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If i were in your shoes: Scouting and room select. (Part one: HU–CASH)

The times when every ape-man could learn to win money at NL50 are long gone, and that's a fact. On the other hand, for this time that was allotted to excess profits in HU poker each of us has come its own evolutionary way. In other words, the ones who have not adjusted are forced to suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs. And I call the rest for calm. Poker is more alive than our high-fed self-love.

If i were in your shoes: Scouting and room select. (Part one: HU–CASH)


Bumhunting has been a mass and out-of-competition thing for a long time. Nowadays, the center stage among the skills of a HU-player is taken by the ability to find new and unobvious sources of recreational players, to work at his game and to treat poker like business or a job instead of a nice post-card from the Samui beach. That's what we are going to discuss in this post.

Players who devoted minimum time to their skill have lost their main source of money. The ones who were used to opening HU-tables at 5–10 poker sites and choose the most stoned amateurs while drinking a fruit shake.

The majority of the networks were not happy with such a division of labor and profit, so they limited the principle of a market square in a HU lobby with the help of different mechanisms. Greater part of the poker sites have chosen three following ways:

1. Turned HU into the ZOOM format.
2. Restricted the number of available slots per stake (KOTH — King of the Hill).
3. Eliminated HU-tables as a feature.

Of those who have not yet fallen back on such counter-measures are the Party, IPoker, and Ongame poker sites. 

Of less obvious — Betcoin, ENET, Peoples Poker, Cake Italy. (I bet you don't play there, do you?)

If I were you, I would define the peak times in each of these poker sites and create a playing schedule according to them. Moreover. I would devote all of my spare time from playing with fish to winning away the slots in lobby from weaker players. For example, in Hive and Chico networks. And eventually in other networks too.

Even provided that you have an edge in psychology, not the skill, you will eventually take a couple of slots without striking a blow, as one day your opponent who got used to his place in the sun will start flipping out and shipping the buy-ins to you, and as a result he will be forced to make way for a stronger player.

Example. Imagine a player who plays only at IPoker and only HU not higher than NL100, and who makes $200 of rakeback a day (according to the new system). He has a winrate of 1bb and uses reload bonuses. No great shakes, but you have to admit that $7,000–$8,000 a month is a good income for such a niche. 

In between the sessions I would work with equilators, talk to other players, play reg-matches at the stakes lower than my working ones. But most important, I would never threat poker like a taxi driver treats his job: "It's, like, a temporary occupation until I find something better."

It's not very smart or interesting to do something that has no future. Especially given so many other options around you. 

Let me give you a piece of strange advice: You'd better give up poker immediately and forever, if you recognize yourself in such attitude. I'm telling you this as an affiliate and ex-HU-player.

If you adhere to a different approach, I would recommend you spend the rest of your time on mastering new disciplines and scouting new poker sites. Trust me, there are still a lot of places where you can get an "x" number of seats without significant risks of the poker site's bankruptcy or other force majeures.

There is only one rule. The easier the access to the pool of players, the higher is the competition there. The harder the access to the pool, the more are the chances that no one is happy to see you there.

It works for all poker disciplines. 

What would I personally do if my main profit still came from HU?

I would move to China or Canada and play at Bodog in combination with other generally accessible poker sites. Combined with Bodog, there are other small fields with great value. I would start mastering a new discipline (6-max, MTT, PLO) in softer line-ups.

Who knows what tomorrow holds? No one. But smart people know what to devote TODAY to, where every start in a direction different from the direction of the majority of people — is already an impulse to success.

Timofey 22.06.16
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