Sunday, August 31, 2008

Stick's HUGE Milestone

I just hit a hugely meaningful milestone in my poker career. But before I reveal what it is, I must give some background history on how I got to this milestone.

I started playing online poker in August of 2005. I joined Ultimate Bet because a CD ROM with Annie Duke's picture on it came in the box to a poker video game I bought at Target. I think I spent only about 2 days at the play money tables before I was itching to deposit some funds. So I hooked up with Neteller and deposited $50. Then I dove into a 1/2 Limit Hold'em table and doubled up in about 2 hours. I thought "Man! This is easy!!" 3 days later, I busted and deposited another $50 so I could keep earning my deposit bonus. So to make the story short, I kept up the bust/deposit/bust routine for a few months while not having a clue about bankroll management or hand strength even. The only thing that didn't destroy me was the fact that I picked Limit Hold'em to tinker with and not NL. At the time, I thought hands like KTs and A6o were the nuts. And I actually didn't know what a "freeroll" was. I literally had NO CLUE about poker except for survival instincts that would kick in when I realized I was spewing cash. I think I was down as much as $1200 in my first 3-4 months.

So in November 2005, I joined Cardschat after just lurking there for 3 months. I got a little education in poker there, bought PokerTracker, and picked up a couple poker books. Then when I found out that I was going about poker all wrong, I did a complete 180 and started playing tighter than Chelsea Clinton on prom night. I mean ULTRA tight. I just got very afraid of losing more and more. I eventually switched to No-Limit Hold'em, but still was way too tight in my play to make any kind of profit. But I still was reading poker books, studying my PT stats, and learning from the forum. I think I stayed that way for about a year and then did another 180 by starting to play too aggressively. I saw a few players on Cardchat growing and winning and I thought I needed a drastic change in my playing style in order to start making a profit. So the roller coaster began and I would have big runs, both up and down, but never really grew my BR.

I actually started this blog in 2006 and began to eat, sleep, and breathe poker in mid-2007. I finally got a handle on some major tilt issues I had from the beginning of my poker venture and things started to click about 6 months ago. I kept very precise records of my poker funds from the beginning in August 2005 onward and my all-time low was in February 2008 when I was down over $1500 for my entire career. Now that might not seem like a lot to some of my readers, but keep in mind that I played mostly 10NL and 25NL for 3 years. I did play 50 NL for a month or so last year and I have played quite a few $5 SNGs in my time, but micro-cash was my game for the most part. There were times when I felt like a failure since I had pretty much made the decision to make this my career in late 2006, but still couldn't make much profit. But 6 months ago, things started to click and I started feeling like I really knew what I was doing. I would anticipate my luck running out, but my bad runs were short and easily withstood.

So my huge milestone happened a few days ago. I didn't want to write about it right away in case it didn't hold up, but it looks like it will. So the HUGE milestone that I just achieved in my poker career is...

I CAN NOW CALL MYSELF A CAREER WINNING POKER PLAYER!!!!!

I now am showing a small profit for my entire poker career and it means the world to me! I mean, it seems like a huge weight is off my back. It also means I've made over $1500 in the last 6 months, which includes only a month at 50NL. Plus about $500 of that will be just in August. I think I can credit my success to my switch to 95% of my play being cash games and to having read the book "The Poker Mindset" to help me with my tilt issues.

When I saw my career number change from negative to positive on my BR spreadsheet, I actually thought I was going to cry. People have sold me short my whole life and even in poker, but now I have a confidence boost that makes me feel like I can go up against almost anyone. Now, the whiz kids on Cardschat and anywhere else can BRING IT ON! I'm ready now.

9 comments:

Jurn8 said...

Well done stick im really happy for you buddy hope you continue to run good and rake in the dollars mate

Beth (roundcat) said...

Congrats Stick! That's a major accomplishment and something to really be proud of. It's only up from here. :)

jaymfc - CardsChat said...

you're the man , don't know who ever doubted you , not me :)

Stick said...

Thanks folks! Feels great!

Bombjack said...

Congratulations!

NLHE is tough these days; why not try Omaha?

Mortis said...

Congrats! And a very good read! Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Well done Stick I hope you keep heading skywards,
All the best of luck mate
From ZORBA.

SavagePenguin said...

Congratulations. I remember reaching my break-even point, but even more so, I remember reaching the point where I had all my deposits covered *plus* enough left over to keep playing at my current level. I immediately cashed out the sum of my deposits (only $75). That way I was only playing with won money. It was a good... no a GREAT feeling to be able to tell my friends/family that I was only playing with winnings.
Congratulations! This is a big thing.
Now, I did (and still do) suffer from milestone issues. If I get to a place of comfort, I make subtle changes that hurt my game. I begin to slip, until I reach a negative milestone. Then I put my nose to the grindstone and work my way back. From your book choice, I suppose you're not going to have that problem though.
Good luck, and congratulations.

john said...

Nice post about the mile stone which Steck achieved......
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simmons
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