Monday, May 19, 2014

Poker Grinder


word type: poker slang

  1. Poker player who plays in games they're significantly over-bankrolled for while also playing a style of poker that leads to consistent and steady win rates.

* definition of 'grinder', taken from "Grinderschool" training site

grinder (n) a professional poker player who earns a living through small but consistent winnings (See also: rounder)

I think of a grinder as a player who--
1) puts in great volume,
2) has a positive win rate,
3) thinks systematically about the game and tries to improve as they play,
4) plays within their bankroll.

Grinders rarely "take shots" and money does not come pouring on them, but nor do they lose it easily. They accumulate capital slowly, but steadily and securely.

Grinders rarely take shots because grinders don't take alot of risks. Grinders look for maximum gain for the least amount of risk...

a grinder is a player who understands that solid play + volume > short term variance.

He just keeps putting in hour after hour, day after day, month after month until he looks up at the end of the year and sees a significant profit.

Understanding the math and playing solid poker according to the math will always win in the long run regardless of the short term results. I like these two mostly.

Where You Can Find Grinders

Actually, you can find grinders in almost all types of poker in the lower and middle limits. You typically don't find a "grinder" per se at the nosebleed stakes. Most grinders will multi-table to the tune of eight or more simultaneous tables, oftentimes of identical game types and limits. For instance, a Sit and Go grinder might play eight tables at a time of $25 turbo 9-person Sit and Goes. Considering that 10% (after rake) is a great ROI for a Sit and Go player, that means that the player is only making $2.50 per sit and go. But if they can squeeze in 20 sit and goes in an hour, then they're "grinding" a $50 per hour win rate. By contrast, if that same player decided to go play a $200 Sit and Go, then they're now "off their grind" and taking a "shot" at a higher game.

You Should Also Know...

While some grinders do play almost exclusively large, multi-table tournaments, these people are a very rare breed. The goal in a large tournament is to make a big score, to win a sum of money that can sustain you until the next sizeable take. Some people are able to win small to medium prizes on a fairly consistent basis, but in general, grinders don't specialize in multi-table tournaments because luck can swing one's results too quickly in them and they take too long to make smaller wins worth the time.
Additionally, online players can earn rakeback to increase their hourly rate, and some online poker rooms only offer rakeback for cash games.

In Film - Rounders

The terms "grind" and "grinder" are featured in the opening monologue of the popular poker film, Rounders.

Guys around here'll tell ya... you play for a living.
It's like any other job. You don't gamble. You grind it out.
Your goal is to win one big bet an hour, that's it.
Get your money in when you have the best of it, and protect it when you don't.
Don't give anything away.
That's how I've paid my way through half of law school.
A true grinder.
See, I learned how to win a little at a time. But finally, I've learned this...
If you're too careful, your whole life can become a fuckin' grind

The Gambler - Kenny Rogers

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
'Cause every hand's a winner And every hand's a loser

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