So I wanted to write my first post as a little introduction to who I am and how I got to where I am in poker since if anyone ever reads this I imagine they wouldn't know a whole lot about me. Then I realized I can't actually remember all the way back to the beginning of my poker career. So my story is going to begin in summer 2005. I'd just finished my undergrad degree and was home for the summer. I'd been playing for about a year at this point and built up a decent online bankroll. I didn't need a lot of money so the plan was to just play poker over the summer and make a few bucks without having to work a "real" job. However despite putting in a good number of hours things really didn't go very well. I was getting killed at 5/10 shorthanded limit holdem and i couldn't figure out why. My tournament results were positive but not amazing. I ended up making only a very modest profit for the summer and was very disappointed.
So September comes and I head back to Waterloo to start my Masters. I decided to concentrate more on tournaments and give up my limit cash games for a bit. Finally in October I got hot. Pokerstars runs a $10 NL tournament at 7:45 ET every night that at the time attracted between 1400-1700 players on a usual night. In the span of a month, I finished first once and second twice in these huge fields, cashing almost 8K combined. Unfortunately I was back to playing more limit cash games between these scores and dusted off a couple grand running bad/being a donk, but I was finally running very good again overall and my confidence in my game was high. I continued to turn in decent results for the rest of the term and I felt like it was just a matter of time before I started making a run at some big money. But every rush has to end, and when it does there's usually a big downswing waiting.
The term ended and I went home for Christmas break. Between catching up with everyone I hadn't seen in a few months I was still fitting in a lot of poker, a lot of it late at night when I was tired. A combination of running bad, fatigue, and just being off my game (and not being nearly as good as I thought I was in the first place, you NEVER are) contributed to my biggest downswing yet, as I dusted off 4K in 2 weeks. I'd been through bad runs before though, and I told myself if i just kept working on my game eventually things would have to turn around. Eventually can be a long time though in poker, especially when it comes to MTT. Over the next 3 months I broke even. I was playing a lot and playing fairly well again, but I was getting killed in NL Holdem tournaments. My results in limit holdem tournaments and stud hi/lo tournaments over this period were the only thing keeping me even as I seemed to be winning one of these almost every week. Unfortunately these are small tournaments compared to the NL tournaments I was playing, in terms of number of players and the size of my buy-ins. I was still waiting on that big score that would instantly erase all my recent struggles. This is getting really long already so I'll save the save the rest for my next post!