I get questions all the time about when I'm going to move up in limits. After all, I made about 2,500,000% on my penny stake! ha ;)
Right now I'm playing stuff like .01/.02, .02/.04 and .10/.20 Stud games.
So the other day I was on a site where someone was playing 50/100 and up all the time. Well, he couldn't get a good game, so I guess he sat down in the .01/.02 blind game to play. And the reaction was typically hilarious.
Another thing I've noticed about a player I admire is his willingness to play in good games, practicing game selection, regardless of his bankroll. His story goes something like this:
A middle limit pro played a lot of tourneys and some cash games a few months back. He played way too loose and aggro for the field. His results weren't that hot. He obviously was not adjusting to his opponents and FPS combined with his firm belief that he could "outplay" his competition post-flop gave him the false security which ends up crippling some players.
Eventually he did the wise thing and quit for a while, deciding to study and revamp his game. He was gone for about a month to six weeks, not playing even once.
He started fresh, getting back into cash games at the lowest micro-limits (sound familiar?). Regardless of his past performance and playing limits, he did the wise thing and went to the very bottom, only mixing in tourneys when there was some overlay/freeroll/guarantee/sponsorship available to make it worth his while. He also tightened up to the point of the Felicia-Rock proportions (really, really tight). He didn't get into that trap of HAVING to raise on the button when it was passed to him. He didn't always limp in the SB just because he was halfway in and there were no raises. He didn't auto-raise in the SB when HU vs. BB. He just put in his time and waited for good opportunities and big hands. Which is sometimes necessary, especially at those limits. I always crack up when "advanced" players try to outplay at the micros.
If I had a chart of this guy's progress it would look awesome. No, I don't use tools and trackers when I play, although many of them have been available for the decade I've been playing online. I try to play like I'd play IRL. I've heard both pros and cons about my decision to do this. Mostly cons from online players. Yeah, I could be missing money here and there. Yes, I could be playing higher limits, yadda yadda. But I never said I was trying to win big online. I said I was trying to take nothing (a freeroll win) and build it into something. If I used a whole bunch of tools I'd probably dislike online poker more than I already do!
Anyway, Joe-Pro is doing great. I'm sure he has already way surpassed my little scratch by far. Then again, like Carl's story, Joe-Pro actually started out with real cash, not a freeroll, so there ya are.
I've recently talked to a whole crop of players who are doing or have done what I'm doing. Like I said in the beginning, this is something that has been going on since the early days of play money online poker (and I'm sure in IRL poker, too). So it's no surprise that there are many of us. The ones who seem to succeed the most are the ones who don't get overconfident after some big scores and play above our little OIC bankroll.
I've also seen a couple of players crash and burn by transferring wins out of the poker room and into online casinos, just to lose every bit of their hard earned grind in a few hands. But that is a problem for a different type journal, isn't it?
Anyway, after a stale week I'm finally doubling up here and there again on a given uML table. Again, I haven't had a really good heater yet, and I'm playing way way way too cautious/timid/passive. But I'm doing it to decrease my variance, not to play coinflips and hope I have a huge score. This is a slow, steady grind I'm hoping to play out for about a year or until I just get too bored and can't take it any more. At the end of the year I might buy something little for all of my trouble, but I'm NOT looking for some major cash or huge bankroll. I'm just trying to have fun!
1/22/12 -22 BB's (NLHE, PLO)
1/23/12 +72 BB's so far...(NLHE)