Marginalpoker

Playing the margin, making the rake

These days in the lower levels of no limit Texas Hold em online then there is a very large percentage of players who can be classed as weak-tight. These are players who have travelled some considerable way down the poker evolutionary ladder. They understand quite a bit about the more advanced side of the game and their playing decisions can be defined as solid. However many players like this struggle to beat the game or only do so for small amounts of money.

In fact these days then players who struggle to beat the game are the fish of today compared to players of a few years ago who were absolutely terrible. If a player is a break even player or thereabouts then many people would argue as to how you could call these players fish if you cannot extract money from them. Well the fact of the matter is that you can. Let us look at a player who we shall call “Joe”. This guy breaks even but he breaks even in a way that is beneficial to stronger players. He makes $1200/month in rakeback but that is offset by him losing $1200/month on the tables.

The end result is that he breaks even but he is still putting $1200/month into the poker economy that the better players will pick up. In fact in this instance then the poker site is actually helping the good player to make money. The act of giving this player $1200/month is helping to keep a fish active in the games and any player who is not losing money will likely keep on playing. In their minds (and they may be right) then with a little work and perseverance then they could easily be making money.

However even winning players can still be “fish” for good players and it is easy to see why that is. Imagine a player who makes $1500/month in rakeback but loses $500/month on the tables to better players. This player is not only making a profit of $1k/month but he is also contributing $500/month to better players than himself. Also winning players are less inclined to change their games because why should they……they have the game cracked because they make $1k/month. So in a subtle roundabout way then the site is collecting rake, awarding a percentage of it back to the player and then you as a hopefully stronger player get some of that.

This is why it is not automatically correct to view winning players as having no value in the game. In my experience then weak-tight players can and do make money online because they can make money from the really terrible players at the lower levels. This doesn’t allow them to be +EV in the games but to lose less money than they normally would. Then in turn they pass this money back to stronger players or a percentage of it.