Hey everyone. My name is Amin. A 31 years old guy with ambition to become pro online poker player.
A short story from my background: I have MS degree in mechanical engineering in one of the top universities of my country. I loved engineering in the past, but after trying to apply my knowledge in the engineering field after university for 2 years, I found it boring and disappointed. I couldn’t imagine myself in the future as a happy and successful engineer. I lost my passion about it and putted aside it completely. Definitely you will suffer from some depression after that (committing and hard working 7 years of your best years in a field that you didn’t like it anymore).
I was just wasting my time by watching movies and playing backgammon for fun at those moments. At this moment, I remember one of my university roommates, plays poker recreationally. So, I said to myself let’s try it as another hobby besides watching movie and backgammon. But after searching about the game and realizing its income potential I felt (a little) in love with this game (I never think that this game can have this potential).
So, my journey as amateur poker player begins. I start to search to find good place to start playing and studying also. I start with Nathan Williams book “ crushing the microstakes”. I start playing on ACR (there are little options for Iraninas). After a while I decide to transform to redstar (iPoker network) because I find it’s field softer than ACR. After finishing Nathan Williams’s book, I start reading Alton Hardin book “Master Micro Stakes Poker” and become a member of his site which is for micro stakes poker. I found it very good and easy to learn for beginning. I move from NL2 to NL20 in about 11 months. I struggle a lot, I lost my hope a lot. But “what can I do if I stop following poker?”, I asked myself. So, I just keep going besides no money income, no poker friend (poker isn't popular in Iran since of religion prohibited ant gambling and Iran is Islamic country). Until now, it is about 16 months from my journey in poker.
I start poker just for hobby to fill my time and overcome depression of doing nothing, but I take it more seriously as I discover its aspects more and more, until now, that I love it (I think). Because besides its money, it gives me a lot of knowledge on human behavior (my favorite study field) and myself especially. I discover some weakness that was hidden for years in myself, that poker reveals that. I really treat it as a personal development journey these days. My only goal for now is just playing better and better that yesterday. Dealing with emotions better and better than yesterday. Understanding myself better and better than yesterday by examine my reactions to emotions/bad beats/mistakes, and etc. I read mental books on poker in a routine and really love it.
These days, I commit 40 hours per week, playing and studying together, with specific schedule. I play tow 2.5-hour session per day with 4 regular tables and have 5-10 minutes break every 1 hour length. I also study each day in tow 30- and 45-minutes session. I journal every session to find my leaks in mental and technical aspect. I have 1 day off per weak. I start all days with morning routine: bathroom, drinking water, teeth brush, meditating for 20 minutes, exercise for 15 minutes, shower and breakfast. I also have night routine before sleep. I turned off any screen (Tv/Pc/mobile) 1 hour before sleep and just reading, journal, and meeting family in this last hour before sleep. I highly try to become a pro because besides that good money that I can earn from poker (not bad to mention that in Iran, average income is less than $400, so poker give me a very good opportunity), I see myself that becoming a better and better person by discovering myself and human being more and more (I see it in my daily life also, for ex in treating with my parents, dealing with life bad lucks/life bad beats/life downswing 😊).
For now, I am studying Peter Clarke book “The Grinder's Manual” and find it very interesting. Currently I play NL20 on iPoker with 3bb/100 win rate on about 270k hands. I moved to NL50 once time and come back to nl20 after almost break even record in NL50 after about 60k hands. I am going to NL50 again in few next days as my bankroll reach the limit (I use 30 buy-in bankroll for each stake, and came back to lower stake after 5 buy-in lost).
I just tell my story just because I have some question to figure out what I can do better to accelerate my success. Also, I have some unanswered question in my mind, because I haven’t any poker friend to share my journey and get feedback. I will appreciate any comment or advice. Maybe I am going wrong direction, or maybe doing something else will accelerate my progress.
These are my questions:
1. What is best next step for studying plan? My stakes for next steps will be NL50 and NL100 if I handle to win in NL50. I have some options:
• hiring couch: it’s very expensive for me right now. For example, Peter Clark charged for about $250/hr as he stated in his site. I have plan for it when I reach good bankroll in NL50/NL100.
• Becoming a member on coaching for profit program like BluffTheSpot. When I think that I should give my 50% earning to contract for 2 years, I see it a little unprofitable or maybe I’m wrong.
• Essential plan in RIO seems good (especially its price for me). What about upswing lab? I think that if I get multiple lectures from multiple instructors, I will get confused somewhere. Everyone has his approach to game so how you will deal with learning from multiple instructors?
• Peter Clarke “From Ground UP” course seems good.
• I search and find that “modern poker theory” Is good book.
• Also, I find that Peter Clarke has another book “100 hands”
2. Am I on good site for playing? I mean in softness of players pool and traffic. In this moment I can play on iPoker and ACR, besides that I find recently that I can have access to GG through 7xl skin. Maybe switching to another site makes my progress faster.
3. I play only cash, because time is in my control. But is any suggestion to playing tournaments besides cash to earn more money? In other word, for somebody with spending same time, which one will have more output? cash or tournament? What is distinction between them that somebody play only tournament and somebody else play only cash?
4. how much can I expect to earn from cash in different stakes (in other words, how much a winning player earn in different stakes)? I found in books and researches that 3bb/100 win rate is good in NL100+. Is it same in reality or you can earn more? An approximation on earning dollar in each level will give me clearer vision. I think I have potential of earning $5000+/month in NL200 with 40 hr per week for play and study. What about high stakes? NL1K?
5. I hope to become a winner at mid stakes (NL200/NL500), but what is required to become that winner? What about high stakes? Why some players stay at mid stakes and didn’t go to higher stakes when they can earn more money? Definitely higher stakes are tougher, but somebody is winner there, so what is roadblock? What specs you need to become high-stake winner?
6. I spend about 16 months to reach this level from zero level (I didn’t have any background from poker, and work by myself through online learning materials and books). How much is realistic the time to go from NL50 to mid stakes (NL200/NL500), and finally NL1k+?
I think this become a little long story. I will appreciate any feedback and hope the best for everyone 😊.