Hey guys, I know that a lot of you are in a spot here where I was a few years ago. You really want to give poker a shot, but you're not sure what the best and most effective approach should be... So I decided to share a little bit of my experience and some tips on how I would do it on 2022:
First of all, here's my graph for my last 200k hands just so the topic isn't all text:
First of all, introducing myself, my name is Max Lacerda and I'm a professional poker player since 2019, you can find me at the PokerStars tables under the screename of "maxlljr", I'm also one of the owners of BrPC, a cashgame staking and coaching Poker company.
I first got introduced to poker in late 2015 and it took a little more than it "should" for me to become a pro, and that's what I wanted to share here... I basically spent too much time playing freerolls, then getting the money in the freerolls to play live cashgames, then transitioning to online, then in 2018 finally getting a coach with Saulo Costa (my first and only private coaching), and then things really started to work out in the online enviroment.
Even tho my journey was (and still is being) very nice and the timming of some things that happened was pretty awesome, I know I spent too much time at the micro/low stakes. And that comes from a few mindset leaks + lack of opportunities that I had...
First about the mental leaks,
I was very reluctant to pay for private coaching, I didn't know the value of paying for knowledge, I truly believed that I could make everything on my own just watching free content + downloading some books here and there. I couldn't be more wrong.
The value of having someone that just accomplished what you want to accomplish and can help you along the way step by step is something of extreme value, and because of my own biases + resistence to pay money for knowledge I couldn't give it enough credit.
Another mental leak that I had was my ego. I really wanted to say that I did everything on my own, I didn't need anyone's help and I was the only one resposible for my own success (which is extremelly stupid, because since the day I was born multiple people already helped me in my life, being the first ones my parents - giving me education, a home, food on the table, and everything else).
Alright, so my first advice for you guys is to simply get rid of all these stupid biases that I had when I was trying to move up in stakes, it will just waste your time and you'll regret it on the future.
Now about the lack of opportunities at the time...
First thing is, all the coaches were very expensive for my budget, I simply couldn't afford them, and I also didn't see anyone that I truly believed on the methodology - mostly from my lack of research to be honest. So even if I wanted, in most of my micro career, I woudn't be able to afford it.
The other thing was the lack of opportunity to get coached without having to pay for it upfront. I didn't know any cash game staking team which would give me the money to play + give me coaching in exchange for a % of my profits. Most of what came close to that were the CFP deals (a bussiness model in which you play with your own money, get coached, and pay for it by sharing your profits), which I don't think is a very good deal for micro/low stakes players.And even if I wanted to join a CFP, I should already be playing NL50 or higher to have a shot.
So basically because of everything I wrote above, I believe I spent too much time and the micros banging my head against the wall, not knowing what was going wrong.
So my advice for you guys is: get a coach as soon as possible. At this day and age, with all the opportunities that we have around us, it's a complete waste of your time to do everything on your own. Ofc, being one of the owners of BrPC I recommend you joining us, with the new Microstakes division we accept players that are playing as low as NL2, offering a full staking deal...
But anyways, if you don't want to stick with us for any reason, simply search for another staking deal. If you get into a good one I'm sure you won't regret it (and there are some very good out there!), you'll achieve your goals much faster than you would on your own. A lot of staking deals have a lot of cases of players joining at nl50 and playing nl500 after one year. By not needing to build your bankroll + pay for your private coaching, your evolution will be much faster.
I'm not talking about hiring a private coaching because most of you won't have the budget to do so. I was extremelly lucky to have found Saulo at the begging of his coaching carreer and being his first student. If I had found him just 3 months after I did, I wouldn't be able to pay for it, and who knows where I'd be nowadays... But if you're able to find a good coach for a fair price, that's another very good option, having full 1v1 attention from a person you trust and that already achieved the results you want is the nuts!
Also, even if you're in a CFP/Stake/with a private coach, I see a lot of value of subscribing to a site like RIO, after you know what you want out of your poker studies, navigating through here will be much easier and you'll make much more out of it!
So that's it guys, I wrote everything here from the bottom of my heart. I really respect and identify with people that have a great desire to succeed, I really want to help them in any way, I know what Poker was able to give me in my life, and I know the change that it can do in others lifes.
That's it guys, I hope I could help you in any way, and for those about to put in the hard and smart work in practice, I wish all the success in the world for you, no matter which path you decide to take. Poker is an awesome opportunity for those willing to give it all, so let's not waste it.
The thing is, you want to have a successfull career, so start investing on it.