Poker is dead
No it dang heck crap turd is not! If you love poker and want to put in work and make a lot of money at it it will likely always be there for you, whether it’s online or live. There are a number of excuses (and real reasons) why the game has become more difficult to win at than it used to, and the ability to clearly see these things for what they truly are is what will determine how much success you will have.
For some reason so many players, regs and recs alike (myself included) assume that because someone has even heard of Piosolver that they will play a perfect GTO game. This is generally a poor assumption. First, the player in question has to be skilled in using this program. Second, the player has to put in hundreds of hours studying thousands of spots and adjusting ranges in the process. I know this paranoia exists even at low level sng’s because players have told me about it first hand, describing situations where they make large foolish bluffs and calls they knew were terrible for no other reason than “it seemed like a ‘GTO play’ ”
Yes, it is a great and useful tool, but absolutely far from the be all end all, and unless you’re a high stakes reg your time is likely better spent in areas other than attempting to become an unexploitable GTO robot.
*Extremely nerds voice* “My rakeback!
Ok, Pokerstars jobbed everyone with their 2014 SNE bait and switch. Lots of sites have reduced or removed their rakeback offerings. This is the way it is now. To anyone still hung up on this issue, I offer you 2 choices. 1) Accept that this is how it is now and devise a solid plan going forward, or 2) Continue to whine about how you were wronged 4 years ago and you hate Bill Frist and the DOJ and Chris Ferguson and carry all that negative energy with you in every hand you ever play until your poker career sputters into a sad negative puddle.
I don’t deny that it sucks. It hurt my bottom line when it happened and it effectively stole millions in future earnings from the SNE poker playing community. It also forced out a lot of mediocre regs and created softer, more fun, lower variance games. Use it as a chance to try out other networks, other formats, use rakeback websites to find out which reg filled sites still offer decent rakeback. Always be looking for solutions.
Can’t win, everyone is solid
People have been using this tired excuse since not long after I first started playing online poker 13 years ago. It was far from the truth then and it’s far from the truth now. When I have felt this way in the past, it was simply my way of saying “I don’t want to face the discomfort of putting boring effort into improving my game, so I’m going to whine about it instead.”
It’s comedic how many posts I’ve seen on 2p2 and elsewhere when a toppish reg will make a marginal play and get called out like “WHAT WAS POKERGUY69 EVEN DOOOOOING HERE?” As if anyone who is half decent is held to this standard that everything they do has to be perfect, but not only that, the person watching the hand is blessed with this fantastic paranoia so when they see an objectively bad play from a decent player, they also know this player is a perfect GTO bot so it immediately creates this cognitive dissonance that results in a massively broken brain and a toilet spiral of outer directed focus.
It’s as simple as, oh hey look, Pokerguy69 clearly doesn’t use basic charts, or is tilting, or is distracted, or is human??? The bad plays that poor players regularly make should be encouraging enough, but if you need a little extra encouragement, keep your eyes on the decent winners. View it from a clear non paranoid lens and you will quickly see some marginal plays.
The days of dozens of guys making $50k+/year part time grinding a $15 abi may be over, but that doesn’t mean it is no longer possible. Keep your eyes open for what formats and what sites have regular games going. What are the biggest winners on Sharkscope playing? How are they doing it? Do they have a blog that describes any information that could be valuable if you tried that too? The dream is still alive fellas! The path to becoming a world beater is not as easy as it was 10 years ago, but it’s there for the taking if you want it.