Table & Stakes Decision

    • vaulsc
      Joined: 28.06.2012 Posts: 124
      Hi All,

      I've had plenty of practice in the microstakes cash and MTT's on Pokerstars, and have been successful in local live cash and tournament formats (in bars and home games). Recently, I made some runs at the Casino (Skycity, Auckland) in order to try and get a feel for what the level of play was like relative to my ability.

      I found that it was in fact much lower than I expected. In the cash games, players are worse than PS microstakes players, frequently limp-calling from early positions with trash hands, calling down to the showdown OOP with nothing but bottom pair, calling flop shoves with nothing but flush draws, etc. In the tournaments, I see players limping and folding on flops when they started with less than 10bb, or calling for their whole stack pre-flop with extremely marginal hands, in situations that are obviously -$EV and against ICM.

      In terms of results, I ran well in a couple tournaments and went up +$700, then recently lost a couple of $300 buyins on the cash tables, so up $100 total.

      In terms of performance, I made mostly solid decisions in the MTT's, except once I had made the cash and reached 3-handed on both occaisons, fell apart a little bit and made a some bad calls I could have avoided with more patience. In the cash games, I was getting coolered quite badly; getting all the money in preflop with Aces only to be cracked by JT making the straight, or flopping a straight myself only to lose to a flushdraw after getting it in on the flop, or turning a straight only to lose to a higher straight on the river. Generally my decisions were reasonable.

      So on paper, there is a part of me that would like to continue, given that the stakes are much higher than I normally play at while the level of competition is much, much weaker.

      Two problems however:

      BRM: So far I've been working within a bankroll of maybe $2000. I've made a profit of about $1000 from poker, including the above results, although over the last year most of that has come from tournaments with $20 buy-ins. Losing twenty cash buy-ins in a row at the casino would be a loss of $6000. That would put a dent in my savings, but wouldn't affect my life otherwise, and yet... it would be uncomfortable and I suspect I might go on tilt once I neared that point.

      The Rake: Some of the tournaments have fees of around 25%, and the cash games are 10% rake, capped at $15. So you want to be winning someone's stack in a pot above $500 in a single hand, in order to keep the rake at a more comfortable 3%... but this isn't a frequent enough situation. Even if I do start turning a profit, would it really be significant enough relative to the risks taken, given these rather taxing percentages?

      I welcome the advice of more experienced career players.
  • 1 reply
    • metza
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      I think losing 20BI in a row at sky city would be very hard to do.

      From what I remember from when I was playing there, they are super fishy and get it in really light pre and post. 3 bad beats in a row happens all the time, 20...not so much. I mean it can happen, but its rare. And its very rare for it to happen without someone donking off at least one stack to you.

      If you want to minimize the % of your bankroll you are risking, you can play 25bb deep for $100. I tried this a few times since I was not properly rolled to buy in for $400 and it works fairly well as long as you play tight and always fastplay strong hands, then keep playing once you double up+ and adjust your strategy the deeper you get. People are very happy to chuck away $100, not so much $400, so it works much better than shortstacking online.

      What stakes are you playing online?