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BR building: Playing scared...

Landlord79 Sorry about the delay, work has gotten busy and it is harder to take some time and give updates about my bankroll building process.

I have been having a dilemma with Full Tilt about the size of their rake at $10/NL. Two times the other night I had a split pot that ended up costing me money. The rake of 10% for $10/NL with a $2 max is absurd. Deciding whether or not to move up to $25/NL, which has a rake of only 5%, has really had me perplexed. I had my mind made up until a fellow 2+2er made a comment that really hit home when he said something about playing with “scared money.” Playing with scared money means that you don’t take a lot of chances and that you play so defensively that you almost cannot make money. That really got me thinking about how I play and when I feel the most comfortable in my game.

Take my current bankroll on Full Tilt, for $25/NL it represents less than 3 buyins. Not that the dab of money I have on Full Tilt would cripple me if I lost it, but this just isn’t a good scenario. The last time that I played on FT I did move up to $25NL and I noticed that I played a much tighter game and really didn’t want to get my money in with close races. My stats were around 20/8/2, not too tight, but tighter than my optimal game. I did show a profit, but how can you not show a profit when you flop top boat and only play 60 something hands? My profit for this session was $8.75, which offset the loss that I had a $10/NL the session before of ($3.90).

Let’s look at Bodog, where I play with about 17 buyins. I noticed last night that I ran about 28/9/3, which is a very aggressive stat line. I’m not a maniac by any means, but that is still very aggressive. Playing in this manner is where I feel that I play my best game, I feel aggressive, and that I win the most money while playing this way. I'm also able to comfortably play 3 tables when I have this many buyins, whereas I am relegated to playing only 1 @ 25NL and 2 or maybe 3 at 10NL on Full Tilt.

I also went to the casino this weekend and found that I am still very protective of the money that is in front of me. I play with just over 7 buyins live, and could feel the difference in my demeanor. It might have had something to do with the style of play that goes on in a low-limit casino game, but this has been on my mind, so I noticed the difference in my style. I’ll post more about my live session in another thread, but I felt that it was worth noticing and mentioning.

What I have noticed from all of this is that besides protecting us from downswings, playing within our bankroll really helps in the confidence we have at the table and keeps us from making scared decisions.

Anyway, my Full Tilt roll that started from the $12 that gave me a month ago stands at $72.55.


lakeoffire says

I agree with the 2+2er you can't play scared money and make money. I would have to build a few more buy-ins before I moved up to 25$.


lakong says

I strongly agree with the guy from 2p2. DO NOT MOVE UP until you have the proper bankroll for it. On the one hand you're saying that you hate the rake, but on the other hand you're saying that your bankroll has increased by 7x! So something is going right for you <G>. The problem with moving up is just what you pointed out. First, you really don't have enough buy-ins to weather the normal variance in NL games. Second, you will not be playing your optimal game if you are playing scared. I know for myself, I will play a much more aggressive style if I'm able to not think of the chips as money, but just focus on them as chips that I use to 'play' with. The more you play scared, the worse you play.

Some of my best tournament results are when I play in a weekly $100 tourney at the Hustler Casino. I don't really care if I lose, and in fact, sometimes I want to get knocked out so i can play in the cash games. I'll often make moves that I tend not to make when playing in larger buy-in events. I know I need to adjust my game for the large buy-in events and will really try to do it this year at the WSOP. It's harder than it sounds, but I'll do my best. I hope to see you continuing to play a strong aggressive game and building the bankroll through good, solid poker.

Keep up the good work.


EdmondDantes says

Yeah, playing scared is EV- for sure. Problem is, though, that the rake in the low buy-in games is SO hard to stay ahead of. How about supplementing with a few low buy-in sngs or maybe some freerolls; you've played enough to have plenty of FPPs on Tilt or Bodog to play a couple of freerolls or MTT satellites. Also, don't forget about the Bodog guaranteed tournaments. They often have 10-30% overlays so your $5 entry is really "worth" $6 or more. I think a great way to boost your bankroll is to work a few low buy-in MTTs in. Use those frequent player points!

Also, I hate to turn someone away from poker, but I firmly believe that there are much softer cash games out there than the ones on Tilt and Stars. If it were me, I'd play MTTs on Tilt and stick to the cash games on Bodog. Adanthar writes on it in his blog here...

Adanthar on finding edges

Still digging,



Landlord79 says

I like the challenge of Full Tilt when I am on my A game and play Bodog when I am not 100%.

I don't know if I ever stated it here before but between cash games and MTT on Bodog I built a decent bankroll that I play on now. I liquidated it from online in Feb and have built the $200+ that I have on there now from $26 that I left behind.


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