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Dan Self

189 points

Looks like RIO doesn't like green box emojis :(

May 12, 2022 | 6:24 p.m.

Better late than never for an April recap I suppose... Let’s kick off with some metrics for last month.

Progress to high stakes: 🟩🟩⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ (-0.46%) $10k/$50k BR

1k Revenue per day (sailing store): 🟩🟩⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ (+1%) $65k/$365k

First international kiting competition

Not the best month for me income wise, but had a heap going on on the kiting front. When I started my journey to trying to qualify for the Olympics in kiting, I knew that I was up for a big challenge. I’d never kited before, and I have just over two years to become one of the best in the world. To try and quicken my learning curve, I was going to have to throw myself into uncomfortable and challenging situations frequently, and consistently surround myself with the world’s best. April was the time to put that plan in to action, and I raced in my first international event which featured all of the top names in the kite racing world. Although I was nowhere near competitive, I was pretty happy to be within 10 minutes of the world’s best after only 100 days on the water. I spent nearly every day in April on the water, meaning it was pretty hard to achieve much in other aspects of my life.

With long hours on the water during the kiting competition, I was trying to use all of my other waking hours on getting in poker volume. Ultimately, I think the fatigue from all the training was leading to really unproductive poker sessions, and very little study due to wanting to play as much as possible. After my last post, Aquila asked me how I was going to break up all the things I wanted to achieve, and I think at the end of the day, I’m going to have to have different ‘focus points’ during various periods of the year. As Naval said ‘we should work like lions, not like cows’. In the past I think I’ve been very prone to working like a cow, and this was repeated throughout April. Going forward, I think my modus operandi will be to have ‘blocks’ of time where I spend most of my energy on poker, and blocks where most of my energy will be on kiting. This isn’t to say that they will be completely independent, but more that I won’t be trying to spend equal energy on each, or at least more energy than I can productively spend in total. The last couple weeks have been purely focussed on poker, and my sessions already feel way more energised, despite my results not quite turning around yet. I’ve got a few more days where I can focus on poker, then I’ll be getting in to more of this! (click the link to see me avoid a classic kiting start line crash)

May 12, 2022 | 6:23 p.m.

Most people don’t really commit to their goals. I used to be one of those people. There’s something powerful about telling everyone what you’re going to achieve before you do it. Conor McGregor is a perfect example of this. He told everyone that he was going to be fighting in the UFC, and that he would become the great athlete we all know him as today. When you wholeheartedly believe in what you want to achieve, the opportunities you need to get there become a lot more obvious.

After failing to qualify for the Olympics in 2020, it took me a long time to figure out what I want to do with my life. I had the opportunity to pursue a career which would see me making a well above average salary straight off the bat, but I hated the work. After listening to this podcast, and going through the process of defining what I want my life to look like in 10 years time, I knew that a ‘normal life’ wasn’t for me. I knew that I needed to take control of my time to be able to do the things I love day in, day out. So here’s my commitment to the world and the RIO community about what I’m going to achieve in the next 10 years.

  • Compete at the Olympics at least once
  • Reach HS to give myself the ability to travel the world, live in great climates and live on my own schedule
  • Start new online businesses to allow myself to diversify my income away from playing poker
  • Grow my sailing/kite surfing store to $1k revenue a day to cover all expenses involved in getting to the Olympics
  • Surround myself with those closest to me, and people who help me become the best version of myself.

I know that sounds like a lot, but with good time management, and more importantly, prioritisation, I think they are all achievable. With that out of the way, I want to ask everyone who reads this what is it you want to do with your time on this planet? Once you have an answer, I hope you can have the courage to relentlessly pursue it, and not let anything hold you back.

April 15, 2022 | 10:06 a.m.

Thanks :) Let me know if you ever need any advice with it

March 14, 2022 | 2:03 a.m.

Nice pop off this month mate. Hope the warm up routine treats you well!

March 3, 2022 | 8:17 a.m.

(As you probably know) I use GTO Wizard pretty religiously, and started using this warm up every day before playing

So I play full hands against the bot for 20minutes (roughly 40ish hands) where I'm at the point of now hitting 85-90% accuracy with sticking to RNG numbers. When I'm really unsure about a spot, I'll usually follow my curiousity and try to figure out why the solver is doing something different to the action I took.

Then I'll do one range construction for a spot I know I'm leaking in - for example, I've been doing SRP OOP PFC vs 1/3 cbet on the 'easy mode' for a bit over a month now. I'm getting around 70% accuracy, but super hard to get the exact frequencies right with which sets/2p raise more than the other on each texture etc etc

Finally 5 mins drilling another specific spot I'm looking at - recently 3BP OOP PFC vs 1/3. So in total, the whole warm up would take about 35mins, and doing that 5-7 days a week adds up massively in terms of GTO progression

March 1, 2022 | 12:35 a.m.

Thanks man! Happy to see you coaching for RIO now after everything you've given to this community :)

Really happy with the CFP, there's no chance I would be getting the results I am now without joining. In terms of the profit split and coach/content access you get, there's probably only one other 'large' stable I can think of which may be better.

March 1, 2022 | 12:28 a.m.

yes, of course you're right. I think you know what I meant

The bread is neither here nor there for me, I'd say Germans might be a little too obsessed/picky with their bread, but I'm just fine with my 'normal' white 'toast' ;)

Feb. 27, 2022 | 10:55 p.m.

No, no typo there.

Can you elaborate on the "consisten approach to strategy"? :)

In nearly every spot of the game tree, I know what I'm going to do to basically any action villain takes before they even act. Most of this is a result of the baseline strategy we implement at Nachos Poker, but also as a result of studying GTO daily by playing against a solution in all spots.

Also, what's your take on Germany, you lived here for a while right?
How did it hold up compared to Australia?

It's a nice country, and a bit cheaper to live in than Australia, but I can't really deal with the weather. I want my life to revolve aorund plenty of sunlight and time spent in the sun, and German winter isn't really conducive to that... It's also not ideal for online poker, both with taxes and extra rake/limited access to good sites

Feb. 26, 2022 | 10:57 p.m.

yeahhhh boy, let's get after it!

Feb. 26, 2022 | 10:26 a.m.

Feb. 26, 2022 | 10:26 a.m.

Thanks for the sub :)

Here's the easiest advice I can give, and it requires 0 strategy upgrades.

Don't play zoom. I remember when I was grinding 5NL reg tables on ACR, and I was obsessed with getting to 10NL because at that point I could finally play 10NL Blitz. I thought that once I could start playing zoom, I'd be able to play a huge amount of hands and move up way quicker because of I'd be able to have a decent winrate in that format. The fact is reg tables are going to be higher EV in nearly every scenario, and when all regs are struggling to beat the rake as it is, you need to be able to game select and ensure you're playing against players who are losing enough to compensate for the higher rake. You also need to make sure you're playing on the most +EV site. Not all player pools are made equal, but you also need to take RB/rake into account when considering which site to play on.

I think the point above sort of answers your third question.

To answer your first two questions, the main issue was that I had no consistent approach to strategy, and was essentially winging it in every spot. If you have a well thought out framework to apply throughout the game tree, playing becomes 10x easier. As a bit of a guide to where one of my main upgrades came from, my fold to river bet in the 2nd graph is nearly 50%. In the second graph, it's 27%.

Feb. 26, 2022 | 10:26 a.m.

What’s up RIO, it’s been a while since I’ve been active on here, and since I updated my last blog, but after getting shipped a free month of Elite by RIO, I thought it might be time to get active in the community again, and give something back to all the great people here. Without these forums, I would never have met Patrick (freenachos) and wouldn’t be able to start a blog with such an ambitious aim.

Since I left my last blog, I took a few months off poker, ended a long term relationship which resulted in moving back to Australia, tried a proper job, quit said job and began kitesurfing with the aim of qualifying for the 2024 Olympics in the new ‘Formula Kite’ division. Aaaand I also started crushing Ignition in the meantime (RIP failed 500nl shot).

So what’s this blog going to be about? Mostly I’m going to be writing about my journey to being able to live life as I want, choosing how I get to spend my time, with whom I spend time with, and where I spend time. As I was working in a 9-5 for a short period of time last year, I came to the conclusion that I need to put my freedom and independence above everything else, and we are all extremely lucky to have poker to give us that opportunity. I also want to use this blog to offer some advice for people who are still struggling to beat the micros, after I broke even at those stakes for over 500k hands.

Feb. 25, 2022 | 8:17 a.m.

I must say this wouldn't have been possible withouth Patrick's help, and the feedback and support from the rest of the Nachos team. Big shoutout to Patrick and the rest of the crushers in our group :)

Jan. 13, 2022 | 11:05 p.m.

As someone who spent most of my schooling at an international school, I know the teachers I had there had the biggest impact on my education, and the person I am today. I'm sure you probably had the same effect, and now can bring that experience to revolutionise poker coaching :)

July 12, 2021 | 7:08 p.m.

Really agree with jscott26 and would highly recommend reading Stulberg and Magness' book if you haven't read it.

Consistent work + ample recovery, my friend. There might be times to push hard and get in a lot of volume, but it's not sustainable permanently

July 1, 2021 | 9:38 a.m.

freenachos at least you'll know that I'm not going to be folding on the flop ;)

I'm hoping I don't end up on your tables...

June 26, 2021 | 6:33 p.m.

May Update

It's about time I got around to posting this! Things have been pretty full on here over the last month, and I haven't been able to get that much volume in. Gyms have finally reopened, so I've been in there 2-3 days a week - getting back in to it has been a bit of struggle, and it's pretty crazy to see how much strength I've lost despite staying relatively active since last year.

I've also been doing some work with the German Sailing Team helping them with some statistical analysis in preparation for the Olympics in a month. Those two things alone have been taking up a bit of time, but I could also improve my schedule a bit to get some more poker time in.

Poker wise, was basically break even for most of the month, then went on a massive heater towards the end, and built my roll up to the point where I can now play 100NL reasonably comfortably. My plan is to keep mixing sites, and to play 100NL as frequently as possible, while staying in good games. Working with the team in the CFP is going great, and the whole team put up pretty solid results over May, so I'm pretty fired up to keep working on my game.

June 8, 2021 | 2:30 p.m.

thanks my man, we'll be crushing together!

May 7, 2021 | 7:25 a.m.

April Update

April has come and gone, and boy is this year is going quickly! I've spent most of the month grinding 50NL reg tables, and started playing on a few different sites with some decent RB.

In the vein of my 'goals' for the year, even though I haven't joined Poker Detox, I've taken what I believe, is an even better step for my poker journey. When I first set out in joining Detox, it was thanks to my friend Patrick (freenachos), who had given me a heap of free guidance, and was a member of Detox at the time. Since reaching HS, Patrick has left Detox, and started his own CFP 'Nachos Poker', which I've now joined. Patrick was also kind enough to make some admissions which allow me to join the team given my weird tax/residency situation at the moment, where I'm not really living in any country... The ethos of the team is similar - using MDA based strategies to exploit player pool leaks, but also creating a grounding in solid fundamentals as you move up towards HS. There's a good group of guys in the team, with most of us playing 50/100NL plus a few others at 200NL+. If anyone wants to hear more about the team, feel free to PM me! We're on the look out for more motivated players who are willing to commit to this sort of strategy.

Results wise, break evenish, but I get the feeling that I'm still improving. When I start going through a patch of 'run bad', it doesn't seem to be as bad as they used to be, but who knows, still small sample...

I'm basically in line with how our teams strategy should be carried out, just gotta wait for some heat now. Whilst I'm clearing some bonuses from new sites, I'll probably do a bit more grinding during May than studying, but I also want to make sure I don't let my game start to slip.

Life wise, it looks like I'll be starting an internship at the end of June, so that should give me a few more 'real world' job prospects after gaining a bit more experience. With the weather starting to warm up a bit here, I'm getting back in to some recreational sailing, and I'll even be doing a kite surfing course this weekend. One of the new Olympic Sailing disciplines for 2024 is going to be a kite surfing event, and I've gotten the feeling that I'm not quite ready to give up on trying to qualify for the Olympics, so this may be a new pathway for myself.

Kinda all over the place sort of post, but hopefully doesn't come across as too scrambled...

GL everyone for May!

May 6, 2021 | 8:48 a.m.

Nice month. I'm inspired by your ability to balance work, family, life and poker. GL for April

April 4, 2021 | 2:07 p.m.

Pretty important to make sure you can grind in the best environment possible. I'd be willing to quit sessions early if you don't think you can achieve your A game

April 4, 2021 | 2:03 p.m.

Sick run good! Glad everything is working out.

April 4, 2021 | 2 p.m.

Cool to see your dedication, especially to posting everyday. GL!

April 4, 2021 | 1:59 p.m.

Looking forward to that bounce back shooting all the way up this month! You've got a heap going on, don't forget to keep your 'Life EV' in check :)

April 4, 2021 | 1:56 p.m.

Awesome results man, GG!

April 4, 2021 | 1:54 p.m.


What's up RIO!

Managed to find a bit of run good in March, and now I'm mostly playing 50NL. Played a little less volume than usual, but also dedicated two days to study per week. I've mostly been working on my SRP pot game as preflop caller, and I feel like I'm becoming a lot more competent in this spot. I'm pretty happy with how I'm progressing at the moment, and feel like I'm getting in high quality sessions. The plan for April is to keep up the study hours, and continue to add new upgrades to my game.

Off the felt, I'm finally in the process of getting my visa/residency sorted here in Germany, but still on the job hunt. In uni, I studied to be an Actuary, and I'm looking for roles in this space or as a data scientist. My goal is to land a 'real world' job, and develop poker as a profitable side hustle.

In line with my 'objectives' fromt the start of the year, through a mix of intermittent fasting and calorie counting, I'm down around 7kg and pretty stoked with my progress in this area. Whilst gyms are still closed here due to the lockdown, in between each poker sessions I'm doing a short routine of push ups, single leg squats and bodyweight 'desk rows', to help keep the blood flowing and get in a few more sets during the week. I'm hoping that this lockdown can come to an end soon, but it has definitely been good for dedicating some hours to poker.

All the best for April!

April 4, 2021 | 1:38 p.m.

Sick results man, glad to hear BRPC is going well. I really like your approach to routines, even though you're spending more time on poker now, it sounds like you're still able to keep some perspective and value the other things in your life

March 16, 2021 | 9:36 a.m.

February's over and it's been a month full of ups and both in and out of the online poker streets.

Life wise, we had some pretty polarised weather here in north Germany, with some flash snow storms and frozen lakes in our local park, to beautiful 15ish degree weather.


For my first winter here, it was pretty cool to experience some of this 'abnormal' weather compared to the winters I'm used to in Australia. With the lockdown here dragging on, it's been great to get out and do some running when we've had some of the better weather days.

Fitness wise, me and my gf are still keeping up with 3-4x home workouts a week, but I'm looking forward to getting back in to a gym sometime soon. I'm down to the leanest I've possibly ever been, and going to keep working on that for a bit longer.

I'm still working on trying to establish myself here in Europe, and getting a proper job is a slightly bigger challenge than I expected. That being said, I've got some part time gigs on the horizon, but I'll have to sort out a visa at some point.


Not the best results this month, but managed to win a little bit post RB and GGCare. I took some shots at 50nl this month, which went well, but lost a number of BI's at 25nl, so dropped back down. There's some big things coming up for me poker wise, and I'm looking forward to continuing to improve and plug some leaks. My plan is to switch up my routine a bit, and start adding in more study, which will probably cost me some volume going forward. I'm thinking something like 1-2 days of study per week then 3-4 days of playing per week will work well.

March 1, 2021 | 6:01 p.m.

Hey HeavyMask ,
Thanks for the nice words. I wish I had a concrete answer for you. In essence, I think I've had that sort of resilience ever since I was a young child. When I was growing up, I was the kid who after first learning to surf, would stay on the water for 7 hours straight without any breaks for day after day. Same went for playing basketball, and then basically any sport I played, or activity I took up right up until my career as an athlete, and now poker.

Part of it may be down to my upbringing, and always being somewhat decent at most things, and subsequently being held to a higher standard (or thinking that I am than most). The corollary of being somewhat decent at everything, is also not being standout in anything and I think that also led me put an insane amount of effort in to various pursuits. Doing this continuously just makes it a sort of 'habit', and now I'm at the point where I feel lost if I'm not continuosly working on improving myself, and can't take the time to relax.

Perhaps I may also be somewhat masochistic in my willingess to stubbornly pursue goals, without analysing my process and adjusting it frequently enough. Sorry that I can't give a great answer, but I hope this hasn't come across as too self-centred or egotistical

Feb. 5, 2021 | 8:32 a.m.

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