Have you ever watched the UFC and heard Bruce Buffer announce the main event....it's wicked! When Bruce announces to signify the start of the main event it always sends shivers down my spine and across my skin. For the fighters...the days, weeks, months and years leading up to this event has all come down to this one fight, where it's usually 5, 5 minute rounds for a championship belt. Poker to me is not different. When preparing for a tournament and the timer shows the event will begin in 1 minute, I get nervous, and excited, probably like a UFC fighter about to fight a match. I've dabbled with poker most of my life, nothing ever serious, except for the summer of 2005 when I played in the 'Degree Poker Championship' in Vancouver BC. I was a complete raw rookie, and didn't really know what I was doing. I was in a field of 250, and within 5 minutes knew what I was doing was wrong....all the self taught games as a kid, or with my friends....was completely different. I started with 1,500 chips and quickly was down to less than 750. This wasn't working out as I had expected. Quickly I changed by style to be very tight, but when I had a good hand be very aggressive (obviously I now know this to be tight-aggressive). It seemed to work at the time, so I used self-discipline and advanced as the hours went by. We were down to the final 50 and I was in good chip position feeling good about my chances.
Walking in to the Casino an hour before the tournament started I was overwhelmed with what 'really' was going on. I just drove over 1,700 kms to be in a national poker tournament, knowing full well I have never been in a professional poker tournament before in my life....what was I thinking. Little did I know, that 5 years later, I could draw upon that tournament experience to help me in my online tournament play today.
Little did I know the further you progressed in a tournament the tougher your opponents were going to be. What I realize now that I didn't realize then is you have to change your style of play. Early, middle and late tournament play. How that strategy would have worked wonders for me back in 2005. In any event, I remember limping in to the flop with pocket Jacks, to see a queen, 7, 8. A quick study of the table revealed I was heads up. WOW I thought, and waited for my opponent (the big blind), to make his move. He raised a small bet, and without thinking I raised all into steal the ante's and blinds. Quickly he called to reveal A J. Ugggghhhhh!. What did I just do! Then came the turn, then came the river, then came me exiting quickly stage left.
What a horrible, horrible feeling (that deserved a paragraph of its own).
I walked over to the bar. Looked around a bit realizing I was 40th place, and decided to leave. Driving home I thought a lot about my tournament play, thought a lot about how I could improve my game, and decided to give up poker for the time being as I had too much on the go at home with my family, and work.
Fast forward to October 2010....nearly 5 years later, and my wife decides she wants a trip the states with her girlfriend for a long weekend. What am I to do with myself? I recently took on a different job that needs MUCH less time from me, I have the house clean. I've checked my favourite website's 30 times already....and for some strange reason.......I find poker. I find that the poker hasn't changed much from when I played it back in the summer of 2005. This is fun.....what a great find. So I decide to play, and play, and play, and play. The next thing I know I'm hooked all over again. What a wonderful feeling.
I decide to dabble in a few freeroll tournaments on pokerstars and find myself trying out different style's of play...and enjoying every minute of it. A few days...errr....weeks later I think I am realizing I'm quite good at this, but not good enough. Time to find some books. I decide to take the kids to the library and low and behold, and whole shelf of poker books. Online poker, poker theory, poker stories, poker strategies, and list list goes on. I peruse the stack and land on three title's. What a wealth of information. I can feel my strategy becoming sharper by the minute. I can't wait to enter my next tournament. Hours later I find a freeroll to enter with 5,000 entrants, I think I finished 500th (d'oh). So much for becoming an overnight expert. That's ok.
I know over time If I keep reading about more strategies, applying what I learn in online tournaments, the results will continue to get better and better. Did I mention the other day at work I heard the word 'set' and immediately thought of poker....I laughed, then I digressed.
What is my goal? I guess I would be lying if I said I didn't want poker to make me rich....because I do. However, realistically, short term goal, is to make it profitable enough to earn $100,000 per year......is that even possible?
So now I believe it's my time, as Bruce Buffer would say.......