Peter’s principle is the concept that “someone is promoted until the point of his incompetence”. The game of poker is a prime example. The higher you play, the more regulars and skillful players you’ll find.
Now, my question is this: How do you define the “best player”? Would you vote for a break-even High Stakes MTT player or a winning low stakes MTT grinder?
Skill wise, I think it’s safe to assume that the HSMTT player has a bigger bag of tricks than the low stakes one, assuming we’re talking about a regular who climbed his way up the ranks and “earned” his spot at that level, however this player has a major flaw in his game.
He doesn’t make any money. He just plain doesn’t win, he might have a sick set of moves but his skills just aren’t enough to beat the level where he’s at.
Meanwhile, a few steps bellow, the low stakes grinder, despite not having such a depth of knowledge of the game keeps beating his game at a 30% ROI, paying his bills and living a financially comfortable life.
So, I’ll ask you again, who do you think is the best player? Isn’t the sole purpose of the game to make the most money?
Put yourself in a stakers position, would you rather stake a player who plays the swingiest games against the top tier of opponents, where you can win $50k in a session but you can as easily drop the same amount in a few sessions, or, a solid, steady grinder, who just murders the easier games, booking $500 or $1k wins every day?
Here’s where Peter’s principle comes in full effect, you win at a level, then you play the next one, and the next one, until you stop winning altogether, and ultimately convince yourself you’re just unlucky and running bad.
That’s one of the benefits of having a backer. ultimately, the backer has the same goals as you. To maximize your earnings. It’s his business to make sure you go along with your business in the best way possible, by not letting you getting blinded out by pride or delusions of grandeur.
Don’t rush yourself, if your backer is experienced and knows what he’s doing, as soon as you’re really prepared for those bigger games he’ll put you in them, if you play for yourself, then find your “sweet spot”, the level where you win the most money and keep at it until you evolve.
So what if there’s a bigger game? The bigger games will always be there, and one thing is for sure: If you don’t win you won’t be able to sustain yourself and keep yourself in the game, so, if there’s an easier way to win, just take it. Keep working, keep studying, and keep practicing and soon, what seemed hard will become as rote as answering 2+2..
Poker is a swingy game where your main opponents is variance, if you can shrink it down, then your main opponent is you, and if you can tame yourself happy times will follow.