Pay attention to the way your opponents see you, when you play poker

I have said many times that moving up in levels takes more than just an increased bankroll. You are going to be mixing in an environment where the players that you face are substantially better. When your opponents are watching you very closely and are looking to react to you then you have entered a totally different playing environment. You may not be used to someone calling your big river bluff with nothing more than pocket eights at lower levels.

Those types of bets and triple barrels scare lesser players and also players who have lesser bankrolls. The use of tracking software and even pre-paid for databases is more and more prevalent and even standard at the middle limits. Also many players at these levels are toughened by considerable experience and they have styles that are very difficult to combat. While I am not saying that you should avoid NL400 and above, what I am saying is that you need a serious education before you enter this type of environment.

The key to victory is the timing of battle

A study of war theory would reveal how the timing of battle is the key to victory and if you know both yourself and your enemy then that is a gigantic step to take. But how many players really do have an accurate appraisal of their own poker skill and knowledge? The answer is very few and most players vastly over estimate their own ability as players. When it comes to understanding their opponents then they fare even less well. How many players jump into levels like NL50 through NL200 basically hoping that there is value to be had?

A very large number of people do this in the hope that their game is strong enough to cope. Sometimes it is and the player makes money but all too often it isn’t. There has been a vast compression of skill in online poker with top players now playing far lower and multi-tabling. In the old days, you basically had to play $20-$40 at levels like limit hold’em to offer yourself a half decent living.

The middle limits at no limit

These days with the ability to multi-table online then you can play far lower than this and make as much money and even more. So if you were playing at limit hold’em at levels like $10-$20 to $30-$60 then you would likely be facing some top players and many professionals. The middle limits in no-limit hold’em probably go from NL200 to NL1000 which means $1-$2 to $5-$10. These levels are being multi-tabled with greater frequency by players who could easily have been single tabling $25-$50 in years gone by.

If you were playing at middle limits and wanted to drop down a few levels then this would be a far easier step to take than moving up several levels. I would never advise anyone to move up more than one level at a time because any increase in levels is a risk if you are about to leave an environment in which you had previously been doing very well.