Another Dream of Becoming a Pro Poker Player...

    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      Hi there,

      I am starting this blog mainly to get in touch with other poker players and hopefully get free coaching so I can greatly improve my game and cut down some time on achieving my goal... of becoming a Professional Poker player...

      What does Pro Poker Player means to me? Well, it means enjoying what you do and not working on a job for the rest of your life.

      Poker Background (this could be quite lengthy...)
      Believe it or not, it is the movie 21 that got me into poker. I saw the movie, googled the game and found it to be true that one can actually beat the casino's blackjack table.

      After studying the basic strategy, i convinced a friend with my idea and came with me to the casino. After my three visits to the blackjack table, I decided to give up the idea for the following reasons: (1) developing card counting skill has tremendous learning curve; (2) most casinos here uses card shuffling machines, (3) playing blackjack at the casinos will require huge bankroll. Unfortunately for my friend, he has not totally given up the idea.

      After blackjack, my focus was on the roulette table. I was studying the Martingale system and doing simulations online. I am glad I figured out early on that Martingale has some flaws: casinos put a limit on how much you can bet as a safeguard to players who have considerable if not unlimited bankroll.

      So, roulette too was scrapped off my list after just one visit to the casino. Then, a few days later, while visiting a second hand bookstore, I chanced upon this small pocket paper back book on texas holdem poker. Being open minded and everything, plus the casinos and blackjack still fresh in my mind, poker was welcomed with open arms and with optimism.

      Soon, martingale and card countings were replaced with sit-n-gos, ring games, early middle and late stages, pre-flop, and everything about poker. After reading about the WSOP, I thought poker could be bigger than blackjack and roulette put together.

      To make the story short, I soon found myself at HSBC bank depositing over the counter my first $50 at Pokerstars. One thing I learned during my early stint on blackjack and roulette is Bankroll management. While my roll dwindled to $0 playing micro cash games, it did last for months. Depositing another $50 was not a problem as i can afford it with my regular job. Also playing online is much cheaper. Did some more readings and yet my second bankroll dwindled to just about $5. I decided to stop. It is also at this time that i discover about Pokerstrategy. I studied the strategy materials, took the exam, and soon got my $50 on Full Tilt. Most of this was played on SNGs as opposed to cash games. After the time duration, i was left with $30+ which was all mine. I also started recruiting friends which supplemented my bankroll greatly. I also bought Collin Moshman's book Sit'n Go Strategy. I decided to play my remaining $5 on Pokerstars. Just 1 quality sit'n go a night and I managed to bring it up to $70 in a month or two. Most I played is standard 9-player SNG, double or nothing, and micro ($0.25) 90-player MTT which I managed to place 1st back-to-back which convinced myself that I have a potential at SNG and tournaments. Reviewing my bankroll charts, I discovered I have higher ROI rate playing 90-player MTT than 9-player SNG. Full Tilt offers better 90-player MTT than Stars. So with my ROI of $0.22 per $1 game, I went to challenge myself to double my $25 at FT playing 115 games 90-player MTT. I accomplished my challenge better than i expected as my ROI increased from 20% to around 40%-50% and managed to about triple up my bankroll:

      This is my stats on Top Shark playing as "ramjack1973" on Full Tilt. I started my challenge around September 2010.



      Unfortunately, Top Shark stopped updating my stat for unknown reason so I am forced to make my own chart with a spreadsheet software. Please note that i decided to include my past games before I started the challenge in this chart. It did not help much with the challenge as I was playing just break even then:



      So I continue grinding a few more games with the hope of moving to the $2 level when I reach $100+. And now that I have more than $100 in my bankroll, I discovered there is no $2.20 90-player MTT Deep Stack. I am completely stumped!!!

      WHAT AM I SUPPOSE TO PLAY NOW???

      Hope this blog catch your attention and I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks.

      PS. My Brief Personal Background.
      I'm 38 years old. I live in the Philippines. Started playing poker 2-3 years ago. I have a regular 8 hour job so I usually grind at night after office and during the weekends. My other dream is farming. Hope to win big time in a tournament so i can buy a decent farm. I also dream of winning in the WSOP, but I think being able to make a living just by playing online poker is as rewarding as winning a bracelet and a couple of million dollars.
  • 20 replies
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      I have to accept it and move on with my life. My relationship with FT's 90-player Deep Stack MTT is a relationship that will not last. We had a good start. We had our ups and downs but eventually worked everything out in the end until everything is running smoothly. So why stop?!? Because... There aren't any more players registering in the next level!!! We had no future!

      So moving on, I will be going back to my first love 9-player SNG (standard). I still have a lot to work on as you can see in the graphs below:






      Bankroll: ~ $140
      ROI: -3%

      Lot's of things I need to work out. I will do some warm up on the $1 level and move up to the next level only after I see a positive ROI after several games.

      I am thinking quite seriously about poker right now so I may invest a few more bucks on software and maybe some coaching time with lessthanthree.

      Well, till next time. Good day.
    • Hahaownedlolz
      Hahaownedlolz
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.04.2009 Posts: 1,755
      Originally posted by ramjack




      wtf :D how are you supposed to read those graphs? :f_biggrin:
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      hahaha! that's what I get for being so cheap and not buying those poker software. I have Elephant (also free) but I don't know how to filter only the 9-player SNG.
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      My reconnecting with SNG did not turn quite good. Made third on my first game, but second one, well you can see here for yourself:


      Known Players:
      Position:
      Stack
      MP2:
      70
      MP3:
      950
      CO:
      4240
      BU:
      4410
      SB:
      1380
      Hero:
      2450

      SnG-MTT $ 1.20 (9 Players)
      25/50 No-Limit Hold'em (6 Players)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy.com Elephant 0.99.40308.1 by www.pokerstrategy.com

      Preflop: Hero is BB with K :heart: , J :diamond:
      2 fold, CO calls, BU folds, SB calls,
      Hero raises 100 to 150, CO calls, SB folds

      Flop: (350) A :club: , K :club: , J :spade: (2 Players)
      Hero checks,
      CO bets 50,
      Hero raises 100 to 150, CO calls (after calling my re-raise, i put him on a high pair A or K or a possible straight or flush draw)

      Turn: (650) 9 :club: (2 Players)
      Hero checks, (my dreaded card showed up)
      CO bets 525,
      Hero raises 525 to 1050,
      CO raises 525 to 1575, (this probably confirms his flush)
      Hero raises 575 to 2150 ( (AI)), CO calls (I was thinking of folding at this time. I will still have some chips left but my gambling side kicks in and decided to bluff my way out... I still have some outs to make a full house though probably not the right pot odds.)

      River: (4950) 3 :diamond: (2 Players)

      Final Pot: 4950

      Results:
      Hero shows two pairs, kings and jacks (K, J) --> (K, K, J, J, A)
      CO shows a flush, ace high (Q, J) --> (A, K, Q, J, 9)

      CO wins 4950 with a flush, ace high (Q, J) --> (A, K, Q, J, 9)

      I guess I should do this more often, posting hand and all after each session. This will be one way of reviewing my games and hopefully have some constructive feedback from other players.


      Homework:
      1. kill the gambling nature in me
      2. trust my reads, no need for a showdown to confirm if they are correct
      3. learn to ways to quickly compute pot odds vs my outs
      4. do some ICM training before each session
    • YinYangS
      YinYangS
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 1,077
      Hi there bro!

      Are you a Filipino? Where do you live here in the Philippines?

      I'm YinYangS here in PokerStrategy. I live in Davao.

      You might have come across me in the 25cents 90 man at Stars because I've grind that from time to time. hahaha ^_^

      My username at PokerStars is NeEhs.

      I've started playing online poker for real money since October 2010 and it has been a good source of income already for me ever since.

      Check out my blog as well! What's your facebook account so that we could chat and share ideas and possibly meet up as well!

      YinYangS - Love this day! ^_^

      Regards,
      YinYangS
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      Hi there YinYangS,

      Kumusta? I guess that answers your first question. I am here at Manila.

      Yes we might have crossed each other at Stars 90-player MTT. Played a few 90s there until I discovered FullTilt offers better: 15% in the money, deep stack, 10 minutes per level.

      How is Davao? I was there for the first time a few months ago on work assignment and was able to play at Metro Card Davao during my short stay there. Metro Card is just a walk away from the small hotel we were staying. It was just accross a college and a church. Can't remember their names though.

      I think I've started 2009 playing real money. Not that much success compared to you, but I am working on it. I would assume you are now playing online poker full time based on your blogs? How much time do you spend each day playing online?

      I'll pm you my fb and you can add me up. Hope to hear from you.

      Regards,
      Ramjack1973
    • YinYangS
      YinYangS
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 1,077
      I'm doing great. And Davao is still good and peaceful as ever. :f_biggrin:

      Yes, I immediately went full time on poker since I started. I start playing at 6:30am in the morning then i'll finish around 3pm or 4pm in the afternoon. I don't play on weekends though and just spend it for resting time. I play purely Mtts. I don't like the slow pace in cash games. hahaha :f_biggrin:

      Chat with you soon kabayan! :f_biggrin:

      Cheers,
      YinYangS
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      Hi YinYangS,

      I've been going through your blog and I see that you are making very nice profit on MTT! Congratz on the $400 win. I too am profitable on MTT but not cash games. Cash game can really tilt me especially when i am outdrawn. Do you have a favorite MTT? I mostly play regular 90-MTT on FullTilt. But now I have to find other games to specialize in 'cause there aren't much players on higher level of 90-MTT. I am thinking of going back to 9-player SNG. I have to relearn the game again though. i think somehow, playing too many MTT has affected my SNGs... I am having difficulty getting in-the-money on SNG considering 33% of the field gets in-the-money while there is only 20% for 90-MTT.

      Regards,

      ramjack1973
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      After a few days of thinking, I have decided on which direction I am going: 9-player SNG (and hopefully become as successful as <3 !!!)

      ... which may not be as daunting as I initially thought. After applying, hopefully the correct filters, here is my graph for my last 200 $1.20 SNGs on Full Tilt:



      ROI: -4.6%
      Bankroll: $143

      Though my bankroll will allow me to play in the $2-level, I will not dive in until I see a +ROI after a good sample size tourneys.

      ICM Training result: 22 out of 30
    • YinYangS
      YinYangS
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 1,077
      My favorite is also the 90-man at Stars. Very good traffic for the $1 and $2 tourneys. Also, I mix in some bigger field scheduled tourneys of up to $4 buy-in.

      I wish you luck bro! Hoping to see that you'll have a +ROI soon!

      YinYangS
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      Thanks for the encouragement YinYangS! But i will have to set aside MTT for now. My goal now is to play volumes of micro SNGs about 1000 total and have +ROI!!!
    • Airrr83
      Airrr83
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2010 Posts: 86
      Hey,

      Good luck with your challange, just one question: why u focus so much at sng, don`t u like standart tables?

      Best Regards Plami :f_p:
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      hi Airrr83,

      thanks for visiting this blog. as for your question, if by "standard tables" you mean "cash or ring games," well it's because of this:



      at MTT, i am profitable with almost 50% ROI; with SNG i am just about break even; but with Cash games, I suck BIG TIME!!!

      It's not that I don't like "standard tables" (in fact I do spend a small portion of my bankroll learning cash games and become even just a small fraction of NANONOKO :f_biggrin: ), but it will be a bigger challenge for me to turn it into +ROI.

      So, my decision for choosing MTT and SNG is purely business :D whichever is most profitable for me.
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      Hi All,

      Just want to post a short update on my poker career. I have started playing regular SNGs again and i have played a few games... quite few by a "grinder's" standard. But I do like my performance so far and it brought back confidence in my game. I left $30 on my FTP account after the "Black Friday Event" (or was it Saturday?!?). After that I received my $25 Take2 bonus. With a little over $50, I moved up to $2.25 SNGs and made a mental note to go back to $1.20 level if my BR drops below $50. I have about $70 now... so I hope it continue to move up. Just want to post these two hands from my game last night which i think is the luckiest game in my career.

      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $100/$200 No-Limit Hold'em (4 handed)

      Known players:
      BU:
      $2965.00
      SB:
      $4095.00
      BB (Hero):
      $2255.00
      CO:
      $4185.00


      Preflop: Hero is BB with K, A.
      2 folds, SB raises to $600.00, Hero raises to $2,255.00 all in, SB calls $1,655.00.

      SB shows K, K

      Flop: ($4510) 8, 5, T (2 players)


      Turn: ($4510) A (2 players)


      River: ($4510) 9 (2 players)


      Final Pot: $4510.

      Hero wins t4510



      Below is another hand against the same player (same game):

      Full Tilt Poker $2 + $0.25 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t120/t240 Blinds - 3 players
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      BTN: t6170 25.71 BBs
      Hero (SB): t4170 17.38 BBs
      BB: t3160 13.17 BBs

      Pre Flop: (t360) Hero is SB with A:diamond: A:heart:
      BTN raises to t720, Hero raises to t1200, 1 fold, BTN calls t480

      Flop: (t2640) T:heart: Q:diamond: K:spade: (2 players)
      Hero checks, BTN bets t4970 all in, Hero calls t2970 all in

      Turn: (t8580) T:club: (2 players - 2 are all in)

      River: (t8580) J:diamond: (2 players - 2 are all in)

      Final Pot: t8580
      BTN shows T:diamond: 9:spade: (a straight, King high)
      Hero shows A:diamond: A:heart: (a straight, Ace high)
      Hero wins t8580
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      Played 6 tables today. First session is a set of 3 tables... I lost all. After some dinner and some rest, I played my second session. This time only 2 tables as I felt I was really out of tune with my last session. I think most I did in the first was fold all my hands. On my second session, I noticed there were at least 3 other players that were multi-tabling. I ran good on my second session. Placed 2nd and with a bit of luck on the other table, got 1st. Played one more table for my third session and got 3rd.

      BR: 74.41
      Added Bonus Cleared: 1.80

      I guess I will not be going after the Added Bonus, but instead focus on quality play and not volume. Maybe later when I totally don't rely on my hand charts anymore.

      Stats, I will have to post later as my trial HM no longer works. I will have to reinstall my Elephant.

      I also have my signature link working.
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      Somehow I lost my focus on my SNG goals and spent considerable time playing cash games mid May... but that's another story. So to focus back on my goal, I am posting an update tonight.

      Just installed demo of Poker Tracker 3... I may be able to afford to buy the micro version after placing 2nd on FT's $1 Multi Entry On-Demand tourney.





      Above charts show my performance between $1 and $2 SNGs played since I started this blog (April 6, 2011).

      Clearly I am not doing well on $1 but I have a good start on the $2. So I will continue working on the $2 until I have a good sample size.

      BR: ~$148 (around half is attributed to MTT)

      As for hand analysis, I have chosen this hand. We were heads-up at the table:

      Full Tilt - $2+$0.25|150/300 NL - Holdem - 2 players
      Hand converted by PokerTracker 3

      BB: 8,190.00
      Hero (SB): 5,310.00

      Hero posts SB 150.00, BB posts BB 300.00

      Pre Flop: (450.00) Hero has 9:club: 9:heart:

      Hero raises to 600.00, BB calls 300.00

      Flop: (1200.00, 2 players) 5:spade: 6:diamond: 4:heart:
      BB bets 300.00, Hero raises to 900.00, BB calls 600.00

      Turn: (3000.00, 2 players) 7:diamond:
      BB bets 3,000.00, fold

      BB wins 3,000.00


      I think my first mistake was the minimum raise preflop. With a straight draw on the board and stacking me on the turn, I just chickened out. I would like to hear how you would play this differently.
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      Had a good run today... just a few more and I may finally be hitting positive ROI... can't believe i lost the last table... I was chip lead for a very long time... I should have been more aggressive... but I was so focused on my heads-up match on the other table... but still a good run...



      good night everyone...
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      finally licked a taste of positive ROI, even for just a few seconds. But I am quite optimistic... outlook is quite positive...
    • ramjack
      ramjack
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.02.2009 Posts: 133
      No field assignment today so I am at the office right now doing nothing but going through PS Forums... I might as well play a few games so as not to waste time... :f_biggrin: (not that I can't do it...)

      Might as well give up my day job and go fulltime on Fulltilt. Not that I have a positive ROI to show (at least in SNGs and Cash games)... but I think I should get out of my comfort zone and sweat it really hard...
    • 1
    • 2