winning at poker

Live POKER

Walk into a brick and mortar poker room and you’ll see the small nuances that make poker both extremely beautiful and horribly ugly. They play out like a scene out an award-winning Broadway musical right in front your eyes. You definitely miss out on this experience sitting at home in front of a computer screen. If you stay long enough at the tables you get to experience, witness, and appreciate this theater firsthand. The lonely widower buying in for the maximum over and over and donating to the game. The crazy gamblers with nothing to lose playing any two cards and owning heads. The nits and there leather asses, the pros, the props, the degenerate dealers and the over the hill cocktail waitresses are all part of the show. Then there’s me, sweaty palms and all.

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Middle set holds

I sit in mostly silence, headphones in, about 4 months in on my journey of giving live poker a real shot, albeit part-time for now. I’m down $376 in about 70 hours play. A couple misplayed hands and 1 unprofitable event at the LAPC and I would probably be a winner but I still tilt and occasionally break the golden rule at the low-limits…don’t bluff. I guess old habits die hard and something about piles of checks in front of me bring out my degenerate side and make me go for the gusto even though we all know the negative outcome waiting for me on the other side.

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Sometimes I win!

I started out slow in January and February winning $250 in the two months combined, nothing major, but I was winning. Everything was running along smoothly till March hit. I had a few losing sessions and I guess I lost focus and bluffed off $260 in profit one night with pocket 10’s on a jack high flop and was snapped off by my opponent’s pocket Kings. After that I had an other -$200 session where I played every hand and again bluffed off my stack like a fish. Finally back to back $-200 losing sessions where I got my aces cracked both times for all the money. That shit hurt. I’ve never experienced that much losing and despair all in such a short time, honestly it made me want to quit.

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My play has been a dumpster fire as of late

I’ve brushed myself off since then and taken a little break on the cash games. I’ve started to play a live $65 mini deep tournament on Thursday nights and have been having some success. 5 tournaments played, 2 final tables with a near win 3rd place finish. Even though it’s a small sample size, all my records show that my success has come in tournament poker.

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What we think..

Even though I love cash games I have to be honest with myself and admit that I’m not ready for the live grind yet, but with plenty of training, practice, and a little bit of desensitization to losing money I’ll be back at it. I can’t let a bad month get in my head and ruin my goal of eventually supporting myself through poker. I have to prove to myself that all this time I’ve devoted to this game hasn’t been a waste.

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Ticking away

So till next time, good luck out there.

Waiting for the next BOOM

All I hear about these days is how hard poker is to beat and how in the early days a mediocre poker player could make a healthy living off the game, because the opposition was so weak. This frustrates me because I feel like I missed my chance to capitalize on the online poker boom, I feel like my game and bankroll is at a level where if I had the opportunity, I could succeed at online poker if the games were really that juicy.

I reside in beautiful California, and currently it is illegal to play online poker, one of the largest states with the highest player pools and still no legal online poker. I blame PokerStars and there shady practices. PokerStars operated for years illegally in the USA and acquired a fortune without following laws and regulations. On the flip side they did attract more players. Now that California is close to passing laws that would make online poker legal, PokerStars slows up the process by getting in the way of the Indian tribes and the Casinos. Pushing them away from reaching an agreement over the bad actor clause.

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Still I grind. On illegal sites, at the mirco stakes, gaining experience, building my bankroll, looking forward to the day California legalizes online poker and we have the next boom. Whenever this happens I’ll be ready, I’ll be ready to capitalize this time because I’m putting in the hours and thousands hands.

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I didn’t play Online as much as I regularly do these past 3 weeks, but I was still extremely profitable. At the time of my last post I was at a 128 mbtc bankroll currently I’ve built my bankroll up to 210 mbtc! I played 20 tournaments most 6 max format, with player fields ranging from 18-54 runners, I got a 4th, 3x 3rds, 2x 2nds, and a 1st, winning 82 mbtc. I pick and chose the tournaments I wanted to play and I only entered tournaments when I felt like I was in a extremely focused mental state.

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Overall I had great few weeks and I look forward to a successful 2015. I’ll be heading out to the LAPC in a few weeks and I plan to play my best poker game and run extremely good. Wish me luck!!

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So untill next time good luck out there.