Monday, April 19, 2010

My training with "the Maven"

I have been playing poker for almost 6 years now. My ex is the one who got me into it; he was at the time playing non-stop and I was what I like to call a "poker widow”. He would spend night after night playing online while I would either design, cook, play solitaire or Sudoku. One night we had my family over and he decided to teach us how to play poker so that we could have a home game. I found the game so fun and I loved the unlimited amount of concepts one could learn. I was immediately hooked!

Over the next few days I read my first poker and started playing on Doyle’s Room with the "play money" applying everything I was taught from the book. I very quickly build that "play money" to over 3 million in chips. Little optimistic me thought I could do just as good playing with real money and gave it a shot. Which I, to this date, am still trying to make that 3 million! *smile*

I started playing micro stakes online, during that learning process I was reading pretty much every poker book I could get my hands on. I was playing every night, and went from a "poker widow" to a "poker junkie" after all, there's a saying: "If you can't beat them, join them"! I eventually felt confident enough and started playing live. I started with $1-2 NLH and occasionally played low buy-in tournaments. I lost some; won some eventually got better, and moved up in stakes. Every time I moved up I went through the same win/lose process until I would get better, and believe me, the winning parts were more fun than the losing ones! I continued my learning process trying boot camps, virtual classes, and reading poker forums.

Cash games were my favorite, so I focused more on them. I eventually got good enough where I was capable of making a living from cash games. After all these years of playing cash, this year I decided that I wanted to make the switch and play more tournaments. The transition has definitely been a roller coaster!! From getting deep and bubbling, to getting heaps of bad beats from great hands, to seldom making the final table on smaller stakes buy-ins and doing horrible in the larger buy-ins. It has been pretty crazy! Also, let's be honest, if I am gonna do well in a tournament, I'd much rather it be a major one than a small one!!!

After a while I started asking around what I should do, I knew the game, but was obviously doing something wrong. I needed something more advanced to take me to the next level. It seems like a lot of pros I talked to where pointing in the direction of "The Maven" David Chicotsky, who was BLUFF magazine's player of the year in 2008. Everyone I knew that studied his technique had seriously improved their game. So I got in contact with David. We talked a few times about my game, where I wanted to be and what he could do to help me. Other than being a really nice guy, I thought he was very knowledgeable and had lots of new concepts, so I decided to go ahead and train with him.

I took "The MavenVT" 3 day boot camp this past weekend and it was a great learning experience! The training center is located in the 26th floor of the luxury condominium "Panorama" which offers great views of the city, surroundings and is very modern. I wouldn't mind living there at all!! The main room is set up for 20 students with huge Dell computer screens. We started with heaps of theory followed by watching hands history on the screen. Then David played live and walked us through his thought process. The amount of information I got was enormous to a point where I thought my cute little blond head would explode! His style of playing is totally different than anything I have ever learned. However, there is a method to his aggressive way of playing and definitely lots of simple, but effective math and statistics. It's obviously the new generation poker!

It doesn't matter how long one has been playing poker, to have an edge in this always evolving game, you have to keep up with new concepts and keep on learning and growing as a player. I can't wait to go play, as I feel so much stronger about my game. I am definitely looking forward to the few private lessons I’m having with David in the weeks to come!

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