To Bink, Or Not To Bink

Would you quit poker if you couldn’t win a title?

Recently, whilst playing at the Comersino (shorthand for Commerce Casino), I caught the tail end of a poker conversation that really caught me off guard. Two winning players were talking about binking a big one. (To Bink: verb, To win something significant.) They decided that a “big one” meant any tournament where first place was 500,000 dollars or more.

To Bink, or not To BinkAll of this was just background chatter to me until I heard the conversation take a small turn.

The kid was telling his buddy that he planned on quitting poker forever if he did not bag a major tournament title in the next year.


I am not going to mention his name, but I will say this.  He was a solid winning player. Super solid. Got his training online and then (after Black Friday) he chose the live grind versus moving to Canada or wherever.

I don’t want to guess at what his yearly earn could be with a year of straight grind, but I will go as far as to say that it would be about twice that of any first-rate real world job. (i.e. doctor, lawyer, whatever.) This fella knew how to win at poker. No doubt.

Leave poker? Are you nuts? And for what reason? Because you might not be able to turn a +ev lottery ticket (tournament) into a full out ‘Binkage moment’? Because you don’t make one major title (score) you are going to toss it all away?

Sounds like the Aesop’s Fable where the farmer kills the goose that lays him a golden egg a day. In hopes of finding gold inside of his goose, he kills it. Afterward, he learns that the insides are not special, and there is only blood and guts inside. And just like that he has lost his never-ending stream of golden eggs.

OK, maybe that is a stretch. But there are some parallels. Like having a good thing and not seeing it for what it is. Playing cards for a living?? How can you not see that you have it about as good as it gets. No boss, no dress code, no nothing. Just cold hard cash for knowing how to maneuver through the probability curves that are poker.

If someone loses their passion for poker and leaves, that is fine. Even if they were crushing it … still fine. If they are disillusioned by poker and quit, fine. If they feel that they are not adding value to the world by merely playing a game and quit, also fine. There are endless legitimate reasons to leave anything (including poker).

But putting a chokehold on yourself and forcing yourself to leave one of the most cush gigs of all time because you don’t get such and such an accolade?! Well that is just shortsighted and lame.

If such and such does not happen, then I am going to punish myself by leaving the best gig ever. Huh? And for that you are going to give up farming the money tree of poker? Give up making money from thin air? Yup, that is what poker is. (If you figured it out at least.)

Who knows … Maybe this fella will rethink his position. Maybe he will see the folly of his ways. Or maybe he actually follows through. People fail to bink majors all the time. Maybe he does it. Maybe he leaves his super cush 500K-plus a year job for one where he has a boss, a cubicle, and a yearly earn of 65K a year. And who knows … maybe this will make him happy.

But for the rest of you, the ones who know that this is not their path to happiness. For all you grinders that earn earn earn. Take the tournament thing for what it is … A plus ev lottery ticket. Don’t worry if you don’t take it down. Just get back to your golden goose, that’s all! A little bit of time tending your golden goose (money play) can go a long way to making a cozy farm.

May 2013