Hello people,

This is going to be a long post, lets start with a bio for those of you who still have no idea who this alpha dude with a terrible English accent is:

- born 1986 in the french countryside from a middle-class family.

- nothing worth noting for years, not too stupid at school, moved out of my parents home just before turning 18 to pursue scientific studies in the big city. Really intensive maths and physics training plus some chemistry and various minors for 2yrs, somehow managed to survive this. Started to specialize in chemistry in the 3rd year (so dont **** with me, I know at least half a dozen ways of blowing your car/house!).

- The story really starts in the spring of 2006 while still at school. I suffered a knee dislocation after a stupid accident and couldnt move much for a while so I spent the week of spring holidays with a childhood friend of mine who was doing some sportsbetting for pennies on unibet. There was a poker section and he tried some. He asked me so many times to play with him for fun that week (like 100 times a day every single day) that I finally surrendered. He had to teach me the rules because I literally didnt know anything at all about poker except for what I saw in  movies. I vaguely knew what a straight flush was but couldnt tell you wether or not 2 pairs was stronger than trips (in movies they always end up with quads against straight flushes), plus in france there is a popular card game (not played for money) where the 10 is stronger than K,Q,J. Definitely ever heard of a flop or river before that. I was immediately hooked by the game, i always played lots of strategy video games and chess so I probably had an advantage over other people who didnt but were learning poker at the same time. I immediately started winning and knew this game had lots of potential. Plus I still remember how winning/losing 20 euros in one evening at that time felt greater/worse than making/losing 20k in 1 day does now. We had pennies home games every weekend.

- Went to the US for the summer on a school program with lots of others schoolmates to better learn english, we landed in Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, a ****ing shithole, worse food ever, almost impossible to find anything other than burgers and drinking water is more expensive than sodas. I worked in a "nascar speedpark" for 6$ an hour, didnt play any poker.

- Back in France, started playing poker a lot more, small sitandgos tournaments on unibet then titan poker, also some low stakes cash games. Started making a few hundred here and there, going less and less to school. fast forward summer 2007, early august french casinos opened poker tables. By that time I had made a couple thousands playing home games and online but didnt save much of it and somehow still decided to have a try in the Lyon casino on 24th august. My networth at the time was less than 1k, the game is 5/10 I had 500euros cash with me and somehow decided to put it all on the table (lol bankroll management). Played like 1 hand in the first 3hrs and blinded down to 300 when a dude announced he would put 100 "in the dark" next hand. He did, and I got dealt KQo, I tanked for like 3mins, KQo has to be a big favourite over 100% of hands right?, I took a leap of faith and decided to go allin, I won that hand, do not remember what he had. A couple more small pots and then the life defining hand happened. I somehow got 44 vs 33 and A7 on A43xx allin by the turn and tripled up and later booked a 1600 win for the night. If I had had 33 instead of 44 in that hand, or lost the KQo allin earlier I would probably be a chemical engineer/chemist today.

- I was going to the casino almost everyday day, sesions from 9pm to 3.30am and play online poker the rest of time, **** school, made over 10k in september. October 1st 2007 I officially became a full time professional poker player and gave up school for good. Definitely the stupidest decision I ever made, at least with the information I had at that time. I mean, come on, I was still playing like 25c/50c fullring on pokerstars online. But 6 and a half years later today it turned out to have been a great decision (or rather a very stupid decision with a very lucky outcome, but well, thats how lots of people have succeeded in life anyways).

- I averaged over 10k euros a month despite a 4% uncapped (for real!) rake in casinos, and moved up to 0.5/1 then 1/2 online. Started travelling for live poker all over france, went to morocoo in feb 08 then played an LAPT in costa rica in may 08, my first and only live cash but Ive played like 5 live tournies overall at some point with friends we were going to EPT's just to play the side cash games.

- November 2008 I finally moved up to 2/4 NLHE and never had to move back down since. I started playing more and more online and less live poker. I did lots of travelling again in 2009, first came to asia, macau and thailand in may then vietnam in september. At the end of 2009 I decided to move to Asia full time. Moved back and forth between Vietnam and Phuket several times. I lived in 2 different poker villas, last one was with 4 other french players that I knew from Lyon, but they exclusively play french sites so none of you would know them. June 2011 I moved full time to ho chi minh city in Vietnam where I still live today and for the foreseeable future. I cant remember the last time I had to wear long sleeves, the temperature never ever drops below 15 degrees Celsius. I got married to a Vietnamese wife I met back a few years ago and we have a kid, born in the beginnings of 2013.

This is me and my son at the swimming pool down my building:


and with wife at some random street food place:


We currently live in a condo in an upper end residential complex, I moved 1 month ago from a fully furnished 90sqm to an unfurnished 140sqm in the same building (to give you an idea of the prices there, it costs me 1250$ a month, and 1200$ for my previous apt). Here is a view of the saigon river and HCMC downtown from my apartment:


I am in the process of buying my own 149sqm apartment in a similar residential complex on the other side of the city. If everything goes according to plan I will be moving out again next spring.

- Poker wise I always did alright and my networth has been slowly but steadily going up. After the 2010 soccer world cup I decided to go for SNE, was behind the pace so worked my ass off the remaining 6 months of the year and did it. 2010 I also learned PLO and mixed games. Did SNE again in 2011, maintained it in 2012 and lost it at the end of 2013.

Now Let see some graphs and stake reports, pokerstars.com, all dates, unfiltered, as of April 1st 2014:



6.6M cash game hands, 870k table profits, 897k paid rake (yes it hurts a lot) of which I got about 480k rakeback (it eases the pain a little but its still ****ing painful).

Thats the vast majority of my poker winnings, there are a couple hundred k's more mostly from live poker then some online tournaments from a while ago and a small volume on other sites. 100% Tax-free, thats one of the good things about living in those south east asian countries, as long as money is flowing in it is very welcomed and they couldn't care less about where it comes from.

Now some pics of some typical thai and vietnamese food:

BBQ marinated calamar

Shrimp salad

Thai papaya salad

vietnamese style seafood hotpot:

Lobster and mantis shrimp BBQ:


Raw scallops:


Fried rice:


Random breakfast place in Phuket:


and to finish, some typical nightclub in HCMC:



Eating good food matters a lot to me, and preferably healthy too. I've been a complete atheist for as long as I can remember but since every single religion mankind ever invented has some food restrictions I decided a while ago to invent my own religion. I am the founder and only member so far but one day we will overtake the world! The only restriction is a strict prohibition on eating KFC's and Mcdonald's and Pizza Hut's and various other total crap food places. In this new religion we believe pasta in tomato sauce is by far the greatest invention ever made by mankind, not even close. Second place goes for dark chocolate. Red wine and sushis/sashimis are in contention for the bronze medal.

At first this post was supposed to be mainly a quarterly report but I feel like I might have rambled a bit, anyways here are some more graphs:

January 2014, total profit 73.8k$, my best poker month so far thanks to some rungood at higher stakes


February 2014, total profit 36.5k$


March 2014, total profit 47.8k$


If it wasnt obvious, total profit also includes rakeback, some tournaments and other cash games not tracked by PT4/HM2.

2014 1st quarter graph


2014 stakes report:



I consider my mains games to be 3/6 but there is always more action at 2/4 so thats where I play the most hands. I tableselect a lot more carefully at 5/10+. I also tableselect more at PLO than NLHE, the rake is much higher there (you pay over 50% more rake at PLO than at the same NLHE stakes, how many winners would be left at NLHE if you increased the rake by 50% overnight?) and the variance is incomparably higher so basic investment theory requires me to need higher EV for playing PLO. To play 25/50 PLO I definitely need a big drooler on the table, I was very fortunate there this year but am still down a bit lifetime at that level. Fortunately right now the overall skill level at PLO is still somewhat weaker than NLHE and more importantly the good reg to weak player ratio is much more favourable.

I am currently on a big heater, those winrates are definitely not sustainable and the 2nd quarter will almost certainly be significantly worse than the first. Regression to the mean is a very powerful thing, fool is the one who thinks it doesnt apply to him. I had 100k+ downswings twice already, it happened before and it will happen again, I'm ready for it. Just because Im running super hot is not going to push me to play against stronger opposition at higher stakes. I am very well aware that my skill level now is roughly the same than when i dropped 100k last mid sept through mid nov. You have to accept and deal with massive short term variance to be successful in poker.

As you can see nowadays my volume is spread out all over the place. What I dont play is fullring, I played close to 2M hands of it before and started with it but now I really dont enjoy it so I very rarely play it anymore. And I also dont play much zoom, I tried to get into it during the second semester of last year, training myself to potentially go for SNE again in 2014 but I really dont like it, I find the action way too fast and changing the lineup every hand is very disturbing to me. Overall it doesnt play into my strengths at all and I play considerably worse on it than on regular tables, so I got rid of it.

Most of my sessions are a mix of NLHE and PLO, I just tableselect the best games I can find at stakes 2/4 and up. This year I reduced my average number of tables and I try not to go over 12 tables at a time anymore unless I have a good reason for it. I try to play less tables when I have higher stakes running. I also open some HUPLO tables, sometimes I get to play some real droolers. Im basically bumhunting there and Im sure some will hate me for it but when Im playing my regular 6-max sessions I have absolutely no interest in playing some good reg HU. For NLHE I dont bother opening tables, you just never get action there, I guess it wouldnt cost me anything to still open some tables but I find having some extra empty tables that never fill quite annoying so I dont do it.

What I find very surprising is that I know of no regular that consistently play both PLO and NLHE at stakes from 2/4 to 5/10. When Im playing like 7 NLHE tables and 5 PLO at those stakes it basically never happens that a regular multitabling 1 game type is also multitabling the other. Its very strange that in 2014 the playerpools are still so separated and there isnt more flexibility in midstakes regulars.

Some zoom regulars can play up to 1700 hands per hour or something similar by 8 tabling it, for me that is completely impossible, my brain is just too slow and my skill level decrease significantly over 700hands/hr. I still masstabled for years and always had putting big volume as my 1st priority, over putting in quality time. This year I changed my approach a lot and reversed the priorities. As a consequence Ill make less from rakeback, especially not being SNE anymore so Ill have to make more from table winnings to compensate for it. Ill reevaluate as time goes on.

I will say a few things about what I consider to be my overall strengths and weaknesses in poker. So brain speed is definitely not one of my strengths and I lag far behind the king10clubs and nanonokos of the world in that department. And sometimes when I play too many tables I get overwhelmed and start playing terrible. I have concentration issues, Im rarely fully focused and do kind of autopilot a lot of the times. It also implies that I cant really play very long sessions, I have to make pauses after a while. Most of my sessions last between 1.5 and 3hrs, very rarely over 4hrs in a row (it happened a lot more often in my SNE days). I also have random lapses of concentration when for like 10-15 min I am clicking buttons without thinking at all and end up making some really terrible, unjustifiable plays. It sounds strange that somebody with those limitations can still be relatively successful at poker in 2014 and I am the 1st to be surprised by this. What can I say? It looks like the field is still somehow playing worse than I do.

I believe one my main strengths is emotional control. My short term results have very little impact on my mood and playing ability, I feel very few emotions while playing poker. I am a full time professional so there is no room for it. I believe only in logic and rational thinking so my emotional control has to stay on an elite level. If I had a big winning or losing day and we have dinner in the evening you will not guess the difference. I'm positive about this because it happened many times. My other big strength is outstanding work ethics which manifests itself in several ways. I never play 12+ hrs a day but I will grind at least 1 session almost every day, I take very few day-offs. Day-offs are for the weak and the feeble minded. I am extremely consistent with what I do, I play most mornings and usually also in the afternoon, rarely in the evening and never at night. I'm leading a quiet and healthy lifestyle, almost boring you could say. 2-3 times a week I end up my afternoon session my going to the gym (and before you ask, yes, I go there primarily to sweat and not to lurk at some fine Asian ladies in short pants and suggestive outfits). Poker wise I try to play a solid style with strong fundamentals and a strong core preflop strategy, you would be surprised to see how many regulars still have big preflop or postflop leaks, easy to spot and easily exploitable. I need them to keep doing so, the rake is big so I need my opponents to make lots of mistakes for a random midstakes regular like me to keep winning at this game. One day will probably come when I am obsolete and cannot beat the games anymore, hopefully I still have some winning years left. In the meantime I keep having high levels of savings and building up my networth, I'm getting some passive income out of it, not much but it's slowly improving. I have no interest in fast cars and jewelry anyways.

I will finish this post with a prayer. May the great imperial Buddha and the gods of poker send to my regular opponents tons of KK into my AA, you can run as good as you want against other players I dont care.

Until next time, this was Raphael for RunItOnce.com .


Comments (68)
  • Chael Sonnen

    You're the man.

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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  • R0b5ter

    Nice results and nice journal. Will follow

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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  • NocturnalX

    Hi Raphael. Welcome to RIO! 

    Really impressive volume and a nice bottom line! 

    I think it is really great that you have taken the time to write such a thorough introduction and bio about yourself. It is always nice to put a face to a name. I hope other pros might follow your example! 

    One question: Will you be doing vids on both PLO and NL? I'm primarily a PLO player so I would watch a lot of those vids, if at one point I'll purchase the Elite Membership. 

    Good luck on making your vids. I hear it is quite a challenge to play and talk viewers through your thought process at the same time.

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    You might have misunderstood something, I've actually been making videos for RIO for about 6 months now. I guess I should have made this post long before. Exclusively NLHE videos so far, RIO staff asked me if I would be interested in doing PLO vids too, I am sticking to NLHE for now but probably will do some PLO at some point in the future.

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Chael Sonnen


    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    NocturnalX

    Sorry about that, Raphael. I guess I'm living in my own little world of PLO vids. Looking forward to PLO vids, if you decide to make some!!! ;)

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
  • R0b5ter

    Chael, most irritating gif ever. Hurts my eyes and brain

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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    IJustCameForTheFreeCookies

    ^2nd this.

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
  • TheRaulrus

    Good stuff, man. Enjoyed the reading. Continued best of luck to you. 

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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  • TheRaulrus

    My favorite part of the post - "I believe one my main strengths is emotional control. My short term results have very little impact on my mood and playing ability, I feel very few emotions while playing poker. I am a full time professional so there is no room for it. I believe only in logic and rational thinking so my emotional control has to stay on an elite level." Awesome stuff. 

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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  • R0b5ter

    Raphael do you only eat seafood?

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    Absolutely not, I am a meat lover too, def not a vegetarian. I can eat basically everything that doesn't have too many bones or too much fat in it. And I also eat a lot in western places but the point was to post pics about some typical Asian food. Someone who has never been to Asia probably has never eaten a hot pot or a papaya salad. I mean whats the point of posting beef filet or spaghetti bolognese pics, everybody knows what it looks like. There are some typical Asian meat dishes too, pork in coconut, chicken curry or roasted duck to name a few but somehow couldn't find a photo of those in my photo folder. I've also eaten crocodile, snake and rat in Asia. I'm still missing the dog though, I've been wanting to try it for a while but didn't have the opportunity so far. I will, eventually.

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
  • R0b5ter

    Yeah don't need the bolognese pics but like you say there are plenty of Asian meat dishes as well. Just thought it was assuming that 7/7 food pics were seafood. 

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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  • R0b5ter

    Another question.. Do you play live in Vietnam? 

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    No I do not. There is a casino with a poker table in town (2/4 stakes i think, not sure, never been there myself) and some private games with stakes up to 5/10. I know some poker players that play those sometimes but am not interested. I've heard some cheating stories and safety is an important issue for me. Also when I play live in europe or macau i need the stakes to be at least 10/20 or i dont take the game seriously and spew a lot.

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
  • R0b5ter

    One more.. What do you invest in?

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    Nothing out of the ordinary. I try to be diversified, I own several small student rental properties, different financial products with bonds and stocks. I'm also buying my home and always keep a big chunk of cash available as future earnings are quite unpredictable so its important to have a comfortable safety net.

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
  • R0b5ter

    How often do you play live in Europe and Macau? Alright will stop the questions now. Thanks for answering and good luck.

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    Very infrequently nowadays, haven't played live poker since last summer in Europe and probably wont play any until at least this summer when am going back to the old continent on vacations. No plans on going back to Macau until at least the end of the year either. I enjoy playing online better now, plus I would probably make more money online anyways and it certainly allows me to lead a much healthier lifestyle.

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
  • juancopani

    How did affect to the life of a profesional grinder once you got married and had a kid ? 

    Ive been on a relationship for the last two years where i live with my girlfriend, but i can´t imagine myself doing what i do and having a child to take care. 

    Its something that scares me, but certainly could happend on the near future.



    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    Having a kid sure takes some time away from poker but not all that much when you are well organized.


    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
  • R0b5ter

    What makes you think you can't play poker professionally and have children?


    I have 2 kids and poker is a great occupation since I'm flexible and get to spend much more time with them. Not having to commute is a positive in it self. 

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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  • sted9000

    Great post, Thanks. A few questions if you don't mind...

    1- Why do you think it is that more mid stakes regs don't play both PLO and NLHE ?

    2- I noticed in your videos (I play plo but still enjoy watching your vids) that your hud is relativity simple. You're general thoughts on HUDs ?

    3- Would you say you do most of your learning "in-game" or away from the tables ? 


    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    1- I dont really know, as I said in the post, its very surprising to me

    2- I use the same HUD for PLO and NLHE, I prefer to have a very simple one that takes minimal screenspace and click on the popups when I need to check some specific stat.

    3- I do very little work outside of the tables and basically just play a lot. Thats something I wanted to change this year but I've failed so far.

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Dado Grebenšek

    We'll written Raphael, loved it. What are top 3 reasons in your opinion,that most of us have significantly lower wr at zoom than on the regular tables? 

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    I dont really know. It also depends on how you define winrate (bb/100 or hourly rate?). Somebody 8-tabling zoom doesnt need nearly the same bb/100 that somebody 12-tabling regular games to still make more money than him overall at equivalent stakes. So I guess from an efficient market perspective it makes a lot of sense that the same individual would have a lower bb/100 in a zoom format and that the reg/weak player ratio would be worse too. Also I am most probably not the only one who plays markedly worse in a zoom setup. Btw what is your screename on stars?

    posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
  • luckycard888

    nice job!

    posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago
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  • Peter Jennings

    Congratulations on your success.

    posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago
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  • Jonas Smailys

    Damn, that's some really impressive stuff. Pretty huge inspiration to me honestly so yeah, thanks for that :)

    posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago
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  • blackpuma

    Thank you for this inspirational post!  Your videos and they way you are able to communicate your thought process is one of the main reasons I keep my elite membership. You have a very fundamentally sound game and I guess that's why your thoughts come across so crisp in your videos.. I am very appreciative that a measly 100$ a month can buy such wealth of information and that you chose to share it.

    Good Luck to you in the future. 

    posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago
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  • LaMenteMaestra

    thx Raphael, I wanted 1 graph and you came with so much more :) really liked the long blog though

    posted 5 months, 1 week ago
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  • lofigr

    Really amazing journal...

    Just for the record, there is one player at FTP I noticed that plays 5/10 PLO and HE regularly and at the same time: VanyaRabotaet.

    He is Ukranian I think... (Vanya at work, meaning of his nickname)

    posted 5 months, 1 week ago
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    Chael Sonnen

    Raphael is French.

    posted 5 months, 1 week ago
  • OnceItRun

    Great post there! You seem very consistent and grounded, which I find to be keys for success in this game.

    Do you have monthly volume goals and if yes, do you base them on number of hands, hours or days? Also, do you have issues implementing MTT's in your schedule of cash games?

    posted 5 months, 1 week ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    My main goal every month is not to allow myself to get lazy and keep being productive with my time (am not just talking about poker there). Pokerwise nowadays I average about 120hrs of grinding per month by playing at least 1 short session every day unless am not at home. As I stated before day-offs are for the weak and the feeble minded.

    The main reason I hardly play any tournaments is their schedule, if you want to play lots of tournaments while living in Asia you basically have no choice but to play at night and sleep in the afternoon. I definitely dont want to do that and try to keep a half decent sleeping pattern and regular meals. I would play a lot more tournaments if the schedule was more favorable for me.

    In my eyes the time zone is the single biggest disadvantage of living in Asia, not just for poker as many real world events happen when its late at night there. It also forced me to completely stop watching any sports. The only thing that I still follow regularly are chess events, since games are usually played in the afternoon in Europe so that's in the evening for me, a lot more convenient than a soccer match from 2 to 4am.


    posted 5 months, 1 week ago
  • Joe Ingram

    Alphaaaaaa :) 


    One of my favorite people to see at my table over the years :(


    Your graph looks exactly how I envisioned it probably looked, straighttttttttt up. Really good post. I used to be a player who mixed NL/PLO at the same time but I found it was much much easier on my mind if I stuck to one at a time which than become not playing NL anymore at all. I don't think there is much of a reason for most people to be playing both at the same time in a session unless you are playing less than 6 games at once. I'm sure you have your reasons for why you enjoy doing this. 


    The religion you want to invent is actually a very common approach among people these days :) i love macd's once in awhile so I don't think I can ever be apart of such religion. One thing I have always wondered over the years is why you did not shot take more or get in and battle a bit more at the higher stakes. I always thought you would have done well game selecting or playing in a tougher games at 5/10 10/20 all those times we played 2/4 together. 

    Because you made such a long/great post I will share something nice and tell you that anytime over the past couple of years someone asked me who the better plo regs were you would always be near the top of that list (probably because out of 100k hands I never stacked you for 100bb+). Not everyone would agree with me when I told them though :)

    Glgl :) 


    posted 5 months ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    Hey,

    "I don't think there is much of a reason for most people to be playing both at the same time in a session unless you are playing less than 6 games at once" Why would you think that? It doesnt make much sense to me. Somebody who can play both games basically doubles his game selection if he is willing to play both at the same time. "I used to be a player who mixed NL/PLO at the same time but I found it was much much easier on my mind if I stuck to one at a time" I think it has more to do with you playing 24 tables for very long sessions than with you mixing up game types!

    For a long time I just filtered out all games above 5/10 in the lobby, not to be tempted to go spewing up there. I agree I sacrificed some EV by doing so but that was for the sake of better stability and more regular results. Also the 10/20+ regs are just way way way better than me, not even close. And I dont want to put myself in a position to lose several hundred k's during a bad downswing. Even today if a big whale is sitting in let say a 200/400 game and there is somehow an empty seat I will not sit in that game.

    I think you overestimate me just because I might have run extremely good vs you (actually I dont remember at all, what is your exact screename already? I will look you up in my db). It's not too hard to say who is bad/not very good just by often seeing showdowns of really misplayed hands or by consistently exploiting some frequencies that are completely off. But its a lot harder to differentiate average/good regs from top regs, because you wont know who plays slightly better in many situations and have slighly better frequencies and better constructed ranges. So it becomes easy to think someone is really good when he is just running super hot against us. Or maybe he is playing very aggressively and putting us in tough spots more often, but raw aggression does not translate into skill. I think people underestimate the regs that play very solidly and dont do much out of or the ordinary but hardly make any mistakes and overestimate the regs who play more aggressively overall but also spew a lot.

    posted 5 months ago
  • d0zer

    regarding the last post i would agree that quite often the guys who are tough to play against are so because they are overly spewy and are sacrificing a lot in EV just to do so. very cool thread Raphael, you seem like a very down to earth and humble guy - a rare breed in poker ! would be cool if other coaches on the site practiced making similar threads in terms of even smaller updates as to how they are doing in games along with what they have been up to, it's often quite interesting to read 

    posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago
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  • sold67

    This is a really inspirational post! It's pretty incredible to think about how the 33 vs 44 has probably changed your life so drastically and how things could have/might have been very different. 

    I've been trying really hard over the past month to improve my playing ability at cash. I haven't ever played much cash at all and mainly have focused on MTTs with limited success due to limited experience, high variance and a limited bankroll so I enter mostly very high field tournaments. I'm now trying to slowly make the step in to cash and have been ever so slightly dipping my feet in the water. I had always been a losing player in cash but your videos have helped me improve a bunch already coupled with some other studying. I am now slowly but surely seeing improvements in my cash game and the graph is moving the correct way for a change! That's a good start! Lets keep it moving that way. ;)  

    *Crosses fingers

    I particularly enjoy in your videos you explain what you would have done had a situation went differently at points. In some other videos I am left wondering what if x had happened how would he have dealt with the situation then. I'm able to ask in the comments which is awesome but it's also nice to hear you explain in the video as I feel I learn better and it sticks with me more by watching/listening from my own experience.

    I've also been able to identify how I am playing situations wrong and plug some leaks by watching you playing and listening to you explain why you think taking x approach is a good approach to take. I'll then compare it to how I play those situations and commonly find leaks. 

    Thank you my friend for the awesome videos and all the inspiration you provide with this post! I wish you continued success. 



    posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    I'm glad I'm being helpful!

    posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Raphael Nogueira

    Nice thread. Very inspiring your story and how you deal with the overall game/success. A couple of questions... 

    Do you had some problems moving to vietnam due to internet connection ? I pretend to live in south Asia for a couple of months in the next year and that's my main concern about it. 

    Do you think being a coach in RiO improved your game in some way ?

    Cheers from another Raphael lol

    posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    I definitely had lots of problems with my internet connection in the past, both in Thailand and in Vietnam. I cant remember how many times Ive been berated for slowrolling when I was just having a shitty connection and Im confident Ive been folding AA preflop more than 99% of people due to bad internet. But 10 months ago I could finally get an optical fiber connection and its been a lot more reliable, every once in a while it slows down for a few minutes but for the most part Im very happy with it.

    It probably has, and it allowed me to meet some other interesting poker players.

    posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago
  • Aesah

    Loved reading this. Great post

    posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago
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  • Montana94

    Good job man, anyone tell u that u kinda look like BoostedJ? congrats on your play, i look forward to watching your vids.

    posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago
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  • gargamel_fk

    Hi Raphael. I have been living in Thailand for last couple of months. Curious about living in Vietnam. What do you need to get long term visa in Vietnam to stay there??Why have you switched countries??

    posted 4 months, 1 week ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    You can just renew tourist visas twice so that you can stay up to 9 months without having to leave the country. Personally I do have a 5yrs visa exemption but I still have to get my passport stamped every 3 months (lol communist countries, they do like to stamp!).

    posted 4 months, 1 week ago
  • Raphael Cerpedes

    It's been a while. Lets update this thing.

    April 2014, total profit +45.9k$


    posted 1 week, 4 days ago
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  • Raphael Cerpedes

    May 2014, total profit  -19.1k$


    posted 1 week, 4 days ago
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  • Raphael Cerpedes

    June 2014, total profit +20.6k$


    posted 1 week, 4 days ago
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  • Raphael Cerpedes

    Then I took the whole summer off poker and didnt play a single hand online or live in July and August. I just travelled to France with a 10 day trip to Italy, in the Tuscany region. Tuscany was a great trip overall and holy ****ing crap they sure know how to cook pasta down there! For a moment they almost made me feel like I wasnt born in the right food country! Plus their starters, antipastis and cold cuts are wonderful and varied, some of those Ive never seen before. I would just say they are lacking fish to my taste. They very rarely eat any, which is surprising given that the sea is so close. Also the region between Florence and Sienna in the middle of Tuscany is where the Chianti red wine is produced. I visited the Antinori "castle" and apparently they produce over 22 millions bottles a year if I remember correctly what they said. Still, its not worth a real good Bordeaux or Cotes du Rhones heh!

    I also played my 1st chess tournament in over 7 years in august http://www.echecs.asso.fr/ResultatNew.aspx?URL=Tournois/Id/28616/28616&Action=Ga

    I finished 60th with 5.5/11 and a 2068 elo performance, probably around my level. I'm just a mediocre amateur but I greatly enjoy playing the game and follow all top events. Dont ask me the names of the WSOP main event finalists or the winners of the last EPT's but I know who won any big chess event in the year and all the memorable games. Unfortunately hess future looks very gloomy at the moment with the recent reelection of this Kirsan puppet corrupt crook at the head of FIDE despite some scandalous facts those past few months.

    Anyways, I was back in Asia earlier this month and started playing poker again. It doesnt look like things have changed much in 2 months, which was to be expected. And hopefully there will be some very good action during the WCOOP. I am speaking about the cash games since the events are played at night time here I most probably wont be playing any.

    Also I've gotten a little bit behind schedule with video production but Ive recorded some good footage the other day and should be recording the last 4 videos of my contract very soon out of this session.

    Btw I dont know how users usually watch poker videos but for the past 6 months or so Ive been completely incapable of watching 1 single full training video in 1 go. I still more or less watch all videos by top cash players on RIO, but always in several times. Like for exemple I will watch some 10-15min while loading a session then maybe some 10 min more later in the day and will finish it in the evening or the day after. I watched so many of those in the past that maybe my brain burned off with them and I cannot possibly watch 1 for 45min straight anymore! Very strange indeed.


    posted 1 week, 4 days ago
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  • Raphael Cerpedes

    I ate great food all summer so a few pics are mandatory:

    Worldwide famous French Foie Gras entier:

    Homemade seafood paella for 20 persons:


    Italian gnocchis:



    posted 1 week, 4 days ago
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  • Raphael Cerpedes

    Some specialties from Lyon:

    Foie gras poelle:


    Mustard andouillette:


    Pate en croute:


    Quenelle Lyonnaise:


    posted 1 week, 4 days ago
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  • Raphael Cerpedes

    Some more great food from this summer:

    Red Lobsters:


    Typical italian "antipasti":


    Anchovies in olive oil (I will never understand why so many people cannot eat anchovies):


    Rabbit "roti" (And why the heck dont UK people eat rabbit?):


    posted 1 week, 4 days ago
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    Arnaud Lafaurie

    TROP BON ! J'ADORE LE LAPIN (I like so much rabbit especially "à la moutarde" or " à la provencale" not sure our UK friends will like also andouillette :)

    posted 1 week, 4 days ago
    Raphael Cerpedes

    I have never seen any sort of UK or Canadian real restaurant anywhere, there must be some good reasons for that!

    posted 1 week, 2 days ago
  • mike

    I will join your religion if you add high quality coffee to the list of top foods to believe in :)

    posted 1 week, 4 days ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    I drink a bit of coffee (I also drink a lot of tea at home) but I can go several days without a drop. I drink espressos almost exclusively, with an occasional cappuccino, when going out in restaurants and coffee places. Illy and Lavazza are common brands here, the local brands are a lot worse. Starbucks opened less than a year ago and have become extremely popular, but come on, thats just not very good coffee (still better than local brands though). Also I am not a fan of vietnamese coffee which is 100% robusta, tastes quite different and they love to drink it with a lot of ice and sugar. For my personal consumption I use an Italian coffee machine that looks like this:


    For those of you that have never seen such a coffee machine it works differently than other common coffee machines. It produces coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee and is supposed to have a better taste. But I am no expert on coffee, I know of people than can name the coffee brand blindfolded, I definitely cannot do that.

    I like my coffee short, strong, bitter and no sugar.


    posted 1 week, 2 days ago
  • R0b5ter

    Great food pics! Lobsters are my absolute favorite. Preferably New England Lobsters.yum yum

    posted 1 week, 4 days ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    I do prefer rock lobsters than red lobsters but they are not always available.

    posted 1 week, 2 days ago
    Raphael Cerpedes

    And if lobsters are your "absolute favorite" you deserve a few more pics. Here we slice them in half while they are still alive, before putting some garlic sauce on the flesh and then straight to the wood fire BBQ.




    posted 1 week, 1 day ago
    Raphael Cerpedes

    Just crush that skull. With red lobsters its not so hard but with rock lobsters the shell around the head is thicker and its a lot harder to crush it with just a knife or you need the help of a hammer.


    posted 1 week, 1 day ago
    Raphael Cerpedes

    Keep slicing.



    posted 1 week, 1 day ago
    Raphael Cerpedes

    Well done!



    posted 1 week, 1 day ago
    Raphael Cerpedes

    I forgot to mention it earlier but this is not a blog for vegetarians or animal rights activists!

    posted 1 week, 1 day ago
  • R0b5ter

    I know my coffee and disagree with Starbucks being garbage. Starbucks has quality beans and their espressos are good. All their mocalattecreamrsugarsyrups that's another story though. Also the coffee "machine" you have a picture of is a moka pot which is essentially a manual espresso since it functions in the same way although not producing the same pressure as a real espresso machine. I also have a moka pot and use it occasionally but I prefer my whole automatic $1k espresso machine (hidden brag). I also have a coffee press (or a French press) which produces great coffee and is something I recommend to anyone who wants good coffee cheap.


    posted 1 week, 1 day ago
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  • Raphael Cerpedes

    I didnt say it was garbage. I said it was better than the local brands but still way overrated here (for some reason Vietnamese love american stuff, KFC and mcdonalds would be other prime examples). But if you want to argue that starbucks espressos are as good as, for example, Illy or Lavazza we gonna have to disagree here. I think moka pot is just another name for an Italian coffee machine. I am not sure how similar it is from automatic espressos machines but it doesnt use the same product. I just buy 1kg boxes of ground coffee, either carte noire (french brand) or lavazza. Also it doesnt make the kind of characteristic small mousse you see in regular espressos. I don't think I drink enough coffee to buy my own automatic espresso machine. In the imported grocery store they sell an Illy one for about 900$, I don't know how much it would cost in Europe. I might get one at some point in the future.

    posted 1 week, 1 day ago
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  • Raphael Cerpedes

    And I am too lazy to really consider using a coffee press! In my eyes its better used as a decoration item!


    posted 1 week, 1 day ago
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  • R0b5ter

    Haha well I don't have Starbucks in Sweden but visit them every time I travel and we will have do disagree about their beans be worse than lavazza. I have always been impressed by their quality. Also to really get the most out if your beans you have to grind them just before making your coffee. So to easily increase your taste I would recommend buying a small home grinder. That together with your moka pot should give you absolutely great results.

    Don't know if you're serious about the press but its not more work than a moka pot :)

    posted 1 week, 1 day ago
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    Raphael Cerpedes

    I misunderstood "coffee press", I thought you were talking about this one:


    In French we call this "moulin a cafe" but I have no idea what the English is. In my parents home there used to be one of those on a sideboard for decoration.

    posted 1 week, 1 day ago
  • R0b5ter

    Haha  that is a coffee grinder. Little old fashioned maybe but I bet it does the job

    posted 1 week, 1 day ago
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