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Perspective on MTT's and the "big score" tl; dr

brad2002tj This blog was inspired by Bond18's current heater as described in his blog and Body Man D's sick heater the last two weeks:

It's funny how poker can make you feel. When you are winning you feel like you are a great player and when losing you feel like you have completely lost touch with the game. Even though February has been pretty good to me (up over $1k) I continue to doubt my abilities. One of the biggest factors is that I have yet to have a big online MTT score. Making $2k grinding 2,000 STT is not near as rewarding to the ego as taking down a large MTT donkament and winning the same $2k in a single day.

I have been playing poker nights and weekends for around 2 years now, the last year pretty seriously. I have live profits of around $10,000 (most of this from the WSOP Circuit donkament I finished 3rd in) and relatively meager online profits of around $2,000. According to thepokerdb I have profitably played 156 MTT at Absolute and unprofitably played 80 at Stars. I've also played around 1,000 STT in between all the major sites and made most my online profits that way. By contrast, I have played maybe 30 live tournaments (only when in Vegas or New Orleans). Which begs the question: given the small sample size of live tourneys vs. online, why havn't I enjoyed the same level of success online? Much is said about the generally poor quality of live play, and while it is certainly true that live poker is more +ev depending on the venue I would expect a $2,000+ cash somewhere in those 200 online MTT's.

On the flip side, my $9k cash at the WSOP in a $300 buyin event equates to a cash of about $600 at a $20 buyin event. I have had several $600+ cashes online, so I guess it maybe just an economy of scale/bank roll issue.

Did my WSOP cash create too high of expectations? I was, after all, playing outside of my poker bankroll since my online bankroll at that time was <$500. Maybe I've answered my own questions while writing this blog. I took a shot playing above my bankroll and happened to have a good result. Now I need to grow my online bankroll so I can eventually play bigger and better games as I improve. In the past I would cash out my profits as I made them. The $700 I currently have on stars is the largest I have ever maintained and I do not plan on withdrawing.

So tell me, Two Rags, is my perspective correct? Since I've shown consistent profits playing STT should I focus on those for bankroll purposes and play the occasional MTT?

I hope to one day tell you all of an 5 figure online heater. Until then, I'll keep grinding.


Mr_Taterhead says

I say stick with your bread and butter and keep taking shots at bigger games and some MTTs to pad your bankroll with.

I am just starting to play some tourneys on the weekends, b/c I dont have time during the week, just because I get tired of everyone I know making 5-6figure scores while I am grinding my life away.

Good Luck.


Parvex (Anonymous) says

I recognised this feelings myself, although I'm a cash grinder. A friend of mine had a few very hot days at the start of the month and made some pretty nice five figure scores, while I was still grinding away at the cash tables.
I did a lot of thinking and wasn't really sure, what to do. I wanted the same success pretty badly (although i wasn't able to play at the moment due to exams), but no I read your post I kinda came to a conclusion.
It's something like this: I have made my decisiion in playing cashgames and I'm not going to be an MTT grinder and I can't expect this great score for myself, just b/c i'm going to play MTTs on a pretty unregular basis (i prolly could not if I play them regulalary too). I still play them from time to time, may it be for recreational purposes or just as a shot at the "big" money, but I just can't expect to have the same scores as my friend has.
And I should not forget the horrible streak of bad days this friend went through in december and january basically getting coolered or beaten up in any tournament he entered. Compared to that the path I have choosen has a pretty low variance.
And as long as situation won't completely I won't choose another path, just because I made my former choice for good reasons and I think I will be pretty happy, when I achieve my goals in terms of moving up and making a certain amount of money on a constant basis. Pretty sure, even more happy than I would be running hot in a tournament (not counting sunday majors and stuff ;) ) and take it down.

Therefor I agree w/ what Mr. Taterhead said. Stick to your plan and take some shots by the time you can afford them. Treat them as a benefit of your hard grind and maybe someday the heater will come.


harlem (Anonymous) says

The feelings you describe are similar in most competitive games. It seems like I'm always going from hero to zero and then back.
I think that's half the fun.


lakeoffire says

Bankroll, bankroll, bankroll.


birdsnbees says

Hey Brad, I'm from Houston as well and have been looking for a fellow online poker player. Write me an email @ or IM me on my AIM screenname @ beasaeid.

Looking forward to hearing from you,


Anonymous says

Hang in there man and exercise good BR management. It's taken me 2.5 years of grinding the lower limits to reach the point I'm at now. I've only been regularly playing the bigger buyins for the last 6 months or so. I think working your way up from the lower limits will serve you well in the long run.

Body Man D


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