Hi, I was hoping to get some opinions and advice as to whether or not I should be moving up to play in bigger games.
One game is an uncapped 1/2 w/ 5$ bring in PLO/PLO8 R&R game at my local club poker room. Stacks generally seem to be around 500-1000 with 2-3 shortstacks and an occasional very deep stack or two of 2k+. The players seem to be loose passive in general and the weakest of any game in the room, even more than the 1/2 NLH games. This game is usually the second largest in the room as there is a 5/5 NLH game that runs almost every evening and usually plays twice as deep with a somewhat tougher lineup, though it still seems to be a good game. Rake is great at 8$/hr timed for every game, which makes playing the uncapped 1/2 much more beatable than the flat drop California games.
My financial/living situation is a bit odd but probably important to describe to get a good idea of what stakes I could be playing. My bankroll/life roll at the moment is about 18k. I've manged to save this from starting at a 5k bankroll and playing about 600 hours of mostly 1/2 NLH at about 18$/hr over the last 9 months. I'm averaging about 25$/hr overall so far as shot taking PLO/PLO8 and 2/5 has luckily gone well. Unfortunately poker is my only source of income at the moment as I am taking 18hours a week of college classes and don't have time to get a part time job. On the plus side I have extremely low living expenses. I own a 3br house and rent two of the rooms out to cover the mortgage. I only need about 300-500$ a month to live off of as I never really buy anything other than food or gas. If I hit a bad downswing I also have about 5k in credit available to cover bills for a while. I have 30 buy-ins at 500$ and 6 months expenses covered so maybe that is enough. However I find myself nervous whenever I am playing bigger and that makes me wonder if maybe I should wait to have more of a cushion before moving up. I do feel like my play improves slightly at the bigger games as my concentration is much better when I care more about each hand.
Here are a few questions I have:
1. How much lower is the variance having PLO8 mixed in with PLO hi ? I've heard Bart mention a couple of times how PLO8 doesnt often get spread because the bad players almost always lose even over just one session. So assuming I have a decent edge vs. the player pool how much is this helping to lower my swings?
2. Should I be shying away from pushing big draws in spots were I have some fold equity to lower my swings? I can still profitably call down in most spots even though it is probably not quite as high of a +EV play overall.
3. Would you play all the time at 5/5 NLH and PLO R&R or split time between stakes? The games almost always seem to be pretty good though I suppose I could still be selective and play the bigger games only when the lineup is great. I get to play about 15-20 hours a week, so that makes me lean towards playing only in the bigger games and moving down to 1/2 if I lose 5k or so. It seems more valuable to me to challange myself a bit more at the bigger games as well. I don't feel like I am learning that much playing the full ring 1/2 NLH.
Let me know what you think