A journal to keep me motivated

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A journal to keep me motivated


This is my little journal to keep myself accountable and motivated.


I got into poker back in 2013 playing home games and wanted to improve. I started learning, started doing quite well, probably thought i was a lot better than i was and then the variance hit. I ended up not taking the downswing so well and stopped playing still a decent amount in profit (in microstakes terms). I then had a family etc. and no time to play.

Fast forward to 2020, I suddenly have a lot more time and an inclination to pick it back up again.


I work full time as a lawyer, and have a family to support, so it's unrealistic to think i will quit my day job to play full time and I am going to struggle to put in big volume. Equally i dont need to withdraw my bankroll so i dont have that pressure. So i would like to just see how high i can get in terms of stakes. I would like to think i could get to 100NL in time. If i could make a bit of pocket money on the side of my job, that would be great.

I deposited £20 ($24) in April and started playing 2NL. My intention with bankroll management is to have 25 buyins to move up in stakes, and then to fall back down if i get to 20.

I am using HM3 as my HUD

April to July
Hands for month: 23,713
Net won for month: $52.66
bb/100 for month: 25.91
Balance at end of month: $76.66

Education wise i watched From The Ground Up and have been going through all of Doug Polk's old poker hands videos. i also then did Elliot Roe's A-Game masterclass

July update

Hands for month: 14,872
Net won for month: $211.53
bb/100 for month: 20.44
Balance at end of month: $388.66

A really good month for me and having passed $250 i decided to move up to 10NL. Target to reach $625 total to move up to 25NL

Education wise, I have started going through the Upswing Lab and i am also reading The Grinders Manual by Pete Clarke.

August update

Hands for month: 14,379
Net won for month: -$79.80
bb/100 for month: -5.55
Balance at end of month: $307.67

After initially doing well at 10NL, I had a very significant downswing. In one day i lost 11 buy ins, and over the next day i lost another 7. This is over about 4k hands. Strange feeling to go from feeling like i was crushing these stakes to wondering if i am a losing player.

I felt like i lost my way a bit and the Upswing course confused me rather than developed me. I decided to take a little time off to re-centre and rather than moan about my bad luck try to focus on what i was doing wrong and study more theory. I started re-watching FTGU. I also reviewed my big losing spots and posted some hands on these forums. Although i did have bad luck, i compounded my losses with bad decisions. My preflop play needed work - e.g. getting too loose with 3bets etc. and putting myself in difficult positions. I should have taken time off sooner to do this analysis. it was an expensive lesson, but one i hopefully wont forget. Really now focusing in on my RFI, vs RFI and vs 3 bet ranges to get these embedded into my game and dropped to one table whilst i do this. I finished the month well, with 7 winning days making back about 4 buy ins.

I responded to a message from someone wanting to start a study group, so I have someone to talk to more frequently about spots. Hopefully that will help.

September update

Hands for month:
Net won for month:
bb/100 for month:
Balance at end of month:

After finishing August OK, i moved back to 2 tables and things fell apart again. I lost 13 buy ins over the first week. No longer rolled for 10NL, I have moved back to 5NL to recover my roll a bit. I have had some obscene bad luck, but i also seem to have an issue with multi-tabling, so I moved back to 1 table. I also decided to spend more time studying theory than playing to get my confidence back and focus on improving rather than results. I finished FTGU a 2nd time. I continued to have bad luck at 5NL on 1 table. It's been a really testing period.

I moved back to 2 tables to put in more volume, and in the 2nd half of the month things seemed to improve a little. I have bought gto+ as a solver, and my play is definitely improving. I want to continue focusing on theory rather than results, but it would be nice to have a positive result next month.

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