2003 – 2007 the Degen years
My poker journey started back in 2003. I was into gambling blackjack and stuff online and my friends started playing poker, As did i. At this time I had no idea how to play texas holdem. A good example is: I thought I had a flush when I had AcJs
and the board was Jc Tc Ks 6h I had 5 black cards. ”That’s a flush right” I shoved and lost to K J for 2 pair. And I thought there was some error in the software.
I didn’t care much for studying the game, I watched the wpt on Sundays and tried to play like Phil Hellmuth. Deposited 100$ and went straight to 100NL. Lost that buyin ofcourse. This soon turned into a negative spiral and in the next five years I lost my car (had to sell it to pay off poker debts) All in all I think my losses exceeded 35K$ in the first 4 years of playing.
I had to quit. I called my dad and told him everything. Id ofcourse been telling lies about how great poker was and how I was doing so good. I got a bankloan only to repay my debts to other banks and people I owed money to. I didn’t even think about poker in the following 2 years.
August 2009 – present day
Now one of my friends was a Swedish Kronor Millionaire from poker. And I was working in a hamburgerbar. I thought this was so unfair. We started poker at the same time. If he can do it so can I. I just have to learn how to crush the online games.
I decided I was gonna have to make some rules for myself to not become a degen again.
Here they are: I can deposit 200$ initially and if I go broke I can deposit a maximum of 100$ / month for a maximum time of 1 year. If I couldn’t beat 10NL after a year I was gonna quit again.
20 buyins for 10NL move down when below 10 buyins
20 buyins for 25NL Move down when below 10 buyins
25 buyins for 50NL Move down when below 15 buyins
30 buyins for 100NL Move down when below 20 buyins
40 buyins for 200NL Move down when below 25 buyins
Also my girlfriend has access to all of my accounts to make sure im following my own rules. If I go degen again she would probably leave me.
So I deposited 200$ and got started on NL10$ 6max. Turns out my experience was enough to be a marginal winner on 10NL. I started watching Poker training videos on some of the free training sites. Didn’t really understand them. Just tried to copy some of the plays. I got lucky and in December I was at NL25$ .
This turned out to be more challenging. I realized I was gonna have to study really hard to get past this level and move up. I ofcourse lost my required buyins and had to move back down. I found 2+2 and started reading every single article I could find. I joined Deuces cracked and watched 2 videos / day. I put in 1K hands of volume / day. I have never been so determined to make it as I was in those months.
I quickly ran up to NL25$ again only to once again get pushed back down. I decided I was gonna study 1 hour more each day and put in 500 less hands of volume for the next month before moving up again. And I think that is what enabled me to stay at NL25$.
I managed to be winning at NL25$ for the next 3 months. It was like a light went on in my head. I started playing good, Playing when I felt good. And playing winning poker for the first time in my life.
I ran my roll up during the next couple of months and was soon ready to take a shot at NL50$ So in march 2010 I took my first shot. Degened a bit and ran my roll down from 1250$ to 600$ in 4 days. I was crushed. I had a Florida vacation coming up and I was back in the same seat pokerwise as 4 months before. I figured now is a good time to take a break, Go to florida, Chill out and just have a good time with my family. Then I can redeposit when I get back home.
Got back home in may 2010, deposited 600$, Hired a coach. And its been going smoothly ever since. Some downswings and expected variance but overall im a ~6BB/100 winner at NL50$ since July. Had some massive downswings but always managed to recover. Ive been taking a few shots at 100NL but ive not been satisified with the way I played up there. So I decided to run my roll bigger before moving on. I still feel as tho I have the micros crushed and im now looking forward to crushing small and midstakes and becoming a full time pro.
The thing to take away from this for struggling Microstakesplayers is :
Keep working and youll soon be on your way. It took alot of effort and work to get to this point, Studying is equally important as putting in volume and practising what you learn. I spewed of alot of buyins just trying and testing out concept i just learned. In the long run spewing of thoose BI was well worth it since i finally got the concepts right and they started making me moneys. Right now even tho poker had its ups and downs im feeling really good about my game and it can only get better.