Monday, April 30, 2007

How the poker landscape has changed for me

Poker has been crazy for me since the World Series of Poker ended for me in 2006. The regulations that kicked in late in 2006 took the site that I regularly play offline for players from the United States. As you may recall from prior postings I played in the $10/$20 Limit game or $5/$10 Limit game for the most part. The sites that I now play have those offerings; however, they don’t have nearly the same number of players playing at those tables. On the old site, I could log in and there would be 15-20 full tables running those games at those levels. On the site I now play at, Full Tilt, there would be maybe 2 tables at 5/10 and they would only have a 10/20 game going at their busiest times.

To make the adjustment I’ve moved back in to No Limit Texas Hold ‘em. I’ve always enjoyed playing No Limit, but the game at Party Poker (the old site) was easy to beat. There is a definite difference between playing Limit and No Limit. The obvious difference is that in any given No Limit hand your whole stack of chips is at risk where in Limit there are caps for the betting.

The No Limit game that I choose to play is at varying different levels. I typically will play either $1/$2 or $2/$4 No Limit Texas Hold ‘em. For those of you not entirely familiar with the game that means that in a hand there will be two forced bets from the first two people dealt cards. The first person (also called the Small Blind) will have to put in the lower amount, and the second person (called the Big Blind) will put in the higher amount. If my bankroll is high enough I will occasionally dabble with $3/$6 game.

I often get asked “How much should my bankroll be?”, and “What level should I play?”. Every player is different, but I usually plan to have 7 buy-ins at whatever level I am going to play, but definitely never less than 4 buy-ins. My minimum buy-in for a level is going to be 40 times whatever the Big Blind (BB) is. So at the $1/$2 level, my buy-in will be $80, and I would need to have at least $560 to play at that level. If I’m running cold and I drop below $320 (four buy-ins), I will drop down to the next lower game. OK, enough about bankroll management. Look for me to try and get a portion of 2007 caught up in the next postings.