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3 Reasons to Reconsider Being Backed in Poker Tournaments

28 August 2015, By:

Backing is a common occurrence in poker games and most players claim to use a backer to "cut down on variance."

The truth is that there are a large number of players that are being backed when they really shouldn't.

Poker Junkie blogger Compncards has been vocal about his reasons for not using backers in the past. Today he gives three reasons why you should reconsider using a backer.

1. You Cannot Manage a Bankroll

I cannot tell you how many times I've seen good poker players reliant on a backer because they were unable to manage their bankrolls.

One particular California player comes to mind. I've watched this player win approximately $30,000 in small buy-in tournaments in a week but he had to get his backer to put him in a $125 event because he blew the money gambling.

Problems with bankroll management vary greatly but the most common one is players that use their bankrolls for other forms of gambling.

Your poker bankroll must be used exclusively for poker. If you are unable to manage it because you are blowing it in other things, getting a backer isn't going to change this.

In fact it will probably make things worse as you will have them as a "safety net." Most players with bad bankroll management will never move up to a superstar level and if they do they will likely only do so because they stay in debt.

2. You Cannot Afford to Play

Another common problem that players disguise under the umbrella of "controlling variance" is that they cannot afford to play poker tournaments at a certain limit.

Some players will only have the skill level to compete up to a certain buy-in level. After that point they will not make enough money to play higher.

The example is a player who does well in events up to a $1,000 buy-in but then cannot hang with the top players in events with a $5,000 buy-in and larger.

Some players will turn to backing and point to their stats at lower buy-in tournaments. What typically happens is that a backer takes a chance and once he figures out that the player doesn't have the skill to play higher he is dropped.

If you cannot compete at a higher buy-in level work on your game rather than get a backer and throw away money chasing a dream.

You would be better suited to get some coaching and improve your game so that you can compete at higher levels. Once you have a track record, then look for a backer.

Of course, if you improve your game enough, maybe you won't need a backer.

3. You Have a Hard Time Honoring Commitments

In the poker world you're only as good as your word. All it takes is for you to screw over one person and the stigma from that missed commitment can ride with you for a long time.

I mention this for those of you that have a hard time meeting your commitments in life. You go into an agreement with the "best of intentions" but don't always follow through.

How does that apply to finding a backer? Often you will hear of players being backed from someone and not repaying their debts or, worse still, do not follow through when they actually hit a score.

Chino Rheem and T.J. Cloutier are prime examples of players with stigmas of never repaying their debts. It's common knowledge that both would borrow money on a regular basis and not repay.

While Rheem reportedly made good on some of his debts that stigma still haunts him. You don't want to be that guy. If there is any chance that "things will come up" that will keep you from meeting your obligations, then you don't need a backer.

You have to be able to repay your debts on a regular basis and when you finally get that big win you have to fork over the required percentage to the backer.

If you have a 30-70 deal with a backer and win a million dollars, will you follow through and pay out $700,000? Or will you try to figure out a way to keep the lion's share.

If you're the latter, don't get a backer.

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