A personal tale

    • howard182
      howard182
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.10.2006 Posts: 416
      I'd like to talk about growth I've experienced in poker beyond my bankroll (approaching $4k fyi), something that comes up but not nearly as often as it should: emotional growth.

      Some background: I've always had a pretty nervous disposition, am risk averse and more than a bit prone to depression. I had played poker before finding pokerstrategy but only for fun, never any money on the line, and I enjoyed it.

      Some time early-mid 2006, [longlonglong sentence follows, sorry!] I heard mention of pokerstrategy and thought it sounded like a scam and that even if it wasn't a set strategy (I received a very simplified explanation of what pokerstrategy was about) would be easily beaten, but I was curious to see your poker quiz so I made a throwaway account (sorry! I never made a corresponding party account though, so you didn't lose anything) to check it out and discovered that what you preached to beginners was a solid short stack strategy (and a fixed limit strategy which I couldn't and still can only barely judge), I also saw how the affiliate setup worked (you should make this more obvious to potential members, few people will blindly trust free money) and figured that you were legit (I'm sure that's a relief :D ).

      Fast forward to - um, what does my join date say? - end of october 2006 and I'm despairing in my job searching efforts, I'm not very employable and am frankly not very keen on work either but I need money like anyone else. At this point I remember pokerstrategy.

      Yes, I was in it for the money from the very beginning. Although I enjoyed poker I was under no illusion that playing day after day and week after week would not erode my love of the game, and it has a bit, and certainly when I play now I think of it as work. I also was under no illusion that I might be some kind of star player who could quickly make a fortune, or even a living wage, out of playing. I expected to lose, and it was a hard decision for me to actually sign up because even though it's not my money, I don't like gambling and I dislike the irresponsibility of gamblers (still true!), and I would feel sorry for pissing away the money you provide. But I decided that the potential for making money from outweighed the potential for losing and feeling that I'd only fed the ugly casino business. I of course set a rule that I would never put any of my own money into poker, which I haven't, if I go broke that's the end.

      And I did lose, at FL anyway, then not at NL, which was what I had experience (as far as play money can be experience) with, and then not, and then not, and... then I did, and it was traumatic for me. I was gambling! It felt like I had no control, I questioned what I was really doing and I generally was in a poor psychological state for a while. I cashed out some money to remind myself that I've already profited from this and moved down and starting playing a big stack. There were wins and losses and break even stretches of course, from then until now, but my reaction to losing remained much the same for a long time, until some time this spring, in fact it was worse in many cases when combined with the stress of gambling seriously, I have broken down crying over a losing session once and moved to throw myself out of a window on another. I was a winning problem gambler basically, odd though that may sound, minus the addiction factor because I am still averse to gambling itself including poker, although that's largely been taken over by aversion to work.

      However, repeated expose to this has taught me that it's not the end of the world, and that re-evaluating your game and moving on works. I've grown stable, and I take the beats in my stride. Today I lost $300 in an hour in unlikely ways, and I laughed about it. I think I've really developed in a way that few experiences will help you develop and it's a benefit of playing poker that I never considered. I've learned to accept chance (the fall of the cards) and circumstance (the unknown holdings). And at last...

      I think I genuinely can call myself and will continue to be a professional gambler, and I'm somewhat glad of it even.

      Thank you for reading if you made it this far despite the strained grammatical constructions in this brain (heart?) dump. I hope that someone reading this gains some insight into what they might go through and what it takes to succeed, and whether they really want to do it.
  • 5 replies
    • Puschkin81
      Puschkin81
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.04.2006 Posts: 4,786
      Thank you, howard182!

      That's a great story. Concerning our affiliate setup and that we should make it more obvious: We know this problem and during the next few days there will (hopefully) be an improvement. But anyway: Thanks for this advice!

      It's nice to know that we helped you to develop yourself and your game. It' s also nice too see that you can become a successful poker player when you are up to learning the game intensely.

      Go on, Howard! :D

      And good luck at the tables!
      Puschkin81
    • howard182
      howard182
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.10.2006 Posts: 416
      To finish the anecdote of handling losses better, I had a break, came back to the tables and two hours later I'd recovered $250. I'd like to say $310, but I was outkickered with trip aces on one of my final hands :D . All because experience had made me able to play calmly and rationally despite my results... and because I got crazy action after flopping a concealed straight, a set of kings, and was sitting two seats to the right of a classic calling station at one table (you can't have him, he's mine!)
    • Puschkin81
      Puschkin81
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.04.2006 Posts: 4,786
      Nice one! :D

      Who was the calling station? I have to look for him! :P

      Good luck at the tables,
      Puschkin81
    • howard182
      howard182
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.10.2006 Posts: 416
      As I said, he's mine! :D

      Anyway, you probably don't play NL100, right? :P
    • Puschkin81
      Puschkin81
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.04.2006 Posts: 4,786
      Sometimes I do.

      Watch out for me! :D

      Thanks again for your "tale"!

      Puschkin81