Home / Community / Forum / Poker Community / New Members /

A bit about myself

A bit about myself - Sun Mar 18, 2012, 03:52 PM
Ovalman's Avatar
Since: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,778
OK I've been around a while but I thought it would be worthwhile to tell you my poker story.

I started playing around 2004 when Betfair (the gambling website) opened it's own poker software (well on the Cryptological network). I didn't have a clue how to play but I played a couple of hands of play money and as it was a gambling site, I put £20 of my gambling budget onto the poker site one night when I was drinking a few beers and the next minute I had over £300 in my account. I really didn't have a clue what I was doing but I remember players railing me and a queue was forming to play me.

I really can't remember the session but I immediately withdrew the £300 and decided to try and learn the game. I suppose had I lost the £20 I'd have put it down to bad experience and never played again. One thing I do remember was someone telling me how to play small pocket pairs. Get in cheap and get out if you don't hit. That was invaluable for me and my first poker secret and something I tell other beginners right at the start of their journey.

As Betfair had just started their software, they ran loads of freerolls to entice players in. This was also a golden age for poker. There was no Poker School Online in those days and players (like me) were so bad that anyone with an ounce of sense could print money at the tables. Sites like Pokerstars were just getting established and most sites were throwing money at the game to entice players to their sites. Betfair was no different and they ran lots of small fields, big prize pools freerolls to get you to play. Instead of depositing I'd play freerolls all day, get to £100 and lift out and start again. I didn't make a load but it was all risk free and I liked this poker game.

Besides Betfair, there were loads of poker sites to choose from, each running their own freerolls. I jumped from site to site and played the best value ones. I'm unsure how much I made as keeping records was never on my mind but with no bankroll sense I usually got to £100 and started again from scratch.

I joined Pokerstars in 2004 but it was only for the freerolls. As PS was huge even then I found the freerolls here to be poor value, 10,000 runners to win $100 prize pool. I remember playing one and finishing 12th and got $2.50 or something like that for 6 hours of play. I was never a serious player here until recently.

I knew I was doing something right but I didn't have the sense or swingers to do anything about it. When I first started playing live poker I used to discuss hands to other players. My thought process was well above most of theirs but I felt that I was still a beginner and not them. I should have moved to higher stakes far far earlier but I didn't have bankroll sense back then and I suppose risk free poker is free money anyway.

From my freerolls not only did I win cash, I won IPods, PSP's, Books and a trip to the England v Paraguay World Cup match valued at £2,000. Again you have to remember this was the golden age when sites were printing money to get customers. I also remember playing in a 50 player MTT and the prize was a trips to the WSOP main event, a package worth $13k. I didn't win but it shows the ludicrous amounts of money sites were spending.

I'm totally self taught, I didn't read a book until about 4 years ago and I couldn't work out pot odds until about 2 years ago. I passed the STT quiz without reading an article on here. When I did finally deposit on Stars, it wasn't the success you'd think. I deposited £20 and started playing $5 STT's where I was crushing elsewhere. I thought this should be easy and lost the lot within a week. I also deposited £20 on Full Tilt at the same time and also lost on there. Normally if I lose my deposit I NEVER deposit again. And I kept to my word.... sort of for 3 years.

About a year ago, around May I think, another player on an I-Poker skin said he needed £20 on I-Poker, in return he could send me £20 on Pokerstars. As I had no cash here and I always look for value tournaments, I thought it would be wise keeping some funds on here in case a tournament cropped up that I needed to join. As I was a freeroller, I hate depositing and my I-Poker money was built from freeroll funds (played the Boyle IPO from freeroll funds as well where Jesse May KO'd me... but that's another story) I agreed to the transfer.

When I hit a bit of tilt I usually change games or on rare occasions change site, my inevitable tilt hit and I moved to Pokerstars last May. As I was low on funds, I started 1 tabling $1.10 DoN's, had a good deal of success and was being tracked by Sharkscope for their DoN leaderboards before they changed to Fifty/50's. Twoplustwo also have a great value password protected game on a Sunday, it's only $1 entry but has $300 added and also gives out a $50 workthrough bonus for top 18. This game and the DoN's really helped my bankroll grow. I found the software very slick, I was never a multi tabler until recently but thanks to the software I can easily handle 6 at a time now, 9 is still a struggle but like any new thing it takes practice.

I started playing more and more here. I joined the PSO last October (I think) but only to complete the STT and core quizzes (again without taking a lesson). I get rakeback elsewhere but there are so many good things about Pokerstars and I play the majority of my games here.

I got a $50 bonus for KO'ing a player on another site that was paid to me via Paypal. Instead of lifting it out, I put the extra to it and paid for the low stakes version of Holdem Manager. At the start, the numbers drove me crazy and put me on tilt. I actually lost money paying more attention to it without resorting to my notes. I didn't understand the numbers but now I think it's invaluable and an essential piece of kit and a great tool for multi tabling.

I didn't go on the forum much until recently but I did start my own blog after I hit some tilt in February. I asked one question on the PSO recently I'm I'm almost sure I've fixed my problem. This place is really invaluable and gives information that's took me 8 years to master.

I currently have a 15% ROI in 4,000 games (who would have thought I'd play 4,000 games of poker in a year) but this year I'd like to reach 10,000VPP's and be playing $7 or $15 stakes by the end of the year. I know things get tougher at higher stakes but I can beat $10 elsewhere and it's really the level I should be at. Basically I want to maximise my profits by discovering the right amount of tables at the right amount of stakes with the most VPP's earned (which works out at a kind of rakeback.) I'd also like to keep improving my game and increase that ROI if I can.

For any beginners out there, don't chase with low pocket pairs for starters but also keep working on your game. It's took me 8 long years and I'm nowhere near the finished article. The cards are as random for everyone, don't question the RNG, if you lose ask yourself why you lost. Poker is a short term game of luck but a long term game of skill. I am testimony to that statement. Make less mistakes than your opponents and you will win FACT. Keep notes on EVERYTHING, if a player farts take a note of it, you never know when it will become of use.

The PSO is an invaluable place, always ask questions even if they sound naive. Even if your not skilled voice your opinion, it may not be right but someone will correct you and you will learn in the process. Some of my greatest insights into poker have come from people ridiculing my play or an answer I've given on a forum.

I now read and post on the forum regularly, I'm also taking in some of the lessons. I'm "me", I have my own style. I play tight aggressive and loose aggressive but I try and mix up my game and plug any leaks. Some of the lessons I may not agree with as it goes against my style but their there to be learnt from even if I don't adopt them myself. There's everything plus more gathered on this site that I have learned in 8 years of playing. I suppose Pokerstars wants everyone on an even keel so no-one wins and everyone pays the rake. But not everyone takes their game serious. If you want to win money then I suggest you use the site wisely.

Till next time

Good luck at the tables

Ovalman (long winded but I thought I'd share)
Sun Mar 18, 2012, 03:56 PM
Moxie Pip's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,853
Great post oval.

Good luck,better decisions.
Sun Mar 18, 2012, 08:46 PM
Briany84's Avatar
Since: Mar 2011
Posts: 251
Tidy post Ovalman, gr8 reading, reminds me of my first blog post..

Well done pal and keep it up, going good
Sun Mar 18, 2012, 08:54 PM
Ovalman's Avatar
Since: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,778
TY Brian,

It sounds as if I'm right up my own backside and full of myself but I like to play with confidence. Sounds bad but when I play like this I win, when I think negative I lose.
Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:21 AM
jergul's Avatar
Since: Feb 2012
Posts: 80
Thanks for the post Ovalman and thank you for the generosity implicit to explaining trip-mining.

I sometimes wonder if a really basic outline might help the learning curve generally. The mechanics. Something like:

IF pair, THEN call
IF raised THEN call
Exception IF call more than 10% of stack, then fold with 88 or less.
Exception IF call more than 10% of stack, then shove with 99+
(ignoring position in illustration)

Followed I suppose by flush mining, straight mining, 2 pair mining, Flush/straight mining
IF suited, adjacent connectors, Then call
IF smallest involved stack greater than 20 times call size
(Something like that).

Getting PokerStars is easy: download and install the PokerStars game software, create your free player account, and validate your email address. Clicking on the download poker button will lead to the installation of compatible poker software on your PC of 51.7 MB, which will enable you to register and play poker on the PokerStars platform. To uninstall PokerStars use the Windows uninstaller: click Start > Control Panel and then select Add or Remove programs > Select PokerStars and click Uninstall or Remove.

Copyright (c) PokerSchoolOnline.com. All rights reserved, Rational Group, Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Road, Onchan, Isle of Man, IM3 1DZ. You can email us on support@pokerschoolonline.com