Hey Poker "Pro" - Go Get a Job
"Go get a job." For some poker players, this phrase is a complete insult. You insulted their ability as a player and you must pay dearly with your chips.
Those same players are also the ones who wind up having their chips taken.
A few years back I was deep in a Stud Hi-Lo tournament at the Bicycle Casino and a similar conversation broke out between a "pro player" and another player that I assumed was a pro but was just a very skilled amateur.
The pro was lamenting his two-month streak and how that even the top prize in the event wouldn't even bring him to even.
The amateur looked at him and said, "You need to get a job then."
The "pro" instantly got pissed and started spouting off. "What the f**k do you know. Just because you have some chips now, you think you can talk like that to me. I'll be happy to play heads-up against you at any time."
The amateur looked at him and said "Nope. I have to go to work tomorrow."
This statement got several looks from other people as we all have seen this guy around the Bike and figured he was one of those low-tier grinders you see at the casino. Instead, he was a supervisor at a call center and played two nights a week and played two nights a week and when there were non-Hold'em tournaments.
After hearing this, the "pro" calmed down but the conversation continued as follows:
Amateur: "So who do you think you're better at in Hold'em?" (This is where all the money was at the time as mixed games were just beginning to become popular again.)
Pro: I'm better than a lot of these guys.
Amateur: Are you better than Jorge (Pineda. A known West Coast player who was running pretty hot at that time.)
Pro: Everybody loses to Jorge.
Amateur: Ok, can you beat Taxi? (West Coast folks know who this guy is. A good player but horrible at money management.)
Pro: I can hold my own against Taxi.
Amateur: You know Taxi is backed in every tournament right? (At the time, this was the general rumor.) When is the last time you had all of yourself in a tournament?
Pro: You know I can't discuss my backing deals.
Amateur: You have all of yourself in this one?
Pro: I can't discuss percentages. (This was a $230 tournament)
Amateur: If you can't remember the last time you had 100% and you need to be backed in $230 tournaments, you need a job.
The conversation continued but the amateur player and I talked afterwards. He knew his limitations in NL Hold'em and knew that he didn't have the ability or the desire to be great in the game. He focused on what he was good at and played the game on the side.
This is advice that some players should consider for their own careers. Too many times, there are "pros" that don't have the true talent needed to be great and have to rely on backers to play.
The logic behind being staked in events under $500 has always eluded me, but there are a ton of players that have to be staked to play at any level. Sometimes it is bankroll management issues, but many times, it is rather a lack of ability by the player.
If you're a player that has to be staked to play in general, it may be time to consider taking a step back. Staking is typically intended to help reduce variance or take shots at higher events, not as bankroll support.