I have been spending a lot of time thinking about this post and what I am truly trying to achieve by typing it. So without further ado I hope you can find this somewhat interesting, as I feel I may relate to a lot more people than I think...
I began playing poker in 2003, after the Chris Moneymaker boom..go figure. It also didn't help that being from a Lebanese background, seeing Moneymaker beat out Sammy Farha really got me enthusiastic about this whole poker "craze." Like most of my friends, I was highly involved in our high-school home games. Reading the books, Harrington on Hold'em, Super System, and Small Stakes Hold'em really got me consistently beating the "regs" aka my friends. I got in to online poker when I managed to turn 1000 chips on PokerStars in to 1,000,000 and then selling them to a website for a whole $12.50 cash. I then in turn turned that $12.50 in to over $300. I thought this was it, I had found my calling. I was ready to move to Vegas after my senior year of high school and make a solid run at Teddy KGB. Through these two years I also witnessed a good friend of mines absolutely crush the online game. He netted well over $200,000 in a year and began being staked by "highrollers" in Vegas where he was virtually playing online for free taking away 60% of the profits. Talk about serious motivation and drive, I always thought if he could do it, then I definitely could. I began going to a local casino at the age of 17 using a fake ID and $80 in my pocket to buy in twice to the regular $1-$2 game. None the less, I would not say I was beating the game but I think a fair assessment would be that I was more up then I was down. The highlight of this period was when I took first place at this casino in my first ever Limit Hold'em experience. Talk about being scared **** less when they asked me for my ID before giving me the prize money due to security reasons. Fast forward a couple years to my freshman year of college. At this point, poker was a somewhat steady income. What kind of income do you ask? Lets say about $75-$100 a week, which is more then any high-school/college student could really ask for. My game of choice was the low limit Pot Limit Omaha 8 sng's which I seemed to consistently destroy. At one point my sharkscope stats were showing me at a 31% ROI in PLO8. My downfall, bankroll management and diving in to the cash games. I am talking about playing $3/$6 no-limit hold'em with a $300 roll. I know this might not sound like I was a great and awesome player, but given the context of the situation, these stakes were HUGE at the time. Granted, my online roll never really made it past $1000 due to the fact that I was constantly withdrawing the money to cover my current expenses (beer, food, speeding tickets, and more beer). So back to the freshman year of college.... my friend who lived across the dorm hall from me was a boarding school kid who wasn't the most social of the bunch. We had one thing in common though, we loved playing poker online and getting stoned while playing. This friend of mine was good. Real good. He used to regularly crush the $22 180-man. He would tell me that his old roommate at his boarding school was the son of a well known poker player who we have seen on TV and that he taught him a lot of good strategies and fundamentals. After consuming my freshman year playing non-stop, rarely going to class, I ended up losing a lot of money (again given the context of the time) and failed out. After coming home to a highly disappointed family, I made a decision to enroll in a local university and quit poker. For the three years after, I spent most my time partying, traveling around the US, and being a regular college student. That was then. After being a victim of a fresh graduate in a slumping recession, I went on vacation to Dubai where I have some relatives. I ended up taking an opportunity working for the major airline based here (due to some connections they had) and this is where I currently am. I began working here 2 years and 4 months ago. I started making some friends and was one day invited to a poker game (about 6 months back). Needless to say, the itch was back. To say I crushed the game is an understatement. Whether it was the horrendous quality of the players or maybe I was just that good
. I can confidently say that the weekly game we are now playing, I absolutely demolish it every time for a cool $150-$200. I think in the past 6 months of weekly play, I have maybe lost a total of three times (for a loss of maybe $300). With every itch, there now comes a scratch. The re-discovery of Poker Stars really hit me. I had heard about Black Friday, but I did not realize how much tougher it made the game. Unless maybe the game has evolved so much more in the past five years that I perceive it to be much more difficult. PLO8 sng's seem like a rare delicacy these days, if I am even lucky to find one registering. The site just doesn't have the same feel as it use to. The play is much more tight, 3 and 4 bets are way more common, and the general ability of the players seems a lot more up to par of how the old school "regs" use to make their way. So after all this babbling lets get to the point. I have a problem. My problem is that for the past 4 months of my renewed interest and love for the game of online poker, I seem to be barely breaking even at best. I will go on a hot streak, make a few dollars, lose a lot, then donk all my money in a cash game which is WAY out of my bankroll. Wait a couple of days, re-deposit, and go through the cycle over and over again. Up to this point, I'd have to say that I am down a cool $1100 in the past 4 months, mainly due to utterly stupid decisions I make when I go on a cold streak. Being fed up with the fact that I am donking my money away, I have began exploring 2+2, reading some of those old books I have, watching videos, learning new weird things called "ICM" and any thing poker related in my free time, which is a lot. I need direction and I have been highly considering putting up the money for a coach. I truly believe that there are people out there who just "get it". My friend was crushing $5-$10 on PS back in the day without any HUD's or anything. Just pot odds, implied odds, and instinct. Times have changed and unfortunately after his massive $200k run, he decided to buy a car, go back to college, and became a devout Christian without ever touching a deck of cards again (why would anyone do that, I am asking myself the same thing!) I along with I'm sure many other people would wish to be in that position. It's quite clear that my volatile tendencies seem to be getting the best of me at times and that is a discipline which is quite possibly the most important to master. I am lost in the direction I want to take regarding which games I want to play. Should I continue trying to grind the microstakes sng's ($7-$15)? Should I shift over to microstakes cash games? These are all questions I am hoping a proper winning coach can help me answer and decipher. I feel that I have a few major leaks that if patched can really make a difference. The quality of play from my friends here is so poor, that when I even try to discuss a hand they can be completely clueless at times.
I do not really know what the purpose of this post really is. It is just something that has been on my chest for a really long time and I feel that I need to vent.
I guess my main question to you guys is, has anyone been in a similar situation to me? Did you feel the hiring of a poker coach really improved your game? After hiring your coach, did it turn you from a losing/break even player in to a winner? I am going through some of the threads in the coaching section and a few have sparked my interest, however I sometimes find it hard to always trust the testimonials people give. I do not think signing up to a poker videos site is quite an option at this time (I downloaded a torrent of hundreds of videos from a well known training site, and to be honest with you: I think a one on one coach is much more beneficial as my attention span to a video is zero to none.) I always remember my friend from college explaining a play to me, and it just making sense and I being in awe from the thought process. Things just seemed more simple then. I want to get back to that point of simplicity and really begin to be a consistent winner.
Thanks for reading and hopefully I didn't bore you out that much