Micro-stakes players: Believe in yourself

I wanted to share a story about when I first started to play poker. I had been playing online for a short while. I had deposited a couple of times and gone broke, then I found myself down again to just a few bucks in my PokerStars account. I was really ready to quit altogether -- it just didn't seem to be working out for me. I wanted to win so badly, but it wasn't happening.

I was still 18 and playing the micro-limits, and I had less than $5 in my account. I complained about my troubles to a friend of mine, and I remember him telling me that if it was bothering me so much I should just stop playing. But even though I was disappointed in my results, I still felt like I could do it -- that I could turn it around and find a way to win at poker.

This was when I first fell in love with no-limit hold'em cash games. Up until then, I had only been playing sit-n-gos and tournaments. But when you are down to less than $5 in your account, you can't really risk it all in a tournament -- or you shouldn't, anyway. So I sat down at the lowest stakes tables there were, the $0.01/$0.02 tables, where at least I had a lot of blinds with which to work.


I did turn it around, and I eventually built my account up over $300. It was so much fun, and that is still one of my best poker memories. It's not always about how much you win, but how important it is to you when you do win, and back then it was very important for me to prove to myself that I could win.

With more than $300, I was able to play tournaments again and other games, and so I was on my way to building it up more and eventually start playing higher stakes.

But the most important thing about that journey that took me from less than $5 in my account to more than $300 was that I began to believe in myself and realize that I could be good at poker. And in poker, in my opinion, the most important thing you have to learn to do before you succeed is to believe in yourself. So for me this was a great moment and probably something I had to experience before going any further in the game.

People sometimes don't give the micro-stakes games much attention or think they can be that important. But for me that was where I learned one of the most important lessons about poker, as well as where I first found the confidence that I could be good at the game.

Dario Minieri is a member of Team PokerStars Pro

Dario Minieri
@PokerStars in PokerStars news