Sunday, April 17, 2011

Black friday.

As I sit here, with 300 euros to my name in real money and a high 5 digit cashout pending on Full Tilt Poker for 32 hours now, I find myself looking back at all the nagging from my parents to "empty your poker account, keep only the minimum you need because those companies aren't stable!" and thinking... "maybe I should have listened to them for once".

Alas I didn't, and so here I stand before uncertainty, of whether I am still a baller or one more busto 22 year old trying to find some purpose on what to do with his life.

Although I am perfectly aware it's the worst weekend in online poker history and the 3 big sites are getting absolutely raped with cashout requests and emails like "WHERE'S MY MONEY" or "WHY DOES MY PENIS LOOK BRIGHT RED", I can't help but feel very insecure about my financial future. I know these sites are very big, secure and trustworthy, but theres only so many posts I can read of people in the same spot I am right now before I actually start having some doubts.

For those of you interested in my stupidity, I have a couple of (not excusable) reasons of why I have kept the entirety of my bankroll on FTP:

- I have been waiting for years for the exchange rate USD/EUR to get better. It has not, so I have been delaying large cashouts.

- I want to open a bank account on a reliable bank with a lot of perks, so it's a pretty extensive search.

I delayed it so much that I'm now paying a price I shouldn't be paying. Like being double charged at a bar because I didn't pay attention, or being ripped off by that stripper because I'm drunk off my ass.

Now all theres left for me to do is wait and pray. I tried playing earlier today but I just spewed stacks off because I began thinking of that particular table as a play money table and not real money, which is obviously bad for your game.

I had already decided earlier in the year to re-join college in August, unless I shipped like a $1M donkament (which is impossible because I never play them) because I had realized a backup plan was required in case this poker thing got fucked up the ass. Well, Nostradamus JR. here saw that one coming, but didn't take adequate measures. Bravo.

No matter what happens, whether I am buying Dom Perignon next time I get drunk just because it comes in a nice bottle or whether I am grinding 12 freerolls for a top prize of $10, I don't give a shit.

Poker has been extremely good to me. It has taken me places I never thought I'd go. It has introduced me to some of the most intelligent, funny and honest people around. It has given me liberty to wake up when I want, to go to sleep when I want, to help out friends, family and unknowns, to grow and mature as a human being. And no one will ever take that away from me. Not the FBI, not the KGB, not the SS. These experiences will forever hang on to me until the day I die, and I will cherish them dearly and look back and think to myself "I am truly lucky and blessed".

I have done it before, I will do it again. If I am broke by this week, I will grind freerolls on Euro networks again and work my way up to 2/4 in a matter of weeks.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I am back.

As I look back on this blog, I realize how much I have grown as a player and person over the last year.

My results and progress haven't exactly been impressive, but they have been consistent. I pretty much played 0 poker throughout june and july because I was too busy in Vegas getting super hammered like 6 days out of every week, so I obviously was in no mood or condition to blog about my experiences. Vegas would have required a handwritten journal in my case, because so much crazy stuff happened in those 2 months that it's almost kind of an haze in my mind. Dunno if I should just accept it or feel disgusted by that, I'm leaning towards the latter. Cliff notes include lots of drinking and degening. I was lucky enough to land some very very cool roommates with whom I'm still close to up to this day (well ok maybe not in a couple of cases) so I pretty much had a blast.

August I came back home and just felt like getting better at the game by studying and playing, and so I did. Played some 1/2 rush for like a month or so 'till 2/4 rush came out and since then I've just been 4 tabling 2/4 rush for 6 months now with decent results (2.5-3ptbb if I had to guess, never graphed it)

For the duration of a couple of weeks of January, entire February and couple of weeks in March I lived in Lake Tahoe with notontilt09, blaabar and ryanmack. It was a weird experience because I live in a very warm place all year around and moving into very low temperatures was just not for me. I tried skiing but epic failed and didn't really like it much, but absolutely loved snowboarding after giving it a try. Unfortunately didn't get to do it much because I was much more interested in grinding and getting drunk for some reason, so I was either playing or hungover during the mornings and early afternoons. My main regret is not getting into snowboarding earlier, would have had much better times if I did. Still was pretty epic and it is an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life... except maybe the money wasted when super drunk lol. Obviously loved the roommates, they were all awesome and pretty good at this stupid ass game.

I feel like I should be posting some graphs but I am still undecided on that right now, I have tried it before and I still dont know if I want to go down that path again. By the end of the month I will definitely post at least one graph.

Going into the present, today was my best day ever. I made 20 buyins at 2/4 rush in 3.5k hands.

Some people tell me this was impressive but I don't agree at all with it. I was on the right side of variance, flopping joints all over the place and coolering people preflop. However, in no way does this victory taste less sweet just because I am aware I was just running hot. This was long overdue.

I have been on the wrong side of variance before. In the space of 40 days I have had two days where I have lost 20 buyins. This is due to my style being very prone to massive swings. I am not scared to play for stacks, ever... and I LOVE putting people to tough decisions. Putting people to tough decisions for entire stacks gets old pretty fast when people catch on what you are doing and you don't re-adjust to it. So if you keep 5 bet jamming 55 or AJ BTN/CO vs that one reg whose strategy against you is to only 4 bet hands he's playing for stacks with (which will include AQ and 99 pretty fast) I'm obviously going to get whats coming to me. Especially when I start tilting and just stop folding. Hence, 20 buyin losing days.

I am, however, very strong minded. I just won't allow myself to give up or doubt myself and my abilities. Every time a bad string of cards or mistakes comes at me I just keep reminding myself "Better players than you have had worse times, don't give up."

Long ago have I given up on the mentality of blaming the sites or the cards when I am losing. Bad stretches happen to everyone, the way each person deals with it defines the strength of their character and how far they will go. Most players just blame it on the site, disregarding the need to re-evaluate their games. They will break even forever. Some players will just blame it on their luck, not caring about thinking about alternative lines for the mistakes they keep making over and over. They will lose forever. Some players, however, will recognize something is not right and has to be improved, be it by trial and error or by study. These players will rise to the top sooner or later. I am a firm believer in this.

Play, study, improve. That's what I have been doing and will keep on doing until I am among the best. I have a feeling it won't take long now.

Welcome back and hope you guys stick around, will try to reward you for your loyalty.