Should I move up to avoid the bad players? Part II

by ~ November 5th, 2009. Filed under: Bankroll, General poker strategy, Instructional posts, Micro level poker.

Part I covered some basic elements to answering the question. For Part II there are some derivatives of the results in Part I.

For one, I mentioned in Part I that if you’ve been at that level before, then playing underrolled or moving quickly through levels is not so bad. There are a number of reasons for this. One is that you have the experience, confidence and ability to play at a higher level. These things will help to mitigate tilt and scared money. Another is that it can be difficult to move down in levels, especially if it’s a large jump, because it will take some time to adjust back to the type of play that you will encounter at the lower level. Not as much adjustment time as moving up since you won’t be going into unexplored territory and you won’t have new things to learn, but you do have to re-learn what kinds of plays the players make at that level.

This is one of the difficulties having a coach. Sometimes the coach has not played at your level for a long time and doesn’t remember how the level plays, so if you opt for coaching, make sure he has a number of students at your level or is not too far removed from the level that you are trying to play at.

And if you start a bankroll at a new site, or if you cashed out quite a bit, you may opt to play underrolled on that site because you have enough experience with variance and enough knowledge about variance and about yourself so you’re better equipped to know how to deal with suck outs, bad beats, tilt, and management of your undersized bankroll.

An example from my personal history. I decided to make a $50 deposit on Party Poker because I wanted to start a roll on another site but Party would only give me a $50 first deposit bonus because I had opened the account years ago but never deposited. I tried to earn the deposit bonus by playing $1 Sit and Goes but it was painful. The play was so bad and my results so high variance that I switched to $3 Sit and Goes to get through it faster. By the time I had cleared my bonus I had lost half the money that I had deposited so I only had a bankroll of $75 after collecting the bonus. Since then it’s up a bit as I’ve decided to play 2 tables of $25nl when I do play there, meaning at first I was playing with more than half my bankroll on the tables at a time. I moved to a low-variance nittier style on 9 player tables, avoiding the 6 max tables, and I’m comfortable with that. Unfortunately I’ve found the tables generally full of short stackers who don’t offer me implied odds and low player volume for me because of my time zone so I’m not exactly tearing up the tables so far.


If you’re starting out, it can be good to have as much bankroll as you can afford. If you start out your first bankroll with just $50 like I did with my 3rd bankroll at Party you’re only rolled to play $50 divided by 20 = 0.01/0.02 cash tables or $50 divided by 30 = $1 Sit and Goes at best. $1 Sit and Goes on PokerStars or Full Tilt aren’t too bad, but the ones on Party are pretty awful, and the 0.01/0.02 cash tables at most sites that I’ve played on are pretty awful, so try to buy in with as much as you can afford so that you don’t have to play the bottom levels if you don’t have to. Or, consider an initial deposit of $50 with the belief that you will be ready to deposit more if need be. The advantage of doing this would be to create a smaller, more attainable first deposit bonus to work for.

But if $50 is all that you’re able to afford for a starting bankroll, then stick with the micro-micro stakes. You’ll gain experience playing the micro-micro levels, and sticking to proper bankroll management and playing the micro-micro stakes will take you a lot farther than playing a higher level and going broke in a month.

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