An aspiring poker pro writing about his journey to the top.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pushing Through

Every player in any game who has ever played will tell you about the ups and downs that one goes through, it is just a part of the game. Everyone experiences them and it is how you react, learn and move forward that can both define the type of player you really are and how successful you will become.

For me I have been playing seriously for almost 6 years now. In that time I have experienced my share of ups and downs. I remember my first taste of the downside to poker when I first played online. I had built up a bankroll from $50 into over $1000. Cocky I felt I could move into bigger stakes and play with anyone. In a matter of a week I watched my profits dwindle down to nothing, deposit more money just to see it disappear and as you can imagine I was rather unhinged from it all. I started to play differently, take uncalculated risks and play a lot more hands. I was losing ever flip, all draws against me would hit, was getting it in with the worst and thought I was simply outmatched. I took a break from the game to reflect on what had happened and got back to playing after a month or so. I got back to playing my game and my profits reflected it. Looking back I recognized that I needed to always remember this experience and learn everything I could from it.

I have gone through many similar bad streaks in my poker career which I took as just more valuable experience. My losses were always less then the last streak and I came back to the tables faster every time. I have never again let it get to me or affect how I play. Every time the cards run bad and I feel that the world is against me I am not down but excited to learn from it to get better.

Recently I have gone through a similar steak that had lasted about 3 weeks. It all came to a head in a cash game where I was up over $400 and gotten into a pot with the other chip leader. I had his number and this was the hand that I had been waiting for. After a couple of steals I had AQ suited and again raised it up, got two callers and the other chip leader. The flop came 4 J Q with 2 hearts. I bet out half the pot, it folded around to the other chip leader and he pushed into a pot of about $75, a large over bet. I knew I had him and I did. But as any poker player knows having someone dominated does not guarantee a sure thing. It went runner runner hearts for him to catch a flush and all my profits and then some were lost. This experience only showed me that I was indeed a better player than him and knew I would get that money back and more when we meet again and was back at the tables the next weekend winning back what I had lost over those weeks.

In the end it is what you take from the days that you lose and become better. I see players every game who are experiencing a bad streak, feel the cards never go well for them and look hopeless. I understand how it feels, how hard it can get but never let it change you. It is the days I am most profitable when it is these players who change their game, take too many chances and lose focus that I see across the table. For me I no longer get upset about the bad beats and the bad days but always refine my game to see what exactly I could have done and will never do again. Do not look at how much you win and lose but realize that in the end the better players always will be successful.

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