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my story

March 14 2010

Written to by sal fazzino


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this will be my 2nd ever blog so i apoligize in advance if it isnt well written, but i will do my best.

i started playing poker in Dec 06 when i came accross an ad for pacific poker, and after watching it on telly for a while, thought i knew enough about it to give it a crack. i started on 1/2 and played as high as 5/10 cash. i viewed the game as luck based, and consequently lost a shitload of money at an alarming rate.

At the time i worked away on the mines at a place called Ravensthorpe in WA on a 16 days on/ 5days off roster , so my five days at home quickly become consumed with playing online poker. I guess my disposable income allowed me to lose on a regular basis and keep coming back for more.

i stumbled onto stars and full tilt and discovered the beast that is tournament poker and fell in love with the concept. The only problem was that i sucked just as much at tourneys than i did at cash games. I didnt let the stench of failure dissuade me, and i was regurlarly donating to the mid/ high stakes tourneys and mid stakes cash games.

It was early 2008 when i discovered the concept of poker strategy, and slowly started to read up on the game. In the middle of 08 i had my first breakthrough, winning a 50 cubed on FT for $5400. The next day i came second in the Turbo Hundo for $3300, and i thought i was on my way. Unfortunetly i decided to take on the HS cash games, and within about 8 hrs, i dropped my whole roll. Id had enough, and promptly self excluded from all the sites for 6 months ( the longest allowed).

During the 6 months i started playing live tourneys at Burswood (whenever they ran) and found i couldnt stop thinking about poker. I was working close to home at a gold mine in Boddington at the time, and i was counting the days till i could play again.

Soon enough that day came again, and i ended up having a profitable summer, culmunating in a win in a 50 cubed on stars for $6700. I made the trip out to the Aussie Miliions, playing the opening event, and even though i got knocked out late in day 1, i really enjoyed myself. Then disaster struck. On the day before i was supposed to go back to work, i decided to take a shot at 10/20 on stars. That soon turned into 25/50 and before i knew it i dropped my whole roll again in about 3hrs (about $10,000). That was it. Id had enough. My wife had had enough. Throughout this time she had been a rock, but she was at her wits end. Her husband had spent the summer holidays playing poker and neglecting her and their kids, and losing the 10k was the last straw. i self excluded again and promised her to never play online poker again.

During these 6 months, i made the trip out to crown to play in the 2009 Melbourne championships. I ran deep in the main event and nearly final tabled the ANZPT event, coming 11th for about 8k. I also immersed myself in the game and read countless strategy books to help define my game. During this time, my very understanding wife came to realize how much the game meant to me and we agreed that i would play online again when my exclusion was up, in moderation.

So i started playing again around july 09, and almost immediately, i could feel i was a much better player. I won a satty to APPT Auckland and followed it up with a win in a 100/30k on FT for $7400. I withdrew my first $$ out of FT, and was happy with my play.

Our contract at Boddington finished up at the end of sept, and i decided to take a month off to go to Auckland, and to pick up my volume playing online (playing just tourneys).

Two days into my holidays, me and my wife had a big arguement about me playing too much. I had played for pretty much 2 days straight, and she was concerned i was going to keep it up fo the whole month. We went to bed angry on the Sunday night (Oct 4th), and she fell asleep with me on the laptop next to her yet again. I registered for the Warm up and the Millions and steeled myself for a big night.

My wife awoke from her slumber around 9am and was shocked to see me still playing. I told her something special was happening and showed her that i was coming first in both tournaments. A few hours later, and i had made the final table of the Sunday Warm Up on the short stack (i busted out of the millions around 200th). She was literally running around the room with the kids as i took my baby stack and turned it into a 3rd place finish for $72,000.

I guess everything just sort of fell into place since then. I took the next 3 months off and had the time of my life playing poker and making heaps of money. Since the Warm Up, Ive had scores of 23k, 18k, 15k, 13.5k, 9.5k, 8k, 7.2k and 7k. Ive also won packages to Sydney, Adelaide and Macau and came 23rd in Auckland for 7k, and got as high as 14th in the Australian rankings on pocket 5s. All this in the space of 5 months.

Im back at work now (at a BHP mine in Port Hedland) on a 4 week on/ 1week off roster so unfortunetly poker has to take a backseat for a while. Ive been wrestling in my head about whether to quit and give going pro a shot, but in the end i just cant justify it. Ill still try and get out to the main events, and play online whenever i can.

I hope this story inspires some of you that may have been down, to know that a life changing poker expirience may be just around the corner. And if nothing else, i hope it teaches the value of bankroll management.

GL on the tables,

Sal Fazzino




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