Buying / Selling Action : Some Pointers – A Blog by Kunal Patni

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September 27th, 2018 18:14

Indian poker is going through a fantastic period over the last few months. There are some insanely juicy online tournaments with record-breaking guarantees for very small buyins. Also more and more poker players are travelling to take part in the various series across Asia, Europe and Vegas.

This has obviously meant that the number of players buying and selling action for MTT series has gone through the roof in recent times.

I have been wanting to write a blog and share my thoughts on buying/selling action for live and online MTTs for a very long time. I wasn’t able to get sleep after a late night cash game last night and decided to do some analysis of my numerous poker trips around the world over the last 3 years and my online grind over the last few months. Some of the results thrown up by this simple analysis were quite an eye-opener. A few findings were known to me at the back of my mind but to see the same in pure real-time numbers just gave me a fresh perspective and hence I really wanted to share the same with a focus on buying/selling action.

Online MTT Analysis:

Period  – Last 4 months

Number of Tourneys Played – 135

ITM – 34

Final Tables – 14

Live MTT Series Analysis

Period – October 2014 to February 2018

Number of Series – 41

Break Even Series – 3

Loss Making Series – 28

Profitable Series – 10

Live MTT Individual Analysis

Period – October 2014 to February 2018

Number of Individual MTT – 332

ITM – 62

Final Tables – 23

Quick Summary of Results in percentage terms:

ITM Online – 25.18%

Final Table Online – 10.37%

ITM Live – 18.67%

Final Table Live – 6.92%This clearly shows the variance involved in MTTs both live and online. You make it in the money on an average 1 out of 4 / 5 tournaments. The cream of the money as we all know is in the top few spots a.k.a final table. And it takes you a minimum of 10 to 15 tournaments to make it to the final table. For every profitable live series, I have had 3 loss-making ones. I think most regular tournament players would be aware of the numbers above but am not sure if most investors are as glued on about the same

I have had my share of upswings and downswings over the last 3 and half years but fortunately, it has been a profitable run for me as a player in both the formats. However, I can’t say the same for the good people who have believed in me and invested in my packs over a period of time. I can say with utmost confidence that the story would be very similar for investors across packs of most players (online and live)

The reason for the same is very simple – not many of the investors are patient enough to ride out the bi**h called variance. 95% of the investors, if not more, are one time investors in a players pack. Someone has had a good series or a good score online and people would throng to buy his/her pack. The player bricks the next series and they move on to buy some other pack. Any seasoned MTT grinder would vouch that tournament variance can be a killer. One needs to play hundreds and thousands of tournaments to win that big one and by investing in players packs randomly like that is somewhat like buying a lottery. You are hoping that this is the series in which your “horse” would make the home run.

Here are some of the suggestions I would make for people who are regularly buying action. These are based on the mistakes I have personally made as an investor as well as errors I have seen some of my investors make:

  1. Firstly do your homework on the player – ability,  past performance, scores, markup, sharing terms, feedback from other investors, regular updates on packs, ethics etc etc etc. Remember you are doing a business transaction and it’s your right to know. Ask questions about the pack whenever there is a confusion. These are all the basic hygiene stuff.
  2. Based on the points above make a list of your preferred “horses”. Please don’t go around buying 5% of every single pack that is posted on IPPA. This is fast track to bankruptcy
  3. RIDE OUT THE VARIANCE with your horses – I cannot stress on this point enough. This is the single most reason for investors to lose money even on a winning player. Don’t invest 10% in one pack of his and stop after one brick series. Invest 1% for the next 10 series. That’s the only way to ride out the variance.
  4. Be Patient – MTT life is super tough and you need to be as patient as the player or the original seller of the pack. It’s not a one-time lottery !! Trust me on that
  5. Budget – Keep a close track on your budget for buying action. Very easy for you to lose all your “action buying” money if you don’t keep a close track on this. Don’t go overboard on a player in “great form” by typing in “rest” even though “rest” is beyond your acceptable budget.
  6. Pre Book Action – If you are confident about a particular player and ready to ride out the variance with him/her over a period of time, PM the player and prebook his action for the next few series. As a seller, I am personally always happy to prebook action for serious investors. This way you don’t need to stress out on missing action of your favourite players by playing fastest fingers first like Kaun Banega Crorepati on IPPA. LOL
  7. Remember that the player who is selling action is doing so to reduce his own variance (not to make money out of the pack)
  8. Last but not the least please do not ever forget that the player who is selling action is still investing anywhere from 50-70% of his own money. If you are feeling bad about losing 2.5% of your invested money in the pack, the player is feeling shitty for having lost 50-70% of his own money and losing his investors’ money.

Happy Investing Guys !!!

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