Moving up levels in online poker is the goal of all players who enjoy poker and the profits that the game can bring. This article looks at what to expect as you move up levels in various forms of the game. There are two critical aspects to moving up levels in poker. First of all, identify the skill levels and the number of errors made by your opponents. Then secondly focus on the effects of variance and bankroll management.
When you are contemplating moving up in the world of poker it is really important to be playing at a trustworthy poker site. They are not all created the same. Along with providing tips about how and when to move up, we have also applied our years of experience towards finding highly reputable poker sites. Our reviews will help you find the most profitable poker site for your game and experience level.
It is important to really do some self-evaluation and introspection before moving up too quickly. Even some of the best professional poker players know when to quit and know when to go back down to the low limit games. Ask yourself a couple of key questions:
These are the tough questions but they are the most common reason for moving up levels. Let’s take question number one. If it is your ego that is driving you, then you probably need to check yourself and ask if your ego matches your skill and strategy set. If you are really capitalizing on the game and winning a large number of cash games or tournaments, then it may be time for a challenge. If you are bored or frustrated due to a lack of challenge, then focus on variance and mix up your play. Additionally you might want to walk away for a while and try some other table games (at low limits) so as to help you get your head straight.
Regarding scenario or question number two, if you are trying to move up so as to win back your losses, well then you need to proceed with caution. While there are poker players like Chris Moneymaker who turned $40 into a career changing win that is a Cinderella story from the get go. Lightning rarely strikes twice. So, don’t chase the win. In gambling you will rarely get anywhere chasing the win. Stop, drop and roll or you will get burned.
Imagine a world where everyone played ‘perfect’ poker. Betting, raising and folding exactly right for their cards and opponents style. Who would win these games? The answer is nobody (well the poker sites would take a small rake for each hand!). The reality is that your opponents will make mistakes – a lot of mistakes. This is where your profit comes from. As you move up levels in online poker opponents will make less errors, you will need to improve your game to beat them. Here is a list of common mistakes made at the various levels:
Moving up levels in online poker is a matter of exploiting the different errors that your opponents make and not about fixing your errors. At the lowest limits this can involve simply playing solid hands from favourable position. As you move up you will need to develop some poker skills yourself. The most common errors at the mid-limits for example are to focus too much on your own cards. You have to be attentive to the other player's cards, position and of course, available funds. If you plan to beat this level then hand-reading skills to put your opponents on probable holdings become important. Second-level thinking, where you try to work out what your opponent thinks you have, can give you a huge edge in these games.
The link between the level that you play and the poker skills of your opponents is not always straightforward. There are bad players at all levels. Some players with big bankrolls take a shot at the higher level games without having the skills to profit from them. Identifying and exploiting the weaknesses of these opponents is a critical skill you must develop in order to profitably move up levels yourself.
Bankroll management and table selection go hand-in-hand with the poker skills when deciding to move up levels. If you move up without having the ‘cushion’ in your bankroll to do so, then the natural variance (chance element) of the game could easily affect you. Table selection becomes especially important when moving up levels in poker. You should take the time to select a table with the weakest possible opponents, increasing your profits by avoiding the regular or strong players at your poker site.
To summarize, moving up levels requires a mix of both card skills and discipline. As you move up opponents will make fewer errors and you will need to improve your game to beat them. Good bankroll management and selecting the right tables are also critical for profiting from your move up in levels.
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