Stop Worrying About Making The Money
Posted by Anthony Martino
So many players bemoan their luck when they finish just outside of cashing in an event (i.e. they finished 317th and the top 290 got paid)
The problem here is that you shouldn't be playing tournaments to "cash", you should be playing to win. A win is SO many times more profitable than just making the money that it isn't even funny.
I've used this example before, but in the WSOP Main Event that Jerry Yang won, there were over 6,000 entrants. If you finished in 10th place.........seventeen years in a row........you still wouldn't make as much money as he did coming in first place once.
Now 10th place is well beyond "just cashing" in that event, but look at the disparity between those. To come in 10th place seventeen years in a row out of over 6K entrants would take a lot more skill than finishing 1st once and busting 16 years in a row.
Making the money is pointless, you MUST play to win, don't be afraid to finish on the money bubble. This is when a lot of players are too scared to risk their stacks, and it's a perfect opportunity for you to pounce and build a stack to make a run for the top three spots.
I'm checking out an in-progress tournament on Full Tilt Poker right now. It's a $24+$2 buyin event with 523 entrants.
First place is $3,138. Just making the money (54th place) earns you $37.66
First place is more than 83x the prize money. Do you really want to have to "just cash" in 83 events to snag what you'd get for one victory (this doesn't take into account that you're paying $26 for each of those 83 events.......which throws things even more out of whack)
If we look at it from a profit standpoint, just cashing nets you a profit of $11.66, significantly less than what you paid to buyin to the event. And you likely played for a good 4-5 hours easily just to cash, making your hourly wage pathetic at best.
Coming in first nets you a profit of $3,112 and you likely only spent a few more hours on top of what "just cashing" would have cost you timewise.
This makes your overall profit on the event around 267x that of just cashing. That is a HUGE disparity.
Don't treat your tournaments like you do cash games (i.e. just trying to show a profit). Play to win, not to cash. Only worry about winning the event, that is where all the rewards are in tournament poker, and if you want to make the big scores you must have this mentality or you'll spend hours upon hours wasting your life making meaningless "profits"