Reaching the pinnacle with regards to your ability
I believe that to a large extent, we are moulded as to what types of poker player we will be before we even set out to play the game. Our previous experiences, education, jobs and background all have an impact on how we play poker. But it doesn’t just stop there because how we read and study and understand poker has a profound impact as well. So with regards many players, it does not matter how much you learn then you could be hindered when it comes to reaching high levels simply by what has happened previously in your life.
For example, if you are very risk adverse then you stand very little chance of ever reaching high-stakes levels. As soon as you reach a certain level where the variance means that you could be losing more than you are mentally prepared to lose in any given day then you have more than likely reached your peak and moving beyond that will be difficult on a psychological level.
Find out your loss limit
Let us say that your own individual and financial situation means that you really start to feel it when your daily loss reaches $100. If you cannot lose more than $100 in any given day without it affecting you then you are going to have serious psychological obstacles when it comes to even playing middle limits. If you were playing limit then you really couldn’t play higher than $1-$2 and you would be losing 50 big bets frequently at that level.
At no-limit hold’em a $100 loss could be just one buy-in at the $100 level. So it is clear that NL100 and probably NL50 would be too high for you in all likelihood. I would advise someone with that kind of loss aversion and attitude to risk not to play higher than NL25 and to give yourself at least four buy-ins a day to play poker. But risk aversion can be managed better if you have a decent bankroll. It is all too common for players who have money to be risk adverse.
Dont risk losing more than you can mentally afford
Just because a player can afford to have a poker bankroll of $10k does not mean to say that they would be mentally prepared to lose it. If they cannot stomach losing more than $5k then they never really had the $10k bankroll to begin with. Usually though a smaller bankroll means smaller potential earnings but yet this is not the case. Someone who had 50 buy-ins at NL100 would have $5000 behind them but if they only played one table then a player who maybe multi-tabled at NL25 and only had a bankroll of $1000 could make more money if they were very strong at that level.
This may seem utterly amazing that a NL25 player could make more money than a NL100 player and both be successful at their chosen level of play but it is entirely true.