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Medium-High Stakes Full Ring Discussion of $400+ pot-limit and no-limit and 5/10 live texas hold'em full ring games, situations and strategies

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Old 03-02-2020, 10:58 AM   #1
DannyAIC
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Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

Hey guys, serious question:

Without bragging I can safely say I crush at 2/5 NL live. I work on my game, keep tight records of my wins and losses. Review my hands etc. I don't always play perfectly, but I have no problem making the moves that need to be made.

But when it comes to taking a shot at 5/10, I feel like my brains drip out of my head.

I can't make the same moves at 5/10 that I make at 2/5. Not that I'm not supposed to, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I lost 230 BB's this weekend at Borgata playing 5/10, and it's because I played like an idiot.

For some of the higher level players here, how do you get past this mental block? What type of work did you put in to do so? I'm thankful to say that I'm not playing with my child's education money or anything, so the money doesn't actually SCARE me in any way.
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Old 03-02-2020, 12:46 PM   #2
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

Not sure if there's really anything other than getting more time at the table at that stake and just getting used to the limits. After awhile it will feel normal.

I think what happened in your case is pretty normal. A lot of people end up spazzing and playing differently when they take a shot at a higher limit due to nerves or thinking that everyone is trying to make a move on them.

The players aren't magically better just because you're playing 5/10. Just play your game and think through each spot like you normally would. And try to keep the action in terms of bb to keep it consistent.
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Old 03-02-2020, 01:26 PM   #3
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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Not sure if there's really anything other than getting more time at the table at that stake and just getting used to the limits. After awhile it will feel normal.

I think what happened in your case is pretty normal. A lot of people end up spazzing and playing differently when they take a shot at a higher limit due to nerves or thinking that everyone is trying to make a move on them.

The players aren't magically better just because you're playing 5/10. Just play your game and think through each spot like you normally would. And try to keep the action in terms of bb to keep it consistent.
actually the borgata 5/10 nl game is absolute dirt 95 percent of the time if not more. there is often only one game running and a ton of 2/5 games.moving up is fine if it's to play in good games, but the op will likely make more in their 2/5 games.
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Old 03-02-2020, 01:40 PM   #4
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

yeah Borg 5/10 is not worth playing most of the time

I have a buddy who's a massive winner at 2/5 and jumps in 5/10 when it's good, as I saw him leaving it the other night and I paraphrase "I had more tough decisions in the last 2 orbits than I have all day playing 2/5"
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Old 03-02-2020, 02:13 PM   #5
DannyAIC
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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actually the borgata 5/10 nl game is absolute dirt 95 percent of the time if not more. there is often only one game running and a ton of 2/5 games.moving up is fine if it's to play in good games, but the op will likely make more in their 2/5 games.
This is likely part of it too. At 2/5 I can usually say if I'm not the best player at the table, I'm one of them. 5/10 If I'm lucky I'm usually middle of the pack. Probably doesn't help my confidence in making the strong, but risky plays I make to win at 2/5.

If this is the case, then I'm definitely sticking to 2/5 at Borgata. It is really soft.
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Old 03-02-2020, 03:38 PM   #6
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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Originally Posted by DannyAIC View Post
Hey guys, serious question:

Without bragging I can safely say I crush at 2/5 NL live. I work on my game, keep tight records of my wins and losses. Review my hands etc. I don't always play perfectly, but I have no problem making the moves that need to be made.

But when it comes to taking a shot at 5/10, I feel like my brains drip out of my head.

I can't make the same moves at 5/10 that I make at 2/5. Not that I'm not supposed to, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I lost 230 BB's this weekend at Borgata playing 5/10, and it's because I played like an idiot.

For some of the higher level players here, how do you get past this mental block? What type of work did you put in to do so? I'm thankful to say that I'm not playing with my child's education money or anything, so the money doesn't actually SCARE me in any way.
Losing 2.3 bis means next to nothing. You probably didn’t play as bad as you think you did
Just play normal and realize that the people playing 5/10 half of them would lose hard @ 100z ; probably even 50z
If you haven’t get pio solver ASAP and start figuring out how not to suck at poker
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Old 03-03-2020, 04:03 PM   #7
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

Ive played everything from micro stakes limit all the way up to 40/80, and .5/.10 NL to 5/10 NL, and Ive found that the jump from 2/5 NL to 5/10 NL is the biggest jump in overall skill level across all games Ive played in. 20/40 limit to 40/80 limit is close but I think the 2/5 to 5/10 NL jump is tougher.

In my experience, almost anyone can beat 2/5 NL live if you just play tight. There are just so many mistakes being made every hand. But 5/10 is so different. Its like a table full of the one or two guys you try to avoid at 2/5 even the 'fish' are a different breed. Goodbye passive old man coffee losing his social security checks, hello rich business man trying his best against you. And those are just the fish!
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Old 03-03-2020, 07:15 PM   #8
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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Ive played everything from micro stakes limit all the way up to 40/80, and .5/.10 NL to 5/10 NL, and Ive found that the jump from 2/5 NL to 5/10 NL is the biggest jump in overall skill level across all games Ive played in. 20/40 limit to 40/80 limit is close but I think the 2/5 to 5/10 NL jump is tougher.

In my experience, almost anyone can beat 2/5 NL live if you just play tight. There are just so many mistakes being made every hand. But 5/10 is so different. Its like a table full of the one or two guys you try to avoid at 2/5 even the 'fish' are a different breed. Goodbye passive old man coffee losing his social security checks, hello rich business man trying his best against you. And those are just the fish!
I feel like 5/10 is the grindiest limit. It's like once you get like 25/50+ it gets pretty soft again.
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Old 03-04-2020, 02:21 PM   #9
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

I dont know if youre being facetious or not? I have no idea how any games above 5/10 NL since ive never played in one but I assume theyre a lot tougher.
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Old 03-04-2020, 02:48 PM   #10
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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I dont know if youre being facetious or not? I have no idea how any games above 5/10 NL since ive never played in one but I assume theyre a lot tougher.
No I'm being serious. It kind of opens up again. Of course you got good pros at every level(except the lowest stakes) and you'll find the best players at the top, but it's not like a video game where the difficulty just keeps going up accordingly like you would think.
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Old 03-04-2020, 04:04 PM   #11
DannyAIC
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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No I'm being serious. It kind of opens up again. Of course you got good pros at every level(except the lowest stakes) and you'll find the best players at the top, but it's not like a video game where the difficulty just keeps going up accordingly like you would think.
I'd imagine it's because the loaded whales aren't bothering with 5/10, and the recs living off pensions don't wanna play higher than 1/2/2/5
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Old 03-04-2020, 05:57 PM   #12
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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I'd imagine it's because the loaded whales aren't bothering with 5/10, and the recs living off pensions don't wanna play higher than 1/2/2/5
Yeah things like that have a lot to do with it. Like in live poker the people in the higher games aren't all there just because they beat the stakes below. Many are just rich and want to have fun.
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Old 03-05-2020, 02:50 PM   #13
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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No I'm being serious. It kind of opens up again. Of course you got good pros at every level(except the lowest stakes) and you'll find the best players at the top, but it's not like a video game where the difficulty just keeps going up accordingly like you would think.
That makes sense and your earlier post about 5/10 being the 'grindiest' limit absolutely makes sense to me.
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Old 03-09-2020, 05:29 PM   #14
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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If this is the case, then I'm definitely sticking to 2/5 at Borgata. It is really soft.
How many hours do you have logged playing 2/5NLHE @ Borgata? Atlantic City I presume?
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Old 03-15-2020, 01:55 PM   #15
DannyAIC
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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How many hours do you have logged playing 2/5NLHE @ Borgata? Atlantic City I presume?
I play 2/5 all over and I combine the hours. About 2000 logged or so, why do you ask?

Edit: I’d have to go through my records to find AC specifically now and I’m too lazy to haha. Again, why do you ask?
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Old 03-15-2020, 02:27 PM   #16
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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I play 2/5 all over and I combine the hours. About 2000 logged or so, why do you ask?

Edit: Iíd have to go through my records to find AC specifically now and Iím too lazy to haha. Again, why do you ask?
That was supposed to be 500 hours
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Old 03-18-2020, 03:11 PM   #17
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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That was supposed to be 500 hours
500 hours at 2/5 is nothing, get to 2k hours then take a really hard look at what seems to be your strengths and maximize doing those. I found that at borgata the 5T is super tight and usually its better to play at Parx or sugarhouse if they run a 5t. When i moved up to 5t, i found that intentionally playing tight for the first part of the session was the best way to figure out how to best exploit the players at the table as well as try to build up an above starting stack. No need to try over the top bluffs from the get go when shot taking. Just get comfortable then play your best.
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Old 03-21-2020, 03:55 PM   #18
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

If you believe that you fall from one of the best at 2/5 to middle of the pack at 5/10, then I think it is probably appropriate to be a little scared. It is appropriate to tighten up, observe more and learn. By tightening up, you'll put yourself in few tough spots. I think your experience is natural and something that you should evolve out of.
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:54 PM   #19
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

Some solutions
1) play sparingly. Donít become a ď5/10Ē player. Look at the game and see if you have a reason to hop in. Else, donít.
2) find a buddy to buy action in early trading. Assuming youíre winning, you benefit because you can still play higher, but he also benefits from getting a piece. Maybe offer to sell 25% so that the jump youíre making is 1.5x and not 2x.

Also, recognize that the fish will probably still be pretty terrible. The grinders, however, will be much better at the 5/10 level. Thereís obviously exceptions to this (Iíve seen quite a few smart dudes stick around at 2/5 because they find it to be a better situation than trying to play a tougher 5/10), but in general, the 5/10 guys are going to be better if both pools have a fair amount of action players.

Also, ironically, the higher you go, the less the money matters for a lot of the weaker players, interestingly. So they are going to call you down more, for one. They are also going to try and bluff more.


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Old 03-25-2020, 10:35 AM   #20
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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Some solutions
1) play sparingly. Don’t become a “5/10” player. Look at the game and see if you have a reason to hop in. Else, don’t.
2) find a buddy to buy action in early trading. Assuming you’re winning, you benefit because you can still play higher, but he also benefits from getting a piece. Maybe offer to sell 25% so that the jump you’re making is 1.5x and not 2x.

Also, recognize that the fish will probably still be pretty terrible. The grinders, however, will be much better at the 5/10 level. There’s obviously exceptions to this (I’ve seen quite a few smart dudes stick around at 2/5 because they find it to be a better situation than trying to play a tougher 5/10), but in general, the 5/10 guys are going to be better if both pools have a fair amount of action players.

Also, ironically, the higher you go, the less the money matters for a lot of the weaker players, interestingly. So they are going to call you down more, for one. They are also going to try and bluff more.


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good post although personally i never sell action and only would if it would be allow me to play way higher than normal. i don't like the idea of losing someone else's money but that's just a personal thing.

not only will grinders be better but generally speaking there will be a lot of more of them. a lot of players for whatever reason take pride in playing at a certain stake and won't play below it.i've seen plenty of players who constantly pass up great games a stake below what they play to play in terrible games. a few months back i was in a 5/10 plo game. there was another 5/10 plo running as well. both games were great. probably 12 horrible players between the 2 tables, maybe 3 pros total.it was very unusual.

then there was a 10/25 plo game. 8 pros and 1 fish the game was built around. he MIGHT have been the worst players across the 3 tables but he wasn't even some legendary punter. I'll take the game with 6 bad players over the game with 1 bad player a little worse than those 6 bad players and 8 pros any day.

and being you mentioned borgata before- put it this way. there are definitely 2/5 nl borgata grinders making more money than some stubborn 5/10 nl borgata grinders even though the 5/10 player is the better player.granted the top tier 5/10 nl grinder will make more than the 2/5 grinder.

It's good if you're comfortable moving up in stakes. but this isn't 2008.there aren't five 5/10 nl games running at borgata that are all great. those days are over and those games are just gonna get even worse.when you take your shot make sure it's a game worth taking a shot in.

Last edited by borg23; 03-25-2020 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:12 PM   #21
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

My opinion is that if the 5/10 is capped to 1-1.5k lets say , then playing 2/5 will be more profitable most of the time.
Also, just give it more time , it's normal , you still not used to this limit , so psychologically you ''block''.
I had this problem when playing from 5/10 to 10/25 and again from 10/25 to 50/100.

Again some 2/5 ( that can turn into 2/5/10) are more profitable than some 5/10(more skilled regulars and less recs ) then no ego at this point , table select a lot and play where you feel the most confortable and very important , dont play a limit that is too big for your bankroll cause you might not play your Agame ( i had this when playing high stakes ) , i found that selling actions helped a lot.
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Old 04-15-2020, 10:54 PM   #22
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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No I'm being serious. It kind of opens up again. Of course you got good pros at every level(except the lowest stakes) and you'll find the best players at the top, but it's not like a video game where the difficulty just keeps going up accordingly like you would think.
Agreed! $25/$25 in my area much softer than $5/$10, but it is short more often too. Rich people are splashy and don't want to play with the 5/10 peasants. They want to feel the rush too!
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Old 04-15-2020, 11:03 PM   #23
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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500 hours at 2/5 is nothing, get to 2k hours then take a really hard look at what seems to be your strengths and maximize doing those. I found that at borgata the 5T is super tight and usually its better to play at Parx or sugarhouse if they run a 5t. When i moved up to 5t, i found that intentionally playing tight for the first part of the session was the best way to figure out how to best exploit the players at the table as well as try to build up an above starting stack. No need to try over the top bluffs from the get go when shot taking. Just get comfortable then play your best.
Great advice here! Always play tight when you entering new game and profile players, build your strategy mentally. Gives you tight image too for when it is necessary to make a play later in the session. I actually do have 2000+ hours logged maybe 4000+ on Poker Journal (the best app that died) and Poker Bankroll in 2/5-5/5 games. I dominated over 9+ years. The many times I played 5/10 I used Moneyless Bags advice and tightened up till I got comfortable.
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Old 04-17-2020, 11:50 AM   #24
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

This is just my opinion, but personally I think 5/10 live no limit is quite possibly the worst game to play in, ever, out of all the games.

Its twice as big as 2/5 but I think almost anyone would agree that a typical 5/10 table is WAY more than twice as tough as a typical 2/5 live table. And while Ive never played 10/20 and higher NL, the general consensus that I gather is that theyre not a whole lot tougher than 5/10 games. Probably due to super rich fish who dont give a damn about anything except for that they wanna gamble big and think 5/10 is too small.

When I was gambling full time and playing limit and NL, I always found the jump from 2/5 to 5/10 to be by far the biggest jump in skill level. Even going from 20/40 limit to 40/80 limit didnt feel nearly as big as the jump from 2/5 to 5/10 NL.

So my advice pretty simply would be to just never play 5/10 NL unless its a super soft lineup. Grind away at 2/5 and/or learn some other games. Maybe take shots to eventually get better at it and table select big time, but I would not make "become live 5/10 grinder" as any part of my goals if I was still full time
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Old 04-17-2020, 01:03 PM   #25
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Re: Moving up limits: Breaking the cycle of scared play

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This is just my opinion, but personally I think 5/10 live no limit is quite possibly the worst game to play in, ever, out of all the games.

Its twice as big as 2/5 but I think almost anyone would agree that a typical 5/10 table is WAY more than twice as tough as a typical 2/5 live table. And while Ive never played 10/20 and higher NL, the general consensus that I gather is that theyre not a whole lot tougher than 5/10 games. Probably due to super rich fish who dont give a damn about anything except for that they wanna gamble big and think 5/10 is too small.

When I was gambling full time and playing limit and NL, I always found the jump from 2/5 to 5/10 to be by far the biggest jump in skill level. Even going from 20/40 limit to 40/80 limit didnt feel nearly as big as the jump from 2/5 to 5/10 NL.

So my advice pretty simply would be to just never play 5/10 NL unless its a super soft lineup. Grind away at 2/5 and/or learn some other games. Maybe take shots to eventually get better at it and table select big time, but I would not make "become live 5/10 grinder" as any part of my goals if I was still full time
Very valid point. 5/T is much tougher than 10/20 in most places. Mostly because you'll be at a table with a handful of 25 year old 2/5 crushers raising to 2.5x. And the whales will be playing 10/20 or 25/50 somewhere else.
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