A Limit Holdem Poker Experiment
Recently I played poker at a new casino (new to me at least) and the only seat available was at a Limit Holdem Poker table. I rarely play Limit Holdem Poker and was surprised at not only how well I did but also how much fun I had. For some reason this experience made me think of a contest that I read about on a poker forum some time back and I decided to have a little fun and challenge myself at the same time.
I deposited $100 at one of my favorite online poker rooms and started playing two tables of 1/2 Limit Holdem Poker. I bought into each table for 12.5 times the upper limit, $25 in this case, so I had four buy-ins to start. Each time I was able to accumulate enough to cover four buy-ins at the next level I would move up. At $200 I moved to 2/4, $300 to 3/6 and so on. The highest level I was able to play was 10/20 before the short-term variance reared its ugly head.
This is a fun experiment, especially if you usually play at lower limits or play mostly no limit. It gives you a chance to explore Limit Holdem Poker and/or play at a higher level than you may be used to, without risking a large amount of money. Of course no matter how good you are, you will eventually hit a rough spot because you need 200-300 big bets at whatever level you are playing in order to ride out stretches of bad cards and the short-term variance and you are playing with 50.
Here are a few things I found, at least at the times I was playing. There is a large difference between the qualities of players between 1/2 and 3/6, but I noticed very little difference between the 3/6 players and the 10/20 players. I also found that given the proper bankroll, I would be very comfortable, and I believe profitable at 10/20.
So much of good poker play involves a players mental tools and anything that bothers a player mentally can cause problems at the poker table. This includes venturing outside of your comfort level. This experiment forced me outside of my comfort level for Limit Holdem Poker, and I found that I could compete at much higher levels than I gave myself credit for.
Consider trying this, or something similar, to test your abilities and have some fun also. When you hit a rough spot, drop back down a level or two and start back up the ladder. You may very well surprise yourself.