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A grinder's journey
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/Sep/2012

The start of my journey...

By: platinumbIue @ 22:06 (EDT) / 308 / Comment ( 0 )

It all began one day in the month of May 2012. My fiance' and I seperated and I was feeling down and out.  Spent my days working and at night, blindly surfing the web in search of anything interesting.  Not a fun way to pass the time.

 

One night a friend of mine logged on to Skype and we started chatting.  After the normal greets and "how ya doing? I'm fine tx, u?  Great! ...Great!..............  We talked about our weekend plans.  He mentioned that he and a couple of our other friends were planning a home-game poker night, and if I were up for it, I could tag along.  Back then I didn't know the first thing about poker so naturally I said I will pass, thank you very much.  The game didn't make much sense to me and the little of mainstream media poker that I was exposed to, saw me watching a bunch of rich folks sitting around a table with 2 cards in their hands and trying to pretend each had the better hand.  What a bunch of liars I thought.  It's all just dumb luck and more money than brains (by the way some guys through money around). 

 

After a while of chatting and becoming a little bored with our conversation, I asked him why on earth he liked playing poker so much anyways.  Little while later my misconstrued image of the game of poker became more clear.  It didn't sound that difficult...It didn't sound crazy anymore...It sounded.....fun....

 

For some reason (could be boredom), I asked him :" Ok now what?  How do I play?  Where should I go?  What should I do?"  He directed me to a local website in South-Africa where u could download an online poker client.  After getting set-up with account creation, email-verification and the sorts, he proceeded to my first lesson.  You get dealt 2 cards, 3 cards will become visible to all, known as the "flop", some betting, another card, some betting, and the final card.  Best 5-card hand wins the money.  A brief (very very brief) tutorial on "starting hands" followed suit and I got cracking on a play money table with 30/60 blinds.  Before he left me to my own devices he gave me a tip.  You don't NEED to play EVERY hand you get dealt, and just because you have an Ace in your hand, doesnt mean you will win.  That turned out to be a quite profitable tip over the course of a few hundred hands.

 

Then it happened...  I got hooked.  even after losing the 1000 free chips (pretty darn quick) which I was given when I created my account, I could not get enough of this game!  I felt an adrenaline rush every time I got dealt 2 cards, every time the pot swoll to a huge amount, every time I.....WON!  After talking me through a couple of hands, he said I want you to become a "TAG" player.  Play only good hands, and play them aggresively.  That way, you will win.  I tried my best and...beginners luck....I did pretty well that evening.  I ended with little over 120K chips just before I went to bed. 

 

From that day onward, I played poker EVERY< SINLGE< DAY.  After successfully raking in about 200K chips on the 30/60 blind tables per session, I moved up in stakes.  Next was the 50/100 limit.  At first the size of the bets kinda threw me off a little.  I suddenly became fearful and doubted my every move.  How can he bet thousands on THAT board?? What on earth does he have?  Am I in the good here?  What should I do.  Clearly I wasn't ready to move up in stakes yet.  My friend went on to explain to me all about bet sizing.  He said, don't worry about how much the bet is, just see how much it is in relation to the size of the pot.  It's eaxaclty the same as on lower limits, just more zeros behind it .  Then it all made sense.  Then I started to play the way I did on the lower limits.  I started winning again. 

 

My hunger for winning kept me challenging myself and the stakes.  The only stakes higher on "play money" tables on my specific client were the 1000/2000 's.  With an average pot size of 200K, I was like a kid in a candy store.  I thought to myself, That ONE pot that guy just won, is even more than my ENTIRE nightly session on the 50/100 tables.  I started "grinding" the 50/100 stakes to the point of exhuastion.  I made nearly 3 buy-ins for the 1000/2000 table (200K buy-in) in 2 days, and went to sit down.  About half an hour later, my +- 600 000 chips vanished...

 

I was disappointed in myself.  How could I lose it all so quickly?  What did I do wrong?  The answers were simple.  My excitement to be part of the "play big crew"  caused me to make the most basic beginner mistakes.  Play too many hands, become a calling station hoping to catch the perfect cards to make your hand, etc.  I went bust, but at the same time, I couldn't wait to get back on those tables because I realised my mistakes and I knew I could beat that limits.  To my surprise, the moment I hit the small tables again, I was a different player.  I was more confident in my decision making, I was setting traps, I check raising, I was bluffing, I shoved with the nut hands and made back the buy-ins in half of the time it took me to win it in the first place.. 

 

After seeing so much improvement in my game, I wanted more.  I became hungry for knowledge on the game.  I started reading...  E-book after e-book.  With each book, I gained skill.  With more skill, I won more (quite a lot more )  For the first month on the big tables, I was a n00b.  I went back and forth between small tables (winning buy-ins) , and the big tables on a daily basis. When I won, I won big, when I lost, I lost big. I lacked consistency.   A few hundred hands and another e-book later.  I was up 1 million chips in a single session on big tables.  

 

My hunger again got the best of me.  After winning consistently (minor swings here and there on the big tables), I started entering free-rolls.  After playing SUPER tight in my very first roll, I came 198th out of 850.  I was exstatic.  I wanted more.  I entered every free-roll available and tried my own different approaches:  play super tight vs TAG vs loose passive vs loose aggresive.  My finishes were as different as the approaches I took, some days coming in at around 120th, to 650th out of an average field of 900.  After a few weeks.  I found a style that I am comfortable with.  Ad[up]tation.  When they play super tight, I will play super loose, when they play too loose to my liking, I tightened up my range.  This was a breakthrough.  For a while I consistently finished in the top 100, usually around 80th place.  I started reading again...

 

Few e-books later (among them The theory of poker, Little green book, Little gold book, Super Systems 1/2 , Play poker like the pros, Online domination, The NL workbook, The poker blueprint),  I started dominating opponents who previously ripped me apart.  Not only was this a great feeling, but my confindence sky-rocketed.  And when that happened in a session, I became unstoppable.  I felt like I could open with every hand and outplay the regulars from the flop onward.  And I did.  My average on play "big" play money tables soared to 3 million chips for about an hours play.

 

For some reason the casino on which client I played deposited ZAR20 into my account to try out real money games.  Now I could try my hand at REAL poker.  Out of fear of losing the little money that I had, I researched bankroll management.  Not not a moment too soon.  I lost nearly half of my bankroll before realising I am punching above my weight.  I need lower limits.  I need to slow down.  For a while i played NLHE 0.10c/0.20c until I felt comfortable to start playing sng's.  I played mostly ZAR2+50 DU 4 max.  It went so well that in a short period of time I doubled my bankroll.  And I never even picked up a deck of cards.

I am still very new to poker.  Playing now only for 5 months.  But I am addicted to the game.  I can't get enough.  I don't see myself stopping anytime soon.  This blog will track my journey through various tournies, free-rolls and cash games.  Hoping to become skilled enough to be able to make a decent living from online poker.

 

Wishing you luck at the tables! 

pb

 

 

 

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