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My Story by nickvdb1990

    • nickvdb1990
      Joined: 18.01.2010 Posts: 1,753
      WARNING wall of text ahead

      Hi guys.

      My name is Nick, I'm 20 years old and studying to become an electronics engineer.

      I am usually active on the Dutch forums, but I'm going to make a post here about my story, since there's a separate section for it.

      I started out a year ago playing NL2 FR without much of a gameplan, with $50 for free. I made some money, lost some on NL4 and so on. Then I heard about PokerStrategy and it allowed me to get a real gameplan and go up to somewhat higher stakes. I played NL10, NL25 and NL50 FR NLHE with success.
      Then I moved to Full Tilt and played 100k hands of rush poker, still full ring, with moderate success.

      Then, about 3.5 months ago, I looked up the fish. Moved some money to a softer site and playing shorthanded for the first time. I played NL10 to get my feet wet (1k hands), then NL25 for real. I did very well and after 10k hands I moved up to NL50.

      This is what my graph looked like:

      NL50 went great as well. After 50k hands I was playing at 3.7BB/100 and rakeback and bonuses gave me another 1.8BB/100 so that's 5.5BB/100. I felt great, grinding a lot, and exploiting fish. All the while still with my feet on the ground, knowing I had to improve.
      So I kept working on my game. After 65k hands, I was at 3.4BB/100 overall, an awesome win rate. Often playing 6 or even 8 tables. I knew who the fish were, I knew who the regs were and I knew what everyone did wrong. I couldn't find one reg better than myself. I even tried taking a shot at NL100 to move up. That went horribly wrong but that's sort of irrelevant.
      I was doing so well that I began entertaining the idea of just playing poker for a living after I graduate (in 2 years) and not having to take a real job.

      My graph for NL50 after those 65k hands:

      And here It begins. By now I have played about 105k hands and my overall winrate is about 0.5BB/100

      Here's my overall NL50 graph until now:

      Do I have a problem with tilt? Well I'm not perfect...I doubt anyone here is 100% tilt-free but when things go bad I just quit my session and go do something else. I am not filled with rage when I'm still playing and I don't play 5h sessions while I'm obviously tired.

      So pretty much the first 35BI I lost, I didn't really care. I felt like I had a bad run and I was gonna grind it out. And things did pick up again (around hand 88k) but after that I had lost a lot of my buffering capacity, my resiliency, my ability to bounce back after a setback.
      I was on lifetilt and didn't play for a few days until I was full of confidence again (not with the same resiliency as I used to have).
      Then, when variance hit me in the face again, I didn't play for a week. And I didn't feel like playing. When I picked up playing again, I started at NL25 to gain my confidence back (that was last Friday). I played 3k hands and I'm full of it again. I lost like 1BI overall or so, I don't know exactly and I don't care either. I'm back on lifetilt now.
      I don't feel like playing and I know I wouldn't be playing well anyway. I don't feel like I'm going to get back my confidence any time soon either.

      This isn't a bawww thread or a fml thread and I'm not presenting my problem hoping for a solution. I'm just sharing my story with you guys.
      If you experienced something similar or have anything constructive/interesting to say on the subject, please do.
  • 5 replies
    • lozz08
      Joined: 26.06.2009 Posts: 106
      Minimise pokertracker and don't look at your account balance for a whole week. Don't think about hands in terms of money; think about hands in terms of what you think is the best decision at any one time.

      Poker is a game about decisions, not money.So every time you make a good decision, you win, and every time you make a bad one, you lose. You simply need to be a lot less results oriented.
    • nickvdb1990
      Joined: 18.01.2010 Posts: 1,753
      I like to think I'm actually pretty good at that. I can also mix several stakes without a problem...chips are big blinds to me, not dollars.
      Anyway, that's how it was at first, but after $1.5k I seem to have hit some kind of boundary where my buffer was depleted and it was hard for me to take any more variance.

      Not looking at my account balance for a whole week is what I actually planned to do before I started up NL25 again. But I felt it wasn't going good and just gave up after 3k hands.

      I guess when enough time passes, you'll see me back at the felt.
    • MatejM47
      Joined: 21.01.2010 Posts: 1,193
      Well it seems like your main problem is your tilt control. Seems like when ever you lose a few stacks you tilt away some more. No one can help you much with that but yourself. If it makes you feel any better many people have the same problems as you.

      However your downswing really isn't that big considering your running bad for only 30k hands. Thats not that big of a sample size. And you might of been on an upswing and are not as good as you think you are. You're not the best player on your limit as you seem to think. If you would be you wouldn't lose 40+ stacks in 30k hands. Overrating your skill can also be a problem.

      And according to your graph this is your first downswing. It will be easier to handle the next one. But if your not able to control your tilt and are gonna tilt away your bankroll every time you hit a bit of a swing then there's no point in thinking you can play poker for a living. Mindset is the most important part of poker if your planning to do this for a living so you either have to suck it up and work on it or be a pussy and quit.
      Thats up to you.
    • nickvdb1990
      Joined: 18.01.2010 Posts: 1,753
      I'm not sure of what to think of your post, MatejM47. Have you read my whole post?
      Allow me to explain myself either way.
      Let's start with the part I agree upon: I probably overrated my skills when life was good. Like everyone does. That's why I took a shot at NL100. I can't imagine doing that again any time soon.

      But about tilt control...I remain very calm at the poker table and whenever something makes me angry, the trigger in my head goes off and I blind out. That's the kind of tilt I am best at fighting. I'm not exactly immune to it yet but when it occurs, I know it. And I stop playing poker until I feel better.
      The other kinds of tilt occur less suddenly and are therefor harder to spot, but I try my best and I stop playing poker when I feel I'm not playing well.

      I also look at chips as the currency of the game, not so much the currency of life. I look at poker as being one long session, the result of an individual session don't really matter to me, let alone any individual hand.
      And I think about bad beats like this: "it's not about how you lost the hand, it's about how you play the next"
      So I am pretty confident that my mindset is at least okay. It's not perfect but I'm getting there.
    • Janchiks97
      Joined: 26.01.2009 Posts: 60
      O god. Im almost 20 years ( B-day 27 november ) and studying electronics too, 2 years till i graduate aswell. And the best one is that im on a downswing same as you. A bad month for electronic students eh? :(