Party Poker Softness Of Competition
Softness of Competition Is All Important
I am constantly amazed at how little that most players pay attention to the type of competition at one poker site versus another. You’ve probably heard of the example where you are the tenth best player in the world but are at a table with the nine players who are better than you and thus the worst player at the table. This example really doesn’t do this issue enough justice though.
The way I prefer to explain it is that there are two factors that contribute to your success in the long run at poker, and by the long run I mean setting aside variance due to luck. In the long run luck evens out and it comes down to a pure contest of skill. The two factors are your skill level and the average skill level of your competitors.
Your net advantage or disadvantage is the difference between the two. So if your level of skill for instance is exactly the same as the average skill of the people you play against, then your expectation would be that you would lose exactly the amount of the rake over time.
The rake by the way is pretty significant and perhaps there’s nothing that demonstrates this more than the fact that 90% of poker players lose money in the long run, where you would see this happening to only half of them if the rake didn’t exist. It does though, and it’s a challenge to overcome. Poker sites make billions of dollars from it every year, and unlike casinos where they rake in a ton of money as well, you can overcome the rake at a poker site. However, it’s certainly a challenge, and you definitely need everything going for you.
I’ve never had any problem teaching players, even brand new ones, to be profitable at online poker, although this task would be much more difficult if I had to try to get them to do it at the more difficult poker sites. It could be done, but it would require much more instruction and a much higher level of commitment from my students. They would also end up being a lot less successful at the game than if I just got them playing at a soft site such as Party Poker.
Softness Of Competition Is The Sole Factor That Determines Profitability
The best way to think of this is that your own skill level, whatever that may be, is a constant. Imagine yourself competing in arm wrestling where the competitors are rated from 1 to 10 in terms of strength. So we’ll say that you’re a 5. So how you will do in matches depends on not this but how strong the people you go up against are. If you go up against people who are weaker, you will win every time. If you instead pick stronger players, you will lose every time.
So your results are determined solely by the distribution of strength of your opponents. If more of them are stronger than not, you will lose more matches than you win. This really isn’t any different than what you see in poker actually. You want to play against weaker players, and the weaker they are on average, the better.
There’s more to it than this though. With poker it’s not just a win or a loss like it would be with our arm wrestling matches, it’s also a matter of how badly you beat them and how badly they beat you. So for instance if you are a 5 and go up against a 4, you will take much less money on average from this person than if they were a 1 or a 2. So that just makes game selection even more important, and much more important actually.
What If You Are A Good Player Already, Does This Still Matter As Much?
Some people think that if they are already a good or very good player, or plan on being one, then this stuff may not even matter much anymore, or at the very least may matter less. This type of thinking is sadly mistaken though, and in fact is what lulls a lot of better players to more difficult poker sites. If you are a 10, and the best anyone can do is break even against you, then you will obviously do much better against lower skilled players than higher ones.
These lower skilled players are much more willing to risk and lose larger sums of money to you, where better players are going to be risking less and playing better generally. As an added benefit, if the games that you play in are softer, you can more easily play more tables at once if you are so inclined, which can dramatically increase your hourly win rate.
If you are the worst player in the world, the same holds true, as you will lose a lot less against weaker players than stronger ones. So in fact no matter where your skill level is at, from the very best to the very worst and every point in between, seeking to play against the weakest competition you can will in itself define your level of success. This translates into bigger profits or smaller losses as the case may be, but in the end it means that you have an opportunity to have more money in your pocket than you would otherwise, and a lot more money at that, by ensuring that you are playing at the softest sites.
Party Poker Has Always Been The Softest Poker Site Around Overall
You may think that it may be difficult to determine where the softest games are, but this is not the case at all. While there are other soft sites besides Party Poker around, none of them have the sheer amount of weak players that Party Poker does. Since the day they opened the place, Party Poker has always had the most amount of fish, and that continues to be true to this day, 12 years later.
Party Poker doesn’t even have any serious challengers here in fact. The other sites which offer softer games tend to not only be as fishy as Party, but they are smaller as well, and have less traffic. So less players overall and less fish, in other words. What you want instead is more players overall and more fish, like you get at Party Poker.
This is important since you don’t want to have to sit around for hours waiting for a good game to get going at your stake. This is especially a problem if you play something other than the small stakes, or some day plan to. There might not be any games at all running at another site at the stakes you want to play, and I don’t mean just right now, I mean ever.
So you could be stuck in the small time forever unless you play somewhere that has what you want and what you need, when you want it. That site is Party Poker.
Even Worse Is Playing Where There Is Lots Of Action, But It’s The Wrong Kind
The lack of traffic at most online poker sites tends to get people moving toward the larger sites online. While you do need traffic, what you need is a lot of soft traffic, not just a lot of traffic period. If the traffic is the wrong kind, then all you are doing is making sure that you’re always in a losing game, or at least one that’s a lot less profitable. This really doesn’t make much sense when you think of it.
However, most online players don’t really get this, or at least they haven’t over the years. At any given time over the last 6 or 7 years, there would be more players playing at tougher poker sites than the easier ones. The real strange thing about this is that it would be the more skilled players who would be playing at these difficult sites. They might be decent or better at poker, but their skills in decision making regarding proper site selection definitely needs work.
It is true that a lot of these players were from the U.S. and didn’t have a lot of good options after Party Poker and most other online poker rooms stopped allowing them there. The real amazing thing is how many non-Americans joined them, a fact that continues to this day. The very fact that Poker Stars has over half the online poker players in the world playing there even after they had to boot all of their U.S. players stands testimony to this.
The only thing that I can think of that would cause this is what we could call the pied piper effect. The piper played his tune and people just followed. This is not a tune you should be listening to though. I’ve nothing against these tough sites other than the fact that they are just too tough for just about all players, given that you can find much better games at your chosen game and stake elsewhere, and in particular, at Party Poker. Unless you’re playing the highest ones, with six figure pots and the like, against top professionals, where this may be the only game in town for you, you’re far better off at easier poker sites to win at.
Americans Yearn For The Good Old “Party Days”
Ever since Party Poker made the decision to exclude Americans from their poker room, I’ve heard a lot of people speak of the good old days when they played online exclusively at Party Poker, and made a lot more money at poker than they do now. The reason is that there has always been so many bad players at Party, and once again, the worse the players that you play against are, the more money you make, the better you do, the more you make per hour, and the faster you move up.
If you’re not from the U.S. then there’s no excuse for you missing out on all the fun and profit at Party Poker. It’s absolutely crazy not to have an account at Party if they will take you, and especially if you play at an inferior site where you are only hurting yourself by continuing to play there.
Your Poker Education Doesn’t Have To Be That Expensive
To be honest with you, just about every player who starts out playing real money poker loses money at first. Playing with play money online simply doesn’t prepare you for the real thing. Things are a whole lot different when there is real money on the table. It’s certainly more exciting though, and once you’ve tasted the thrill of winning real money, you won’t ever want to go back to play money games again.
However you do need to keep in mind that only 1 player in 10 makes a profit in the long run, which means not just being lucky but being good. At the play money games, there is no rake, so as long as you are in the top half in terms of skill, you will make money at that. Players throw play money around like crazy though, with very little care, since it isn’t real. So it doesn’t take any real skill to win at that, and all you have to do is play with a little more regard to your stack than average, which is very little.
Now even at the poker sites with the worst players, there still will only be that one person in 10 who is able to beat the games. Now I don’t want to discourage you by telling you this, in fact it’s not all that difficult to be among this 10%, provided that you are willing to work on your game at least a decent amount and play at the right places.
At a poker room like Party Poker, the difference is that the people you need to pass aren’t that skilled, making your task of becoming a winning player much easier. Along the way though, what’s even more important is that you don’t get creamed while you learn. So there’s two main factors at play here, which is how difficult it will be to get to the point where you’re actually making money overall rather than losing it, and how much you will lose while trying to get there.
The graveyard of players who didn’t make it probably numbers in the millions, those who have lost so much money trying to become profitable that they simply had enough of it and gave up. If you are a truly dedicated player and have a lot of money to spend learning, including spending a lot of time at it, being willing to swallow losing for an extended period, and spending money on lessons and video subscriptions and even private coaching, and you also have a good amount of talent, then you can probably make it anywhere.
However, most players aren’t this serious about the game and don’t have the money to spend on their education like this. So fortunately though there is a much easier way. If you play at a fishy site like Party, all you need to do is become decent enough to beat the fish for enough money to turn it around. This is a much easier task then trying to make it at a tougher site where even the weaker players probably have more training and experience than you do.
I know players who pay several hundreds of dollars per hour getting lessons from successful pros and they still can’t beat the game at where they play. Perhaps in time they will after they have spent several more thousand dollars on their education, but few of us have that kind of money to throw around.
Even if you do, why would you want to struggle playing at a site where almost all of the players there are quite skilled, when you can instead do much better at Party Poker, where most of the players are relatively unskilled? It might seem like I’m harping on this an awful lot, but I’ve been working with poker students for over 10 years now, and have rescued too many of them to count from this big mistake of not selecting the best site to play at, and don’t want you to fall prey to it.
Party Poker Gets A Lot Of Their Poker Players Coming Over From Other Games
One of the real secrets to the fact that Party Poker has been the fishiest online poker site year after year is the fact that they get a lot of their players from the other forms of betting that they offer. These gamblers specialize in other forms of gambling and therefore aren’t really up on the poker culture anywhere near as much as players of whom poker is their main game are.
For example, players often lament about how online poker has changed so much over the last few years, especially in comparison to the way things were in the early days of playing online. Back then, people really didn’t know to fold enough, and you’d see players playing way too many hands and playing them way too far, often all the way to the river, where they would take weak hands to showdown. So all you really needed to do was to play tighter than they did, meaning taking stronger hands to showdown, and you would simply bilk them.
Then some players started getting wise, and saw these tighter players make the money, so they started to adjust their play. More and more, as time went by, people started playing tighter, and then more aggressive as well. More books came out, more lessons were available, more good forums arose, more and more instructional video sites came along, with thousands of hours of top notch instruction, and eventually the landscape of online poker changed dramatically, and also became much more challenging.
So this is how things stand today, at least at the online poker sites which mostly have poker players playing at them. So playing at a site where a lot of the players aren’t poker players has become even more important, and even critical.
What we want is people who love to gamble it up at the casino, Party Casino in this case, who come over to the poker tables for some additional fun, don’t really know what poker players know, and don’t mind losing a bundle of cash. In fact losing is what they do, and put their money on the line time after time with the odds against them at the casino, and end up doing the same thing at the poker table.
There’s also the sports bettors, who tend to be a little more sophisticated overall, and might even be making a profit at sports betting. They might know sports, but they generally don’t know poker, although they like to dabble at it on the side. There’s also the bingo players, a game of no skill at all, the backgammon players, which does have skill but it is a completely different game than poker of course, and so on.
One of the best things about all of this isn’t just that these players are a lot less skilled generally than players of whom poker is their main game, but they don’t start at the bottom and work their way up as they get better. At other poker sites, the newbies start at the bottom, then when they beat the low stakes they move up. So the higher the stakes, the better the competition tends to be, and the harder it is to beat them and make money.
This isn’t the case with these other game players, as they choose their stakes not based upon their skill, but on the size of their bankroll. So at Party Poker, you can see some real big fish even at the high stakes, instead of a table of well known pros who are all experts like you see at other sites. No matter what stakes you play though, you will benefit significantly from all of this and see the amount of money you make increase dramatically versus what is even possible elsewhere.
So If Your Results Matter To You, Party Poker Is The Place To Be
Even if you don’t care about money, and simply play for the entertainment value of the game, I can tell you that it’s a lot more fun to win than to lose. I’ve been playing poker for over 30 years and have pretty much seen it all. I’ve played at dozens of online poker sites, and have tried out many more dozens, and have been around since the start, so I know a good poker site when I see it, and I also know the best poker site when I see it.
That site is Party Poker. Party does everything extremely well, but for me, all of that other stuff is just window dressing. I guess the big ongoing bonuses matter a lot too, but Party does that better than anyone else, just like they do everything better than any other online poker site. In the end though, it’s all about how easy it is to make money at a poker site, and the total amount of money that you can make at one. There is no poker site that compares to Party Poker in this all important category, the one that decides how much money you will have in your pocket at the end of the day.
So I also enjoy helping people, and especially when it comes to providing the best advice by sharing my wisdom and experience. I love it when players tell me that moving to Party Poker has made such a difference in their online poker lives, and if you do not have an account there, I know that you are ready to finally move up to playing at the best place around.