Check your gut response (of course I’m not!) at the door and ponder it. How much do you make?How much time does it take you to get it? How do you feel when you’re done?
Keep in mind that in poker, the only reason anyone makes any money at all (and they do) is because there are hordes of people who don’t realize they are losing. If they did, they’d quit.
Poker players are notorious for not being able to assess their own skill level. Well, finally in December 2010, after pushing myself to the absolute limit for three months, I was ready to really look at my poker game in the mirror, and I did not like what I saw. I was, without a doubt, a losing player. I had plenty of justifications for it (some legitimate, some... less so), but there it was. At the end of the day, it was costing me money to play poker.
A poker friend of mine told me about someone he knew, a guy named Lorin. He claimed that Lorin’s shortstack class was not only useful, it was a hell of a bargain. My first thought? Fuck that.
I’d already spent hundreds of dollars on poker related stuff. Hold’em Manager, Table Ninja, Leak Buster, coaching time, the list goes on. (Sometime, I’ll do a product review of all the crap I bought.) Any winnings I may have made were long gone to these “investments.” I was thoroughly convinced there were more people making money selling stuff to poker players, than their were poker players making money.
No matter which way I sliced it, I needed help. My “win”rate sucked, and I wasn’t really improving, despite all my study. So I made a deal with myself. I’d take a chunk of my quickly dwindling bankroll and spend it on Lorin’s training. Then, I’d dedicate the rest of my roll into learning his system. If I start winning, great. If I go broke, fine. I quit.
My first impression of Lorin was that he was a professional. A good thing, too. If I’m paying for a service, I'm looking for someone who takes the job seriously. A good poker player isn't necessarily a good coach.
With Lorin, it was clear he knew what he was doing. He had a clear system, a simple presentation method, and a no-nonsense attitude.
His repeated request was simple: If you want to make money from my system, just do everything I tell you to do. Fair enough. I figured, I paid him the money, no sense only going half way.
So off I went. I stopped playing at Pokerstars. I stopped mass-tabling. I started shoving more and calling less. I stopped playing at fishless tables. As each new video came out, I watched it like a religion and committed it to memory.
At first, it wasn’t easy. I immediately hit a severe downswing where my EV line made modest gains, but my actual profit line dropped like a stone. But something was happening. My EV line was heading somewhere I’m quite sure it was very confused and disoriented to be: up.
The downswing ended as they always do, and I started making money. Compared to where I was, I feel comfortable saying it was “a lot” of money. I moved from the .25/.50 game on Pokerstars, to the .25/.50 game on Full Tilt, and then very quickly to .50/1.00 and into 1/2. The best part was, because I was following Lorin’s system of table selection, the games didn’t really get much harder as I moved up. There became fewer games to play (not playing fishless tables meant more and more ineligible games as I moved up), but the games were still good.
Today, just two months later, I have the bankroll to play at 2/4 (NL400) with consistency, and I’m a winner in that game. Best of all, most of my profit comes from kicking ass (winning), not kissing it (rakeback).
I’m still learning. I’m not there yet. Right now I’m transitioning from working guy to full time pro. I expect that in the future of this blog, a lot of my posts will be about how I made and am still making that transition. But I can say with certainty that’s the direction I’m heading, and I wouldn’t be there without Lorin’s help.
Thanks man. I owe you one.
Note: This entry is cross posted at Short Stack Hero, the excellent poker blog where I contribute.