The difference in player strength examined

In terms of poker strength we all know the higher you are ranked the better you are.

I have to say there is really not much difference between a ranked 40 player and a ranked 99 or 200 player.

But the difference in terms of strength is very exaggerated when you compare a ranked 4 player vs a ranked 20. The ranked 4 player is like a chess grandmaster and ranked 20 player is just an average good player.

My concern really is that the players who are not in the top 15 really have no chance against any of the top 10 players. We have more chips and we simply play better.

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So prove it. Play exactly 1 daily freeroll and win it. This should be easy for someone with that much skill, right?


well said SPG

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  1. a ranked 1 player is better then ranked 100, how is this wrong?
  2. yup!
  3. lol, i love beating on the bad players, not retiring anytime soon!
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this post is +1… 100% true AINEC. @SunPowerGuru, I appreciate most of your post/replies, but asking someone to win a freeroll donkament to prove how good they are is ludicrous, IMHO.

@Ilovecat, if this is a troll to goat players to take shots at 100k/200k plus, brilliant.

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no i am just stating the obvious LOL!

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Seem to have lil Faith of Victory in a freeroll. A Gifted Player with much early folding should at least be close to the final table if desired. Pick a nine top with Fewer players than usual and let Us know…

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Just played the Community Freeroll and made it to the Last Hand Played.

This would be a monumental task for someone that has never won a tournament like cat.

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I have returned after several months just to comment on this thread lol. I definitely agree with @Ilovecat that the top 5 players are significantly better than everybody else. However, I would point out that being “better” just means a higher winrate. A high level of aggression crushes the field better than it may crush any 1 particular opponent. The skills required to maximize cash-game winrate on Replay are not necessarily the same as the skills required to win heads-up against a particular opponent or to win in a setting with a more skilled opponent pool.

Therefore, “being better” is relative to a particular game and context, so the top players are only that much better at beating the competition they happen to face. The player pool on Replay is so hopelessly flawed that playing a particularly exploitative style maximizes winrate by capitalizing on the weaknesses of these players. Against more skilled and balanced opponents on average, the play style of the top players may not be as effective. This exploitative style may actually be very exploitable by skilled opponents and may be a losing style or require a lot of adaptation based on a particular table.

Basically, against good players you need to be closer to GTO, but the players here are so far from good that you don’t need GTO at all, so being good here might actually mean you are bad elsewhere, unless you are able to adapt to different games. The only players here who seem to be playing exploitative poker while also making themselves difficult to exploit by leaning toward GTO are the top two.

Edit: having played a little bit heads up against gamergirl and ilovecat, my two cents are that they tried to play the same against me that they would play against the rest of the field, and that in general it was a wash. They are better than me, but their style was not as conducive to beating a player like me versus other Replay players, while when I played heads up against unranked and idiotplayer there was a clear skill advantage on the balance of play. The first two play extremely aggressively and overbluff to apply pressure, while the latter two are more balanced and seem to have an edge in all areas of the game by not making betting mistakes, bluffing mistakes, sizing mistakes, or folding mistakes.


Thank you for the huge compliment, as always. I would have to defer some of that, however.

For what it’s worth, I don’t attribute my success on Replay to my playstyle being exploitative, because I don’t really attempt to exploit anything in particular unless a tendency is glaringly obvious. Rather, I play mostly on autopilot except for really large river decisions. I think that my chip count is more a statement about the population pool’s skill than it is mine.

Some time ago, I had the immense privilege of playing with a bunch of highly skilled players (think PhDs in quantitative disciplines who fiddle with Pio in their free time and actually beat 200NLz for nontrivial sums). The skill gap between them and myself was eye-opening, to say the least. Since then, life has caught up and I have been busy with work, but I was made aware of how suboptimal my game was. This is something I have come to accept since I am not prepared to invest more time to get better.

However, “better” is a really loaded word in poker. Is person A better than person B if they are more GTO, whatever that means? Or is better a more meaningful term when defined in terms of profitability? Not sure about what others think, but to me, the latter feels like the only useful definition to evaluate skill. After all, why play poker if not to win?

In this light, I think the other three individuals you highlighted in your post are better players than I am. I know for a fact their [net worth/hands played] ratios are higher than mine, so for them (and unlike for me), their chip count is indeed a direct reflection of their skill.


yeh, what you said is very true. The players here are very exploitative, everyday I just do the same thing over and over again and collect chips LOL. Right now the only players that I think are equal to my level are enryu, idoitplayer and perhaps gamergirl!

i am ranked 2 now!!! anyways you are correct on your post.!!!

unranked in all honesty you are not that good of a player!

You started the thread with this “fact”, then you went to another thread and declared yourself a better player than someone who is ranked higher than you. I rest my case :wink:

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haha :joy:
i think she really loves to bluff :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I never knew having such a high ranking paid so well. Somebody please remind me again the easiest way to move up in rankings. I’d be interested (as in curious) in knowing how many of the top 100 ranked players have never bought chips. I know I am better than Cat because I have all the “achievements”, whereas Cat doesn’t. Any more superfluously moot arguments to be made?

Personally I’ve never bought chips. I’d be surprised if many in the top 100 have.

Play decent poker and keep moving up in stakes as soon as you have the bankroll for it.


It has been a while but Ilovecat posted a screen shot of her “bank” page showing the “first purchase special” still available. Don’t know if that’s any kind of proof but I accept it as evidence.