The process of spinning up in poker is where a player buys into a cash game or SNG for a limited amount of money and then tries to create a much larger amount of money from that. This usually involves moving up through numerous levels. There have been numerous stories told of how people have spun up tiny amounts of money into huge amounts.
My own personal record is spinning up $100 into $8000 at no-limit Texas Hold’em poker. But there is an art to doing this as most people tend to win money and then bust out through trying to push the boat out too far.
What you have to remember when you attempt to spin up is that you are in fact practicing absolutely terrible bankroll management. If you buy into a NL100 game for $100 and through careful aggressive play, double that to $200, then you now have two buy-ins for that level!
But most players who attempt to spin up then take the $200 and sit in a NL200 game where they are not only back down to one buy-in again but are now playing against better players than they were before. But lets say that they get lucky again, now they win another $200 and are now sitting with $400 to their name.
So now they try their luck in a NL400 game with the $400, back down to one buy-in again and this time mixing with even better players. Many professionals play at this level and the games will now be far more aggressive. Let us say that you keep replicating this process and take $600 into NL600 and $1000 into NL1000, just how long do you think that it will take to lose just one buy-in…..the blink of an eye that’s what.
If you are going to make spinning up work for you then you basically have to avoid treating the entire process like a poker tournament. If you sat down in a 1000 man online poker tournament, irrespective of how good you were, the overwhelmingly probability is that you would get knocked out at some stage prior to actually winning.
The increasing blinds and high variance would make the entire process heavily luck based irrespective of how well you played. But yet this is precisely what you would be doing if you attempted to spin up and take it too far. Compare the difficulty in winning an actual tournament with regards outlasting half the field.
Coming 500th in a 1000 man poker tournament could be achieved a very high proportion of the time but winning is a different story. The analogy with spinning up in cash games here is clear. Take the profits too soon rather than hang on and be greedy. The entire process is thrown a curve ball when an otherwise good NL100 player is then playing with opponents several levels higher and is now outclassed.
Suddenly the moves that he could make and get away with at NL100 are now getting played back at and three bet and the games are far more aggressive. He now finds that every time he attempts to steal the blinds that he is getting re-raised and his big hands are not getting paid off.
So my advice for anyone who is considering trying to spin up is this. Ignore what you read and hear and even if you hear of someone turning $100 into $8000 like I once did…..ignore it. That was exceptionally lucky and I may never again replicate that and nor would I want to. In fact with more sense and knowledge now, I would now take the profit sooner and probably cut-out at about $500. Do not ever get into a situation where you have to catch lightening in a bottle in order to win money. Otherwise all you are doing is paying for entertainment in a roundabout way.