How did I get into poker? Simple answer: ROUNDERS.
If you haven’t seen this movie, you should. I have watched it at least 5 times. Although as I progress as a player, I find more and more flaws in the poker strategy and logic of the movie. Teddy KGB, perceived to be this scary shark seem to be making really rookie mistakes. Anyhow, it is still a great movie that got me interested in poker.

1999. The first time I played poker. It was the poker boom and there were many fishes. I guess I was one of the faster swimmers so I still did okay despite being a newbie. I fell in love with the game but online wasn’t my thing so I didn’t really play that much. Off an on when I had the opportunity, like a business trip to Sydney, I would venture to the limit tables of the poker room and paid my dues.

In 2005, I was living in Hong Kong when I found a poker group gathering twice or more a week in a small hotel. I started to go there quite often. Surely I was getting pummelled at first but the love of the game kept me going. I later returned to Hong Kong in 2008 and played poker non-stop for 3 months. I actually grinded from HKD 1000 and managed to survive 3 months on that starting bankroll, including my living expenses. Woah, I can make a living on this game!

Soon I would travel the world to play poker. Mostly it was tagged to some business trip of course so that I got my travel expenses covered. (There was a lack of live games where I lived) I would go to the Philippines, Korea, Macau, Australia etc to play poker. Surely I should be able to beat the games there if I could survive playing in Hong Kong right? WRONG. I lost, miserably. Why? A pro such as me still can be beaten like that? Is it variance? Is it luck?

I hit the books, watched videos, reviewed my game, read Negreanu’s blogs a lot. Well, he is my “idol” of poker. I will write an article about him later and how he inspired me. Long story short, I told myself, YOU ARE NOT A GOOD POKER PLAYER. I humbled myself. Why the pros can make millions from the game, and I can barely cover my costs? I must be doing something wrong. One day in Manila, suddenly all the theories and books made sense to me. I could predict the other players cards and moves before it was made. I made the correct bets and bluffs and crushed the table!

I then moved up the tables that night. I bought in 10000 Philippine pesos but cashed out 100,000. That was about USD 2.5k, not a lot but a lot for me at the time. However I must add, when I look back to myself at that point now, I was still a fish then. Maybe I am still a fish now if I look back to myself years from now. But at least I am a growing fish.

This past 2 years I have been consistently making a living off playing poker. However I easily get side-tracked by other stuff, so this blog is also for me to focus my energies on poker and make sure I don’t deviate. Lately I have been coaching a few players as well, so I will use this blog as some sharing of my progress and theirs and drop in some poker tests and theories for them and whoever else is reading this thing.