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And My Poker Journey Begins! :’)

Posted by Arsh Grover on 2014-04-04 at 12:00 AM

Hey Guys,
This is the first of many blogs yet to come on PokerGuru. A Little bit about me. I am Arsh from Delhi, Have been familiar with this game of poker for the past 7 yrs of my life and I started playing this back when I was 11. Yes that’s right, I’m playing this game since I was 11. I turned 18 a few days ago and can now officially play poker online and live (Not in Vegas Yet) but we’ll get there.

So for the past 7 yrs, I’ve played on numerous online websites starting way back on zynga poker. I remember that time when It was launched. I was a kid then, discovered this game and got hooked on to it. It was fun as I had zero knowledge of the game and sometimes you would win shoving almost anyhand, that was the start for me. I Soon discovered shows like High Stakes Poker, and watched WSOP Run Throughs for days which gave me enough knowledge to make around 300-400 Million Zynga chips. Then I Learnt how in 2003 Chris Moneymaker turned a 20$ sattelite ticket into millions. After reading that, I was, what do you call that ? A Kid with a Dream. So I sold my zynga chips for $$ on ultimate bet and full tilt poker thinking of doing something similar (little did i know I was about to get owned)

With just about no core knowledge about this game, I started playing online. I lost that money within minutes. All the hard work in getting those 400 million zynga chips was gone. I remember having 35$ in my account and sitting with it on a 50NL Table thinking it would be as easy as zynga poker. To my surprise it wasn’t. Days went by as I tried to find more sources to get money on any poker website and start playing.

Chris Ferguson’s, 0-10,000$ Challenge was running at that time and I was inspired. I remember playing freerolls for 2 straight months and failing on ftp. Thats when i discovered pokerstrategy.com, I was 12 or 13 at that time and Poker Strategy had a promotion running which would offer 50$ to new players. And that was it. For a year straight, I used to avail that offer, bust. Then find a new computer, ip, rinse and repeat. That happened a countless no. of times and now when I look back at it. It feels like it was just a stupid kid who was doing anything in his power to play real money poker online.

When I turned 14 and figured out that I wasn’t going anywhere with this. I started reading, learning, watching videos on bankroll management. I was still pretty bad back then and busted my roll atleast a few more times on UltimateBet and FTP. Things kept on improving as I started to mature, More sense started to knock into me and I started getting better. You could say from a looser to a merely break even player.

As I got more sensible and got some hang of things, I started winning some small field tournaments on ftp (micro ones). That motivated me, and inspired me even more. For once I was winning, Winning in a game that I love and it felt like heaven (Which was some rungood ofcourse).But it made me watch more videos and I started ordering books. That was the turning point where I actually got better (I’ve read almost 9 books on MTT Strategy till date and they were one of the main reasons for my game to improve.)

Then came the black Friday period, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker got seized by the FBI. And I was pissed, even though It was just a very small amount of money that I had in my FTP Account, It was all the money I had online to play. After playing on these websites, playing with chips on zynga poker felt like a joke and I couldn’t ever return to it. So I shifted to other websites that used to offer 5$ no deposit bonuses and started playing there. I was addicted, hooked to this game of cards and I actually came to realize that this could be actually be taken as a profession.Realized It was more skill than luck. It was Volume > Varience. Realising most of this just made me love this game of cards even more.

So When I turned 16, I started getting more serious about it. PokerStars was back and I also started playing home games with my cousins & friends. The knowledge I had was enough to beat them and it felt good. So, at the latter part of the year, I started a new journey, I guess I read around 4 books and watched a ton of videos on different websites that made me want to grind. I started off with a small amount, used strict BRM and ran it up to a really hefty payout, having some great scores. At that point, I used to play everyday and put in 12 hr sessions. I even remember my all time SnG/MTT Count to be upto 7K+ Tournaments over all platforms.

Days like this went by for almost 6 months, I started staying up at nights, and sleeping all day. Which eventually resulted in less or no attendence at school. Though My Grades didn’t suffer as I put in the work in the last few months. Still my parents were not so happy about their kid gambling at the age of 16. Atleast that’s what they thought it was. And it took me a lot of time to make them understand how this game was not like roulette or crabs.

They knew that I had love for this game and that I was getting pretty good at it (Courtesy of a few decent cashouts). It was time to make a decision. My parents are the type of people who would never force you to do something you don’t want to and they are always supportive of what you want to do, given that you do it at the right time. And playing poker for 14 hrs straight everyday when your 16 wasn’t quite the right thing to do at that time.

So, I made a decision. A bold one. I decided to give up poker for almost 2 years. (1 and a half) to be precise which was really tough for me. But I knew that, its exactly what my parents wanted. Though I decided to not play poker, I never stopped learning, reading books, watching videos on DC, Scrolling through forums. The urge to play was at par but I bared with it.

And now here I am, After 1.5 yrs of scrolling through forums everyday, watching countless number of videos, readin’ books and P&GC threads on 2p2. I am back with a plan. A solid plan and back for good.I have officially made my own account on PokerStars and I don’t need to play on a cousin’s or friend’s account anymore. That feels like a huge relief. My 12th Board exams have finally ended and my dream of becoming a poker pro starts now.

My parents are supportive, they are supportive of me taking this as a profession and for a living because they knew my love and dedication for this game and which is all that one could ask for. The love of poker for me is more than anything and I would never stop playing this game! At the end of the day, If you can find something in life which you love to do, that can earn you money and you look forwarding to do keep doing it everyday, Thats basically all you need in life.

That was about the past, but what does the future have in store for me ?
I have followed pokerguru and the Indian poker group for a while now. Following a lot of good Indian players, railing them. One thing that I have been always wanting to do for the past year is get coached. And I would love to be coached by one of the top Indian players if possible. Players like bblack, intervntion, donka, anti, danish (Sry if I missed someone). Especially Intervntion. His results speak for themselves and what he has given back to the Indian poker community is commendable! I followed PGMC and would love to be a part of the 3rd edition if it returns !

From this day onwards, I will be taking up poker professionally and starting out with a relatively small bankroll. (1500-2000$) I know it’s not a lot but I will be following proper BRM and grinding this to be a decent Amount. If I still tend to bust, I will be reloading (Which I’m positive I won’t with the knowledge that I have gained over the past 2 years)I will be sticking to Low Limit FLHE Cash Games (Which I’m getting coached for) & Low-Micro ranged MTTs. Will put in 12-14 hr sessions atleast 4-5 times a week. and playing my best poker. I am going for Supernova on stars this year and I am on achieving it 2-3x if possible.

Also, If I do manage to bink anything in the next 2-3 months and am lucky enough to make a decent bankroll that quick, I would be more than willing to join indian players in all the poker tours across Europe and Asia. Meeting new people with similar interests is another thing that I love! Be it the Macau Poker Cup or WSOPA. For me, there is no looking back. I am dedicated and focused in making a career out of this and making my dream of becoming a professional poker player a reality.

I will blog atleast once a week and keep you guys updated on how I am doing!
Cheers & GL Everyone, See you all at the tables…

I will only keep volume goals, things i can control and not worry about the profits (Though they’r always nice), but my motive for the next 9 months is improve my online game to that level that I can crush 2015 and never look back 🙂

I start in a couple of days :’)

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Arsh Grover

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