Player Types, balance and Staking
Something iv blogged about before, and plenty of other people is balance. But not to the extent i think about it i imagine, sure theres balance in poker with hands you play, and theres also balance in life with socializing and exercising, healthy eating. But something that chasing super nova elite taught me was if your not a very balanced person then you will never accomplish super nova elite (or at least maxemise your general happyness).
One thing that i can say about poker players is that we come in a variety of types and players can fall into more than one category with ranging levels of appliciableness. Most of us are guilty of fitting into a few of these either constantly or from time to time which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The hardcore grinders: these are the guys who grind for endless hours putting in huge volume who have a general love for the game, if they can put in some study or network properly they normally go far. If not they can often put in thousands of games and go nowhere without admitting they need to change and learn.
The lazy grinders: the guys who (sadly im putting myself in this category) tend to do things spontaneously in big rushes, like doing horrible volume for the first 5 months of the year, then doing killer volume for one month and generally only grind when they feel a pressure to or are bored.
The Arrogant grinder: this guy thinks hes better then everybody else, which may be true but his 'everybody else sucks' approach comes off as highly offensive to some, and he often won't admit defeat unless you can really show him up in which case all of a sudden he goes from rude to best friend. Iv run into a fair few in my time, they don't give respect unless you really earn it. These guys don't normally make friends with anybody unless they're of similar or better skill level. If they do and they're better they generally feel superior to you or tend to try and one-up you in certain circumstances. Everybody normally has a level of arrogance in poker, just don't let it get out of controll.
The Defeatist: These guys normally have a low level of self esteem, depression, and general glass half empty approaches to things. Some of these guys might be very good but their own thoughts actually stop them from moving up anywhere. The downswings hit them the hardest as they constantly think about it and only further reinforce their low opinions of themselves. They can be downers to hang with, specially if they're flat mates. You'll never hear the end of their whining and they put a general damper on the entire situation.
The Degen: Another popular category for poker players, these guys are normally shorter lived in their careers because like with woman they don't seem to have any controll. They buy into things they shouldn't and i imagine they use terms like 'YOLO'. These guys are generally the types who i imagine have some form of addiction they can't controll outside of poker like drugs, spending, smoking. These guys often fall into the lazy grinder category as the two go hand in hand as they normally don't put in the volume required to move up, again they also have a higher level of arrogance that goes with them as they feel they are superior to everybody at their limit and should NAY DESERVE to move up into games where their skill level is more appropriate. While their stories are hilarious to read on 2plus2 and follow, you should generally avoid these types of guys.
The Luckbox: Most of the really sucessful players, actually start as these, you might hate on them due to your own fustrations (i know i do) but the truth is its often needed to make you good. Had i started poker and made no money whatsoever or suffered my worst ever downswing beginning, i might have opted to right then and there give it up. On the flip side by starting out and winning something big you give yourself the necessary time to build up on skills you might not have previously had with more money to do so.
The Thinkier: These guys are a rare breed. Its an awesome skill to have, to take a specific hand line, and think about what its pros and cons are without discrimination of the limit its comming from, who its comming from and learn from that without the regular bias that normal guys have. I find everybody normally jumps straight into saying that something that may be sub-standard is bad. However did you ever stop to think thoughrouly about the pros and cons before burning it to the ground? These guys make the largest theoretical improvements in poker and are the pioneers. I have only met a couple and all of them are extremely sucessful.
The Scammer: The name should say this type clearly enough, but these guys have multiple traits you can look for. They normally aim for unrealistic goals that they wish to achieve e.g. if a player grinds $10 sngs, and they get a backing deal all of a sudden they want to play 30s. They agree they'l drop down if they lose too much but the downside of this is while they are shot taking, they often fall into big make up and spend 3 times as long grinding out, feeling trapped they do a runner. This is also common for MTT players who fall into large make up. They proceed to start playing games that can only clear a large portion of their make up instead of playing the smaller games which are far lower variance to get out. This often leads to more make up followed by a blocking of all their skype contacts.
The Honest guy: This guy will no matter what, make things right. If he falls into 100k make up, he will by god find a way to get out of it that leaves the backer not feeling robbed, be it that means grinding low stake games for a year or two, or quitting poker, and paying him out of his own pocket. He owns up when something is happening and is clear and never shady. Sadly to an extent this is also a rarer trait.
So which one are you? Personally i fall into the category of the lazy grinder, the arrogant (to an extent), the defeatist, and the honest guy. I suffer during downswings pretty badly, i get tilted when i see an inferior player suceed greatly and i also (i imagine this sounds arrogant) am one of the most honest people i know in relating to staking. Which im sure my backer(s) in the past/current can agree to.
So because i hadn't blogged for some time i decided to make a rather large post, so this next bulk is going to be focusing on the use of sharkscope as a backers tool in looking for potential candidates and what to look for in a horse.
1. Volume: with out a doubt the most important part, this is crucial, filter for months, filter for weeks, look at the statistics and see what the highest volume hes ever played is in a short period. Make sure your horse is getting you the volume you want or hes not worth picking up. More volume means more experience, learning and more money. If the horse doesn't pass this test look past him to others.
2. Profitability: Does he break even? does he CRUSH!? clearly a measure of how good a player is will be reflected in their results. It can be worth picking up a break even player if the player puts in good volume and is willing to learn. He might take some coaching but you can turn him into a true money maker.
3. Games vs Profit made. Heres where most people probably read the above two points and look at this third one and go hang on, isn't this just what you said? Well no, theres a huge issue with sharkscope graphs showing players to be far superior/inferior to what they are, and it comes down to the games they play.
Rebuy tornaments: This issue is prevailant in 180man turbos and rebuy satelite grinders especially. Players show enourmous profits due to the $3r 180man that make a good portion of their volume. Since sharkscope registers the average buy in as how much everybody in that tornament spent to get it the results are ascewed. If a reg never quits pre addon, and always rebuys whenever possible, they will guarenteed show a significantly higher buy in than the average since casual players may opt to quit pre addon, or set themselves a budget. What this does is basically tells sharkscope you bought in for $11 when you actually bought in for $13 as an example. From there your abi is $2 higher than everybody elses so when you look at your final results, it might say player A has made 50k over 10k games and is earning $5 per game, however once you account for the additional $2 per game additional the player spends on rebuys then hes actually making $3 per game, and 20k has just been added to his graph that doesn't exsist. It also means that his graph overall shows significantly lower variance, and higher ROI. Backers who search this up can also wonder where some of the money they earn is going to and begin to wonder if they are being short changed. Be aware of this and make sure to take it into account, myself personally iv made 20k on 3r 180mans according to sharkscope although i imagine the actualy figure is closer to 10k or even less.
Rakeback and FPP satelites: When at a players graph, look at their favourite games. This will tell you a lot about the player, if they play $0+0 FPP sats such as the 235 fpp sats to the sunday storm that normally run then their graph will show profit they actually may not have made. This is because sharkscope doesn't take into account that the FPPs technically have a $ value. If i was to spend 100k fpps on a $1600 package id get it added to my balance and sharkscope would be none the wiser, however if i was to use 100k fpps on 235fpp satelites and win the exact same amount of money, all of a sudden sharkscope thinks i won $1600 through sngs and will give me a steady sng profit line as a result. On top of this if i now search a player who has $0+0 fpp sats on record and give him a custom search with added rakeback it'l give me his rakeback PLUS his FPP wins essentially meaning a player who may get 40% rakeback and spend all of it on $0+0 sats now has 80% rakeback. Theres a player i know who has according to sharkscope had a 100k year so far due to $0+0 fpp sngs and rebuy tornaments, i would say his actual resutls are closer to $15k. Next time you search a player up make the buy in in the filter 1cent or higher to get rid of this manipulation of statistics.
4. Spikes in data: This will tell you the level of a players degenerate nature, for instance if a player has an abi of $15 but when you look into his favourite game data and look for his largest losses, a random series of hu hyper sngs with buy ins of $500 will occasionally turn up. This is a good sign your potential horse has a degenerate problem and should be avoided. The more consistent his ABI is with his highest game played the more trustable he is.
5. Time period: Look for when he made most of his profits, if they're before the year 2008 the games will have been SIGNIFICANTLY easier than what they are in 2013. This will be a good indicator as to how their skills now match up as the games have progressed, this is not a huge indicator but there have been cases of people claiming they used to beat 25/50 cashgame and now can't beat 1/2 just over the course of 2 years as the players evolved so much.
These are generals that i feel a backer should know before going into the business, personally i no longer back players but i use sharkscope extensivley enough to know the pitfalls of the site and the advantages. If you do have any queries about sharkscope feel free to drop them in the comments.
Finally back to what was mentioned at the start, balance. Most recently incase those who didn't see my status update didn't know, i decided to quit my chase for SNE (wasn't easy and some friends who propped me were happy with their paydays). The decision came after a high stress long high volume chain of days began making me uphappy. Due to the stakes i was playing the swings were higher and while i wouldn't have a problem normally, my personal life roll began making me nervous, that and over the course of 1 month i noticed my own health drop due to the volume and hours i was putting in. I gained weight, didn't socialise much at all, and my eyes began hurting/sleep began being messed up. I was getting virtually no exercise and decided to give it up. 2014 will be the year i accomplish this goal, its not an easy goal to take on but with enough careful planning and sticking to it its doable (props to the SNE hyper guys i play regularly). Il be tackling this goal a hell of a lot earlier next year and making it easier on myself as the year progresses rather than backlogging volume i need to get through.
Since then i identified a general problem in my life, which is a horrible issue with balance. While iv mentioned this before i realised how even just something as simple as a change in program can impact. For instance i currently am joined to the gym, i don't go often and i find it boring. However the other day i went rock climbing and it finally hit me, by getting rid of the gym i could add in new things that would make me happier all around, such as going rock climbing once a week, swimming once a week and playing some sort of sport like badminton once a week. By doing this not only do i get socialising, a new set of challenges, but i also get the satisfaction of learning new skills and getting out.The same time expenditure with slightly more cost resulting in significantly higher happyness. Nobody should do the same thing for a prolonged period of time, it begins to mess with their heads and cause them to become narrowed and bored. By doing small changes like this i feel i can live life to a better happier level and accomplish more in poker as a result.
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