easy to go skint playing tournaments. Mike Sexton calls it "chasing rainbows".
My best advice to new players is: start by learning how to win in cash games.
Then use those profits to fund tournament entries and satellites of the
appropriate price. Your dream may be to win fortunes and glory, but your goal
should be to turn an annual profit.
One person who's been doing that
for years is Neil "Bad Beat" Channing. He is an expert cash player, a big
regular winner; but because he gained a high profile without winning a "major"
tournament, he hasn't always got the respect he deserves.
The joy of Neil is that, being very
English, he swallows any irritation he feels about being underestimated as a
player. His regular internet diaries from the tournament trail are full of
self-deprecating humour. Recent classics include, "I learned a long time ago
that you can't eat European ranking points" and "We were out of the Brighton
tournament by 8pm and left without even stopping for a second lot of haddock
and chips (good result, as I was due to pay)".
When he went to the
Irish Open in 2007, his valedictory comment was, "I certainly recommend Easter
in Dublin; I just wish I wasn't the egg."
Well, he wasn't the egg this
year. "Bad Beat" has just won the 2008 Irish Open, and the 800,000 that
goes with it. This is a victory for patience, modesty, hard work and quiet
self-belief; a triumph of karma. I'm confident that the result won't change
Neil, and hopeful that a generation of players will follow his example. They
should; this is the most popular poker result in British history. Personally,
I'm as proud as if I had won it myself.