Definition of Grinder
What does grinder mean in poker? What is the definition of grinder in the game of poker?
A grinder is a poker player who plays tight, low-risk poker with the intention of making a small but steady profit. Simply speaking, they "grind" away until reaching their goal. Grinders tend to shy away from both making aggressive moves and combating aggressive opponents in favor of making the safe play. Unlike most players who look to make as much money from each individual hand as possible, grinders are comfortable with winning small pots and rarely, if ever, play for high stakes.
"Grinder" is also used to refer to players who treat poker like a job (a "daily grind") and not a game. This type of player plays often and consistently until they reach whatever monetary goal they've set for themselves, usually just enough to sustain a comfortable living.
Although grinders are characterized for their simple tactics at the poker table, grinding is far from easy. It takes an incredible amount of patience and stamina to make a living off small-stake or mid-stake poker as it can take countless hours to turn a respectable profit. Grinders have to watch other players win as much money from one hand as they've made over many hands of play and resist the urge to break from their own cautious routines. A true grinder will throw away a great hand without a second though, which requires not only patience but a great deal of confidence in their ability to read opponents.
The most famous "grinder" in poker is professional Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi. While not a true grinder, Mizrachi embodies the grinder spirit with his consistent playing style and his determination. That determination paid off when he finished fifth in the Main Event of the 2010 World Series of Poker.
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