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  1. I love this game. I hate this game. I am great at this game. I suck at this game. I think we have all at one time been in the mix of emotions that poker makes you aware of and makes you contend with. I know I have.
    I consider myself a student of the game in general. I am a reader of books. I practice at home. I take notes and I keep a detailed journal of ALL poker related activities. It is a hobby I take seriously and a challenge I pose to myself to do better at all the time. (OK try to do better at)..
    Now I know that there is a HUGE contention of folks who scream there is no game and no profit in 4/8 limit poker in a live setting. The rake is too high, the players too bad, and the variance impossible to keep up with.
    I agree that the rake is high, and I am glad that the players are so bad. Yes I do get hammered on days by the gangs of fish who play any ace to the end, or call with any suited cards from any position because HEY they were suited, and every other low limit low concern or lack of skill excuse you can throw out there.
    I have read many books on low limit structure and strategies and have pretty much adopted the standards of "Low Limit HoldEm- Winning big with expert play" as my base game approach. This was keeping me afloat and in a small profit area on a monthly basis but still I felt something was missing like I was still out of the zone I was looking for not racking in chips not hitting some huge pots that I saw fish ranking in with gut-shot draws and funky hits all around.
    Then I found another book another tool for my arsenal. "Holdem on the come" I do not know why but this book combined with the other made a perfect accompaniment to each other for me. I knew about drawing hands and outs and odds and implied odds but this book put them together for me in a way that for some reason clicked and the light that was on got brighter than ever. It changed my approach again not really my base game so much but my post flop game changed drastically I think. I am seeing not just pot odds more clearly and faster but it has given me the tools to predict more accurately the implied odds for the hand based on player count and evaluation so that I am able to more clearly see some thinner draws that have profit potential I was missing before.
    Now I am seeing turns that before I was avoiding, and seeing my options and outs in a much more dynamic sense. This has lead me to be much more aggressive with drawing hands and hands that have not completed yet because I see the potential more clearly and understand the value in the hand from another perspective. I am not just looking at what is in the middle now but what can I get in the middle by the end and are my outs the winning outs I can invest in.
    I was very weak at this before I see this now.
    All this said I now do not have to try so hard to sneak in and grab a big pot or get lucky in traffic to have my hand hold up I am building the pots when I want them and jamming on the flop a lot more than I ever used to with big draws not waiting for the card to come. This has also done a lot for my image especially against regular opponents. I am checked to in middle and late spots a lot more and I can control my investment in hands it seems more regularly as folks do not just open bet into me as freely because they are aware that two or even three bets is not uncommon on the flop and it is harder for them to tell where I am coming from, made hand or draw.
    I feel that this has made it easier for me to relax and play and not get as emotional about hands in general. I have odds and outs I put in chips I do not always get there and we all know this but now when I do it is worth it and it is on my terms more than not. But when I do not get there for some reason it is easier for me to say well I got it in with the right hand because I feel more in control and am not as surprised by outcomes that do not go in my favor.
    Now I have a bad day and I can be down two racks sometimes two and a half, but my good days are coming in four racks and five racks at a time and that has not been biggest difference for me.
    Holdem on the come check it out it made a world of change for me and now I am actually paying some small and middle bills at home and have been able to grow a bankroll that will be allowing me to see the 8/16 table more regularly and approach this with a stronger confidence than I did before when I played at that level as a scared money wannabe.

  2. Not much time to actually blog about my OPS Series ATM. But really looking forward to reaching $100K in tracked cashes tonight. For the entire 7 years I've been a member here, I never really actually thought I'd ever get it. I mean when I registered here pre-black Friday, Poker was just something to pass the time. I was still very much into other things at the time as well. Obviously the part I am most proud of is the fact 75% of my cashes were post black Friday. And imo says alot more about my game imo with the much smaller prize pools.
    Who's to say though if PokerStars was here maybe I'd be on my way to 200K instead. But at the end of the day. Tonight when I log on will be a very special moment for me. I've worked very hard to reach this goal. And just as I fought to win my first MTT here, Now comes another goal on my Pokerz to do list. I'm probably somewhat fishy to others, and hey that's a good thing, because I'll keep busting your ass and you can keep telling me I'm a fish. And once I hit that $250K, $500K and one Millirion Mark....... Then What?
    Special Thanks to one guy who made it all possible. Showed me it was more to life than, selling drugs and being in the streets. And that would be STEVE LEWIS AKA............. ArzCardzfan who I admired way back in the big PLB days. Where he held his own vs. Gigabet and others in one of the biggest and most publicized PLB comps here on Pocketfives. Steve was very inspirational and a motivational asset at the time. I was fresh out of Texas (TDC) in 1997 and met him through a friend R. I. P Bill Shifferdecker who died recently too young and I've worked and played, as well as loved poker ever since.
    But without a doubt and without question!!!!!!!!!!! I owe this entire blog to the man himself. The guy who took me under his wing. The person who has and continues to transform my game! Also one of the best guys you will, and I have ever met in my life!!!!!

    4to1dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for everything! Until I met you I was never able to buy anything I felt was worthwhile from poker! God was nice enough to allow me to donk $25,000 on Stars and $11k there at one time. But that was about it!

    Cya AAT THE TABLES TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!


  3. Signed up for this site yesterday as I was wondering why I had never made an account here. I am definitely seeing the perks :) > Have never written a blog before, however I have always enjoyed writing about myself and other topics. First off my name is Trent, I have been playing online poker since 2007, and I live 20 miles outside Los Angeles in a town called North Hollywood. I started out in play$ in 2007 up to 2008 on pokerstars. I then learned that you could play for real money and there were tournaments called "freerolls" where you had the shot to win money for free. I had some success building a bankroll in these but never got too far. From 2008-2009 I was regularly playing freerolls on fulltilt aswell where I found more success, however I would always build up a small roll of around $10 and blow it continuously as I had no clue what I was doing. In Summer 2010 is when I started taking poker more seriously, reading articles, watching videos and people play. I could never take it seriously enough sadly. In late 2010 I got on a few poker forums which I noticed had many private freerolls running on fulltilt. These were pretty lucrative for me in small ways. I managed to build up a $20 roll thru them and then managed to get up to around $50 by playing 2nl. From there I managed to build up to around $120 in 5nl. Poker was finally going well for me in March of 2011. I took a small break and went back at it in early april. The start of April didn't go to well, however I managed to continue and went on a nice upswing and built my roll up to $170. On April 14th, 2011 I had my best poker night ever. Playing 5nl I managed to profit 7 buyins that night. No it wasn't a lot but at the time to me I thought I was on top of the world! The next day I woke up, went to work, and came home around 6pm ready to grind again. All of the sudden I get a popup on the fulltilt poker client. It says something about the US DOJ blah blah blah and shows me a link. I didn't understand what it really meant at first. It took me 20 minutes or so to realize online poker was done in the US. I was in shock, my hobby for 4 years now that I had finally gotten good at was done, and there was absolutely nothing I could do. I uninstalled all my poker clients and didn't play a hand of poker for the next 20 months. It was December of 2012 that I decided to try poker again. Unaware there were USA legal real$ sites I opted for Pokerstars play money games. I found their homegames to be good competition with some leagues with quality players in them, and some just awful. I met a few people there along the way and was improving by the day. I also was watching the higher stakes real$ MTTs on stars which I found to be helpful to my game. In June 2013 I went back to the old forum I was on in 2010-2011 finding there were US legal real$ sites where they also ran freerolls on. I started on Carbon Poker. In July I participated enough to where I could play them. The prize pools ranged from $35-$45 daily. I ended up winning $4.50 in one and decided to just go off that (Carbon's public freerolls sucked and were hard to cash in). I grinded the $0.11 hyper-turbo sngs and $0.30/$0.60 turbos trying to get something going. After some success and a small score in a $1.10 I had a workable $50 bankroll. My first score hit when I ended up running pure and taking 4th in a $1.10+R turbo for a $114 score. From this point on things were going great and I had some more decent cashes. I made a cashout along the way and my roll was up to $400. Then the bad part hit, I got really stupid and started playing out of my limits. I got almost addicted to low-mid stakes hypers (lol) and tilt got the best of me after running bad. After all this work for months of grinding I was down to my last $30 and feeling terrible. I regged the Nightly 5.50 one night in Nov for some reason and ended up running deep, at a stacked FT I took 4th for $174. This was another shot to have another chance to learn my lesson and grind the right way up. Instead, old habits struck again and a month later I degened off that roll and was down to my last $12 which I burned later. I knew I was a decent player and let my ego get the best of me. Bankroll management is the most common mistake poker players don't follow and it shows. I have plenty of friends who are solid players, yet zero discipline at all. In early January I returned to the Pokerstars play$ games and homegame leagues. I knew I didn't belong there but I needed to improve myself. This taught me a good lesson. I then returned back to Carbon for the private freerolls where I initially started. I was going to force myself to build a roll without depositing again. I ended up running a few dollars off a freeroll up to $50, I then ran terrible and busted it all. A few weeks later I managed to outright win a $45 private freeroll for $13.50, I built a $30 roll from it and went back at the $1.10 and $2.20 buyins. I hit a score in a 2.20 winning it for $103. I then pretty much floated around the $80 mark for awhile, I just couldn't get anything going, was running bad and missing certain spots and making mistakes I didn't realize I had been. Finally after awhile I had managed some deepruns incl a win in a 2.20 turbo KO followed by a 3rd in a 5.50 deep turbo and on the same night as the deep turbo finish I took down the night owl 2.20. It felt great, I was finally doing well in poker. A few days later I decided to take a "shot" in an $11 deep turbo, although my bankroll didn't allow it, I felt that taking 1 shot was fine and wouldn't do harm. I ended up running deep in that, and coming to the final table with the chip lead, my first ever $11 final table ever. Sadly after losing a flip and then going card dead I jammed A3 BvB for 9 bigs into QQ 4 handed, 4th gave me $203, and my largest score at the time. Just a few days later I had won the Nightly $1.10, a small score of $82, but the win felt great and gave me that boost to keep going. The OPS series came around again and was proud as I went deep in the $5.50 6max hyper-turbo event, ended up taking 4th after getting 3 outered for the chip lead, it was painful but considering how I ran any FT finish was good. A few days later I started running pretty badly, was much due. Sadly old habits came back again and I degened off $250 in hyper-turbo sngs, tilt and my weak mindset got the best of me again! It completely pissed me off that I managed to go back to that. I didn't even want to play after that, I felt like a failure, I blew 1/3 of my roll like an idiot. The difference being this time, I still had a shot. I thought about it and realized I could get through this. On another forum I saw a guy was doing a micro hyper grind trying to make money at $1.10 hypers and make the leaderboard. For the last week in May I decided to try it out as I felt it would be a great break for me playing $1.10s, the money would not affect me, and it could help out my push/fold game for sure. That week I got in just over 500 1.10 and 2.20 hyper-turbo sngs in a span of 4 1/2 days, ended up first on the 1.10 leaderboard, and felt accomplished, my small MTT schedule went well that week too. The next week would totally change everything for me. I returned back to my normal MTTs after my hyper grind, focus, mentally prepared, and I wasn't going to mess up again. To start the week I managed 2nd place in a 2.20 deep turbo for a nice $107 score, a few days later I then took 3rd in the $11 2.5k (now 3k) deep turbo for $285, 2 days later I was back at it again getting 8th in the same tourney for $64, the very next day I ran pure as heck and played solid in the $5.50 6max 1.5k gtd (now 2k) and made it to HU with a significant chiplead, sadly I got 3 outered KK<AQ for the win and couldn't recover againist a much better player headsup and took 2nd for $270. I ran cold the next few days of mid-June, but this heater didn't stop, qualified for the Sunday Big Ticket via an $11 sat, on the same day managed 2nd in the $11 3k deep turbo for $406 (also 3 outered KK<AK headsup for the win) and the very next day taking down the win down 16:1 in chips HU in the Nightly 2.20!!!!! Happily for the next two months things went well, I was keeping consistent and making many many low stakes final tables. Although the money didn't mean as much to me anymore I still had thought of how much it had meant to me in the past. Past mistakes of undervaluing money cost me my bankroll in the past, I could have easily moved up in stakes or shot took a few higher buyins, but I had learned to be disciplined with my bankroll, my ego wasn't in the way anymore, and I was damned fortunate to have been running the way I had been while also improving and playing well. My average buyin meant nothing and I had nothing to prove to anyone, as long as I was profiting well at the stakes I was playing there was no need to burn money. My tilt was under control and I had learned to not let single hands gets in the way, realizing that idiots will get the best of me at times, but over time they'll be handing me chips and carrying me to deep finishes. The past 3 weeks have gone well for me and I feel like I have been playing my best poker in my life. Winning the $11 3k deep turbo a few weeks back felt amazing. The field was a tough one and the final table was one of the most experienced I have ever played at which included 13emcD who is up a ton on Carbon this year. The past stays behind me nowadays, sometimes you have to make mistakes in order to improve yourself even further. I find it amazing how tight I am with bankroll now and how much I value money. I have been criticized many times about my average buyin, however as long as I am doing well in the games I am playing I have no problem continuing what I am doing in poker as this is just a serious hobby for me, not a job!
    Blog Entry #1 - My Story

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