(written late 2013)
I’ve been playing MTTs on and off for about 3 years. The week before I hit the Sunday Brawl a few years ago, I was learning 6 max PLO 25, convinced that SNGMTTs were dead. Then I hit the brawl, had some other MTT success, played a few EPTs and never played a hand of PLO online since. It has been amazing and at times, pretty awful. I think I’ve always been rolled for whatever I played and I always had money saved up, if I had a really bad downswing. But even still, it’s been pretty terrible at times. My game selection was sometimes pretty messed, like 6x registering the $640 million guarantee on FTP once a month. Those multientries killed me and maybe I was a bit too degen thinking I could get 12th to break even on the tourney. But anyways…
The major problem with MTTs (and poker in general to a lesser extent), is that your success is not directly correlated to how much time you put into improving. You could bink a tournament playing pretty poorly. Obviously, that’s a pretty big pull for a lot of recreational players, but on the flip side, you could study and play your ass off playing very high value MTTs and just get killed and see no results. I’ve done terribly this year and it’s been rough, but I continue to play them. What is really frustrating is that if you played pool for 6 hours a day, every day for a year, you would see a lot of improvement and your skill increase would be very evident. Basically, the more effort you put in, the better your results. But MTTs don’t work like that, and it’s good and bad in a sense. Often, people will ask what I think your ROI could be in a tourney and it’s a silly question many times because how can you ever really know. Our players, as well as myself have experienced some downswings I didn’t really think were possible. Then others have had a killer week and won like 50k+. You’re going to feel like trash 99% of the time and probably lose like 80% of sessions, but when you hit, it’s amazing. It’s almost like a sick contest, who can hold out the longest, playing their A game, waiting for a hit. It’s hard to deal with for myself and I can only imagine how brutal it would be for someone who needs to win to pay their bills. I know of a few HSmtt TLB grinders with over 100K in makeup. They are amazing players and have that much MU. It’s a gross game.
I’ve played about 3k MTTs at a $29 abi and lost $22k this year. That’s pretty sick when I think I’m only playing high value tourneys this year. Maybe I haven’t quite kept up with the game as much as I should and I didn’t really play much for 1.5 years before that, but that’s pretty sick. I have won one MTT this year, a $5.10 hyper turbo for about $1500. I made a bet with myself that I wouldn’t shave until I won an MTT earlier in the year. I didn’t win anything for 3.5 months, got too itchy and shaved it off before I won a MTT. I won that hyper about a month later, but still didn’t feel satisfied.
In June, I went to Vegas to play 1-table Sit N Go Satellites where winner takes all. Usually I had played $250-$500 sats and they had been so LOL soft in the past. I played 28 and won one of them. Simply put, you can run worse than you ever may have imagined. Maybe you’d say the gameplay and strategy I’m using is pretty flawed, but when I see many people use a similar strategy and destroy, I know I can’t be that wrong.
Late 2013, I final tabled both the Big 55 and Big 109, with 16k and 20k up top respectively. There was one winning player at each table. I busted both in 8th. Pillows were thrown. Objects were thrown off our balcony. I was not happy.
But every time Stars runs a big series, I know I’m going to play it. I’m not so deluded to think I’m going to ship it, but it could happen. And that’s why we play. That’s why we put ourselves through all of these sick runs. You could get crushed for a year (or more) and then have a killer weekend and all of that studying is going to pay off. That year of you getting killed is going to seem so trivial.