Free Rein Ballin’

Free Rein Ballin’

Monday, 27 January 2014

True Irish Baller on why he's no fan of being backed.

I’m not in the slightest a fan of being backed full-time. It’s straight up “anti-baller” and to me the cons totally outweigh the positives. Being staked full-time is something that has completely taken off within the last few years. You only need to have a look at any ’Stars tourney lobby. I reckon 40% of the fields are backed. This constantly puzzles me; you’re playing on the toughest site around backed, why?

Personally, I cannot see the merits to it as a full-time thing. I can’t understand how it can make you money more in the long term giving up a huge chunk of your profits. Has nobody any faith in themselves anymore? Are you that much of a degenerate that you can’t control your own money without shot-taking? How in the hell, then, do you think poker is a good career for you? Surely you must have aspirations to play on your own dime eventually? Poker is an easy game. Sure, it’s got tougher, but there is so much dead money still out there you want to be taking all those lovely winnings from your grind yourself.

I started playing poker four years ago now. I didn't have a lot of money at the time but I was comfortably beating live tourneys and making some good money. I grinded my roll up live, deposited online, got torn to shreds on ’Stars, grinded more live and did the same again – until one day I realised I simply wasn't good enough. It wasn't luck. I had too many fundamental flaws that online players could easily exploit. So I started working on my game away from the tables, training videos, hand history reviews, discussing hands with better players than me. I worked and I worked and I worked again.

I then deposited on some smaller euro sites and started making cash quite quickly. The variance was lower, the players were worse and I was a better player than I ever had been. And I reaped 100% of my rewards for my efforts. I wasn't handing over 50% of my profits, nor was I under any pressure to grind my ass off. I played when I wanted and enjoyed life away from the tables (sometimes too much). There is no noose around your neck, no feeling that you’re deep in makeup, in a bottomless pit of hopelessness. 

Chris Moorman has said in the past that, despite having had a huge stable himself, he would much prefer to see players playing off their own dime if they have faith in themselves and their abilities. I 100% agree. Edges are smaller in tourneys, so to give up that much of your EV to a faceless backer makes zero sense to me. If you’re too broke to play yourself, get a part-time job and deposit on smaller sites to reduce the variance. Log huge volume and work your butt off. Hell, grind live for the softest money you will ever make and work on your game away from the table. There is too much money out there for the taking and giving up chunks shouldn’t even be an option.

At the end of the day, you want to make as much money as you can from this game. It’s unlikely you will ever be the best (although at times I feel like I am). The games are getting grossly tougher. It will probably be a short career. So let's make as much as we can! Let's have some confidence in ourselves that we are good enough, that we can make lots of money from this game and let’s allow ourselves to keep all the money. At the end of the day, the more money we have, the better the partying will be.

Tags: True Irish Baller