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Old Mar 31, 2007, 9:52pm   #1
BubbleBoy
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Default When to move up ?!

So there are always people who are asking questions that range about this topic.

"should I move up?"
"how much $$ do I need to play NL100?"
"is 5000 hands enough to take a stab or rather a couple more?"

Well, I hope these and other questions can at least be partially answered with the following material. Stay tuned.

Disclaimer: parts of this are taken from 2+2

At first, DO NOT PLAY BELOW NL25.
This might sound strange or rude to some people with small bankrolls. However, the play at limits below is sooo bad that you will frequently pick up bad habits. It can be very cumbersome to relearn the game simply because rerasing AJ was standard back at NL2. If you cannot afford playing NL25 you shouldnt take poker too serious. Playing NL5 or so is playing for fun. Dont think you are playing poker there. You are barely scratching the surface.


So here you go with some guidelines to get you started.
This content will show you what skills are neccesary to play (winning poker) at a certain limit. Of course these points overlap or are repetetive.

to win at NL25:
- read and reread the articles on this site
- play a tight game
- understand why you raise strong hands preflop
- bet your strong hands and fold the weaker ones
- play a straight-forward game, i.e.
- almost never slowplay, bet your good hands to the limit
- you should rarely check raise
- for both slowplaying and c/ring: only do so if you a specific reason!
- you have $250 or more


move to NL50 when:

- your preflop game is stable, you are confident
- you have a good idea of their hand by the river (first level thinking)
- you are aware what being in or out of position means
- you have an ok feel when to continuation bet
- you have $500 or more


move to NL100 when:

- you are stealing blinds when the conditions are good
- you know how to play draws (semi bluffing, free card play, etc)
- you are able to fold unimproved overpairs
- you know who reads your hand and who doesnt (second level thinking)
- you have $1500 or more


move to NL200 when:

- your preflop raises are feared, they are hard to read
- your play of drawing hands has become aggressive
- you're starting to play one hand while holding another (third level thinking)
- you have $3000 or more


move to NL400 when:

- steals are your main reason to raise preflop
- you know how to pick between bet-3bet or check-raise
- position factors heavily into your play
- you know how to manipulate the pot size in your favor
- you have $6000 or more


move to NL1000 when


- your lines don't define your hand, they define your opponents hand (forth level thinking)
- you're good at playing and winning lots of small pots ("small ball")
- your oop opponent must hold a strong hand to win a pot from you
- you understand the real math of the game at least at a basal level
- you have $20000 or more



Of course there are other things to keep in mind when moving up.

Bankrolls grow faster than skill.

This statement is very true for most beginning to advanced players.
So how do you know you really beat a level at a consistent rate, you arent just running hot or barely profitable?

I advise you play at least 20'000 hands at each level before drawing any comclusions. A set of only 2'000 hands doesnt tell you anything. There have been very good players who just broke even after 30'000 hands with an expected earn of 5PTBB/100. To really get a good estimate you should consider following these "rules".

So after you have played 20k hands you look at your earn rate and then compare to the following table. If your win rate is in the red zone, play another 20k hands. If its in the green zone feel free to move up. The (max) indicates the maximum you can possibly earn, meaning you play perfect. If you run like that, or even better, you are ceratinly running extremely well.
(Of course the softness of the games plays a major role for max rates, so its just a (darn good) estimate)


NL25: 5PTBB/100 or less 6-9PTBB/100; 10PTBB/100 or more (max at around 20)
NL50: 4PTBB/100 or less 5-8PTBB/100; 9PTBB/100 or more (max at around 16)
NL100: 3PTBB/100 or less 4-7PTBB/100; 8PTBB/100
or more (max at around 14)
NL200: 2PTBB/100 or less 3-5PTBB/100; 5PTBB/100 or more (max at around 10)
NL400: 1PTBB/100 or less 1-2PTBB/100; 3PTBB/100 or more (max at around 6)
NL1000: A rate of 1PTBB/100 is very very good. 2 is about the max possible. Some people claim more but thats usually unheard of.


One last note, if you have won much more money than you need for the next level while playing those 20k hands, dont move up 2 levels or anything like that. Maybe cash out a little and buy something nice for your wife or pet. Play at least 20k hands at each limit.


I hope by now you do have a feel for what you are looking to achieve. Feel free to ask about any of this. Good luck

edit: typos over typos...
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Last edited by BubbleBoy; Apr 10, 2007 at 4:21pm.
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Old Apr 01, 2007, 12:22am   #2
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really good post. I think I have the style to play NL100, by what you say, Im just too much of a wuss to play past NL50. Also when I used to 8 table NL10 I raised every single hand any position(PF). Good guide on when you should move up

Thanks Bubbleboy
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Old Apr 01, 2007, 1:15am   #3
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Example plz of this bit:

- your lines don't define your hand, they define your opponents hand (forth level thinking)

Could be a good thread.


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Old Apr 01, 2007, 2:27am   #4
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Bubbleboy makes some great points and his post could be a useful guide to the levels he indicates.

The only point I might take issue with is his belief that anything lower than NL25 is just donks throwing their money around with no regard to proper play. To some the lower levels are still a significant amount of money and to others playing for hundreds of dollars is an insignificant amount. It is relative to an individual's financial position, although as a general rule he may be accurate.
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Old Apr 01, 2007, 3:37am   #5
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I take back what i said before coz this is a brilliant post.

Although i'd suggest staggering the 20K hands so you review the last 20K every 10?
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Old Apr 01, 2007, 3:38am   #6
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Quote:
- your lines don't define your hand, they define your opponents hand (forth level thinking)


Yeah, this is the first time I've understood what this concept is. Obv I don't know how to do it, but it's pretty awesome and anyone kicking off a thread on it would be my hero.

Quote:
rerasing AJ was standard back at NL2
I reraise AJ at NL 50.

Quote:
you should rarely check raise
Hard to define "rarely" but if you're not thinking about checkraising the turn or river you should probably at least consider it.

Quote:
NL25: 5PTBB/100 or less 6-9PTBB/100; 10PTBB/100 or more (max at around 20)
NL50: 4PTBB/100 or less 5-8PTBB/100; 9PTBB/100 or more (max at around 16)
NL100: 3PTBB/100 or less 4-7PTBB/100; 8PTBB/100
or more (max at around 14)
NL200: 2PTBB/100 or less 3-5PTBB/100; 5PTBB/100 or more (max at around 10)
NL400: 1PTBB/100 or less 1-2PTBB/100; 3PTBB/100 or more (max at around 6)
NL1000: A rate of 1PTBB/100 is very very good. 2 is about the max possible. Some people claim more but thats usually unheard of.


1 PTBB/100 at 5/10 is $20/100. 3 PTBB/100 at 2/4 is $24/100. Where did these numbers come from? Also, no offense, but are you qualified to tell someone when they should move from 1/2 to 2/4?

This isn't a dig at you or anything, I think this post is good, just pointing out some areas that I'm not sure should be taken as gospel.
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Old Apr 01, 2007, 11:03am   #7
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Only beef I have is that I think 10 buyins is a little thin, especailly if people are unable to relaod as a 2 buyin loss, easy, could induce mega-tilt since it's 20% of the roll. Especailly if you're playing SH and not FR you should have that extra cushion since Shorthand Games can be brutal.

Then again I'm a bankroll nit and think you need 500BB to play SH Limit minimum.

Other than that nice post.
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Old Apr 01, 2007, 1:07pm   #8
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Great post BubbleBoy. You should also mention that the skills you listed should be learned in order, meaning that if "steals are your main reason to raise preflop" then you're donking a lot at nl25, althought it's a good thing at higher limits.
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Old Apr 01, 2007, 3:37pm   #9
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Thanks for the responses.
Maybe I wasnt addressing it often enough, but all I wrote is a guideline. The rules or suggestions arent set in stone and they are developing quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Got 6 Aces View Post
I'd suggest staggering the 20K hands so you review the last 20K every 10?
Of course my 20k hand rule is just a suggestion. In fact everybody who plays more than 1 year should know how to review their own play, rather than be guided by some numbers.
Nonetheless I think that 20k is a sample that is about the right size to evaluate ones play. That doesnt mean you shouldnt look at your stats during these 20k. I dont know if grouping them into 10k blocks is any different. Anyhow I myself look at my stats after each session.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogboy4L View Post
I reraise AJ at NL 50.
Maybe thats why you still play NL50 . No. What I meant to address is the following; at micro stakes you can raise medicore hands like AJ for value. At higher levels you cant. But if you do so you will lose money. I guess you dont raise it for value, you raise it to steal or to resteal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogboy4L View Post
1 PTBB/100 at 5/10 is $20/100. 3 PTBB/100 at 2/4 is $24/100. Where did these numbers come from? Also, no offense, but are you qualified to tell someone when they should move from 1/2 to 2/4?
Well I got those numbers from reading what other people did, I have no experience this high myself. For instance I was on this one coaching site and the guy who ran the site claimed that he won 1.7PTBB/100 over 600k hands at NL1000. For NL400 I have seen numbers in the range of 2-3PTBB. And it might even be the case that a decent player can win more money at a lower level than at a higher, simply because the is much more "fish" at the "lower" levels. In fact thats true for most small-medium sized pokerrooms, where NL200 is more profitable than NL600 for instance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomer2k6 View Post
Only beef I have is that I think 10 buyins is a little thin.
This isnt intended to sound sarcastic, but If you are able to lose 10 buyins at NL25 you are better not taking poker too serious.
Again all this is nothing more than a rough guideline. When you have planned your own br management you dont need this advice. But if you are relativly new and have no idea, the 10BI advice is some solid foundation to start.
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Old Apr 01, 2007, 3:42pm   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleBoy View Post
Maybe thats why you still play NL50 . No. What I meant to address is the following; at micro stakes you can raise medicore hands like AJ for value. At higher levels you cant. But if you do so you will lose money. I guess you dont raise it for value, you raise it to steal or to resteal.
I still reraise AJ for value in BB vs BTN or BTN vs CO confrontations.
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