I've been playing HE for about 18 months now. I've been playing mostly NL cash games. First with friends, then online.
This past june I got PT and started seriously playing online, 4-tabling Party 25NL. By September I have learned to consistently beat it for about 6 BB/100. I played there 2 more months just to make sure, then moved to 50NL. That's when I started spinning my wheels. I barely breaking even, but I take losses in NL very hard psychologically.
I decided to give limit a try. Started 8-tabling Party 0.5/1. Was beating it with my eyes closed. Moved to 4-tabling 1/2. Dropped $150 right off the bat, made adjustments, not I am beating it at rate of 2.5BB/100.
So that is my brief poker career. Already I noticed I like limit a lot better. I don't take losses as hard, and it is easier to find leaks and work on them.
More to it, I am more of a mathematical person rahter than a psychological reader. I am a careful, discipliened, statistical kind of guy amd don't like to put all my eggs in one basket. And I suck at physical reads, though I am observant to betting patterns.
So this got me thinking about the kind of poker I should focus on. I believe different poker games are not just poker with different rules. They each demand more of one type of skill than another.
So if we say that No Limit is a game of psychology and Limit is a game of Statistics and calculation, where does Pot limit Omaha fit into this? somewhere in the middle? What about 7 card stud? I know memorization is more important in stud, to know who folded what. Is it a more of a calculation game though, than Limit HE?
What about Hi/Lo variations? Does that change the game in terms of calculations/psycology scale?
Full table or short handed? I think full table is better for me. It rewards patience and is less person dependent.
I wonder if some other kind of poker out there would be even more fitting for my type than full table Limit HE.
Obviously you don't like variance. So you should avoid PLO and short-handed anything like the plague (though if you do learn how to play them well and have the appropriate roll for a given level they will be more profitable long term). But your variance should be less in nl than limit. However the reason you are probably finding the higher level you went to frustrating is that you aren't practicing good game selection. A table full of nl rocks playing only pairs and AK and yourself doing the same doesn't make for a good game. But with accounts on multiple sites you should still be able to find good games if you make the effort.
If you're playing from a bankroll of $10,000 or less I'd say there is probably as much to be earned playing limit as there is playing N-L.
In any situation where there is at most a nominal disparity in earning potential I'd suggest you do what you enjoy; once you hit a certain point a few dollars per hour more or less just doesn't amount to anything of significance; if "X" pays 20% less hourly than "Y" but you enjoy "Y", just play a few more hours per day or live a little less large.
If I were asked this by someone to whom the aforementioned last dollar was as important to them as oxygen I'd have to advise them to play N-L.
However, as you build your stake to the point where the best game (BR-wise) for you is closing in on being an unqualified "the biggest game I can find" N-L breaks away as the only choice.
At this moment in time the potential earn of a very good N-L player is almost infinite; I didn't realize this until recently (VERY recently in fact) but my tardiness in discovering this does not make it any less true.
I asked in jest on this forum just a few days back if the OP (sorry, name escapes me) was claiming that there would be a sizable number of people clearing a million dollars from online N-L cash games in '06.
I will now give a serious answer to that playful question.
Depending on your definition of "sizable" the answer is either probably, yes, or hell yes.
A very good (he need not even be great) N-L 1,000 or N-L 2,000 player who puts in 200 hours/month can view this as a realistic (if lofty) goal; if he can aquit himself in tournaments it becomes even more attainable. (That said, let's be real - we are talking $400/hr for 2,500 hours). Limit games big enough to allow for this accomplishment do exist but they are far fewer in number. Also, there are alot of really weak players seated at 1k and 2k N-L; while there are some soft spots at 30-60/50-100 (limit) they seem to be much fewer in number.
I hope that helped.
P.S. I am much better at limit than N-L; I also despise N-L. I'm not sure whether the chicken or the egg came first but I am sure that my distaste for the game will keep me from getting good at it anytime soon; I am equally sure that my current deficiency at it will keep me from liking it anytime soon.
This is a good way to play NLHE, actually. In fact, this is why it's such a faddish cash game: as soon as enough players discover this strategy, the games break up for a while. Then, a few years later, everyone forgets and NLHE comes back.
The answer to how long your strategy will grind out a small profit at the lower limits (.50/1 thru 2/4, maybe 3/6) is simply this. As long as there are games, your approach will beat those games; you won't win much but you'll win at a very steady pace - swings will be minimal.
Keywords: As long as there are games
By the end of '06 there will be far fewer games of N-L online and most of those that remain will either be very small (.25/.50 or thereabout) or tough for the non-expert to beat - "good" will no longer get it done at what few games off 5-10, 10-20 blind that survive.
N-L is the "in" game - TV is a powerful ally.
I have written here of both my distaste for and my failure to excel at N-L; those of you choose to use these as excuses to take my euology for N-L with a grain of salt be my guest.
Meet 'ya back here in 365 days - I'll bring my "what was I thinking" tee-shirt.
I said I'll BRING it - be assured I won't be wearing it.