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Mendes Poker Blog

Winner of the time vault challenge 2013 Making the best of 2015
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Before the year of 2005 if anybody would ask me about poker, I would say I want nothing to do with 'gambling'. I would say it's a waste of time and money to even try and would maybe make the effort of convincing the person in question not to even start with "this kind of thing". This would be my opinion because, just like I hear today from so many other poorly informed people, when the word "poker" is pronounced, they immediately associate it with destructive, addictive gambling which will ruin your life.

They can be right though. Poker can be addictive, it can be destructive, it can ruin one's life. So my advice for people going to play poker for money is: don't. Don't think you are the king of poker and can win the WSOP because you won a few home games. Learn the game.

Back in 2006 I was zapping through the TV channels and stopped at this interview with Joe Hachem about winning the WSOP. I didn't know who he was or what the World Series of Poker was, but he stroke me as an intelligent person who knew what he was doing. This gave me the impression of poker being a game of skill rather than pure luck. I went on to research and learn the rules of Texas Hold'em, started playing against CPU opponents, then moved to real opponents on free games, by downloading the Pokerstars software and playing for play money.

Some time later I made a small deposit and tried my hands at real money poker, without success. The reason was simple, but I didn't know: I couldn't play poker. I thought I could. I was what they call a fish. It's only since 2011/2012 that I took the poker route again and decided that I knew nothing and was in need of some serious, serious learning.

The best thing that happened to my game since then has been that I found out about PSO: Poker School Online. I guess you can say that that is my best moment on Pokerstars. Since then I turned my game around towards winning: made a few wins and some losses, the important thing about this process is I see a steady line towards progress. The one big “life changing” win is yet to come, I am confident that adopting solid game strategies is the way to do it. Taking part in the Time Vault promotion has been helping me to keep my game stable and creates a nice sense of collaboration and community.

Cultivating the habit of studying on a regular basis has been a priority. I had my ‘early play style’ in a big field multi table tournament analysed by coach Dave The Langolier, participated in many live trainings, completed all the interactive online courses, watch videos on a regular basis. Poker is very complex! It takes specific knowledge about particular opponents and situations, it takes specialization in a kind of tournament and level, it takes adaptation and specially, most specially, it takes patience. A lot of patience.

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