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The Grifter's grind

My grind life as I travel the world
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/Dec/2012

Introduction to the Grifter

By: thegrifter22 @ 18:53 (EST) / 247 / Comment ( 0 )

Hello to those reading this,

 

If you are unfamiliar with who I am and stumbled upon my blog, My name is Miles aka thegrifter22.  I am a 26-year-old semi pro poker player living outside of Vancouver. This could get a little long as it sometimes will as I talk about my 2 favorite subjects, poker and Myself. 

I didn't initially care about the poker boom in 2004 and had no desire to watch it on TV or play it until a few friends were having a poker night and I was looking for an excuse to drink with them and hang out.  So 2 hours before I went over there, I sat on the floor in my parents house with my gf at the time and she taught me how to play Texas Hold Em.  I got to learn what blinds were, how to bet, and how the action worked.  That was my crash course. The game was $5 each and there were 6 or 7 of us.  I was out first but I had a lot of fun.  

I started having friends over for games, using my dads old wobbly round table and plastic chips, we played small games every week or so.  I then bugged my dad to let me put $50 on  pokerstars as I was 18 and didn't have a credit card.  

I didn't understand the math of the game or the importance of position, but my ability to answer 2 simple questions and read my friends made me realize I could be pretty good at this.

Question 1: Do I have a better hand than my opponent?

If the answer is yes: How can I get all of his chips?

If the Answer is no: Can I make him fold? 

These have been simple answers I still use when I play. Now of course it's much more complex with math and actual hand raising and leveling.

So back on track, by the time I was 20 I was playing in local 5/10nl games and crushing souls on a regular basis.  I built up a massive bankroll with terrible br management, dropped out of  school and decided that my life was all about poker and bartending since life as a High school PE teacher in BC is anything but glamorous. (no disrespect to Teachers out there, you are underpaid and I just don't share the same passion for teaching that you need to be good at your job.)

At age 22, along side my little brother, we purchased a townhouse.  I used most of my bankroll on the down payment... I don't know if you're familiar but it is hard to build credit in this line of work.  Starting from scratch all over again, I took a $5k bankroll to over $20k in a few short months and dumped that into renovating.  Maybe one of the biggest mistakes I made as the games were getting noticably tougher.  

I struggled for a long time to try and build up any kind of roll while still bartending on the side.  In the summer of 2010, I was fired from my job, partially for bullshit and partially because I'm an asshole. Regardless, I needed out of that place and decided that I was going to play poker for a living.  Figuring out how to arrange my taxes and everything, I started playing in September with a small roll of like $2k.   I went to the casino and grinded 1/3nl getting my roll up to $5k then moving to $2/5 up to $10k and finally finding a good $5/10nl game rounded my month off with $20k.  Yes I know, absolutely terrible bankroll management.

October 2010 is in my books as my worst month ever.  Losing $12k playing $5/10nl. It seemed like I played the entire month missing draws and cooler after cooler. Set over set, Flush over flush. You get the point.  

November I broke even after deciding to drop back down to $2/5nl.  This is when 2 of my friends approached me and told me I was too stressed on the tables.  They told me they were going to stake me $500 and I was going to grind 25nl online.  My swings were destroying me because my sample size was way too small.  So I accepted.

They got me outfitted with HEM and we all set up shop at my house to grind.  My roommate was steadily beating 50nl at the time so he was going to coach me and try to fix my leaks.  The first night of 25nl I lost 8 buy ins.  Apparently I'm not very good at this game.  I quickly moved down to 10nl.  At 10nl I was able to win, but the margins were small and my confidence was rocked so I started looking for work behind a bar again.  Nobody was hiring. Vancouver was in a recession and had just launched a new drinking and driving policy that really messed with the bar industry.  

It was slim pickins for Christmas that year and my brother even covered my share of the mortgage that month.  I played 50k hands at 10nl ran 15 buy ins below EV but still profitted 25 buy ins.  The end of January I was feeling good and confident and thought I was at my best again.  There was a $300 buy in at Tulalip but I was still broke.  I put up a thing on fb to see if anyone wanted to stake me. I got a call within an hour. The next day I went down there and came home with $10k.  Most of which went to my backer, then I paid my bro back and a couple others that I owed money to.

I made the decision that I wasn't a big fan of playing cash online and made the move to single table tourneys.  Things were going quite well there until one night I was 12 tabling $15s and my internet cut out.  Turns out I thought my brother paid the bill, he thought I paid it... it didn't get paid.  The following week, I had a mix of $15s and a couple $30s mixed in when my internet cut out again.  This time my modem died and it was the cable companys fault.

I later decided I should play MTTs which is what I still do today. I have a great girlfriend who is very supportive of me. I do still work at a friendly neighborhood Pub part time.  I am still grinding micros for the time being.  Most of my buy ins are around the $11 mark.  There are a couple $22s and the odd time I'll take a shot at a $55 or bigger.  Depends on my mood.  I seem to be bringing in enough profit to cover bills and be alright but I miss the big stakes.  I feel like I am  a much more sound player now and don't often take big risks but that is all about to change.

On December 4th, 2012 I am getting out of Canada.  I banked a few months worth of mortgage, took a leave of absence from the Pub and am running away with my girlfriend to Nicaragua where we are going to rent an apartment and volunteer.  I don't know how much poker I will play between beautiful weather, hiking volcanos, and living a laid back life but I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with the world.  Currently debating buying a GoPro so we can document things better.  

 

I hope you have enjoyed my poker story, if so, check back. I hope I can come up with some entertaining stories for anyone who decides to follow me.  Also check me out on twitter @thegrifter22

 

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