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Poker Goals & Challenges Post your threads logging your travels up the poker ladder as you achieve your poker goals and dreams. "Challenges" does NOT mean prop bets, wagers, etc.

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Old 01-12-2017, 02:56 AM   #1
livewhale
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Join Date: Jan 2017
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Poker Journey (21 Years Old): 1/2 hero to 2/5 degen

I'm Jared from Toronto, Canada and I'm going to be blogging about my poker journey. I'll come on here and write about sessions (results), mental game, goals and maybe post some hand histories.

I'm 21 and have been playing poker for a year and a half. Poker is a pretty big part of my life right now as I've been consistently putting in a lot of volume for a little over a year now. My story is similar to many other young poker players. In June 2015 I deposited $100 on stars and started donking away money in SNGs. After busting that, I redeposited $100 (last $100 ever deposited online ) and decided to make an effort to learn some fundamentals focusing on 5NL 6-Max online cash games.

I quickly became a break even player at 5NL and eventually after some more time managed to grind up $300 to move up to 10NL. I've always been pretty good with BR management. Online cash I would only grind a stake with a minimum 30 BIs and move down if necessary. Fortunate enough for me I never had to move back down to 5 or 10NL.

My first month at 10NL was really good and allowed me to quickly move up to 25NL with a $750 BR. I ran at 6 bb/100 over 100k hand sample. 25NL is when I finally started to notice the games were much more reg infested. Aggression picks up both pre and post flop with more light 3betting and 4betting. I actually really enjoy this part of poker, I think its a ton of fun.


As you move up to 50-100NL the games are mostly entirely regs. I thought online cash was great for learning and becoming a better player but I wanted to explore other formats to make more money at this game. Unless your a mid/high stakes MTT, SNG grinder or 100NL crusher it's very hard to make a consistent income of $1.5-2K/month on stars.

I decided to take a look at the live cash games around here in Niagara Falls in June 2016. I took $600 from $1600 online roll and went to play a few sessions of 1/2. I ran good and within a few weeks I had about $3100 ($2500 profit) for a live 1/2 roll.

It's pretty easy to get hooked on live cash when your printing money for a few weeks putting in minimal volume lol I've been playing an average of 25-30 hours a week of 1/2 since June 2016 (about 7 months now). In the beginning I was spending a lot of the money I made from poker. I didn't really realize how stupid it was at the time but at least it only lasted for a few months. First sick downswing I experienced my live my roll took a significant hit. At that point I realized I need to start saving. Since I started not spending ANY of the money I made from poker on other things, I've been able to build a live BR of $8400 right now.

The WPT Fallsview is coming up next month in February and the games will be insanely good both at 1/2 and 2/5. I've only played a few 2/5 sessions but I enjoy the way it plays much more than 1/2 for a lot of reasons. I had back to back $1500+ profit sessions at 2/5 in October and I just haven't played 2/5 since.

I have about $1K CAN on stars right now, plus I can add another $500 from the life roll to top up so my BR is 10K total. During the WPT I can play pretty much anytime and there will be great action. If things go well and I can continue grinding 2/5 after the WPT, the goal would be to play Thursday, Friday, Saturday 6-9 hours per session. I'd like to play one more day but Mon-Wed the games aren't going to be very great and it may be best to just put in longer sessions. I'm considering playing Sunday as well, it will depend because recently I've been playing tournaments on stars ($7-22BIs) on Sundays. I'll post about those as well.

Poker isn't my only source of income. I have a job working from home for an online marketing company. I'm a contractor so technically not an employee. It's great because I can work between 12pm - 7 pm and play poker at night during the best times. I do depend on the money I make for poker now though. I have a lot of expenses for a 21 year old because I fully support myself (car, rent, food, etc).

As any 1/2 grinder knows, if your crushing the game your making $13-15 per hour. In some casinos win rates like that are nearly impossible to achieve at 1/2 due to rake and caps. Jumping up to 2/5 allows you to make so much more money without much of better competition. Of course the regs are better but there's always fish at fallsview (especially the weekends). I would say 2/5 is comparable to 10NL online at best in terms of skill level of opponents.

I'm going to take a 12 BI shot ($6K) at 2/5 and move down to 1/2 with a $4k roll if I bust the 12 BIs. 4k is more than enough for me to play 1/2. My worst downswing was $1800 in the beginning days at 1/2 where I had some tilt issues. I had a great mental game online, I went on 40k hand break even stretches at 25NL and it wouldn't phase me. When I started playing live cash, If i lost a 200 bb pot to a total idiot I would start to tilt for whatever reason.

I'm over it now, thank god. I went through a rough patch in November for about 100-120 hours and didn't tilt through any of it so I was pretty happy about that.

I've been thinking about blogging about my poker grind for months now so I'm glad I'm finally doing. I told a few of my friends about the idea and they started asking me if I was blogging yet. I wrote this while 4-6 tabling some MTTs. Just ran deep in the Bounty Builder $16.50. Cashed 17th, made about $170 with bounties. Ended up getting in Ako vs a9 and a10 for 22 bb. Kinda ****ty way to go but that's just tournaments.

These past 3-4 weeks have been amazing poker wise and honestly I wish I started this thread a month ago. Over the most recent four sessions at 1/2 i'm on a 2K upswing, pretty sick. The journey will continue on though and I'm sure this 2/5 shot will be very interesting.
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:59 AM   #2
Jordyvde
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Re: Poker Journey (21 Years Old): 1/2 hero to 2/5 degen

Awesome first post, cant wait for the second one! Keep us updated..
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:54 PM   #3
livewhale
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Re: Poker Journey (21 Years Old): 1/2 hero to 2/5 degen

January 1/2 results so far:


01/02/2017
Session Length: 6:00
Win/Loss: +$397

01/03/2016
Session Length: 3:30
Win/Loss: +$545

01/04/2017
Session Length: 3:30
Win/Loss: -$307

01/06/2017
Session Length: 7:00
Win/Loss: +$530

01/07/2017
Session Length: 7:00
Win/Loss: +$716

01/09/2017
Session Length: 5:00
Win/Loss: +$622

01/11/2016
Session Length: 5:30
Win/Loss: +$358

01/12/2016
Session Length: 6:00
Win/Loss: +$237


Very solid start to the year so far, 5 profitable sessions in a row. I'll be playing a $230 live tournament on Sunday. Time to continue the run good. This will be my 2nd live tournament ever.

First one was a $60 freeze out a Playground Poker Club in Montreal. 101 people registered. I chopped as the chip leader 3 handed for a $1K cash.




I'm heading out in a few minutes to go play the usual Friday night 1/2 grind in Niagara. Games are great Friday and Saturday's so I'll be playing cash all weekend and then finish it off with the tournament Sunday. Lots of poker ahead.

I've been playing/running good all week which is great, I wanna keep it going through the weekend.

For most of the week Niagara was pretty dead. Christmas break just happened and every night of the week was like a Friday/Saturday so it was amazing! It's going to be good to see the room full again and get some of the better dealers again. During the week some of the dealers are insanely slow and it's dreading just being there. It's times like those when I want to just go play online. I prefer a faster paced game.

When I was at playground poker club in Montreal a few weeks back, one of the dealers that dealt cash to me all weekend was playing in the tournament and he was right beside me (their dealers are aloud to play cash and tourneys when their not working). He was telling me how they get evaluated on speed and a whole bunch of other aspects that control the flow of the game.

When I play cash at PG I probably get in double the amount of hands per hour then I would in Niagara. Pretty sick.

Anyway, rant over. Back to the tables.
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:16 AM   #4
Foss_94
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Re: Poker Journey (21 Years Old): 1/2 hero to 2/5 degen

GL man! Subbed in!
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:58 AM   #5
dontquit
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Re: Poker Journey (21 Years Old): 1/2 hero to 2/5 degen

I'm in. Change your 16's to 17's for the year and GL GL!!
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:58 AM   #6
Parsons Grinder
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Re: Poker Journey (21 Years Old): 1/2 hero to 2/5 degen

Absolutely subbing for this, all the best, looking forward to following!
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:37 AM   #7
PotLuckNeeded
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Re: Poker Journey (21 Years Old): 1/2 hero to 2/5 degen

Definitely following your progress in 17'.
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Old 01-15-2017, 02:08 PM   #8
wilbow
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Re: Poker Journey (21 Years Old): 1/2 hero to 2/5 degen

A well-written intro. This looks interesting! Following. GL!
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Old 01-18-2017, 03:00 AM   #9
livewhale
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Re: Poker Journey (21 Years Old): 1/2 hero to 2/5 degen

I finally have a few minutes to post. This weekend I put in a fair amount of volume all three days (also Monday). Friday and Saturday I played 1/2 live cash and Sunday I played a live $230 tourney. There was $5500 up top and a very soft and small field.

I ended up busting before the money with AA in a multi way 4 bet pot on a j742 board, I bet flop, jammed turn and ran into JJ. When I got home I started playing the Sunday mid day/evening tourney schedule on stars. I was reggin a lot of tourneys between ($7.50 - $33). Some outside my online BR but the value is so good on Sunday's. Anyway, results wise I didn't to so great. I couldn't hold with the best hand whatsoever, it was just one of those days. I thought I played pretty normal, I'm not a great tourney player or anything but I'm also not horrible. Could definitely crush the micro MTTs (under $16) online but haven't played enough or studied at all to beat mid stakes over the long run probably. I was just looking to bink ya know? Sunday is where dreams are made in online poker.

Yesterday (Monday) I put in some more online tourney volume. Live 1/2 cash is pretty dead on Monday's and stars has a solid schedule on Monday's. I came 2nd in the $11 Progressive KO Deep Stack for $554 including bounties. I accidentally regd it at midnight and it was 8 30 am when I finished playing headsup. Got in 69s on a 26910 board in a 3bet pot and he has 78 for straight. Great to see my online roll jump up again after the hit I took on Sunday online (-$250-300ish) + -$230 live tourney.

Friday was the first cash session I lost in 5 sessions. I played very solid I think, but still finished a 7 hour session -$580. Lost a few big pots with the best hand, biggest was 200 bb pot where I had a set of 9s and lost to open ended/ flush draw. Standard, but if you want to come out profitable on the night usually you need to hold in those spots.

Saturday night I played another 6-7 hours of 1/2 and came out +100ish. Pretty happy to have a profitable session as I wasn't running great and was super card dead the entire time. I actually ran into some pretty weird spots I've reviewed and I'm very happy with the decisions I made.

My volume goal is 25 hours of live 1/2 cash per week. I've been able to do it consistently for a while now with the odd week off. Just recently started adding online tournaments into the mix so upwards of 35 hours a week if I dedicate a Sunday or weeknight to playing online. Lots of volume but not really much studying in there. The main reason for that is at 1/2 I don't feel like there is a whole lot to look at. People don't bluff very often, tons of callers preflop/no logic, and most of the time no fold button post flop (or over folding nits).

When I was playing 10 and 25NL online reviewing a hand is so much deeper. I think at 2/5 it will go back to that again and I will make more of an effort to study live cash. Now would be a good time to get better at tournaments.I have a some MTT friends that are willing to help. I'll probably be going back to Playground Poker Club in Montreal soon for their tournament series so it will be good to get some learning in before.
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