... This amazing journey...
Even so we all had a very peculiar year, I can't help but keep a good feeling about 2020.
This wasn't a very "fun" year for sure, but I grew up so much, improved so much personally, that I will remember 2020 as a success.
I was close to rock bottom poker wise. Broke and broken. In April, I invested some of my last bucks in the AGAME Masterclass here on RIO. I was already familiar with the hypnosis MP3s that Elliot Roe made, and had already tried another online course that didn't work at all for me. This one however, completely changed me.
Over the course of a few months, my impulsive, random-directed-life became organized, structured. I finally understood the liberation of scheduling, I who always thought that a schedule would imprison me and take away my creativity and mental freedom. If you too live by the "time is extensible" principle, and the word "agenda" sounds like chains on your feet, well... you're wrong. For the first time ever, at the end of each day I feel like I did everything I had to do. I don't feel like I need 20 more hours in a day anymore.
On my way to personal growth, scheduling was the first stepping-stone towards many other systems I managed to put in place : morning routine, better sleep, gym, stretching, learning...
Poker gave me the opportunity to undertake all this work on myself. For that I'm very grateful. Each time I think of how much I changed, I'm blown away.
I'm also very grateful for these three years spent "crossing the desert".
Three years since I started playing NLHE again.
Three years of struggle, downswings, doubt and loneliness.
Close to three million hands played just online.
But only recently I realized how much this phase made me stronger. I reached a state of resilience I never thought I'd come close to, that will certainly help me forever in poker and life. I may not have the technical skills, the experience, or the predispositions others have for poker, but I can say for sure that I've been through a lot, and I'm on the right path for a bulletproof mindset.
What is it to have a losing month now, when you know what it is to lose for a year ?
Jan. 21, 2021 | 8:05 a.m.
Hey Dan Self !
Thanks, I'm also always a little bit stunned when I think of how I used to be all these years, waking up completely randomly at a different time each day, the latter being mostly dictated by how late I passed out the night before... Haha.
About Malta, rents are quite high (for what you get on average), and the cost of life is getting pretty close to what you get in every other western European countries. Still, the country being extremely small, day-to-day life is "easier" than in France, and in the end we spend less compared to Paris.
Of course everyone lives differently, but in a capital like Paris, everything costs money, and trying not to spend (too much) feels like a constant struggle haha.
Jan. 9, 2021 | 5:51 a.m.
And so I’m back on my journey...
Of course it went well in the very beginning.
Started back at NL50, some NL100... Scored a nice first month in December 2017 : the poker dream was always alive !
Then reality hit, and I started bleeding money for a long, long time.
After having spent a bit more than a year grinding all day on my laptop on my kitchen table, and in the meantime having settled everything that needed to be settled, we took the few money we got left and headed to Malta.
To be honest, the urge of leaving France was so strong, I could have gone anywhere. But Malta sounded like a fine option at that moment for English being the second official language, being in the EU (so my girlfriend would be able to find a job easily), and also full of fellow poker players.
Again, at first it went well.
After a few months I also started playing live regularly. That got me to meet a few players, and eventually to make a 5th place in the WPT 1k Main Event in April 2019 for 14,2kEuros. Sexy. I was making good money at NL100 online, and starting to take shots at 200, along with the live games. Life was pretty cool.
And then with the first days of summer came the downswing. I started losing everywhere. Live, online, live tournaments... The full package.
Bankroll melted away like snow in the sun.
I was working on my game, taking coaching sessions, trying hard, but couldn't score a win.
By the winter I was back at micros. That hurt.
I went through every phase : anxiety, anger, doubting every decision, wanting to quit, etc.
On many occasions I almost applied for a job.
But I didn't quit. Although I didn't know I would be crawling in the poker limbos for many more month...
Jan. 6, 2021 | 6:06 a.m.
Thanks for the kind words everyone !
gazjax69 : "Success" sounds like too strong of a word for now haha. I've always believed that if you wanna get good at something, you just do it 100% from the start. I was never good at doing things "on the side". So when I closed my company down, I just started playing poker as much as I could.
Took a few coaching sessions then, but didn't make the most out of it as it was too soon I think.
I also bought an Upswing Poker subscription pretty quickly, that I only ended recently.
Finally, my time management has always been a disaster until very recently.
The AGAME Masterclass here on RIO really changed my life in the first of 2020. I recommend it to everyone who struggles like I did.
RoleTide : Yup that's precisely what I've been doing for a few months now ! Noticed I was completely skipping study 90% of the time if I just start to play in the morning.
But still, I confess that I sometimes don't do much during this time. So I'll try to be more organized / methodical.
Jan. 2, 2021 | 2:32 p.m.
Alright my friends, time for some 2021 goals !
Ain't gonna put out anything fancy and unachievable, along the lines of "no carbs for 4 years" or "lose 22 kgs in 3 weeks". I'm done with this shit. Besides, the most difficult challenge of all I already did about three years ago, which was quitting cigarettes !
2020 was for me the testing phase of great many improvements in my life, 2021 will be the follow-up, aimed at consistency.
Routine : Continue to stick to my schedule, which is working well for me. So 5 days of poker, 1 day of half-study / half-day-off, and one full day off every week.
Sport : Keep on hitting the gym 4 days a week. Change program every 3 month max. I hate it, but I need it. Don't skip the goddamn stretching.
Poker : Be more efficient with my study time. No slacking or studying useless spots. Don't skip bluffs "cause they always have it". The goal is to hit NL1k before the end of this year.
LIfe : Ideally, improve what I eat on a daily basis. Been slacking recently. Gotta start cooking more again, order more vegs, diversify our diet, spend a bit more on food and a bit less on drinks. Gotta also try to lower my alcohol consumption, especially the nights before "playing days". Keep it to max 3 glasses of wine on these days.
I'd love to say that I'll plan a trip or two again, but who knows when this will be possible again.
That's it for me. I'm finally adult enough to understand that success is "only a consistent repetition of small, achievable things."
Enjoy your NYE, and may you have a pleasant hangover !
Dec. 31, 2020 | 7:48 a.m.
There is no tomorrow
How I discovered NLHE and fell in love with the game ain't so different from what a lot of you guys my age probably experienced : I watched Rounders !
A few years after he got out, to be honest.
This is 2006. Three years after the "Moneymaker" spark, the fire had spread. Poker is everywhere. Gambling clubs are blooming in Paris.
We watch pros play nosebleeds on Full Tilt, getting stacked for the price of a villa. And the first seasons of High Stakes Poker on repeat.
I'm 18, completely lost, just like most of my friends, and high and/or drunk most of my waking time.
But I read Super System ! And watched a lot of HSP. I definitely got what it takes.
So we play cards... Mostly drunk and for little money between us, and sometimes at the card club, after having gathered the few 50's we could find.
We also spend nights playing MTTs on Full Tilt and Pokerstars, depositing as we go to play some 5/10/20$, praying for the big win. Spoiler alert : it never came. Of course, these goddamn donkeys are so lucky all the time !
I wasn't ready to take anything seriously at the time anyway - what counted most was to win or find just enough money to buy Jack Daniels and cigarettes.
Check out the small Bukowski in me ! Well, without the writing, I guess.
And so what could have been the start of my poker journey got suspended there.
I ended up pursuing another dream and great love of my life for the next ten years + : music. This one stuck for a while.
Sure, in the beginning it was more about living the fast life, dreaming of endless white lines and pouring whisky in the back the tourbus.
But by being obsessive enough, I ended up accomplishing a few things I'm proud of today.
I managed to record and release six albums as a singer (and participated in a few more), attained a decent ability level in extreme / rock vocals and audio engineering, and lastly started my own recording studio in Paris with one of my best friends.
A few kids even got tattooed some lyrics I wrote. That's pretty sick.
Last but not least, I managed to create an amazing relationship with the person who's still sharing my life seven years later.
Not that bad for a fucked up lonely drunk kid.
2017/2018 was a turnaround.
We had to shut down the recording studio to avoid bankruptcy. Which in the end wasn't bad news for me, as I couldn't stand this "industry" anymore and needed some change.
My soon-to-be wife and I also put some order in our lives. We sold everything unnecessary, went as minimalists as we could.
We also tried to deal with a ton of emotional / family shit that had been weighting on us forever.
And finally, I started playing poker again. This time with the firm intention of "making it" and going pro.
After all, it was pretty much the only other thing I was able to do. Or so I thought.
Dec. 29, 2020 | 9:21 a.m.
My name is Cyd and I'm a 32 years old mid stakes NLHE player originally from Paris, France, living in Malta for two years now.
Through this blog I will - hopefully - narrate my journey to High Stakes No Limit Hold'em.
While most of its content will obviously be directly related to me (!), I'll try not to turn it into a boring teenage diary.
And off we go !