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BR considerations for shot taking @ 2/5 NL

LarryLido Posts: 52Member
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
So I'm planning on taking a shot at 2/5nl 200-600 soon and would like to get some feedback on bank roll management. I currently play 1-2 NL with a 4.5k roll and treat it as a serious side job, with the intention on getting to 2/5 and doing the same. I get 20+ hrs a week and am currently at $15/hr over 150 hrs. I don't touch my BR for anything. My largest downswing at 1/2 was $1800. Also, I'm the kind of guy who needs some money behind him for mental security. My plan is to take 2k (4BIs) to 2/5 once I reach a BR of 5.5k, leaving myself 3.5k for 1/2 NL should I go busto at the bigger game. Getting away from 1/2 as fast as possible seems to be the consensus since the rake is killer (10% up to $5 with a $2 BBJ drop at $40). The rake structure is the same for 2/5 so it ends up being less than half the rake at 1/2 when considering pot sizes are more than double those at 1/2. Is this plan to nittish? Should I try to get to the bigger game sooner in order to get away from the relatively larger rake @ 1/2. Or should I wait longer, a 2k lose at 2/5 wouldn't be life altering but it would hurt pretty bad mentally to lose over a month's 1/2 profits in a bad session too. And then to not be able to continue to play that game for quite some time. Thoughts??

Comments

  • TDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
    Just start playing 2/5 occasionally when you feel good and you think the game is good. Like play 1/2 on weekdays and 2/5 on weekend nights. Don't set separate bankroll for it. Move over gradually.
  • napncrash Posts: 177Subscriber
    FWIW, I "moved up" once I hit a certain bank roll mark. The plan was to have 10k CASH as my roll.

    Once I had that roll, I would play at the local 2/5 game (500 max). If my roll dwindled below 10k, I would head back to 1/2 until I was replenished to 10k again.

    My goal for 5/10 is to have 20k cash on hand. Once I'm there, I'll start taking my shots and, if I get smashed early, head back down to 2/5 regularly. I sometimes have to dip into my roll and that's unpleasant, but I'm very structured about my roll. If my roll dictates I can regularly play 2/5 then I will. If it dictates I can only afford 1/2, so be it. I'm hoping to be at 5/10 sooner than later, but every time I think I'm getting close, a downswing smashes me in the face and I slip a few rungs down the ladder.

    You could take occasional shots like TDF suggested, or have a CASH ON HAND target and once you hit that target, attempt the next stakes knowing you can afford an ass-whipping.

    I, too, bring 4 buy ins at 2/5, but that's a very personal decision. The idea of a stop-loss is only useful on a person by person basis, but the amount you bring is a LITERAL stop loss - unless you hit up the ATM when you go broke...and I can't imagine that's a good idea if you're trying to be responsible with your roll.
  • kessma Posts: 12Member
    op, you said you treat it as very serious side job, meaning you have a full time job. does your full-time job allow you to replenish your roll or are there issues with this?

    if you've been a solid winner at 1/2, 3,5k is more than enough as the games are not as swingy and the chance to hit a huge downswing is actually lower than at 2/5, unless you play in a crazy 1/2 regularly.

    what I can suggest and it worked for me is to play 1/2 and if you are feeling good about your game and 2/5 looks good, just sit there and be mentally ready to not play weak/tight. separate yourself from your money mentally, at that point it's just chips, not actual dollars you can buy stuff with. If you sit at 2/5 and fear losing money and lowering your roll and you can't replenish easily, don't sit. You will be passing up too many opportunities and the good players at 2/5 will try to push you around. people who move up play more weak-ish

    I think Bart&Bellatrix discussed BR requirements and the consensus was that if you can replenish relatively easily, you should be alot more liberal with shot-taking.

    good luck.
  • PokerIsFrustrating Posts: 657Member
    The biggest thing for me is mentally being prepared to make the plays I need to make at a higher level, even if it means possibly losing money.

    I think your roll is ok to take shots, especially because you have the ability to replenish it. If you play fairly tight at 2/5 you're probably going to be ok especially at $500 max.

    If the fear of losing makes you play weak tight though you can end up losing MORE. You end up getting in spots where you don't know what to do because you pot controlled and your win rate suffers. So working on that is super important.

    But I think about it like my 1/2 was $300 max and my 2/5 I'm playing $500. So although the stakes are bigger, the game is shorter anyway. If I play tight and solid and avoid bad games, I can play. When I manage to build up my roll, I can expand my game and play a little looser and make more plays. But for now, I'm playing tight and straigthforward (even though it's a little boring) and I feel good about it.
  • Arenzano Posts: 1,464Subscriber
    OP, shot taking is a good thing, but you are definitely underolled for the game. Perhaps you would be better off grinding a few more BIs before taking your shot thereby taking some pressure off of your current bankroll. I would not want to move or take a shot unless I was rolled for at least 5 or 6 BIs at the higher level due to variance. The sample you cite is pretty small at 150 hours @20 hrs/week. If you can sustain that win rate for another 150 hours then perhaps that would be the time to take the shot. Whatever you decide good luck!
  • LarryLido Posts: 52Member
    I have a full-time gig as a waiter, but the money is semi seasonal here in Florida. My weekly income ranges from $500-$1500, and my very conservative estimates are that I'll be making $600/wk for the next six months (this is a worst case scenario), but I'll only be putting in around 25 hrs a week. My monthly nut can be reduced to $1500. So I could easily save about a grand a month is I'm serious about it, and saving more wouldn't unrealistic since my estimate of $600/wk is lowball. I also have the option to pick up a 2nd job this summer for $20/hr, but I think my time would be better spent taking the pay cut and playing 1/2 NL so that I continue to improve my poker game.

    BR-$4.5k
    Life roll-$2k (which may sound small, but it is actually comfortable for my lifestyle)

    The more I've thought about my situation these past couple days the more I realize how important my BR is to me. And that spending a few extra months at 1/2nl is well worth the reduced RoR. ATM, I'm leaning toward committing to add $500 a month to my BR and simply playing a lot this summer until I hit 10k. Then I could easily take 2-3k to 2/5 with minimal stress. Last night I missed a 3rd barrel value bet OTR when I knew I should fire again, but I didn't. And I still find playing with 300BB+ stacks intimidating when in marginal B/F situations. The short of it is that I know I've got some growing to do this summer, and I've deciding it should be done at 1/2.
    Thanks for all the advice and comments welcome.
  • LarryLido Posts: 52Member
    Brudre21 said

    OP, shot taking is a good thing, but you are definitely underolled for the game. Perhaps you would be better off grinding a few more BIs before taking your shot thereby taking some pressure off of your current bankroll. I would not want to move or take a shot unless I was rolled for at least 5 or 6 BIs at the higher level due to variance. The sample you cite is pretty small at 150 hours @20 hrs/week. If you can sustain that win rate for another 150 hours then perhaps that would be the time to take the shot. Whatever you decide good luck!
    Agreed. My sample size is small. I haven't been collecting data very long, but I'm thoroughly convinced that my skill advantage against the 1/2nl player pool is huge. I know that sounds cliche, but its pretty obvious to me. And I like the idea of having 6 BIs when I take a shot, and still having a comfortable 1/2 BR of $4k should I bust. That would put me at target BR of $7k min. Obviously, I wouldn't have to play this all at once but would rather mix it into my playing time when the games looked good. But I would be treating it as 2 almost separate BRs, which is kinda weird.
  • RecreationalRogerRecreationalRoger Posts: 789Subscriber
    TDF said

    Just start playing 2/5 occasionally when you feel good and you think the game is good. Like play 1/2 on weekdays and 2/5 on weekend nights. Don't set separate bankroll for it. Move over gradually.
    +1

    Since you're playing a lot, get a feel for what an average 2/5 night table wise looks like, and what a good night looks like. Example, at Parx, weeknights, its usually 4-5 games running. On a good Saturday night, or tourney or holiday weekend, it starts getting to be more than that. So when I feel making the hop up, I force myself to do it when they get at least 6 games going.

    I don't have a lot of live hours, but Saturday is still way in the lead. I would definitely agree with TDFs strategy, you don't have to be all 2/5 once you make the switch; go 50-50 for a while, concentrating to play 2-5 when its more than just the regs.

    Rog
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    Let me give you a perspective from someone who has a really good full time job .. You need Alot more than 20k to play 5/10 or 10k to play 2/5 without some other income.. Variance in poker is sick bad and you can go for months on huge downswings.. My worst was almost 40 buyins at the 5/5.. yup almost 20k.. The only thing that mitigated that was I went on a 12k upswing just prior to that..

    I would take "shots" at the bigger games if you see a few fish playing that game and to get used to deeper stack play and making the kinds of plays necessary to win in deeper games. then go back to the smaller games and settle for a bit.. Then take a shot again.. Do this repeatedly until you have 50k for 5/10 and 25k for 2/5

    I never bust my bankroll because in truth I dont have one. I can just get more money from my savings.. That said I work and pay my bills and but money away in retirement and have enough resources to keep playing .. That is rare and most people are not in my situation. I used to think I wanted to quit my job to play poker and now I love that I have a great paying job that allows me to play poker. I LOVE my job! I know some folks out there fantasize about the freedom poker can give you but I think its not all rosie either.. I would never quit a job to play full time.. I might as well just stick a needle in my arm.. I would go insane or be committed and I have the utmost respect to those of you that can play daily and handle it. I need breaks from poker and other people telling me how great I am.. while poker is trying to knock me down.

    So folks keep your jobs.. save save save and take shots at bigger games until you can consistently beat them and can hands the horrendous downswings that can happen..

    ww
  • JCW Posts: 591Subscriber
    TDF said


    +1

    Just start playing 2/5 occasionally when you feel good and you think the game is good. Like play 1/2 on weekdays and 2/5 on weekend nights. Don't set separate bankroll for it. Move over gradually.
    Right on! Also keep an eye on the game. Look for the donators (and winners). Jump in when the game is good. Take shots.

    And move back down quickly if it doesn't work. Rebuild, repeat.

    With a little luck, good timing and good judgement you will be playing 2/5 all the time in a short time.
  • LarryLido Posts: 52Member
    Thehammah said

    Let me give you a perspective from someone who has a really good full time job .. You need Alot more than 20k to play 5/10 or 10k to play 2/5 without some other income.. Variance in poker is sick bad and you can go for months on huge downswings.. My worst was almost 40 buyins at the 5/5.. yup almost 20k.. The only thing that mitigated that was I went on a 12k upswing just prior to that..

    I would take "shots" at the bigger games if you see a few fish playing that game and to get used to deeper stack play and making the kinds of plays necessary to win in deeper games. then go back to the smaller games and settle for a bit.. Then take a shot again.. Do this repeatedly until you have 50k for 5/10 and 25k for 2/5

    I never bust my bankroll because in truth I dont have one. I can just get more money from my savings.. That said I work and pay my bills and but money away in retirement and have enough resources to keep playing .. That is rare and most people are not in my situation. I used to think I wanted to quit my job to play poker and now I love that I have a great paying job that allows me to play poker. I LOVE my job! I know some folks out there fantasize about the freedom poker can give you but I think its not all rosie either.. I would never quit a job to play full time.. I might as well just stick a needle in my arm.. I would go insane or be committed and I have the utmost respect to those of you that can play daily and handle it. I need breaks from poker and other people telling me how great I am.. while poker is trying to knock me down.

    So folks keep your jobs.. save save save and take shots at bigger games until you can consistently beat them and can hands the horrendous downswings that can happen..

    ww
    Thanks for the post about going pro, but this advice belongs in another thread IMO. I'm not looking to go pro. I have no intentions of quitting my job. And I'm able to reload my bankroll should I hit some serious bad variance. I love my job too. It's an easy $30/hr with almost zero responsibility. And I never work more than 30 hrs a week. A careful reading of this thread will show that my main concern is that I've got 5k to play a game in which there appears to be a low risk of ever losing more than 2k. I feel like this is a waste. Although at the same time I don't feel financially ready to sit at a 2/5 table, where I could easily drop 1k (I.e.-20% of my roll) and still never even have the time to get into a good situation.
    My solution is simply stay at my current game until I get about 10k together to take a real shot at the game. I currently have no plans to be impatient and risk my roll.
  • LOLshoveaments Posts: 10Member
    I think you need to play more at 1/2. 150 hours is not enough to make sense of your current winrate. Your bankroll should be a function of your (perceived) winrate. It doesn't matter if you have 20 BIs or 200 BIs, if you can't win at your current stake you will go busto.
  • Another consideration/suggestion for you. What about taking a couple of $200 bullets and sitting in the 2/5 game as part of your "move up" strategy? I wouldn't do it right now, since it sounds like you're holding off on your plans to move up, but as your bankroll grows, and you find yourself nearing the time that you're ready to start moving up, I would do it in a staged approach.

    Stage 1 - 95% 1/2, 5% $200 2/5 shots - This will allow you to sit in the game with minimal risk to your bankroll in order to observe the players, get an idea for how the game plays, player tendencies, when the game is good, etc, and acclimate you to the game without risking an entire $500 stack. I would do this for a few sessions and then quickly move to stage 2. The idea is to get some the "jitters" associated with moving up out of your system first, so that when you do start buying in full, you can play optimally.

    Stage 2 - 60-80% 1/2, 20-40% 2/5 selective shots - sit in the 2/5 game when it looks very good and juicy with a full stack, and be vigilant about getting up from the table as soon as it starts to look "bad."

    Stage 3 - full time/nearly full-time 2/5

    Stage 4 - Run good and profit!!
  • PokerIsFrustrating Posts: 657Member
    My only issue with Stage 1 is that taking min buyin shots can actually be higher variance and can screw up your game. I have some experience because I used to rakeback whore 20bb cap on Stars going for SNE. You're all in so much, often not as a huge favorite, that if you run bad you can run REALLY bad.

    If we're deliberately playing short, we're going to be squeezing a lot. We're going to be raising and committing flops a lot. If we're playing super short we're basically all in with AK, AQ in a lot of spots, all in, medium pocket pairs etc. We need to be comfortable playing really aggro and possibly losing multiple $200 buyins playing short. If we're basically just waiting for AA/KK maybe AK maybe QQ pre we might as well buy in full and play a super nitty full-ish strategy. Maybe 70bb's I think can be a start.

    Playing $200 deep you can't really setmine, can't flat call preflop with anything really, and can't really raise very light at all.

    I'd much rather advocate buying in full, or at least deep enough to setmine (maybe $350-400 at 2/5) and playing super nitty. At least there you can get a feeling of the stakes, play a super nitty game, and if you happen to get KK or a set you have a shot to double up.

    It's fine to play super duper nitty. If you're really concerned, you can open fold AJs utg. You can fold AQ to a single raise. IMO at least give yourself a shot to play some pots, even if you're going to mostly try to nutmine preflop and postflop.
  • I really meant that Stage 1 should be treated as a scouting trip, not as a session where you play correct short stack strategy. I would just play super weak/tight or nitty just this once - open your AK's, AQ's, big pairs, check-fold when you miss, and so on. Realize that you don't have implied odds to see a lot of flops. Give up some profitable but high variance spots, so on. If you would normally 3-bet AK on the button, it's okay to flat this time to see how players play (esp b.c you're short), etc. In general, this would only be for 2 or 3 sessions. It's mostly to get over the "gosh, these pots are bigger than pots at 1/2" and the "am I really going to c-bet $75 here, that's a lot" thoughts you get coming from 1/2 up to 2/5 because the pots get geometrically bigger. In addition, it is to help you see that players are still bad at 2/5 - they aren't automatically better players b.c. 2/5 is a bigger game. OP probably intellectually "knows" these things, but knowing it away from the table is different than knowing it at the table, if you understand what I'm saying.
  • MBPLive Posts: 15Subscriber
    ddz idea about taking scouting trips is very good. Go and have a look at the game, but have a plan for what you are doing. Dont be afraid to move up and just have one buy in for the shot...dont worry about your ego (looking broke) and just leave if you lose the first buyin. I feel your bankroll can be smaller and you can move up if you have a job covering expenses and feel these apply to your game.

    1. You sit down and buy in for the max at 1/2 and wish you could buy in for more
    2. You are up 4 buy ins and are drooling at the thought of the big pot you will get to play against the rec player who has lucked into a stack your size.

    If you dont want to buy in for more or want to play in the bigger pots at 1-2 then you might not have the confidence right now to move up and.....buy in for more and play in bigger pots in 2-5. Be honest with how you feel now. No matter how big your bankroll is that is more important. The players are just as bad at 2-5 and sometimes worse. What changes is that feeling in your stomach when you got to call off 500 instead of 100.
  • zmoney11 Posts: 28Member
    I was in the same boat about a year ago and I get asked this from my friends in ABQ who play 1-2. What I did was work on my game at 1/2 build up my roll to 6k take a shot at 2/5. I know it wasn't a lot but it was a shot and I wanted to do it. Plus I have a ft job. If i went down to 4k I would go back to 1/2. I failed a few times. First because I was scared, but I also realized I needed to take that shot and get the experience. The failure helped me get better. It also helped me figure out my weaknesses. So, I worked on them at 1/2. I even told my friends not to let me play, but once I built up my roll that 3rd time. I did well. I was value betting, picking great spots to steal, and not playing scared. But it is scary the first time you play a bigger level, and I don't think taking a small shot is a bad idea. It will help you get over the nerves of a bigger game/more money on the table. I haven't looked back. But it takes time, hard work, and failure.
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