GG rush and cash leaderboard worsens the game, especially micro stakes. Here’s why.
TLDR: GG’s leaderboard’s cash prizes encourage players to play the system, not the game. Cheapening and worsening the game experience for non leaderboard grinders. It forces you to abuse the system if you want to get close to the top.Firstly, this is not a complaint about nit regs that eek out an meagre existence playing 2nl or other micro stakes, they’re annoying but exploitable on every site. It is an issue I’ve found that where GG’s leaderboard policy makes the games worse.For those that don’t play on GG, you get points for playing rush and cash(zoom) and the more points you gain, the higher up the leader board you go. You get 1 point for folding, 3 points for calling and 5 for betting/raising and 5 for using the insurance feature up to a maximum of 20 points per hand. You can get double points for playing from 10pm-11:59pm PST or 10 bonus points for winning in splash pots(rare). The prizes for coming first range from 30 buy ins($60) at 2nl to 5 buy ins($1000) at 200nl.I started looking into this issue was then I started playing a decent amount on GG in January. I began to notice these weird players that would bet 1bb on every street, even ending up on the river with K high. At first I thought they were bots or really confused fish. For example, you would raise preflop on the btn they would call in bb and then donk flop for 1bb and just keep betting every street for 1bb. If you raise the flop and they call, they will then donk turn again for 1bb to get 5 points for betting each street. Basically, they change how you can even approach the game as they are not playing a poker strategy, they are playing a win the leaderboard strategy. This is especially bad at micros (I only play 2nl but you will see why it must be an issue at other stakes too)Yesterday, I got 3208 points and played 1,318 hands over 2.62 hs for roughly: 2.5 points per hand or 1225 points per hour playing 2-3 tables at around 510 hands per hour(these numbers seem normal, having checked other sessions). Most I have ever got is 670 hands per hour playing 3 tables. I doubt these players hit that many hands per hour as they 4 table(max limit) or even 8 table rush and cash(4x2NL & 4x2PLO)These players betting 1bb every street are getting a seemingly impossible number of points per hour for someone playing normal poker, even using insurance on every all in(which I never do). If they manage to get 1000 hands per hour(double my average) meaning 2450 points per hour, it would take yesterdays(13 feb) 2NL leaderboard winner with 64,140 points over 24 hours(even with x2 point hours). This problem seems to exist in the leaderboard even until 50NL where yesterdays winner had a slightly more reasonable 47,340 points. However, I can only comment on the exact play style of the 2NL leaderboard grinders.As a college student on a break and in lockdown, I was tempted to do a big grind as a challenge to see what was possible on the leaderboard and potentially use it to boost my bankroll. So its kind of demotivating to see I either need to: play for 24 hours straight to get top 10, or abuse the system and play a nitty loosing poker strategy(you can loose 10 buy ins and still profit in the top 7) but a winning leaderboard strategy. Has anyone else encountered this problem and what have you done about it?On a side note, anyone have tips on how to counter their playstyle? As I said, I believe they play a slight loosing strategy and they are not the best players. However, I try to avoid playing with them when I can as they are so nitty, but they can sometimes make up 40% of the ‘player’ pool due to 4 tabling. The only way to get value from them is to cooler them, bluff them(my favorite method lol) or play a more passive line to get some small value on later streets when they believe I am bluffing.Graph to show im not a salty fish that lost money to the leaderboard nits
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