Posts Tagged ‘bankroll-management’

Portrait of a Recreational Player?

Dan's bankroll data provides insight into coveted poker demographic

by , Aug 20, 2013 | 10:59 am

It’s been a while since Pokerati’s had anything to do with my personal bankroll. And I’m not sure that’s really a direction I wanna take this ship as we navigate new poker waters. But I suppose now’s as good a time as any to hold myself accountable, pokerwise, because even though “the dream” has long dissipated, I do still wanna someday be a winning player able to move up in stakes.

But look at my 2013 bankroll numbers, and ya know what I see? Losing player, LOL? Ha ha, no … Forget for a second that this chart belongs to me, personally, and how removing from my playbook the overcall with unsuited connectors in the small blind could be all that stands between me and two trips to Hawaii … forget all that … because what I think you’re really seeing here is the profile of a so-called recreational poker player:


Totals $ hrs rate
Blackjack 306 41.14 $7.44
NL Cash -1,751 43.33 -$40.41
Tourney 302 6.5 $46.46
Prop Bet 380 xx $95.00

Recreational players are supposedly all the buzz these days … but do serious players and an industry intent on courting them even understand what that really means? A quick study of the above and you can probably see why I stand in solidarity with McDonald’s workers … but beyond that, we’re looking at a poker life that means about 11 hours a month in casinos, a few tournaments (nothing to brag about, but I did take down a Stratosphere nightly), some casual prop bets, a penchant for at least one house-edge table game … all tallying up to a net negative akin to what it might cost if I were playing similarly recreational tennis or golf or fishing.

Hmm, I suppose that’s psychologically why I’m able to keep coming back for more … because sure I can see the numbers, but also I know I can do better, and maybe next time I will get less unlucky.


HORSE Sweepage, Missing Chips, Protected Winnings & EDC Weekend

@VegasGrinders: Going Semi-pro (w @DonkeyBomber)

by , Jun 21, 2013 | 1:52 pm

VegasGrinderImage

“That’s stupid. Why should I get a job when I’ve got no-limit Texas Hold’em?”

Tom Schneider may have downgraded his status to semi-pro, but that hasn’t kept him from a sickening, multi-bracelet run in Hold’em-Omaha-Razz-Seven-stud-Eight-or-better. And though she’s having a WSOP of her own (with one final table so far), semi-angry Julie jumps on-call to enlighten us about how she’s managing the family bankroll, particularly as degenerate poker urchins gravitate toward her husband, wanting satellite buy-ins but not his advice to “Get a job!”

Meanwhile, Tom advises Andrew on how one might go about moving through the mixed game ranks — which is great and all, but are things going so un-awesomely for Andrew this summer that he’s been relegated to sleeping in his car?

In other-people’s WSOP business … were chips that went missing from a winner’s photo shoot indicative of ubiquitous cheating at the WSOP or just a case of rogue souvenir hunters before tournament officials had a procedure in place to keep better track of photo props? Also the Rio Deepstack fields keep getting more massive. Who knew old-school, underground blind structures and substantive-but-affordable buy-ins would come back in fashion? And secrets to a locals discount that might be one of the best kept secrets at the Rio. And by “best kept secrets” we mean things advertised on billboards, but hey …

Carnival World Buffet-locals discount

It’s EDC weekend — Electric Daisy Carnival — which may or may not bring glowsticks and furry boots to the table. Oh, and don’t forget @KevMath! He’s on this episode, too, at the premiere of Bet Raise Fold afterparty. It’s all so clear now: Andrew hearts Kevmath, Dan hearts Donkeybomber, and Dave’s still lookin’ for a flush-draw to chase.


Vegas Grinders 1.19
[audio: http://pokerati.com/podcast/VegasGrinders/VG1point19.mp3]

Episode Resources



Redemption and Remission Song

DOJ + Stars align: players share their feelings about bankroll promises

by , Aug 2, 2012 | 2:05 pm

No surprise, QuadJacks was all over Tuesday’s news — as the story that originally put them on the map begins to come to a close some 15 months later. They did a series of quick, YouTubeable interviews throughout the day that you can listen to all together here. Was gonna highlight just a few, but by the time it was all said and done, I listened to the whole lot of them, well-hosted by Marco doing his best Frasier Crane of Poker.

Collectively they tell quite the narrative about a dramatic day’s impact across a representative patchwork of serious players who all had some sort of stake in the outcome. And while I’m loathe to do Zac and Marco’s work for them, here’s a rundown of what I spent my yesterday listening to (in the order I listened) instead of watching the Olympics even though Michael Phelps still plays poker.

Nolan Dalla – the WSOP media director speaking off-duty as he gets on various soapboxes to express anger at key Full Tilt figures and the “conspiracy of silence” among those (poker media included) who would rather cater to the poker masses’ desire for “jackass talk.”

Steve Preiss – Wicked Chops first told us about this story several months ago, and plenty of poker idiots out there didn’t believe it for a second — calling the deal “fiction” and “fantasy” while figuring WCP musta still been on tilt after the collapse of Epic Poker, which the consummate poker-insider indie-media op also reported ahead of anyone else. Here’s what Chops saw that others didn’t as the Stars-buys-Tilt deal emerged.

Jeff Ifrah – Ray Bitar attorney celebrates a “victory” as his client awaits trial in a California mansion and is still facing the rest of his life in prison for getting rich by lying to his customers about how awesome he and Full Tilt players were. But none of that matters because all Full Tilt ever wanted to do was clean up the mess that Bitar didn’t leave behind?

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Las Vegas 2012 Summertime Tournament Matrix

A cool spreadsheet circulating around the WSOP breaks down your options

by , May 30, 2012 | 1:45 am

The WSOP isn’t just about the WSOP … you have tournament options of notable field sizes and different game varieties all across town. While Aria has opened an entire new section for dailies, Bellagio cleared a section for tournaments and TV cameras and Binions made way for more tables, too. There’s a summer “classic” at Wynn and the Deep Stacks Extravaganza is back at Venetian, while Golden Nugget and Caesars Palace gear up for the Grand Poker and Mega Stack series’ respectively.

Need help deciding what, when, and where to play throughout the summer? This handy spreadsheet breaks down all the big tournament action — with details on buy-in, blind structures, and rake so you can choose the best brick-and-mortar MTT.


OMG IT’S THE WSOP!

Choosing events, swapping percentages, and selling pieces: Cash game grinders look for value spots in Vegas tourneys

by , May 25, 2012 | 11:59 am

After spending the majority of the past 3 weeks in Detroit, Columbus, and Carlsbad attending weddings, I’m back in my one-bedroom apartment at the intersection of Flamingo and Maryland in Las Vegas. Maybe it’s just the annoyingly vast amounts of construction and “improvements” they’re doing on my building, but there seems to be higher than standard levels of particles and dust in the Vegas air. People are excited, poker players are selling pieces, and Phil Hellmuth moved into the Aria penthouse for 2 months. That electric feeling can mean only one thing… the World Series of Poker is almost here.

I’ve never sold on the open marketplace, so bear with me as I figure this process out. I’m not a high volume tournament player, but I agree with Phil Galfond when he says that strong cash game players can find success in tournaments if they take them seriously.

Poker rooms across town (well, those in Caesars-owned properties anyway) are ramping up their promotion efforts for the series, offering a plethora of ways to win a seat into various events. On top of that, you can step into one of many rooms to pick up a flier for their own mini-series which will run concurrently; events with smaller buy ins but still impressively sized fields and prizes can be found up and down the strip as well as downtown. WSOP time in Las Vegas is awesome. If you like poker, you simply need to see the sheer size of the production that takes place inside the Rio Convention Center. Rows and rows, hundreds of tables (in use, no less…). Strip poker rooms overflowing with players. So many hopefuls, so many fans of the game, all the superstars and several soon-to-be poker-famous players descending on one spot. And let’s not forget… so many fish!

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Grinding the “Off Day” Tourneys

Where to find quality Vegas action on Mondays and Tuesdays

by , Feb 20, 2012 | 5:50 am

Mondays and Tuesdays are arguably the worst days of the week for poker, which is why I often take those days off.

The tourists have donated their Vegas dollars to the grinders over the weekend, and even the L.A. crowd has headed back to their movie studios and plastic surgeons.

This meant that for the final two days of my week-long experiment in playing Las Vegas daily tournaments, I would have to hit some of the bigger casinos — Caesars Palace and Bellagio.

The 10,000 starting stack at Caesars Palace's nightly tournament.

With a WSOP-circuit event being held at Caesars, I didn’t have trouble finding a comfortable-size field for their nightly 7pm tournament on a Monday. With a $110 entry fee, this event has a $5,000 guaranteed prize pool (Mon-Fri only). The staff and one local at my starting table who had already worked out the math said they would need at least 63 entrants to reach that figure. Caesars’s nightly tournaments sometimes start with even fewer players, offering a healthy overlay.

Of the buy-in, Caesars took $20 as a “maintenance fee” and $10 was for the staff toke.)

Grinders and well-known pros filled the room — the 2008 WSOP Main Event third-place finisher Dennis Phillips sat a few tables away playing a cash game and Jeff Madsen, the rapper who also won 2006 WSOP player of the year, was at the final table of the main event in the elevated area nearby. I didn’t recognize anyone at my table who should have given me trouble.

A Week of Whiffs?
I was due for a nice run, having missed the money in my first 5 tournaments. The 10,000 chip starting stack and 20-minute levels felt comfortable out of the gate. I’d have to beat out 59 others to earn the $1,914 first-place prize.

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The Evolution of “Click a Mouse …”

Online gambling opponents refining their message?

by , Feb 7, 2012 | 10:15 pm

Quick LOL … something I stumbled across while reading what I presumed was just a ho-hum news article about another state gearing up for online gambling (via the PPA’s latest newsletter). I wanted to see what state was next and whether or not they separated out poker. Turns out it was just California, talking about how much money they stand to make if they can just catch up with Nevada. For sure. Righteous, dudes.

But what stands out most to me is a line from one of the opponents of any measures for California to finally get serious about regulating online games within their own borders:

“We don’t want to see any of it,” said pastor James Butler from the California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion. “Pretty soon they’ll have an app that will allow you to connect instantly to a casino or a gambling site. Want to lose your home? We have an app for that,” Butler said.

Emphasis added. Not sure if we should tell the fine pastor that they already do have such an app — all over the UK to be sure, and in Nevada you can bet sports for real money anywhere you want using your Droid or iPhone with Leroy’s App. (It just turns off when you get to the California border — amazing that crazy technology these days!)

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Winning then Losing

Tests of patience on the low-stakes Vegas grind

by , Oct 15, 2011 | 5:27 am

Hey, at least the Lions are winning.

We had high hopes coming into the 2011 football season but to see them run out to a beautiful 4-0 start is outstanding. And the Tigers are up too! As I write this they currently hold a 2-1 series advantage over the Yankees after stealing home field advantage in NYC. One more win and they advance to the next playoff round. Life is good these days for my hometown teams.

Little did I know that the hole would only grow bigger and deeper as the day went on, culminating with me somehow losing with KQ vs 55 after c-betting a K-6-4 flop. I booked a 4-figure loss and called it a day.

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Returning from Poker Hiatus

Going broke can have its benefits

by , Oct 8, 2011 | 3:24 pm

I just got back from my first live poker session in I don’t know how long… almost two months I think. I took an extended hiatus from the game for a couple of reasons; a) my dad was in town for a while and we went sightseeing here in Vegas and in Los Angeles; and, more important, b) my finances just weren’t where they needed to be.

(The shorter version of that story is “I went broke.”)

I was making too many mistakes away from the felt and living a lifestyle that just wasn’t sustainable on my “salary”. I definitely wasn’t going super crazy or ballin’ out of control by any means. But similar to the way a small preflop error can compound on itself and become a large, costly session-killer, smaller mistakes away from the tables can quickly add up and drain a poker player’s bankroll. This shouldn’t be news to any poker player, but when you live in a city like Las Vegas and you like being social and experiencing what the city and life itself has to offer, you have to constantly check yourself.

I look down at 6s7s for my first live hand in two months. Forget that I’m in early position, I can’t help it… the suited connectedness was overpoweringly sexy.

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The Micros, Episode 2

by , Jan 24, 2011 | 5:08 pm

JimmyLegs and Rosenkrantz deliver again with the new episode of The Micros. The three main characters (don’t remember their names yet — the one dude, the other guy, and lego chick …) are enjoying the fruits of one dude’s binking a Sunday Mill. But with a bigger online bankroll come new levels of trouble …


Staker Stakes

by , Sep 6, 2010 | 11:44 am

Good video from WPT-London … with Neil Channing discussing the travails of backing James Akenhead and a more detailed explanation of what goes into staking players, from the guy Brits worldwide look to for bankroll assistance:


Searching for Poker

by , Aug 3, 2010 | 8:52 am

Once upon a time, circa 2003, I had a Google Alert set up to send me an email every time a new mention of the word “poker” appeared somewhere on the internet. By the time I started getting like five a day (!) I began thinking this poker thing might really gonna catch on — and I bought the domain pokerrati.com (misspelling notwithstanding).

My how things have changed … not just with poker, but with the whole world-wide-web, and what people are searching for on it. Check out this amusingly related new bit from CardRunners video pro Lee Przytula, giving the contemporary poker player’s world view … as seen through Google interaction:



Finding Value Outside the Rio

Alt-WSOP tourneys may be better bet for low-stakes players

by , Jun 30, 2010 | 1:43 pm

Jon Katkin


The Poker Economy


OP-ED

Brand names serve an important purpose in our society. For consumers, they offer a simple shorthand that let’s you know about a product’s quality – or lack thereof – while at the same time providing a quick way to flaunt your status or hipness to the unwashed masses in our burgeoning consumer culture.

For businesses, brand names are just as important. Let your quality slip or make your product too ubiquitous and your value – both real and perceived – begins to slip. Make your product trendy or limit its availability and you’ll have customers clamoring at your door to get their hands on it.

With 57 events on the calendar, the WSOP is hardly as elitist as it was in the past, but that’s OK with the folks at Harrah’s because when it comes to poker, there is no substitute for a gold bracelet. Win an event and you join a still exclusive club that includes some of the greatest players in the world. Play your cards right, and the WSOP is a golden ticket to the top of the poker food chain. Bust out before the final table and you’ll still leave town with a great story for your friends.

For $1,500 you can play one WSOP tournament and take your chances against a single field of 3,000, or for the same money you can play five Venetian Deep Stack events against a combined field of about 2,400.

And that’s what makes the WSOP the brand when it comes to tournament poker. Win or lose, playing a WSOP event carries with it an inherent coolness that other poker players innately understand and respect. But if you’re a serious low-stakes player looking for a big summertime score in Vegas, there are actually much better options to consider outside the Rio.

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Op-Ed

If You Throw It, Will They Come?

Big buy-in events don’t automatically bring big fields

by , Jun 2, 2010 | 3:48 pm

Jon Katkin


The Poker Economy


For most of us, $50,000 is a whole lot of money. It’s a year’s salary. A new car. A down payment on a new house. Our savings.

For others, however, $50K is pocket money — a single pot in a $200/$400 game or a roll of the dice on the craps table. It’s also the cost of entry into the first marquee event of the 2010 WSOP, the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship.

Over its short life, this tournament has undergone a variety of changes as it tries to cement its identity in the poker world. Starting out as the $50,000 HORSE event in 2006, the tournament quickly gained a reputation as the true players championship because of its hefty buy-in and mixed-game format. In that first year, 143 players ponied up $50K each for a shot at the title and the chance to play mixed games on ESPN.

The poker economy isn’t what it used to be. Players who wouldn’t have thought twice about dropping $50K two years ago are now looking at the cost of entry the same way many of us look at $1,500, $2,500 or $5,000 events.

Poor ratings forced a format change in 2007 and 2008, however, when ESPN agreed to broadcast the event only if the final tables were all No-Limit Hold ’em — a game that’s much easier for the general viewing audience to follow. The change didn’t do much to affect the number of entrants, as 148 players registered for the tournament in both 2007 and 2008.

ESPN dropped the $50K HORSE event completely in 2009 and, it can be argued that the lack of potential TV time, combined with the beginning of the economic crisis, had a significant impact on the field as just 95 players competed in the event last year. Now, however, the $50K HORSE event is back on the air – renamed as the the $50,000 Player’s Championship and featuring an eight-game mix along with a TV-friendly NLH-only final table. Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi took down the $1.5 million bracelet last night in what had to be good-for-TV fashion – with his brother and other well-known pros falling by the wayside before he ended up mano-y-mano against an interesting Russian high-roller.

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Team Pokerati at the 2010 WSOP

John Harris: Weekend WarriorTTU

by , May 18, 2010 | 4:53 am

We wouldn’t be heading to the 2010 WSOP without patches, obv … isn’t that the whole point of the summer? (But we are running out ’em guys, so do be judicious with the sticky side.) The Team Pokerati crew will include some familiar faces and some new ones, too — from across the spectrum of player types who make their way to the Rio each summer. Follow along, root ’em on, and stay tuned leading up to WSOP Opening Day as we reveal the rest of our player line-up.

This year, leading off will be John Harris, aka @JohnHarristtu.

If Harris is a minor-league pro, then you might consider him a solid A-ball player. He’s done well at poker, but hasn’t yet made a big splash in the Hendon Mob database. (His profile here.) Harris comes from Dallas, where he took over as the tournament director for the 2007 Pokerati Invitational (and did an awesome job). He now lives in Las Vegas and is currently a dealer at Bellagio and the Venetian. He’s dealt the World Series for the past three years, became a TV-table dealer, and in 2009 was a finalist for WSOP Dealer of the Year. But this year Harris won’t be pitching cards at the Series … he’ll be working instead at the Venetian Deep Stacks and playing at the Rio on his days off.

His first event this year will be Event #1 — the $500 Casino Employees event. Beyond that, Harris will be looking to play all six of the $1,000 weekend events … believing that gives him the best prospects for ROI.

However, as an A-ball player, Harris is working with an A-ball bankroll. Thus, he’s currently locking down backers — friends and poker associates liking his chances of small-cashing repeatedly and/or going deep in at least one of those $1k events.

He’s seeking $6,500 in total, and still has shares available. So help Harris get in the game! He’s even got a nifty PowerPoint presentation laying out his tournament stats and the backing arrangement he’s offering.

Go Harris! And if you win a bracelet, we’ll definitely buy more patches.