90% of the players imploy this strategy in real money games. put your money in when you have the best of it....protect it when you don't.
What shits me is that some players win a few hands, then sit out for ages & lose a few blinds
they never win but do come 3rd or 4th
i also found this to be very frustrating in the beginning, but you have to understand.......when you play for real money, its not about pride or "looking like a pansy" - its about winning money. if i have 1k and have literally no chance of winning (lets say...we have 3 big stacks of 8k and then me....top 3 get paid). i'll glady risk blinding out and sit and fold over and over in the hopes that one of the big stacks picks a fight at the wrong time and gets knocked out.
as lame as it is, you have to understand....that sometimes, you play to win money - even if it means praying for the other stacks to take each other out and giving you an "undeserved" win.
now i wouldn't do this ALL the time......i mean, you have to play to win. but if i feel that i have absolutely no chance of winning any more than 3rd, then sure....i'll be lame and fold over and over.
all the freaking time.....even more than play money.
1. Does this happen a lot in real money games
2. Is it a big jump from play money to cash games e.g. still lots of fish @ $5 games or is this 4 better players
My objective is to play 60 Play money games & be placed in 3 of every 5 games before I step up
play money is completely different than real money. just because you do good w/ play money, doesn't mean you will do good w/ real money. you will probably do even worse w/ real money. people play completely different when real money is involved.
the only "use" of play money, would to be getting comfortable w/ the interface, etc.
i would recommend either starting on the $1 SnGs at absolute or the $5 SnGs at stars (depending on how much of an initial investment you're willing to spend). if you're not willing to learn with real money, i'm pretty sure you will not be able to handle the swings in bad beats - then poker is not for you.
think of the $50 as an investment. a learning experience.
also keep in mind, that as you move up in higher and higher SnGs, they skill/play is all different.
a $1 SnG will probably be more like play money SnG than a $5 SnG.
anyway, hope that answered a few of your questions and good luck!