I’d like to add a few tidbits that go right along with what Nolan has already covered: The majority of tournament players live “score to score”. They live excessively lavishly when they hit a big score, and are broke the rest of the time.
Most of the tournament players don’t take the time to understand how much each tournament is worth to them. I wrote a column a while ago called, Play Hours Not Results. In it, I explained how growing up I was never concerned with my results on any given day, I was simply concerned with getting 40 hours of “work” in at the tables. I knew that “in the long run” I’d earn $44 for every hour I spent at the tables.
A simple concept, that can be applied to tournaments as well. Example:
In a typical situation like this one, I would expect roughly a return of $2000 on average, making the tournament worth $940 to me. Tournament time will probably average 4.5 hours of playing time and another 1.5 hours of break and preparation time. A total of 6 hours for $940 an hour (or $156.67 ph).
So whether or not I win the tournament or am the first one out, I’ve earned $940. If I win $45,000, I’ve in actuality only earned $940. The typical tournament player fails to understand this simple truth.
The typical player puts so much added emotional stress on themselves, always believing, “I have to make a score. Then everything will be all right.” Rather than take a scientific approach, they are banking on a “lucky” score to rid them of all their financial worries. However, the “score” is usually just a temporary relief of the stresses they’ll soon face once again.
In fact, in most cases the score might just get them out of the hole, needing yet ANOTHER score to have any kind of a bankroll.
On the flip side, you have the successful cash game players. They don’t make big scores. On the surface, it may appear as though “they” are “grinding it out”. When in fact, the opposite is closer to true.
The cash game player is building a solid foundation. With an adequate https://www.simplylearnt.com/ bankroll, he is avoiding the emotional swings the tournament players typically suffer through. Sure it doesn’t appear glamorous. No trophies, no accolades, no “pictures in magazines.” None of that… all they are left with is a house that is paid for… a car that is paid for… children put through school, and finally, a social life of their own choice.
In several columns I’ve made reference to this. I’ve said all along that the “real” players are in the side games. The true greats are players you’ll rarely hear of, and for the most part, that’s exactly how they prefer it.
Acting Like A Victim
Sharks can smell blood in the water from miles away. How hard is it for a shark at your table to sense you are hurting and come in for the kill?
You know the answer: IT’S EASY. It doesn’t even take a shark to know when things are going bad for you. A guppy would come over for a bite, if you opened a wound.
What AM I talking about? I’m talking about acting like a victim at the poker table.
If you start losing, and begin to whine in frustration, even a novice poker player knows to jump on you when you are down.
To get the man-eaters to go devour someone else, you must learn to hide the fact that you’ve taken a severe beat. Don’t turn your cards over and whine, “You only had two outs, how could you call me?” This stamps ‘LOSER’ on your forehead, and you can bet your next raise will be called by half the table.
I had a hand recently in a No-Limit Hold’em game that is an example of how to avoid being victimized at a poker table.
I had pocket Aces under the gun and came in for six times the big blind. I was hoping, of course, that someone would reraise me. But instead, I got three callers behind me. The flop came A Q 7 rainbow (three different suits). This was a wonderful flop for my hand, giving me the ‘nuts’ with top set. I checked and it was checked around to the big blind who bet. I smooth called. Everyone else folded.
The turn came a Jack. The big blind bet, I called. The river came a 10, the only card that could beat me. He bet, I folded. I knew what the big blind had, A K. But he never knew I flopped trip Aces. He showed me his A K of Hearts. I never showed him my two black Aces.
The sharks couldn’t come feed on me, because I didn’t whine about my bad luck! We (including me) could now turn on someone else that had ‘LOSER’ stamped on their forehead and were bleeding in the water.
Notice no matter how I played the hand, I would lose to the big blind’s perfect perfect catch. If I go all-in before, on or after the flop I lose everything I have in front of me. The big blind had more chips than I did and would have called my all-in with his A K of Hearts. If HE goes all-in at any time before the river, I have to call and I lose everything.
Instead, I lost the absolute minimum on the hand. I lived to play the next hand without anyone suspecting how bad a beat I had taken. I didn’t act like a victim, so I wasn’t treated like one.
If you feel the need for self-pity when you take a beat, go to the restroom and sob in a stall away from anyone’s notice. Showing your hand at the table and wailing about how bad your luck is, will only encourage the other players to take more bites out of your wounded carcass.
Act like a victim and you WILL be victimized. Take my word for it.