My 2024 Poker Journal

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My 2024 Poker Journal

Well, new year, new journal! I want to do this one the right way, which for me requires a proper introduction in the first paragraph, so here it is: My name is João Paulo, brazilian poker player from Florianópolis, currently playing NL25 9-max on pokerstars. What first drew my attention to this beautiful game was watching poker on TV, the WSOP thing on ESPN and then Highstakes Poker. My experience with online poker began with play money, and I have to say I took it quite seriously, losing at first (I couldn´t even understand the rules of the game well enough), but then figuring it out and, thanks also to how laughable soft it was (still is?), I ended up making about 60 million play chips in about one year.

Thinking it would not be much harder to make this much in actual dollars, I decided to try my luck with depositing real money. I don´t remember exactly why, but it was quite hard to deposit back then. My international cards were being refused every time I tried. Finally, I found out it was possible to generate the "Boleto Bancário", basically a bill that I could pay in the bank and would turn up as a deposit a couple of days later. Long story short, I made a few 25 dollar deposits, played some NL2 interspersed with NL25 when I felt lucky, and the odd MTT, and, well, lost all of them in no more than 2 weeks. Figuring things were going this way because I was depositing too little money, decided to make a bigger one, 600 USD, and also figuring out those microstakes games were too low, too weird for my tastes, why not go straight away to NL200? After all, this was my first stake when I began playing with play money.

Well, I busted my 3 BI bankroll in one weekend haha. A powerful lesson was learned. Kept depositing smaller sums, learned my lesson on not playing too high and with too few BIs, began reading online forums, improving and, about 3 years later in 2013, finally something clicked. What probably helped me the most was finding this insane dude who grinded millions of microstakes hands and decided to write a book, Nathan Williams (Blackrain79). Not an exaggeration that his book was what made me a NL2 winner.

Lots and lots of hands, lots and lots of time, monetary swings, emotional swings, quitting and coming back, never really giving up but never really applying an actual consistent approach, and still making it to the upper part of the microstakes. Well, success and failure are relative concepts right? This is what the journey looked like, from moments after reading the book, buying hem1 and starting to take things "real serious", up to now:

Why do I want to try having another journal, after failing with my previous ones?

Well, I can´t really explain. I've seen more than one successful poker player say that belonging to a community, and talking with others, was a big factor in why they succeeded, and I think that is what I would really like the most: to engage with other poker players, sharing my stories, successes and, why not, failures also. Lone wolf not optimal for me at least.

Mental game is what I am struggling the most in the beginning of this new year, tilted in ways I wasn´t really tilting anymore since 2018, for reasons that doesn´t even make sense to me (a 7 buy-in downswing coupled with a 40k hand breakeven stretch), and ended up venting in this other forum in ways I deeply regret. Thankfully, took the grown up approach and asked them to self ban me. Not blaming anyone for my own failures, and neither I nor anyone else has the right to vent at others expense just to feel better (or for any reason, better saying), but I don´t really think that site is a good place and I don´t want to go back there anymore. And here comes RIO, to me the most professional place on the internet for poker players, the place I can be sure that I´m among adults who behave like adults. The place I have good examples to follow.

What do I want to accomplish in poker?

Keep doing what works, constantly improve, accept the journey will always be 5-10 steps forward, than 1-2 steps back, and the only thing I can really control is how I approach this game, the right mindset, the right studying habits, and the right work ethic. Keep a sensible BRM approach, move up, move down when necessary, accept the reality I will have to change formats to 6-max, if not on NL50, then for sure at NL100 so better prepare my mindset right now.

Last year I made what was probably the biggest investment I ever made in my poker career, and decided to join the September Poker Detox Training Camp. And a few months later, I have to say I have no regrets at all, and think it was definitely the best investment I ever made in my poker career.

This entry is getting too long, so I will cut it right now. Just to finish, I plan to update my results once every month (I´m trying to stay away from constantly looking at my results and doing it only at pre-determined, spaced away intervals), but write another entry every time something interesting comes to my mind that I want to share with you guys. So that's it. Good luck to everyone!

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