It's been quite some time since I made a blog post. This is quite a long one, but hopefully you'll get something out of it. The last one I made was in march 2012 and in that post, I was wondering why I spent any time on poker at all. We all go through this phase, no matter what area of life it concerns, whether it's poker, school, or death metal drumming. I remember the emptiness I felt when I made that post, not only because I was playing poker for pocket change, but also because I was struggling in other areas of life. If you're in this situation, forget about poker for a while. It will consume you before you realize it. Sort out your life before you spend all your remaining energy on playing 2nl. Get social, have a good economy, exercise and value the small things in life.



Enough of that. This post is focused on the poker itself! I started out like many of you by playing freerolls. After a very long time I had a $20 bankroll, that I was VERY proud of. Keep in mind that this was at a time when I had no money, no social life, and I was anxious and nervous 24/7. I had never had a job, and I was studying at law school. If I had met myself a few years back, I'd think "this guy is autistic". I played a few 25c 45-man sit-n-go's and eventually I'd move on to cash games. When I sat down at my first 2nl table, I was sweating. A lot. I won a few cents and five minutes later I closed the table. Very thrilled that I played poker for real money, but I was also exhausted. I improved a little bit, but not much. I was pretty much playing and hoping for the best. I also suffered from fancy play syndrome after watching too much, and I'm sure a lot of new players would. After 650k hands at 2nl, I was break even. In short; I sucked at poker. Then I got a ticket to a WCOOP event, which I mincashed in for $400. I moved up to 10nl but again, I was break even. For a long time. I eventually moved up to 25nl, as a slight winner.


Those of you who listened to the PSO podcast where I was featured probably noticed how nervous I sounded. That's because I was nervous. Really, really nervous. I wasn't good at poker, and I had no confidence in myself regarding... well... anything. Eventually I got fed up. I had to sort out my life. I got into bodybuilding and fitness, I got very social, I put more energy into my drumming career, I did a lot of networking and played more live and studio gigs. To do this was extremely difficult. I had to be super honest with myself to finally see where my flaws are and how to fix them. I started feeling better, poker for pocket change no longer controlled my life. I went from a complete loser to a bit of a big shot. Eventually I decided to give poker another shot. Compared to what I had gone through, this was relatively easy. I sat down and said "I'm going to be completely honest with myself. I'm not gonna blame runbad, I'm not gonna rationalize mistakes and bad plays by post-altering my motives and thought process, I'm gonna stop putting emphasis on short term results."


This was after a long break, going through that massive transformation. I could now look at poker from a new perspective and not having to defend myself from myself with rationalizations and whatnot. I started analyzing my biggest leaks and how to plug them, I read up on concepts and analyzed hands day in and day out. I even looked at hands where I was winning, I started listening to what better players were doing, and why. In a few months, I've moved from being a break even 25nl player, to a consistent winning player. At 100nl. Hopefully soon at 200nl. I only work about 7 days a month and play poker the rest of the days, and I'm absolutely loving it!


What's my point with this post? If the title didn't give it away already; There's hope for everyone. But life is no fairy tale where things come for free and sort themselves out in the end. Life is ruthless, and you have to be ruthless too. You have to take a step back and see what's working, and more importantly, what isn't. Let go of your ignorance and stop defending yourself. If you're stuck at 2nl or 5nl over a large sample, something is wrong here. Find out where you're leaking money, where you're missing value, where you're stacking off too light, where you're folding too much. Do you play too many marginal hands? Too many hands out of position? Are you not aggressive enough in the blinds? Are you too aggressive in the blinds? Are your lines (preflop and postflop) optimal? Honestly, are you "just" running bad.... over half a million hands?


I hope this post helped you in any way. If it did, please let me know. When I made my very first blog post, I decided to call it "from rags to riches". Back then, I was literally wearing rags and living off my family's money. Now I'm rich. But not in the way you'd think. Money is irrelevant. I'm rich in other ways. Ways that have no monetary value. Going from rags to riches is possible for anyone willing to be smart about the effort they put in. My next challenge is getting better at tournaments, a challenge I will take on eventually. The journey never ends, and never be satisfied with where you are. When you get too comfortable you will start going down very, very quickly.


From rags to riches - But the journey never ends!