I have an affinity for numbers. Math was my thing at school and I’ve always liked gambling. I’ve gambled on everything, from cards to sport futures. It all started with the stock market at age 11. Then at age 16, I got into poker. We used to play all night at school, illegally of course. It was a lot of fun. I still play, but right now, as you can probably guess, my focus is on Internet poker.
I’ve been playing Internet poker for about three years, but it’s only recently that I’ve started winning. For the first two-ands-a-half years, I’d make a deposit, win a bit, lose a bit, win a bit more and then lose the whole lot…usually to a bad beat.
I read all the well-known poker manuals, but they didn’t help; it just kept happening, again and again. I’d get off to a flyer but before I knew it, I’d take a horrendous bad beat and my account would be empty again. It was very frustrating.
I played all the time. I wasted my money, and even more valuable, my time. I’m almost embarrassed by the enormous amount of time I gave to the game. It was ridiculous…three or four hours a day. 100% of my free time. But I wasn’t about to give up. I knew I could ‘beat’ internet poker, but I couldn’t work out how. And I was losing money. Not much, but my account had a definite downward bias.
I’d even tried to walk away a few times. “That’s it,” I’d swear. “No more fucking Party Poker.” As I said, it was very frustrating…but I always came back. I just couldn’t admit defeat. It’s not my style.
Then one day I cracked it. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had finally cracked it.
I’d figured out how to consistently win at online poker.
It was the last deposit I was ever going to make into an online poker account. I mean, this was it. No more. I promised myself: The absolute last $100. No more screwing around. That’s it.
I had a new way of playing I wanted to test. An altogether different style from what I used to think was a solid game. Let’s call it a new system. It started working immediately. Suddenly I had the feeling that the directional bias of my account changed. It was prone to upward movements now. It was as if my account was growing. Even when I was losing money, you could still feel the upward bias. It was awesome. Imagine the difference between a lid on a boiling pan of water and a lid over cold water. Or like a puppy straining at the leash. It was amazing. The money in my poker account wanted to go higher of its own volition.
It was a major break through. My Party Poker account literally moved up to $1000 in straight-line fashion as soon as I started using the system. I had sworn it was going to be my last fling. The last $100 I would ever deposit into the account. I was right. I’d never have to deposit money into that account again…
Even after I’d built my account up to $1000, I still didn’t trust the system. It felt good – like I was playing skillfully; but that’s how it always happened. Admittedly, $1000 was a much greater streak than I would usually have before the cards turned, but I still expected the luck to change. I couldn’t escape it – or at least the thought that my success might have been because of it. “The cards are about to go cold again,” I kept warning myself. “This is just another one of Lady Luck’s cruel tricks.”
Then shortly afterwards, I added up all the poker profits in my bank account and they totaled $8,700! Winnings built up over thousands of hands and hundreds of hours of small-stakes poker. I’d been using the system for three months at this point and was playing more poker than ever before.
“Now this is getting interesting!” I thought to myself. “Could this be the real deal?” I still couldn’t be sure.
Sure, sometimes I lost. But hardly ever. And even when I lost, I usually won it back straight away. I just took a break from the game, and when I came back, I’d win my money back.
The implications were huge. If I ever needed any cash, all I’d have to do was log in. “If this is the real deal,” I confided in my Dad, “I’ll never have to work again. I can sit on a beach with a laptop and earn millions. Imagine…”
The system did keep working. Up ‘til then, my reluctance to believe in the McCoy status of the system had prevented me from raising the stakes. But now I had so much cash to back me up, I figured it was time to raise the stakes. I switched from the $25 max buy-in to the $50.
I was amazed at the results. The system worked even better at the higher-stakes table. The bigger stakes made the players tighter…tighter than even the $25 players!
My bluffs worked more often, and my profits accelerated.
Whatever it was, it wasn’t luck. On the one hand, I played with supreme confidence, but on the other, I still had lingering concerns. Was Party poker going to ‘flag me’ in their database when they realized how much money I was generating? Could they have software that might make it harder for me to win?
Or would I be undermined by my very own self-confidence? Now it all seemed so easy, I might get complacent and make bad decisions. Calling other players’ raises…that’s almost always a bad decision…and always cost me a heap of chips. But I tended to do it when I got overconfident. Was I calling more often? It did seem like it. But then again, it could just be the higher volatility of the $50 table. I always reasoned like this. A constant tug-of-war between prudence and confidence…
Sometimes I’d lose $150 at the drop of a hat. It didn’t matter. I always seemed to win it back. But it did give me pause for thought on occasion. “Remain humble,” I’d say out loud – I hoped the message would be reinforced that way. “You’re not that good, dice. Just be chilled. Keep cool.”
But after I’d take a deep breath and center myself, I knew “bad luck” or the whims of overconfidence would never affect me again…
(This one of my running online poker musings. You can learn more about me right here.)