Young Maestro before 2018

My first blog ever, where to start? I'm a 21 year old guy from the Netherlands, online known as Maestro1908. It's possible that you know me from my streams on Twitch, social media or Unibet live events. I will now first give some background information about myself, cause in my opinion a story where the beginning misses makes no sense.

Who am I?
As I said earlier I'm a 21 year old Dutchie. I think it's fair to say up until this point I could have had more runbad. I'm not talking about runbad in poker here, I'm talking about life. Don't worry, this blog won't be a 'feelgood blog', but I think it's good to sometimes appreciate what you have, although you strive for more. I grew up in a nice family, perfect circumstances at home and a good bond with my family. This probably is the most important for a child. Besides that I can't complain about the country I live in. Of course there are some things that could be improved, like in every country, but all in all I'm lucky to be born in one of the countries with the highest welfare in the world.

This goes hand in hand with a good education system. Primary school was fun, had a lot of friends and enjoyed myself every day. Same goes for high school, it was a good time of my life. However, I started noticing during high school that I had to spend less time studying than most students while still getting high grades, so I had a lot of time to sport and play FIFA. However, I quit Greek and Latin, because my philosophy is that if you really dislike something, you shouldn't do it just to impress others, which was in this case getting the best high school degree possible. When I was 17 I graduated high school and started studying at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. I decided I wanted to study Economics and do Laws part time. This way I could get 2 master degrees in 6 years instead of 8. However, I failed in laws and never made a single exam. I simply couldn't motivate myself for something that seemed super boring. Would I have given it a better chance if my mindset was stronger like it is now a few years later? The answer is certainly yes. I don't regret this as life is good now, but I definitely think this was weak of me.

So I continued studying Economics & Business Economics, which I actually enjoyed. To be honest though, studying Economics on it's own was too easy for me so I had to do something on the side. Some people go on a students club where they get wasted drinking 50 beers per week and try to appear cool, this didn't seem like something for me. As I'm a sportsfan I therefore decided to make an Unibet account when I turned 18 in November 2015. I could get rich knowing more about sports than all those plebs right?! To be fair I made a bit of money and withdrew my deposit, but went broke playing blackjack, and thus had no money left in my account. I made a bit of money in sports, enough to break even on Unibet, but getting an income out of it seemed like the well known 'youth overconfidence'.

Poker before 2018
That's what brings us finally to poker! So I got my deposit on Unibet back and now I have 0 euro in my account, what to do? I saw a free 10eu poker ticket... I had played the game 2 times before with friends, but if you would ask if a flush or full house is better, I had to pass that question. Although yolo (You Only Live Once) was still a hype word back then, I'm too much of a control freak to jump into it without having any clue. I remember watching a video of Liv Boeree about handstrenghts (of course slightly distracted by her as an 18y/o guy). I now knew a full house beats a flush, I'm ready to beat this easy game right?!

I had to do it with a 10 euro ticket for the NL4 cashgames. Up until this day I still don't know how I managed to not go broke, I believe at some point my 'bankroll' was 1 buy in, but I ran it up. 4 euro became 20, 20 became 100, and then I could apply a bit of BRM. This went on the whole year 2016. Grinding NL4 and 1eu SNG's. Moving up, moving down, all the time. Feeling like the best poker player in the world, to having to move down from NL10 to NL4 while trying to improve by watching video's and reading some oldschool books. This was pretty much my poker year while passing all my uni exams quite easily, sporting a lot and hanging out with friends/family. Beginning of 2017 my roll was a bit over 1K and I decided to join twitch at DaVitsche's channel. I had lurked for a few months before, but I now 'felt ready' to join in the chat to see how that is. More about the impact of this channel on my poker career and mindset in my next blog.

I improved a lot by talking to fellow poker players and by watching streams. I took some shots on NL25 which were breakevenish. I remember I felt lost by which format I wanted to play. One month I was a 10eu SNG regular, the next month I was a 10eu MTT grinder, the month after I went back to NL25. Although I was struggling while getting better, my bankroll went up and I decided to quit my student job (personal teaching of all kinds of different courses) at the beginning of the new college year. Right after this I hit a decent NL25 downswing in the fall of 2017. Luckily by this time I was a regular in all the Unibet Twitch streams, and I'm not sure I could have come out of it without the support I got from the Unibet community, thanks if you were one of them and read this. I think this proves that the people you surround yourself with are as important as everything else. I managed to turn it around and qualify to my first live event, Unibet UK Tour Manchester in December 2017. I didn't win anything, but I think I never gained so much experience in one weekend. I went there on my own, met everyone from the Twitch channels, Unibet ambassadors etc (back then this was frightning). Besides that I played live poker for the first time in a casino. No money, but a ton of experience.

2017 was definitely the basis for 2018. I struggled a lot but managed to get my bankroll up from nothing to a bit less than 5K in 2 years time. Besides that I met a lot of inspirational people in 2017. Until 2018 people definitely thought I was wasting my time. But I realized after Manchester that I made the right choice to take this game very serious, although I hadn't earn a significant monthly income until this point in time. The fact that 2018 was the best year of my life wasn't a coincidence, and this is where my next blog will be about, the beautiful year 2018!




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