit.
Just recently I decided to gve some low limit ring play another go, applying what I've learned n the last year. Things started well but I again fell into the same pattern as before.
Got me thinking. Maybe I'm just not suited for that kind of play. Success in ring games means long term gain. The best analagy I can think of is war on a battlefield. Winning and losing territory in large and small chunks, but steadily gaining ground. Sit n goes on the other hand, have a clear objective, win. Using the same analagy it would be more like "take that hill"...or get wiped out in the attempt.
It seems to me that I'm short term goal oriented. Just win the battle, second or third is a consolation prize. Maybe sit n goes just suit my natural tendencies.
I'm wondering if there aren't people out there who are struggling at poker just because the game they are playing does not fit their personality.
Any thoughts?
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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SNGs are a great way to start out. They are/were my first love (I should note that I play mostly on UB, however, where I have found the structure to be much better than any other site).

But, when you get to the point where you are starting to seek out slower structures and deeper starting stacks (as this adds to the skill, vs the "crap shoot" of all in "turbo" type games), then you start to appreciate the cash games where the blinds never increase.

You can push your +EV edges, even when they are small and not have to worry about busting out. All of the sudden getting it in as a 60/40 fave is a good thing, whereas in a tournament you might want to avoid that race at times.

Of course you have to have a long term view here, since you will lose the above "race" quite a bit as only a 3 to 2 fav.

I don't know what to tell you other than if you don't "like"/can't beat the cash game then something is very wrong...

That being said there are differences in strategy that you need to take into consideration to be successful.
 
crancko

crancko

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...Maybe I'm just not suited for that kind of play...

I have the exact same feeling. Gonna deposit at stars (when Moneybookers get around to recognicing my money) and plan to stick to MTT's and SNG's. I have a feeling that my lack of results (read: negative results) on ring games are caused by lack of skill. So for now ill practise some more and get back to the other donk's in the ring games when i feel better prepared for it.
 
Irexes

Irexes

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I disagree with Alien there. Look at Federer and Nadal. Both great tennis players, but each has a preferred environment in which to play (admittedly they are both more than competent on the "other" surface).

I hardly ever play ring. I don't enjoy it (unless it's a game with CCers). Like you I prefer to play with the objective of the win or cash in a tourney in mind.

My ring game is technically ok but it doesn't excite me to win 3bb/100hands and grind it out so I avoid it. Just not suited to my psyche.

There are people who will say you are not a complete poker player and look down at you for not playing ring. You will be told that tournies are less skilled and that they are crapshoots. I'm not going to venture an opinion, I just think they require a different mix of poker proficiencies (like clay v grass court tennis). I also think that in the same way that the tourney player doesn't appreciate the nuances of ring, a ring player does not appreciate the skill that can be exercised in tournies so that in the long run they can be profitable. In many ways tourney success is as much a grind as ring, just a different type.

It is also important to remember that the view others have of your skill level is irrelevant. All that matters is the bottom line in terms of $ won and whether you are enjoying yourself. It is of course nice if people say nice things about your game, but it really doesn't matter. Sometimes it even helps if they think you are weak.

There used to be an argument for learning and playing every form of the game because it was not always possible to find the game of your choice so learning ring, omaha, stud etc made sense. There are still things to be learned in other forms of the game that can improve your overall play, but it's a thin argument and if you are a NL tourney player you are never going to find it hard to get a game.

I've found the game I enjoy and am successful at, and I spend 99% of my poker time playing it and studying it. At some point in the future I might branch out, but to be honest there's very little incentive.

Do what you enjoy and are good at, don't feel "obliged" to master the forms of the game that don't suit you. Unlike Federer you can play your favourite game all year round.
 
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