WurlyQ Well + Story
I probably won't be playing much poker for awhile (if at all) after this month so I've decided to share my experiences and any knowledge I have with CardsChat before I leave. I couldn't think of anything better so I decided to do a well. You don't have to read all the story stuff to ask me questions. I can also do some videos if there is any demand (just post what you want me to do, and if several people want the same/similar type of game, I'll do my best to come up with something).
Ask me any question (poker or nonpoker related) and I'll do my best to answer.
I originally started poker because I wanted some money for investing in stocks. I found CardsChat, deposited $50 on FT and quickly lost it to a combination of run bad + no bankroll management (BRM) + thinking TPTK was the nuts. I finished up my studies and entered 2009 with $0 for poker. With a few freeroll cashes and some VERY strict BRM rules, I was off and running.
The early months, freerolls, and Sit and Gos (SnG):
I primarily played freerolls along with 1 and 2 table no limit hold'em (NLHE) SnGs starting off because I had the best success in them probably because they were the closest in nature to the freeroll format (multi table tournaments or MTT) without being scheduled or taking long hours. The first few months were slow going as all I did was play (no studying). I started playing on a few other sites without depositing to try them out and expand my freeroll selections. My mathematical abilities and understanding pot odds
allowed me to beat the games I played but only for two digit profits a month.
Discovering Limit Hold'em ring (LHE) and variance:
The first time I really started adopting and applying a game theory type approach was when I met LHE. I started studying the game and learned why tight is right as well as some multi level thinking concepts. I experienced almost immediate success and quickly advanced limits. Along the way, I began to open up my range, became more aggressive, and transitioned from full ring to 6 max. The edge that one has at .50/1 LHE and up is not that great and you will inevitable run into some variance. My first big run bad was playing .50/1 6max LHE and it was a rude awakening. I had experienced bad beats but this was nothing like "zomg my AA has gotten cracked 3 times in a row". This was thousands of hands of seemingly improbably happenings that, when combined, seemed statistically impossible.
Double or Nothings (DoN) and boredom:
At the same time as my run bad, I was dabbling in NLHE DoNs which by far, have the least variance of any game I have played. I quickly discovered that these can be mass multi tabled (MMT) and combined with a lack of variance, was extremely appealing to me. I was able to move up limits relatively quickly and made a decent hourly by the time I was 12 tabling the $5s. I discovered I could run up to 50 tables but 15-20 tables seemed to maximize my hourly on a variance adjusted basis so that stuck. I eventually moved up to the $10s (and a failed attempt at the $20s) before boredom struck. I realized that I'd rather work extra hours at my job for a few less $/hour than stare at a computer and mindlessly push buttons. I also realized that the long term growth of hourly rate was rather limited in DoNs so just like that, I stopped playing DoNs.
No Limit Hold'em Ring (NLHE) and closing months:
After doing some forum scouring, I realized that NLHE was the game to be in to maximize profit potential. I dished out some of my poker profits for a subscription to a video site and combined with my previously obtained poker experience/knowledge, I was able to beat the games immediately. However, DoNs had done the damage to my interest in poker overall and I just couldn't didn't have the motivation to put in hours like I had before. As a result, I didn't progress as fast as I had hoped, and I will likely never advance beyond 50nl unless I decide to pick up poker again sometime in the future. Today, I play random games whenever I feel like it, and still make 3 figures a month consistently, but the hours I put in are very much lacking.
Reflection and Cardschat:
If I could do things over, I would have definitely studied the game more in the beginning. In the beginning, I think studying/playing should be something like a 25/75 split if you want to maximize profits long term. After you have a solid understanding of fundamentals, I believe something like a 50/50 split is appropriate. I also would have never dabbled in DoNs. Despite the fact that they make up almost half my overall profits, they stunted my poker growth, and killed my motivation towards the game. Finally, I would be less nitty with my BRM. I certainly could have taken more risk that would have been achieved a very favorable risk/reward ratio.
I feel lucky to have bumped into Cardschat as the first related site I found. There are more people on this site that are friendly and enjoy the game than any other forum I have seen. It may not be the greatest in terms of strictly increasing your bottom line in poker. However, I think it allows you to enjoy the game which is +life EV. The greatest thing I got from playing poker this past year are some life skills (yes, more than the money I made which isn't exactly chump change). Some people are probably lol'ing right now but its true. By reading posts and watching videos by other poker players, I have a better understanding of what allows one to enjoy something, become motivated, and have structure in their lives. These are all skills that I will always carry around in life.