The times they are a changin…

If you’re reading this then you are most likely aware that I have started to sell action for some of my tournament play. This is something I have mostly shied away from in the past. I would occasionally offer action for some events to close friends and family, but for the most part, I have always owned 100% of myself.

There are several reasons why I didn’t really offer action:

  • I’m selfish and greedy. On the rare occasions when I was fortunate to make money in a tournament, I wanted to keep all of the money for myself, seems simple enough. I don’t ever play in tournaments that I cannot afford, so using my own money to pay for the buy-in then spending my time to play seems like I should be the only one benefitting from the investment.
  • Guilt. The first couple times I sold action for tournaments were because people asked me for it. I did not cash in those events, and I felt terrible afterwards. I take the responsibility of taking other peoples’ money very seriously, and I always felt like I had failed (even more than normal) when I couldn’t provide a positive return on the investment.
  • Perception. Because I didn’t cash when I sold action, I worried that there was a perception that I had not played my best because it wasn’t only my money on the line. The idea that someone might think that since my financial risk was mitigated may have influenced my play was not something I was comfortable with. I’m sure people didn’t think that as it is not very logical at all, but just the fact that people could think that was enough to have me shy away from it.
  • Validity. Tournament results are public. You can look up any poker player you want and see how they have done in every tournament they have cashed in. The one thing you won’t actually find out though is how much of themselves they actually had. Most of the top earning tournament players in the world sell action, and large percentages of themselves. Many of them do not even own half of their own action in some of the largest events they play in. Because of all of this backing, the amount of money people have made in tournaments is somewhat deceiving. Yes they “earned” that money by finishing in the money, but they don’t actually have that money as they had to pay their investors. Poker is a game that uses money made as a measuring stick for success. Our only way of evaluating that right now does not weigh in action sold. I took pride in knowing that my results were actually my own.

While not all of my reasons for not selling action were logical, they were all still valid. Selling action is a personal decision, and personal decisions are not always rational. My feelings have obviously changed (have I mentioned that I now sell action? you can buy a piece of my current packages here) and I’ll address each of my above reasons for not selling action below.

  • I’m selfish and greedy. This hasn’t changed, but I now look at it another way. While I would still like to hold on to all of my winnings (if I ever have them again) now I look at it as I can hold on to more of my own money while still playing events that I would’ve played anyway. Me holding on to more of my money is kind of like making money.
  • Guilt. No matter what, if people invest in me, and I don’t make them money, I will always feel guilty. However, I am not begging people to invest, (though if you want to, you can do so by clicking here 🙂 ) I am just making the investment available. Like any investment there is risk. Anyone who invests in me should know the inherent risk involved, and what they choose to do with their money is their business. Also, I am completely honored that there are people out there that have enough faith in me to want to invest in me.
  • Perception. I am old enough now that I really am starting to not care what people think. I can only control myself. As stated before, I consider it a high honor that people want to invest in me. Because of this, any time I sit down at the table and have other people’s money partially backing me, I will be trying my best. If anything, having backers probably causes me to be more focused than normal. It isn’t just my own money on the line. I hope that anyone who invests in me knows that I will do everything in my power to be successful for us, and if I fail (which I will often) they can rest assured that it wasn’t because of lack of effort or focus.
  • Validity. I guess if it’s not a big deal for the greatest players in the game, it doesn’t need to be for this peon either. There is still a part of me that wants to hold on to the ideal that the measuring stick we compare ourselves with is as accurate as possible, but it’s not very realistic. Also, I have come to the conclusion that the validity of how much money people kept from their winnings is irrelevant. Sites like Hendon Mob are really just designed to be used as a tool for seeing results. It can also be a great way to get an idea of the experience level of your opponents. There is a selfless Twitter account @MNPokerUpdates that sends MN players links of their opponents’ Hendon Mob results whenever they make a final table or big day 2. This doesn’t help us know how much money the people are worth, it is so that we can see what type of experience our opponents have, and help us make better decisions when playing against them.

So that’s why I used to not sell action, and a little bit of how my thoughts on those reasons have changed. This is not an all encompassing list, but it gives a little insight as to how my viewpoint has been altered. But none of that really explains WHY I have decided to start selling action. It really just boils down to one thing:

I want to share my success with others.

It really is that simple. I have been blessed to enjoy some small amount of success in this game. Not everyone will have the same opportunities that I have. If I can spread some of that success around, that ultimately will make me happier than just holding on to all of my own winnings. I know that it may seem like a strange concept for a poker player to want to share their winnings, but I do.

So that’s it for this installment. As I stated in my post last month, I am not going to go back over this post and make changes. Even though I know that if I re-read what I have typed here, I will hate a large portion of it, I committed to just putting stuff out there, even when it is imperfect. Until next time my friends…