December 2011: two weeks before Xmas.

The penny tables had been reasonably good to me in the past few months and while I don't usually play long sessions due to two young children being loving obstacles to sustained poker play, the graph of poker winnings was a slow and steady increase.

From a $20 start the bankroll had almost tripled to around $57. This had taken a couple of years of casual on/off play, through fluctuations in motivation and patience, family commitments and all the usual dross that seems to fill life with (loving) challenges.

On this day however I hit the weirdest and rockiest run. In the course of one half hour; on a single table, I had the following:

  • AA - all-in pre-flop against KK. Opponent hit his set - one buy-in down.
  • AA - (two hands later) all-in pre-flop against KK. Opponent hit his set - two buy-ins down.
  • KK - (a round later) all-in pre-flop against AA. Opponent's hand holds up - three buy-ins down.
The first two, I swore, I ranted, wondered how the poker gods could conspire so cruelly against me. After the third, there was only silence and despair. Three buy-ins might not have been earth-shattering at a $$ level, but psychologically the bad beats and misfortune cut deeply. I don't feel there were too many mistakes made: folding KK is really hard pre-flop, particularly at micro level against a loose player and the AA were isolation and not multi-way pots.

Needless to say from the ashes of my self-flagellation and pity, an epiphany finally hit me hard. I need help; to be more specific, education. I started researching and actually found PSO for the first time, despite playing on Stars casually for a few years now.

So 2012 sees the emergence of the increased and intensive educative approach. Tests, reading, videos study and of course, hands upon hands upon hands upon hands. Looking into S&G's and MTT's (I've typically been a ring table player) as options to grow and adapt my game, my patience and endurance.

One week into January and the bankroll currently sits at a smidge under $64. Nice recovery!
Let's go, PSO!!!

FH