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Old 06-24-2009, 11:04 AM   #1
Bilirubin5
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Play money to cash

Hi all,

After some years of playing limit HE on Star's free tables and grinding my way to a million free chips, and another few months trying to learn NL, I have concluded that, as an educational experience I've exhausted the play money tables. People just fundamentally do not take the chips seriously. So, I'm considering a $60 deposit and playing the micros for my next stage of poker development.

My goals are to learn the game and master the level I am at. I am not looking at supplementing my income, although that would be nice. I am not thinking of turning pro, because I have a great job that I find deeply fulfilling. This is a hobby. But I am competitive by nature, and believe that with time and effort even a hobby player can become skilled.

Now, I've heard here and elsewhere that the micros are still bad games. My question is: how closely do the micros compare with the play money tables? I assume that the same skillset that allowed me to claw my way up from the initial stake of 2000 play chips would work here--but then, it is real money. Are the tables tighter? Should I expect to see folks shoving at me with K 9 suited in the micros like on the free tables?

My other questions are details: I am Canadian, so can legally sign up for the sites. I need to know about which site to join--lowest limits spread, bonuses and rake back, rakeback sites, etc. Are there threads you think I should be reading to learn about this?

TIA!
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:07 AM   #2
Bilirubin5
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Re: Play money to cash

Thanks again--I know that most of this info is out there, but your expert wisdom can save me some hours of fruitless hunting on my own. There just seems to be so much extraneous info out there--and I haven't yet thought about tracking software!

Also: I prefer cash games to tourneys, but no preference between ring and 6max.

Last edited by Bilirubin5; 06-24-2009 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:30 AM   #3
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Re: Play money to cash

If you were able to dring to a million play chips, you should be fine in gridning 2NL. Neither places do they care about there money. So just play TAG (tight agressive poker) and multi table if you get bored.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:37 AM   #4
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Re: Play money to cash

There are ppl who are actually 2nl Regs. I don't think it translates at all. 2nl is easy, but you can't expect to come in crushing it when your only experience is play money. To a beginner I would actually advise them to stay away from the play money tables after learning the mechanics of them game so they won't develop bad habits.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:41 AM   #5
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Re: Play money to cash

^Yeah, I do see familiar faces there. Maybe it is you.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:48 AM   #6
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Re: Play money to cash

put the maximum you can into a poker site and play 10NL
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:56 AM   #7
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Re: Play money to cash

don't reccommend that for first time online cash game player.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:44 PM   #8
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Re: Play money to cash

play tight, just do it
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:19 PM   #9
BA Baracus
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Re: Play money to cash

I grinded $1 million in play money on Full Tilt too... and proceeded to lose my first $100 deposit in real money.

I found it to be a different level completely. Sure there are idiots, but I found majority of people playing the micros (especially the SNG's) are quite serious. You will find regs and folks just like yourself trying to grind a bankroll.

Once I figured this out, micro NL cash games became very beatable: Find a good game. Play tight. Wait for hands. Raise 4x plus 1 BB per limper to isolate. Value bet the HELL out of them. Don't slowplay. Don't bluff. Stab if HU. Fold if marginal. Repeat.

Do it till you are out of the micros.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:45 PM   #10
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Re: Play money to cash

When real money enters into the equation the game is simply different even at stakes of 2nl. I would advise you to forget much of what you learned/did at the play money tables and read a good book about the fundamentals of a poker/becoming a winning player. Getting Started in Hold'em by Ed Miller is a good choice. If I was more profit oriented/evil I would recommend Play Poker like the Pro's by Phil Hellmuth.

Try to get the fundamentals down pat because becoming a winning player is sort of like building a house. If the foundation has cracks (only play money experience/learning) there is a high probability the house will collapse and you will have to start building it all over again (busto due to -EV decisions).

GL
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:31 PM   #11
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Re: Play money to cash

Yes. I've read and reread SSHE and found that really helped in limit, and now have NLTP to work through. I was thinking of reading the book, applying what I learned to the play money tables until it was second nature, then moving to 2 NL.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:50 PM   #12
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Re: Play money to cash

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanity View Post
There are ppl who are actually 2nl Regs. I don't think it translates at all. 2nl is easy, but you can't expect to come in crushing it when your only experience is play money. To a beginner I would actually advise them to stay away from the play money tables after learning the mechanics of them game so they won't develop bad habits.
This is a great point. I definitely do not expect to come in crushing; there are still way too many leaks in my game. There are regulars on the play tables too--folks who go there to chat with their friends or cool down after a bad beat on the cash tables, and I don't always tighten up fast enough to keep from losing a few chips.

Is the worst habit I can get into playing far too LAGgy? Because the temptation is definitely there on really weak tables to play almost every hand hoping for a strong flop.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:52 PM   #13
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Re: Play money to cash

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Originally Posted by BA Baracus View Post
Stab if HU.
Could you please explain this more fully?
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:01 PM   #14
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Re: Play money to cash

Stab if heads up. In other words, bet to take down pots when the opponent shows weakness and there is only one other person in the hand, cbetting would usually fall into this category.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:12 PM   #15
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Re: Play money to cash

Stab = "Take a stab"

I recently embarked on a "journey to 10 million play chips". I grinded up to about 4 million and started playing the 500k freerolls for 40$. The first one I played I won and received 5$. From my experience at 2NL, it plays similar to 3000/6000 in play money. People are actually taking the play money seriously at that level.

Anyway, if you can beat high stakes play money then you can beat 2NL. Just play a normal TAG game, because that's all it takes.

Edit: I see you play limit poker, but I would imagine it's pretty similar. I have very limited experience with real money LHE but I would imagine it's pretty soft too.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:37 AM   #16
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Re: Play money to cash

I'd suggest trying to cash in a few freerolls
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:38 AM   #17
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Re: Play money to cash

The play is very loose, but they're regular and you may be able to get your real money experience for free
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:50 AM   #18
Bilirubin5
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Re: Play money to cash

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdeliverer View Post
I recently embarked on a "journey to 10 million play chips". I grinded up to about 4 million and started playing the 500k freerolls for 40$. The first one I played I won and received 5$. From my experience at 2NL, it plays similar to 3000/6000 in play money. People are actually taking the play money seriously at that level.
How do I find higher limits than 100/200 then? On Stars.net its not available. Is it just in tourneys?

Just about at 1.5 million now, since moving to playing some of the higher blinded tables.

Quote:
Edit: I see you play limit poker, but I would imagine it's pretty similar. I have very limited experience with real money LHE but I would imagine it's pretty soft too.
I'm spending my time these days learning no limit. I find it a little more intellectually engaged than limit, TBH.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:55 AM   #19
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Re: Play money to cash

Quote:
Originally Posted by LetemHavIt View Post
I'd suggest trying to cash in a few freerolls
Been thinking of it, but time is a issue with me. How much time would I have to commit to a freeroll tourney?
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:38 AM   #20
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Re: Play money to cash

*bump*

Would still appreciate your thoughts and wisdom, especially on rakeback. Does FTP give that directly, or would I have to sign up through an affiliate. I've only been playing on Stars to date, and its the devil I know, but my reading here suggests I'd be better off on FTP given I'll be playing in the micros. Since I don't live in the US, are there other sites I should be considering too?

I really know nothing about this, so any clarification is greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:18 PM   #21
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Re: Play money to cash

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilirubin5 View Post
*bump*

Would still appreciate your thoughts and wisdom, especially on rakeback. Does FTP give that directly, or would I have to sign up through an affiliate. I've only been playing on Stars to date, and its the devil I know, but my reading here suggests I'd be better off on FTP given I'll be playing in the micros. Since I don't live in the US, are there other sites I should be considering too?

I really know nothing about this, so any clarification is greatly appreciated.

Here is what I do. I build it up to a million then find someone that will buy it for about $10. Then I take that$10 and practice at 2nl. Then i build it up to about $50 thenI go to 5nl. Then I build it up to 120 and move up to 10nl. Then I build it up to 150 and some guy sucks out on me and puts me on tilt and I follow him from table to table till my money is gone then I start over on play money and build it to a million again.

If you have a million, you are halfway there.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:07 PM   #22
Bilirubin5
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Re: Play money to cash

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Originally Posted by Bagzzz View Post
Here is what I do. I build it up to a million then find someone that will buy it for about $10. Then I take that$10 and practice at 2nl. Then i build it up to about $50 thenI go to 5nl. Then I build it up to 120 and move up to 10nl. Then I build it up to 150 and some guy sucks out on me and puts me on tilt and I follow him from table to table till my money is gone then I start over on play money and build it to a million again.
Sounds like a very fulfilling strategy to me.

From what I've been reading, the play chips for cash market has collapsed along with the housing market, so whereas this might have been viable before, it isn't so much now. So, I'd avoid stalking the suck out artist in the future.
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:40 PM   #23
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Re: Play money to cash

Stalking the suckout artist is part of the strategy that helps me quickly move up. My problem is more of a bankroll management problem, but since I am always on a freeroll, I dont worry about it.
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Old 06-28-2009, 01:00 PM   #24
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Re: Play money to cash

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagzzz View Post
Here is what I do. I build it up to a million then find someone that will buy it for about $10. Then I take that$10 and practice at 2nl. Then i build it up to about $50 thenI go to 5nl. Then I build it up to 120 and move up to 10nl. Then I build it up to 150 and some guy sucks out on me and puts me on tilt and I follow him from table to table till my money is gone then I start over on play money and build it to a million again.

If you have a million, you are halfway there.
This is not proper BR management; $50 for 5nl = 10BI - I think that is too small for a beginner who doesn't play NL.
I would just gather up $50 and deposit it onto PS and grind 2NL; it's a lot easier than grinding freerolls to make money. I thought $50 was too much but I think it's the way to go.
Read and study while you are playing.. your main goal at 2NL is just to grind a BR that is it. Period.
NO FANCY PLAY OR BLUFFS. You should read http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/78...micros-430637/
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Old 06-28-2009, 01:26 PM   #25
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Re: Play money to cash

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Originally Posted by bigbros2 View Post
This is not proper BR management; $50 for 5nl = 10BI - I think that is too small for a beginner who doesn't play NL.
I would just gather up $50 and deposit it onto PS and grind 2NL; it's a lot easier than grinding freerolls to make money. I thought $50 was too much but I think it's the way to go.
Read and study while you are playing.. your main goal at 2NL is just to grind a BR that is it. Period.
NO FANCY PLAY OR BLUFFS. You should read http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/78...micros-430637/
Thanks bigbros, this is pretty much what I've decided to do--including grinding out the bonus. I'm just stuck weighing the pros and cons of Stars vs. FTP. Might just stick with the devil I know (Stars), since 2NL rakeback won't be significant I expect.
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