I've been flirting with the idea of writing a poker blog for about half a year or so. (For the record, this didn't end up becoming a poker blog, despite the title. Please, I assure you, if you're an able-minded human being looking for another perspective on life, read on.) I struggled with a lot of barriers to get around to finally writing this thing. I always worried I would never have a place to start, or inspiration, or important enough events to write about. I worried about my audience (or, more accurately, a lack thereof) and whether it'd be worth my time to lay my weary, semi-delusional thoughts on (virtual) paper. I worried my English and writing skills weren't up to par to be a prolific, or even horrific blog writer. Being me, I'm extremely self-critical while maintaining an extremely confident persona. Go figure. This probably explains the reason I spend countless hours playing guitar and singing and (currently) have zero videos on YouTube to speak of. I came around tonight on the idea, realizing all of the above, that I had the wrong motive to write all along.
This blog isn't made for you. It's not for anyone. It's made by me, for me. I'd apologize, but I'm not one for being all sappy and shit. Let me explain.
What I've accomplished this year in the poker world, I feel deserves some self-reflection. (Both my highs and lows) This isn't because of a fair amount of good cashes, good/bad beats, and stupid decisions, but because of the levels I have learned to think on thanks to poker. The separation between poker thinking and life thinking, while in some aspects needs to be a thick, black line, cross over for me all of the time. (If you know me, I explain everything in life to be one of two things: +EV and -EV *expected value*) I take every decision, analyse and over-analyse it and ask myself, "How can I relate this decision, wrong or right, to bettering my own life?" This is, in my humble opinion, what I hope to bring into this blog. Ideas and lessons I've learned on and off of the poker table. Ideas that both directly and indirectly relate to my life. On my way home tonight, my best friend and I got into a great, insightful discussion about poker/life. He made an excellent point in relating the two: Poker is a lot like life. If you make the right decisions, you will always see success in the long-term. I'll be the first to admit my narrow-minded, ADHD-riddled, see success soon mentality has put me into some situations a man of patience would not have gotten himself in. I've made tons and tons and tons and tons and tons of sub-optimal decisions in life (and poker). However, if you know anything about me, it's that I'm not one to repeat mistakes. In the past, not unlike most of you, I've done some terrible things. Some of mine are on an embarrassing, unspeakable, unimaginable level. Something that I haven't believed for some time suddenly makes sense. I am, in fact, human after all. (#slightlydepressing)
I remember sitting in my first Grade nine high school class. I was that 'know-it-all' in public school, taking the so-called right track into academic level Physics. The teacher (who, even after two years of university, is the best teacher I have ever had) made one point extremely clear: To succeed in Physics, you have to think laterally. Inside-the-box, conventional thinking will never cut it. After one extensive after-class discussion with him, I vowed to make that my life goal. In order to succeed, (true success, I'll explain in a second) making a cookie-cutter, pre-meditated life for myself was out of the question. The "Go-to-school, get a job, find a girlfriend, get married, start a family, live in a large house, get promoted, get my kids through school, retire rich" system wasn't for me. (Currently in my second year of the first phase, whatchu know about hypocricy?) This is perfectly fine for the 99% of people out in the world, looking to meander their way through life. I've come to realize I could never do this to myself.
I want it all, and yet none of it at the same time. I pity the man who is a slave to his work clothes (says the poor poker-playing student, making money playing in his pyjamas.) I recently worked at Tim Horton's, and lasted about six months before realizing I couldn't stand the monotony of doing the same, repetitive task over and over. (says the poor poker-playing student, who clicks buttons for a living) I need variety. I need more for my ADHD-possessed brain to feast upon. I pity the man who is accountable to his family for his location and wrong-doings. (says the poor poker-playing student, who has been as anti-social as an old VHS tape) None of this is saying that's not an appropriate life to live, I just need more. I need variety. I need freedom.
Despite all of that ramble, I do want a decent balance of that 'made' life (or royal flush hand) and a risky, on the edge life. (AK-suited drawing hand) One in where I'm comfortable living at the place I am at, with a dash of potential to make it better. (In poker terms, I want AKc on a Kd8c4c flop) Someday,
In light of a recent downswing, mixed with a sudden resurgence of a "long road to success" mentality, and because I like formality and starting everything anew at once, I've decided I'm going to start all over. In life thinking, in making life goals, and in my poker career. I'm tethering myself to $5NL cash game. (2NL is unplayable. I can't explain from a disciplined point-of-view why I refuse to sink that low, but I have standards) I'm learning ideas and baking new conventional thinking from scratch. I have withdrawn all my Pokerstars bankroll, less $10. When I said 'starting from scratch' I literally meant it. I grind the shit out of these limits, and do so until my new Pokerstars bankroll can handle an increase. (or, the unlikely scenario, I bust!) For the sake of bragging rights, and so you guys can grow with me, I'm going to post my charts on a nightly basis. It's going to be a WILD ride, and at first it won't seem worth it, but I promise you it will be.
In conclusion, I will make it my goal to end this blog with a successful hand. (either in terms of winning or learning). If you don't understand poker, then I suppose you could use your Googling skills to figure it out. Enjoy, and if you read this entire blog, kudos to you. Thank you so much. I both appreciate it, and any future thoughts and feedback you may have on it! Cheers!
PokerStars - $0.05 NL - Holdem - 8 players
Hero (SB): $5.00
CO: $7.94 (Calling station, limp-calls preflop, floats c-bet)
Hero posts SB $0.02, BB posts BB $0.05
Pre Flop: (pot: $0.07) Hero has Kh Js
fold, fold, fold, fold, CO calls $0.05, fold, Hero raises to $0.20, fold, CO calls $0.15
Flop: ($0.45, 2 players) 4h Qd 8h
Hero bets $0.29, CO calls $0.29
Turn: ($1.03, 2 players) Ad
Hero bets $0.87, CO calls $0.87
River: ($2.77, 2 players) Qc
Hero bets $3.64 and is all-in, fold
Hero wins $2.66
- Net profit: $22.05
- Hands: 464
- Sessions Won: 8/10 (80%)
- $/100 Hands: $4.75
- I threw a lot of time and effort into this blog, so I only 2-tabled for most of my session.