Originally Posted by Nate04
This is my question to the poker players that have won alot of money playing poker. How much money were you originally down before you hit your first big tourney win or started making substantial money?
Like for example. Ive been playing online and in live tournaments for a couple years now. Overall I'd say Im down about $1500 lifetime. Generally online I've gotten donked and busted(Fulltilt and Pokerstars players you know what I mean) so overall most of my losses have been online in that way, but also play live tourneys every Thursday with about 50-70 people and out of the 11 times I've played I've made the money 3 times and bubbled twice so I know my game is pretty solid.
Can you players that had rough luck starting out give me your stories and etc?
I need more information on your game to make an accurate assessment. What stakes do you play? Tournaments or side games? How many tournaments lifetime? Sit-N-Go or Multi Table tournies? How many hands/hours in side games lifetime?
Without this info I'll have to read between the lines here, so correct me if I'm wrong.
You say you are down "about" $1500 lifetime. If you don't know exactly how much you are down (or up), you're making a fundamental mistake. Use a spreadsheet or journal to track all of your action and results.
I can't stress enough how important this is.
Don't lie to yourself. If you lose a chunk while a little tipsy, you can't ignore it and tell yourself you aren't counting it because you were drunk and just playing for fun.
Say you make a nice score of $300 and decide to take a shot at a bit higher stakes and lose it back. Don't just count the win and ignore the loss because you were just "taking a shot".
Your human memory will play tricks on you like this if you don't write it down.
Your following statement scares me a little. "Generally online I've gotten donked and busted (Fulltilt and Pokerstars players you know what I mean)..."
Are you implying that online poker is "rigged" in some way? If so, don't play. Simple as that. If you think the game is not honest, you'll ignore the results and delude yourself into thinking you are better than you are.
You'll think you are losing because the site is rigged for the underdog or to deal "action" hand, not because you are playing too loose, chasing too much, and bluffing
There have been many examinations of huge hand samples from the major sites showing that the expected results follow the mathematical expectation well within standard deviation.
If, by saying you get "donked and busted", you mean you bust out as the favorite when an opponent draws out on you, accept this as part of the game.
Occasionally, because of chip stacks or a bad read, you'll get your money in as the underdog and need to suck out to avoid busting. Usually though, most of your bust outs (if you're playing well) will occur when someone sucks out on you. It's the nature of the game. You want to get all your chips in as an 80/20 favorite, but you must realize you'll lose 20% of the time.
When your opponent gets "lucky", realize "luck" has nothing to do with it. The hand simply fell into the small set of hands where he makes runner-runner flush.
That can be psychologically crushing when it happens, but in the long run you want the "morons" calling you as huge underdogs. Over a large sample, you'll win 80% of them AND lose 20% of them. The key is having won enough of the 80's to withstand the hit when you lose one of the 20's.
Looks like your Thursday live results have been great, but don't expect it to continue at that pace. It's a very small sample and you probably can't expect to sustain a 27% ITM result. The best MTT players only cash 15% to 18% of the time.
Most tournament payout structures are very top heavy. Are any of your three cashes in the top 3? That's where the money is in tournament poker.
Min-cashes or bubble finishes are not that important. You want to shoot for wins and top 3 finishes. I'm up about $30,000 in MTT's but have had streaks of 30 or 40 tournaments in a row without cashing. It comes with the territory.
Again, it's the nature of the beast in MTTs. Lots of no-cashes and min-cashes with an occasional big score. This is why bankroll management is so important. You must be playing at a stake for which you are properly bankrolled and be willing to play for the long term.
As to your primary question, I've played about 2000 Sit-N-Go tournies with an average buy-in of $24 and have an ROI of about +20%. I lost about $2000 in my first 300 SNGs and won about $5500 in the next 1700.
In MTTs I have an ROI of about +95% in just less than 1500 tournies with an average buy-in of about $19, but had played for about 2 years before I hit a 5-figure score. Hit another 5-figure win about 6 months later but have not had another huge score for the last 18 months (albeit at a much smaller volume lately).
In summary, start tracking your results religiously. Be a bankroll nit.
Make sure you have at least 50 buy-ins for your SNG play and at least 150 buy-ins for your MTT play.
Play 500 SNGs and 250 MTTs and re-evaluate your results. If you're in the red at that time, you've got some leaks that need plugged. If you are winner, you'll be well on the way to a profitable career.