“We have to take it step by step, it is a rat race," Manchester United Manager Louis Van Gaal recently said ahead of the business end to the season where the chase for Champions League qualification truly begins.
Being a poker grinder and trying to qualify for cash races whilst earning daily bread can also indeed be compared to a rat race of its own.
This is the final week to qualify for this month's cash races at most casinos in the capital.
To qualify you have to gather an amount of points within a window, points are usually awarded per visit and sometimes double on certain days of the week.
I am in the top 150 of two which will be played on the second weekend of April.
In itself it's an achievement to keep my roll going these first initial two months and to qualify for two events.
Previously I've only played small tournaments in Las Vegas whilst on vacation and a maximum of three small ones on these shores in the last 6 months.
I've only placed in Las Vegas and came two places short of placing in my first afternoon tournament at The Vic.
The maximum amount of runners in any of those would be 50 so at 150 these upcoming cash race tournaments will be the biggest I have played in and potentially the most rewarding.
For example last months cash race at The Vic was a three way chop for £7,000 each I believe.
As tournament poker is a different mindset to cash play I've started an online account to play small tournaments in the build-up to the cash races.
In the week leading up to the cash race I also aim to play an afternoon tournament at the Empire Casino on Leicester Square where Birds of a Feather Star Lesley Joseph was recently spotted enjoying a few slot machines.
My main focus whilst qualifying for the cash races has been the £1-£1 stake tables where I have played in the region of 20-25 hours a week.
The field is continually diverse at that level in terms of ability.
Big stake players may play some hands whilst waiting for their game, novices will give it a try as it's the lowest stake and alongside that you have your grinders.
There is rarely a day of of the week where a certain veteran poker player at the age of 81, who still has his wits about him isn't at a certain casino.
When he raises pre-flop people fold like dominoes.
|Karin Brutieg who has cashed over $35K at Live Tournament Events|
This week has been disappointing for me on the £1-£1 and I haven't been able to get on a run of relative positive sessions whilst on the other hand limiting losing sessions to a buy-in or two.
Essentially my decision making has to be better if I am to see consistent positive sessions.
This week looks like to be a losing week but that will come off the back of 4 consecutive winning weeks which is a reason to be optimistic.
There has been bad beats along the way but as I reflect I think bad decision making takes more responsibility for the losses this week.
When you are short-stacked and playing a limited range you can find yourself very frustrated after being card dead for a period of 45 minutes or an hour.
Over-playing a marginal hand pre-flop has probably been my most costliest error.
This weeks bad beat includes losing the second nut flush to a straight flush.
The straight flush is so rare that the dealer originally gave me the pot until a player who was not in the hand acknowledge it and shouted "straight flush" which crushed my aspirations of a much needed double down at the time.
With my place in two cash races almost a certainty I can now focus on gathering positive regular sessions on the £1-£1 before I adjust to tournament play for those big ones.