Adjusting When Playing Against Recreational Opponents
Many online players experiment by playing at different buy-in levels rather than just always sticking to the same stakes. Some do so as part of an ongoing effort to improve and move up to bigger games, while others move around just to introduce some variety into their games.
Whatever their reason for moving up or down in stakes, players often find the strategies that are effective at one level don't always work as readily at another. This is a topic that was addressed recently by Nicolas "OP-Poker Nick" Walsh in a video for PokerStars School, "Adjusting Your Play Against Recreational Players."
In the video Walsh discusses how to adjust when playing against a recreational-heavy player pool at the lower stakes online, in this case the $1 buy-in Spin & Gos on PokerStars.
The video features live play with commentary by Walsh, which obviously provides a lot of hand analysis and specific in-game strategy. But as you can see below, Nick prefaces the session with some more general tips about playing against recreational players who don't play "standard" or "correct" poker and often take unconventional approaches that can sometimes be challenging to play against. Then throughout the video he constantly circles back to these larger issues regarding how games play differently at different stakes.
Nick covers how it isn't always appropriate to be fighting constantly for small edges against such players, and how it isn't even preferable at times to take passive lines and even play more straightforwardly than you might against more learned opponents.
He also provides a lot of concrete advice about how certain betting patterns turn up at lower stakes that you don't see at higher stakes, as well as about how to label opponents quickly and take effective and useful notes as you play. Take a look:
As noted, this video is just one of many available for free from the PokerStars School. You can also find much more from Nick and other members of the OP_Poker team on their Twitch channel, https://www.twitch.tv/op_poker.
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