If you can't play.....write about poker

    • BarryCarter
      BarryCarter
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 13.01.2011 Posts: 5,454
      Hey all, Barry 'The Editor of PokerStrategy.com' Carter here.

      So as you can guess about somebody who writes about poker, I suck at it. I was quite a big winner back in the glory days of poker, but working in poker and playing the game, I eventually stopped studying the game too hard so I could keep enjoying it as a hobby.

      Anyway, I know it's quite a polarising debate in poker, but I happen to really like the Spin & Go concept in poker. I think it's good for recreational players and good for pros, so I am (genuinely, no spam, well maybe a bit of spam) quite excited PokerStrategy have partnered with SpinLegends. As a result, I have started taking the basic Silver team strategy so I can learn more about the game. As a result I figured I may as well kill two birds with one stone and make a bankroll challenge as I teach myself Spins.

      My only real aim is to become decent enough that the SpinLegends coaches consider me a 'winning' player, so to start with:

      Starting Bankroll: $100
      Goal: $1,000


      This will be playing $1 Spins to start with, moving to $3 if I get the BR somewhere between $300-$500. That said, I think I'll maybe get one of the SpinLegends guys to assess my game before moving up because obviously I might get a big multiplier tomorrow.

      I used to be reasonable at cash games and half decent at SNGs, so I hopefully have a few relatable skills already.

      A bit about me
      I've worked in poker for 11 years, full time for 10. I used to freelance for all the big poker magazines when paper was still a thing. Then I became editor of PokerNews before moving to PokerStrategy.com in 2011.

      I love the company and its a unique experience because when you work for a magazine or news site, your audience is somewhat faceless. At PokerStrategy you see the same folks in the comments and forums all the time, which is nice and really adds a human element to things.

      I'm probably best known for this, I'm certainly most proud of it:



      Jared is my best friend in poker, was the best man at my wedding and has been one of the biggest influences on my life in general. Great dude.

      Having worked in poker for so long, I have a B2B industry blog. Not very interesting unless you wanna work in poker.

      Completely unrelated to poker but I blog separately about a subject I find fascinating - how the internet is changing us psychologically. You will have seen me talk about this on PokerStrategy a lot too, especially stuff about AI, internet addiction, etc.

      On the side I'm actually writing a related book, about how modern life and the Internet is making (all of us) more easily offended. It's a psychology book not a politics book.

      Life stuff
      37 years old, very happily married with a great wife and an awesome dog called Charlie. He is getting a bit older these days which is sad, but he is in great health. 8 years old, I'd love another 8 with him.



      I've put on a bit of weight, I weighed in at 214lbs a few weeks ago, when I usually weigh about 196lbs. This was because I had some real problems with my knees for about 18 months, which put a spannner in my gym plans. I have sorted my knees out (Cod liver oil amazingly) so back at the gym. To motivate myself short term I have made a forfeit - I have to donate £100 to the UK Communist Party if I am not under 205lbs by May 1. If it's not clear already, I am NOT a fan of communism, hence the negative reinforcement motivator. I'm already at 209lbs so I'm on track. Sticking with a high protein diet and lifting weights. Prior to my knees going, I had got half decent at weight lifting so I hope to get back on track there.

      Other than that I read a lot, a book a week most of the time, read some great ones this year including:









      Beyond reading I love documentaries and the big American box set shows - Breaking Bad, the Wire, Mad Men, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Fargo, Leftovers, 24, Better Call Saul. You know the sort.

      Ok that's enough of me for now. Don't expect any deep poker analysis here guys and gals, at best you'll get some funny GIFs and some 'behind the scenes' musings of what its like working in poker. By all means, drop me a line if you have any questions about poker (as an industry), PokerStrategy, SpinLegends, books, boxsets, dogs etc. Any feel free to call me fat ass and check up on my weight :)
  • 115 replies
    • BarryCarter
      BarryCarter
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 13.01.2011 Posts: 5,454
      Speaking of SpinLegends, FYI I am currently playing my own bankroll not theirs, but working for PS.com fortunately means I have access to their strategy advice. I won't be giving anything away from their lab of secrets, but will be commenting on the general offering.
    • Post removed

    • tonypmm
      tonypmm
      Gold
      Joined: 11.01.2009 Posts: 4,656
      That's a great blog idea, Barry :f_thumbsup: , I think I'll be hanging out itt quite often :f_biggrin:

      As an introvert who dislikes working for any team, I'm not super-thrilled about the fact that stables exist at all, but poker sites welcome them as they want higher MTT guarantees, more jackpot hits and more high stake action, and I don't mind the SpinLegends team doing their business because I have the option of playing on my own at those sites where their padawans are absent :f_tongue:

      What do you think about Natural8's tournament staking system that allows to sell shares officially and transfers money automatically from the horse's account to the investors' once the horse wins? Should Pokerstars implement such an in-house system too? I think it would reduce the stakeroll risk significantly and shift the market equilibrium in horses' favour because backers would be able to afford to operate on thinner profit margins and would reduce their profit cuts in order to outcompete each other at horse acquisition.
    • BarryCarter
      BarryCarter
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 13.01.2011 Posts: 5,454
      Originally posted by tonypmm
      That's a great blog idea, Barry :f_thumbsup: , I think I'll be hanging out itt quite often :f_biggrin:

      As an introvert who dislikes working for any team, I'm not super-thrilled about the fact that stables exist at all but poker sites welcome them as they want higher MTT guarantees, more jackpot hits and more high stake action, and I don't mind the SpinLegends team doing their business because I have the option of playing on my own at those sites where their padawans are absent :f_tongue:

      What do you think about Natural8's tournament staking system that allows to sell shares officially and transfers money automatically from the horse's account to the investors' once the horse wins? Should Pokerstars implement such an in-house system too? I think it would reduce the stakeroll risk significantly and shift the market equilibrium in horses' favour because backers would be able to afford to operate on thinner profit margins and would reduce their profit cuts in order to outcompete each other at horse acquisition.
      Obviously it would be awesome if all sites could do it, but I understand why a site like Stars would not implement it. Its quite a bit of overhead. Also I'm not sure its a good first impression to a brand new player to be made aware of staking, so having it front and center on the site homepage would be a mistake IMO.


      I've been around poker a long time and seen sooooooooooo many scams that started from poorly constructed staking deals, that it would be nice to see a system that automatically escrows the right amounts.
    • tonypmm
      tonypmm
      Gold
      Joined: 11.01.2009 Posts: 4,656
      Originally posted by BarryCarter
      Also I'm not sure its a good first impression to a brand new player to be made aware of staking.
      Even a recreational player has a decent chance of being staked, e.g. a group of real-life friends can collect money to enter the most skillful member of the group (like a pub champion) into an MTT and have a good sweat. This kind of staking without longterm coaching is what I'd adore to see happening more.
    • IvicaIliev77
      IvicaIliev77
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.05.2012 Posts: 4,246
      Barry this is fantastic! I will follow your blog with great interest.

      Count on my help for Spins if you need some review, look into stats, overall strategy or to discuss hands.
      I wish you to crush and make way more then 1k$ in 2017 from Spins.

      And please, don't stop with articles at any cost. They are one of the major reasons why I keep checking main page of Poker Strategy!
    • BarryCarter
      BarryCarter
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 13.01.2011 Posts: 5,454
      Originally posted by tonypmm
      Originally posted by BarryCarter
      Also I'm not sure its a good first impression to a brand new player to be made aware of staking.
      Even a recreational player has a decent chance of being staked, e.g. a group of real-life friends can collect money to enter the most skillful member of the group (like a pub champion) into an MTT and have a good sweat. This kind of staking without longterm coaching is what I'd adore to see happening more.
      I didnt think of it in terms of recreational players being staked, that is a very interesting point. If that happened, obviously would be majorly +ev for everyone
    • BarryCarter
      BarryCarter
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 13.01.2011 Posts: 5,454
      Originally posted by IvicaIliev77
      Barry this is fantastic! I will follow your blog with great interest.

      Count on my help for Spins if you need some review, look into stats, overall strategy or to discuss hands.
      I wish you to crush and make way more then 1k$ in 2017 from Spins.

      And please, don't stop with articles at any cost. They are one of the major reasons why I keep checking main page of Poker Strategy!
      Thanks sir, followed your blog for a long time, glad to see you finally doing a BR challenge too.
    • tonypmm
      tonypmm
      Gold
      Joined: 11.01.2009 Posts: 4,656
      Originally posted by BarryCarter
      My only real aim is to become decent enough that the SpinLegends coaches consider me a 'winning' player, so to start with:

      Starting Bankroll: $100
      Goal: $1,000


      This will be playing $1 Spins to start with, moving to $3 if I get the BR somewhere between $300-$500. That said, I think I'll maybe get one of the SpinLegends guys to assess my game before moving up because obviously I might get a big multiplier tomorrow.
      It's so easy to estimate the EV ROI in Spins (1K games already give quite an accurate idea of it) that Spin regs' decisions about moving up / down are based rather on their EV than on their BR size. Bear in mind that your BR is 'almost infinite' because you have a side source of income, part of which you can gradually inject into the BR, hence you can afford almost any downswing if your EV is positive. So move up to $3 whenever you make sure that you're too strong for $1. This conclusion can be made on the sole basis of you winning more than 80 EV chips / 7% EV ROI per game over 1K games but it's advisable to consult a coach prior to moving up, to see if your game still has any large leaks.

      :gl:
    • tonypmm
      tonypmm
      Gold
      Joined: 11.01.2009 Posts: 4,656
      Let me start ask you an unrelated question:

      Which type of progressive KO MTTs do you find the best for the poker economy - standard (50%) PKOs, 75% ones (as in the Saturday editions of Bounty Builder) or the total (100%) ones (as in merely 6 MTTs on Saturdays only and SCOOP event #39)?

      The difference between these types is that 50% / 75% / 100% of the buy-in goes to the progressive bounties and so the regular prize pool is 50% / 25% / ~0% of the total prize pool. The regular prize pools of 50% / 75% PKOs tend to pay 12-13% / 7-8% of the field, resp., whereas total PKOs pay tiny non-bounty prizes to the final tablers only. But of course it's very possible to walk away with a bounty prize way before reaching the regular prize zone, and thus the more % go to the bounties, the smaller variance the tourney has.

      I've seen people finish in the top 4% of a total PKO and not win any money, apparently because they were too unwilling to take risks and hunt for bounties at the right time, and I'm afraid that some recreationals may feel uncomfortable about not getting a guaranteed reward for going deep, though from the strategic point of view, total PKOs are the most fascinating because it's not at all clear what the value of one's stack is, as its only use is to attempt to knock out shorter stacks (who obviously go all-in with premium hands only, to charge the maximum value from the hunters), and its value diminishes with time because the amount of bounties which are still in play decreases.
    • BarryCarter
      BarryCarter
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      Originally posted by tonypmm
      Let me start ask you an unrelated question:

      Which type of progressive KO MTTs do you find the best for the poker economy - standard (50%) PKOs, 75% ones (as in the Saturday editions of Bounty Builder) or the total (100%) ones (as in merely 6 MTTs on Saturdays only and SCOOP event #39)?

      The difference between these types is that 50% / 75% / 100% of the buy-in goes to the progressive bounties and so the regular prize pool is 50% / 25% / ~0% of the total prize pool. The regular prize pools of 50% / 75% PKOs tend to pay 12-13% / 7-8% of the field, resp., whereas total PKOs pay tiny non-bounty prizes to the final tablers only. But of course it's very possible to walk away with a bounty prize way before reaching the regular prize zone, and thus the more % go to the bounties, the smaller variance the tourney has.

      I've seen people finish in the top 4% of a total PKO and not win any money, apparently because they were too unwilling to take risks and hunt for bounties at the right time, and I'm afraid that some recreationals may feel uncomfortable about not getting a guaranteed reward for going deep, though from the strategic point of view, total PKOs are the most fascinating because it's not at all clear what the value of one's stack is, as its only use is to attempt to knock out shorter stacks (who obviously go all-in with premium hands only, to charge the maximum value from the hunters), and its value diminishes with time because the amount of bounties which are still in play decreases.
      Yeah I think you are right about recreational players leaving a 100% event and getting nothing. I think a recent TCOOP or micro millions event that exact thing happened, I think there was a third place finisher who got nothing at all.

      As for the best for the poker economy, I guess a 50%, because it rewards the broadest scattershot of players, the guys playing for bounties, people who bust people early and the hangers on.

      As you know, the 100% Bounty events and Spins clearly as similar as (like beat the clock) they are in a way cash games where you are forced to play to a finish.
    • BarryCarter
      BarryCarter
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      Just watched this documentary, it was jawdropping and the most fascinating insight into the affect of money on people I've seen.

    • tonypmm
      tonypmm
      Gold
      Joined: 11.01.2009 Posts: 4,656
      My brother's wife is like a queen of Moscow :f_rolleyes:
    • MyFloXyBabY
      MyFloXyBabY
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.02.2010 Posts: 2,631
      Wow, my god, Barry is bloging now ?! 8-o

      I'm glad, I'm sure you already know all the influence your 2 books had on the community but as a (modest) player I wanna thank you and Jared anyway !


      I'm actually reading Sapiens and The subtle art of not giving a fuck (I'm a big fan of Mark Manson' blog) but I dont' know the other books of your list. As a bookworm I'm happy to find new interesting suggestions though =)


      Have you maybe read To save everything, click here : the folly of technological solutionism and The net delusion by Evgeny Morozov or Internet : who owns our future ? by Jaron Lanier ?
      I found them really great.

      About narcissim in our society (but nothing internet related) I also liked Christopher Lasch's books The culture of narcissism and The minimal self : psychic survival in troubled times
    • freedomisland
      freedomisland
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      Joined: 30.04.2014 Posts: 21
      Do you get paid when you write about poker? :f_o:
    • BarryCarter
      BarryCarter
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      Originally posted by MyFloXyBabY
      Wow, my god, Barry is bloging now ?! 8-o

      I'm glad, I'm sure you already know all the influence your 2 books had on the community but as a (modest) player I wanna thank you and Jared anyway !


      I'm actually reading Sapiens and The subtle art of not giving a fuck (I'm a big fan of Mark Manson' blog) but I dont' know the other books of your list. As a bookworm I'm happy to find new interesting suggestions though =)


      Have you maybe read To save everything, click here : the folly of technological solutionism and The net delusion by Evgeny Morozov or Internet : who owns our future ? by Jaron Lanier ?
      I found them really great.

      About narcissim in our society (but nothing internet related) I also liked Christopher Lasch's books The culture of narcissism and The minimal self : psychic survival in troubled times
      Holy shit please post more sir, all those books sound great. I have read the net delusion and enjoyed it, I have heard of 'click here' and will get it now.

      Sapiens is possibly the most interesting (not best, but most interesting) book Ive ever read.

      Mark Manson, dunno if you know but I help Jared with his podcast and actually got Mark on as a guest, he is a poker player as it happens. A real fanboy moment for me http://jaredtendlerpoker.com/blog/mark-manson/

      Thanks for the kind words on the books
    • BarryCarter
      BarryCarter
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      Originally posted by freedomisland
      Do you get paid when you write about poker? :f_o:
      Somehow, yes :)

      I'm a member of staff here at PokerStrategy
    • BarryCarter
      BarryCarter
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      Joined: 13.01.2011 Posts: 5,454
      Week 1:

      108 Spins
      $18 profit + $1.85 promotion bonus
      Bankroll $119.85 (Started at $100, target $1,000)
    • tonypmm
      tonypmm
      Gold
      Joined: 11.01.2009 Posts: 4,656
      Originally posted by BarryCarter
      $1.85 promotion bonus
      You play The Deal too, don't you? :f_biggrin: