Viability of moving from micro to low/mid stakes in today's games

    • vaulsc
      vaulsc
      Silver
      Joined: 28.06.2012 Posts: 124
      I keep asking myself what it would realistically take to move from 5nl to 100nl these days. I play on Pokerstars, 4x table, 6max Cash, Zoom. At the moment $190 bankroll.

      Last January I was unemployed, and I played 100k hands of NL2 that month. I learned a lot, especially about variance, and improved my game. But with a daily routine in place, I also learned just how challenging long term poker grind really is. I didn't have a coach, only a study group (and PS.com), and although I was studying and following tutorials (weazel, for example), my strategy improvement was fairly slow. It seemed to me like my potential to make it out of the micros within a space of time like 3-6 months would not have been realistic.

      Some general questions, would love feedback:

      - Is online poker currently in a bit of a decline? Are game types like the one I described above, too heavily reg-infested and without enough fish?

      - Are bots currently a problem? Should we worry about them in terms of trying to earn meaningful money out of online poker?

      - Is it possible to move from NL5 to NL100, within a sensible bankroll strategy, within 6 months?
  • 7 replies
    • SDK1987
      SDK1987
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 12.11.2008 Posts: 30,520
      First question is most likely true. Since black Friday the online poker market is decreasing so far I can tell as outsider.

      Depends on with site you’re playing, but bots are indeed a problem on some sites. Hopefully they will do about it. So the game will be fair again.

      Last one is difficult to said as SNG player, but I think it’s impossible for beginners without private coaching to reach NL100 in 6 months. I expect only players with experience on NL2-NL100 can do it.

      Hopefully helps this a little bit, but if you have more questions don’t hesitate to ask them.

      Cheers,
      SDK1987
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,376
      Originally posted by vaulsc
      Some general questions, would love feedback:

      - Is online poker currently in a bit of a decline? Are game types like the one I described above, too heavily reg-infested and without enough fish?

      - Are bots currently a problem? Should we worry about them in terms of trying to earn meaningful money out of online poker?

      - Is it possible to move from NL5 to NL100, within a sensible bankroll strategy, within 6 months?
      1. I don't think it's in any more of a decline than it has been for the last few years. There are many regs nowadays since more people understand that it's a game of skill and there are many resources to learn from. That last point is the main issue - there is so much information out there. For example, even having (and sticking to) a starting hands chart will seriously improve someone's game and they will have a huge edge simply by playing better hands overall. They will make better hands postflop. I think nl2 (maybe nl5) is the most recreational-player-heavy limit now, and even playing nl5 you see so many people who play ABC which means they have done some amount of studying. Of course there are still fish, but I think the emphasis shouldn't be on a fish:reg ratio but rather on understanding that even regs can be fish - it doesn't mean there is no money just because there are many regs.

      2. Don't really know about bots, other than if you like playing against them then play on iPoker. I doubt pokerstars has a huge issue with bots.

      3. This is a typical bad mindset. Sure, it's possible to go on a heater and move from nl5 to nl100 in 6 months, but if that happens I am nearly 100% sure that you will not last there very long. Even going on a heater and moving to nl25 will give you problems. In that amount of time you simply will not have studied enough to beat the limit and will ultimately get owned. You will be playing against many players who beat nl2-nl50 and worked their way up there. If you move up in that space of time, in terms of experience, you will essentially be an nl5/nl10 player and they will own you for that. Your leaks will be the same as those who play nl5 and nl10. So my question is, why would you want to do that?
    • vaulsc
      vaulsc
      Silver
      Joined: 28.06.2012 Posts: 124
      Thanks guys. I was really just speculating over the viability of making enough money from poker to live on, without working a full time job in the meantime. It really does seem like it would be virtually impossible.
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 6,888
      what i am more worried about is the sustainability of online poker in the long run. i don't think the nl100- games will ever run out of enough fish for as long as they exist, but there are other issues like whether the poker rooms will still exist as we know it, random government regulation, etc...
    • mariang
      mariang
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.09.2014 Posts: 4
      Hmmm to start form nl5 and become a poker pro is a very long shot, it is achievable if you have money saved for one year so you wouldn`t be affected by swings or tilt and you dedicate arount 40h/week to poker.
      But again, the new regulations divided sites such as pokerstars and you have to think about long run because one day you might have to play only with players from your country or to move somewhere else to be able to play online and i don t think it`s worth the trouble or the time you invest improving yourself.
      The biggest enemies aren`t the rake or the field or variation or the regulars, the biggest enemies are governments and the new regulations...It became more easyer to move in a big city with lots of casinos and start playing live poker imo...So you have to hang on to a sh!tty job even if you don t like it and save some money whyle playing poker as a semi-pro and once you feel ready you can quit your job.
    • tonypmm
      tonypmm
      Gold
      Joined: 11.01.2009 Posts: 4,402
      Originally posted by DrDunne
      Don't really know about bots, other than if you like playing against them then play on iPoker. I doubt pokerstars has a huge issue with bots.
      Pokerstars aren't as immune to bots as you think. A bot ring has been recently discovered at Stars PLO100; mind that PLO is a more complex game than NLHE and it's more difficult to teach bots to win at the former unless they collude. I don't think bots are omnipresent yet, but I'm afraid they're gradually taking over.
    • vaulsc
      vaulsc
      Silver
      Joined: 28.06.2012 Posts: 124
      Interesting points. I typically do better at live poker, but my thoughts about online poker were based on the fact that I do indeed have savings and part-time work opportunities to sustain myself for a year. But one of my other problems was the fact that paying for coaching would yield long term profit but eat away at those savings in the short term. So it would be quite risky to try committing to that.