This weekend marked the first time I've ever really achieved a goal that I had set in poker, and I'm now getting ready to take my first shot at moving up. Personally, this is a big deal because I've never really been a big goal setter in life. Personality-wise, Ive always been someone who gets his happiness from instant-gratification things, artistic & creative explosions, and the small things in life.
That's why I never really gave myself a chance when it came to success in poker. I was smart enough to see how much time, effort and intense analytical thinking it would take to get better. That wasnt really something I was prepared to commit to. The good players, they were all math guys, people who did excellent in school. Long ago, I figured if was to ever get good at cards, it was only going to come from experience and playing. In the early days, that was enough to beat the 5-10 limit game or the 1-2 NL game at the local casino.
Around December of 2009, after years of donking and watching everyone around me get better, I started wanting more. My experience wasn't taking me anywhere, and I love the game too much and had spent way to much time in life to just give up. I was seeing guys I used to play 1-2 at the casino with at final tables of the WSOP on ESPN, and while I was super happy for them, I was also sad and even felt DUMB.
Despite playing 1-2NL successfulyl at the casino back then, years later online I was a nitty micro loser. I had seen almost all the situations you could encounter at the uber micro stakes, thousands of times. I just didnt know how to react. I was probably the best break-even to small-loss player there was, hahaha. But i was going nowhere. Forums & training sites intimidated me with their maths and hand ranges and equity and . Reluctantly I got a subscription and just started watching any and all videos I could. I played 10000 hands and posted them in the RedJoker
stats thread, and carefully thought about his responses to my numbers. Here and there I would find a spot that I recognized and thought, "Hey, maybe I should look at this, maybe I can play this better than I always do." I started thinking that maybe there were things I could do to open new doors for myself. Consequently, walking through those doors opened even more doors. I wasn't learning how to play better, I was learning how to think better. A new emotion- hope- started creeping into my thinking regarding poker. "Lets take a shot," I thought.
About 3 weeks ago I set my first two goals:
1. Grind my bankroll from about one buy-in to 50 buy-ins at the micros. 2NL.
2. Qualify for the Iron Man status on FTP. Not because it really meant anything to me, more because it would ensure that i would be playing regularly, and putting in the hands I need to
to think and evaluate my play better.
As of this past weekend I have achieved goal #1, and within a few days will have qualified for #2. I discussed my stats with other players and sometime this week i will start playing 5NL. My new goal is to push my bankroll to 50 buy-ins at 5NL. This may seem a bit conservative to a lot of players, but it suits me just fine. I feel a lot more comfortable having more buy-ins behind me if I run bad, play bad, and need to move down again. I'm not looking to move up that fast. 2NL was a surprisingly easy 3 weeks, but believe me when i say I don't expect it to happen that fast at 5NL. If it does, fine, I'm not sure what to expect. But if it takes me 2 months or more, then fine also. All I know is that I set a goal that would be difficult for me and I did it.
This whole post was to pat myself on the back and to relate the idea that even the worst of players can get better with a little bit of effort.
So, let's set my new goals right here and now.
1. Grind to 50 buy-ins at 5NL
2. Continue achieving Iron Man
3. My job ends next Friday (about 350 of us are getting laid off, thanks Chase!), at which point I will be taking at least six months off to enjoy life, travel, and play more. I can survive on my severance package & savings for, at the very least, triple that length of time. So I will develop a schedule
to follow every day, going to the gym in the morning for an hour, studying and taking notes for an hour or two, and also however many hours i will be playing daily.
4. Keep watching the NY Mets
I would also like to thank Whiskeyfish
who railed me, late night styles, while I went deep in the daily dollar Friday night. It's been a while since I had played a donkament, and I registered for something different and so I could watch the Mets play and donk around, not have to worry about being constantly in tune. Well I ended up with the opposite, and came in 21st out of ~8900 runners. I was so close to making a big score for myself. But it was a nice little reward for all the work Ive done, as there were multiple spots where I would normally be lost, and I wasnt so lost this time around. So thanks to those two for keeping me awake and making sure I just didnt say FUCKIT
after 7 hours of play and wanting to go to bed.
More next week!
Song of the day:
"Here I Come" - The Roots