Friday, July 13, 2007
Eighth of Forty, to Where?
Something strange is afoot. I find myself playing just well enough to get into the money, then make a big play, get knocked out, collect my prize and go home. Once I make it into the money, I don't seem to care about getting higher and maybe even placing first. Is it because I do not want to fill out a W2 or get a 1099 for the higher amounts? Maybe. Then I would have to start verifying all of my losses to counter against winnings. This 'hobby that pays for itself' is starting to get into a dangerous range. Cash games are not a reporting problem, just have to keep track. I use a statistics database created by another player. Tournaments would seem the same, but they are not. If you make twelve hundred or more, the amount has to be reported. Some states, like mine, it has to be reported at six hundred and up. Five hundred and ninety nine and below, no form is required. When the prize money gets that high, I seem not to be at the top of my game. Could be the late hour, and knowing that my alarm is going to go off at five thirty in the morning, then again, it could be just avoiding the paperwork. Let's say I made fifty dollars an hour at work, a ten hour day would be five hundred bucks. If I made that much the night before in a tournament, should I think about changing careers? No. Not at this stage. Wins are not packed close enough together, and I love what I do for work, and they like me doing it too. Maybe I'll just keep it to weekends and stay away from weeknight tournaments. I started to write about how the new format at the local club took my suggestion and is only paying one place per table of entrants. Last Monday night it was four tables so only four places paid. When it got down to eight of us, someone suggested that we pay fifty bucks for all, taking four hundred out of the prize pool for the top four. We all agreed. Next hand the suggester goes all in for twice my stack. I look down at ace-king of diamonds, hesitate knowing how loose he plays, and three to act behind me. I know I'm getting fifty no matter what, and call. He shows two black queens, I don't improve on the flop, turn, nor river and am out in eighth place. A fun race, one that I won an hour earlier, but not now. Collect my fifty bucks and head for the door. Getting up Tuesday morning on four hours sleep was not fun. Why do I do this to myself? Well, as fun as it is, I'm not doing it anymore. I think I'll stick to the weekend tournaments at the bigger clubs around town. It's a little more expensive than playing at this little club, and the prize money is better, but the field of players is also larger and it will be more of a test to get to that final table. The skills are improving, the books are being re-read, all I need now is a wish of luck.