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PL/NL Texas Hold'em >> Small Stakes

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Pretty much the best poster ever

Reged: 03/15/05
Posts: 3712
Loc: Using the whole Frist, doc?
Switching from Limit to No-Limit
      #6145720 - 06/10/06 10:33 PM

For the past few months, we've gotten a steady stream of players making the transition from limit hold'em to no-limit. Since the regime change that brought our new and mighty Dread Overlord AJ (don't blame me -- I voted for Kodos!), the newcomer's threads asking how to transition from limit to no-limit have all been insta-locked, and these poor schmoes aren't getting any feedback.

So, with that in mind, I decided to write up a FAQ for those switching over from limit. With any luck, AJ will link to this thread whenever he cuts some newcomer off at the knees.

1. Books To Read.
What are the best books to read when learning to play no-limit hold'em?

- No Limit Hold 'Em: Theory and Practice, by David Sklansky and Ed Miller. I haven't read it yet, because it's so new that I only got my copy yesterday. It promises to be dyn-o-mite. It's probably not a good first book for a poker player, but if you're already a winning limit player, you should be fine starting with it.
- Phil Gordon's Little Green Book. Concise, well written, well thought-out, comprehensive, and fantastic, this book is my favorite no-limit poker book. While it occasionally strays from the strict topic of cash-game no-limit, it's still just fantastic. You won't regret buying it.
- Harrington on Hold'em, Volume I. While Dan Harrington's books are described as touted as being for tournament players, Volume I focuses on the earliest parts of the tournament, which actually plays out very similarly to how a cash game player should play the game. The advice isn't 100% picture perfect for a cash game player, but it's a terrific start. If you master nothing but the contents of this book you can play a winning game of small stakes no-limit poker.
- The Psychology of Poker, by Alan Schoonmaker. Reading opponents, understanding their tendencies, knowing their habits and motivations: these are the true goals of the no-limit player. While the Psychology of Poker wasn't written with any one poker game in mind, its contents really apply more to the no-limit players than the limit players, since psychology is so darned important in our games.
- The Theory of Poker, by David Sklansky. Considered by many to be the definitive work of advanced poker concepts, TOP is decidedly spun towards limit games, but the ideas can be applied to no-limit poker. Check out our study group threads about TOP to see how some of these concepts carry over to the small stakes no limit world.

2. Transition Threads Worth Reading.
Here is an incomplete list of threads that have discussed issues involved with the transition from limit to no-limit:

- In this thread we discussed good "first steps" for a player transitioning from limit to no-limit.
- Newcomer asks about pocket pairs, blind defense, protecting your hands, free cards, slowplaying, and nut-peddling here.
- Clearing up a common misconception: why you do not want to chase your opponents off their hands (link).
- A discussion of common limit concepts that are misapplied to no-limit can be found here.
- Generic advice for switching from limit to no-limit can be found in this thread.
- In this thread we were debating the relative merits of limit and no-limit games, along with stylistic differences between the two games.
- The LAGs come out of the woodwork when we discuss why NL is so much more than nut-peddling in this thread.
- In this thread from the way-back machine, some of the old crew discusses the subtler points of no-limit play.

3. LAG or TAG??
- ABC TAG described simply.
- You prefer the Dark Side? Here's a guide for the aspiring LAG.
- Baluga's Pooh-Bah post discusses advanced topics in LAG play -- mandatory reading if you want to LAG it up.
- Another excellent thread takes up the cause of the TAG player -- a topic that often gets little airtime on these forums. Remember, LAG is flashy and fun, but TAG gets the job done.
- Matrix's Pooh-Bah post compares TAG and LAG play, and does a terrific job of it.

4. Other Useful Topics.
- Djoyce furnishes us with an outstanding list of useful tells at the NL tables in this thread.
- The Parable of the Street Vendor demonstrates why you should always be nice to the fish.
- Our Dark Lord AJ discusses bankroll issues here. Note that the general rule is that you need at least 15 full buyins (1500 big blinds) at a level to play no-limit safely; for a starting player, I'd recommend double that number while you get your feet wet.
- No list of these threads would be complete without Fimbulwinter's legendary post on when to move up in stakes.

This thread should be enough to get any limit player started at the no-limit games. Keep reading, keep responding in hand threads, keep posting your most puzzling threads, keep asking questions, and keep coming back.

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Reged: 09/09/04
Posts: 1617
Loc: living on the river
Re: Switching from Limit to No-Limit [Re: Pokey]
      #6145758 - 06/10/06 10:37 PM


and thanks!

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Bounty Hunter

Reged: 08/25/04
Posts: 9623
Re: Switching from Limit to No-Limit [Re: Pokey]
      #6145805 - 06/10/06 10:41 PM

Guess I don't have to write that essay anymore.

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Fallen Hero
Carpal \'Tunnel

Reged: 04/22/05
Posts: 5772
Re: Switching from Limit to No-Limit [Re: Grunch]
      #6145850 - 06/10/06 10:44 PM

"Phil Gordon's Little Green Book"

From the little texts I've read around here I really don't like this book, but then again you've read it and I haven't so maybe it's pretty good and I've just seen the worse parts of it.

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old school

Reged: 06/11/05
Posts: 12050
Loc: one decision
Re: Switching from Limit to No-Limit [Re: Pokey]
      #6145908 - 06/10/06 10:51 PM

Nice post Pokey. Thank you for doing this.

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not cool enough to notice

Reged: 03/18/06
Posts: 1305
Loc: I'm going to have a really lon...
Re: Switching from Limit to No-Limit [Re: ajmargarine]
      #6145951 - 06/10/06 10:57 PM

Bravo my friend.

PS- I got that Simpsons reference.

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Reged: 08/16/04
Posts: 1833
Loc: Cal (6-4) We suck
Re: Switching from Limit to No-Limit [Re: bent96]
      #6146198 - 06/10/06 11:24 PM

Phil Gordon's Little Green Book is solid advice, though not too tricky or anything you wouldn't think of. It's kind of a beginner's NL book.

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Mayor of Weaktightville

Reged: 11/05/04
Posts: 2154
Loc: calling with the nuts
Re: Switching from Limit to No-Limit [Re: Pokey]
      #6146606 - 06/11/06 12:11 AM

tl;dr... j/k awesome post sir

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Reged: 05/15/05
Posts: 1628
Loc: Making pointless posts
Re: Switching from Limit to No-Limit [Re: mosuavea]
      #6146626 - 06/11/06 12:14 AM



What the hell does this mean. I have seen it over and over again. Is it some kind of Nazi-Communist code or what

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not cool enough to notice

Reged: 03/18/06
Posts: 1305
Loc: I'm going to have a really lon...
Re: Switching from Limit to No-Limit [Re: Push_Fold]
      #6146665 - 06/11/06 12:19 AM

too long; didn't read.

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