on 11:04

Day 24 in the Black Belt Poker House.

After my chat with Neil yesterday I am left with these words going round in my head, “if I can see the grading out then in all probability you should make a blue belt”

With three six hour stints ahead of me I have two concerns, 1) is that I don’t drop any more money as the target I set myself when I started this grading was $2k which was £1350 when we set off over three weeks ago and 2) is that I really need to smash this bad run that I’m having and have a real heater session.

In my head I need to turn this around with a $4k swing asap to stand any chance of being seriously considered for Brown Belt as I know now that profit is a large element of selection.

I know I could get a few mates to sit with me and pass the bucks into my account through heads up cash but I’ve never cheated and I aint going to start now.

I’ve had a migraine for about 7 days now and can only put it down to the mental pressure that I’m putting on myself and the exertion I’m pushing myself through. No matter how many Ibuprofen I neck I just cant shake it off, I think its gone at one point, fire up the laptop and it’s back.

I worked the graveyard shift grinding through from midnight till 4.30am and I show a profit of £74

I get a few hours sleep then take to the felt again mid-afternoon. I complete another 3 hours and this is a losing session of £210 so overall on the day I’m down by £136.

I accept that all I’m playing for now is a Blue belt

This weeks total is -£ 369
Week 1 – week 3 -£1013
Total to date: -£1382

After a great deal of thought I decide to write the following email to Neil and Nik:

“Hi Guys,

At the end of my grind today according to Sharkscope I am now over $2k down for nearly four weeks grading.

When I embarked on this project I had some very clear goals. These were to become a Brown belt going on to achieve Black belt status and representing Black Belt Poker.

I also set myself a budget of $2k

We had our chat yesterday, since then I have bashed another 14 hours of grinding out in a vain attempt to turn things around.

With just 12 on-line hours remaining I have exceeded the budget I put in place and I also see no point in continuing, as I have no interest in becoming a Blue belt.

Thank you for the opportunity that you gave to me. It's been a pleasure to be part of your first intake of students, who have been fun to work alongside, learning from them and also helping some of them. I have learnt a lot of new things that will be very handy should I take up on-line cash and STT's. The insight into software applications and programmes will be invaluable.

Good luck to the eight that make the grade and go on as Brown belts to represent Black Belt Poker, I'm sure that I will be coming up against them on a final table somewhere soon.

Good luck to you and to everyone connected with Black Belt Poker. I'm sure that Black Belt Poker will be the number one breeding ground for bringing on-line players through to the live circuit.

Steve Holden “

So before I got the eviction, I decided to leave the Black Belt poker house.

I put in a lot of hours at the felt (plasma screen) and for whatever reasons be it variance, running bad or just playing shit I failed to make any profit.

I certainly put the hours and the volume of games as required of us in so there was no problem there. I also made my contributions to Black Belt Poker with my daily blog and my weekly round up on Betfair.

I can look back on this trial and say I gave it my best shot and I take a lot from this period with Black Belt Poker.

Is this a good test for live players to come through, asking them to step onto the virtual felt and grind away against the software world, out of their normal environment playing against robots and computer geeks rather than like minded players, I don’t think so although I knew what I was getting myself involved with on day 1.

The biggest thing I have learnt from my time with Black Belt Poker is that if your serious about on-line poker then you really have to embrace all the packages available to you to succeed cause you can take it for granted that 90% of players on-line are using it against you.

And so it ends for me on day 24, when I packed my bags and moved out of the Black Belt Poker House.


Newy said...

Tough call steve but nothin ventured nothin gained, I know u can play and it seems to me u put urself under bit too much pressure. I dont think any one cud get gud results whilst playin live tourneys, playing satellites, sorting houses, keepin family happy, ur blog, betfair reports and the grind of BB poker. All poker literature states not to play when tired or under stress so u had it all to do from the off and it seemed to snowball from there, But its better to regret the the things u done than the things u didnt and i sure there stuff u learned from the experience so onwards and upwards starting with the main event at DTD. gud luck

Tinca Tinca said...

Good luck in the 1000 @ Dtd Steve.
As for the grading, think Newy hit the nail on the head - it does seem you took it all on while still trying to do so much away from the 'puter.

havin_a_laff said...

Hi Steve. You showed courage applying, grinding when things were not going your way and then recognising that you weren't going to get the results you wanted. No shame in your efforts.

If you had the opportunity to get more online time before starting I expect things could have been different.

Its a well worn cliche - but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Onwards and upwards.


ROSSI said...

Well done Steve, you certainly gave it your all and put the hours in. I think towards the end you were under to much pressure and things never go right when you try playing under those circumstances.
Sounds like you were getting less sleep than me!!

Good luck in the $1000DTD mate and keep us all posted.

Scandalous Housewife said...

Me like Black Belt long time.

Jimmy Chipmunk said...

You cant fault your effort you just seemed to be taking on to much but get back in the real world them internet geeks could make valium depressed!

voiceofjoe said...

Admire your effort Steve, I think I made some comments as yourslef as the suitablility of online cash, for a live tournament sponosrship.
When one door closes another one usually opens ... so look forward not back.

JonnyBCash said...

Fuck it. Too bloody hot in Vegas anyway.. Looking up, you get to play the Summer Series in Bolton

eric red kite half-a-bee said...

Hi Steve, we played in Manchester GUKPT - I slowrolled you with my Aces ;-) I have been very impressed by your BBP blog and the efforts you have put in. From someone who is firmly in the low stakes grinder camp, I can feel your pain. The whole staking/sponsoring scene is very interesting at the moment and I am sure you will do well no matter what path you take.

AlexB said...

I applaude you Steve, the time, the effort, the brutal honesty. I'm sorry the BPP process resulted in disappointment, sometimes there's just no justice.

147_star said...

Hi, I have read your progress from the start through James Keys' (skolsuper's) blog and want to say congratulations for putting in a great effort and unlucky it didn't work out better. Starting well is so criticial in these things and you didn't catch the break you needed which meant you had to chase it.

Great effort though and I'm sure you will have learnt so much from the experience. I enjoy reading the blog so keep up the good work and get back to winning ways...a big score will surely help overcome the disappointment!

I have a shoddy blog (147star.blogspot.com) if you fancy linking it up, which I will definitely be updating more when I graduate from Uni in July and maybe give full-time poker a shot.



Anonymous said...

I've been enjoying the blog. Sorry to read that you've quit, but at least you know that you gave it your very best.

Just for interest, what names do you play under on the various sites? I'll add you to my buddy lists ;-)



Phillipia said...

I hope your migraine is gone by now, Steve. Sorry things did not turn out as you hoped. But, as a local coach told a select few high school athletes at an awards dinner the other night, you took the challenge and dared to fail...that is awesome in itself. I applaud your efforts.

AJ001 said...


I read your blog daily and have been really impressed with your honesty, detail and quality of writing through this process.

You gave it your best shot.

Good luck.

Lars Torngren said...

Great work done grinding for a month with online poker! That is a belt by itself! See you at the tables!