Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

For Crying Out Loud, Take a Shot Will You! LOL Donkaments

By Matthew "Yorkshire Pudding" Pitt

In many forms of life, poker included, you often have to speculate in order to accumulate. Putting it in simple poker terms for you fine people out there, you have to take the occasional shot at the big time if you want to make some serious money from this crazy game.

I pride myself on the fact that I have never gone broke playing poker thanks to my strict bankroll management requirements. I have endured (in fact I am in the midst of one right now) horrendous downswings that would have seen most recreational players looking for a new hobby and come out of the other side. However, having strict bankroll requirements in place can be boring and quite prohibitive in some cases.

A large percentage of recreational online poker players deposit $50-$200 onto a site and have visions of turning this humble amount into something much more meaningful by grinding their way up the various stakes and buy-in limits. This is all well and good, but have you ever thought about why they call it a grind? Here is a clue, it is because it will grind your gears and eventually grind you down until you hate the game you once loved. Continually grind the nano and micro-stakes games and there is a chance that you will never get to play higher buy-in games because you will have bored yourself to death!

Readers of my articles here at SNG Planet will be aware that I am currently grinding the $2.50 and $8.00 180-man turbo tournaments at PokerStars. I do OK in these. They can feel like a grind at times, but I make a relatively steady income from them and I find them perfect for my busy schedule. On an average day, I spend around £100 buying into 180-man games (I keep my records in British Pounds) so why not, once in a while, not play £100 worth of 180-man games but play a £100 buy-in tournament instead?

While doing something like the example above is far from ideal bankroll management and if you did it often enough you would be broke before you could yell “Rebuy” at the top of your voice, if can give you respite from the monotony of your usual games. You don’t even have to go the whole hog an

d buy into something huge. If you are a $2.50 180-man turbo player and fancy taking a shot, jump into a $22 buy-in tournament instead. If you have been saving up your VPPs for that luxury mouse mat you always wanted or a box of chocolates for the other half, why not parlay it into a larger buy-in tournament instead? I have enough VPPs at PokerStars to purchase 10 entries into The Big $22 and while this is above my current stakes, it is a buy-in level I have frequently bought into in the past. For the same amount, I can take a shot at the Sunday Million. Which would you rather try if you were essentially freerolling? Good choice!

The excitement of vying for a much larger prize than you are used to playing for can keep renew your focus and enjoyment of poker, while playing against better-skilled opponents can help develop your own skills at a far more rapid rate than in your usual low-stakes games.

To reiterate, do not be afraid of taking shots, especially as a tournament player. Make sure that you shot isn’t going to break the bank (i.e. your bankroll is $300 and you buy into a $215 MTT) and ensure your shot taking isn’t too regular and you never know, you could bag yourself a massive score and catapult your poker career to previously unseen heights.


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