Today’s question (or a similar variation) is one I’m commonly asked. In general form, it goes like this: I’m winning in game X, but I’ve recently tried game Y and I’m struggling. What’s up?
In more specific form, here is today’s question from Ed (not me, another Ed ).
I am writing you hoping that you will be able to advise me on what I could do to in regards to a dilemma I am facing with online poker. I am a fairly consistent home game winner and have placed in a few home tournaments. Now, I’m not sure how you’ll feel about the next bit of information I am about to drop on you. I play very low stakes – probably sub-micro stakes if such a classification existed. The home game blinds I play for are usually .05/.10 and have never exceeded .25/.50 – all no-limit.
I have attempted online play, currently at PokerStars, and have not had the success I’d hoped to. I’ve been trying my hand at the .01/.02 NL bloodbath games and usually don’t come out ahead after a session. I’ll go out on a limb and say that I do play tighter than most of the table and I do get aggressive when I feel I should. I do, however, seem to be prone to being trapped – betting my top two pair against flopped bottom set, for example. I know that trapping is an extremely important weapon in no-limit play and I can usually “smell” it when playing live. I have studied tells, profiling, hand reading, and the psychology of poker. I just can’t seem to apply it properly to online cash games.
I do alright in nine- or ten-handed Sit & Gos. But I just see so much more profit out there in the side games (especially for the small amount I have in my account).
I am more interested in the skill aspect than with trying to make a living at playing poker online – although I wouldn’t not accept a huge pot.
I have been told (by people I play with at home games) that it is just how low I am playing and that if I could play higher I’d clean up. (Thoughts on this?)
I guess my question (now that you know more about me than you probably want to) is that I don’t know what the difference is that is causing such variance between my live home game winnings and my online losses. I have read many poker books and watched many videos. Nothing is really screaming at me and telling me where I need to adjust. Do you have any thoughts on this?
First of all, I feel just great about the stakes you play. The vast majority of poker players play at stakes like what you’re talking about, and only a very small percentage play in the big, big, big games that get so much attention. So that’s a-ok with me. Now to try to answer your main question.