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Is 18k enough to play 1/2 5 PLO/PLO8 or 5/5 NLH?

BrickowskiBrickowski Posts: 36Subscriber
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



  • JustfourfunJustfourfun Posts: 200Subscriber
    edited February 2018
    The words you use to describe your living condition are important. Do not describe your living condition as “odd” as that is a somewhat negative adjective. Maybe its a humble brag but the reasoning behind that choice of word is unimportant. What is important is that you recognize, or maybe begin to recognize the good decisions that you have made in your life up to this point and how well positioned you are for success. So where you write that your living condition is odd you need to replace that with “i am well positioned for success as my monthly expenses and obligations are minimal.” It is very difficult to avoid debt, accumulate savings and reduce monthly financial obligations. You have accomplished this very challenging task. By realizing the significance and importance of this accomplishment you will be more likely to continue. If the level you are playing at makes you nervous then you are playing too high. Is question #2 related to the nervous issue? Likely yes, + EV should be the only consideration. Financially you are ready for the inevitable downswing - can you take steps to prepare yourself mentally? It is highly likely that you will move up stakes. Take your time and try to enjoy where you are at today as it seems like you are in a great place.
  • DustyDusty Posts: 233Subscriber
    edited February 2018
    Sounds like a good opportunity for you. I think you should grind your BR up over 20K then take shots at the larger games and move back down when you dip under 20K. Also sounds like the 1/2 PLO game may be the best in the room so no hurry to move up and out of that game. Maybe even play 75% of your time in the 1/2 game and then 25% of your time higher and see how that goes. I don't think you should pass on good spots with fold equity because you are playing higher as that is not the correct way to play the game - GL.
  • MonadPrimeMonadPrime Posts: 803Member
    Do you have the same amount of experience @ PLO8 vs NLH? That's significant & the growing pains of learning PLO8 while you're grinding for $$$ will probably wear on you alot more than they would in NLH.
  • BrickowskiBrickowski Posts: 36Subscriber
    MonadPrime wrote: »
    Do you have the same amount of experience @ PLO8 vs NLH? That's significant & the growing pains of learning PLO8 while you're grinding for $$$ will probably wear on you alot more than they would in NLH.

    No not at all. I've played about 30 hours of PLO8 and watched 5 or 6 of the videos on this site and worked on identifying lows quickly but that's about all the experience I have at it. The player pool in my area for this game seems incredibly weak, with many people frequently chasing one way hands and playing some really bad starting hands that get them in trouble. Game is also very loose passive which makes it a bit easier to play in. It really seems like the PLO/PLO8 players in this game are the worst in the cardroom. I saw a guy last time raise to 15 and get 3bet. He then 4bet shoved for ~350$. He had 8222 and hit a deuce for the scoop. I feel like I have a decent edge even though I am inexperienced at the game, but maybe I am fooling myself. I feel like I have less of an edge at PLO hi but maybe that is just the nature of the game.
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