This article is basically going to go into the reasons that why if you are a winning ring game player, you will make less money playing Rush Poker compared to your standard ring game.
This really is not a good thing. Sure your opponents have no information on you, you could be playing 100/100 or 5/5, that’s not a good thing. Reads and information on our opponents frequencies are exactly what gives us an edge as professionals. Remember, poker is a game of information warfare. If you have no information on your opponents, its much harder to gain an edge. Variance will be huge, long term winrates will be small.
There are a few ways you can get some tells on a player when playing rush poker. The obvious one is stack size, players with a stack size below 100bb tend to be weaker players. Another is a screen name tell, its pretty easy to tell by screen names who is a reg and who is a casual player. Finally, the last tell you can get in rush poker are timing tells, fast calls usually indicate a weak made hand or drawing hand.
Compare this to a regular ring game, this is basically like playing poker with your eyes closed. There are no ways to gage how loose or tight your opponent is, how passive or agressive he is, or figure out how often he is 3betting. People often accuse players who don’t like rush poker as being “stats whores” but that’s simply not the case, I generally don’t need alot of stats, however, I do need some kind of way to identify these key characteristics of a player so I can categorize them and play them effectively. If you have no reads against someone you are forced to play every hand in a default way, which may be effective, ineffective or incredibly bad against that individual opponent since you have no reads on his/her tendencies.
This is a bad thing for good players. Good players are aware of their table image and how to manipulate it against players. Players with a loose table image find ways to get paid off lighter and players with a tight image find ways to use their extra credibility to bluff in effective spots. In rush poker, there is no such thing as table image because every player gets a new set of opponents every hand. This is just another edge that is taken away from effective winning poker players.
What I mean by this is, from what I’ve seen so far, alot of players will either adapt an extremely tight style or an insanely loose aggressive style. The reason people do that is because they believe people will be playing against the “average” opponent who is not playing super tight nor super loose. Then consequently, they will make mistakes by folding too much against the loose aggressive players or calling too much against the tight nits. What this does is create a situation of utter chaos where no one knows how to play against any opponent. This consequently lowers the edge for all players and increases the variance hugely.
. Its as simple as this, if you want to play more hands per hour, just play more tables of standard ring games instead of playing rush poker. Its as simple as that. Ive heard several people argue that the amount of hands you can play per hour will negate for the decreased edge, this is just plain bullshit. If you want to play more hands, play more tables. I personally can play more hands 15 tabling regular ring games (which I know I have an edge) compared to gambling it up playing 4 tables of rush poker.
This is perhaps the only valid argument for playing rush poker. I can see why weak players will like playing rush poker (They wont have to wait around for a new hand and wont have to be embarrassed when they loose a big pot) Consequently you might get a larger ratio of fish:regs playing rush poker. Right now, alot of regs have adopted rush poker, so I don’t think the games are particularly soft. Especially since alot of the high stakes regulars took some time to play the highest stakes rush poker game (which is currently 1/2), the games are not super soft right now. Perhaps in a few weeks/months when alot of regulars loose the fascination of playing a low edge game and go back to their standard ring games, the games might get a little bit softer with more fish in them. Finally, fish may actually be less exploitable. I think boredom is the main reason why loose passive fish play so many hands. Now they are given the option of getting a new hand immediately, they will most likely play less hands overall and make less fundamental mistakes compared to if they were playing 1 table of a standard ring game. I would not be surprised if your average 50/10 fish becomes a 20/10 fish, with a much lower lossrate.
I know one thing is for sure, I wont be looking into playing rush poker as my main game. In-fact, if I was gonna spend some time looking into learning strategies for new games, I would definitely spend my time learning PLO because this is where I think the greatest edges will be now and in the near future. To me rush poker is a novelty and not a way for serious players to make serious money.
Since writing this article, several rush poker hud’s have been launched by both Holdem Manager and Poker Tracker. This increases a good players edge because it allows them to get some form of read on a player. That being said, it still means that skilled players have less of an edge playing these tables than standard ring games, for that reason, I wont be spending much time playing Rush Poker.