There are many ways to get the job done in poker in terms of winning money. This was something that was not apparent to me for many years. I simply thought that poker was like blackjack in that you learned how to play the game and then you simply did it. Do not get me wrong here; you can still make very good money playing poker playing in what can be called a wooden style. Poker is a really strange game when played online in that a player of lesser technical ability can often make more money than better players or even players who play at far higher stakes.
This can happen in live poker but nowhere near as frequently. If a middle stakes player in live poker game selected very well and totally crushed his level then it is possible that he could make more than a high stakes player of better ability in bigger games who didn’t select their games as well. This can happen in live play but there is far more chance of this happening online for numerous reasons. Firstly let us look at a level like NL50 for instance. In full ring games then there is nearly always value there but there can only be value if you are better than the average player.
So if you can simply become a solid player then there is profit potential and serious profit potential at lower levels. However for a Texas Hold em NL50 player to match a NL400 player in earnings then the NL50 player has to dramatically increase the volume. It isn’t easy for a good winning player at NL50 to match the earnings of a good NL400 player but it is possible. I knew a player who beat NL50 for 6ptbb/100 which is $6/100 but played 12 tables at full ring at roughly 75 hands per hour per table.
This gave him 900 hands per hour which gave him an earn rate of $54/hr. Rakeback increased that to $65/hr which is a staggering amount at NL50. However imagine if the winning player at NL400 was only playing three tables and making 3ptbb/100. This gives them $24/100 but yet he is only seeing 250 hands per hour which is $60/hour. This is only $6/hr more than the NL50 player and yet this NL400 player is a strong winning player at his level.
In full ring at lower levels then you encounter more players who have the capacity to make big mistakes. So there is not as much need to press and so you can even give up marginal edges to reduce variance if this is important to your mental state of mind. If you play worse during bad runs then deliberately sacrificing EV is not a bad move and you are getting something back for the money that you are losing.
This is a concept that is difficult to grasp for many players and I have often taken criticism for this but yet it perfectly sound. Imagine a situation where an inexperienced player constantly sacrificed EV and made $60k/year. But yet he could have theoretically made $100k had he maximized his EV. However in doing so he would then encounter bigger swings and a big swing knocked him out of the game mentally and so he never got the chance to reach the $100k milestone.