Posts Tagged ‘$20 tournaments’

Early poker days

Monday, September 21st, 2009

The Journey Continues

A pastor once told me that each decade in one’s life offered new challenges. The twenties are usually spent finding one’s place and developing a career. I may have found God, but exited my twenties without a career. I left that decade still working at Wendy’s and fearing I wouldn’t ever find my lot in life.

Thankfully, at the ripe old age of 32 I found poker. Unlike today’s young guns I was a decade late and a computer short, but I was on my way. Earlier, I described the beginning of my poker career which started out playing $1-2 limit holdem and $20 tournaments.

Now I will share my personal travels through tournament poker along with some of the key discoveries I’ve made along the way.With my first five-figure win in Lake Elsinore, a $10,000 bankroll seemed sufficient to take on the poker world. It probably would have been enough if I had proper money management skills.

Instead I bought a new Ninja motorcycle and jumped into the biggest game in the casino, which at that time was $40/$80. But my skills couldn’t keep up with my ego, and it wasn’t long before I took a hard fall onto the pavement of reality. I refused to learn my lesson and spent the next few years wandering and squandering my bankroll.

I wanted to turn poker pro, but lacked the financial discipline to make the jump. I eventually found my way back to the $20/$40 games at the Hollywood Park Casino. It was then that I met Lucia, a long-time professional who possessed perhaps the best money-management skills of anyone in poker.

Lucia took me under her wing and began to teach me how to invest my cash game winnings into satellites and parlay satellite wins into tournaments. Her style, while different from my own, led me to learn the value of discipline and patience – but more importantly how to survive. in the late 90′s, I was either lucky or smart enough to have surrounded myself with twenty-plus-year professionals like her and others, all of whom gave me a greater perspective of the game.

Alone I would not have made it anywhere as big as I did in poker.