Once you have all the trips for your poker calendar and schedule down on ‘paper’, and your total bankroll needed (the sum of your buy ins and your estimated expenses), go back through your list and cut out lowest value events, typically the bottom 20%, or events where there is a low bang for your buck.
For example, let’s say one of the events on your list is the WPT in Amsterdam. After looking at the numbers, however you realize that it $1,500 event, but it will cost you more than that in expenses plus hotels. Therefore, that’s a low value event.
What you’re looking for are venues with a high potential to play multiple events and cash games on the side. Those are the high value events you want to laser in on.
Remember, the numbers and value aren’t everything. There’s obviously something exciting about visiting Amsterdam which can’t be quantified, so you’ll have to assess your priorities to determine whether or not a particular event should be kept on your list.
Pro Tip: While I typically don’t recommend playing cash games and tournaments at the same time as it’s best to focus on one, you can arrive a few days early, grind some cash games, and then transition to tournaments for the duration of your trip.
Or do the opposite: when you’re done with tournaments, play a few cash games. Many of my clients have found that mixing in cash games is great strategy as cash games help to lower your variance, and can be used to offset some of the buy ins that you use for tournaments, or simply pay for the trip. In short, it’s the business version of having a balanced portfolio, a mixture of stocks and bonds.
Not sure what the action will be during the event? Call the casino and ask them what cash games typically run, or ran last year during the same event. Also, be sure to find out what the rake is, especially if you’re playing in Europe, as that can often be a killer.