Drive For Show, Putt For Dough
There is a saying in golf world called "Drive for show, putt for dough". For those non-golfers out there what it means is that everyone is very impressed by a long straight drive out of the tee box. It is the first shot of every round. But where the real money is made (in tournaments or skins) is putting on the green. Way more shots are taken near the green then off the tee box, and no matter how good you are at driving, if your putting skills suck, you will never be a good golf player. How does this relate to Poker? It relates in a huge way.
Tournaments For Show, Cash Games For Dough
Everyone loves to put up a big result in a tournament. It is extreemly impressive when you outlast a 500+ player field and do some damage at the final table. These are the memorable moments in a poker players life. Something worth blogging about. The real big paydays that you can write home about. This is where champions are crowned at the WSOP and on the WPT. This is where fame is earned. Sadly though, this is not where the "dough" is made.
Cash games are where the real money is made. My cash game supports my tournament habit. Other good players are in the same boat. You just can't win as much money per hour played in a tournament as in a cash game. Sure if you win a tournament, you just got a great return on your investment, but what about all the other tournaments that you did not cash in, or just barely made the money. What about all of the time you spent in all those tournaments to get your one big cash?
Tournaments are a lot of fun, and are more exciting then cash games, but they just don't pay the same. Ok, if you are a world class poker player, and can play well in 5-10k buy-in tournaments, you may have an argument here. You may not be able to find enough high stakes cash games to play in to equal what you can make on the big tourney circuit. I am not one of those players yet. If you are a middle limits online player, work on your cash game. Dial it in. You will make more money per hour in the long run. Plus you will get points towards bonuses. I am not talking about Sit & Go's. If you have your game dialed in to do well in S&Gs there is some serious money to be made there, and possibly more than your cash game will make. S&Gs are short, and pay a higher percentage of players, and have a more flat payout schedule which makes this possible.
I played in a some MTTs over the weekend for fun. My results have been crap lately, but I need to keep my tourney skills going so I will be ready for the Fulltilt WSOP freeroll later this month. Titan poker gave me a $50+5 token for a 15k guarantee tournament. Not sure why they did, but I got to give them some props for it. I played in it on Sunday, and there were 609 entries with the top 80 paid. Titan pays more than 10% for some reason. I got off to a great start, tripling up my chips in the first hour, then went pretty card dead through the middle of the tourney. With about 120 players left, I knew I could limp/stall into the money. I would play big if I got a hand, but I never did. When I let the 1k/2k blinds pass through me without a fight when I had 3250 chips, I was playing for 80th. Crappy way to play a tourney by the way. I limp/stalled the last orbit, and got in the money the hand before my BB. In the BB, I caught KQo which was the best I had seen in like 2 hours. The SB pushed to get heads up with me and eliminate 2 others, and I had KQ vs 77 for a quadruple up, and another life. I flopped a Q, but he rivered a 7 and I was out. I cashed $48 in a $55 buy-in after 2 1/2 hours. If it was not a free entry I would have been pissed. Tourneys are profitable?
I played in the 8k tourney on FullTilt Sunday night. I was like 0/5 in previous recent attempts. Again I trippled up in the first hour and was feeling good. Then I catch JJ, and raise 6x to clear out a couple of limpers and get a non-limper call. The flop comes QQQ, and I practically crapped myself. This guy ain't got AA or KK cause he smooth called my sizable preflop raise. He could have AK (dangerous) or a lower pocket pair that he can't fold. I decided to play it safe and just push-in right there. He insta-called with KQ for fucking quad bitches! I flop a boat and am drawing dead, damn! My stack gets whacked down to $800. I don't give up, and rally back to 4k then go card dead. Later, I open push with 55, and get called by 99 and river a 5. I catch cards and run my stack to 16k+ in about 5 hands for 2nd place with 65 left. I push-in with QQ on the bubble, and get called by AK. He catches a K on the flop, but I turn a straight, and I'm back in business. I go completely card dead, until I push in with AJ with 19 players left, and get called by AK. I'm out in 19th place for a $48 payday after 3 1/2 hours. This is a $22 profit for beating 95% of the field in one of my better runs in a while. Tourneys are profitable?