Into the world of full ring cash games

empty poker table

Some years ago the best online cash game players were beating six max games for insane win rates and that continued for a while until we lost the US market. Then the best six max players were becoming very good and the fish were being wiped out very rapidly. All of the forums, books and coaching videos were pointing players in the direction of six max and so full ring became somewhat neglected. These days then a 5ptbb/100 earn rate is a really good earn rate at the lower levels and that equates to 10bb/100.

The reason why I play full ring these days over six max is because this is where I believe the most value is. There are more fish in full ring but the main issue here is in the average strength of the regulars. In full ring then a solid regular is in my experience weaker than their comparable counterpart in six max. A NL100 full ring regular will usually be a tight-nit who makes money exploiting weaker players in big pots and earning rewards and rakeback. Many jump from site to site earning bonuses and rewards and make around 3-4ptbb/100 when everything is taken into consideration.

However, these players should not be feared under any circumstances. I usually find that the biggest jump in skill levels happens between NL100 and NL200 and then again from NL200 to NL400. What then tends to happen is that there is a levelling off after NL400 and the average difference in regular between NL400 and NL1000 is minimal. As a rule most NL1000 players simply have more of a bankroll than NL400 and NL600 players and this is usually the reason why they play higher up

In full ring cash games though then the average regular hasn’t had access to the same volume of coaching material that the average six max regular has. So in six max the regs are stronger on average. They look to isolate fish whenever they can and also outplay their opponents more by understanding their ranges better. In six max then a NL400 player would be a very strong poker player indeed on average. Do not get me wrong here because even at NL400 full ring then all of the players in the game would be very strong…….just that they wouldn’t be quite as strong as in six max.

I like playing full ring because you tend to have a strategy of accumulating money in small pots unlike in six max where you are inadvertently drawn into big pots by both sides being more aggressive. If you can play six max very well and you do well in six max then as long as you are aggressive in the right spots then I feel that you can adapt to full ring very well. It is a lot tougher I feel these days for a full ring player to adopt to six max than the other way around.