Why You Need To Beat 2nl Zoom

It's tougher than you'd think...

Party Poker, poker table. 2nl Play and Explain/ Explain as you go poker video from professional coach Jacob Topley
Check out the PokerCoaching.Online YouTube channel for Jacob Topley's "Explain as You Go" poker series, detailing how you can beat 2nl.

You need to walk before you can run, and in poker you need to beat 2nl zoom before you consider playing any other form of poker. Why? Because 2nl zoom is a tough but beatable stake. Me and my friends used to call 2nl Zoom “The Gym”, you wouldn’t enter a strongman competition without sufficient training first. 2nl is the same- you’re playing to hone and sharpen your arsenal of poker skills.

You will pick up some great skills that are vital for you when you play any higher poker stakes. 2nl Zoom also questions your mental state, it will be a dull grind. If you can make it through the monotony and the low income generated, you will feel an increased level of confidence and ability to master your own psyche. This sets you up for success at the higher stakes.

Furthermore, if you can beat 2nl zoom you can play profitable poker against any random opponent that you come up against in live poker. I would also argue, that the skill gap between a losing and winning player is much higher and more difficult to conquer compared to a winning player trying to move up the stakes. Once you master the ability to play profitable poker, the skill gap between 2nl and 5nl is much smaller and feels much more achievable. Beating 2nl will kickstart your poker career.

To put forward my arguments today I'll be focusing on what I believe are the 3 biggest reasons for grinding through the stake. Mental Game, GTO Skills, and Confidence. Let's start by looking into the benefits playing 2nl will have on your mental game.

Mental Game

You Play with Big Blinds, not Cash

2nl Zoom is an incredible tool for helping you to keep on top of your mental game. When you play poker, you shouldn’t be focused on the cash value of the chips you play with. One of the biggest mistakes that new players make is playing a high stake online without understanding that they are playing to make big blinds, not cash. This often results in them getting overly attached to the cash value of the big blinds (BB), causing them to make negative expected value (EV) decisions for fear of losing big money. On the flip side, when you get a student to play 2nl, they think that the $2 is meaningless, causing them to make -EV decisions because they neglect to think about the BB value of their decision.

To play profitable poker you can’t become attached to the cash value of the chips in play. If you want to beat 2nl poker you need to learn that and keep that in the forefront of your mind while you grind your way to victory. This is also tough, because it takes a significant time investment to statistically beat the stake.

By subjecting yourself to this low stakes poker you will force yourself to become a much more rational and less emotive individual. You stop attaching so much weight behind every hand and start seeing poker as a long form game where results in one hand mean very little so long as you got the strategy right. This keeps you objective and disciplined, you start to make fewer mistakes related to emotional attachment to cash and start making more rational decisions.

Maintaining Focus, Discipline, and Tilt Management

Now that you are playing sensible poker, with well thought out decisions and strategy, you need to maintain it. You must stay focused all the time when you are playing at the table or else you will never beat the stake. This metal fortitude that you develop at 2nl will pay off in dividends when you start playing 50 or 100nl. You are going to be sacrificing hundreds of hours to play enough hands to statistically say that you have beaten the stake. This will force you to learn how to stay focused for long periods of time. Lack of focus leads to -EV decisions, a couple of these per session and you can easily stay a losing player. If you beat 2nl you will have learnt to maintain focus.