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How I won and lost $30,000 over a five year period.

Discussion in 'Winning Stories' started by Steve Dawson, Mar 20, 2016.

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  1. Steve Dawson

    Steve Dawson Basic Member

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    In 2008, after many years of watching the top players in the World play Texas Holdem on TV, I invested £10 (About $15) into Pokerstars and began playing poker online. I had played for several years with friends at home, but although the games were tight, they were for very small stakes and I needed more excitement. I use statistical analysis in my everyday job and have excellent math so it was a way for me to relax, possibly make some additional money, whilst doing something I was good at and thoroughly enjoyed.

    A year of micro-stakes poker for endless hours, usually at least 8, but often up to 16 hours a day became the norm for me. I gradually moved up in stakes until I could reasonably expect to win £100+ ($150+) online in a four or five hour session if my luck was in, I rarely lost money. I was what was known as a 'mega-tight' player, never greedy, always patient, and I'd rather be bluffed out of a win than take a chance on a hand I only might win. I continued in this for another 3 years or so until I gradually became more experienced, and more aggressive. By the end of 2013, after countless thousands of hours playing poker online, and with winnings over the years of over £20,000 ($30,000) I decided to move up to bigger tables. All was well for a few weeks, although I didn't enjoy the game as much, the opponents were vastly better players, some of them bordered on an almost psychic level of being able to read me.

    To cut a long story short, I lost virtually all of my previous winnings in one night of madness. Although I was mad, with myself, and with the guy who had just taken all my cash off of me with a pair of kings against my aces, I didn't need the money and had never played for the money really, it was all for the excitement. After licking my wounds and trying to avoid poker for a week or so, I started playing again with the £200 left in my account. I take things a lot easier these days, and only play for 2-4 hours a day, but I'm back up to about £5,000 (&7,500) now, and I still only invested £10 in the first places.
     
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  2. acheno84

    acheno84 Basic Member

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    Oh man, that's a tough loss for sure. That's how it starts out though, from personal experience myself, however, I never really won anything. I was used to winning small amounts or breaking even, and then I started to get brave, I ended up losing that and more. I have since learned to discipline myself a little better so there are less wounds to lick.
     
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  3. Vinaya

    Vinaya Basic Member

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    You seem to have interesting gambling experience.
    I started playing at the age of 9 (by betting on a game of dice in family/friendly gatherings). I was still a minor when I went to a casino (at the age of 15 or 16). I won few bucks on the slots. It have been a long time, but I have never calculated how much I won or lost.
     
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  4. playthegame

    playthegame Basic Member

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    You learned a valuable lesson...the equivalent to tuition to a college of gambling statistics and how to play the game, how to win, and what to watch out for.

    The way you went about things initially was the right way, and it sounds like you had it down and were winning for all the right reasons. The moment you lost your cool was the moment the other players knew they had you and were able to win against you. A lot of times, people say that those who become too haughty or over-confident will lose...but what they don't say is that those who are rightfully confident in their own abilities and playing correctly might still encounter a fall if there is ever a moment of emotion or anger that makes you bet or respond to the cards erratically.

    The way you were doing things logically and thoughtfully as you always did before was good Steve, and I would hold onto your strategy and way of thinking and doing things just as before when you were winning, but definitely strengthen your resistance to any of the poker players trying to do things to appeal to emotional rather than rational thinking. Some of them do not play with a full deck, and they will use dirty tricks to win against you if they feel they can.

    Winning with the right cards and hands is only half of your success. The other half is being able to overcome and expertly handle their psychological attempts while doing so, and be satisfied playing steady rather than playing fast in a moment of question if things go drastically different than usual.
     
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  5. pwarbi

    pwarbi Basic Member

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    I think that to some degree every gambler will go through that one day/night of madness where they'll lose a lot more than they had originally thought they could.

    I myself have wiped out my betting bank at least once by chasing my losses or by placing vets that even though I wasn't comfortable with, I put them on anyway because greed got the better of me.
     
  6. alasia83

    alasia83 Basic Member

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    Wow, I can't imagine winning - or losing - that amount of money. Good on you for winning it in the first place though, its a shame you lost it but like someone else said, you learned a lesson and hopefully, you'll stick to playing how you did in the beginning and not lose anymore.
     
  7. SherKev

    SherKev Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for sharing. That was quite an experience. Thats a lot of money to lose, but I like how you brushed yourself off and kept moving. It was an expensive lesson but I'm sure you are in some way glad that you took the chance.
     
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  8. Hedonologist

    Hedonologist Basic Member

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    You really need a 'fun' pot and a 'serious' pot. Gambling is fun, looking at charts and waiting for hours on a value bet is not. It's tempting to mix the two, but if you do the serious money disappears.

    It's also frustrating when you have a big loss (but calculated and fair) because even though it was a smart move, and you will win over the long term. It still feels terrible.
     
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  9. sheebah7

    sheebah7 Mod Volunteer

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    This is such an interesting topic. I have yet to let that much money pass through my hands and not do something constructive with it. When we win anything I always like to try and flip it or maybe invest in something that can make money for me.
     
  10. loverman99

    loverman99 Basic Member

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    Great story! Glad to see you back on the track again after losing all. Some people get really depressed when something like this happens to them. I like you attitude. Separating your professional earnings from the gambling ones. That's wise!
     
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  11. tessa916

    tessa916 Basic Member

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    Thanks for sharing your story! Sad that you lost so much but it seems like you were a smart player and just got ahead of yourself in the end. Probably should have stuck with what was working for you. I know that's hard to do. Once you get really good at something you want to strive to do better and the winning is just so addictive lol.
     
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  12. genevb

    genevb Basic Member

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    Great story! I know how that feels, even though I wasn't at that high level, I've still had a similar experience on PS, I remember building my bankroll through months, and then, one day came, when I simply lost a few great hands (I did play them perfectly, just that the luck of the draw was against me, I lost with kings versus twos, someone made a straight while I had aces on preflop and went all in). From there my decline came, after losing a few well played games (because of bad luck), I've become mad, started to play carelessly, and it went one for 3 days (until I've reached a point which seemed like a big loss for me), from there I've only had few dollars left and refused to play again.
     
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  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Basic Member

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    I do think it takes a person to be mentally strong if they're going to lose that amount of money but keep on gambling and try and recover their losses.

    I'd imagine that most people would maybe get down to losing half of what they've got but then just stop as they wouldn't want to risk losing any more.
     
  14. ZXD22

    ZXD22 Basic Member

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    You are very strong in order to handle yourself with a loss that huge, dang! I know I would probably cringe and swear off of gambling for ever. That could pay off 3 of my college years easily!
     
  15. RollSix

    RollSix Site Manager

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    Don't feel bad, my buddy got exactly 30k from an insurance settlement and spent it all in 4 months with nothing to show for it because he's pretty bad with money, or at least he was. $250 alcohol bottles and stuff, horrible horrible way to spend it but because he was buzzed perpetually, he didn't notice
     
  16. FrankC

    FrankC Moderator Staff Member

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    Holy cow. Blew through 30Gs in a few months? There is bad money management and there is just ridiculousness. I bet when he found his bankroll gone, that the buzz suddenly got harsh. What a sad tale.
     
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  17. RollSix

    RollSix Site Manager

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    He found out in front of an ATM. He did not even check how much money he had regularly, so he went to pull out money only to find out that he was broke. He cried. I could have told him it was coming, but he didn't accept advice and just smashed through it quickly.
     
  18. pwarbi

    pwarbi Basic Member

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    I think winning, losing but then build 30k back up again is slightly different than just blowing it all on nothing.

    At least with gambling the opportunity is always there to make money and even if you don't there's a chance you will next time. Just being given 30k and then blowing it on nothing till it's all gone is a lot different.
     
  19. Qoelet

    Qoelet Basic Member

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    Wow, what a tale.

    Whilst I can't personally relate, I know some people who win big on poker and just blow their winnings, riding the roller-coaster.

    One friend in particular has travelled the world through online poker winnings. After a few years of regularly winning big he picked up his laptop, declared "I'm off" and jumped on a plane. He literally funded a two year trip around the globe by playing poker on the go, sometimes being forced to stay in a basement in Vietnam until he next won big. Now he lives like a king on China. Just shows its a confidence game.
     
  20. pwarbi

    pwarbi Basic Member

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    It's interesting to hear about what different people do with their winnings, and while I've always saved mine up over the month and then treated myself, others save them in a savings account, some fly around the world with them, and then of course there's those who lose them all like the OP did.