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Why PP's Ranked System is a Boring Joke.

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This message is for ClearConscious and The Mayor, as well as all diamond players.  

It's a detailed list of why PP's ranked system is a joke.  :-)  



The entire RANKED SYSTEM is like a joke without a good punchline.  :-)

*Now don't go making assumptions that I'm here to complain about my lack of ranking or the deck shuffling algorithm, since that's the opposite of what I'm doing here.  

The deck is great and I have no issues with my particular ranking.

Here's my complaint:

I just began playing the ranked system very recently (only played 8 or 9 ranked games), hoping to get away from donkey-style "shove monkeys" who push all-in with any 2 cards.

To my surprise, the ranked system did eliminate all donkeys from the table --- so I was pleasantly surprised by that.   No more all-in shoves preflop with 7/2 offsuit.  Yippee.  :-)

For a brief moment, I thought this was the perfect online poker game.

Until I quickly realized that PP's ranked system causes the exact opposite to happen.

It was IMPOSSIBLE to get any action from other players at Silver level or higher.

Nothing but FOLD-MONKEYS in ranked play. 

EVERYBODY plays EXTREMELY 'TIGHT PASSIVE' poker and folds nonstop to the SLIGHTEST bet made post flop (unless they have the nuts or something huge)......no matter how small the bet and no matter what the table image of the bettor is.

At first I thought it was just a bad table.   Just an anomaly.   

So I kept playing and saw that every table did this, every single hand, nonstop (at Silver level and higher).

I also quickly realized that the penalty for taking risks too early could wind up costing you -30 ranking points, which is precisely why everybody plays stupid tight/passive poker at the Silver level and above.

So I decided to test out a theory --- to see if I could reach Gold level fairly quickly, and it worked.  

I just sat back and folded nearly every hand for 6 or 7 straight tournaments, until at least 3 or 4 of the other players got knocked out --- and then I'd begin playing poker.

It took a LONG time for these players to knock each other out, since everybody plays SUPER passively.

The strategy worked, though.  

However, once it got down to me and 1 or 2 other players, it was still impossible to get any action from them.  Not even from a "platinum" player who was sitting at the table.

Everybody folds to any SMALL bet made post flop unless they've got the nuts or something really good -- even if the person betting has begun doing it every hand and is obviously bluffing some of the time.      

It's a nonstop fold-fest that goes on until the blinds get so high that people have no choice but to play.

So I realized that the ONLY way to get action (when there's only 2 or 3 of us left) is to SHOVE all-in PREFLOP with decent cards, hoping to get occasional callers who also have decent cards.

It worked.  That's the ONLY way to get serious action in ranked play ---- UNLESS you want to wait until you get the nuts and another player gets a monster hand (but less than the nuts) and you can stack him.  But that takes a LONG time to wait for those "perfect" moments.

Anyway, after 6 or 7 games I made it to "Gold level" --- and I did this by nonstop folding and waiting until 3 or 4 players got knocked out (which takes a LONG time), then I came alive and started shoving all-in PREFLOP with hands that I felt had an advantage, but not premium hands since those take too long to get.

I detest shove monkeys, but I had NO CHOICE since betting ANY amount post flop gets nothing but folds on most hands --- and therefore extends the game time to over 60-90 minutes which is too damn long for a video game.   

...Sure enough, my strategy worked and I won a few tournaments and took 2nd in a couple, reaching Gold level fairly fast by simply folding until there were 2 or 3 of us left and then shoving preflop whenever I had 'good' cards (but not great).  

Long story short... (okay, long story even LONGER, lol)

Even though I was doing well and placing well, it was BORING AS CRAP since I wasn't playing poker.

There was even a platinum at the table and he played just like everybody else.  Folding for nearly an hour on every hand.   He also checked & called way too often when faced with aggressive betting, even while holding monster hands.  He was just "grinding" away and protecting his stack like a grandma protecting her grandkids, just like everybody else at the table.

Then I finally realized that there's no real point of getting to platinum/diamond level --- since these same fold-monkeys are gonna be there too.   

I'm guessing that diamond games last for 2 hours, lol.

I finally got bored of winning or placing 2nd in ranked tournaments using BORING strategies just to get more "ranking" points so that I could soon be a "diamond". LOL.

So I'm going back to casual ring games --- getting away from PP's ranked games which encourage nothing but folding nonstop until the blinds get big enough.

At least if PP gave us an OPTION to choose "turbo mode" (where the blinds get big faster) then we wouldn't have to sit around for an HOUR before people stop folding and begin playing.   

But because we have no Turbo mode as an OPTION and likely never will, the ranked system will forever just encourage endless folding to ANY aggression unless somebody has the nuts.  

And that's not real poker.  It's basically the OPPOSITE of donkeys.  It's snails.  It's FOLD-MONKEYS.

I never thought I'd say this ---- BUT I'M HAPPILY GOING BACK TO THE DONKEYS IN RING GAMES.  

IMO, donkeys are a breath of fresh air compared to the BORING FOLD-MONKEYS who play in the ranked system.   I can't believe those words came out of my mouth, LOL.   I never thought I'd value donkeys over diamonds, but it happened.

Diamonds are nothing but patient FOLD-MONKEYS.  🙂 

The game itself is awesome, very fun and fair,  but the RANKED system is a joke. 

End of my rant.  :-)   

Yes, I'm aware that I repeated my same points at least 10-20 different times.  :-)

Flame away.  :-)

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You do realize that pros fold the vast majority of their hands? Watch some pro poker some time. In a table of, let's say, 8 players, if you see more than three players going post-flop, that's a real rarity.

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Not only that, but different strategies for different tables makes sense.  I’ve noticed the same issues, and realized that playing more aggressively was better as you move up.

And clamoring for a turbo mode in a game in which the blinds are already going up to fast is basically asking for a bingo mode.  

The biggest problem is that the game does not teach well. And n my estimation, 75% of layers do not understand fold equity and that you need to adjust your starting hand requirements based on the ratio of chips to blinds, or M. The blinds go up so quick that many players do not realize they are short stacked.  

I cannot imagine how terrible the gameplay would be with faster blinds.

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You've got a pretty small sample size there. I've played a lot of tables that are as you describe. But I've also played a lot of tables that are not. Stick with it and I think you'll see that it isn't always like that. Not everyone plays so tightly. Good luck!

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The flat payouts are what are driving the issues you describe.  It's a 12 point jump for every person you outlast.  It's more important to survive through the next guy than it is to get involved and try to build an early stack which would give you a better chance to get to 1st/2nd.

It would be nice if rank payouts were more like chip payouts, where 4th thru 6th is the same thing, and first is more heavily weighted.  Average out the negative impact to rank and give the same to all 4th thru 6th and give 1st a bigger payout relative to 2nd/3rd.  In real money poker a better player wins more in the long run not by avoiding 5th/6th but by maximizing 1st/2nd.  Strategic risks that increase your odds of winning also often increase your odds of going out early.  Being more aggressive and taking more risks to get yourself into position to get to the top 2 is a good approach when payouts are heavily top loaded.  This would create a bubble to get to 3rd but it would reduce the extreme cautiousness on hand 1, instead encouraging you to get yourself into position to comfortably survive into the top 3, since there's no additional penalty for 6th over 4th.


Edited by PMGS247

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Most of the silver tables I've played do have 'shove monkeys' to use your term. Bronze tables all have them. I expect 1-3 players like this on silver tables and 3-5 at the bronze level.

The best way to advance in my opinion is to wait until the two most careless players have busted, then start playing seriously. Gold games almost always last over an hour and 2 hours isn't unusual.  I played a solid hour heads up just recently at gold level before finally winning. The entire match was well over 2 hours.

In platinum everyone is extremely cautious but I think it's because it is so difficult to get a game. I've waited an hour just to get the game.  I've never made it to diamond yet because I can't get enough platinum games.  

Generally I fold all hands that are not in the top 40 when there are six players, and only play aggressively with top 20 hands. During that time, I pay close attention to the other player styles and try to learn something. Ideally I will win one big hand early in the game so I can relax and let the players who are struggling get desperate and bust out.  The bigger my stack, the more conservative I play but I do look for great openings to build my chip lead.

One thing I've noticed is that almost nobody uses the ability to show your cards. Most people just hide them. Although this is the norm in live poker tournaments, it's one of the only ways we have playing online to manipulate the game. I like to show my cards when I have just won a big hand and wasn't bluffing. This sends a message that if you call me you better have the cards. It also gives me more leeway to bluff and I know that when people do raise me that they probably have me beat.

So overall I do think the ranking system works. It's just very difficult to get games in the final two tiers. I've tried dropping down a tier, but this doesn't have very good risk vs reward.

Edited by greg0422

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