Fear of moving up in stakes. suggestions?

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ph_il

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so, this is going to seem really silly but i want to start moving up in stakes. however, i'm finding it difficult because i have this fear and mental block that is preventing me from doing so.

i've been putting in a decent of volume in the $0-$1 buy-in range, especially the $1 mtts. recently, after cashing out most of my bankroll, i started a personal challenge with $11 and the goal of playing 500 mtts with the intent of moving up in stakes. and, so far, things have been going well. i've played ~200/500 mtts so far and have built my roll to ~$240. i'm using the 100x buy-in rule and so i have enough to move up to $2 mtts.

but i just can't seem to do it. i'm not saying i want to move up in stakes immediately and when i'm not ready but i feel like i should be ready. at least from the $1 to $2 mtts. i don't want sound full of myself, but i think i do fairly well at the $1 mtts. i've put in hundreds, possibly thousands of mtts in at the $0-$1 mtt range, have made hundreds of final tables, have a lot of top 3 finishes, and have ~30 mtts. nothing impressive, but i think i can confidently say i'm ok at small field $1 mtts.

so, why i can't i move up to the $2 games? i don't expect the games to be too different as far as skill level goes. right? i know part of the my mental blocks is i see the $2 games as 2x $1 buy-ins and i expect to have a better chance to do something with 2x $1 mtts than i do with 1x $2 mtt, even though my bankroll reduces the same amount. i don't necessarily have a fear of losing money when i play. another reason is i don't have ton of confidence in my game. even though i do ok at the $1 mtts, i still think i'm not that great and need a ton of improvement. i don't know when i can say 'im good enough at this buy-in, i can move up'.

some ideas i have that i want to run by members of cc. would any of these be solid options?

1. i'm currently running a pretty strict 100+ buy-ins brm plan with an even stricter drop down strategy where, i drop down in buy-in any time my bankroll is < 100 buy-ins. so, even if it's 219.99, i drop down. er...well, i would if i was playing the $2 mtts.

so, a strategy could increase the required buy-ins before i move up. maybe even increase it to 200x buy-ins or more. it might seem like overkill but it would force me to play even more volume at the $1 stakes.

2. there is a $1 buy-in game that i've been avoiding because it's a much larger field game. i do a lot better in the smaller fields of 100-200 players, but not so much in the 400-500 field games. looking over my stats last month, i was down almost $40 in buy-ins in the large buy-in game. so, i stopped playing it as i'm just bleeding money and it wasn't good for bankroll. i was basically giving up an mtt win in buy-ins or i would have to win 1-2 mtts just to make up for the loss. it was definitely easier to just not play them and keep my money.

since my bankroll is bigger, maybe i should consider taking more shots at the game again, instead of moving up?

3. maybe i should just stick with the games i'm playing if i'm doing well enough. i would like to move up so i can profit more, but if it's going to affect my game too much and i'm not playing optimally, then i might as well stick with stakes i know i can give my 100% in.
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after typing this out, i think my best option is just to increase my buy-in requirements. i'm not even sure if 200 buy-ins is enough. i don't want to do anything too ridiculous like 1000x buy-in requirements but i definitely want enough buy-ins without being overkill.

this doesn't address my mental block, but i force myself to put in a lot more volume at the $1 mtts and maybe then i can feel confident in my game to try moving up.
 
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fundiver199

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As you say, this is a mental issue. You almost have a reverse gambling problem, which is the total opposite of the majority of poker players. Maybe ask yourself, what it really is, you are so afraid off? Its probably not losing 2$ at a time, so it must be something else. This is definitely a problem, if your goal is to play for profit. If on the other hand you mostly play for fun, then why is it even important to move up? In that case just do, what you feel best about, since you are basically just chilling out :)
 
hugh blair

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It is just loss anxiety which is real the higher limits you go the more you can lose,
I think you should withdraw $200 keep it off the site on a payment processor make it saved or safe mentally as sounds like you really do not want to risk losing it.
Play a couple of 2 dollar games anyway with the $40 and try to run it up again think of it as a freeroll no pressure as you already banked your profit.
If you bust this $40 playing 2 dollar games and have to reload then go back to playing 1 dollar games until can withdraw again and have another $40 to play the 20x $2 games good luck.
 
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ph_il

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As you say, this is a mental issue. You almost have a reverse gambling problem, which is the total opposite of the majority of poker players. Maybe ask yourself, what it really is, you are so afraid off? Its probably not losing 2$ at a time, so it must be something else. This is definitely a problem, if your goal is to play for profit. If on the other hand you mostly play for fun, then why is it even important to move up? In that case just do, what you feel best about, since you are basically just chilling out :)
what am i afraid of? i'm not quite sure.

does losing $2 at a time bother me? not really. i mean, i lose that when i play a $1 mtt, bust, and re-enter. and i have no problem with that. i have no problem with going a lengthy downswing with $1 games.

i guess i expect hard for me to go on a downswing with a bigger buy-in as i'm losing the same amount of money in half the time. example, if i lose 20 buy-ins at $1, it's no big deal but losing that same amount in half the buy-ins at $2 games or double the amount at 20 buy-ins just seems...scary? that's probably not the correct term i'm looking for but i'm not sure how else to say it.

the goal is to play for a profit. i don't expect to make huge profits because i don't think i'll ever get that high in buy-ins and, for the most part, i play for fun. but i'd like to combine playing for fun and making a profit as well.

as far as moving up, there are a few reasons. one, i want to see how far i can get playing mtts and don't want to feel like i'm limiting myself by just sticking to the $1 games and lower. making more money is definitely a motivation as well, and adding in an extra buy-in will allow for more volume and a better mtt schedule. the last one isn't exactly necessary but it would be nice to have more game options.

edit: i have no idea why this is such a struggle for me when i have no problem paying of ridiculous driver fees and tipping way too much when i get food delivered.
 
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ph_il

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It is just loss anxiety which is real the higher limits you go the more you can lose,
I think you should withdraw $200 keep it off the site on a payment processor make it saved or safe mentally as sounds like you really do not want to risk losing it.
Play a couple of 2 dollar games anyway with the $40 and try to run it up again think of it as a freeroll no pressure as you already banked your profit.
If you bust this $40 playing 2 dollar games and have to reload then go back to playing 1 dollar games until can withdraw again and have another $40 to play the 20x $2 games good luck.
the loss anxiety is definitely there.

the cash-out strategy is an option, though i like to cash out when i have more to do so. but, i can always transfer the money aside on betonline until i am ready to cash out.
 
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fundiver199

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there is a $1 buy-in game that i've been avoiding because it's a much larger field game. i do a lot better in the smaller fields of 100-200 players, but not so much in the 400-500 field games. looking over my stats last month, i was down almost $40 in buy-ins in the large buy-in game. so, i stopped playing it as i'm just bleeding money and it wasn't good for bankroll. i was basically giving up an mtt win in buy-ins or i would have to win 1-2 mtts just to make up for the loss. it was definitely easier to just not play them and keep my money.

This is completely normal, and its basically because, its more difficult to reach the top prices in a large field. So over a small sample you either bink one big score and is up massively. Or you dont and then you are almost always going to be down, even if your ITM % is completely fine.

Lets say you outlast 95% of the field, which is of course already a very good result and wont happen more than 1 in 20 times for an average player. Then in a 100 man MTT on pokerstars, you would finish in 5. place and get 7,72% of the price pool, which is 7,72 x your buyin less rake. However in a 1.500 man you would finish in 75. place and get 0,2% of the price pool, which is only 3 x your buyin less rake.

For the lucky winner its a very different story though. He gets 16,75% of the price pool in the 1.500 man for a whopping 251,25 x his buyin. So with these large field MTTs your bankroll will occationally make a huge leap forwards, but in between these binks it will tend to dripple south. Which is why its recommended to have not 100 BIs but rather like 300 BIs for large field MTTs.
 
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I'm sure that if you beat $1 tournaments, you will also beat $2. My advice is to continue as before and add 1-2 tournaments with $2 buy-ins to each session to get used to it gradually.
 
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This is completely normal, and its basically because, its more difficult to reach the top prices in a large field. So over a small sample you either bink one big score and is up massively. Or you dont and then you are almost always going to be down, even if your ITM % is completely fine.
...exactly this, which is why i dropped the game completely. even in times i did cash or 'run deep', it wasn't enough to balance out how much i was losing. luckily, i was able to do well enough in the other, smaller field mtts to keep my bankroll up. in the end, i was still losing a minimum of $31/month or more if i include re-entries as well and that just seemed silly to do.

i'd rather keep that $31, which is near the amount for most 1st place finish in the games i play. for one, it keeps the bankroll healthy and i can apply to other games that i'm more confident in. yes, i could possibly win one eventually and it would be a nice boost the bankroll. most of the time, it's $135 for 1st place. but i'd rather eliminate the stress of having to cash big and just keep that extra $31/month.

Lets say you outlast 95% of the field, which is of course already a very good result and wont happen more than 1 in 20 times for an average player. Then in a 100 man MTT on PokerStars, you would finish in 5. place and get 7,72% of the price pool, which is 7,72 x your buyin less rake. However in a 1.500 man you would finish in 75. place and get 0,2% of the price pool, which is only 3 x your buyin less rake.
...another reason why i dropped it. i wasn't getting the same results. obviously bigger fields are going to take longer and have more variance but i guess i'm just not making the proper adjustments for the longer games. whereas i'd be nearing the final table in a smaller field game, i'd still have hours of play time and hundreds of players to get through at a bigger field game at the same blind level.

betonline is having their championship series with lots of low buy-in games for great prizes, but i just can't see myself playing too many of because i don't do well in large field games. so, it would seem like a waste of money. i might take a stab at the low .55 games or a few $1 freezeouts, but nothing more as i just see it as me spewing money and i don't think i'd run well enough to be profitable with them.

lets say i spend $5.50 total, which isn't a lot at all. that's 5 buy-ins. but i'm looking at the fact that i might lose those 5 buy-ins at games i have a very small chance of doing well in. or i could lose the same 5 buy-ins at the field sizes i'm used to playing, but i'd have a lot more confidence in myself to do well at those games.

For the lucky winner its a very different story though. He gets 16,75% of the price pool in the 1.500 man for a whopping 251,25 x his buyin. So with these large field MTTs your bankroll will occationally make a huge leap forwards, but in between these binks it will tend to dripple south. Which is why its recommended to have not 100 BIs but rather like 300 BIs for large field MTTs.
...i definitely agree with having more buy-ins for bigger fields. and this all goes back to my first reply about dropping a lot of money in pursuit of making a big mtt win. well, bigger than my normal win sizes.

on one hand, i'd love a huge mtt win in a $1 game. that would be great. that's one thing i've been wanting for a while and while $135 isn't huge compared to these ridiculous 1k-3k cashes some players are making in the $1 games, it would definitely build up my confidence as a player.

but on the practical side, i have to accept that winning these mtts isn't going to happen often, or at all. maybe for solid regs and really good players, yes. but for me, a subpar player, it's just not going to happen, no matter how much i want it. it just seems like the smarter idea is to save the buy-ins, which would equal to $287.10/year, assuming i played each mtt for 1 buy-in, instead of risking that amount on a game where i have a .13% chance of winning. (if average field size is ~750 players). i'd practically have to win twice to break even. i don't need that stress.
thank goodness betonline has small field games. i don't know how players on pokerstars and acr can get through such big fields.

i'd probably just stop playing all together if i had to go through that.
 
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I'm sure that if you beat $1 tournaments, you will also beat $2. My advice is to continue as before and add 1-2 tournaments with $2 buy-ins to each session to get used to it gradually.
yeah, adding the games gradually will definitely happen. i don't see myself immediately jumping into the $2 games just because i have the bankroll to.

i'm still deciding if i want to keep my 100x buy-ins or bump it up to 200x buy-ins before i take stabs at the $2 games.
 
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something i want to add that i think is very interesting is i've never had problems playing $2 or $3 or even $5 games before. of course, this was ~6 years ago and things were different, but i was able to play them and do well in them.

the difference from then and now is i was a bit more loose with my bankroll and i didn't have as many financial responsibilities. i played for fun.

now, i still play for fun, but my bankroll is a lot more important to me. so, there is definitely a mental block that i've built.
 
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I am just wildly guessing now, but maybe part of the issue is feeling married to a small bankroll like 300$, because it took a long time to build it? I remember from myself, how much it sucked, when I had reached 600$ and then lost almost half of it during my biggest downswing so far. Although to be fair what bothered me most was probably not the monetary loss but rather my ego. I thought, I was a winning player, and suddenly I was losing close to 30 BIs in cash games.

For me its actually easier to handle loss anxiety in tournaments, because once we have bought in, the chips in front of us are not actual money, as they are in cash games. So its a bit easier for me to just see them as playing chips and not focus so much on, if I bought in for 1$ or 25$. Its easier said than done, but its really best to just forget about that balance in the poker account, as long as you are bankrolled for the games, you want to play. At the end of the day it is just a meaningless number, since money can easily be withdrawn or deposited.
 
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I am just wildly guessing now, but maybe part of the issue is feeling married to a small bankroll like 300$, because it took a long time to build it? I remember from myself, how much it sucked, when I had reached 600$ and then lost almost half of it during my biggest downswing so far. Although to be fair what bothered me most was probably not the monetary loss but rather my ego. I thought, I was a winning player, and suddenly I was losing close to 30 BIs in cash games.

For me its actually easier to handle loss anxiety in tournaments, because once we have bought in, the chips in front of us are not actual money, as they are in cash games. So its a bit easier for me to just see them as playing chips and not focus so much on, if I bought in for 1$ or 25$. Its easier said than done, but its really best to just forget about that balance in the poker account, as long as you are bankrolled for the games, you want to play. At the end of the day it is just a meaningless number, since money can easily be withdrawn or deposited.
it, surprisingly didn't take that long to build up from $11. 45 days total, so far, but not 45 days of playing. and i count re-entries as their own mtt. it's very small volume, too. with ~200 mtts played, that's only 4.5 mtts/day on average.

i don't know if it's feeling married to my bankroll or if it's just uncertainty. with that said, i like your view on not focusing on the amount of the buy-in as long as im bankrolled for it. i am trying to get myself into the habit of seeing a $2 price as a 1 buy-in/100 buy-ins available. i can do it for the $1 games, i just have to do it with this.
 
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first of all, i'd like to thank everyone for their feedback. being able to discuss this has been a huge help.

i've decided that my best approach isn't to stab at the $2 games if i feel if i'm not ready for it. i've also decided to increase my bankroll requirements to 200 buy-ins. i also have very, very strict drop down rules as well. so, if i eventually do take stabs at the $2 games, it's going to be under very strict conditions.

i'll still continue my personal 500 game challenge and it'll be cool if i do build enough of a bankroll to take stabs at the $2 games, but there is no pressure to get there in that time frame. or in any time frame for that matter as i plan on continuing the challenge in 500 mtt increments.
 
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Good luck!

Being over-rolled is rarely a bad thing.

When you're ready, just mix the higher games in with your current ones and play your typical game.
 
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A somewhat conservative bankroll management can certainly be fine, especially if the bankroll has grown rapidly over a small sample like 240 tournaments, where maybe we were on a bit of a heater. For MTTs though I would personally be annoyed about being limited to 1$ events, since there are simply not very many of them. Allowing yourself to play up to at least 3-4$ events makes it a lot easier to get volume :)
 
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I think you should check out similar tournaments at the larger stakes. If you like the $1 Rebuy $200 GTD on BOL, then check out what BOL has at $2 and even $3 levels. I found a $3 Rebuy $500 GTD that only had 88 players. That means their $3 buy in was worth $5.68 because of the $210 free money.

When you limit yourself to one site and one buy in, you don't have as many options available.

I would look at which types of tournaments your best ROI is at (Turbo, Mega, Grind, Rebuy) and look to expand that form of mtt into other stakes. If you do better at Rebuy tournaments than Monster Turbos, then it would be better to play a higher stake Rebuy than two lower Monster Turbos.

I am not saying jump stakes now. I am saying look at higher stakes now, evaluate your best game form, and prepare to move up smartly. The higher stakes in the same format are really not different. Same late registration, same blind rate, and often same players.
 
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Sometimes the fear of success is just as crippling as the fear of losing,,, ;)
 
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You dont have to move up all at once, maybe start watching the higher limit and try to figure out who the regs are, then maybe play your regular session and add in one game at the higher limit. After you get a decent sample size of the higher limit games you can evaluate your results.
 
natsgrampy

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I say, go for it.

Take a look at the tournament lobbies of the $1 BI games, and then the $2 BI games, and $3 BI games.

I bet you will find exactly the same players you have been beating in the $1 BI games playing in the other games.

I like the idea of setting aside a portion of your current BR and use it in the $2 games. Give yourself enuf to make a good determination on your progress.
Also, give yourself more credit, you can do this!!!!!!!

Keep us posted with your decision and progress.
 
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A somewhat conservative bankroll management can certainly be fine, especially if the bankroll has grown rapidly over a small sample like 240 tournaments, where maybe we were on a bit of a heater. For MTTs though I would personally be annoyed about being limited to 1$ events, since there are simply not very many of them. Allowing yourself to play up to at least 3-4$ events makes it a lot easier to get volume :)
yeah, i'm going with the conservative bankroll management plan. i think 200 buy-ins at the lower levels is fine and i'll probably increase it to more if/when i build up even more, if i plan on moving up.

~200 mtts since i started rebuilding from $11 is a very small sample, but i've also played hundreds (possibly thousands) of 0 - 1.10 mtts prior to this. however, this is a new challenge and perhaps it's best to ignore past games played and focus on the volume i'm putting in now. especially since my focus on mtts are a lot different than it was before.

i agree, i could be on a bit of heater. this is why i want to get in a decent amount of volume before i post anything in regards to the challenge. i think a minimum of 1000 mtts would be good and more would be even better. especially if i want to get a good idea of how well i actually do at the micros when i'm playing my best.

adding more games would increase my volume, but it's a bit of double edge sword. more volume would be good overall but i don't want to spend too much time playing every day. at most, mon-fri, i play 1-2 mtts and i add volume with re-entries as i track them as their own game. so, i wouldn't necessarily be adding more volume if i add more games. however, it would open up more opportunities to play if had free time, as i'm pretty much limited to the $1 mtt schedule.
 
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I think you should check out similar tournaments at the larger stakes. If you like the $1 Rebuy $200 GTD on BOL, then check out what BOL has at $2 and even $3 levels. I found a $3 Rebuy $500 GTD that only had 88 players. That means their $3 buy in was worth $5.68 because of the $210 free money.
...i actually don't play the $1 re-buys yet because the total buy-in would be $2 and i'm not bankrolled for that. i'm not even near considering $3 re-buys. lol

however, the $1 re-buys will be my go to game once i have build a large enough bankroll to play them. i late register in all my mtts anyways, usually starting with 25 bbs. with re-buys, i always register during the add-on break and take the add-on. in a $1 game, this means i pay $2.20 max and start with ~27 bbs, and the game plays like a freeze out.

When you limit yourself to one site and one buy in, you don't have as many options available.
...very true. but there aren't a lot of sites i like and not a lot of limits are available for my current bankroll and brm plan. i just have to make due with what i have.

I would look at which types of tournaments your best ROI is at (Turbo, Mega, Grind, Rebuy) and look to expand that form of mtt into other stakes. If you do better at Rebuy tournaments than Monster Turbos, then it would be better to play a higher stake Rebuy than two lower Monster Turbos.
...definitely something to consider.

I am not saying jump stakes now. I am saying look at higher stakes now, evaluate your best game form, and prepare to move up smartly. The higher stakes in the same format are really not different. Same late registration, same blind rate, and often same players.
...yeah, this is very true. i wouldn't jump into playing higher stakes immediately and would ease into the game.
above
 
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You dont have to move up all at once, maybe start watching the higher limit and try to figure out who the regs are, then maybe play your regular session and add in one game at the higher limit. After you get a decent sample size of the higher limit games you can evaluate your results.
i would definitely start off slowly, maybe adding 1 game per day/week at a higher buy-in if my bankroll allows it.

or maybe i'll do a 5:1 start where i play 5* $1 mtts and, if i profit enough from them, i'll take a shot at a $2 game as long as my bankroll allows it. then slowly decrease as i increase.
 
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I say, go for it.

Take a look at the tournament lobbies of the $1 BI games, and then the $2 BI games, and $3 BI games.

I bet you will find exactly the same players you have been beating in the $1 BI games playing in the other games.

I like the idea of setting aside a portion of your current BR and use it in the $2 games. Give yourself enuf to make a good determination on your progress.
Also, give yourself more credit, you can do this!!!!!!!

Keep us posted with your decision and progress.
giving myself credit is very hard to do. to be honest, i just don't have a lot of confidence in myself and i do question my ability a lot.

as far as keeping everyone posted with my progress, i'm not sure exactly when i plan on doing that. as of right now, the goal is 1000 mtts minimum but i don't know if i want to post results once i hit that or if i want to make my results my 10k post.

i still have time to decide.
 
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adding more games would increase my volume, but it's a bit of double edge sword. more volume would be good overall but i don't want to spend too much time playing every day.

If you plan to play for profit, then you also want to find the limit of how many tables, you can play, before your performance start to suffer. So its not so much about spending more hours in front of the screen. Its more about being able to have for instance 4 tables running at the same time.

A typical session for me might be for instance a 5$ MTT, a 8,8$ turbo MTT, a 11$ PKO and a 12$ MTT at the same time. If I then bust from one of these, I might add a 2,2$ turbo R+A or a 5,5$ PKO depending on, what is available. I play a span of buy-ins and formats, and its rare, that I am able to have two identical MTTs running at the same time.

You dont want to take this to far, and if you make it into high stakes there can certainly be an argument for specialising in for instance PKOs to get really good at them. But at the end of the day its still MTTs, and something like a factor 5 between your lowest and highest buyin is completely fine. It gives you a feel also for, how small or large the difference actually is between, how people play in a 3$ MTT and a 12$ MTT.
 
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