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Old 01-05-2019, 11:47 AM   #1
MarshMan114
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1/2 to 2/5 Transition

I was hoping to get some experiences and 'best practices' for those of you who moved up to 2/5. I'll give a little background on myself, but I'd really just like to hear what was helpful/hurtful for you as you moved up.

Started playing full time 1/2 ($200 max buy in) in November. I had been a rec player since college (I'm 35 now) and in a life spot where I can try and take it more seriously. Had a $4,000 bank roll (separate from life money) and in 400+ hours I've ran it up to almost $9,000. Not crushing it, but appears to be trending as a winning player. I'm definitely improving. My goal was to play 3 months at 1/2 before even considering moving up.

My casino is a little strange. Only one casino in a 6 hour radius so they can rape you. Rake is 10% up to $7 and don't get a ton of visitors during the week. Most of the weekday regs are old guys and there is usually 1 or 2 2/5 tables during the week and 3-4 1/2 tables during the week. Thursday-Sunday you can get 3-4 2/5 and 8+ 1/2 games. There is talk of adding a jackpot so rake will become $7+$1/$2 which is another reason I want to get out of 1/2. No free drinks and bad comps means more level headed players.

The 2/5 game is $200-$1000 buy in or table stakes (buy in for the big stack). This is a huge jump from a 1/2 $200 max. If it were Vegas I could easily transition to a 1/3 game or 2/5 capped $500 game. But here you can find a 2/5 table with some drinking tourist who buy in for $300 or a table full of regs/whales with $3k+ on the tables.

Has anyone stepped up to a bigger game like this? What worked/didn't?

I want to play my best poker, but I need to try and keep the variance down if possible. I think buying in for the full $1,000 is out of the question. But does buying in for $500-600 at a new table (new table everyone is capped at $1000) make sense? I also thought about moving if I run hot at 1/2. Not because of luck, but if I turn 200 into 600 I can sit at 2/5 with risking only 200. My problem with that is I'm less likely to pick a new table and might be sitting with some deep regs.

Do you have any experience moving up based on play vs bankroll? What if I found a scratch off lottery ticket on the ground and instantly had a $40k bankroll? Would you still suggest sitting at 1/2 until you crush it? I'm also positive that there are lessons at 2/5 that you just can't learn at 1/2. From what I can see, aggression is more prevalent and ego trumps money. I think the 1/2 guys would rather just sit and play/win without pulling their dicks out and running their mouths.

I'm sure there is more to discuss, but wanted to see where this landed with everyone. I don't mind answering more questions, but speaking to your experience would really help me the most.

Marsh
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:56 AM   #2
Garick
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

1) Take shots when the game looks good. Don't be ashamed to avoid it when it doesn't. Don't base it on "today's winnings."

2) Buy in for $500 when you do play it. Learning a new level, deep play, and thin bankroll all at the same time is suicide.

3) Even when properly rolled, the first time you lose a grand will be a psychological hit. It takes a while to get "mentally rolled" for the bigger swings.
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:04 PM   #3
MarshMan114
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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1) Take shots when the game looks good. Don't be ashamed to avoid it when it doesn't. Don't base it on "today's winnings."

2) Buy in for $500 when you do play it. Learning a new level, deep play, and thin bankroll all at the same time is suicide.

3) Even when properly rolled, the first time you lose a grand will be a psychological hit. It takes a while to get "mentally rolled" for the bigger swings.
When you sit, would you play for a certain amount of time? For a certain amount of winning? Let's say you play a 'normal' hand well, but just lose and now you have $220. Do you stand up? Top off? I really don't mind taking the beats psychologically speaking (it won't put me on tilt), I'm just unsure what to do from there. Playing with a short stack is less than ideal, but topping off might be dumb too.
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:32 PM   #4
Garick
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

If the game is still good and I'm not tilting, I'd stay. As soon as you start feeling like you don't belong, I'd get up.

When I was new to 2/5, once I got up above $800 effective stacks, I started getting rather nervous and playing a bit weak-tight, so I'd get up after a while. I would usually force myself to play deep for about half-an-hour, as I had to get used to it, but after that I'd let myself call it good. When I was losing, I'd top up to $500 once I fell below, but even though I had a $1,500 theoretical stop-loss, I found I got upset once I lost $1K, so I'd get up.

I don't play 2/5 all the time. I'm in a place where 1/3 also runs and is often a better game. For a long time, I was in a place where 2/5 didn't run, so I only got to play it when I traveled.
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:42 PM   #5
MarshMan114
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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If the game is still good and I'm not tilting, I'd stay. As soon as you start feeling like you don't belong, I'd get up.

When I was new to 2/5, once I got up above $800 effective stacks, I started getting rather nervous and playing a bit weak-tight, so I'd get up after a while. I would usually force myself to play deep for about half-an-hour, as I had to get used to it, but after that I'd let myself call it good. When I was losing, I'd top up to $500 once I fell below, but even though I had a $1,500 theoretical stop-loss, I found I got upset once I lost $1K, so I'd get up.

I don't play 2/5 all the time. I'm in a place where 1/3 also runs and is often a better game. For a long time, I was in a place where 2/5 didn't run, so I only got to play it when I traveled.
Thanks man, that was very helpful.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:17 AM   #6
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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1) Take shots when the game looks good. Don't be ashamed to avoid it when it doesn't. Don't base it on "today's winnings."

2) Buy in for $500 when you do play it. Learning a new level, deep play, and thin bankroll all at the same time is suicide.

3) Even when properly rolled, the first time you lose a grand will be a psychological hit. It takes a while to get "mentally rolled" for the bigger swings.
All great advice here. #3 hits home for me especially. I was about 75% transitioned from 1/2 300 max to 2/5 500 max and the swings weren't that bad. I rarely had losses of more than $1k at the 500max game. I'm now at a new casino with 2/5 1k max and I'm finding the 1k max difficult to transition into due to the swings.

I have about 45hrs in the 1k max game and am currently stuck about $3k. Yesterday got coolered 3x in 3hrs and lost $1800 (3x $600 bullets). That will send me packing back to 1/2 for awhile. This is my biggest cash game loss. That in itself is a mental hurdle to deal with. Currently on the mat, bloody, barely aware of the ref counting to 10.


Sorry this was a BBV rant.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:06 AM   #7
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

Dont take this as harsh, but although you only have 400 hours of 1/2 so who knows what your true win rate is but right now your only at 6BB/hr. While that is not bad at all, especially considering that like 90%+ people lose money....a 6BB winner at 1/2 is probably going to be just a bit above break even at 2/5.

Personally, I wouldn't play 2/5 until I was beating 1/2 for 10BB+. I mean if you want to jump in a 2/5 game on a slow day with some older passive looking guys, or when there's some guys playing 2/5 that you know from 1/2, that's fine. Other wise I would be pretty hesitant to just jump in a 2/5 game at your stage.

I know I wouldn't even think about playing 5/10 when it ran if I was only beating 2/5 for 6BBs. Other than that, Garick's advice is spot on. However I wouldn't hesitate to get up and leave the game the first time you got up 75-100BBs no matter how the game looks just so you can book a nice win and build your confidence.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:47 AM   #8
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

2/5 players are not 2.5x better than 1/2 players
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:57 AM   #9
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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2/5 players are not 2.5x better than 1/2 players
No, but there are almost no really good players playing 1/2 so its just a much easier game. You rarley get into super tough spots. There are people better than others so they win money (OP is probably one of them), but very very few actual really good players.

I play in a very big room. There's normally 5-12 1/2 games. There must be 300-400+ 1/2 players in the player pool. When Ive played 1/2 in the past Ive come across exactly 2 players who I wondered why they weren't playing 2/5 and who I thought should be playing 2/5 because they were good enough.

Now, if 1/2 or 1/3 is the biggest game in the room then everything I said is out the window but if that was the case for OP he wouldnt be asking about moving up to 2/5.

I would expect a 1/2 players win rate in terms of BB/hr to drop by about 30-40% when moving to 2/5 which still means more $$/hr but lots more variance, stress and tough decisions as well.
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:09 PM   #10
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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Originally Posted by MarshMan114 View Post
Do you have any experience moving up based on play vs bankroll? What if I found a scratch off lottery ticket on the ground and instantly had a $40k bankroll? Would you still suggest sitting at 1/2 until you crush it? I'm also positive that there are lessons at 2/5 that you just can't learn at 1/2. From what I can see, aggression is more prevalent and ego trumps money. I think the 1/2 guys would rather just sit and play/win without pulling their dicks out and running their mouths.

I'm sure there is more to discuss, but wanted to see where this landed with everyone. I don't mind answering more questions, but speaking to your experience would really help me the most.

Marsh
I don’t think you need to be a crusher to move up, instead focus more on improving thinking level and execution. I put in ~700 hours of $1/$2 NL before feeling confident enough to move-up. My hourly was just under 6 bbs, but felt I was thinking at another level than most of the player pool, which ofc varies from room/region.

I’ve learned tons from playing $2/$5 NL. Again, room/region specific, but the skillset was clearly better. Positional awareness, hand configuration, lighter 3-bet ranges, starting hands and overall more aggression are a handful of important concepts that are more prevalent in my room.

I’d suggest posting hands, getting feedback from the forum is invaluable. I’d also recommend using a stop-loss strategy as part of your transition.

GL!
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:00 PM   #11
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

So the goal should be to work up to taking 100bb shots when the game is good, ideally with another 100bb bullet - even an extra 100 or 200 just to top off is nice.

Depending on your level of comfort you can plan on buying in 200-300 while you acclimate.

If you are feeling bankroll pressure you can take a 80bb shot instead of 100, but this should only be a stopgap measure, playing a little deeper should be more profitable and develop your skills quicker.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:14 PM   #12
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

Sounds like you're at Cherokee. I played a similar room with the same 2/5 structure for a living for years. You need to move up from the 1/2 as quickly as possible bc the rake and a breakeven stretch of luck will break you. Guaranteed.

My advice is to move up to the 2/5 and just sit there. Start Thurs or Fri nights and basically play the broke man's 2/5 preflop chart. Don't limp-fold a bunch or cold-call then fold to a squeeze. Those are huge leaks to immediately eliminate after grinding weak-tight 1/2 games for months.

General bs old school rules: Buy in initially for an amount you'd get in pre with AK. Limon always liked 70bb, and I tend to agree. I also like to cover the whale. Leave when you have enough in front of you that you'd feel uncomfortable felting a draw getting laid correct odds, knowing you're good if you hit. That would mean you're too puss to stack off that deep (and by extension, to play that deep at all). Have no shame. Your job is to make money, not impress the local 2/5 degen pool.

Play soooo tight. Be the nit everyone makes fun of and rolls their eyes at when he sits down. Don't watch anything and try to avoid headphones when possible. The rake is brutal, and you have no reads, so you have no reason to splash around preflop. Avoid tough/reggy lineups and don't have an ego about game selection.

If you're in a touristy area, you'll know who the regs are. Assume pretty much everyone else is an idiot tourist and you're set. Learn to soundly beat the home game hobbyists on gambling vacations and you'll be making decent money. GL
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:35 PM   #13
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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Originally Posted by KT_Purple View Post
2/5 players are not 2.5x better than 1/2 players
Plus the biggest crusher in every llsnl game sees its bb/hr cut roughly in half.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:32 PM   #14
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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Depending on your level of comfort you can plan on buying in 200-300 while you acclimate.
Yeah, this is the only disagreement I have with G's advice above (with his suggesting being BIing for 100bb). I would definitely shortstack this game which should make most of your decisions relatively trivial, and meanwhile you get to sit in it and observe it and see how it plays, where you can then start buying in for more once you get comfortable (whether it be within the session itself or after putting in a series of sessions when you are still adjusting).

Ggoodluck!G
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:44 PM   #15
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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Dont take this as harsh, but although you only have 400 hours of 1/2 so who knows what your true win rate is but right now your only at 6BB/hr. While that is not bad at all, especially considering that like 90%+ people lose money....a 6BB winner at 1/2 is probably going to be just a bit above break even at 2/5.

Personally, I wouldn't play 2/5 until I was beating 1/2 for 10BB+. I mean if you want to jump in a 2/5 game on a slow day with some older passive looking guys, or when there's some guys playing 2/5 that you know from 1/2, that's fine. Other wise I would be pretty hesitant to just jump in a 2/5 game at your stage.

I know I wouldn't even think about playing 5/10 when it ran if I was only beating 2/5 for 6BBs. Other than that, Garick's advice is spot on. However I wouldn't hesitate to get up and leave the game the first time you got up 75-100BBs no matter how the game looks just so you can book a nice win and build your confidence.
I think this IS overly harsh. OP states he's been a rec for 15+ years. With all the talk of LOL sample size and variance in win rates how can it be fair to take his last 400 hours and determine he's not crushing enough? On the flip side if he said my last 200 hours were 11 bb/hr most of the board would probably just say he was sun running.

I assume most people have a transition that is not "100% I will never go back down" anyway. So why not at least shot take with the intention of moving up when the move appears sustainable?

Lot's of good points I will not re-visit about the move. I haven't ready every post so semi-grunch. Some things I struggled with when moving up were making decisions / reads earlier in the hand, having a plan for most possible future outcomes in a hand (including bet sizing when I'm the aggressor), determining if the table was picking the new guy or just going for value, adjusting to a lot less limping and more betting and raising.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:52 PM   #16
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

I also disagree with the posters who suggest buying into a 200BB max 2/5 game with 40-60BB. I would go with 100BB as Garick suggests and maybe 40BB minimum. Perhaps your game plays different than mine but IME you have little to no room to miss a couple of flops or maneuver with a stack this short and this will just add complexity to your existing challenge of moving up.
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:23 PM   #17
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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I also disagree with the posters who suggest buying into a 200BB max 2/5 game with 40-60BB. I would go with 100BB as Garick suggests and maybe 80BB minimum. Perhaps your game plays different than mine but IME you have little to no room to miss a couple of flops or maneuver with a stack this short and this will just add complexity to your existing challenge of moving up.
Fixed my post
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:29 PM   #18
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

He can likely profitably rock it up at the small BI while learning the ropes before putting more money in play.

GimoG
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:41 PM   #19
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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Originally Posted by gobbledygeek View Post
He can likely profitably rock it up at the small BI while learning the ropes before putting more money in play.

GimoG
You cant "learn the ropes" of a 100-200BB max game if you are buying in for 40BBs. If his goal is to start playing standard to deep stack 2/5 (100-200BBs), then playing 40BBs is a completely different strategy which he has probably not even practiced before.

The only thing that will do is give him a chance to see how the other players play....raise sizes, bluffing frequencies ect...but he will just be a spectator who happens to be sitting at the table because he wont be in hardly any hands and the ones hes in he will have very few decisions.
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:07 PM   #20
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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You cant "learn the ropes" of a 100-200BB max game if you are buying in for 40BBs. If his goal is to start playing standard to deep stack 2/5 (100-200BBs), then playing 40BBs is a completely different strategy which he has probably not even practiced before.

The only thing that will do is give him a chance to see how the other players play....raise sizes, bluffing frequencies ect...but he will just be a spectator who happens to be sitting at the table because he wont be in hardly any hands and the ones hes in he will have very few decisions.
Encouraging someone who has never played in a game to BI for 100bbs is just such bad advice, imo (no offense G!). Yes, if his longterm goal is to play comfortably deeper stacked in a bigger game he'll eventually have to BI more. He doesn't have to do that in his first session, or even his first few sessions, and really shouldn't even do it until he has some idea of what is going on and feels comfortable doing so.

GcluelessBInoobG
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:58 PM   #21
MikeStarr
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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Originally Posted by gobbledygeek View Post
Encouraging someone who has never played in a game to BI for 100bbs is just such bad advice, imo (no offense G!). Yes, if his longterm goal is to play comfortably deeper stacked in a bigger game he'll eventually have to BI more. He doesn't have to do that in his first session, or even his first few sessions, and really shouldn't even do it until he has some idea of what is going on and feels comfortable doing so.

GcluelessBInoobG
100BBs isnt deeper stacked. Its a normal buy in. If he buys in for 100BBs now at 1/2, he should buy in for 100BBs at 2/5 and play the exactly the same way he does now until he sees what adjustments he needs to make.

Buying in for 40-60BB is a totally different strategy. Thats like going from the minor leagues to the major leagues and also switching from outfield to infield when he hasnt played infield before. Its crazy.

If he wants to buy in for 80BBs instead of 100BBs, I could get behind that but nothing lower unless he buys in shorter right now.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:35 PM   #22
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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Originally Posted by MikeStarr View Post
100BBs isnt deeper stacked. Its a normal buy in. If he buys in for 100BBs now at 1/2, he should buy in for 100BBs at 2/5 and play the exactly the same way he does now until he sees what adjustments he needs to make.
Depending on where he is playing that could get him killed. Somebody trying to apply a reasonably good 1/2 strategy for Parx will get killed in the 2/5 game. Not because the average play is that much better but because it's different. Higher aggression levels and lower preflop sizing changes the game.

Quote:
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Buying in for 40-60BB is a totally different strategy. Thats like going from the minor leagues to the major leagues and also switching from outfield to infield when he hasnt played infield before.
To a certain extent that is true but short stack strategy is also simple and something a decent player should understand. Even if OP always buys in deep he is probably playing short stacks on a regular basis and should understand the ideas behind it.

If OP wants to excel at 2/5 he needs to buy in deep. But I would still agree that buying in short for the first session or two would let him concentrate on watching the flow of the play.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:47 PM   #23
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

Tighten your PF range and don't flat/over-call PF raises with mediocre hands that can't stand a 3! unless you're closing the action or have just 1-2 players behind you that you know aren't squeeze happy. The more callers a PF raiser gets, the more it's going in invite a squeeze from aggressive opponents. There's a lot of hands that you can get away with limping/calling profitably in a 1/2 game that you're just not going to be able to play in a lot of 2/5 games. You'll also find that the strength of hands needed for a lot of Vs to get stacks in are weaker than what your run of the mill 1/2 will need to get stacks in.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:24 PM   #24
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

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Tighten your PF range and don't flat/over-call PF raises with mediocre hands that can't stand a 3! unless you're closing the action or have just 1-2 players behind you that you know aren't squeeze happy. The more callers a PF raiser gets, the more it's going in invite a squeeze from aggressive opponents. There's a lot of hands that you can get away with limping/calling profitably in a 1/2 game that you're just not going to be able to play in a lot of 2/5 games. You'll also find that the strength of hands needed for a lot of Vs to get stacks in are weaker than what your run of the mill 1/2 will need to get stacks in.
Thanks everyone, I appreciate the advice. I know threads like these can sometimes get into bickering matches which is why I try and guide people to their own experiences. I know my skill set and situation more than you so the more I hear 'this worked for me' or 'when I xxx it was a huge mistake' I can apply it properly.

I'm also not super noob-tastic at these stakes. I have played a few dozen 2/5 and some 5/5 sessions over the last 10 years (1-2 trips to Vegas per year). Really this post is more geared towards knowing when and how to take an educated shot at the next level.

I'm most concerned about V aggression and bluff catching (things that I just can't get good experience at in 1/2) and that just takes some seat time from what I can tell.

I will definitely buy in for $500 and go from there. I already get made fun of for playing tight at 1/2 so the 2/5 LAGs can't hurt my feelings either.

Please feel free to add to the conversation if you remember some good lessons!

Marsh
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Old 01-08-2019, 12:13 AM   #25
KT_Purple
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Re: 1/2 to 2/5 Transition

with your bankroll you'll do better shortstacking at 40BB, you need a lot of patience and a push shove chart, quit poker rather than play a high rake 1/2 game imo
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