Sunday, March 23, 2008

THE BIG SPIN UP

I started this blog in November 2005, and since then, I don’t think I’ve ever gone over two weeks without posting. Due to a challenging update at the Vic and a hectic stag do in Amsterdam, I haven’t been that interested in playing online, but the truth is that poker has bored me this month. When you both work and play poker, it can sometimes seem that your life revolves around a deck of cards. As such, burn out is always a danger.

Playing heads-up cash is a gruelling task and can, at times, be seriously demoralising. When you’re winning, everything’s peachy, but when the chips are down, it can be a depressing game. I think the repetitiveness, mammoth swings, and general lack of interaction make it a really tough game to tackle, but I remain confident I can beat it. I had a great February, but a poor March, and a succession of bad beats and bad play have left me feeling rather empty. I’m fully aware of the idea of variation, but as someone who earns money outside the realm of playing, I find it difficult to play when I’m not enjoying it and I just detest the idea that I’ve eaten up hours of my life losing money, even if I am to gain it back later on.

What triggered this post wasn’t my frustration with the tedium of poker, but LuckyLloyd’s comments on my last entry about ‘The Big Spin Up’ and taking a shot. This is a topic that has always lingered on my mind, and I’m still not sure what the best approach is for me. One day I’ll feel like shoving it all in like that dude who gambled everything he had on the spin of a wheel, whilst on other days I’m happy to grind it out in front of the lappie.

Jen opted for the former last year. Her strategy was to spend everything she had on a big comp, and then again a couple of months later until she won something. Although she was aided by sponsorship and a subsequent cash in the Ladbrokes European Ladies Championship, she eventually won the Green Joker Poker event in the summer for €30,800. Now she is playing all of the GUKPT and many major events across Europe such as the Irish Poker Open.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of being out of the game, never having a bankroll, and just hoping that when you have saved up enough cash to take a stab at a big event, it’s the one where your luck is in. The variation in tournament poker is so high, that you need to be playing multiple events, not just several a year. You could be the best player in the world, but still not find that big spin up for years.

I’ve done both. I’ve spent hours upon hours in front of the computer grinding out the cash games, I’ve also splashed out on events such as the Midlands Masters, the London GUKPT and the GJP Deepstack, but sadly to no avail. I believe I’m good enough, but coming up short on those particular occasions and not being able to afford the next GUKPT because that wasn’t ‘my time’, is ultimately rather disappointing.

Instead, I believe the most favourable approach for me is to allow the current crop of major events to pass me by, as painful as that may be, and spend as much time as a I can earning money working within the business and focusing on building up a formidable roll online. Like most people, my goal is to play the entire GUKPT tour, the World Series Main Event, the Irish Open, and so on, but I don’t want to have to rely on the big spin up, in case it just doesn’t occur. Poker should still be here in 2009, and I want to be a big part of it, so perhaps that should be my year.

A non-poker project that I’m currently involved on nearly payed off recently, but the deal fell through at the last minute. The pay off would have come at a great time and allowed me to attend many more festivals in a playing capacity than I currently do, but it wasn’t to be. I think that extra boost to the bankroll would have done me the world of good. Sometimes if you’re playing a major event knowing that it might be your last opportunity to win big for a few months, it can hamper your confidence, and I think that’s another reason why the idea of gambling on a big spin up isn’t for me.

The upcoming weeks are going to be pretty chaotic for me and won’t leave me with much time to play online. I have a wedding next week, a Dusk Till Dawn update the week after, then it’s off to Monte Carlo, and then I’m on holiday in Chicago with Dana. Upon return, I’ll have a week to catch up with my work, before heading off to Vegas for a month to work on the World Series for PokerNews. As such, it looks as though my plans for building up my bankroll the old fashioned way will have to wait until July. That sounds a long time away, but at least I’ll be keeping busy and earning a bit of money in the process. The only problem is, when I get paid that money, especially the lump sum for my WSOP work, will I then spend it on, say, the GUKPTs in Luton and Bolton, the Irish Series of Poker in Waterford or even the Master Classics in Amsterdam? The brain says spend the money sensibly and grind, but I have to confess, sometimes the heart persuades me to gamble…

9 Comments:

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Jason Dittle said...

hey! here is the site i was talking about where i made the extra $800 last month, checkit out... the site is here

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger Jason Dittle said...

hey! here is the site i was talking about where i made the extra $800 last month, checkit out... the site is here

 
At 8:04 PM, Blogger Jason Dittle said...

hey! here is the site i was talking about where i made the extra $800 last month, checkit out... the site is here

 
At 3:29 AM, Blogger jun_fan_lee said...

Nice post. I know exactly how u feel m8. The amount of times I've "given up" on grinding and tried to gamble (although at a much lower level than u)has come back to haunt me many times. I think playing it steady is the best way but its not easy when u read about someone having a major score and then being set-up to then be able to attend big events etc. At least u'v got all ur writing work which gets u involved in the poker scene; at the mo i'd be happy to settle for that.
-Daniel

 
At 5:17 AM, Blogger Michael said...

So the answer is to satellite into these events and eventually the big cash will come...

You know that you have an edge over a large percentage of the field in the satellites so time spent playing them is still +ve ev and each time you qualify you have your chance at the big spin up.

Keep your head up and just think about what happened to Skalie.

Good things come to those who wait...

 
At 12:28 PM, Blogger LuckyLloyd said...

Having a plan is always a good thing. Best of luck - you'll enjoy the next few weeks in any case.

 
At 3:16 AM, Blogger C said...

hang in there mate!

 
At 7:27 AM, Blogger Adam said...

Thanks for the comments.

Michael. Unfortunately, time isn't on my side as I have a job s a poker journalist. Also, I never play online MTTs, so I fear my Satellite play would be below par.

However, I think it may be worth having a satellite fund and allocating some times to playing a couple of big satellites a week.

 
At 9:11 AM, Blogger rag2gar said...

It sounds like you're in a tough spot snoops. I've pretty much felt all the emotions you are going thru at the mo and they are not easy. I think you're work is getting in the way of your poker-playing. The best chefs in the world prob eat microwave dinners. I think the key here is patience. The big spin is a proven losing strategy as it holds no regard for br management which is essential no matter what anyone says. Yes there will always be one or two that get lucky ie they take one shot and hit but for that one person there are many many failed ones. I dare say even the lucky ones will end up failing too should they keep playing comps with no regard for how much of their money they are investing. If you are patient through this rough time I think you will be all the better for it in the long run. Keep grinding and the breakthru will come eventully. Heaven knows you deserve it.

GL snoops

 

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