Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hello World!

I've decided to start blogging about my poker journey. This is mostly for myself to keep record and sustain motivation, and perhaps to get feedback from interested and more informed parties. I've played poker since 2003 as part of the WPT boom. For a year or so, my friends and I played a .25/.50 game 4-5 nights / week. I had a dozen stints playing online at Party Poker but with mixed results due to bad bankroll management. I had some more experiences playing at larger live 2/5 games, but with my tight style, I did well in the loose gambling games, and was outclassed everywhere else.

I didn't play much for a few years since I was devoting time to school and career. I would play a handful of times / year with friends but not much else. During the final spring 2008 semester of my MBA career, things were starting to slow down so I deposited $100 into a PokerStars account. I started playing small $3 45-man turbos and quickly built my bankroll up to $300 through a mix of cautious play and good timing. I switched to $6 / 45s and quickly built up to $1200 before switching to $12 /45s. I 4-tabled them in sets, so that I wouldn't get too bored and tempted to do something stupid, and so that each tourney would be at a similar stage of blinds / antes. With the 45 turbos, I felt that it was easier to navigate a final table that paid top 7 instead a normal SNG that paid top 3.

At the $12s I went on my first downstreak of $600 (50%). This forced me to revisit my game. I discovered the Harrington tournament series as well as online software to track opponent stats. I went on a strong streak building up to $5-6K (30% ROI) over the course of the summer. I continued to 4-table and had to mentally prep myself each time. This approach resulted in high ROIs, but low volume and moodiness. In other words, I was being too much of a perfectionist.

In fall of '08, I had my first prolonged 100 buyin downswing. My game had become too tight and exploitable. This was a vicious cycle in that it killed my motivation to play which killed my volume. In early February of this year, I discovered vers' blog and read the entire thing. I adopted a more automated aggro style and moved down to the $3 tables so that I could experiment without hurting myself. I began 8-tabling and then 12-tabling continuously so that I could ramp up volume and sample size. I made about $700 in a week with this method and made another $1000 at $20 / hr before moving up . At the $6's I've been averaging about $35 / hr. I made about $900 in February and expect to be up about $3000 in March. I'll be highly confident when I can clear at least 5-6K monthly.

I had my first coaching session with vers a week ago. It seems like I have most components of my game down. It was a huge confidence booster and I feel that my current strategy can scale up to the $27's at least. In the meantime I'll have to prove myself and my consistency.

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