A little while back I blogged about finding time to play poker and the difficulties there are in being an aspiring pro. From that post I have taken the time to better understand what it is I should be focusing on to allow myself to play in the best games and tournaments for me that suit my availability. I recognized that I needed to constantly continue to get better, perfect my game, close any holes and actually take the time to perfect every skill. A while back I was influenced by a great post by Ed Miller on what makes a great poker player and when a player can know when to move up to bigger stakes. You will find a link to the article below. I quickly realized that if I wanted to actually move up in the poker world and not just be some guy who wins a couple local tournaments every month I needed to play more and allow myself to continue to get better each and every week. So I took the time to sit down and look at when I could play, where and what I would need to do to give myself the best opportunities to better my game.
Up till now I had always had the time to play a weekly live game and larger live tournament a month. I had been having issues finding the time for many major tournaments. In response to my last post another aspiring pro, Steve Kerr, posted about how he finds the time to play at http://www.stevenkerrlive.com/ . This was great advice on playing in major live tournaments and how to create your schedule around them to allow yourself the time to play. It made me understand how to give myself more time to play the big tournaments but something was still missing. I needed to play more often to be sharp, to stand out from the rest and know that I could sit down with anyone. As I had mentioned about playing online there was always something about it that didn't suit me and I never seemed to make a worth while profit. From these last couple months of reflecting I realized that it was not the fact of playing online that was the issue but rather myself and not adjusting to the type of play and knowledge needed to be successful. I researched the game, read through my histories and watched endless amounts of training videos to take what I needed to understand the game, how to be play it and adjust my game to become successful. A couple months past and I went back to the tables. Immediately I saw a change in results and felt great about the way I was playing. I cashed in 4/8 of the first tournaments I played, winning 2 of them and in the process more than doubled my bankroll. Now I'm not telling you this because I think I am some type of online master now and quite the contrary where I still make mistakes and did so in one of the tournaments I was running deep in, but was happy to have learned from it. As I mentioned earlier in my desire to become better each day, I will need to continue to get better at both the online and live games and learn something to better my game each day. What I am telling you tho is that it takes an understanding of the different type of play online and how you need to fully understand what you need to do to play your game that makes you successful. Take the time to learn, research and experiment. It has taken me 2 years of playing online to finally understand what I needed to do and continue to do. I am only now finally able to play enough games to really grow as a player. Poker like anything one inspires to do in life. It is a lifelong process where we are constantly learning and bettering ourselves. There is one quote from the article I mentioned earlier that I always hold with me,
"The best players, the ones who stick around for life, are humble. They are skilled, but every day they just want more skill, more knowledge. It doesn't matter whether they win today or they lose, as they will play again tomorrow, and the next day, and every day after that. If they do not win this week, they will win next week. If they do not win this month, they will win next month. If they do not win this year, this decade, they will win next year, next decade. They will learn and acquire skill every day until they are unbeatable - and then they'll get beat."
I hope to continue to master my game and feel that I have finally given myself the time to do so. Be sure to follow my progress as I play this year and hopefully I have given you something to reflect upon to better your game as well.
Referenced Article: http://bit.ly/l9EXxt