One of the top questions that serious poker players inevitably ask themselves is, “Should I be backed?” Should I stop risking all of my own money in tournaments and cash games and instead seek a partner of sorts? What if I don’t perform well? What if the rigors of having to work with someone else wear me down? All of these are perfectly legitimate questions. Let’s take a look at whether backing should be in your future.
Increase in Stakes
One of the benefits of being backed is the ability to step up in stakes. If you’re still milling around the mid-stakes tables and want to take a dip into the deep waters, then backing may be your solution. Variance and all of the major downsides of live and online poker still exist in the high-stakes games. However, these pitfalls are magnified due to the increased buy-in amounts, meaning that your bankroll needs to be considerably larger in order to withstand the swings.
In order to generate a larger bankroll, your answer might be to be backed. Oftentimes, this involves giving up a percentage of your earnings at the table. However, the level of experience you’ll be able to receive from competing at the upper echelons of poker could make being backed well worth your time.
By having the opportunity to vie for a big score in a major poker tournament, you might ultimately build your own bankroll considerably faster than if you had to go it alone. Major live and online tournaments can offer up first place prizes well into the seven-figures; if you win one of those, it’s bye-bye backing.
It’s Not Your Money
When your own hard-earned money isn’t at stake, you take on a whole different view of the game. Marginal calls suddenly don’t become marginal anymore; after all, if you lose, it’s not your money anyway. Presumably, this allows you to think more freely and make calls that you know are mathematically spot on.
Poker players are usually overly upset when they bust events and overzealous when they excel. However, when you’re backed and less of your own money is at risk, these emotions gravitate toward the center. Without wild emotional swings in your life, your ability to sit down and focus on playing cards is much improved. Forget about throwing your laptop across the room after a bad beat. Save the hundreds of dollar bills you’d hit the strip club with. After all, it’s not your money.
Ultimately, being backed boils down to your tolerance for risk. If you’re a risk-taker, then going it alone is probably your cup of tea. After all, you and your backer will likely disagree on what tournaments you can enter given your risk-taking nature. Contrastingly, if you tend to play it safe, then you might represent a cash cow for a backer. Not only will you feel more comfortable at the table given that less of your own money is at risk, but you’ll also be pleasing your backer if you perform. It’s a prototypical win-win situation.
Are You a Team Player?
If you’re not a team player and typically don’t get along well with others, then backing is all but out of the question. Backing involves sitting down with another person and mapping out a specific schedule of tournaments and cash games to play. If you don’t have the capacity to be able to work hand in hand with another individual to come to an accord, then stay away from backing and go it alone.
On the other hand, if you work well with others, then by all means get backed. Forging a harmonious relationship with your backer is of the utmost importance.
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