Lately I have been playing various styles of poker at different sites and trying to find my level at those sites and games. I have been playing Limit Hold ‘Em, No Limit Hold ‘Em and 2-7 Triple Draw. I have been playing in the .10/.20 games mostly for 2-7 triple draw, .25/.50 for No Limit Hold ‘Em, and .50/1.00 1.00/2.00 for Limit Hold ‘Em.
So far these are my most profitable limits as I learn the sites, the players and the games.
Recently I have had good success at 2-7 triple draw at the .10/.20 limits. The table buy-in is $4.00 and at most sessions I have been able to double up within an hour. Over the last two weeks at this level, I have made about $32 in profit. So with that in mind, I thought that I would move up to the next level, which is .25/.50.
Of course when I wanted to play, no one was playing at those levels. But there were three 1.00/2.00 tables playing so I thought that would be close enough and joined a waiting list while playing on the .10/.20 table. After about 20 minutes, a seat opened up and I joined the table and bought in with $40.00. It only took about a half hour, but I found this table to be very tough for me to play at. My card runs were similar to those at the lower limit tables but the players were more aggressive. It did not take long for me to go from my starting $40 down to $10 before I left the table.I was not comfortable and did not wish to risk more at this level.
Overall my initial profit at this game was reduced from $32 down to $2.
The lesson I learned was that I was not ready for this limit. I was not prepared for the variances of the game at this higher level of the blinds. I should point out that my results at the .10/.20 tables were similar. Some days I started with $4.00 and left with $0.50, but most days I left with $2, $3, $4 or even $5 more than I started with. So over the course of 10 sessions at this level, I had built up a profit.
The second lesson I learned was to only play at a level that I am comfortable and profitable with. When you are ready, test the next level. Plan how much you want to risk and how long you want to test that level. If you are unsuccessful, don’t be afraid to go back to the previous level. By all means, do not risk a significant portion of your bankroll in making those moves, thereby avoiding even more pressure on yourself.
Do you play better at one blind level versus another? Is the pressusre due to the amount at risk or the better players found at the higher level? Do you ever move down a level when you are not winning as well as you would like at your current level?