2017 and starting again - My Journey
My name is James, I'm 25, from the UK and currently working in the mobile phone industry. Besides poker i like sports (love watching football, rugby, tennis and boxing), comedy, binge watching TV series and am currently training towards running my first and hopefully last marathon in Paris.
My dad taught me to play poker when i was 12 years old and he let me play on his account online, where i used to get crushed playing 25NL on stars. When i was 14, he let me get my own account and would give me $50 for xmas and birthdays to play with. There, I played almost exclusively $5 - $20 9 man S&Gs (on and off for low to medium volume) and also playing with friends for cash and eventually at casinos. Given I loved the game but had never got any good or put in any volume, in my final year of university I decided to try to grind cash games, eventually getting staked to play $10NL.
After uni, I got a job at a large bank and spent a year working in Birmingham. I decided i wanted to try to go semi-pro and upped my volume. At the time i was at $50NL on ipoker with 50% rakeback (still staked). Unfortunately despite the effort and coaching i was getting, i was kicked off the programme after a year with a net loss of about $2,500 so I deposited some of my own money and moved down to 20NL. Between June 2014 and Jan 2016, I put in 10K to 25K hands a month, upping the volume in the final 6 months with the goal of again trying to go semi-pro. Below is the graph of my results over the period - clearly it didn't work. After this I've not played much, only putting in 50K hands total in 2016 having given up on the dream.
My play had always been very robotic and tight-passive with very little thought put into decisions - mainly because i didn't know how to think about the game. Hand reading and ranging etc weren't a part of my game and so in all 300K hands above you will find a grand total of zero hero-calls. I've only recently realised how much more there is to the game.
Right now I've given up on the semi-pro dream but am starting to play again and I have a few goals. I'm not putting pressure on myself to win or hit targets, I just want to enjoy my time playing, start really developing my thought processes which were absent for so long and if i get some good results then great. I am also friends with a pro tourney player making 6 figures who flys around the world playing different events. He'll often invite me with him - I've had offers to play in Scotland, Ireland, Germany and Malta so I'll have some great opportunities there.
Starting with a £600 roll for online plus some cash for live play, in 2017 I'm hoping to put in roughly 20K hands a month (although I'm not going to force myself to play when I'm not feeling it). I should get the opportunity to go on a few 'holidays' with the pro player and want to feel comfortable enough with my game to play in the smaller tourneys there and the cash games. I'll be posting some hands here - most likely some clear mistakes, some hero calls our just tough decisions and maybe blogging about my experiences. I might even get the idea of going semi-pro back into my head one day! For now I'm just looking forward to the journey.
I hope you find this interesting and good luck to you all.