Friday, March 03, 2006

The fine Princess and I had a conversation a few months ago that went something like this:

Princess: I think you should go back to playing limit (hold'em).

Me: [Scooby voice] ??

Princess: You were profitable at limit. (I heard this subconsciously: "You've gone broke in NL.")

Me: True, but there's a learning curve in switching from limit to no-limit. I'm willing to pay for my education.

Princess: Sure, but WHY? No-limit cash games go completely against your nature. Are you aggressive by nature?

Me: [kicking rocks] No.

Princess: The aggressive players have the edge in NL, regardless of how well you can read people or do math.

Me: There's no way I'm going back to grinding out a $12/hour profit and $3/6. I'd rather stick pencils in my eyes.

Princess: You don't have to play $3/6.

Me: But the $6/12 game hardly ever runs at Trump. (In actuality, it pretty much just runs on weekends, whereas much of my play is on weeknights).

Princess: You don't have to go to Trump. You can go someplace else.

Me: [Silence] [Thinking... go someplace else? What??!! But I love Trump! But... but... but... I love Trump! It's like Cheers, they know my name!]
The words start to sink in... I could go someplace else. Resorts spreads $5/10 and higher. Empress (which is wonderfully only 15 minutes or so from my house) spreads $5/10 and higher.Wow. Could I really go someplace else?

The Princess went on to explain her observations, mostly of things I already know. I'm not aggressive by nature, and though I could probably learn to be a solid NL player, I'd likely be much better at limit. Math is my thing. My interests and personality are much better suited for limit. I was profitable at $3/6 (for a little over 2BB/hour after tips and drinks). Her advice: go back to limit and start playing $5/10. Then go from there.

I've had to chew on this a bit - since Super Bowl weekend, actually. Heather's assessment of my game was spot on. However, was I ready to give up exploring no limit cash games as my primary games? Did I believe that, in fact, my sub-aggressive tendencies would continue to hamper my game and hold me back? Or, did I think that with time I could outwit those tendencies? Did switching back to limit mean that I had failed at no-limit? Had I given NL enough of a chance?

I can't even begin to explain the process I went through in weighing this decision. No-limit hold'em cash games had one major attraction for me: I loved the challenge. I loved stepping outside my comfort zone and pushing myself - something I'm typically not too keen on. The challenge completely reinvigorated my game, and I loved that feeling.

But, wait... couldn't I get that same challenge by moving up in limits (in LHE)? I felt a bit silly for never thinking of that as an option.

After looking at my previous posts, my spreadsheets, and my results - after considering Heather's advice - after listening to what my gut was telling me after all of the "what if" chatter died down, I came to an amazingly easy conclusion.

I'm switching back to limit hold'em for cash games, and will move up to the $5/10 game to start (unless there are $6/12 tables running at Trump). This switch not only fits my "poker nature" much better, but also gives me the option of playing locally and not having to drive an hour each way to the card room. (Unfortunately, Empress only has a handful of tables in a tiny poker room, and does not spread poker on the weekends, from what I hear. I'll likely still have to play a majority of my cards in Indiana).

I've already made the switch back to limit online, albeit at lower stakes. I want to make most of my bankroll reinvestment in brick and mortar games. I've been playing $1/2 LHE, and am so far profitable to the tune of 3BB/100 hands (over 3,500 hands or so). It seems to be working out alright for me.

Now, I just need to decide when I will make my relaunch at the casino. Here's hoping I've made the right decision!


  1. Anonymous said...
    Nice post. Keep up the grinding I'm was contemplating switching to NL a couple months back. I still might I seem to play a little better but I don't have to killer instinct for it.
    Gnome said...
    Yay, limit! I think poker is an ongoing process of finding your best game, and I hope you win plenty at yours.
    CC said...
    I like NLHE live as a very occasional diversion, if I'm killing time (like a $100 or 200 max buy-in). Granted, there are absolutely tons more fish in the NLHE arena in peak times, but I would rather play solidly and my best at limit. I'm with you there. Until I (you) am (are) expert at limit (at whatever level), I'd just rather stick with it. I applaud the NLHE live cash game masters--I'm not one but I'm OK not being one.

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