So you’ve made it up through the minefields that are the micro’s and want to kick on at 50nl and up through SSNL? If you haven’t then back to the drawing board I’m afraid, if you have then read on…

50nl will provide far more challenges then the micro levels that have gone previously, but with a little work and adjusting there’s no reason why you can’t be a significant winner at the level.

If you haven’t already you need to purchase tracking software such as Hold’em Manager or Poker Tracker. These pieces of kit are essential to becoming a successful player at any of the limits from 50nl and upwards. It’s imperative that once you have made your purchase that you learn how to use it properly as they are both extremely good at finding leaks in your game. They may at first seem slightly daunting, however have a look round and get a feel for the program before you start playing and you will immediately see how much information you can gain about your game.

50nl will probably provide the largest playing pool on your chosen site. It’s very much a middle ground where there’s a steady mix of fish and regulars. One thing to note is to not be afraid of playing the better regulars. I’m not advocating to go and find them to sit with, but playing some hands with people that are better then you (or at least seem to be) will only bring on your game and put you in good stead for when you next move up and encounter a higher regs (regulars) to fish ratio.

Table selection is now very important! Sitting on a 6 max table with 5 other regulars playing a standard TAG game of 20/18 will be ludicrously pointless at 50nl and there will only be one winner at that table, the rake! Don’t be afraid to jump around from table to table in search of the fish. Often you can spot players who are likely going to be bad before you have even sat down at a table. You can do this by searching for people sat with anything from $25-45 (or just under $50). These people are usually sat with ‘case money’ (last remaining money in their account) as they were unable to reload to the maximum amount.

The games at 50nl will be more aggressive then you are used to at the lower limits. There will be less calling and more raising/re-raising which means you are going to have to adjust to these guys. If you use one of the tracking software packages such as Hold’em manager then you can see stats on your opponents allowing you to determine if people are 3 betting (re-raising) often, therefore ‘light’ or infrequently, therefore ‘tight’. A host of stats will be available to you and from this you need to learn to adjust ranges to each opponent accordingly in order to succeed at 50nl.

A great way to improve is being part of a ‘poker community’ or forum. Contributing hands that you have struggled with and getting advice with any queries you have from players that have beaten the respected levels, is a great and often free source of information.