Ok here's a challenge for USA (or any others I guess) players who don't care to deposit any money out there until all of this *#%! gets worked out...
Play on MERGE
Play FUN STEP SNG'S
After cashing in these (usually the $1 from the funsteps) - Build up from micro to med to the biggest games you can play - build it BIG. I will tell what I usually play with the 1st dollar or two once I win it.
I have done this challenge myself for 7 days and built the $1 to $65+ (to have a few bad days and BAD BR Management and lost it) - I think posting here will keep me playing responsibly with my bankroll and help me out a lot! Maybe for you too!
The goal is to see how much we can make starting at absolutely ZERO in 30 days.
I have played my 10 FunStep 1's and have top 3'd in 6 of them (not very good actually - these are usually very easy - just avoid the donkeys early on and cruise in to 3rd or better playing solid). Had really bad beats at three tables - but this will happen.
1st beat - AA < J3 - yep this guy shipped 3rd hand with his J3 off - sigh - I was out of that one
2nd beat - AK < A3 - mid tourny guy ships his A3 - I called for 85% my stack - he flops wheel - I'm out next hand
3rd beat - KK < A6 - standard in these - most of the time they will call off their entire stacks with any ace - boom ace on flop
The other one I lost was not so dramatic.
But 6 out of 10 Step 2 tickets moving on!
**A bit of strat for Step 1**
I actually will fold all but top 4 (AA-KK-Q-AK) hands the first few rounds as the "all in donkfest" begins. I will insta fold JJ in first 3 to 5 hands as they usually have 3+ players all in and JJ just doesn't fade all of those hands very easily.
Once a few are out - the maniacs have either been knocked out or 1 or 2 of them are consilidated with chip lead. Some of the time they shut down locking up win - other times they keep foot on peddle. You have to realize which they are doing - and if they are shuving everything still - just wait for top hand and get it in with them - usually you will double. The other solid players at the table are usually doing same thing with the maniac and sometimes he's out from massive chip leader to out after doubling up a few others and then hitting the rail.
There are usually 3+ supernits who will fold everything until they get super strong hands and will fold down to less than 5 bb's - sometimes they find themselves pushing any ace or king at this point as they have not folded to money yet. Reckognize these players and steal their blinds at will (once blinds have increased enough to even bother) - if they reraise back - just muck - and go back to stealing from them next time.
If you just fade the beginning stages - play solid through middle stages and ramp up your aggression late - these 1st steps are a cakewalk (barring getting unlucky).
Also - realize that even if the maniac who ships any two is doing a fine job sucking out and knocking everyone else out - LET HIM... no need to go up against him and be one of his unfortunate sick beat victims. If he wants to take em all out - cool - you just have to finish 3rd!
Ok update on my 6 step 2's to follow (along with step 2 strat)
I guess I was assuming that anyone playing on merge knew about the funsteps - but maybe not - here's how they work:
Go to your "player admin"
Go to "play money"
Click the option to trade $250 in play money for a FUN STEP ONE ticket.
Then you can go to SNG'S and register for the FUN STEP ONE.
(This can be repeated up to 10 times a day)
I usually go ahead and register for 6 tables - then when one is over I add another until all 10 are played.
All you have to do is get top 3 places in Step 1 to get a Step 2 ticket.
Register for Step 2 and play - then you need to finish top TWO spots to move on to Step3. Thirs place repeats Step 2.
In Step 3 tournie -
TOP SPOT WINS $1
2nd repeats Step 3
3rd goes back to Step 2
all others are out.
Anyway - I know this is MICRO stakes and really can feel like a waste of time to those of us who played higher stakes on stars or ftp before - but it's an opportunity to build something from nothing and also get your online poker "fix".
Believe me - I'm not in this to make money - I'm playing in the Legends WPT event this weekend - and I play live tournies here in Los Angeles at least 4 days a week. I also play 8-16 limit cash games.
But this could be fun! Maybe one of us can turn ZERO into a LOT! Let's give it a try!