i used to win a lot but not so much anymore. are the games harder than they used to be or is it just me?
Yes definitely! Internet poker and all the training sites and software that people use (see recent post below about HUDs) have raised the bar so high. It sucks
I think the games are harder than they used to be, because not as many recreational players are interested in poker due to the lessening of its popularity after the Moneymaker and internet poker days. However, I think a repeat of the game's popularity is coming soon as online poker starts to come back in various states, which will make the games easier again.
I think players at lower limits especially learned not to stack-off in No-Limit. Remember that the poker boom saw a quick transition from Limit poker being dominant, to No-Limit. Too many people were simply unprepared for NL play, and some of them would get all-in pre with almost any pocket pair or high ace. That, plus the fact that many weak players could end up check/calling through their whole stack on weak draws against properly sized bets from stronger players. And crazy-overplaying top-pair on the flop.
Those are a few really really juicy behaviors that I don't see to the same degree, either live or online, anymore. It was probably unsustainable for the poker economy to have too many of those folks kicking around for too long; they either learn or go broke.
In any event, I'm looking forward to the legal return of US online poker as well. Might capture whole new demographics that weren't interested when online poker was a legal gray-area in the US...
thx, so its not just me. guess thats good
I do think the games are harder. My opinion is that this is especially true in Las Vegas. But having played in very soft games in Colorado, Florida, and Arizona over the last year, I would say that good games do exist out there. My own opinion/experience is that the games in Las Vegas have gotten harder. More hardcore/experienced players seem to play in Las Vegas, even at the $1/$2 no limit level. There are less clueless fish than there used to be. Even the bad players tend to be very aggressive, which makes them very dangerous (you may have to stack off to them in situations simply because they bluff often enough to make certain situations really difficult). However, I do find fishier players as local regulars in the smaller card rooms all around the country. Even still, I'd agree that the game is not as good as it was during its heyday. But beatable games exist. They are harder to find in Vegas, but they exist in Vegas. And they are even more common elsewhere. I'd not say I am recommending against Vegas. Where else do you have all the food options, beautiful women, cheap hotels, variety of promotions, and table hoping options you have on the Las Vegas Strip. I still love Las Vegas, I just think the games are tougher.
Interestingly, I used to think Vegas was the world's largest fishtank five years ago, which meant I believed it was the most profitable place on the earth to play poker. Now I'd call it harder than average. But, if you are selective on your tables (and you run average or better luckwise), there is still money to be made in Vegas. But I suspect more money can be made outside of Vegas, if you are willing to sacrifice all the other things that make Vegas the best city on earth.
@allin67 very interesting. Great perspective!