I’ve wrote something like this previously, on my 2+2 challenge thread, but seeing as the new blog has got a lot of love and there’s a larger and much different pool of readers I figured I’d talk through my poker story so far. I think for a lot of successful poker players it’s a case of them instantly becoming winning players pretty early on into their journey, but this definitely wasn’t the case for me!
I can’t remember the exact moment that I decided to give poker a shot, but like most of you reading this it probably came about from having a pre conceived notion that poker offered opportunity to fast and labour free money. Most of us don’t work in a field of work that reflects our passion, and work becomes a GRIND that simply serves as a means to an end. The reason why gambling appeals to people, (whether it be roulette,blackjack,poker,horses or the national lottery) is because it offers the potential for escapism from the monotonous grind….
It was around 2006 when I made my first deposit online on Party poker whilst I was working in a b2b telesales job for a pittance, where I would than charitably donate my pay cheque to the $2/4 cash game regs. Some people say that by playing poker you contribute nothing to society, but I’m pretty sure I’ve paid for many a poker players groceries.
I was always someone who had done well academically,however my late teenage years were pretty unsettled/volatile to say the least, and my drive and ambition to succeed had evaporated….I won’t lie to you even though at the start I was losing £££, poker gave me back that ambition….
…..I used to watch the old Party Poker World Open tournaments on channel 5 and became fascinated with how these guys managed to keep their cool under extreme pressure, and also found myself growing fondness for some players, whilst developing a mild hatred for some of the others.
It dawned on me from watching some of the good players, and also seeing just how consistent some players online results were, that there were obviously strategic elements of the game that needed to be discovered, so I spent hours trawling through strategy websites trying to improve. ( in hindsight some of them offered BAD info!)
As time went on I improved gradually and me and chrisrock07 used to spend weekends putting our heart and soul into a few of the Guaranteed MTT’s on Full Tilt, and would split our profits.
Despite being absolute fish, there were so many bad players at the time that our ”Play tight really early” ”Shove whenever we have 10 big blinds” strategy saw us on a few occasions win what was at the time collosal amounts (low four figures) , which we would then proceed to blow playing cash games.
They say that one of the worst things for a poker player to do in the infancy of their playing days is to experience any sort of success, and I can agree that at the time I had an illusion of how good I actually was.
I remember one night where I was tilted because I busted a $100 mtt and I took my remaining 250 dollars to the cash tables at around 3:00am…… by 7.30am I had managed to turn this into 13k online and for the next few days I walked down the street with the bounce and the swagger of Jay Z the first time he spent a night at Beyonces.
Not only does this sort of moment evoke delusions of grandeur and illusions of mastery, when you have $13,000 on your computer screen it can be hard to actually conceptualize the fact that it’s real money. A few days later I decided to sit down at a high stakes cash game on Full tilt and within minutes it was all gone, and for the next few days I walked down the street with the swagger of Millz_uk after a night out.
Obviously I was gutted, but after a few days of moping sure enough I was back at the tables, hoping one day I’d be able to leave behind the monotony of my job.
I spent a lot of my time at the Western Club in West London playing live tournaments. It’d be fair to say I was consumed with poker at the time, but I have this thing about me where once I find a passion for something it becomes my mission to get good at it.
I met my good friend Ryan aka Moca Choca at the Western club one day, and he was the first person I met after 2.5 years of playing who seemed to look at poker, and also the methodology of improving in poker in the same way that I did. There was barely a day where we didn’t discuss strategy,and we watched hours of tutorials for 9 handed sit and goes, and we both became winning players at the same time.
After a while the games got a bit tougher, with the same thing that initially helped us, (study/videos etc) ironically leading to the games being reg infested,with this coupled with my bad bankroll management skills leading to another period of struggle.
It wasn’t until I made the transition to HUSNG’s that I actually truly saw a future for myself in the game. By now I was working in another telesales job in the West end where fortunately the office was so badly run that I would escape to the net cafe for 2 hours stints of grinding and go back to the office unnoticed!
I moved up from the $20s to the $100 games in a matter of weeks and began to make in the region of $6,000 per month.
The demise of Full Tilt has been documented thoroughly so I won’t dwell on it too much, but I had a decent % of my life roll on the site and was obviously pretty pissed at the injustice of it all.
I started getting staked for $200-$300 reg speeds on Pokerstars, and I’ll openly admit that whilst I believe I was one of the best players at my stakes whilst playing against fish, at the time I wasn’t on a par with the regs and the first few months here became a struggle.
I had always been a sceptic of Hyper Turbos, however I couldn’t really argue with the stats of Serkules and Moca so I thought I’d make the transition. There were a few teething problems at the start but after a few weeks it all began to click.
Looking back it’s been a pretty sick year and at time of writing in 2012 I’ve profited $229,638 from Hypers pre bonuses, currently at 10th place on the Sharkscope leaderboards.
I have a lot to learn still, and I think one of the keys to poker is to be a sponge. Logic deduces that if somebody over a decent sample has made more $$$$ than you, then they probably have a better understanding.
I know some people who have been playing poker for 30 years+ and their games have remained stagnant through that whole period because of illusions of mastery….I think my strength, and the strength of all us collectively is that we’re always trying to stretch ourselves.
Let’s try make $1 million!