...which is actually a good thing for me
First of all, thanks a lot to everyone who voted for me in the kitesurfing contest.
back to poker, it all started in the last year of my high school, and it all goes back to my knee injury that made me unable to walk for almost 2 months straight. Since that was right before my final maturity exams that were to decided if Im going to get to good college, I had more then enough time to waste beside studying. Low on cash, never worked, I decided to drop my professional wc3 career as a pro player ( I was privately sponsored by german brach of Razer, so it was decent money for me at that age ) when I found out about newly launched www.tlpoker.pl and poker itself.
Having a solid gaming background as mentioned, I got my first 50$ from no deposit promo at partypoker from tlpoker and started playing. Two weeks passed and my hard grinder bankroll from 50$ was up to 80$, when I lost all my profit wihin 2h and decided to shortstack nl100 for half a buy-in. There, 15 minutes have passed and it was first time I busto'ed.
I knew there was a lot of money in poker at that point, so I went throu every educational material I could find at that time, then registered for second $50 no deposit on my brothers data and it went all easy from there.
My first month ever playing poker ( that was at PokerStars, stayed there up to nl100 ) went really decent, I still have the graph:
I was moving fast, from the $50 I got I was shooting nl50 with 30 buy-ins 1,5 month later. I was putting insane volume for me, as being in my A form from playing a ton of video games + still training table tennis 4-5 times a week I was in a good physical condition. It was all adding up and improving my play.
At this point I was jumping around rooms ( FTP, PS, Party ), until I decided to settle back on PartyPoker, grinded and here came my first problem, when moving on up to nl400 less then a year after I started. I found it was the biggest jump in the skill level out of all the stakes I've passed so far, and within some bad luck I was shooting at nl400 around 5 times, even trying once at PokerStars ( thank God I played before pokertableratings era ), but it finally went throu.
At this point I was already working as a newsposter for tlpoker.pl and making spare money to pay for my college tuition, so I didint have to cash out anything and was pretty free of being results oriented.
Then I stayed at nl400 for the majority of my poker career, playing a ton ( I reduced to 4-6 tables from 14 I was playing normally ) and winning for almost 4BB/100 lifetime at the stakes. I moved to nl600, but stayed there really short, and then shooted nl1000 at different poker room ( 1,5 year after I got my initial $50 ) which went really well:
I was pretty happy, since when I started my plan was to get to nl1,000 so I felt the mission was completed, I started playing less since I lost some motivation and kept on mixing nl400-nl600-nl1000 tables with decent results.
Of course I also had worse months, weeks and days ( my worst day being at - $12,000 , best at around +$8,500 ), but who likes to mention those ;D As I said, the most problematic was moving up to nl400, as I had ton of problems with it.
At this point I was getting really tired ( I was playing a ton in the week, drinking a lot in the weekends and still being single ), and here came the perfect timing to get a break from poker after all this time: I had to undergo a knee surgery ( ACL reconstruction + menicus removal ) and I met my girlfriend ( which Im still with after all this time ).
Old photo, from new year even 2009 I think
At this point I stopped playing around December 2009, and pretty much never got back into poker seriously.
That was due to few problems, first of all I had more then enough cash to supply myself and all my needs at this point ( so I felt no need to play poker ), I was enjoying life a ton without the stress of bad beats, minus the fact that for the 2-3 months after the surgery I had problems with leg to the point I was taking insanely heavy painkillers after the blood flooding to my leg. I went throu lot of pain and it was all fine, up until June where I damaged my menicus again ,leaving me for another surgery. Zero poker for almost 8 months (besides coaching some people), I didint even play a single hand .
After the break in July I also started a small poker challenge ( trying to get back into poker + put some value into tlpoker.pl to get visitors ) called $100->$10,000 in 4 months ( it was from July to end of the year ), following Bankroll management.
This is how it started:
In the meantime I also luckboxed a live tournament entry ( $330 entry, I won it in a $8 satellite ), then came second ( live players are really terrible, I was destroying the final table as I pleased ) for ~$4,000 + another $1,500 entry to super EPT satellite, however I came ~20th out of 75 players with 12 seats to EPT.
Anyway, I failed the challenge by a short margin ( I managed to get up to ~$8,400 ), since I had to stop playing in December ( another knee surgery 6.12.2009 ) due to being on heavy painkillers and not being in mood to play at all. At this point I was already working as a general manager for TLPoker.pl, taking over the previous guy and advancing first from local newposter, then to general newsposter for network and to running tlpoker. All was going awesome, what can I say, if not counting my health problems.
Mid February this year I got promoted by Meat and Nazgul to pretty much taking care of lp.net network, but I already mentioned that in the entry where I wrote report from LiquidPoker Admin meet-up earlier this year ( link here: Liquid Snow 2011 ) ).
This gets to last month, where everything in my life was going better then I could have expected - I was doing a lot of training so I wont have any problems with my leg again ( ~800km on bike in June ), I was in a good financial condition, passed all my exams for the year going to the last year in the uni as well, finally had the opportunity to ski and try kitesurfing ( which I love as much as skiing ).
I also started playing back poker, since without having to worry about cash at all I could take the sport up again, as I think the games are not that much harder , you just have to exploit your opponents in another way. Everyone got hand histories now, everyone has HUD, if you know how to exploit their thinking looking at your own stats, then its not that much harder then it was 3-4 years ago.
Yeah, the learning curve is much faster for new players now, but its same for us, old players - games are dynamic enough so that even constant winners for last 5 years have to adapt every year. Also, I love the fact that there is a ton of mindless grinding players that do exactly what Krantz or anyone else told them to do while watching their poker videos, but they dont understand WHY.
Games are way more aggressive as well, so even if you play awesome now, it just takes slower to climb up, since variances dumbs down the edge of good players a lot in my opinion.
Anyway, I decided that playing 6 max again isn't that much fun, plus I would like to have more time freedom then bumhunting tables and staying for longer sessions, since my own play depends HEAVILY on game flow dynamics. Hence, I decided to start over and learn heads-up
Why? Cash and competition mostly, as mentioned I'm REALLY ok with my $ atm, but getting my own house or flat at some point would be nice and I wont lie, I pretty much wasted all the money I made from playing 2 years ago.
So far I've played around 10k hands in last 2 weeks with decent results, minus one session where I gave away almost entire profit from the rest of my game :D I decided to start really low, at nl50 with just 2 tables, since the game is really different, however as Im already grasping first concepts I think Im going to deposit and just start at nl100 and go easily from there. Im sitting down against weak regs, rather then bumhunting, which makes me learn faster, while still making profit.
And there it comes, last week I had a small accident again, and Im still waiting for results of my knees MRI. I already know I didint tore off my ACL implants ( that would be horrific and devastating for me ), neither my menicus is destroyed, so even if it ends up being a surgery, it will only be a minor one.
All cool but the god damn knee brace which I need for water sports and skiing costs ~$1,500 ( custom made, I can get cheaper one for 1,1k$ but I think there is no point saving $ here if it's for few years, especially considering level of my problems ), which is pretty much what I had prepared for my kiteboard + kite :D I will manage anyway, but I dont like bad surprises like that.
What now? Well, I will play again, so expect to see me at tables, Im also putting a ton of time to this site, and I hope you guys can see already some small improvements from the start of the year.
Originally I thought it's quite bad I stopped playing and now I dropped so low, but after looking at everything, how it turned out and how its looking for the future - Im happy. I only wish I wasnt so dumb and spent so much money on stupid crap :D but bah, you only live once.
See you around