While the rumours of poker's demise are often greatly exaggerated it's hard to argue with the fact that the games are becoming increasingly harder. Fortunately, table and - what's even more important - game selection are still among the most popular leaks of regulars. Even in a current state of poker affairs, 5 minutes added to your pre-session routine and/or changing your poker room can be enough to increase your edge over the opponents.
In the world of reciprocality, it's not what you do that matters most, and it's not what they do. It's both.This quote by Tommy Angelo very accurately explains why automatically picking one of the three biggest poker rooms out there might not be that great of an idea. It also explains why spending more time on table selection than your opponent's is so important.
Let's think about this for a second. It doesn't really make that much of a sense for PokerStars to be by far the biggest poker room out there, given the poker context. In the game of small edges, user-friendly software and good marketing shouldn't be the main reasons for picking a poker room, and yet they are. We could argue that good software and effective marketing ensure a steady stream of recreational players, but PokerStars doesn't really have the best recreational to regular player ratio out there either.
Ultimately, semi-pro and pro players seem to value some of the same qualities that bring the hobbyist to the site like the aforementioned easy to use software.
This is a very important aspect for every semi-pro and pro players when choosing a game. Simply put, the less rake we're paying to the poker room operator, the easier it is to show a profit. Besides, rakeback isn't really affected by short-term variance (unless we're doing so poorly that we're forced to move in down in stakes) which can be really important when planning our budget if poker is our main source of income. That's why regular players tend to pick websites where rakeback is high and easy to quantify (clear VIP scheme, flat % etc.). Therefore, it might be a good idea to sacrifice a bit of rakeback for the sake of playing in a much less competitive environment.
HUD and Tracking Software
Another aspect that's very important for regulars. As a general rule, if a certain poker room isn't supported by PokerTracker or HoldemManager you can safely assume that a large percentage of players won't even consider it and this is precisely the reason why you should. By not being able to use a tracking software you'll sacrifice some of your edge and a whole lot of convenience (it's much harder to track your progress and work on your game without the aid of PT4/HM2), but it still might be worth it if the recreational to regular player ratio is high enough. Besides, playing without a HUD can be good for you in the long run by making you more aware, and letting you transition to the live games easier.
Multi-tabling Friendly Interface
Regular players almost always play on multiple tables at the same time and because of that, they value smooth, easy to read and responsive software. That being said playing 4-8 tables is possible practically everywhere so it's often a good idea to sacrifice a bit of convenience for the sake of a higher win rate in easier games. Besides, you can often modify the visuals of certain poker rooms if you don't care much for the default look.
People tend to confuse the number of games available to them with the quality of the games. It becomes very apparent when players switch from NLH to PLO. Even though on some poker rooms it might be difficult to find 6-8 PLO tables at any given time, they are often all very good. The same poker room may offer 20 or 30 reg-infested no-limit tables giving players the illusion of choice. This is why you shouldn't disqualify a poker room just because of the low traffic. Pay attention to the quality of the average table instead.
Let's take a look at the best example of the poker room that offers easy poker games:
Unibet seems to be doing everything in their power to attract recreational players and discourage regulars from playing on their site. It's impossible to use a tracking software on Unibet, you can't table select (you can only join a shared player pool and you're automatically assigned to a table), players can use many different aliases which is effectively a hybrid between classic and anonymous tables. On top of that, the VIP scheme is constructed in a way that appeals mostly to recreational with many different missions and achievements where rewards aren't always monetary.
Some regs might consider this poker room to be unplayable, but if you take a closer look at it, it's actually very attractive. First and foremost, the recreational to regular player ratio is simply amazing, the software might not be the cleanest or the most responsive but it's slick and good looking. The VIP scheme while confusing at first, actually offers competitive rewards to high volume players (provided that you're willing to stay flexible when it comes to your game selection).
Other examples of poker rooms offering easy games:
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it's time to pause and reflect.This famous Mark Twain quote clearly illustrates the most important aspect of finding easy poker games. Choosing one of the biggest poker rooms just because everyone else does is perhaps not the most optimal and if you're willing to sacrifice some convenience you'll often be rewarded with a higher win rate.
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