Poker Tournaments & SNG's

Expenses of a Live Tournament Grinder

4,563 Views 0 Comments on 10/2/14

Live Poker Expenses and how to manage them

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Expenses can mount up when travelling, its somewhat of a luxury that only certain players can afford. If you play a £1k tournament your bankroll should be over £200k. Why is this? Well we need enough money to play multiple tournaments.

Cashing in a tournament is incredibly difficult let alone winning it. We need to ride out the downswings until we get the win or a cash that can result in profit.

How much does a live poker tournament trip cost?

This all depends how far from the venue you are. For an average trip costs can look like this 

  • Train or petrol £60
  • Hotel per night £70 (3 nights min needed per tournament) £210.
  • Food & drink per day £30
  • Travel (taxis) £10 per day
  • Total = £300-450

These are all minimums so a 3 night trip to play a tournament excluding the buy in can cost us £300-500. This is a lot of money to invest on top of your tournament buy-in. This is why many players do not travel and play online. The only expense of playing online is losing some social skills. 

How to combat live tournament expenses

  • Book in advance. Trains can often be found for upto 15% of the on day price if you book 2weeks+ in advance
  • Share rooms with friends. This can half to ⅓ the cost. A lot of hotels have family rooms which can sleep 3-4 adults comfortably.
  • Check hotel booking sites. Don't just turn up and pay for the room it will always be at a premium. Finding a last minute room could save you upto 75%
  • Travel cheap. Taxis are convenient, but they're a luxury. Take the bus instead - you can pick up full day travel tickets for £3 in some cities when an average taxi price would be £10 each way.

Allpokerimage of these expenses are what we have to outlay as a bare minimum. On top of this we enjoy all the nice things in life and the trappings of success. Being a poker player we try and keep up with the players who ball the hardest. Sometimes we find ourselves on nights out drinking, going to fancy restaurants and maybe staying in a nicer hotel. Nights out can cost hundreds by the time you have bought some clothes, got a few rounds in, paid for more taxis, got a meal, bought a takeaway at 3am. We're not going to be playing our A game when hungover. If you prefer to live luxuriously like this, you may find yourself paying £1k on expenses and £1k on a tournament...these are numbers most players just cannot beat no matter how good they are.

Don't attend poker tournament's just to try and impress people, have fun but stick with a business mindset - You're here to make money. We all have different bankrolls, skill levels and ambitions. Be professional and do it right. The money wont be here forever so get your share whilst you can. Yes we all know the guy who spends stupid amounts of money, gets blind drunk and has binked. Well he might not have that money for too long and sometimes running good runs out.



Luke Haward

Hi everyone, I’m Lucky Luke and I'm a teacher, writer and poker grinder from Oxford, UK. I'm an MTT player staked for mid to high stakes across all the main sites.   I play $5 - $215 freeze-outs, $1r - $11r and $22c typically, and most online series events. &n ... Read More


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