Hello everybody, As the title says, this is my story. From start to finish of this seemingly endless one year journey of playing while underage online (and some live) poker. Most people won't care to read this or will downvote it to oblivion for the simple fact that what I'm doing is technically illegal. I don't mind I just want to share my full story with anyone who might actually care since no one in my life seems to.
It all started in the summer before 9th grade. I was moving to a new school for high school and was eager to meet people. My brother (Let's call him Sam, obviously not his name IRL) and his friends were upperclassman in high school and were playing poker pretty frequently in his friends basement for nickles at a time. Sam invited me to go play poker with his friends one morning. He told me to bring about $20 to chip in for pizza and to get some chips. I spent all day reading up on articles like "Poker Basics" and "Beginner Poker". I look back at these articles now and chuckle to myself about how simple they are but to beginner player me, I was amazed that you weren't supposed to play every hand and that it was not very good to try and bluff your way out of every hand. When I arrived with Sam at the place we were playing, I was kinda nervous about fitting in with all these upperclassmen, but not about the poker at all. I just wanted to have a good time and if I lose a few bucks it's not a big deal. At the end of the night I'm up about $3 and Sam and I left. I still didn't understand variance so I thought I was so much better than Sam who lost his $10 investment fully. I didn't care for poker all that much after the night but thought it was kinda fun just for the social aspect.
Later in the summer, my brother Sam invited me to play poker again. This time, it was a "high stakes" tournament, with a buy-in of $20. I eagerly said yes as I enjoyed my time at the first event and would gladly play again. I was also excited at the prospect of winning $120 for the first place prize. Sam and I showed up and there about 10 people total in the event. I handed in my money and we began to play. I was on fire. I knocked out every single person in the tournament except one, who Sam knocked out. I ended up bubbling my brother who claimed he was a poker god, and it felt so good xD. I won the grand prize of $120 and thought I was a poker prodigy. Once again, I still did not understand variance and thought that most of poker was skill. I was not ever invited back to play poker after that, but I didn't mind. I was happy with my money.
For the longest time I completely forgot about poker until a chord was struck with me and my passion rekindled, this time in a more intense way.
It was the winter break of 9th grade. I was visiting some relatives at a beach (the name I'm not going to disclose because I don't want there to be any way that anyone that knows me IRL can discover this) for Christmas. I had just got a fancy new iPhone and was setting up all these cool apps on it. I set up the ESPN app and was watching live TV from my phone. I saw a rerun of the 2015 WSOP ME on and decided, "hey that might be fun to watch". I immediately became hooked. I saw the bright lights and Joe McKeehen. He was my hero. Staring everyone down like a badass and eventually, as I stayed up until 4 AM to watch him play more Hold 'Em, winning over 7 million dollars. I wanted that to be me so bad. I barely knew what the hands meant or any strategy at all, but from that moment I knew I at least wanted to explore this crumb of a passion for poker. We left a few days after I "discovered" poker.
When I got home I immediately texted my best friends (from my old school) and said, "we have to play poker, I'll teach you all and it will be a ton of fun". The next day I went to my friend's house and laid out this dusty old set of chips and I proceeded to teach my 3 friends and my friends brother the rules of Texas Hold'em and hand rankings. We all put up $5 and started to play. It was a blast, sitting there listening to music chatting with my buds for a few hours, all while starting to win some money. I ended up winning $20 and was extremely satisfied. We started to play more and more on weekends and such and by the time my friends got tired of playing I was up about $150. Obviously they barely knew how to play and my minor knowledge of simply hand rankings gave me a massive edge over them but I still ran hot. My friends started to resent me for taking their money, but I did not feel bad. By the time I stopped playing with his group it was close to the end of February.
I was having trouble making friends at my new school so I thought it would be fun to invite some over to play poker. I told them to bring about $10 but of course no one did. We played a cash game with debts because I insisted that poker was no fun for no money. I ended up winning about $9 and a lot of the others seemed to have a good time. I was pleased with myself for organizing this event and seemed to be making friends at my new school which I was happy about.
Eventually, I was invited to one of my new friend's birthday party. I was so excited to go because I finally felt like I was a part of their group. I must mention, by this point I had discovered Pokerstars play money, and was playing often. I would spend days grinding away, often losing my whole 'bankroll' by simply getting tired and going all-in (Mind you my bankroll was often just one buy in. Pokerstars gave you 3 buy-ins to the lowest level every hour). I still was not studying any sort of basic strategy so I was basically playing bingo. Anyways, I''m getting ready to go to the friends house for the sleepover and I decide to pack some socks full of poker chips. I get there and suggest that we play a little, just for a few bucks. Everyone says they just want to play for fun and I reluctantly agree. Of course the game is a clown fiesta and my frustration with their 'unenlightened' plays was noticeable. In hindsight I was being a real asshole but it's in the past now. Eventually, there was this one kid who wanted to play 1v1 for $20. I set up the SnG format and we played. I won on the first hand, flush over top pair. He wanted to play again for another $20, but he wanted to start with 2x the chips. I agreed thinking I was much superior to him. I won again, this time on the 4th hand with flush over bottom two pair having taken the first half of his stack on the first hand with another flush over top pair. He wanted to play one last time for another $20, this time starting with 3x the chips. Once again, I eagerly agreed and set it up. I bled him dry by C-betting every hand and won again. It was kind of awkward for an hour or so having just taken $60 off a kid at a friendly birthday party. I didn't think much of it.
I continued to play more and more poker with the play money on Pokerstars till I won a 1600 person tourney. I thought I was figuratively a divine figure sent to this Earth to play poker. Unfortunately I was not and would have some sobering experiences in my future.
After about 3 months or so, without playing any 'live' poker and only playing for play money on Pokerstars, I decided to set up an account on a site that had real money under an alias. I thought I was such a badass and began to play freerolls. I was in a constant state of win $2 in a freeroll and then lose it up about until the end of the school year.
Once I had kinda started to play for real money online in these free-rolls, I started to take my game more seriously. I thought I could get better by watching TV poker so I watched hours and hours of past WSOP MEs and PAD and EPTs. and HSP. I knew every famous poker player and began to compare myself most to Tom Dwan, "A young poker genius". Eventually, I discovered what Twitch was. I found Jcarver playing poker and began to watch him every night after school religiously. He was an idol to me. Also around the same time I discovered Poker
, which completely opened up my world to strategy and thinking about poker in a more professional manner instead of the "Tehehe I have good cards let me chuck all my money in the pot and hope I win" approach I had before. Although I did not get much strategy content out of Poker
I used it as a gateway to other resources such as BlackRains? microstakes videos and other twitch streams like MingtheMerciless who actually analyzed plays and was more learning oriented than Jcarver.
Anyways, all this learning was happening during the spring of my 9th grade year and I was going to another new friends birthday party. All my new friends would be there and I was excited to go. I again, brought some chips and asked if people wanted to play. Everyone seemed reluctant but after some pestering from myself a few split off from the group and we sat at a table and laid out the chips. I suggested to play for $5 but everyone said they would rather play for fun. I began to get in my 'holier-than-thou' attitude and began to lecture them about how "playing for no money is a waste of time". I remember those words exactly. I felt in the moment that I was simply speaking the truth but a later even sobered me to realize how much of an asshole I was for saying that. While we were playing a friend began to say how the deck was rigged because he got an ace two hands in a row. I then went on a long tangent about probability in my 'holier-than-thou' voice and made an ass of myself in front of my friends for not getting the joke and getting frustrated. IMPORTANT: Before this party happened and after I started playing online I started to brag about my poker endeavors online at school and how I was such a badass.
My friend leans over to another friend and whispers quite loud, "just don't argue him on this, he's kind of an asshole and poker is his thing
" Wow. I realized that all my new friends were only playing poker with me to be polite and not hurt my feelings. I began to realize that I had been hurting my new friendships just for poker. From that moment on I kept my fucking mouth shut about anything poker related.
Over the summer I devoted my entire time to one thing, poker. I told myself at the start of summer that by the end I wanted one thing, a real bankroll to play 2nl with. I grinded freerolls day in and day out and was studying strategy on my phone in my downtime at my summer job. I got free trials for HUDs and was analyzing my plays. I still could not get a bankroll to stick despite multiple attempts by winning freerolls. I figured out a way to deposit on my account using bitcoin without having to verify my age or address or name. I deposited $25 and began to play. I played awfully and justified it as simply running bad. I would donk off a bunch of money playing cash claiming I played a 'high-variance' style and then would bink a tourney to be even. Eventually I got up to $40 through such luck. I went on a binge were I lost $16, then played this sites version of a spin-n-go for my remaining $25 bucks. I was so tilted. I saw my heart drop as the spinner landed on $100. This was my chance. When the first guy got knocked out I was at a 2-1 chip disadvantage. I got it in with AQo vs TT. I lost. I was broken. Everything I had worked for was lost. This experience was very sobering for me. I realized how bad I was playing and I realized how fucked up it was to play that spin-n-go. I finally, after about 8 months, got my head out of my ass. By this time the school year was almost starting so I just quit poker for about 1.5 months till school was about 2 weeks in.
In school one day I kept thinking about that hand, how degenerative it was but also how I could have won $100 if the cards had gone my way. I decided I would reform.
My parents had known about my poker to an extent but I never told, and still haven't, about this degeneracy. I just said one day that I didn't want to play and wanted to focus on being a kid. That was a lie. There was nothing I wanted more than to play poker and earn enough money to withdraw some. Unfortunately under my aliased account, that would never happen because to withdraw you needed to send a bunch of forms of ID and prove you were real, which I was not.
Anyway, I started to forget about poker till one day I saw on twitch Doug Polk doing a bankroll challenge. He reignited my broken passion for poker. This is when I came forward to my dad with a request: to set up a poker account under his name on a new website with a real ($75) bankroll. I promised to be super responsible and would never tell anyone. This was different from my old alias account because I could eventually withdraw, making the money much more real to me. He agreed and I've been playing 2nl ever since. Happy to announce that I'm up a few bucks lifetime and hope to be moving up to 5nl soon enough.
There a lot I left out of this story and I know most people won't read this whole thing but I just want to express how lonely it is to have such a passion and time-sunk into a hobby that is illegal and your friends think you're a dick for talking about. I just wanted to share this whole story with you all since my parents do not want to hear about and my friends sure as hell do not care. If I had one thing to say to an underaged person playing poker, don't do it. Just wait. It's not worth the stress of starting underage when you can just wait a few years. It's not worth the negative affects in social and academic life. It's not worth it period. There is nothing good to come from it besides a deeper knowledge of variance, which is the only thing I've applied in my everyday life as a 10th grader.
TL;DR Played poker, thought I was good. Told all my friends how good I was. Friends called me asshole for always talking about and trying to get them to play poker. Made my life suck. Still love poker and reached the golden end of my underage poker tunnel.
3/10 would not reccomend
Hi, it's SwanpJew. Can't come to the reddit account now. Please leave your screenname and the amount I supposedly owe you. I'll be happy to get back to you as soon as humanly possible. Beeeeeep. A Note From the Editor of the SwanpJew Power Poker System: submitted by
Okay, so this is a bit unorthodox. And more than a bit awkward. You clicked the link expecting to read some awesome poker action from the greatest 1/2NL player of all time. Instead you're getting me, a guy who thinks G-bucks are some kind of online currency. I was tempted to try to make some hand up and pretend my thought process was that of an expert, but SwanpJew would never allow such a thing.
As many of you are aware, SwanpJew's paramour hasn't returned from a visit to her home country and an unknown entity has claimed responsibility. To satisfy her captors and ensure her safety, every single poker and regular media outlet has been instructed to feign ignorance of—and to not release a word about—the situation. There have been no efforts to collect a ransom or even declare a motive. It seems whoever kidnapped Miss Boeree did so to draw out SwanpJew himself.
I'm afraid I don't have much of an update to offer. SwanpJew landed safely in Heathrow shortly after posting last week's notice. Against my advice, Mr. Jew decided to wear a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches and carry a meerschaum pipe to “get on wit' these limey Brits, innit” and gather intelligence. So far, the only things he has learned: the ale isn't served as cold as American beer and the World Cup ended months ago.
He has asked me to inform his loyal /poker
readers that, pending Liv's safe return and NitrogenSports not “totally punking out on their BTC freeroll again,” the Sunday Showdown is indefinitely on hiatus. SwanpJew has promised a future AMA, a sweat session or hand review with one lucky player, a video lesson series, and a mystery special project on the horizon. He's asked you, his loyal fans, to be supportive and patient in this very difficult time.
It's my pleasure to offer you a “Blast from the Past” lesson and a short advertisement for a cause Swanp and Liv both care about dearly.
Thank you and enjoy.
-Ed. Blast from the Past An Excerpt from the original SwanpJew's Guide to Power Poker
Hand Quiz 2 – 1/2NL at a New Orleans casino
You are on the button with AcAh and your stack is huge. UTG, HJ, CO limp in. The action is folded to you.
Do you: call, raise, go all-in, or fold?
Answer: Just call. If you raise every time you get pocket Aces, you’re telling your opponents you like to get value from your premium hands. That’s a tell and a serious leak in your game. By calling, you’re setting up a trap. Pocket Aces is the best starting hand in hold ‘em (you heard it here first), so it only makes sense to keep as many players in the pot as possible. Sometimes you should fold. If you play too many hands, your opponents will know you’re not strong all the time. Throw them off by folding your Aces.
Going all-in is fine if the stacks are at least 750BB and your opponent is wearing sunglasses and a backwards ball cap. This is a good play because of something called implied odds. They’re called “implied” because you’re implying that you have a garbage hand and you’re hoping to avoid a call from an Internet player who has no idea how to read souls.
Despite all these exceptions, in this example you just call.
This is a great flop for you. If your opponents are any good, they would have thrown away their Jacks or Queens because you have Aces. Plus, there’s three spades on the board. That means that it’s virtually impossible for anyone else to have spades.
UTG bets some chips. Then HJ calls. CO raises or something.
Do you: call, raise, go all-in, fold?
Answer: Just call. Betting now would be springing the trap too early. Trust me.
SB re-raises, BB folds, UTG re-re-raises, HJ shoves all in, CO shoves all in.
See? What did I tell you? This is the best situation for aces on that weak board. After all, even if someone has a King, you’ve got their pair beat.
Do you: call, raise, go all-in, fold?
Answer: Just call. We don’t want to scare away anyone with a little left behind.
SB shoves all in, UTG shoves all in.
Do you: call or fold?
Answer: This is a close one. Everyone’s showing strength, so now we’re worried that someone else has Aces and we’re going to split the pot. That’s bad news because when we show down, the other players get a read on us. I like a call here.
Hero calls and shows Aces out of turn. SB, UTG, HJ, and CO all muck.
Hero takes down $12,060 pot.
A Message From Your Poker Heroes A commercial featuring Abigail Breslin circa Zombieland
[A suburban mom is in a McMansion kitchen among state-of-the-art appliances and she, for some crazy reason, is using a towel to manually dry a plate. She walks upstairs to check up on her 10-year-old daughter, who rapidly clicks to minimize a window on her computer desktop. The mom frowns and the daughter smiles nervously]
Daughter: “Oh, hi, Mom.”
Mom: “Cindy... are you going full degen?”
Cindy: “No! I was just looking at porn, I swear!”
Cindy: [sighs] “Yes, ma'am.”
Mom: “Let me see.”
[The camera pans to the computer screen. A cursor opens HM2 and shows ridic LAG stats]
Mom: “Well, your PFR is nice and tight at 25% – oh,wait. That's your three-bet percentage.”
Cindy: “I have to isolate the mega-fish!”
Mom: “Well, did you have to iso-raise with four-deuce off?”
Cindy: “I have a post-flop edge against all these donks!”
Mom: “Cindy, honey, you're scaring me.”
[The camera pulls back to put the arguing pair in the background. Enter Liv Boeree in the foreground]
Liv: “Hi. I'm Liv Boeree, poker pro and all-around awesome babe.”
[Enter SwanpJew in the foreground. He wears an uncomfortable smile]
SJ: “H-hi. I-I'm Sw—SwanpJew.”
[There is a heavy silence for twenty seconds. Sweat beads on SJ's forehead. Liv clearly takes her cue early in order to relieve the pressure on SJ]
Liv: “Millions of American teenagers are stealing their parents' credit card information, logging on to perfectly legal poker websites, and donking off stacks like wannabe JRBs. What's the problem here? Poor parenting? An oppressive, nanny-like legal state?”
SJ: “NO!” [Liv flinches at the volume. SJ swallows a big lump in his throat and continues at barely above a whisper] “No, Liv. The problem at work here is...”
SJ and Liv: “FPS – Fancy Play Syndrome.”
[The camera cuts back to Cindy and Mom arguing. Liv comes from camera right to crouch by the girl.]
Liv: “You don't need to balance your range at these stakes. Just bet for value and avoid paying off passive players when they suddenly turn aggressive.”
[Liv turns to the camera and flashes her million dollar smile]
SJ: “THAT'S RIGHT, LIV! [coughs] You can isolate without a monster, but having zero card advantage is no way to go to the flop in a three-bet po—”
[SJ frowns deeply. Liv, sensing what's happening, looks off-camera with an apologetic head tilt]
SJ: “What kind of bullshit is that? Let me see that hand history real quick.”
[The actress playing Mom, clearly fed up with drying the same plate for 45 takes, throws up her hands and storms off-set. SJ begins scrolling through the totally fabricated HM2 database, occasionally muttering “raise” and “all-in” and “chatbox taunt them into calling.” Liv faces the camera, gamely determined to finish this best take, which has presumably taken hours to get]
Liv: “Kids, it's not cool to open 3.5x under the gun with Ace-four off-suit, even if the Ace is a spade. Stop the FPS virus before it becomes full-on bajunky monkey tilt.”
SJ: “What kind of moron stacks off with middle set? You got coolered, bro.”
Cindy: “What should I do when the fish keeps felting me?”
SJ: “Just pretend you were villain the whole hand and post the results on /poker. You don't ever have to lose on your Internet posts.” [SJ flashes his $2,980 dollar smile]
[Fade to black]
Good balance is the hardest part of donk betting. The biggest reason why donk betting isn’t more popular among players isn’t that it’s inherently bad, but rather because it’s very hard to build your donk betting range in a balanced way. It takes a lot of studying and memorizing things to learn an effective donk betting strategy. The Flop Donk Bet (DK) 340 The Value of Donk Betting 354 The Power of Position 355 12 d Z & o } } v v µ } v r ~ r 360 Overall Flop Metrics 361 Developing IP C-betting Strategies 374 Developing OOP C-betting Strategies 394 C-betting in 3-bet Pots 404 C-bet Defense410 13 'dK d µ v ^ P ] 428 It probably will not affect most sites. yah, I joke and kid alot about internet porn, but I'll never forget when my youngest son moved in and one morning before school when I went to wake him up Lately, donk betting has been somewhat redeemed by pros who do use it occasionally in very specific situations, but it still remains something you shouldn’t really do. Continuation Bet (c-bet) When a player raises before the flop they’ll frequently continue to represent a strong hand by betting on the flop as well. The theory of betting and bluffing: Advanced opening ranges with range viewer: How to play draws: Using a poker HUD: Supplements and hand examples: Knockout poker strategy: Plus much more: Donk and lead betting strategies: Over 20 hours of video content : Understanding bubble play and ICM: Upgrade to premium later Advanced continuation betting
A donk bet = a bet made into the previous street aggressor. For more information about donk betting, watch my video about donking your entire range: https://... When you use these links to create an account and play poker, thepokerbank gets a small percentage of the rake you pay (that would otherwise have gone to the poker site). This does not affect you ... Donk Betting Deception Dry Board - Duration: 13:06. Exploitative Poker 111 views. 13:06. How AI beat the best poker players in the world Engadget R+D - Duration: 11:14. Donk-betting is the act of betting into an opponent who raised on a previous betting round, instead of letting them continue to be the aggressor. It's a bold and unexpected move, so many players ... Dom brings you through the essentials of how to properly execute a donk bet and the variables you should be aware of when adding it into your game. Please join our discord, visit our website (dto ...