03-24-06 [poker] - 2

03-24-06 [poker]

Well, I'm having fun at 200 NL. It's gotten me inspired again. I was getting bored and burned out grinding 100 NL. I was still making a lot of mistakes and didn't feel like I was making progress. Now I'm sharper on my game, and back on the program of trying to move up the levels. My original goal was to make it to 1000 NL before the World Series. It seems very unlikely I'll make it, but I still could if I move up once a month. I need to stay focused and try to improve and move up to 400NL. It's no fun unless you're making progress, like most things.

There are some mild differences in play between 100 and 200. There are more good players are 200, sometimes a whole table is full of semi-pros and I just leave that table. It's a bit harder to find tables full of donks, but they still exist. Overall, everyone is much more aggressive, even the donks. Actually the strategy of waiting for big hands and pushing them still works because people are aggro and will make big calls. If you were weak/tight you would get destroyed, because you'll be pushed off hands too often. There aren't many weak/tights at 200 and they mostly just lose money quickly.

The most annoying thing at 200 is there are a lot more shorties, and most of the really bad players tend to be shorties. It's such a dumb ridiculous move, these guys who take their $100 and buy in at a $200 table instead of a $100 table. It just means the blinds are bigger for them and their stack will get eating up faster. Often when I hunt down a mega-fish at the 200 level, he's on a tiny stack ($50 or so), which is annoying because it makes it hardly worth chasing.

One thing I really miss about 100 NL is it's the only level where $1 = 1 Big Blind. (god damn I hate that I can't write BB since BB often means "Big Bet"). When you have to compute odds or the 5/10 rule or something you can just look at the bet amount and that's BB's. At 200 I have to go, ok, he raised me $22, so that's 11 blinds, okay, I fold. It's another mental step which is bad. A major part of poker for me is cutting out mental operations to make it more mechanical.

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