Different earn rates in Texas Hold’em
In the modern Texas Hold’em game then there is a large number of articles that have been written on the subject of bankrolls. This is where I feel that a large number of people are lacking understanding. One such measure comes from the increasing use of PokerTracker which is the number one online poker tracker program at this time. This measures your earn rate in ptbb/100 which stands for PokerTracker big bets per 100 hands.
This causes a lot of confusion because a big bet is a limit hold’em term relating to the bets on the larger betting rounds on the turn and the river. But yet this term is till used in PokerTracker. So we cannot confuse big bets with big blinds as a big bet is double the big blind. So if a player had an earn rate of 10ptbb/100 at $1-$2 no-limit Texas hold’em then this would not be $20/100 but actually $40/100.
This then equates to $/hour based on how many hands per hour that you are seeing. So a player who was playing more tables but maintaining the ptbb/100 would make more money per hour because they would be playing more hands per hour and so the yield would be greater. But yet as you start to move up through the levels then it is clear that game selection will become a far more critical factor.
So you may not be able to play the same number of hours at your higher level and you may also not be able to maintain your ptbb/100 figure at the stage that it was at lower levels of play. The plan of course is that the higher stakes games should produce more $/hour but this is not always the case. Often a lack of playing time and decent games to play and weaker opposition can leave players at levels like NL400 and NL600 sitting out as their optimum money management move.
I have met numerous lower stakes players who were making as much money if not more than many of their middle stakes rivals. What is a factor here is in how the ability to earn more money at higher levels becomes a geometrically escalating problem. More time, knowledge and effort is required to beat NL600 than it is NL100 but this time, knowledge and effort may not be possible for many people. What I meant by “geometrically escalating problem” was that the size of the task in beating any level is consummate to the size of that level.
This is why for me personally then I much prefer to multi-table limits that I know that I can either beat well or can crush. Even though this prevents me from ever making life changing amounts of money, it does always provide me with stable income and that is basically what I need. So it pays to remember that ptbb/100 is not the same as bb/100 or bb/hour and certainly not $/hour. It is the $/hour metric that is the number one metric for me in poker and nothing else.