High stakes players pushing around low stakes table

It seems like 90% of the low stakes tables are hijacked by a high stakes player, with endless reloads pushing around people with very few chips. I understand that they do it because they can’t play the way they do on high stakes tables. But this has been a problem on replay for years. Why would a new person stay here and play if they have to go all in to call every hand because of some high player who can’t hang on a high table? I’m sure there will be a ton of responses like “just take their chips”. yeah yeah you try it some time and see how you like it. Replay poker NEEDS TO LIMIT HIGH STAKES PLAYER TO HIGH OR MEDIUM TABLES PERIOD. New people don’t stay around just to get owned by some hack you rivers out and forces you to put in your last 1000 chips on a 1250 table.

This is a valid point. I think there should be some tables where you aren’t allowed on them if your bankroll is higher than a certain amount. This would create a “kiddie pool” league which would protect inexperienced players as well as players who are low on chips from being bullied by high stakes players.

That said, there are a few legitimate reasons a high stakes player may want to drop down to low stakes… to try out different strategies, to ride out a losing streak without hurting their bankroll too much, to play with less-experienced friends and give them lessons, maybe… probably other reasons as well. I would hope RPP can accommodate a protective low stakes environment while still allowing high stakes players to get on a low stakes game now and then.

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I’m not sure what you consider high stakes players but I like to chill on the 5/10 ring games after several hours of intense, higher risk games and I am guilty of checking the auto-reload button.
Speaking for myself, I’m not at the low stakes tables to win chips but to have fun and relax with friends.
If I were not allowed to play low stakes because I have a good size bank and I check the reload button, well my entertainment value here would be diminished significantly…I don’t think your proposed rule would be fair even though I’m not a fan of bullies either.


If you see the problem as being players with more than “X” chips, this isn’t the solution… Click on the image of most of those “all-inners” and you’ll find the majority of them are ranked above 200,000. That means they DON’T HAVE a lot of chips–likely because they ARE all-inners.
Almost every new player tries it. Most learn it isn’t a long-term successful strategy in short order though a few never learn. But, there is an endless supply of new guys whose only prior exposure to poker is what they saw on TV–final tables with lots of big bets and raises. TV doesn’t show all the ho-hum hands where the BB picks up the SB’s bet, and says “next deal, please.” TV only shows the exciting stuff.
No limit poker has a place for the all in bet, but like every other tool or tactic, it can be, and often is, overused.
No all in bet can cost you more than you have on the table. Buy in for what you think you can afford, play your best to grow it, and use good judgement about when to call and when to fold. You’ll be okay, if you’re patient.


This debate goes on it the world of cash poker as well. In fact, it was the cause of a widely publicized feud between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk. If you’ve seen anything with the words “More rake is better” on it, this is what it is referring to. Negreanu argued that the only way to give recreational players a chance at lower stakes is to keep the pros out. The best way to keep pros out is to increase the rake. By his reasoning, the much higher rake structures at low stakes benefits the recreational players by making it less profitable for the pros to play there. Polk disagrees but I can see the merit in the argument. Pros are in it for the money so a higher rake structure should act as a barrier to entry for them. There is no other way to keep anyone who can afford the minimum buy-in on any table off of it.

Back to the point at hand on this site - I agree that playing against calling stations with effectively infinite bankrolls for the stakes they are playing is annoying, dull, frustrating and all the rest. Its also very difficult to prevent from happening without walling off parts of the site from one another. That probably wouldn’t work well with the concept of running a social-poker site. Just like you can’t prevent someone from playing above their bankroll, you can’t prevent people from playing below it. Therefore all you can do is prepare a strategy to make the best of it and there are several things you can do.

  1. Table selection - look at the lobby and try to find tables without these people on them, even if you have to start a new table yourself
  2. Adjust your strategy - you will have to accept higher variance, period. You can be more selective in the hands you play and how you play them though. The proper strategy will depend on whether there are 1 or several of these calling stations on your table. The greater the number of stations, the less valuable single pair hands are and the more valuable drawing hands become.
  3. Learn to rathole - if you win a big pot and triple up, leave the table and bank your winnings. This is the opposite of conventional wisdom but it becomes a useful tool. Bank your winnings and go to another table. This strategy can be combined with the strategy of bringing less than a full stack to the table. You will be looking to get your whole stack in on premium hands and hope they hold up. To minimize the impact of variance on your bankroll, you can play lower stakes than you normally do or bring less chips to your regular tables.
  4. Go all-in more - this goes with the higher variance part but its something you’ll have to do in order to have a chance to make a profit. Look at the stack to pot ratios and realize when you have to get it all in with certain hands. You will lose a good number of these hands but its more profitable than being forced to fold lots of equity again and again because the other guy is controlling the action.

I’m sorry you are experiencing this. Its just a part of the game and there are many reasons for it, good and bad. People don’t like to talk about the ugly realities of poker but the game is fundamentally about beating up on the weak. For all the talk of ranges and balance and theory, the number 1 factor in whether you will make a profit in poker or not is game/table selection. You do not make money playing people as good as you are or better. You make your money by finding players you have an edge on and exploiting that edge. Being able to effectively change the blinds on a table because you have a lot of money is an edge.

Try to have fun and realize that its something most people have gone through at one time or another. It will not go away at any stakes you play, here or in real life. You just have to accept reality for what it is and try to bust through as best you can. It may not be fair or fun but it is a fact of the game.

As far as people saying “just take their chips” - its BS. You will be at a disadvantage on a table with a few of these players on it. Its the same with any table of calling stations because the table acts as a defensive unit. Its not conscious or collusion, it just happens. Your hand has to hold up vs more than 1 other player most of the time so has less equity. Unless you manage your wins properly, you will find it hard to be profitable.


Replay seeks to replicate poker rooms in the real world…and in the real world they do not check your wallet when you sit down at a poker table…

I think the best way to avoid this problem currently is to play SNG tournaments.

  1. Everyone has the same chip stack at a SNG, and there’s no re-buy, so there’s no way to bully players who have a small bankroll.
  2. Low stakes SNG aren’t profitable enough for a high stakes player to want to play them, even if they have more skill than the typical low-stakes player.

This is pretty much why I like playing SNG vs. RG. SNG feels more like “real” poker to me.

Very good point. Anyone who disagrees is frankly naive to the facts. It’s not to “practice my game, play with friends, or try a new strategy”. That’s just nonsense and an insult to every player who can see clearly what’s happening consistently by a large number of players. I’ve played enough here to see the strategy - large raise with a weak hand, backed by their big bank, sees off players with a better hand who aren’t in a position to match because of their smaller bank. There are no constant buy-ins in real poker, so the argument that there are no restrictions in real poker, is mute. These players then consistently build their bank, until the illusion that they are “good players” and when challenged often refer to their ban as though that’s some reflection of how well they play. When challenged to join a knockout tournament with no re-buys, they often suddenly are full of excuses, ( “oh it’s not worth my time”). Yeah, sure, we all know that a level playing field soon sorts the wheat from the chaff.

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