Which game is for me?

    • DenizenZ
      DenizenZ
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.08.2014 Posts: 7
      Hi guys. Im looking for any advice on which game i should be playing. I will give a brief summary of my 'career' so far. I play low stakes SNG sometimes 10 seater (50/50)with either $1.50 of $3.50 buy ins at pokerstars. These appeal to me because the prize reflects my finishing chip stack ( example $3.50 game give the top 5 players $3.20 + $0.11 per 100 chips). Ive cashed in 51% of these game with 14% 1st places.

      On the other hand I also like MTT 180 players $2.50 buy ins though ive only tried a few dozen MTT with varying results. Yesterday I had my biggest win to date though it was only 3rd place cashing $46. I have played smaller stakes MTT's before many times, 0.50 buy in and such. Quite a few cashes ranging between 2nd and and 27th.

      My go-to game is for sure the 50/50's, I guess what im really asking is would anyone recommend switching to MTT full time or advise against it and what are your reasons for these thoughts?

      After 650 games im in profit by $3 (yes, i know. maybe i should find something else to do with my time lol) and play because i find poker to be fun and interesting but....it would be nice if I could turn my favourite hobby into something that yielded cash.

      A week and 150 games ago my profit was negative $50 since then, ive found poker strategy and taken a new approach to my game. Ive seen some improvement in my results but my graphs are still very erratic and obviously id much prefer to see a steady climb.

      Im username Denizenz playing at pokerstars and listed on sharkscope if that would help any reader give informed advice.

      Thanks in advance.
  • 13 replies
    • badgerer
      badgerer
      Silver
      Joined: 29.03.2010 Posts: 555
      your comment about the prize representing your finishing stack applies infinitely to cash games therefore i would certainly consider taking them up if i were you. there is plenty of quality learning material on this site regarding cash game 'big stack strategy' (BSS) under the strategy tab.
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      Hi DenizenZ,

      Every format can be played profitably, so in the end, it is mostly about which game you enjoy the most.

      Originally posted by DenizenZ
      I guess what im really asking is would anyone recommend switching to MTT full time or advise against it and what are your reasons for these thoughts?
      I have heard a few times that MTTs are not the best choice if you are playing for a living (though it can certainly be done - just ask Pleno1), but that doesn't seem to be what you're going for anyway at the moment. One thing you should be aware of is that MTTs are extremely variance-heavy, and you probably need a decent bankroll to grind them full time. Knowledge of cash games can also be an advantage in the early stage of an MTT, while knowledge of the ICM can sometimes be applied in the later stages.

      I can give you some pros and cons about each format:

      Cash games
      + Less variance than most other formats
      + Sessions can be ended or interrupted any time
      - Tilt issues can severely impact your bankroll if you're not careful
      - Difficult to master due to its complex and dynamic play

      SNGs (Single table)
      + Your losses are capped, meaning that tilt has less of an impact
      + Relatively easy to learn
      - Your winnings are capped as well
      - You can't end your session prematurely
      - Moderately high variance

      MTTs
      + Fantastic risk to reward ratio
      + Very exciting if you run deep
      - Huge variance
      - Very time consuming, sessions can't be ended prematurely

      MTSNGs
      Middle ground between single table SNGs and MTTs

      HUSNGs
      + Less variance than in other SNGs (but still more than in cash games)
      + Easy to play a big volume
      + Easier to exploit your edge over weaker opponents than on full tables
      - Very dynamic game, tough to learn
      - Can be very tilt-inducing if you take your defeats too personally
      - Tough to beat the rake at the lowest stakes

      I hope that helps, but feel free to ask if you have any further questions.
    • Svinhugg
      Svinhugg
      Gold
      Joined: 20.08.2013 Posts: 367
      Originally posted by DenizenZ
      After 650 games im in profit by $3 (yes, i know. maybe i should find something else to do with my time lol) and play because i find poker to be fun and interesting but....it would be nice if I could turn my favourite hobby into something that yielded cash.
      Don´t worry about that. So far the ceapest hobby I have tested is Poker. Especially male hobbies tends to cost a lot of money.
    • DenizenZ
      DenizenZ
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.08.2014 Posts: 7
      Thanks for your input guys.

      The idea of cash games definately interests me but I know my weaknesses and tilt has for sure played a big part in 'misfortune' i have experienced in the past while playing cash games. Typically, if I lose two or three buy ins in a row I find myself jumping up in blinds in a misguided attempt to more quickly regain my losses. This of course see's me more quickly depleting my bankroll.
      However, having read posts on pokerstrategy I am able to see the problems I have been experiencing and why. Perhaps I will set aside a small portion of my bankroll for low limit cash games and see how I get on.

      I find it interesting what has been posted here about MTTs and variance. Of course having considered it, it makes perfect sense. Variance is definately something I wish to reduce as much as possible for reasons Ive already mentioned, I am a sucker for tilt.

      What I will do is spend some time studying cash game strategy, divide my bankroll into two equal portions and spend half of my time each on single table sng and cash games. I will try this for a week or two and compare my results for a better idea of where I should be focusing my time.

      Thanks for your help guys.
    • badgerer
      badgerer
      Silver
      Joined: 29.03.2010 Posts: 555
      Originally posted by Harrier88
      MTTs
      sessions can't be ended prematurely
      i wish this was true :f_mad:
    • NightShadePMC
      NightShadePMC
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.11.2010 Posts: 798
      I can help you out with SNGs. I sent you a friend request. Check out my blog if you're interested in my experience.
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      Originally posted by badgerer
      Originally posted by Harrier88
      MTTs
      sessions can't be ended prematurely
      i wish this was true :f_mad:
      Just to avoid misunderstandings, what I meant by that was that players can't just interrupt their session in case of an emergency or whatever like they could do with cash games. You also can't get up for a while and take "tilt breaks" without forfeiting some of your hands. At least there's a five minute break every hour...

      Originally posted by DenizenZ
      Variance is definately something I wish to reduce as much as possible for reasons Ive already mentioned, I am a sucker for tilt.
      Keep in mind that variance is not always the monster it is made out to be. It affects everyone equally, and its effects on you can be both positive and negative in the short term, while in the long term, it all evens out anyway. It just means that you need to be prepared for quite a few swings.

      This brings me to my next point. You seem to read a little too much into your results. 650 games is not really such a meaningful sample size for SNGs, considering that even at the lower stakes, downswings and breakeven stretches of 1000-2000 games have been observed.
      You also mentioned that you once moved up in stakes trying to chase your losses. This is one of the worst things you could do as a poker player! Don't try to force things, just keep a cool head and play the games you're rolled for. As long as you do that, it will all work out in the long term - and you always need to think long term.

      Btw, I don't really see why you need to split your bankroll in two parts to play cash games and SNGs. Can't you use the same roll for both?

      Anyway, good luck with the cash games! Don't forget to check out all the content we have on this. Here is an overview of some of the most important lessons if you're starting out.
    • NutzAreOk
      NutzAreOk
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2011 Posts: 7,409
      Originally posted by Harrier88
      SNGs (Single table)
      - Moderately high variance
      DenizenZ has played Fifty50 SNGs and they are much lower variance SNGs since they end when 5 players is left. Same thing ofc in Double or Nothing SNGs.
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      Originally posted by NutzAreOk
      DenizenZ has played Fifty50 SNGs and they are much lower variance SNGs since they end when 5 players is left. Same thing ofc in Double or Nothing SNGs.
      That's true, the variance is lower in DONs or Fifty50s.
      The downside is, of course, that the potential winnings are also lower, and if you have a big edge against the other players, you can't really use it as much as in other games.

      Everything I said before about SNGs only applies to regular ones with a 50/30/20 payout structure.
    • MikeAK47
      MikeAK47
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.03.2008 Posts: 136
      If you enjoy gambling and coin flips, STTs are awesome, there's something quite satisfying about pushing 72o, then getting called by AK and sucking out, knowing you made the right move. (Don't really want to go into detail, but if STTs interest you, read up on ICM and get SNGWiz).

      Deep stack NL cash games are tough, it's such a complex game, I would advise you stay away from them as a beginner, and play either STTs (Single table tournaments), or multi-table SNGs (the $1 45-man SNGs on Stars are excellent BR builders).

      But at the end of the day, all forms of poker are profitable (mostly), just choose whatever form you enjoy the most and study/play that, when/if you get bored, move onto something else :)

      Personally I LOVE MTTs, it's such a rush making a final table, I can't/won't play them full time however because the variance is sick (I can't handle it).
    • DenizenZ
      DenizenZ
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.08.2014 Posts: 7
      SNGWiz, Mike. I've just looked it up and am gonna give it a try. If it does what the website promises then it looks like a pretty awesome tool. Thanks for the tip, i'll let ya know how it works out.
    • badgerer
      badgerer
      Silver
      Joined: 29.03.2010 Posts: 555
      just be aware i think you need to make sure you calibrate the calling/shoving ranges for sng wizard to work correctly.
    • NutzAreOk
      NutzAreOk
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2011 Posts: 7,409
      I would recommend HoldemResources Calculator myself. I have never used SNGWiz so I can`t compare those but HRC is pretty simple to use and personally I think it`s one of the best softwares atm to improve your shoving/calling shove game at SNGs or MTTs.