I have been thinking a fair amount about delayed gratification of late. It is a concept that my mum used to talk to my sister and me. It mostly had to do with how we spent our allowance, and saving for items that we wanted. As much as I wanted to have Guess jeans or Nike pumps...I knew I would have to work for them and that may have meant giving up other things. Even now, with regards to money, I save in some places (no cable, take the bus to work, cut coupons) so I can live extravagantly when I want to. I told my dad once that "I don't like to shop, but I really like nice things"....it's probably a learned behavior of mine to not like to shop, otherwise my credit card bills could be disastrous!
The reason I have been thinking about this, is that with WSOP coming up in less than three weeks, I have been trying to finalize which tournaments I want to play and if I want to sell % of my action. For the most part, I have always had all my own action but am usually willing to trade % with other players in the same tournament. That is usually as far as I go to reduce variance and have some fun in the meantime. I have never been backed, because I think that gives up equity for me and when I win a tournament I want to win it all. I feamel confident enough in my abilities that I want to be the first person to put me in a tournament. It is still tempting for some of the bigger tournaments.
As a rule, I don't think long term backing agreements are good for poker. I am not worried that these arrangements will wreck the game or cause the game to disappear, but I do think that the players who are backed will have a shorter livelihood in poker, largely due to the burden of makeup. In my opinion, there is something so valuable about working and grinding your way up the limits. You learn patience, bankroll management, the value of a dollar and how to grind out a living. It is hard to keep things in perspective when you play 4 and 5 figure tournaments on a regular basis. You stay strung along because you only ever one good day away from a big score.
I guess ultimately it just depends on the individual as to what path they want to take, but if the focus can be on delayed gratification, the individual will be better off in the end.