Friday, June 22, 2007

And God said, Let there be poker, and there was poker.

I sat down at a Blackjack table and was dealt three cards. That was in 2004 at a Lake Tahoe casino, and I was drunk. It turned out to be “Let ‘Em Ride Poker” and I decided to continue playing.

After that holiday I played it at online casinos for several months, until one day in October I came across the poker link on Betfair’s main site. I figured that as I already knew the hand rankings and had some idea of the likelihood of each hand occurring that it couldn’t be too hard! I read the instructions and sat down at a $1/2 NL short-handed table, which probably wasn’t the ideal place to start.

October 17th, 2004: -$251

I found the limit tables the next day and decided that they would be a safer place to learn on:

October 18th, 2004: -$11
October 19th, 2004: -$102
October 20th, 2004: -$143

So after four days, I was over $500 down but I remember being very confident that I was going to make money at poker. In fact, I told two of my mates that night at the gym precisely that, although they didn’t believe me.

However during the next week I didn’t have a single losing day, making a total of $881. I ended the month with a small profit:

October, 2004: +$287

I bought a load of poker books, and continued playing nothing but 4 tables of $1/2 limit for the next few months with encouraging results:

November, 2004: +$560
December, 2004: +$2,057
January, 2005: +$579
February, 2005: +$928

I certainly wasn’t a great poker player, but purely by being selective of starting hands seemed to be enough of an edge over the other players in order to guarantee a profit each month.

I was a regular reader of the Betfair poker forum during this time, but had no experience of tournament poker. From what I read, it seemed the majority of players concentrated mainly on STTs/MTTs so I decided to give them a try. I entered my first full-handed £5 STT and was lucky enough to win that. I then tried a £10 one and came first in that too.

I continued with full-handed low-stake (mainly $11) STTs for the next few months and at some point I moved most of my play over to Party Poker.

March, 2005: +$2,049
April, 2005: +$1,142
May, 2005: +$1,806
June, 2005: +$496
July, 2005: +$654

Thanks to the general low standard of play at these stakes, it’s not too hard to grind out a regular, albeit small, profit just by applying a pretty simple robotic style of play.

For the next three months I moved up to $22/$33 STTs, now playing 6 at a time:

August, 2005: +$3,486
September, 2005: +$2,878
October, 2005: +$2,289

So, one year on with almost $20k profit I was certainly hooked on poker. In fact at this point I would go so far as to say I was addicted. This may be an advantage when it comes to making money, but if you’re not careful then it can have a detrimental effect on other aspects of your life. Discipline, and not just at the table, is probably the most important trait that a successful poker player needs. I’ll add more to this topic in a later post.

Anyway, it was at this point that a good bit of fortune led me to the NL cash tables. [To be continued...]


Redcar said...

Good Start Mike, best of luck with the blog as well as the poker.
Have linked to my Blog, maybe you'll return thr favour

Andy Cairns said...

I have also linked you on my blog aswell mike, so if you would be so kind...

this post was really interesting (as opposed to the vast majoity of blog posts around), looking forward to the next installment.


Andy Cairns said...

oh and "my mate" wants to know when the vid is going up? ;)