Hello grinders!

In this post I want to share with you my story about how I started playing poker for real. Only time I had contact with poker was in high school (1997) with a colleague's HP scientific calculator and I loved it! Since then I never played until August 2012. Many of you may not know, but my main job is to be a musician, composer, musical producer, sound-designer and teacher, ie everything related to music and sound. In July of 2012, on a Thursday, all of a sudden I woke up deaf in my right ear. And as you may deduce, being deaf is devastating for a musician. Obviously I sought medical help that led me to 4 types of treatments that consumed much of my savings. There were almost two months deaf and with no answers about the cause. In fact, I got cured at the fourth and final treatment, but yet today I don’t know what happened nor the doctor. In this hellish period of my life I had many problems with stress, anger and depression also caused by the failing treatments. I couldn’t even work right, everything was a stress! I couldn’t compose music, I couldn’t produce music… Working with sound-design? Not a chance! I could teach, but it was still extremely difficult and annoying. At home, things that I like to do like watching movies, playing video games, made me even more angry because the sound and music have always been important in my life and I couldn’t hear it like I should. So all this anger and stress was gradually undermining me and making me depressed. Without the help, love and unstinting support of my wife, this period could have been devastating in my life. Unable to work right and without the entertainments that I like most, I could only read books. And I read, read and read. But after three weeks, I was angry and tired of only reading to entertain myself, I could not stand it anymore! That's when I saw a PokerStars' TV commercial and I remembered the period in school when I loved to play poker. I did not think twice, I entered the site, got informations, downloaded the software and started playing for fun. Yes! I had found the right entertainment for me in those conditions! No need of sound and music and it kept my mind working. I played hours and hours of Play Money Games. One thing was right, I had rescued a passion from my teenage days and I practiced a lot!!! Later I discovered the freerolls, began to participate in tournaments and I never stopped. And I started to study poker very seriously.

Well, this is the brief story of how I got here. And as the main theme of my blog is to share and discuss some hands played by me, I'll share one that had a huge influence on me to keep going practicing and studying poker.

This hand was played in a freeroll for a LAPT satellite. Winning this big pot was crucial to drive me to the top-chip-leaders and finish the tournament placed in the top 100 prize-pool, winning the ticket.

First, watch the replay and think about what you would do. Below I explain all reasoning I had in the course of this hand.


Sorry, this hand was deleted by its owner

In this hand I was in a situation of heads-up against an opponent who I noticed that throughout the tournament was behaving like loose-aggressive. And play against this type of opponent is always very tricky because his range of hands is always very large and diverse. In this hand I'm in the cut-off with . In this position and with this hand I felt comfortable to continue, but with such opponent behind me I preferred to just limp and wait to see what he would do. He limped as well, which made me think he was not with a strong hand as he would probably be if he had raised in the button position. The flop came and showed  giving me 9 outs to a flush and 3 outs to higher pair, ie, with two cards to come and with 12 outs, my odds were 1.2 to 1 against improving my hand. All players checked before me and as I learned here at PSO, I wanted to keep my cheap flush draw and I checked too. The button bet 2BBs and everyone before me folded. With this bet I analyzed some situations. If he bets as a semi-bluff with a flush draw I was fine because I had the and because of his loose-aggresive behavior, I believed it was quite possible that he bet 2BBs with  or . Another scenario is that he could have hit two pairs or even a pair with any kicker, because as I watched him throughout the tournament and how he just made the call preflop, it was quite possible he had suited or off-suit, s and even s or o. I did not believe he had hit a trip because he just limped in pre-flop. Another situation quite possible, he would be semi-bleffing an over-card. I thought he could have , but this  would be  or lower because if this  was between  to  he would have raised pre-flop. So, in this situation I'd be at least in a split pot situation. Anyway, with 12 outs and only 2BBs to try my flush draw? I called.  came on the turn, it gave me 6 more outs to a straight, threeand three. So let's recap, I had 18 outs in total, 9 for flush, 6 for straight and 3 for pair of . But remember that with the 2 cards of on the board I subtract 3 outs of hearts (). I still have 15 outs, not to mention that I did not believe he had two hearts in his hands, because of his behavior on the flop. I didn't think he was semi-bluffing a backdoor flush of hearts. If he'd had checked on flop I would believe on this possibility. So, with a card to come, with 18 outs my odds were 1.6 to 1 against improving my hand and with 15 outs, my odds were 2.1 to 1 against improving my hand. With so many outs and good odds, I planned a check-raise because if he checks behind I win a free-card and if he bets I raise to scare him, to show strength. He made a big bet but he didn't shove all-in, this really made me understand that he hesitated, showed a little fear. If he had pushed all-in, possibly I would re-think and going back with the idea of a check-raise. With so many outs and good odds I kept going on my plan to check-raise and I shoved all-in passing to him all the pressure. In the end, the river did not hit any of my outs (), but the showdown showed me that I did a good analysis of his attitudes and range of cards and I won the pot with high with as the kicker. So, I highlighted this hand as a important moment that I had on PokerStars by the performance I had, the reading I've made of my opponent and by the courage that I had to push all-in, committing my tournament to make the right move on the turn. The call on the turn would've been the worst move that I could've made on that situation, because after I haven't hit any of my many outs, probably I would be discouraged to keep going.



The worst days of my life gave me the opportunity to bring back a passion that was resting quietly inside of me. So even after the healing of my hearing and encouraged by performances like this one, I kept and keep studying and trying to improve myself more and more. And more than that, I found out that if I focus and push myself, I can become a professional poker player, why not? Because after that two months of deafness, I felt in my own skin how my current profession is vulnerable. So, yes! I think that I can be a pro poker player and still be a pro musician. And if something bad happens to my hearing permanently, I will already have another way of life.


Well, I hope you enjoyed my story of how I got here on PokerStars.


Hugs to all and thanks for passing by and of course, leave your comments!


Fábio Peres