A New Start in Poker

    • thephoenixrising
      thephoenixrising
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2012 Posts: 28
      After reading several blogs throughout the forums, I decided that it might be useful to start my own. It's incredible seeing all the stories from people who progressed and improved rapidly and how they have become the good/winning players that they are today. I know that a good portion of the success can be attributed to both sharing their experiences coupled with the feedback/support from this forum community. I want to thank RovarTry in particular for encouraging me to take up this endeavor.

      This will be my first blog ever... so bear with me as I find the best fit both content-wise and in style.

      My Story
      :spade: Name: Eddie
      :spade: Age: 28 years old
      :spade: Nationality: American
      :spade: Currently Resides in: Mexico
      :spade: Languages Spoken: English (native), Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish
      :spade: Status: Single, Gainfully Employed

      I was born in the USA, but I was raised in the awesome country of Brazil, where I lived for a total of 18 years. My parents are of Taiwanese origin and have taught me Chinese starting from a young age, and while in Brazil I was sent to American school so I would consider English to be my best language. I was a happy kid with a bright mind and (almost) always got good/top grades and test scores.

      After completing HS I moved to the US for my undergraduate (university) studies. I enrolled in a very good school studying an engineering degree, but because of my family's financial situation and the fact that my parents weren't American, I was forced to pay quite a bit for tuition and take out a lot of loans. I also ended up taking up a student job on campus that worked night shifts, and soon enough I was falling deeper into the hole of not making it to class and not being able to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. To make matters worse I started to play an MMORPG and quickly got addicted to it (no it was not WoW ;) ). By the beginning of my last year in college, I completely lost interest in my studies, was not doing well in my classes, and compounded with the financial pressures and odd work schedule I decided to drop out.

      After working a couple of meaningless jobs, I decided my life needed a change in direction. Fortunately my parents were very supportive and allowed me to move back with them for a while and help out with business. Last year I had the opportunity to take a course in a Chinese university for a semester and it was one of the happiest periods and best experiences in my life thus far. At the beginning of 2012 I was hooked up with a very good job opportunity and since March I have been working like a slave (sometimes up to 18 hrs/day) but steadily and thankful for it.

      The Poker Part of It

      Like so many others, my introduction to Hold'em was watching the mother of all poker movies, Rounders. To this date it remains one of my all-time top 5, and along with this movie came my tremendous appreciation for Matt Damon, Edward Norton, and Teddy KGB, I mean... John Malkovich :D . As a child, I vaguely remember constantly borrowing an older friend's scientific calculator to play the video poker game that came programmed with it and I would play until I set all the record scores lol. So I guess that even before playing any real poker, I already had a very good grasp of hand rankings hehe.

      Then in college I began watching all sorts of televised poker shows, starting with the 2003 WSOP Main Event won by Chris Moneymaker. What really impressed me, however, was not that or how an amateur took it down after qualifying online, but rather how Sam Farha played. To me back then, Farha was the portrait of the consummate pro, the "too cool for school" card shark that would totally dominate any game in Vegas. I was blown away by how good (I thought at the time =D) he was. Soon afterwards I would find myself playing with play money at PokerStars, but it wasn't until some colleagues from my night job started playing SnG's on FTP during the late shifts that I started contemplating playing for real money. I actually don't remember exactly when I made my first deposit, but after I left school is when I began thinking this could be a viable career option. Of course I had no clue what I was doing, and sure enough the first 2-3 small deposits ($15 and $30) slowly but steadily went down the drain.

      I decided that before my next deposit I would study a bit to see if I would fare any better, so I began to buy books, watched as many shows/instructional vids as I could, and listened to podcasts such as the ones on PokerRoad Radio. Between 2008-2010 I picked up Collin Moshman's Sit 'n Go Strategy (which I unfortunately did not finish reading), Gus Hansen's Every Hand Revealed, Doyle Brunson's Super System, and Barry Greenstein's Ace on the River, among a few others. The next $50 deposit was going well, and with the help of a sign-up bonus I ran the account to over $100 by playing mainly $1.10 STT SnG's. But right around that time, with all the struggles I was having in real life, I decided to move back home and kind of left poker behind, as my parents were very strictly against it. During my wonderful stay in China, Black Friday struck, and I know I didn't lose a whole lot, but that was symbolically the final curtain for me (or so I thought =D).

      Before returning to Brazil from my China trip, I stopped by the US for a few weeks and during this period I picked up ElkY's "The Raiser's Edge". The depth and complexity of the strategies that he gets into made me realize how far behind the curve I was (I still think that some things are way over my head hehe), and I vowed that if I ever went back to playing with any degree of seriousness I would have to go through legitimate and rigorous studying and training before depositing a single dollar. Enter PokerStrategy (oh why didn't I find out about it 3 years ago)!
  • 11 replies
    • thephoenixrising
      thephoenixrising
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2012 Posts: 28
      Goals

      Considering that I am only able to do start with part-time, I hope these goals are not too lofty and that the stepping stones are reasonable. I will start out with grinding out Micro SnGs because I already have a good notion of how to play them for BR building purposes. Ultimately, I do want to transition into MTTs and Cash, which have typically been troublesome for me, but I am willing to put in the hard work necessary to get there.

      Short-Term
      :diamond: Achieve Silver Status on PS
      :diamond:D eposit $600 on Stars
      :diamond: Grind $1.5 SnGs to over 100 BIs for next level
      :diamond: Clear 100% of bonus, attain Silver Star VIP status, cash out original $600
      :diamond: Buy HEM2 and possibly SnG Wizard
      :diamond: Start with 4 tables, increase to 6 then 8-tabling, get comfortable with it
      :diamond: Get a real setup, with a 27"+ monitor

      Mid-Term
      :club: Gold Status on PokerStrategy by the end of June 2013
      :club: Conquer the $3.5 SnGs on Stars, move up and become a reg on $7 level
      :club: Study all the Silver and Gold content on PS
      :club: Become a poker scholar, finish reading 1 book per month for 1 year (suggestions welcome)
      :club: Adapt my game to MTT and Cash Game formats
      :club:P lay at least one live tournament by the end of 2013
      :club: Achieve a 10% ROI on the $7 level (if possible)
      :club: Get some live coaching
      :club: Run my first marathon and finish in under 4hrs
      :club:P rofit a total of $10k from poker

      Long-Term
      :heart: Reg on the $15, then $30 SnGs, Sunday Major MTTs
      :heart: Gold Star VIP on Stars and Diamond on PS
      :heart:P ost a 5-digit profit month online
      :heart:P ost a live tournament win, 5-digit score
      :heart: Become financially independent through poker, savings, and other investments ($50k-> $100k-> $250k-> $500k-> $1M), relocate to play full-time (?)
      :heart:P lay an EPT, WSOP, WPT tournament
      :heart: Travel around the world for 1 year while playing poker in between stops
      :heart: Learn other variants of the game (Omaha, Stud, Razz)
      :heart: Record my own guitar music album

      Delusional Dreams and Poker Fantasies
      :spade: Win an EPT Main Event, WSOP bracelet, WPT Main Event
      :spade: Qualify through satellites to the PCA and freeroll during that event week (my birthday is on Jan 6!)
      :spade: Win a Sunday Major and a WCOOP Event
      :spade: Become good friends with some live pros
    • TheMarxBros3
      TheMarxBros3
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.09.2008 Posts: 1,346
      Good Luck Eddie.

      I'm going to follow your blog as I find many similarities between your goals and how I was when I started out. Unfortunately/fortunately I quit playing full-time in order to raise a family. But I digress.
      They say the secret is to PLAN YOUR WORK and then WORK YOUR PLAN.
      You are 1/2 way there. Good luck my friend.
    • thephoenixrising
      thephoenixrising
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2012 Posts: 28
      Originally posted by TheMarxBros3
      Good Luck Eddie.

      I'm going to follow your blog as I find many similarities between your goals and how I was when I started out. Unfortunately/fortunately I quit playing full-time in order to raise a family. But I digress.
      They say the secret is to PLAN YOUR WORK and then WORK YOUR PLAN.
      You are 1/2 way there. Good luck my friend.
      Thank you so much for your support, I don't see myself playing full-time until I have a very well established BR. But yes, I agree with the fact that having a clear vision and planning is 1/2 the battle. I am one of those people who typically will think about going from Point A -> Point E but skip/won't come up with how to reach B, C, and D =) . I will also chime in on your blog as much as I can, wish you the best of luck as well! I'll add you on my friend's list.

      Cheers!
    • Flushmaker89
      Flushmaker89
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.08.2011 Posts: 19,025
      Hi Eddie.

      Good luck to your goals. Do you play STT sngs? 9max or 6max?
    • thephoenixrising
      thephoenixrising
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2012 Posts: 28
      Originally posted by Flushmaker89
      Hi Eddie.

      Good luck to your goals. Do you play STT sngs? 9max or 6max?
      Hi Flushmaker89,

      STT SnGs 9max for now. Might try 6max when I move up to the next level.
    • RovarTry
      RovarTry
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.12.2009 Posts: 843
      Originally posted by thephoenixrising
      I want to thank RovarTry in particular for encouraging me to take up this endeavor.
      Ah, you wanted it, you just needed a little push:D

      Amazing first entry. I'll be following for sure.

      I'm just confused about 600$ BR and playing 1.5$ BI? Do you wanna do it just to prove it to your self that you can do it from scratch?

      I mean, you obviously have knowledge and roll for 3.5's. I think game is the same and players are equally bad/"good"...
    • thephoenixrising
      thephoenixrising
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2012 Posts: 28
      Originally posted by RovarTry
      Originally posted by thephoenixrising
      I want to thank RovarTry in particular for encouraging me to take up this endeavor.
      Ah, you wanted it, you just needed a little push:D

      Amazing first entry. I'll be following for sure.

      I'm just confused about 600$ BR and playing 1.5$ BI? Do you wanna do it just to prove it to your self that you can do it from scratch?

      I mean, you obviously have knowledge and roll for 3.5's. I think game is the same and players are equally bad/"good"...
      Heh, yeah I do want to prove to myself that I can do it from scratch and to train the discipline I know is necessary to succeed. Also the $600 is only to maximize the initial deposit bonus, else I would be starting with $100 or something like that =) .
    • thephoenixrising
      thephoenixrising
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2012 Posts: 28
      So I've been pretty handcuffed to work, and it's been well over a week since I posted. As far as poker is concerned, I must have done the dumbest s*** ever because when I did deposit at Stars (only $150 due to some restrictions) I somehow managed NOT to type in a bonus code lol. Not only that, but I missed out on a $10 PCA satellite ticket too... grrr.

      As for playing, I am slowly getting re-acclimated to the $1.50 1-table SNGs, looks like there are lots of regs on PStars but it is still beatable. I definitely feel like I have an edge especially after the bubble has burst and heads-up, I think today I've taken down 4/5 ITM thus far (yeah I know, wimpy volume lol). I am flirting with the break-even line, but more importantly I feel like I am playing decently well and am confident that I will eventually come out on top of this buy-in level. On the side I have experimented a bit with MTTs, I actually got a cash at one of the depositor freerolls (500th something place) and a Top 10 finish in the PCA Freeroll which got me a ticket to the Freeroll Final, but with only 1 package I know it's a long-shot hehe. There are 403 entries at the time of this posting, so I'm as likely to win as I am to flop quads =p. Either way, it would be a dream and one of my long-term goals to play at some event there since it always happens during the week of my birthday.

      Even if I don't win the package, I am having a blast playing online poker once again. I will leave you with this cooler heads-up where I slow-played pocket aces to perfection and ended up going up against the perfect hand on the perfect board to pay me off! Then I found out that he had slow-played all along as well and thought he was taking me to value town lol. I know there wasn't much my opponent could do after I grinded my way to the chip lead but still feels so nice to be on my end of the stick hehe:

      PokerStars Hand #90522241461: Tournament #655819396, $1.32+$0.18 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level IX (200/400) - 2012/12/09 19:08:07 ET
      Table '655819396 1' 9-max Seat #6 is the button
      Seat 6: Villain (6080 in chips)
      Seat 8: Hero (7420 in chips)
      Villain: posts the ante 25
      Hero: posts the ante 25
      Villain: posts small blind 200
      Hero: posts big blind 400
      *** HOLE CARDS ***
      Dealt to Hero [Ah Ad]
      Villain: calls 200
      Hero: checks
      *** FLOP *** [8h 8c 2c]
      Hero: checks
      Villain: bets 400
      Hero: calls 400
      *** TURN *** [8h 8c 2c] [2s]
      Hero: checks
      Villain: bets 400
      Hero: calls 400
      *** RIVER *** [8h 8c 2c 2s] [5h]
      Hero: checks
      Villain: bets 800
      Hero: raises 4000 to 4800
      Villain: calls 4000
      *** SHOW DOWN ***
      Hero: shows [Ah Ad] (two pair, Aces and Eights)
      Villain: mucks hand
      Hero collected 12050 from pot
      *** SUMMARY ***
      Total pot 12050 | Rake 0
      Board [8h 8c 2c 2s 5h]
      Seat 6: Villain (button) (small blind) mucked [Jh Jd]
      Seat 8: Hero (big blind) showed [Ah Ad] and won (12050) with two pair, Aces and Eights
    • zumpar
      zumpar
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.02.2012 Posts: 1,185
      gl with your goals, and also with your "delusional dreams and fatasies" :D
    • thephoenixrising
      thephoenixrising
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2012 Posts: 28
      Originally posted by zumpar
      gl with your goals, and also with your "delusional dreams and fatasies" :D
      Thank you!
    • thephoenixrising
      thephoenixrising
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2012 Posts: 28
      So... didn't make it all that deep at the PCA Freeroll Final, think I placed 140 something, but at least it wasn't 2nd =D that would've sucked hehe. My chances at the start of the tourney ended up being 1 in 530 and I jested earlier that my chances were as good as flopping quads. Speaking of the devil, turns out that at one of the SNGs I DID flop quads and got max value lol! I did have a bit of a sweat though, because the all-in villain had a made flush to go with an open ended straight flush. Faded the 2 outs... phew, that would've been a bad beat/jackpot type hand in some casinos =p.

      PokerStars Hand #90527173867: Tournament #655877313, $1.32+$0.18 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level III (25/50) - 2012/12/09 21:47:57 ET
      Table '655877313 1' 9-max Seat #2 is the button

      *** HOLE CARDS ***
      Dealt to Hero [8s 8h]
      silverman177: calls 50
      JonnyPenera: folds
      qwff: folds
      manez1405: folds
      Hero: calls 50
      AAGamerAA: calls 25
      Neto_Peruzzo: checks
      *** FLOP *** [8c 8d 7d]
      AAGamerAA: checks
      Neto_Peruzzo: checks
      silverman177: bets 150
      Hero: calls 150
      AAGamerAA: folds
      Neto_Peruzzo: calls 150
      *** TURN *** [8c 8d 7d] [6d]
      Neto_Peruzzo: checks
      silverman177: bets 200
      Hero: calls 200
      Neto_Peruzzo: raises 1245 to 1445 and is all-in
      silverman177: folds
      Hero: calls 740 and is all-in
      Uncalled bet (505) returned to Neto_Peruzzo
      *** RIVER *** [8c 8d 7d 6d] [5h]
      *** SHOW DOWN ***
      Neto_Peruzzo: shows [2d 9d] (a flush, Nine high)
      Hero: shows [8s 8h] (four of a kind, Eights)
      Hero collected 2730 from pot