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All You Need to Know About Online Micro Stakes Poker Tips

Micro stakes tips

888 micro stakes

1o years ago, this article might have been quite different. Then, the online poker world was growing rapidly. For instance, in 2006, the number of World Series Main Event competitors ballooned to 8000 from only 800 3 years earlier. Its popularity has been partially attributed to the Chris Moneymaker effect. Moneymaker, a face-in-the-crowd accountant, won the World Series. This brought the dreamers to the tables in droves. Never had the hopefulness in “a chip and a chair” been so real to so many.

Simultaneously, poker blanketed our televisions. This inundations casted an extremely wide net and the online rooms took advantage. Sign-up bonuses were healthy and the market was rich in competition. We all know how damaging Black Friday was  to the American market. While poker still receives a fair amount of media exposure, it appears that, over time, online rooms have experienced a shift. Here are some online micro stakes poker tips to stay ahead of the trends.

1) Micro-stakes are more difficult

Is the curiosity waning? By now, there are more people leaving the game than new people entering. Qualitatively, I have noticed this in several online rooms like Party and 888. What this means is that some rooms will be struggling to grow their user-base as the fringe “samplers” have gotten their taste and left. Perhaps they got crushed and lost interest as a result. Some better, winning players may have not been able to play as often. Regardless, there is a compound effect in action; fewer new (and usually weaker) players are entering the online poker rooms. The remaining serious (and usually better) players remain. In turn, tables have a few more decent players and a few less weaker ones.  There is a further cascade effect, too. As the quality of play at a .50 cent tables increases, some players, out of necessity, drop a level in order to find a more profitable level.

2) But easier on the weekends

Does this mean that you shouldn’t bother if you are new? No, not at all. You have to be smarter. If you are looking to grind it out by playing 24/7, you will quickly learn how the competition during the week is more sophisticated. After all, they are there to make bank. Otherwise they’d all have day jobs. Sure, you’ll have the odd university student using his or her spare time to avoid writing their chemistry report, but most are online because they are trying to make some kind of a living. In countries where the American dollar is very strong, a few dollars of profit at a .10 cent table is meaningful. For them, grinding makes sense.

The weekends are different. The room are packed. If you live in the West, games soften as early as Friday afternoon. The Aussies and Eastern Europeans belly up to the bar and dig in as it is already their Saturday. Friday evening is a great day to play if you live in Canada, the U.S., the UK, or Western Europe. The casual player shows up on the weekend. In addition, a percentage of players drink and play (or play after the pub). This softens the game substantially. The play is wilder and you can experience wider swings, but they tables are juicier.

3) Yet, the fish still exist

There are still fish out there. The pond has not dried up. You just have to pay more attention. It is more than fair to say that the average ability of a fish in 2014 is better than a fish in 2004. All the media exposure and online content available on the game means the poorer players are more educated. However, there will be mistakes made. Lots of them. You may have to look a little closer and take better notes but the micro game can still be crushed, even with this increase in competition.

4) To profit, you must play better, more consistently

It used to be that the main skill of a micro stakes player would be to wait for someone to do something stupid and capitalize. To a certain degree, today is no different but instead of 3 or 4 aggressive donkeys at the table there may only be 1 or 2. This means that the micro-stakes require actual poker skills, not just patience. Now more than ever, understanding the long-term value of a certain play in a given situation is important. If you can play more consistently using an intelligent approach to the game, you should come out ahead against almost any micro-stakes competition. If you are a micro-stakes player and found it more difficult to turn out a winning session, the poker market is telling you to adapt. When was the last time you added a new skill to you repertoire or attempted to improve on your tilt-response? What are you doing to be more mentally prepared to play?

Unless you want to drop down to lower stakes, you will be playing players with skills. Before, you may have only have read a good poker book to have an edge at these levels. Now, you will need to keep growing your game as players tend to think the game more like you do because, in the end, they have read what you have read. I’ve worked in the area of performance psychology for over a decade and this is true no matter what your performance area is. At some point, you can just show up and do what you’ve always done and expect to be successful.

5) Take much better notes

All of the above can be consolidated by using the note-taking function offered in online rooms diligently. Identify the fish and why they are fishy. Identify the good players and why they are strong. What are there patterns? Have you spotted a weakness? Should you avoid them altogether or seek them out? Your notes are your brains of the operation. Believe me, by now, your regular competition have a book on you. If it is better than your is on them, you will struggle against them.

The state of the micro-stakes game is a natural progression of the game. While the big rooms are still pushing to attract new players, these things are cyclical. The online game is not stagnant but it is different so be adaptive. The game is more fun when you are winning and winning today requires a different approach than 10, even 5 years ago.

Dr. Kelly Doell has been a mental performance consultant since 1998. You can have a free consultation about your play at www.KellyDoell.com. Read one of his top tips here.


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  • Ivan Y

    There are definitely newer type of games such as Zoom/Rush (fast) poker, and anonymous poker tables as well… all mobile and recreational-friendly, to keep the playing field even. I for one, am a fan of anonymous poker tables, as the professionals cannot use HUDs.

    • Kelly

      That’s a good call with HUDs. It’s a big edge working against the unwary beginner. I think the Zoom/Rush format is a great way to have fun playing online (and one of the most unique offerings these days). It is more challenging to be profitable if that is your motive. Perhaps I need to study it more to get the strategy down but I seem to play Zoom sideways at best…

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