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Your win rate, (bbs/100) your bankroll and you.

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  1. #1
    Miffed22001's Avatar
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    Default Your win rate, (bbs/100) your bankroll and you.

    So, ive never done anything like this before, but i keep seeing three questions cropping up on the forums as of late due to the changing nature of the game. So i thought id put a little post together to explain what i think are key concepts to new players, especially at the moment.
    They are:

    1. Whats a good winrate?
    2. Should i get better or build a big bankroll?
    3. Do i bonus whore?

    When most new players find out about PT its such a magical instrument It gives you all these cool stats that show you how you play. And yet the two stats you always come back to are winrate and $$$$ won.
    Lets get one thing clear straight away: 10k hands is not a sufficent sample size, nor is 30k and to be honest 100k might just about make it into the very smallest of acceptable sample sizes to draw solid conclusions from.
    To put this in context, if you 4 table 6max playing approx 300hands per hour you would need to play for 333 hours to have a sample of 100k hands. For the average new beginner who migh play 10hours per week, thats 6months.
    This is why when new players ask if their winrate is any good, or what constitutes a good winrate, the answer for any player playing 100nl or less is: winrate is unimportant.
    This is because your sample size will be so small at 25nl and 50nl and 100nl that you will have no idea if you just ran good for 30k hands or so, or had a horrible downswing for 10k hands that lost you $500, 10buyins at 50nl.
    In other words: just becuase you are beating small stakes games does not mean you are a winning player, and just because you might be losing does not mean you suck!
    With all that in mind just let me repeat, you arent going to play enough hands at 25nl and 50nl combined to create any sort of adequate sample size that indicates your skill level. Even if you run through 100nl in 30k hands, you will still be short of anything like a decent sample size.
    I hope that makes sense.

    So, how do you measure your success at small stakes then?
    The answer is via your bankroll.
    All those players who play 200nl+ will tell you the same thing, there is little difference between 25nl and 100nl. Hence, the first benchmark for your poker career is a bankroll of $2500.
    This magic number is 25 buy ins for $100nl and is a sufficent bankroll for you to start improving your game at 100nl.
    For instance, if you slave away at 50nl with a 3bbs/100 winrate for 15k hands and dont move up because you feel your winrate sucks, and you play 15k more hands at 50nl you have lost money. When you have the bankroll to move up, just do it because the games really are no different.

    Ok so what about if you think you suck? or your winrate is pretty small? Well the fact is that set campers get paid at 100nl just like they do at 25nl. Just because you move up stakes does not necessarily mean your winrate will drop: afterall, getting it all in preflop with AA doesnt suddenly become -ev does it?!?!?
    Thus, learn to be a tight aggressive set camper player and get to 100nl as fast as possible, becuase you'll make money doing what you did at 25nl at 100nl. Trust me.

    Of course, some people actually want to be good at poker, it isnt all about the money now is it?
    Well it is sometimes, but certainly you need to get good, but like i said there is little difference between 100nl and 25nl so dont spend time on a site like stars if you dont have to because there is no need for you to be 'good' at 25nl. You dont want to be hanging around there long anyway, and you probably wont anyhow.
    So in answer to questions about getting better, forget it. Get a $2500 bankroll and THEN think about getting better and improving your post flop play etc.
    After just 100k hands you wont have much of a clue about reading people or how to be really goot post-flop anyway, but you should be starting to have ideas at the very least.

    This leads to the final point; bonus whoring. Below 100nl, and arguably sometimes at 200nl you should always be playing for a bonus if possible. Just because you like stars software and XXXXrandompoker.com has the worst software ever, this does not excuse you from not going to play for a bonus. Sure, you might be able to satellite into the million, but be realistic, are you going to win it? Na, so stop dreaming and think about getting to the stage where you can just buy into a full satellite or the event itself each week. Use those fpps for these books we rant on about like Sklansky's T+P etc, dont waste em in a 500fpp satellite!
    Bonus whoring is like an apprentiship. You've learnt the basics of set farming and now you need to do the shitty work to get yourself some respect and experience, and thsi is always a hard slog.
    Well in poker, that hard slog involves hours playing on software that is just plain crap at times, but if you want to eventually get better, you need to sacrifice.
    So if anyone posts they arent leaving stars' games because the software is good and some other sites' software is crap, you will know you are making an error in judgement.

    Also, where you can, get rakeback deals even if you are doing a bonus. In the long run when you find that the smaller sites on the web have super soft medium stakes games you'll look back and be happy that you signed up for that affiliate deal with some dodgy geezer like triptanes or which ever site we at FTR have sent you to.

    I hope i didnt rant, but this should answer a lot of key questions to new players in the changed atmosphere of the post US online poker ban.
    Just remember not to overvalue stats in small stakes games, its about getting money together and then consolidating you position/knowledge before making the next step into medium stakes games 200nl etc.
  2. #2
    Xioustic's Avatar
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    Is bonus whoring/rakeback worthwhile playing small stakes ($5.50 - $11) SnGs? What is the best way for an American to go about taking advantage of these opportunities, and what are the preferred sites for bonus whoring/rakeback?
    ^ Worst advice possible, don't listen ^
  3. #3
    Miffed22001's Avatar
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    In terms of rakeback you can get some sites here at FTR. For the majority of other sites that have rb available, there are tools and sites we can make you aware of that have deals going.
    SNG players have a rotten time, because some sites make it tough for you to clear bonuses. Having said that, if you commit yourslef to playing at a site for 8weeks or so you can clear most bonsues that arent huge (i.e $200+)
    As for sites, i know there are still some sites that offer sign up bonuses for US players, but as im not an SNG player i can comment on how good games on these sites will be. But if you assume a lot of small sites have juicy ring games, then normally the associated SNG games will be juicy too.

    Some prima skins, poker.com and perhaps bugsy club poker spring to mind
  4. #4
    Great post miffed, glad to see you expand on your thoughts from another thread.

    Just to answer the bonus whoring for SNGs. NO it sucks, pokerstars reload bonuses clear ok-ish from my experience but still should not be compared to clearing via cash. i also whored Pacific Poker/888.com and that was god awful. DO NOT bonus whore via SNGs. THerefore i believe it doesnt really matter which site you play SNGs (lower limits) on since opp's are very weak throughout. So play at sites where you like the software etc etc. Cash bonus whoring is a totally different game.
    Jman: every time the action is to you, it's an opportunity for you to make the perfect play.
  5. #5
    Xioustic's Avatar
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    That's what I've been figuring all along, thanks guys.

    Too bad I don't play ring all that often.
    ^ Worst advice possible, don't listen ^
  6. #6
    mods please sticky.......

    Miffed just to add to this post some similiar points;

    1 - If a new player won $2K-2.5K on a MTT or similiar, would you advise they go straight to 100NL Ring given the similiarities to 25NL and 50NL?? Do you think it would be too soon or could the fact you could just set hunt at first since it is successful? Would you tell only certain new players to go ahead given how some players egos can have the better of them as beginning players.

    2 - What are your thoughts of only buying in for half a buyin ie. Buy $25 in a 50NL game? whether only when moving up, as a strategy in general or should never be done.

    Thx in advance. i think these could be good points to add
    Jman: every time the action is to you, it's an opportunity for you to make the perfect play.
  7. #7
    Miffed22001's Avatar
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    1. If you do a courtiebee and already have played a number of hands in cash games then i think moving up isnt so bad. The jump from 25nl to 100nl *may* be a little bit large but 50nl to 100nl certainly wont be. If you know how to camp then i think its probably worth going to fr 100nl games and camping.
    Ego is definetly a problem for really new players so if they were to move up and lose horribly then moving back down would be an option. Ego will always be a problem to people who make a few grand playing small stakes, believe they are good and have no idea of the turnover of top level players i.e Lukie/gabe and their type of winnings.

    2. Either buyin full or buyin like a ninja with 20bbs, dont do anything else. The only thing about 50nl is that some of the webs worst players play here just playing 10/2 and camping and its one of the things that makes me lol endlessly. Theres no need to buy in half stacked, as the play is still beatable for a 25nl player. Get used to playing 100bbs deep as decisions for 100bbs in small stakes games are all pretty 'standard'
  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Miffed22001
    1. If you do a courtiebee
    lol
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    All those players who play 200nl+ will tell you the same thing, there is little difference between 25nl and 100nl.

    And here's the paradox. To a player at 200NL or above of course there is little difference between 25 and 100, because you can comfortably beat both. For a player at 25 to move up to 100 and expect to pwn it is simply wrong. A winning player at 50 *should* be able to beat 100, but if they are running say 2b//100 at 50 they could very easily be a LOSING player when they move up - the margins are still very small.

    There is a massive difference between 25 and 100. Full stop. The former is loose and passive, the latter is far more aggressive. Far more. At 25NL, a pre-flop re-raise is a rarity. If you can't play good post-flop poker, don't move up to 100 unless you are damn sure you're going to nut camp and do so effectively. Even then, you won't be improving at poker unless you're a much better observer than most.

    Most of Miffed's post is excellent, but I simply don't think mid-stakes players are able to empathise with the perspective of a low-stakes player because they have (necessarily) moved into a different plane of understanding.
  10. #10
    Renton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biondino
    All those players who play 200nl+ will tell you the same thing, there is little difference between 25nl and 100nl.

    And here's the paradox. To a player at 200NL or above of course there is little difference between 25 and 100, because you can comfortably beat both. For a player at 25 to move up to 100 and expect to pwn it is simply wrong. A winning player at 50 *should* be able to beat 100, but if they are running say 2b//100 at 50 they could very easily be a LOSING player when they move up - the margins are still very small.

    There is a massive difference between 25 and 100. Full stop. The former is loose and passive, the latter is far more aggressive. Far more. At 25NL, a pre-flop re-raise is a rarity. If you can't play good post-flop poker, don't move up to 100 unless you are damn sure you're going to nut camp and do so effectively. Even then, you won't be improving at poker unless you're a much better observer than most.

    Most of Miffed's post is excellent, but I simply don't think mid-stakes players are able to empathise with the perspective of a low-stakes player because they have (necessarily) moved into a different plane of understanding.

    Hmm.

    We've discussed this via aim. I think you are correct in saying that midstakes players aren't going to be perceptive to the major differences in difficulty from 25nl to 100nl. However, it kinda goes both ways. By having never played >100nl yourself, you aren't aware of the huge difference that exists between .5/1 and 1/2, 1/2 and 2/4. The difference in difficulty of these stakes is such that the difference in difficulty from 25nl to 100nl is negligible in comparison.

    The bottom line is that 100nl and under is soft. Very soft. And if you are comfortably beating 25nl, you should be able to fairly comfortably beat 100nl.
  11. #11
    Great post Miffed. I'll echo what biondino just wrote... thinking back, I don't remember huge differences between 25NL and 100NL, but then I look back at posts I made when I was playing 25 and 50NL vs. 100NL and it's obvious how much deeper my understanding of the game became over that period. There are definitely differences between low-stakes levels, they just might not be as drastic as the differences at higher stakes.

    I agree with Miffed's main point though, which is that you should move up aggressively as dictated by your bankroll, not your winrate.
  12. #12
    Miffed22001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biondino
    All those players who play 200nl+ will tell you the same thing, there is little difference between 25nl and 100nl.

    And here's the paradox. To a player at 200NL or above of course there is little difference between 25 and 100, because you can comfortably beat both. For a player at 25 to move up to 100 and expect to pwn it is simply wrong. A winning player at 50 *should* be able to beat 100, but if they are running say 2b//100 at 50 they could very easily be a LOSING player when they move up - the margins are still very small.

    There is a massive difference between 25 and 100. Full stop. The former is loose and passive, the latter is far more aggressive. Far more. At 25NL, a pre-flop re-raise is a rarity. If you can't play good post-flop poker, don't move up to 100 unless you are damn sure you're going to nut camp and do so effectively. Even then, you won't be improving at poker unless you're a much better observer than most.

    Most of Miffed's post is excellent, but I simply don't think mid-stakes players are able to empathise with the perspective of a low-stakes player because they have (necessarily) moved into a different plane of understanding.
    I dont expect a player who runs 10bbs/100 at 25nl to move straight to play 100nl and win at 4-6bbs/100. However, i dont think its wrong to suggest someone who has played 25k hands at 25nl/50nl to move to 100nl and be able to carve out a 1-3bbs winrate. The players simply arent good enough to fold semi strong hands in standard situations.

    I certainly agree midstakes players can hammer small stakes players because they can find extra value in lots of places and find laydowns, however this doesnt mean we/i/them dont underestimate the moving up differences, i just think its very naive to think that campers cant beat 100nl. If you want an example, Ilikeaces is the best, that damn nit slaughters big stakes games etc etc.
  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renton
    Quote Originally Posted by biondino
    All those players who play 200nl+ will tell you the same thing, there is little difference between 25nl and 100nl.

    And here's the paradox. To a player at 200NL or above of course there is little difference between 25 and 100, because you can comfortably beat both. For a player at 25 to move up to 100 and expect to pwn it is simply wrong. A winning player at 50 *should* be able to beat 100, but if they are running say 2b//100 at 50 they could very easily be a LOSING player when they move up - the margins are still very small.

    There is a massive difference between 25 and 100. Full stop. The former is loose and passive, the latter is far more aggressive. Far more. At 25NL, a pre-flop re-raise is a rarity. If you can't play good post-flop poker, don't move up to 100 unless you are damn sure you're going to nut camp and do so effectively. Even then, you won't be improving at poker unless you're a much better observer than most.

    Most of Miffed's post is excellent, but I simply don't think mid-stakes players are able to empathise with the perspective of a low-stakes player because they have (necessarily) moved into a different plane of understanding.
    We've discussed this via aim. I think you are correct in saying that midstakes players aren't going to be perceptive to the major differences in difficulty from 25nl to 100nl. However, it kinda goes both ways. By having never played >100nl yourself, you aren't aware of the huge difference that exists between .5/1 and 1/2, 1/2 and 2/4. The difference in difficulty of these stakes is such that the difference in difficulty from 25nl to 100nl is negligible in comparison.
    But that's not the point! Low-stakes players have never played above $100NL so it's something they simply don't know! What they DO know, and DO experience, is a significant difference between 25 and 100 which is hugely magnified by their relative lack in skill because they're that much less able to deal with good players.
  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Miffed22001
    I dont expect a player who runs 10bbs/100 at 25nl to move straight to play 100nl and win at 4-6bbs/100. However, i dont think its wrong to suggest someone who has played 25k hands at 25nl/50nl to move to 100nl and be able to carve out a 1-3bbs winrate. The players simply arent good enough to fold semi strong hands in standard situations.
    I have to say that I am completely with Biondino here.

    It may well be that the differences between $100NL and $200NL are so great that in comparisson the low-stakes levels are all alike. But in reality, looked at from the low-stakes perspective there's significant jumps.

    I thinking mostly of 6-max here, and as someone who has just come off a huge loser over 20k hands at $100NL I'm keenly aware of the differences.

    There are glaring leaks in my post-flop play, and yet with those leaks I can still butcher $50NL, over 20k hands I'm up $1k at that level, over a similar sample I'm down $2k at $100NL... too much to be described simply by my downswing. Small samples, but clearly different games.

    To be honest, on Crypto I see more of a difference between $50NL and $100NL than I do between $100NL and $200NL, but that's probably partly because the pool gets thin there.

    On the other hand I have to say that at Full-Ring the differences are far less noticeable. But then again I think the $100NL FR play on Party is significantly weaker than the $25NL play on Crypto, so there's huge variances within the level.
    But yes at $100NL FR you can set-hunt and play your ABCs and get good returns. I'm not at all convinced the same is true for 6-max.

    However, I'm also very much aware that to someone struggling to win at $25NL FR that my comment sounds rather dismissive. I can remember last summer well enough to know that I had to fix a lot of my game to get to the stage where $25NL was easy.

    I think we can ignore these issues to some degree and agree that bonus-whoring and rapid advancement are the low-stakes player's friend. Taking shots early will help improve the play more than trying to settle on a 5bb/100 over 100k hands at $50NL. But moving up at any level is hard and I think it's natural to find the differences too much at times, even if to those who have cleared those hurdles already they seem microscopic.
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  15. #15
    Miffed22001's Avatar
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    the best bit about this discussion, is that its only beneficial.
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    I wanted to chime in on the game difficulty issue.

    I just think that there are lots of mistakes made (and lots of donkeys) all the way up to, say, 400 NL. The kinds of mistakes might be a little different, and you may need to widen your arsenal a bit to take advantage of them, but the games aren't really harder.

    I think the biggest error that players make in moving up is failing to recognize that poker is dynamic. There is no "one strategy to rule them all." Every strategy is exploitable.

    A lot of low stakes players simply set mine and overplay their big pairs. That's not really poker. The reason this approach works is that the bad players at low stakes are often calling stations that can't get away from mediocre hands in the face of big bets.

    In the mid stakes, there are still plenty of mistakes, but there is more of a mixture between players that are too loose, players that are too weak, and players that are too aggressive.

    There's an old saying that if the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem will look to you like a nail. Maybe the low stakes players are nails and the midstakes players are a mixture of nails and screws. Don't move up without your screwdriver.
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  17. #17
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    I would add that I am fairly rigorous about game selection, which is the one major drawback to moving up in stakes. So I think table and seat selection needs to be one of the skills you develop and USE as you move up.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by koolmoe
    There's an old saying that if the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem will look to you like a nail. Maybe the low stakes players are nails and the midstakes players are a mixture of nails and screws. Don't move up without your screwdriver.
    I like this.
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by koolmoe
    I would add that I am fairly rigorous about game selection, which is the one major drawback to moving up in stakes. So I think table and seat selection needs to be one of the skills you develop and USE as you move up.
    id like some dicussion on this topic please and i have a few questions. Perhaps worthy of a separate thread???
    Jman: every time the action is to you, it's an opportunity for you to make the perfect play.
  20. #20
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    i respect all of your posts, and there are some very good points made, but i disagree with the premise. heres where i get unpopular, i'm sure.

    1) not all players are trying to climb the ladder over 100 NL. some of us are happy killing the 25's.
    2) not all players can reload right now, especially in the US. that limits the levels at which we can play. and makes the 25+ games tougher, no matter what level you are used to..."tougher" may be relative, though.

    not being able to reload is a factor i think too many overlook. it has caused a lot of higher (200 and 400) players to drop 1-2 levels and grind it out again because they are br mgmnt freaks and can no longer move money between the sites freely; therefore, must treat each site as an individual bankroll. when a 200 player moves down to 50, and the fish go away or drop down to 10, the 50 game is much tougher...and in the blink of an eye. dont overlook the fact that the US regs HAVE had an impact.

    3) how many sites are offering bonuses we can get to? some are, true, but how can the average fish, or beginner w/ a small br, get the money moved to the sites offering the bonuses? bonus chasing is nothing like what we were used to just 12 months ago.

    anyway, my .02
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    Quote Originally Posted by Da GOAT
    id like some dicussion on this topic please and i have a few questions. Perhaps worthy of a separate thread???
    There are a couple of older ones. Not sure how good they are now, but a search might give you a starting point
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiggidy
    Quote Originally Posted by Da GOAT
    id like some dicussion on this topic please and i have a few questions. Perhaps worthy of a separate thread???
    There are a couple of older ones. Not sure how good they are now, but a search might give you a starting point
    someone start a new on then!
  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by swiggidy
    Quote Originally Posted by Da GOAT
    id like some dicussion on this topic please and i have a few questions. Perhaps worthy of a separate thread???
    There are a couple of older ones. Not sure how good they are now, but a search might give you a starting point
    i should do this first. ill have an ok day in work 2m so ill search then.
    BTW ive seen someone has already started one in HH strategies
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  24. #24
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    this is a very good post - My goal right now is to start playing $100NL. Before netteller got banned I was doing very well at 25NL and would play FR and 6max - I got the bankroll up for 50NL but the game seemed much much harder - I guess its mostly the aggression level - It was bascially easy when I was 1 of 2 or 3 players at the table, but at 50NL it seemed 8 of 10 would be playing like I was - Long story short I lost a couple hundred and went back down and ended up quitting for a couple months.

    How are the 100NL games on Ultimate Bet? I don't think BETUS has enough players to support my 100NL endeavors and I need to be able to find at least SOME easy tables -

    My opinion is that 100NL is easier than 50NL - I don't know why, its just that everytime I watch 100NL its easy for me to pick out the bad players pretty fast...at 50NL it seems like they are mostly pretty decent - I don't have any reasoning behind this, just several hours of watching vs. playing several weeks of 50NL.
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    100NL is not easier than 50NL, unless you have super table selection skills and can identify/find tables full of donks.

    However, there are a lot more decent aggressive players who will make your life much harder. It's not that they're not beatable, but they are a lot less predictable and more aggro than players at 50nl, and, most importantly (IMO), they won't fold nearly as often to your c-bets and bluffs.
  26. #26
    25nl is a lot easier than 50nl, 50nl is a lot easier than 100nl.
    What good players mean by their is little difference between 25nl and 100nl is how you beat both is exactly the same. You shouldn't have to change your style at all as you move up.
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    Default Hi guys

    Hi, I'm new here, I don't know if this is the right section to post this, I am Tom from Australia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by outsitula View Post
    Hi, I'm new here, I don't know if this is the right section to post this, I am Tom from Australia.
    I think my head just exploded.
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    Quote Originally Posted by outsitula View Post
    Hi, I'm new here, I don't know if this is the right section to post this, I am Tom from Australia.
    How on earth did you end up here?

    And how don't you know what you don't know?
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  30. #30
    can we just fucking ban every idiot who intros into a years-old thread going forward please
  31. #31
    no money in steaks, everyone's salad
  32. #32
    LMFAO.........I fucking love this!!!
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    I like these bumps, they sometimes remind me of FTR'ers of old that have faded away.
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    To get the thread back on topic, here is a link to a table showing the probability that a x bb/100 winning player will loose over a given volume. Pretty insightful imo. (scroll down the page to see the table)

    chance of loss vs winrate and volume
    Virginity is like a bubble: one prick and it's all gone
    Ignoranus (n): A person who is stupid AND an assh*le
  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by StarGrinder View Post
    no money in steaks, everyone's salad
    LOPL
    [20:19] <Zill4> god
    [20:19] <Zill4> u guys
    [20:19] <Zill4> so fking hopeless
    [20:19] <Zill4> and dumb
  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by IowaSkinsFan View Post
    25nl is a lot easier than 50nl, 50nl is a lot easier than 100nl.
    What good players mean by their is little difference between 25nl and 100nl is how you beat both is exactly the same. You shouldn't have to change your style at all as you move up.
    I actually found this a very helpful post, ty for the insight.

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