My Early Poker Experience
My Early Poker Experience
CardsChat is a wonderful community. I learned a lot from my short time here. I haven't really contributed anything important, so I think this is my chance.
I want to share my early experience in poker to give not only new players but all players an insight of what I experienced. Reading this won't hurt you, you could even benefit from it. I'm sure many of you will relate it too! Anyways, in my opinion, it's a good read.
I'm not going to let my ego get in my way. Ego is how players never become better. I lost money in poker. It sucks, but this is how good players get paid.
It's just real life. You learn from your mistakes. Unfortunately for poker, you pay out of your wallet.
I've been through the stages of poker. And whether or not you're willing to admit it, I'm sure many of you been through them too.
The stage where you watch poker on TV and you think you're better then them all.
The stage where you think you're good after winning a couple of hands the first time you play.
The stage where you quickly read some strategies and start to grasp the concept of poker and think you're good.
The stage where you realize you have to stop being a ****y big ego idiot because you ARE
going to LOSE MORE
money if you keep this up. Then finally you have collected enough discipline to tell yourself, "You're bad at poker and you're going to learn until you are good."
Currently, it's been a couple of months since I took off from the last stage I mentioned. I haven't made a million dollars but I haven't lost a penny.
At first I was very eager to play poker online. I heard what many of you have. "The game is easy, it's filled with bad players and they call with anything, I turned $10 into 1 grand by the next day!"
I was hooked. I quickly went and downloaded the program Full Tilt. Luckily for me I found out about rakeback the day I registered. I used my debit card and was disappointed when it didn't work. I did some research and found out I had to use a store bought gift card. I drove to my local gas station and bought a $50 one. Got back home and it didn't even work. I was frustrated at this time. Eventually I found out it had to be a "Visa All Access" card. I had to search for a store that sells those and finally got one. Then I went though the whole process of "Sir, you can't buy it with another card. You have to use cash". So after a bunch of driving around town I finally got what I needed. I put it on my account and I was ready to play.
Like almost everyone I started with with No-Limit Holdem'. Back then, the lowest stakes I think were the $.05/$.10 ones. Now at this time, I had no concept of bankroll management. The way I saw it was: more risk = more return. I think I sat down with 20% of my whole bankroll the first time at an online table and played. My fingers were cold and stiff. Poker didn't seem as easy as it was on TV. I was nervous. My foot was twitching away under my desk and I started to realize I had no more fingernails to chew. After a couple hours the chills went away and I could sit still. I was playing so tight. KJ offsuit back then look like pocket aces now. I guess one could argue if I was really playing tight or not.
By the second night I've gone broke. Now strangely I wasn't on tilt. I was actually quite entertained from playing poker online for the first time and I still had the dream of winning it big.
Then the next day I went and deposited another $50. This time a week passed before I'd gone broke. I'm not a rich person; Working part-time with school, $50 was a hurtful chunk out my paycheck.
I made deposits after deposits. Every time I lasted longer. Eventually I put a total of $400 on my account of all those deposits.
(During this period, I stopped playing Cash Games, I moved on to STT SnG.)
All this was during a period of a little over a year. I knew I was getting better. Near the end I would consistently build my bankroll. Then the worst in everyone would hit me. Greed. It's hard to explain, but at the same time, easy. It just means wanting more.
Greed was something I just couldn't control. Everyone likes money. It feels good and it gives you a sense of security. You just sleep better when you end the night with your account having bigger numbers in it.
I just wanted more. I would grind it out at the micro stakes and make around $0.50-$3 dollars an hour. It felt good, but sometimes I just look at those guys
sitting at the higher stakes and someone would be making 10x what I make every hour. Then I would get the thought, "If I move up to their stakes, I could do the same."
Sure, it works out at first, you play nervous and tight, but then once you start winning a couple of SnG, you stop playing poker, and you start gambling. I would lose a bunch of SnG in a row and that's where Mr. Tilt comes in. We all get the thought. "Alright, I'll just win it back." You start playing more hands, bet bigger, and call with any handsome looking cards. Eventually you're stack starts to shrink and as it shrinks, the tilt expands.
It's poker, even if you get it in with the worst hand, you're still going to win sometimes.
At times I would win it all back and then some more. Then the thought kicks in. "Alright, you got it all back. You know you're not supposed to be playing here" Then greed sets in, "Yeah, but if I can pull that off, I can double my stack again!"
Then eventually someone would catch my bluff or I just couldn't let go of top pair.
I would go broke. It's always the same reason.
Greed or a better word, control of your decisions, is the biggest problem that use to be for me and probably for a lot of other players.
You know what the right decision is. Your brain told you to stop. You let your emotions take over and make decisions for you. The funny thing is, the whole time your emotions are making the decision, you still knew it was wrong. You knew it was wrong, but you let it happen anyways. I know for a fact that every single poker player has experienced this. If you say you didn't, you're just BSin yourself.
After losing so much money, I finally found the discipline to quit playing poker and to learn. I took a downtime for about a year.
I then moved on to my current goal:
The Dream To Turn Nothing Into Something!
I didn't realize there were so many other players here trying to accomplish the same thing as I was. After reading Jho's thread about how he doubled up his super-micro bankroll, I found out he too built that bankroll from nothing. This reminded me of how happy I was when I tripled the bankroll that I built from nothing. He sort of inspired me to write about what I'm doing now.
I'm pretty sure many of you heard the story: "Chris Ferguson turned 0 to $10,000" The article on Full Tilt got me a little interested. It really didn't get me to the point of "YEAH! I'm going to do it!" I just thought of it as some promotional thing to attract new players to Full Tilt. I knew it was possible, but more of a pipeline dream.
With a lot of time on my hand, I finally gave this dream a shot.
I played the Freerolls
and I'm pretty sure everyone here knows it takes a lot of luck to even come close to the payout range. Over time I found out it was a total waste of time. It just became super frustrating. I eventually found out about private Freerolls. They are a lot more entertaining and cashing in them are much more realistic than the public ones.
After my downtime, I finally got back into poker with a fresh new perspective. I was mentally ready for the game.
After a week of playing private freerolls, I made a total of $0.49.
I knew this wasn't proper BR management, but I had no choice. This was my only exception to my own rules of BR management.
That night I had a great run of cards. I was picking up premium hands left and right. I doubled my stack over and over and over again. I finished the night with $7.00.
I know I'm going to be hated for this, but most of the money I made at first was from my little own "Short Stack" strategy. It was the only thing I could do with a bankroll as small as $7.00.
After I built it up to about $15.00, I started playing the $1+.10 9 man SnG. (Insane Rake!) I started with 1 table at a time and as my bankroll went up, I would play 4 tables at once. I would almost always cash in 2 out of 4 SNG. The downside to muti-tabling is heads-ups becomes very hard. I usually have a 4:3 chip advantage but I usually finish in 2nd. The difference between 50% and 30% is a lot. You really got to aim for 1st place if you want to good profit in STT SnG.
Sure there were swings and I would go on a mini Tilt but it was never anything major.
The Rakeback really helped. It gave me around $1-$4 every week.
My poker experience has been a wild journey and I can't wait to see what happens next! I'm going to be adding on to this thread.
PS: I got really tired halfway while writing this, so I apologize if I go off topic a bit and if I'm not explaining things right.