In the words of longtime wrestling play-by-play man Jim Ross, “business is about to pick up.”
Starting later this week, online poker players around the world will be looking at one of the busiest summer schedules in the history of the game. The 54 World Series of Poker bracelet events on GGPoker and the 12 World Poker Tour events on partypoker, combined with the PokerStars Stadium Series, means players have an abundance of opportunity to secure a big score, or two, or three.
Jordan Drummond, founder of BBZ Staking and Coaching and a member of Team partypoker, is excited for the grind, not just for himself, but for his students at BBZ Poker as well. As much as the unprecedented schedule presents a massive opportunity, it also presents a unique set of challenges. Drummond recommends continuing a normal routine that includes playing, studying, and time away from the tables, throughout the series even if the temptation to increase the number of events played is strong.
“It does get tempting to try to play a lot more and try to reach. It gets really tempting for a lot of players to play a lot higher,” Drummond said, noting that it happens to players following a big win as much as it does to players in the midst of a downswing.
Breaking the routine that normally keeps players grounded throughout a normal poker calendar presents other issues too. Players who are winning want to stop studying and put in more hours at the tables. Losing players stop playing and jump headstrong into studying.
“That’s very common and I don’t think that’s a very good way to deal with it, because you can call it a lot of things but you’re trying to be as objective as you can and just assess what’s real when you’re playing,” Drummond said. “But for me, it’s like, do I have an edge? That’s the way I make my decisions about how to play and what to play and whether to play. That doesn’t change because I’m winning. It also doesn’t really change much because I’m losing.”
Life away from the table doesn’t stop just because there’s a tournament series running. Drummond believes that should be used a vehicle for success, rather than a distraction.
“One of the things you can do is you can optimize your game selection around your own personal life schedule so that you try to keep balanced,” Drummond said. “I think a better approach is to try to structure things in a way, to where you avoid getting into that really chaotic, uncontrollable, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just playing all the time. I’m exhausted,’ state.”
Planning ahead is also a key factor. If a player normally takes Tuesdays off, avoiding any two-day events that start on a Monday prevents players from having their routine disrupted. Drummond also practices what he preaches. Along with playing a full WSOP and WPT schedule over the next two months, Drummond will continue to run his business, producing content, hosting seminars, and streaming.
“There are the things that I have to do, and I fit in playing around it,” Drummond said. “People who subscribed to the BBZ seminars, my students, my courses, they expect me to be there, then I’m going to be there. That’s not really optional. Then I can play around that schedule.”
Whether there is an online series running or not, Drummond believes strongly in planning ahead. He had his process down pat and then added another layer of complexity to it when he decided to stream on Twitch.
“You just try to sprint, I guess, is the other part of it. Sometimes life’s sprinting. Sometimes it’s nice and slow. Before I started streaming things, it was nice and slow,” Drummond said. “Then I started streaming in September and I’m sprinting again, which is fine. It’s just a different part of my life. Right now there’s not a lot of time for other things, but it’ll change at some point.”
The big scores have an obvious and measurable reward for Drummond, but it’s not the only thing that drives Drummond. Seeing one of his students take down a big score or simply turn their game around is what he considers the best part of his job.
“Someone who maybe just had a six-figure score or something, someone who I’ve been staking and coaching for a number of years is just like, “‘Yo man, I just wanted to thank you for everything. Things were super fucking hard. I didn’t know where I was going three years ago. The night and day difference in my life is amazing. I appreciate it.’ … That is the most rewarding part of what I do. It’s not even close.”