On the surface, this may seem like an obvious topic. What is the difference between $.10/$.25 cash ring games and $300/$600 cash ring games? Simple, money.
So, why discuss it? Because it matters in the extreme in online poker.
Nothing, in my opinion does a worse service for players than advice on how to play hands from a player who does not have any experience playing at that level game. For example, talking about hand ranges or betting strategies in a $300/$600 game has very little to do with what will happen in a $.10/$.25 game. In fact, you will get KILLED playing the same style at lower levels as you would at these higher levels. Why? Because the money matters.
Many conversations I have with players are about why you see so many suck outs and stupid plays online. The first question I ask them is, ‘what level are you playing at?’ The response is invariably some micro level like $.10/$.25. Most players rational is that they want to ‘learn the game’ at lower levels before they move up and start risking real money. That may be nice in theory, but that would be taking into account that all the players at micro levels take the game seriously and want to learn it as much as you do. This is patently untrue and absurd.
Think about it: do you expect much out of a $.99 taco from Taco Bell? Do you expect it to be of the highest quality? Of course not. However, you do expect that a $150 Kobe beef steak will be insanely tasty and perfectly cooked. This is the same in all aspects of life. So, why in the world would you expect someone who only has $10 on the line to play poker the same way as someone with $10,000 on the line?
Why would you expect to have the same quality player at a $.10/$.25 game as you would find at a $300/$600 game? The answer is obvious.
My suggestion to players who want to win real money playing poker, especially online, is to start playing for real money. Obviously, you cannot play way above your bankroll, but you cannot expect to learn the game, gain great experience and have plays make sense if you insist on playing people for $10. It just will not happen.
Don’t forget too, everyone’s level can be different. Just because $50 means a lot to you, it may not to the Russian guy who just put $10k in his account and is screwing around at lower levels. I have seen big fish playing for thousands online. However, you can be sure, that the more you move up in dollar amounts, the more seriously more players will take the game. Don’t forget, just like in business it takes money to make money, so does poker. Too many players want a quick way from rags to riches and life very seldom works that way.