View Full Version : Latenight Rant About: PL vs. NL

03-24-2005, 09:28 AM
In order to advance the skills of anything you do in life, one must step outside the box and analyze the practice from another angle. "Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change." As for everything in life this statement applys well to Hold'em. If you expierence the game from as many different angles as you can , you are far more likely to understand moves players make and easy mistakes they make.

One advanced way of looking at Hold'em from a radically different perspective is Pot Limit. Highly controversial poker player Russ Georgiv writes, "Believe me when I say, pot limit separates the men from the boys." he goes on to state, "No Limit players can play the game with limited success, provided their
stack doesn't get too big. Most No Limit players, and I mean most No Limit
players know very few moves, even if considered to be world class. The
reason is there are fewer moves to know. "

A key point that Russ was making was that by playing Pot Limit your options for making a move are alot more broad than that of NL. For instance, Pot limit offers the objectiveness of No Limit by strategically allowing the majority of the money into the pot before the "power" move is made. However, it also allows for the structured appeal of limit which helps in gains of reading the player and fully utilize their position on the table.

Pot Limit has been likened to that of a good game of chess. Wherein that a player must make many moves (and think about many other possible moves) in their head before actually making them. For instance, Russ gives an example,

"Playing big stacks in Pot Limit makes the players think ahead. They think,
if I call this bet, what will I have to call next time? They think how
much to raise in each instant, to get the pot to maximum value to bluff or
to win on the river. The great players don't bet to get called all the
time, even when they have the nuts and know they will be able to get X
amount if they bet this amount. Their way of thinking is this, if I bet
this amount to milk this guy, then when I try to steal with a big bet, it
will strike him that I am not milking him. "

Which is just one possibility of the very complex strategies that follow in PL Poker. Alot of RGP posters who follow Russ might wonder why I felt he was correct on this subject. It's quite simple actually; because it truely is the way an amatuer poker player can take a step back and analyze their game, and tweak it towards perfection.

If any player expects to perform well in big tournament situations it is a very good strategy to practice hard in Pot Limit. More poker celebrity endorsers of PL include TJ CLoutier / Tom McEvoy in their PL/NL Book. And, even Daniel Negreanu himself believes (at least in his RGP posts) that Pot Limit Hold'em is the most skillful game of Poker.

03-27-2005, 02:10 AM
When you get to the professional level and especially among the top pros, I think that they would all agree that nl is far more complex than pl. However, in terms of most players, I'd say they would have a tougher time beating a good pl player than they would a good nl player.

One big reason is because you can't just use the old "I'm all in" move at any time. This agressive play can be very effective in nl when used properly but most people simply do it because their post flop game is bad so they want to get all there money in when they have the least disadvantage. In pl, you can't always do that. You have to make moves like check raising in order to build a pot. When the blinds are low compared to everyone's chip stacks, this is when you can really see the good players seperate themselves from everyone else.