The masochistic adventures of a donkamenteur
So Iíve been in the staking game for a while now, maybe 18 months but only really taking it seriously this past 6 months since Black Friday.
Aside from the fact the games got a lot better after BF a lot of people moved overseas and needed new backing, plus Bax/Sheets stopped staking online afaik which opened up the market a lot when it came to quality horses, so for the first time I started staking people I didnít know irl.
Itís been an interesting experience so far, different in some ways than I would have expected.
In some ways it suits me perfectly, my dad was a teacher and I have definitely inherited his love for teaching, I really enjoy mentoring horses and trying to help them optimise their schedules and strategies.
Plus Iím getting a little older and canít do the 60 hours a week grinding anymore, sometimes I wake up and the thought of 15 tabling for the next 8 hours actually makes me feel sick - this never happened when I was in my early 20ís but definitely does as I get older.
Cash games, sure, and I can play Sunday majors and get excited about SCOOPs and WCOOPs, but full-on MTT grinding, week after week, with 3am starts, just feels like punishment at my old age.
So Iíve got about 15 horses now, living all over the world Ė Romania, Finland, Spain, Canada, Costa Rica, UK, AustraliaÖ
I got off to a pretty terrible start but itís definitely a very long-term thing - far more than I realised, although I suppose compared to other forms of investment during non-boom times itís not that slow, just more volatile.
In the short to mid term itís a massive money sink, with your downswings automatically twice as big as your upswings, and with guys needing fairly large rolls to play with even if they are winning.
This can make it very stressful, it can be a weird feeling having objectively large amounts of money essentially tied up in your faith in a small group of people, and your risk of ruin is exacerbated by the fact that you can't really ask your guys to move down in stakes.
For a control freak like me who naturally tends towards cynicism and distrust, it can be very uncomfortable being at the mercy of external forces so much, but I try and stay as involved as I can.
I havenít had anything really bad happen yet scam-wise but Iíve had personality clashes, especially since I tend to be a very opinionated person with a strong sense of conviction when it comes to things that I believe I know a lot about, with MTTs being one of those things Ė not just strategically but also in terms of game selection and so on.
I doubt many people have spent more time looking at MTT lobbies the past 3 years, assessing and getting a feel for which tourneys are the best, how different sites play, what styles are best where, etc etc.
I also have the Australian thing where I am very blunt too, and quite lacking in sympathy Ė everything is ripe for a joke, Iím pretty sure if an Australian reg FT bubbled the WSOP main event the rest of us would give him shit about it for the rest of his life, there would be very little genuine heartfelt sympathy, that is just not the Australian way...
So when guys are getting all upset losing standard flips with 25 people left in random tourneys I can probably seem harsh in my indifference.
Overall it's been bleak at times and sometimes I feel like an epic degenerate - poker wise I always felt like I had control over what happened to me, but this feels pretty much the same as betting on sports, my guys just happen to be the athletes.
One of the main things I've learnt is that you canít groom everyone the same way.
I had this vision of taking half-decent grinders and turning them into guys who can beat 100rs and 1ks but it isnít really like that, each person has their own strengths and weaknesses Ė itís not just about a ceiling of skill level or intelligence, itís also personal Ė some guys play better with more money at stake, some guys play worse, some guys should play 20 tables all the time, other guys would do better dropping all their turbos and actually thinking about the game.
Some guys are really intelligent but find it hard to accept how dumb and predictable MTTers are, other guys play tourneys like they are video games and their opponents are the computer just playing a fixed strategy they just have to learn how to exploit and then repeat that in the same way over and over and over.
That in itself is a skill and can be profitable, and trying to shape that sort of guy into a nuanced, expert player is not only going to be fruitless (because he just isnít that sort of a thinker) but also a waste of his genuine talent, which is grinding.
Iím sure weíve all had friends that werenít that smart but were sick good at video games, itís a lot like that, itís not just mindless volume, itís a genuine skill unto itself to be able to become ruthlessly efficient at the one thing and then just do that over and over, with genuine focus and no mercy at all.
For MTTs where 90% of the best regs ďgraduateĒ from the online grind (because it is so absurdly exhausting) and only bother playing special series and Sunday majors, that style of merciless, ruthless, repetitive robotic exploitation can actually be very profitable during the dailies when most of the field are either fish or nitty regs.
So if you have a guy with that kind of talent, screw trying to turn him into a genius, just let him make you money.
He will often turn out to be more profitable than your very intelligent poker-natural type who just canít be bothered playing that often, and who gets disheartened when he has say 4 losing sessions in a row.
The ruthless grinder is always gonna be in touch with the overall flow of ďthe gamesĒ and heís going to play through variance much faster, and be less reliant on big scores.
That said, it can frustrating when guys are so resistant to expanding their horizons and just want to play, rather than improve.
I feel really good about my stable now though, I think a lot of guys have moved in the right direction and I have been lucky enough to get some premium horses because of Black Friday.
Anyway it feels like bad etiquette to go into too much detail too often about staking, for a number of reasons, but it's been such a huge part of my life for the last 6 months that I felt like I had to address it if I was going to start blogging again.
Ultimately I hope that in 5 years time I can look back a this period as when I demonstrated my investment nous by seizing on a good opportunity, rather than the dark period where I degenned off all my money into guys I had never even met before