Monday, January 19, 2009


Backed Into A Corner

As soon as I say I'm going to spend less time on 2+2, a couple of really interesting threads pop up, LDO. First of all, Bond vs Bakes. This reminds me of a book I read recently, Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" (recommended), and a chapter in there where he talks about plane crashes. Most plane crashes, it seems, arise because of a series of mistakes, maybe up to 8 or 10, that have a cumulative effect, rather than just one big mistake. And that's what happened here IMO. From Bakes sitting down to play a satellite without reading the T+Cs and then swapping 50% with Bond late on (a highly questionable move at the very least), all the way through to the screwy backing deal they end up in, payments being missed, the horse degenning off the money ... it's almost never-ending. It's an utter mess to try to sort out who owes what, but I find it disappointing how many people take the line "let me find a legalese technicality in favour of the person who I like and who I have already decided should be in the right". Anyway, there are many salutory lessons in there about what not to do if you're in a backing, swapping or staking arrangement.

Then today, Gobbo posted about playing online MTTs for a living. You should definitely read the whole thread. Stealthmunk wins so far for his hilarious, and right on the money, denunciation of the live circuit. What surprises me here is how many people think being backed is the way to go. It's just beyond me. When you're backed, there are basically two states you can be in :

1) In profit. 50% of your profits go to someone else, or
2) In makeup. 100% of your profits go to someone else.

And this is desirable because ? People take the problem "I can't play live 10K tournaments without a backer" and come up with the wrong answer, "I need a backer". The right answer is, of course, don't play live 10K tournaments. The beauty of online tournaments is that there are so many of them on offer, at different buyins, that they are totally scalable. If your bankroll drops, you scale down your buyins. If your bankroll drops perilously (to less than $10K off the top of my head) then you might be better off switching to SNGs until you build it back up. But the options are all there. A lot of people seem to be trying these "challenges" where you build X into 100X. Given enough time, I don't think I would have a problem turning, say, $1K into $100K. I'm not going to do it though - do you really want me to cut my hourly to 1/10 its current amount just to prove a point ? Nonetheless it's doable. It's like I said in a recent video I made for Pokerswat. Being good at teh poker is only half the trick. Being disciplined, putting in the right volume and getting/staying out of the "big score" mentality is probably more important in online MTTs (providing you're basically a winning player).

So I'll be keeping an eye on that thread too. And finally of course 2+2 does still throw up the odd one-liner LOL. Greekfish made another post about how unfair it is that people criticise him boo hoo, under the title "some serious donks on this forum". The first response was "no u". /thread imo, as they say.

This comment has been removed by the author.
I would like to thank you for bringing this to my attention. I was about to stray back to 2+2 forums and then realised how pointless most of the "debate" was on there.

My experience of Poker suggests that I would neither want to be backed nor be a backer. I might swap a bit of myself live so I can stand next to the horse when he collects his winnings and get my share before he does his bollocks on the dice. Poker players are lovely people they just have bad memories when it comes to debts.

As someone who learnt to love the game live I cannot quite wheen myself off live poker but my trips to live tourneys are becoming less frequent.

The online game beats the live experience on so many levels but it takes discipline which is something I have struggled with online. I think I have cracked it at the moment but I might only be resting between monster tilts.

Good luck (or should I say low variance) like the blog always a wothwhile read.
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