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Poker blog #1 - the first of many

    • ddaims
      ddaims
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.01.2015 Posts: 10
      Hey everyone,

      So to start my weekly blog: If u do not know who i am, i'd like to reffer you to my post on the introduce yourself section. I have made a quick introduction to myself with the basic knowledge about me.

      So Hey!

      My name is Sebastiaan, a semi-proffesional poker player in my early 20's.

      I play poker for about 4-5 years now, and knew i loved the game from the first hand i played. There is something about poker that grabbed a hold on me. I couldn't tell you wether it's the degenerate part in me, The fact that we can actually be better then our opponents, or all the strategy that makes us ok-good or great players. One thing i know for sure is, i am competitive as hell. All our money comes from the worse players, but i love me a good old reg v reg battle.

      Through the years i came to the conclussion that i like the money, but winning a title gives me much more satisfaction then 1K$ does. And yes 1K$ is still a lot of money to me.

      To make some things clear, I am a low stakes grinder at the moment. Now some, if not all of you, may say: U call yourself a proffesional at lowstakes? and franckly enough i understand these thoughts. If u think about proffesional players, u think about guys like ivey, matteos, isildur. All guys that play the high stakes nosebleed games.

      To give you my opinion on it: I think the word proffesional is often enough a missunderstood word. Being a proffesional means that you to something for a living. Do i already make enough to live off it? i would say no. but don't get me wrong, That's why i work a parttime job next to it.

      I think becoming a proffesional is a long journey, and just as we do when we are babies, we have to start at the beginning. And i am obviously fine with that, i have made my peace with that. I'm honest enough to tell you that, if u put me in a mid-high stakes game, i am deffinetly a losing player. I have made cashes in 215's, but deffinetly don't have what it takes to take it down, yet.

      I do think that, that is one of my stronger points as a player and person. I know what i'm capable of, and know what to do to get there.

      So, after my first 2 years of playing recreational, i decided i wanted to put more effort into becoming a better player. I started with watching learning material online (as most of us do) and then had a big breakthrough.

      I stumbled upon a learning video on youtube by accident, and in the description there was an email adress with the following statement: i want to help new players get better, u can contact me at ..@...com.

      The video was 2 years old, so i didn't think writing an email to that adress would still work. However, with it being a very longshot, i still decided to give it a go, since we have nothing to lose.

      And you know what, within a week or 2 i got a reply. The message was to add his skype, and so i did.

      After we met on skype, and got to know each other a bit better. We decided to start working on my game. Back then, i did not have programs like PT4 or flopzilla etc. So what we did was: i recorded myself playing a session (2tabling back then, hilarious if i think about it now) I send the video to him, and he recorded himself reviewing it. The luck i had was that he was a wiz mastermind, the look he had on the game was something i never experienced before. Hell, I had never talked to someone that actually knows sh*t about poker :f_tongue:

      So we started to do that, and i want to state that i had never actually won an mtt online, or for that matter, never final tabled a tournament. except for the 180 man sngs.

      And what do you know, within the 2nd month of working with him, i final tabled my first tournament. I can recall this like it was yesterday, a 0.82$ turbo mtt. I think all of us do remember their first final table, or first win.

      So with all the new information that i had i was ready to start this final table, and managed to outright ship it. Man i don't remember the last time i was so happy i achieved something. What i also remember is that the next day, i started to question myself wether it was all luck. I mean after all, we are still playing a gambling game.

      After that month it became clear to me that this wasn't all luck, because that next month after my first ship, and won the same tournament again. Bang, we got this on lock.

      After working some more time with him, my game was getting better and better, and was able to better explain what i was doing, my though processing, and actually being able to read the story that villain is telling me. I was beginning to play better and better, and got a much better understanding of the game, as well as getting better results consistently.

      I remember being so gratefull that somebody who didnt know me, was willing to put the time into me to become a better player. Obviously it was also because he realised that i was for real, and really wanted to put the work in that's needed to become a winning player. Because playing a poker game is easy, but playing REAL POKER isn't easy at all.

      I mean everyone can call with top pair top kicker on a board were it's obvious u got it. But not everyone can make that big call, or big bluff in a spot were it doesn't seem likely it's going to work. It will (in certain spots) but most people won't realise that, because they simply don't understand range's enough to make it work effectively.

      No with that all being said, If i look at my game today. I can not say that i am a great player that knows it all. I am far from that as a matter of fact. I am no where near where i want to be, and still have loads and loads of hours i need to put into my game, and me as a player, to achieve where i want to be. I think knowing that is giving me a realistic view on life as a poker player and life in general.

      So back to the point where i was playing recreational, and have started working with now a good friend mine, but back then my coach. I started to get better and better, and realised i wanted to pursue being a poker player for a living. But that was said easier then done, obviously.

      I was already living on my own back then, so it wasn't that easy to make the decision to do so. I have bills to pay, and can not assume that i'm going to be rich in 1 month LOL. So to actually make the decision i took a good look at my life, and asked myself wether im happy with how it was back then. And to be honest with you, I wasn't. I had good jobs that paid decent money, that's not something you want to throw away for becoming a Poker player (gambler). But i did know that i didn't want to work a 9/5 for a boss the rest of my life. just a big NO. but yeah, I mean who does, and with that being said, i always wanted to start my own business, or being my own boss). so even though i did very much realise that we're picking a job, that does not pay you for your hours worked, it might not pay you for several months, years. I still decided to go for it.

      I think, and please correct me if you think i'm wrong, this is something that a lot of people just can't handle. The amount of stress you can be under is insane. That feeling you have when you are playing great poker (or bad), day after day, losing x amount of money, is just terrible. I mean, it's something i think i can handle very well, but i 'm not going to lie to you and say that it ofcourse affects me mentally too. Losing money isn't a nice feeling, losing money when you are playing great is even worse.

      But it's that moment, when u ship that big one after all that work you put in, that makes being a tournament player the greatest feeling i ever had.

      But let's be real, like i said, This is something that is not meant for everyone. My friends quite often ask me how i'm able to handle the swings of losing money. And this is what i tell them, when i made the decision to go (semi)pro. I accepted the fact, that it could be this way. It is all up to me, if i don't work hard enough to get better. It will be months of losing money. But if i give it all that i've got, i can be better then my opponents and win. It is honestly as simple as that. Even you can be a great poker player that makes money and wins tournaments. Really you can, But it's all up to you, wether you are strong enough to put in the sh*tload of time and work that is needed in order to become a succesfull player.

      So after 3 years of playing recreational, i lost my job due to my employer going bankrupt -.- Welcome to the future where economy's are great, and work is guaranteed. NOT.

      At this point i had worked for a decent amount of years, and build up a few months of wages to collect. Yes, in The netherlands that is possible fortunatly enough.

      So during that time, i decided i wanted to give it a shot, play fulltime for 3 months to see if i like being a fulltime player, and wether i didn't lose the love for the game. I sure didn't, but it sure wasn't paying enough to make a living. As costs of living are quite high here.

      So yeah, being a proffesional probably wasn't for me, at least, not in europe. (where my thoughts at that time)

      I still wanted to make this work very badly, so i started to talk with my friend/coach about the different options there are, and to be honest. There aren't that many. You either go pro, or stay at your fulltime job and play recreational. At least, that is what my thoughts were at that time.

      Then he suggested the option of trying to join a backing site, which seemed unrealistic to me because i simply didn't meet the requirements that most backing stables ask. So i applied to a few stables, got rejected a few times, and decided to give it one more shot. and what do you know, i got offered a contract. At this point i was about a breakeven player, but was up in lifetime profit.

      This is were it all started, my journey to becomming a proffesional. Tbh with you, i didn't really know what to expect, as this whole concept was very new to me. And i didn't really feel like i was truly good enough to be able to compete with many great (upcomming) players.

      So This is were i will end the first blog i made on pokerstrategy. I am fairly new to writing blogs, So i hope it was interesting enough to get you back to read my blog next week.

      I realise that the storyline i wrote now might not be chronilogicly perfect. But aye, I need to get better at writing blogs too. Maybe you guys can give me some tips on how to to it better, or how to make it more interesting. Or if you would like to know more about me as a person, or as a player, feel free to ask me ;)

      Next week I will write about how friends and family think about me pursueing poker as a proffesion, and how this affects me. Because deffinetly not everyone had good opinion on it, also i will write about my first experiences after joining a stable, and all that it brings with it. Believe me, Being a proffesional means much more then just playing poker ;)

      So good luck to all you grinders at the tables, Let's ship something, and tell me about it next week!

      Im out, Peace!
  • 13 replies
    • nutural
      nutural
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.09.2011 Posts: 106
      wow! very powerful opening.
      Most probably long for many, but really in depth and open which is something not often found.

      subscribed and looking forward for the next chapters of this series :f_drink:
    • ddaims
      ddaims
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.01.2015 Posts: 10
      Hey there Nutural,

      Thank you for the honesty. I realise it might have been a long story. So this is something i will take into this weeks blog!

      I try to be as open as possible to give everyone 'the real deal', not some story that only tells the bright side about this.

      Thanks again ;)
    • Tim128
      Tim128
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.01.2017 Posts: 324
      Interesting read :) will follow.

      Just out of curiosity what kind of mtts do you usually play now?
    • ddaims
      ddaims
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.01.2015 Posts: 10
      Hey there Tim, Thanks for the interest in my blog!

      Do you mean what kind in terms of speed (hyper,turbo etc) or what kind of formats?

      In general: i prefer deepstack mtt's, and playing a lot of PKO's. Since a high % of the field is just not playing them correct, so there is a lot of money in those tournaments.

      Lately i've been trying to go for the smaller field tournaments, they should give me/you a better ROI since it's easier to go deep in those. First place might not be jawbreaking, but a lot of those scores will add up in time.

      I only play NLHE games. Regarding stakes, im playing mostly low/lowmid stakes mtt's. But will be up for promotion to higher stakes pretty soon. This month should be achievable. Let me know if i answered your question :)
    • ddaims
      ddaims
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.01.2015 Posts: 10
      Hey there everyone!

      This week im back for blog #2! So what i've got from the feedback i got, is that the blog from last week was very long.

      I realise that not everyone is looking to read a 3 page story every week, kinda makes sense.

      I hope that last weeks blog gave most of you some insight on who i am, what i do and stand for.

      So as promised, this week's blog is about what my friends and family think of me pursueing poker as a proffesion and my first experiences joining a stable.

      So this is kind a thing. To be very honest, in the beginning, i didn't know where to start when i wanted to tell my dad about this. I left the eldery house at quiete a young age, So it is not that i have to clarify myself doing anything.
      But still the fear of (in his eyes) letting him down, was there. I mean c'mon, we all want to make our parents happy right, wether you have a good relation with them or not.

      The good thing witn telling my dad was that he in fact is quiete a player himself. Nowhere near a level were he can compete with me, But still he managed to get 2nd in a live tournament. Not bad for a fish ;)

      So explaining my dad why i made this decision, and that i belief in myself being able to achieve this, wasn't that difficult after all. He also believed that i can do this. He was more dissapointed that i didnt want to pursue something that i went to school for.

      I mean i tried, like i said before, i had good jobs. But doing that for 15 years, only to realise that i'm not happy doing that seemed like a -EV decision for me.

      But when the consistent results started to come, the feelings that he had started to fade away. I guess that in this line of work, you need the results too show the world that you are actually doing good.

      and regarding my frieds, some of them understand that this is my work now, and they are very happy for me that i get to do something i love everyday. But i feel like some of them are thinking im just a degenerate gambler, which kinda dissapoints me.

      I mean i'm not doing it for them, so f*ck that anyways. But i'd liked for them to be able to understand what it is that i'm doing. And who knows, maybe it's a little jalousy in them them, i hope not at least.

      But till today, i feel very uncomfortable telling other people (at the parttime job etc.) to tell them what it is i do, when they ask me why i only work parttime. I'm now telling most people that i work for myself, Which is basically true i guess.

      But really, i don't know wether this is a common feeling for poker players at my stage of their carreer, but i really feel shy to talk about it.

      Let me know how you feel about this, or how you felt about this?

      So with the feedback i got, i decided to make blog #3 about my first experiences at a stable.


      As always, please let me know what you think, and if there are things you'd like to see or hear!

      Thanks for joining me blog #2 of the series, and untill next week!

      Peace out!
    • Tim128
      Tim128
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.01.2017 Posts: 324
      Yeah that was Exactly what I was asking! I like small field deepstack MTT's the most, haven't ever studied the PKO format, so don't play those a lot but it's good to hear that people play them wrong!
    • ddaims
      ddaims
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.01.2015 Posts: 10
      Alright Tim, glad to hear that! Yes, PKO are imo a very misunderstood format. There is way more incentive to hunt a bounty with a (not weak) but weaker hands then you would call an all in with in normal freezeouts. In some cases u will just need to call any2 for a bounty. Sounds crazy, but in the end it's making you $.
    • nutural
      nutural
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.09.2011 Posts: 106
      thanks for the new update, really interesting again. and thanks for taking the feedback as it was... just feedback :)

      PKO's seem to be a new way for people to pay ICM tax, that they have not fully understand. So whoever is better on the awareness ladder on this, will benefit until it becomes standard way of thinking. They seem really interesting but I'm too much of a :f_ugly: :f_ugly: :f_ugly: to go there for now.
    • Tim128
      Tim128
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.01.2017 Posts: 324
      I'm looking forward to #3 as I haven't heard many stable experiences yet!
    • ddaims
      ddaims
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.01.2015 Posts: 10
      Haha yes Nutural, i am not offended at all. I am new to Blogging, and i need the feedback of you and others to realise what it is that makes a blog good or bad. So thank you for that! ;)

      And thanks Tim, nice to hear that you like it. This gives me all the more reason to put up a good one next week! :f_drink:
    • villijmeen99
      villijmeen99
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.11.2016 Posts: 112
      Nice blog! Will follow your results.

      Gl at the tables :)
    • ddaims
      ddaims
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.01.2015 Posts: 10
      Hey there villijmeen99, I'm glad to hear that you are part of the fam now!

      I hope that the next blog will meet all of your expectations!
    • ddaims
      ddaims
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.01.2015 Posts: 10
      Hey everyone, this week i am back for blog #3!

      I hope everyone had a good week grinding at the tables (god knows i did) and hope your minds are ready for some braintainment!

      So this week i promised to write about my first experiences after joining my first stable!

      Joining a stable was all new to me, and for what i've seen on video's from doug polk and some other youtubers, is that a stable works with make-up. Meaning that losses will roll over to the next month. Which basically says that if u are in debt (in make-up), you can not witdraw any money untill you are in profit again. Sounds scary right, I thought it was.

      you have to be damn sure of yourself to be able to join such things and let it become a succes story. At least, that was what my view on this matter was. And sure enough, my first 2 months were a disaster, a straight up disaster. I remember playing a 4$ avg BI while being 2K down. Not funny. However this really put the thought in my mind that i might not be good enough to be a proffesional. This is really the part where all the mindset stuff comes in. If you play a losing session after losing session, it starts to fck with your mind.

      With that being said, i know i didn't get a contract offer if i simply wasn't good enough. So i started to work harder, and harder on my game. The great thing about a stable in comparrising with other training programs (such as RYE, UPswinglab etc) is that you as a player will have much more personalised assistence. When thing don't work out, but you are still putting in a shitton of work, The coaches will be there to give you that extra push you need.

      So that is what happened, one of our coaches decided to put in a few 1 on 1 session with me. And that did the trick. I went from playing 4-5evbb/100 to a crushing 14evbb/100. Now for some of you that might not be familiar with evbb/100. This means the bb's that you are winning based on EV. So not the actual bb won. And fyi, 14evbb is straight up crushing.

      With all the extra help i got, the final table naturally started to come in, that was a great feeling. It felt like a confirmation that i do have what it takes. And it was a great mental succes for me, as i really needed it to get my confidence back.

      Now after making a few promotions, i play a higher avg BI and continue to rise through the ranks. as a matter of fact, i hope to make you guys happy with a stunning EV graph at the end of the month.

      So to summarize:
      the pro's of joining a stable (imo):
      - never busting your bankroll ever again!
      - dedicated group/1n1 coaching
      - dedicated forum where hand are discussed with many input from team members
      - Meet like minded people (you are all there to reach the top, why not help each other out)
      - Learn how to proparly crush the stakes that you play.
      - All the strategy has been worked out for you, you just need to master it! (yes, i am not lying)

      Cons of joining a stable (and in my opinion, i actually don't think that there are much cons to it, but i will still give you a list of what i think is less nice then playing on your own).
      - Make-up (if you don't end up in the black number, payouts won't be comming soon) but won't differ much from playing on your own roll.
      - profit split deals (u won't recieve a 100% of your score) But like i said, i don't really see this as a con. I think all the coaching and training material that you get, equals or is worth more then those few hundred bucks. Remember it is an investment in yourself as a poker player, so that we won't have to play backed in the future!

      Just to be very honest with you, I started as a big fat loser when i joined the stable. But have grown into a consistent winning player within a few months. You just got to get of your ass and put in that work! :f_thumbsup:

      (my week's results): 2nd place chopped €10 6max 79entrants for €131 (more then first:f_drink: ) // 3rd place €2R storm for a small €500 // and some other small scores, which you can find on my pocketfives account: https://www.pocketfives.com/profiles/ddaims/