Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Taking the Shilling

Top post from "Cartman" on the Mob Forum today, in the thread I was talking about below.

"Were these icons of the old west sponsored to the tune of thousands by a large corporate organisation? Did they ceaselessly promote themselves via the internet and trad press? Did they build what is essentially a promotions business - as opposed to a gambling enterprise - as (what I would assume is) their key source of income?

I suppose I'd take the six-gun swinging riverboat image a bit more seriously if the corporate whore stuff wasn't quite so obvious."

Spot on IMO. Choose your path and then live with it, because you can't have it both ways.

Playing poker with someone else's money just isn't as cool. I take people on their individual merits but in general I have more respect for someone in poker if he's paying his own way. Tournament poker is a hard way to make an easy living, that's for sure. There are various ways you can deal with this :

1) Dig in, play within your bankroll and build it up as best you can. When the buy-in is $10,000, how big does your bankroll need to be ? Let's just say bigger than the tanks that 90% of these players have, especially now these comps are regularly attracting 500+ runners

2) Tournaments aren't everything. There are plenty of other poker games to play, live and online. Why don't you play those instead ? I can but speculate. I suspect that many tournament players (particularly NL "specialists") don't have the discipline and/or all-round poker skills to do well in other games.

3) Get a job and take your shot on the side.

4) Take the shilling and wear the logo

I've gone for 3). And I don't think I'd swap it, even for 4). I don't want to spend half my time schmoozing with Internet qualifiers (or hiding from them on planes) and doing endless PR. Or doing as little as I possibly can but taking the money anyway. That can't be good for your self-esteem.

Am I ruling out taking sponsorship in future ? Every man has his price. It would have to be a damn good deal, probably better than I would ever get. Sour grapes then ? Your call, make your choice.

They do say that what you love should be your hobby, not your job. My next trip to the US is in April and I can't wait. If I was doing it all the time, how soon would it become routine ? Especially with the knowledge that, while I'm being kept afloat, it's that much harder to make the really big score when you have to give the sponsor his cut.

So ... make your choice, and live with it. Whichever choice you make, accept the downside and get on with it. As for us, don't be intimidated when you see these guys in their sponsored shirts. All you need to think is "If you're so good, how come you're not playing with your own money ?"


Blogger SimonG. said...

You forgot Option 5) which seemed to be widely used in the road gambling days. If you lose your bankroll in a game, you just stick a gun in someone's face (usually a bootlegger) and help yourself to theirs. It must have happened a lot in those days as there are untold stories of players going skint and being back in the game the following day. They can't all have been legitimately staked.

I wonder what the modern-day equivalent is? It seems to be reneging on shares when you are supposed to weigh in, but if there are sharper practices today, I am sure they are in full use....

8:55 PM  

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