September 12, 2011

Poker Prop Strategy – Who Wins at Poker (part 2)

At low stakes levels, being a long-term winner is quite an impossible feat in live poker and a pretty tough one in online poker. Poker propping will help those marginal guys hit the + side of the red line though, but online only. Live players will face insurmountable odds. At the end of the day, dropping 1-2 BBs per hour is not a tragedy, and for recreational players it’s a fee most of them are willing to pay.

At higher stakes (and we’re talking about $1/2 NL, $4/$8 Fixed Limit all the way up to $10/$20 Fixed Limit), things change a little. Even though many of the variables (the nasty-old poker rake, the tips, the dealer toke, the gas money, the food-related expenses etc), remain the same for live players, some of them do change a little. For a player who’s on top of his game in more ways than one and who never goes on tilt, is in possession of a huge bankroll and is an excellent bankroll manager, it is possible to squeeze 1-2 BBs out an hour at the live tables. Again: with the entire issue transposed into an online dimension, the profit margins shoot upward by quite a bit and with the poker prop deal added for seasoning, the dish turns out to be a pretty sweet one.
At the live tables, around 5% of players manage to play profitably at this level. Online, that percentage is much higher and among poker props, it is more than impressive.

From $20/$40, $80/$160 fixed limit and $2/$4 and $10/$20 NL, the true hardcore crowd emerges. The live setup changes at this level, where the true winners play. Around 10-15% of live regulars are winners at this level. Several variables change big time. The poker rake for one, doesn’t go away, but it shrinks into insignificance thanks to the generously sized stakes. Of course, if you play these limits online, signing up for a poker prop deal or a even a square rakeback deal still makes a lot of sense.
The competition turns juicier at this level too and here’s why: gamblers (online or live) often decide to make the move from the blackjack to the poker tables. This crowd won’t be satisfied with crumbs and cents though. They get their kicks by betting at least a few tens of dollars and these stakes allow them to do just that. With a target group like this, the pros finally have a prey-category they can target over and over. Online, such games become even more profitable. If you’re good enough to squeeze money out of these guys, you’re probably more than good enough to prop too, so make sure you pick a deal with as few restrictions as possible and go for it.

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