An interesting quandary that comes about from playing a lot of small level live no limit is the fact that the smaller capped games are actually harder to beat than the larger ones. How can this be? It’s pretty simple. The rake, especially in flat drop games, is so high in proportion to the average stack size and the blinds that you have to be very good in order to over come it. In fact, in some games, the drop is absolutely impossible to beat. There are a couple of entry level no limit structures in Southern California that are $1-$2 NL tables with an $80 or even $40 cap buy-in. These games drop as much sometimes as a normal $2-$5 game.
And, by the way, your hourly in these types of games is definitely not constant. The main way that you earn a lot in these types of capped games is when the stacks get deep. And unfortunately in the tiny games with the high rake it is next to impossible to get deep as most of the money is getting dropped off of the table.
The same concept applies at the higher stakes cap games but because you can start with larger stacks in proportion to the blinds—sometimes as much as 100 or 200 big blinds you definitely can get deep with other people. That is why if you want to be someone who is profitable in the cap games you have to be willing to put in long sessions to increase your winrate. David Chan, an instructor for my live cash-training site, Seatopenpoker.net drove this home to me. He cut his teeth and built his bankroll moving up from severely restricted capped games. The simple fact of the matter is you must get deep in these games to have a good winrate and in order to get deep most of the time you have to put in long sessions. So if you are thinking about an overall approach to playing these types of capped cash games plan on putting in a lot of time in each individual session and do not hit in and run.