Demondoink's avatar


3496 points

nice video! one of your best in a while imo.

Nov. 30, 2022 | 12:58 p.m.

Hey mate. Yeah of course if you are ever in Scotland just send me a message and we can meet up for a pint or something.

I'd never heard of that place before but it turns out that it's only an hours drive from my parents. I would love to go there but it seems like all the pies contain meat so i couldn't even have any of them haha. I do miss a good pie though! Most butchers in Scotland do pretty good pies tbh.

Haha it's cool i've started watching Youtube again. That was only for a week or so to let me reset. Now i feel like i'm in holiday mode tbh, just trying to enjoy the rest of the year, do some flat viewings and go hard again next year.

Nov. 29, 2022 | 2:22 p.m.

HodorIsKing Very good question imo. What you have to realise is that, as humans, we don't like losing money. Money is what pays the rent, what puts fuel in the car and what buys your children (if you have any) clothes etc. So when we 'un-necessarily' bluff off a stack, it's fairly natural that we feel like we just wasted that money as we didn't need to bluff the river, we could have just checked down and limited the losses.

However, this is incorrect thinking and isn't logical at all when it comes to the game of poker. As soon as our opponents realise that we don't bluff often enough, then our value bets start to lose money, which impacts our WR heavily. Of course you don't need to take this in to consideration if you are playing a fish (who will call if they feel like doing so), but against good regulars then as soon as we start to bitch out of too many bluffs, then they will (usually) start to pay us off less frequently when we are value betting.

I will give an example;

The pot is $100, both of you guys have $100 behind and the action checks over to you IP, with air and 0 SDV. First of all, you are not 'bluffing off' $150, you are only 'bluffing off' $100 because you are on the final street and you still have the decision to bet (and try to win the pot) or check and lose it 100% of the time.

So that $50 you have invested on prior streets is already gone and should not enter your thinking, nor your outlook on the hand afterwards as you will always have fold equity on flop/turns with your air, even vs stations.

Anyways, your EV in the pot of $100 is $0 as a check. So unless your opponent is over calling then your EV as a bluff is also going to be $0 (you will sometimes get folds and win the $100 in the middle, or called and lose an additional $100). Your decision is indifferent.

So as you can see, both decisions are equal and win you the same amount of money- $0. Now, you could argue that 'i would rather not bluff the river because if my opponent calls i will feel like i wasted money and it might tilt me'. However, this isn't a logical argument and doesn't factor in the future impact on your EV that continuously under bluffing will yield- decent opponents will label you as a nit and stop calling you. As we have more value bets on the river compared to bluffs (usually around 66% value 33% bluffs if we bet pot) then you can see how impactful this would be if they were to hypothetically pure fold the river with their bluff catchers.

Basically you have to frame it in your mind that a good bluff is just as important (if not more so as you actually think and be creative) as a good value bet. Poker is a process, each bluff that gets called is simply meaning that your value bets will increase in EV in the future. So long as you aren't overdoing it with your bluff frequencies, then does it really matter if they call? After all, you will have more value bets on the river than bluffs anyways.

Nov. 29, 2022 | 2:05 p.m.

Lausbub I agree that barrelling the turn with the incorrect combos doesn't mean that your opponents are necessarily under bluffing on the river, it just means that they will be bluffing with the 'incorrect' combos on the river, according to PIO sims. However, having a roughly correct river bluffing frequency is more important imo than finding the perfect bluff combos so that we make our opponents indifferent with their bluff catchers (though of course it would be best to nail both the combo selection and the correct frequencies).

Nov. 29, 2022 | 1:39 p.m.

Also having EV as a x doesn't necessarily mean that we shouldn't bluff with that combo. Our hand could have EV as a x down, but have a higher bluff EV. So in that instance we would still pure bluff with that combo, despite the showdown value.

Nov. 24, 2022 | 12:40 a.m.

PIO folds just under 50% of their Qx region on the river in this situation. It's tough to say that population will over call or over fold, or call at roughly the correct frequency. If i used a non all in sizing then i would say with 99% certainty they would over call, but vs 3x pot it's a bit different.

Yes you are correct, Kx< combos bluff and Ax pure checks. However, we have to remember that these 'perfect' bluff combos have to actually be in our river range to begin with. It's easy to say we should bluff x or y combo on a certain run out if we have one street to play, but would you actually ever bet these hands on both the flop and turn, such that you can actually bluff with them on the river?

We can't work backwards in poker, we have to work forwards. So if i asked you in a vacuum what combos we should bluff on this river, you might get it roughly correct (as you did). However, if you actually played the flop/turn in game, you'd probably almost never arrive on the river with those combos to begin with, thus you cannot bluff with them and now you have no bluffs (as you x down your A high for some EV, and pure give up with your flush draws).

So this thinking/logic actually often leads to under bluffing. Sometimes i don't nail the flop/turn bluff regions, but i'll always try to find river bluffs, even if they aren't the perfect combos, so that my opponents are indifferent with their calls.

Anyways i'm not attacking you so please don't take this personally haha. I just wanted to point out the flaw in this logic of starting from the river and then constructing a value region out of our RFI range (which we won't have by the river).

Nov. 24, 2022 | 12:33 a.m.

Yeah it seems like Ax is checking down for a little EV and we are instead bluffing with Kx<. However, bluff jamming this combo is still +EV so i still quite like my play, but that was a good point!

Something that we also have to take in to consideration in these situations is the likelihood that we will find some of PIO's more unnatural river bluffing candidates, and actually bet with them on the turn (so that we arrive with them on the river). So it's all well and good saying that we would prefer to bluff K8 without clubs, but very few regulars are ever betting these air combos on the turn, thus they only have busted flush draws or some A high gut shots to bluff with otr.

So unless we perfect our turn bluffing region, then sometimes we have to make do and bluff with slightly sub optimal combos on the river. PIO or GTO wizard will often spurt out hands to bluff with on the river that almost no human will find on earlier streets. Thus it's actually a 'mistake' to x down A3 no clubs in a situation where we have no superior bluffing candidates (unless we wish to start bluffing with our busted FD's).

Also the Ax is really good as it blocks his only pure calls- AQ.

Nov. 24, 2022 | 12:21 a.m.

RunItTw1ce Exploitatively yes i could easily choose to not bluff this situation, or to use a smaller sizing to target non Qx hands (like pair+fd that should now fold to a river bet). However, i don't really like to play this way unless i'm close to 100% certain that my opponent is incapable of folding Qx. A regular playing $500nl should be able to fold trips here as it's a pure bluff catcher (unless he has AQ that chops with my AQ).

My opponent tanked down to like one or two seconds fwiw, so clearly he was strongly considering folding and would have likely pure folded some of the weaker Qx combos. Either way, it doesn't really matter cos my range is going to be balanced here and if he over calls i'll just make more money with my value region (which still makes up more of my range than my bluffs).

Nov. 24, 2022 | 12:08 a.m.

Poker in the flow state

The reason that 500z was my favourite ever stake was because it was a high enough stake such that you would play against some elite players (like Bit2easy, OTB, Davy Jones, Ja Sam Gale etc), some other very good regulars who had aspirations to move up, some less good ones and of course a nice smattering of fish so that you weren't being raked in to bankruptcy. However, the thing i loved the most (aside from the challenging poker) was the zoom aspect. I honestly think that zoom cash games are the purest form of poker. There is no bum hunting, no seat scripting, no leaving the table and sitting IP on the fish. Just pure, fast paced, cash game action. This is why in the past i was often able to get in to the flow state while four tabling 500z, where it was as if my entire existence in those moments was in those online poker tables. No pointless thinking about the 'problems' in your life. You were just trying to win every single pot that you enter (or at least, i tried to haha).

Anyways, it seems like 500z has kind of died this year, which is a shame as i was a great stake for me to get in volume alongside higher stakes, regular tables at 1k+. I've had to play some 200z alongside my regular tables this year (which i vowed to never play again a couple of years ago) which isn't ideal, and that stake just doesn't have the same allure. You don't get Bit2easy or OTB hopping in from time to time. The rake is high and the pots don't hit four figures. So it seems that, for me at least, the purest form of poker has died for me and i will have to get in to the flow state on regular tables instead. This can be a lot more difficult when you have to constantly balance btn's, when people are quitting, getting in to waitlists etc.

However, tonight i felt like i was back in 2019 four tabling 500z. I think it's perhaps because i am playing some $5k again, which is a stake that gets me quite excited tbh. I KNOW i'm good enough to beat stakes higher than i'm currently playing, but it's just about taking the gamble, joining the table and risking the money. Some people get offended when you show confidence in your own poker abilities (or abilities in other aspects of life) and seek to put you down, but i don't give a fuck. I know i'm good at poker and i am getting better every year. The only person who is getting in my way is myself.

One of my goals this year was to take my first shot at $10k, so if there is a game with a fish in it then i might just have to join, even to simply play a few orbits, to get this monkey off of my back and break down any mental barrier that i may have in the future about playing this stake. It's about getting one foot in the door and getting used to playing 2x your highest buy in.

So back to tonight's session, i was grinding some tournaments as i usually do on a Sunday nowadays, but had a couple cash tables on the side as well, before getting in some hands at a $5k short table later on (though i bought in full stacked). I felt really present and had such clarity in my mind when making decisions in game. I love when the game is like this, where it's almost as if you are writing poetry or something. It's difficult to describe, but it's where prior preparation (study) meets present moment experience. So you are thinking, but because you have put in the effort away from the tables you don't have to figure things out on the fly and it's merely about connecting the dots instead of painting a blank canvas.

I managed to have another good, winning session. It's safe to say that i am having quite a good month thus far, but unfortunately i won't be able to play much more this month as i'm going to Glasgow tomorrow for two days (to do some flat viewings, and to visit my Gran) then going to Riga on Thursday with my friend for four days. So i'm quite excited to go and visit another new country, even if it is supposed to be freezing there right now.


winning flips at $5k

small pots matter

putting my opponents to the test

Nov. 21, 2022 | 4:36 a.m.

HodorIsKing Hey mate, good questions! I heard somewhere that politicians were told not to say 'good question' to the media etc cos it sounds condescending, but i don't see it that way. I think that people have become so poor at accepting compliments (due to insecurities) that they think that people are joking, or trolling whenever they say something nice to them. I often say 'nice bluff' to people on my tables when i like the hand they just played as i appreciate a good bluff! Often it seems like people are sceptical and think i am trolling, but i am just being genuine as i respect the play. Anyways i will address the questions you just asked.

1- No i haven't ever studied HU because i don't need to play it when starting tables, as we start the tables either three of four handed (usually three, but sometimes four of us join at the same time). However, if you do need to start tables by playing HU (thus giving you the best opportunity to be seated with a fish) then you should 100% study it, as your WR is ALWAYS at its highest when there is a fish at the table, and the best way to guarantee that (and avoid relying on a seating script, waitlist etc) is to start the table.

So if you need to start tables HU, study HU. If you can start them 3h, then study bvb play as that will happen very often. You are constantly playing small and medium pots that will pretty much define your WR in these lineups, so having a good understanding of bvb play is essential in order to avoid leaking money playing short handed. Imo i think that you should always be the player starting the tables, instead of a bum hunter trying to fight other bum hunters over the last seat at a table. If you aren't good at short handed, study. If you think that other regs have an edge on you, study. Don't just accept that you are a mediocre or weak reg, you can always improve! Even if you are losing short handed, you will more than make up for the loss of WR when the fish joins and you are guaranteed a seat.

2- Tbh i've not studied much deep stacked poker either, as there is simply too much to study already. If i am playing 100bb better than (most) of my opponents then that should transfer to 200bb as well, as i highly doubt that they are finding the time to study that either. As humans we need to prioritise our study, cos poker is a never ending web of information that is far too overwhelming to cover every base.

So of course i have looked at the odd 200bb sim, but for the most part i just played 500z (very deep stacked in some cases) without study. I would just apply a lot of pressure very deep in spots where many of my opponents would be too chicken to bluff in. So then the onus is on them- do they want to call down 300bb+ with top pair or not? Blockers become vital when deep stacked, so if you have good blockers you can just go for it and use the no limit factor to your advantage.

I also have to factor in the mental game impact of losing big pots
while deep. I'd prefer not to deal with that

Ignoring a fear won't make it go away, nor solve the issue. The only way to rectify this irrational fear is to play deep, expose yourself to winning (and losing) large pots and desensitise yourself to losing them in the process.

When i moved from 100z>200z back in the day i would get tilted if i lost 100bb. Similarly when i moved up to 500z and lost a $1k pot i would be pissed off. However, having slowly progressed up the stakes over the years, i'm not at the point where i can lose a $10k+ pot and it won't (always) affect me that much. Obviously i still have my moments, but the way to get used to losing big pots, is to get used to losing big pots.

It's simple. There is no cheat code. We are irrational human beings, not bots, so getting annoyed, upset or frustrated at losing a big pot is completely understandable. But we have to accept this as part of the learning process, so that we can (hopefully) move up in stakes in the coming months and years.

Nov. 21, 2022 | 3:57 a.m.

I think it's because AA (top set in this case) in holdem has a decent bit more equity in NL compared to PLO. It seems like in PLO that protection is much more important in large pots, even with a hand like top set cos your opponent has double the chance (four cards instead of two) to make a straight, or a flush, or both haha.

So in holdem we are worried about almost no turns, bar perhaps a flush completing turn (and even then we can still get two streets of value vs weaker hands like a set or even a two pair). Where as when it goes xx and the turn completes a flush in PLO, i doubt that you can get more than one street of value with a set.

Also the overbet thing is important as well. As you seen in this instance, my opponent just 4x pot jammed the river and i didn't miss out on any value. Where as if your opponent had QT on a paired board, i doubt you will stack them on the river at SPR 4.

Anyways it's almost 4am so i doubt my PLO/NL strat is on point and perhaps i have made some incorrect points here haha, but i think that i am still on the correct track with the differences i've highlighted between the two games.

Nov. 21, 2022 | 3:38 a.m.

zache86 Ah that's cool that you managed to get a degree. Perhaps that would enable you to get a job in a different field that you might find a little more interesting when you decide to finish with poker. I would say that degree's are pretty overrated in general though. Obviously, on average, you will make more money if you have one compared to someone who doesn't, but there are so many other ways to make money nowadays that require no qualifications. Youtube or streaming being a prime example, where you can make a ton of money just by having a good, or entertaining personality. Poker is another :D

Don't let the downswing eat away at your confidence- your confidence should not be affected by short term results! I am sure your luck will turn around soon enough. I just went through the worst variance of my cash game career, but this month i've been on a heater so it will inevitably end at some point so long as you are playing good, winning poker.

In all honesty i think there is a reasonable chance i'll switch over to mtt's in the next couple of years, as the cash games dry up and it becomes more difficult to deposit on other sites etc. Though ideally i won't have to do this full time and can still grind both cash and mtt's. However, they are pretty soft and if you are good post flop (which pretty much all mid stakes+ cash game players are) then you should have an edge on most mtt players. We just have to learn pre flop/icm stuff and of course how strategies differ based on stack sizes.

There are always options though, so i am sure we will have at least a few more years left in the game! :)

By 'woke' i basically mean that many Universities have gone extremely politically correct and are essentially invested in an ideology, instead of merely teaching their students facts and allowing them to formulate their own opinions (or at least this is what i've seen from Youtube, social media etc of Universities). Perhaps it's been sensationalised, but i would want to go there to learn but also to form my own opinions and debate. Not to be lectured about how oppressive and privileged i am as a white male in this patriarchal society (yet the same one that has more females than males at Universities lol).

Nov. 21, 2022 | 3:25 a.m.

Lausbub Thanks mate! I started taking multi vitamins again (i think i was Vit D deficient which was negatively impacting my mood) and since then i have started to feel in a much better mood and also started running better again haha. So maybe they are also the key to run good :D

On that flop we cannot range bet (unless i'm mistaken) because so much of our range are hands like KK/QQ/TT or weak Ax that gets kind of screwed over when our opponent decides to xr (which they will do often on this board). On Axx boards in 3bet pots the OOP players often play more of a xr or fold strategy, due to the fact that they need to over fold as so much of their range contains mid pocket pairs or suited connectors. However if our opponent was passive then perhaps we could exploitatively range cbet for a small sizing. This opponent is certainly not passive though, so i will be pot controlling with a lot of my range here (though i still expect some large T probes from him).

I'm not going to go in to too much detail on this exact hand just in the off chance that he reads this thread (which i doubt) but on the turn i would like to keep his bluffs in his range (for example the exact hand he had or a flush draw) so that he can improve and then i can raise the river. Raising the turn doesn't achieve a ton with this combo cos he will put in more money on the river with 9x regardless and i will just fold out his bluffs. I block all of his thinner value bets too (like Ax) which would be some of the only hands that i would benefit from raising against ott.

I would much prefer to raise a hand like 9x or even a hand like AJ, that requires more protection and actually doesn't mind folding out a hand like a FD. Also when we raise these hands, compared to a hand like AA, then we unblock more Ax from our opponent and thus get called more often by top pairs.

IP cbet strategy (albeit at 100bb stack depth)

OOP response

Nov. 16, 2022 | 6:33 p.m.

Winning $20k in a week

This year has probably been the most brutal for me in terms of negative variance (at least in terms of cash games). I will delve deeper in to this come the end of the year when i am wrapping up this thread as i don't want to complain as i chose this job, so i am merely acknowledging the reality of the situation.

Anyways, regardless, i finally caught a bit of heat in the past week and managed to make around $20k profit between cash games and tournaments. On Thursday, the day after returning from visiting my friend i randomly decided to play tournaments instead of cash games for some reason. I am not sure exactly why i decided this, as i tend to just play mtt's either on a Sunday or during a series, but it worked out well and i ran very hot. I think i made three final tables, with one fourth place on GG for around $4k, another $1k or so cash on GG in a smaller buy in where i got 9th place and a much bigger one when i finished second in the $55 mini bounty high roller on Pokerstars for just under $10k. It was a little frustrating not winning the tournaments as i felt like i had a reasonable edge HU, but ultimately if you get AJo vs AKo HU with 20bb's apiece, then it's going in and you just have to hope to hit your 30% or so equity. I did not, and it was second place for me!

Either way it was an excellent day in terms of results, and i managed to profit around $14k. I played tournaments again on Sunday, but didn't have as much good luck and despite running fairly deep in some $109 on ACR, i came up empty handed and probably lost slightly on the day.

However, i hopped in some cash games towards the end of my mtt session and managed to win $6k in around 300 hands haha. So that was a nice end to the session! As i've been listening more and more to 'the untethered soul' i realised that i have allowed my own mental barriers to stop me from getting out of my comfort zone and realising my full potential not just in poker, but in many other ways. So with that being said i have started to play some $25/50 again, which is a really fun stake to play as it's the 'lowest' stake where you start to play some five figure pots. I still recall literally the first ever hand i played at $5k where i sat down, got dealt a straight flush vs quads and won a $10k pot. I mean the chances of that happening at ANY stake are miniscule, never mind your first ever hand at your highest stake. So i will probably never forget that hand for so long as i play poker. Obviously i've been playing more $2k again too, as i took a little break from it for a couple weeks as i was running like shit and wanted to minimise my losses.

I am actually going on holiday to Riga with my friend next Thursday, so i have set myself a challenge of playing 13,623 hands before then (it gets me up to a nice, round number in my DB haha). I played over 1,600 hands tonight despite being super busy for most of the day, and having my most productive day in months (i started to write down what i've done each hour of the day, so that i am more accountable for my actions and less likely to slip in to unconscious Youtube watching for hours at a time). It was a really swingy session but i managed to book another winning one, so i can't complain!

I should be less busy tomorrow (i was playing snooker with my friend for two hours tonight, had to do a food shop etc) so there is no reason why i should not get in my 2k or so hands. Hopefully i have another good session, but if i do not, i just want to have fun and enjoy myself because sometimes i take myself too seriously while playing poker. We are all so lucky to be playing this game for a living- and it's sometimes easy to forget it!


$3k pot at 5/10

Re raising the flop cos i knew i was making a straight

200z reg exploiting my capped range

The first ever hand i played at $5k, from 2021

Nov. 16, 2022 | 5:28 a.m.

Hey man. Ah that's a shame that you are leaving Glasgow (or perhaps a good thing if you are going somewhere warmer haha). Why are you leaving in December?

I appreciate the advice, thanks a lot! Tbh the east end is not somewhere that i have been looking to move to (and it's not just because Celtic play there). So i am glad that someone who has lived there shares the same thoughts.

I have actually decided to just buy a place, because it's around £750pm for a decent one bedroom flat, but you can get these sort of flats for like £100k. So it seems pointless to shell out that much to rent a place when i could just buy a place instead. I've also been looking in the West End as it would be easy to rent out the flat to Uni students if i wanted to move abroad or whatever, but the flats there are more expensive of course.

I am dog sitting this week, but going to do some viewings in the next couple of weeks and hopefully find a place within the next couple of months so i can move out of my parents once and for all lol. If you wanna meet up for a pint (alcohol free for me though haha) when i'm next in Glasgow then i would be keen, just lmk!

I don't really like live poker so i don't have any intentions of moving there to play live games. It's more so to go to more Rangers games, to be able to travel easily (being close to the airport) and being fairly central for friends and family to visit me.

Nov. 16, 2022 | 5:01 a.m.

zache86 Haha yeah i am in the exact same boat in the sense that i cannot see myself playing poker forever (i mean how long will we even have online poker for) but at the same time i would hate to go in to a job and simply be a pawn for someone deemed to be 'more important' than myself. Poker is great because we are our own boss. We aren't told that this CEO, this Manager etc is much more important than ourselves and, as a result, we have to be extra nice to them to make a good impression! This all just strikes me as extremely fake. So if i was to work a regular job it would, almost certainly, either be for myself or alongside someone who viewed me as their equal.

I agree i cannot see myself switching to becoming a live pro either. I think it's online poker or bust for me. I love online poker, I'm not sure if i love live poker though. It's too slow and there are so many big ego's involved. I like the purity of online poker and that it's just you trying to outsmart and outplay your opponent. No bravado for the TV cameras or trash talking. Just who is better at the game.

We may not have long but i've done pretty well for myself so i couldn't complain if it ended tomorrow. In some ways it may even be a good thing as it would force myself to get out of my comfort zone, though i hope i have at least a few more years left in me!

We should all have some sort of plan for the future,even if you are an
elite poker player now, you can't be at your house looking at the tv
the hole day in the future (not talking about you demon but in

I mean you might as well be talking about me because i have no qualifications and no idea what career path i would go down next haha. What kind of thing do you think you would fancy doing? Do you have any sort of qualifications that would enable you to get a decent job if you decided to quit poker?

I'd probably consider going back to University and getting a degree this time. Perhaps in a job that helps people in some way. I think something like a psychologist would be very interesting, and i'd imagine you could also work for yourself. Poker has taught me so many mental, emotional and spiritual lessons over the years that i am sure could be of some benefit to others. Plus the logical poker player perspective would probably be quite well suited towards psychology. I also like Philosophy though, so maybe something to do with that (and i also like writing, which this blog is good at helping me improve).

So if i was to hazard a guess right now, i would probably go back to University and study either Psychology, Philosophy or Writing. The only issue i might have is that Uni's seem to be very woke nowadays. So i feel like my contrarian opinions and thoughts might run in to some issues there lol.

Nov. 16, 2022 | 4:52 a.m.

Freenachos I am glad that a guy with a successful CFP agrees with my point of view :) I hope that the grind is going well!

Nov. 16, 2022 | 4:39 a.m.

The pro's and con's of life

It seems like my entries have taken more of a philosophical perspective this year, but i think that i just got kind of bored of talking about poker hands (i already do that a lot) or of discussing my daily life, even though at the moment it is actually a lot more varied than it arguably ever has been. So i am sure some people just want to see me posting graphs or hand histories, but i think if poker has taught me anything it's that we are leaking in more ways than merely on the poker table. With that in mind, then poker (and the introspection that it brings) has been the biggest and most important factor in my adult life, and not because i have made a living at this game for the past nine years. Once you realise that you suck at most aspects of poker (even if you are a winning player) then you start to realise that you have to work on so many other aspects of your life as well; whether that be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual etc.

Arrogance has no place in poker, nor in life. Arrogance is merely the belief that you are 'too good' to keep improving and working on yourself, which is delusion of the highest degree. Show me an arrogant person and i can prove thousands of things that they are terrible at. Even if you are world class at poker, can you cook a decent meal? are you able to deadlift or squat a lot of weight? can you run a marathon? can you debate? can you speak multiple languages? can you fix a car? can you do the plumbing or fix the electrics in your home? can you sew or knit? can you build a computer? can you grow your own fruit and vegetables? can you plough a field or drive a tractor?

Obviously i could go on with these questions, but you get my point. Being excellent at one thing when you are so poor at thousands of other things means that you have no room to arrogant.

This week i started to do some flat viewings in Glasgow. After visiting Skye i realised that it was probably not the best time in my life to move to such a remote place, especially in Winter time when it gets dark so early etc. If i moved to Glasgow it would be much more convenient for friends and family to visit, and also i could go to more Rangers games (they play in Glasgow). I also like the people there, and you end up in such random conversations. Yesterday some guy in a shop came up to me and my friend and started to tell us about a jacket that has another jacket inside- two for the price of one! Maybe this would be annoying for some people but personally i quite enjoy these random conversations.

So my plan is to find a place to rent this month so that i can get my own space again, rent for around six months or so and then buy a place if i like it there. Then if i want to travel again, move abroad etc i can just rent out the flat and use it as a passive source of income.

Anyways what i have realised in the past couple months while i've been figuring out where to go next in my life, is that there are pro's and con's to EVERY single decision you make. Perhaps i thought, naively, that you can find a job, place to live etc that is only positive. This is just not the case. Even though i really like being a poker pro, it still has it's downsides- the social aspect of working by yourself, the freedom that, whilst being great, can also lead to lack of productivity without having to work set hours etc and of course the fact that you do not earn a guaranteed wage per month and are thus able to several months in a row where not only do you not earn any money, you actually lose some. I think for the vast majority of the public, this aspect alone would be enough to drive them away from trying to play poker as a career.

In terms of moving places i fixated on the positives of Skye- the hiking, community aspect etc without weighing up enough of the negatives. Conversely with cities, which i kind of became tired of, i fixated too much on the negatives and not enough on the positives. Living in a town again for the past couple of months has made me realise that i actually miss the convenience and the opportunities of living in a city. It's great being able to go to the cinema, or to clothing shops, or to sporting events without the need to drive over an hour to get there. Of course cities have their negatives aspects too, but in life we will never find a place, a partner nor a job that is all pro's and no con's. Though this acceptance can sometimes be difficult when our brains are naturally predisposed to fixate on negatives instead of positives.

So i am merely trying to accept con's, or negatives as an essential part of life. Without them we don't appreciate the pro's either, do we? When i move back to the city i will continue to come back and visit my parents in their town, i will continue to get out in to the countryside and to the mountains, and i will continue to value driving on roads that aren't congested with rush hour traffic. However, i will also be happy when i return back to the city from these trips and i can go to a Rangers match or go and buy a new pair of shoes :)

GG. I'll be back playing poker tomorrow after taking a couple days off to do flat viewings and hang out with my friend.

Nov. 10, 2022 | 2:50 a.m.

Iranian96 Yeah mate you are completely correct i was just overthinking things. Thanks for bringing me back to my senses!

Thank you :) 1k has gone very well for me thus far. I've not ran very well at 2k tbh, so i am happy to at least be winning there in EV.

Overall my regular table volume is poor (i've played 1.1m+ hands at 500z in comparison) but i am slowly increasing it. It's just difficult to get in a lot of hands when you are limited to four regular tables max on Stars.

Nov. 2, 2022 | 12:22 a.m.

Spending a weekend on the Isle of Skye, and what is the best way to study?


On Friday i decided to pack up my camping stuff, throw them in my car and drive around 200 miles to the Isle of Skye for the weekend. At this time of year in Scotland the weather usually hovers around 10c, so it wasn't the best weather for camping, but it wasn't too cold either. It turned out that the biggest issue wasn't the colder weather, nor the very intense wind, it was the fact that it got dark so early (around 5pm). This isn't a big problem when you have artificial lights in your home that can give you the false perception that it's still day time, however when you are camping outside and all you have is a small lamp for light, then you quickly realise that doesn't do a very good job at tricking your mind and body in to thinking that it's still day time.

As a result of this, despite usually going to sleep around 4am, last night i headed to bed just after 8pm lol. It was good in a way though as my body clock reset (though i'm sure it will still get fucked up again soon enough once i get back to poker etc) and i was in the shower at 7am, which is not very common for me. The purpose of the trip was to give me some sort of insight in to how living there would be (especially as i last visited during the Summer, which can give you a bit of an inaccurate perception as the warmer weather makes you like a place much more than when it's cold and windy). I still think it's one of the most, if not the most, beautiful place that i have been to before, but the prospect of living in a small village during the Winter time doesn't seem as appealing when you are actually over there. I think that realistically the only 'liveable' place for myself over there is in Portree, as this town is a lot more lively and has more going on than some of the smaller towns and villages. For example, in Dunvegan many of the places actually just close for 6 months of the year and only reopen when the weather starts to get warmer again in April. This wouldn't be ideal for me as a poker player who works from home and who would be (most likely) living by himself.

So now i honestly have no idea what to do. I cashed out the bulk of my roll from Stars in order to buy a house (as i'm tired of throwing away money on rent) but now i don't really know where to buy a place, as i would like to actually live there instead of just renting it out.

Sometimes the flexibility of poker can be our own worst enemy haha. It would be much simpler if i had a job in x or y place, so that i had no option but to move there.

Anyways, apart from that the trip was good. I like to go camping because it makes me appreciate things that i usually take for granted- such as a shower, warm bed, charging my phone, the ability to use a cooker/hob etc. I remember reading something about how an Ancient Greek Philosopher used to sleep on the ground every now and then, presumably to keep him humble and so that he would appreciate the next time that he slept in his bed. So i think that it's important to maintain this appreciation for the daily things that we take for granted, by exposing ourselves to less favourable circumstances. Taking the bus is another good way, even if you have a car. I will definitely keep using the bus every so often even though i could just drive everywhere nowadays if i wished to.

What is the best way to study-

I've had some discussions/arguments recently with a couple different CFP guys about the best way to study or to do coaching etc. I don't wish to get in to another debate on CFP's as i have spent far too much time on this topic already, but all i would like to say is that both coaching and CFP's can be good and viable routes, it's just up to the student and what they think is best suited for them as an individual.

With that disclaimer out of the way, i would just like to share some other thoughts. I got in to a different debate about studying more specifically (instead of merely the concept of CFP vs private coaching) and i was told that my way of studying was basically 'wrong'. It's interesting, because having such a closed minded approach in poker is never really a good idea, nor is it to have such a closed minded approach in life in general. Just because something works for you, doesn't mean that it is best suited for other people as well. I might like to exercise by running, where as someone might prefer to cycle. I might prefer to study using a solver and focusing on the optimal strategies (so that i know the baseline, and then can adjust when necessary) where as someone else with more of a MDA background might prefer to study by looking at data, and the node locking sims etc to figure out how is best to exploit population.

Neither approach is 'right' and neither approach is 'wrong'. I do see the value in studying in this exploitative fashion, but for me i much prefer to have a clear understanding of what to do with different combos in my range on the different streets, where i can pull my bluffs from in unnatural situations etc. Then if i believe that my opponent leans a certain way (perhaps they over call) then i can adjust accordingly. I would just find it a bit draining to try to constantly play some sort of meta with my opponents where i am adjusting one way and hoping that they don't realise and then adjust to counter my adjustment.

So personally i will never go down this MDA study route. Not because i don't think that it's a viable way of playing (and of making money) but because it doesn't suit my mind, nor do i find it exciting. I love figuring out things in PIO, like how it favours a certain suit to bluff with over another, or how you want to bluff with one pair blocker with a certain kicker, but not another.

Perhaps this is unimportant stuff that will not yield any extra EV for me, but it is stimulating for my mind and there is nothing more enjoyable than figuring out something in PIO and then replicating it in game. When you are playing a binary strategy of either bluff everything on a certain line, or bluff nothing, it just seems boring to me because a lot of the brainpower in differentiating between the combos is now gone. You either always bet with air or never bluff with air.

So i will keep on going down the path of looking at suits, at kickers, scrolling through range explorer and creating sub trees because i find it enjoyable and it's worked out pretty well for me so far :)

Results at $1k+ on Stars

Oct. 31, 2022 | 10:44 p.m.

HodorIsKing Hey mate. I think that a few years ago when people's understanding of solver's and MDA (if you prefer to go down that route) was less advanced, then video's were a good way to study and especially to get new ideas in to your mind about how to study etc.

I have picked up so many things over the years from RIO videos- whether that be from Clanty's use of range explorer, Sauces river block bet study review (i had a eureka moment when i realised we could block bet second pairs even on Ax boards, which i would pure x before, which Sauce highlighted in a video/comments section discussion we had) down to K-Rab telling me how to scroll through the PIO directory of your scripts sims.

So the way that i have seen videos over the years is predominantly to allow me to cherry pick things from different players and either add them to my own study routine, or incorporate some ideas or concepts in to my own game.

Which is why i have ALWAYS preferred the theory videos over the play and explains. I basically viewed p&e as a form of entertainment (albeit more beneficial than mindlessly watching TV/Youtube) as opposed to study, or as a warm up for my actual study. So i still think that having a RIO subscription over the years has been very beneficial for me for those reasons (as well as creating a platform for me to meet lots of cool people, and most of my closest poker friends).

So this is kind of how i structure it. I see the $100pm as a small investment (at least compared to coaching) that will;

(> means 'which will lead to' in this context)

give me some ideas for how to study> more efficient study.
give me some new ideas for how to play>slightly increased WR.
warm up my brain pre PIO study>better PIO information retention.
allow me to meet/talk to new people>more friends haha.

So no, i DO NOT think that watching videos as a standalone method is anywhere near the most efficient time for spending with your study hours. However, for the reasons that i outlined, i still think that it can be useful as part of your study routine. At this point i don't watch a ton of training videos, but i have done so in the past. Losing some players such as Sauce has been very harmful for the overall quality of the training content, but gaining someone like Clanty has been very good. I think RIO does need a bit of a clear out of some of it's elite coaches and to get in some fresh blood, perhaps with more of a guided approach to study (starting from the ground up) instead of just random videos on completely different topics, followed by a play and explain etc.

It is common for coaches to hold back on sharing the most valuable
info in publicly available videos, as they have CFPs and private
students who will be paying them significantly more than what they get
from RIO.

This is the main issue. If you are getting paid $500ph to do private coaching and $500 per session to put on RIO (but revealing too much would inhibit your ability to attract new, private students) then why on earth would you reveal everything in a RIO video that will be watched by hundreds, if not thousands of people?

I think this is one of the issues with Clanty's recent content. I still think he's one of the best coaches on the site, but because he revealed so much in his first couple of videos (which were the best two video's created on this site imo) then he could not continue in this vein otherwise nobody would need to get coaching from him. Hence why he has gone down the play and explain/review route instead of the theoretical fundamentals route (like how to construct your river betting/x calling ranges etc). The theory videos are 100x more beneficial than telling you to bet KQ 70% of the time in a random vacuum situation.

However, don't see this as a criticism from me, it's merely a function of the set up of the site. NO coach is really incentivised to reveal all of their secrets, as they would then stop getting private coaching and CFP sign ups, unless you started to pay them a lot more money (but then you would have to either increase the monthly subscription fees, or drastically cut the number of coaches from the roster).

If i was offered $5k per video (for example) then i would almost certainly make content, cos at that point it's probably a high enough price to make it worthwhile for me to do so. But anything less and i'm better off just doing private coaching and seeing a steady stream of students sign up with me over the years.

I think if RIO are serious about maintaining the success and longevity of this training site then they need to drastically change the direction that they are going in, otherwise people will start to get frustrated with the lower quality content on here and stop signing up. However the issue with the $100pm model is that it isn't that flexible, as people aren't paying enough money so that they can attract the best coaches (and more importantly, enough that they are willing to reveal their 'secrets').

Anyways i don't know, i'm just rambling at this point haha. Hopefully i said some relevant things in amongst the wall of writing :D

Oct. 31, 2022 | 9:48 p.m.

zache86 Personally i think the issue with people that have 'too much' in life is not only that they never really have to face any struggles, but more so that they are not appreciative for what they have. Without gratitude then you will always be in the state of mind of wanting more and more, and never being happy in the process- even if you have five mansions, a boat, private jet etc.

Of course we need to continue to strive to get better (especially in poker) but we should still be happy with what we have in the present moment. Otherwise the day will never arrive when we are truly happy.

It's funny i have a friend that is currently in Argentina (he isn't a poker player though) and he went to the match yesterday between Racing and River Plate. It's mental that they missed a penalty in the last minute to win the league, crazy drama.

That would be pretty awesome going to a World Cup, but my only issue is that it is in Qatar, a country that has no tradition whatsoever and (at least from what i've heard) isn't very great at treating it's manual workers very well. I would much prefer to go to a major tournament in a country in Europe, South America etc where there is a rich football history behind them.

Honestly taking a month off to watch it doesn't sound unreasonable, especially if Argentina go deep. You might as well make the most of the flexibility of your job!

Oct. 24, 2022 | 4:09 p.m.

RunItTw1ce I have been thinking about making content again recently, but i am still unsure. The issue i have is that if i started to make training videos, i would feel dishonest if i didn't give them my all (i wouldn't like to hold things back). However, some of the things that i have found out from my study over the years would be helpful for my opponents, so it also doesn't make a ton of sense to help those around me to get better.

So it's not that i don't want to make training videos, it's just that i would want to give them my all and in doing so, would probably help to make my opponents better.

I do agree that the RIO cash game content at the moment (at least at holdem) is lacking in quality. Many of the better coaches have either quit or moved on to other things. And then there are other elite coaches who seemed to have moved down in stakes/gone backwards but are still making elite content.

Unless you are constantly striving to get better and improve (at least for elite level coaches) then i would cut them from the roster.

Yeah it's crazy how the mess around us often represents the mess in our minds. My brother commented on how messy my room was (which was true) and this was during the period that i was feeling very down and lacking in motivation to do anything. As soon as i started to tidy the room and get rid/sell old things, then this has coincided with my getting out more again and being in a better mood etc.

Exactly, with your packing you just have to do a little each day, so as to not procrastinate, leave it to the last minute and then become overwhelmed at how much left you have to do.

Oct. 24, 2022 | 3:59 p.m.

haha i like the honesty right at the end of the video when you are saying that you are under bluffing that 99 spot, so it was a good fold from your opponent.

congrats on the jackpot win!

Oct. 24, 2022 | 2:50 p.m.

zache86 yeah a to do list is great as well cos you feel satisfaction when you tick each thing off the list. i used to have daily to do lists, but i have drifted away from them in the past couple of months. perhaps i should get back in to them again! i do have a procrastination list though, so i am trying to tick things off on that (but they are things that i would struggle to do in a day).

it's cool, you don't appreciate the high's in football, poker or life without the lows! you need this duality otherwise you will just take the good weather, good results etc as 'normal' or the baseline.

ah that's a shame that he is leaving you guys, maybe Rangers will sign him up cos Gio isn't doing very well at the moment and our brand of football is very slow and lacks passion. so it seems like he would be a good choice to bring out this passion!

cheers mate! do you have any travel plans for the rest of the year?

Oct. 20, 2022 | 11:44 p.m.

yeah mate i always listen to music when i play. perhaps it could be slightly -EV from a focus perspective, but i don't think that it makes much of a difference for me. I get more of a benefit from the uplifting, positive emotions that i experience from listening to music to outweigh any negatives.

each to their own though, what works for me might not work for you :)

Oct. 14, 2022 | 10:44 p.m.

I'm currently listening to Meteora by Linkin Park- i forgot how good they were! Before that i was listening to Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay, and + by Ed Sheeran is really chilled too.

Honestly listening to an album in full is like having an experience with music that i haven't in years. When we listen to random songs on shuffle it's like watching the first five minutes of twenty different movies. Listening to an entire album is like watching the entire movie.

Oct. 14, 2022 | 12:51 a.m.

Seasonal depression, sims on tap and the importance of cleaning your room

1-Since i got back from Budapest in mid August (around two months ago) i have been stuck in a bit of a rut. For the first month it was fine because the weather was still quite decent, i went to a music festival and was getting back in to driving again etc. However, for the past month or so i feel like i have hardly done anything. I basically just stopped exercising as i had literally zero motivation to do so. Usually this isn't an issue for me, but now it was. In all honesty there have been weeks where i have hardly left the house. Usually i am a fairly positive person but i just felt kinda down and had no motivation to do anything.

I guess i am at the point in my life where i need to figure out what to do next. Realistically the days of living with my friends are past me and i need to forge my own path. I have been back at my parents, partly to save money (as i want to buy a house in the next six months or so) and partly because i have no clue where to move next. It's difficult cos now i am back in my hometown (where i don't want to be) and so i don't really get out and about on a daily basis. This place is boring to me, as it's the same walks, shops etc that i have known since i was a kid. I thrive off new places, doing new things and being around different people. So going back to the same place that i spent over twenty years in just seems like a big regression and this lack of 'newness' around me is just leading towards me heading down the path of no motivation etc.

It also doesn't help when you are running like shit (despite playing well) and when your football team is getting hammered every week in the Champions League (when we were so good in Europe last season). Honestly yesterday was my lowest point. I had just had a shitty session where i lost, then i watched the Rangers game and we got annihilated in a weak, limp, pathetic performance against Liverpool 7-1. People might just think- who cares it's just a sport etc, but that team is part of me, whether i like it or not. I experience great joy when we have a great result, and great misery when we get pumped 7-1 lol. It is what it is. Perhaps it's better to not get involved in watching sport so that you don't go through this rollercoaster of emotions (or just support Real Madrid) but i guess it makes you feel alive. A life that is a 5/10 every day seems like a boring one.

Anyways, one thing that stuck out to me was Rangers lack of aggression and passion. Sometimes my frustration spills over at poker and i smash a keyboard or something, but i ALWAYS play like my life depends on it. I battle for every pot and never bitch out. Even if i lose, have a terrible month or whatever, i want to be that annoying player who doesn't back down. I am not going to do down with a pathetic 7-1 performance, i will lose 3-2 and make you work for those three points, even when luck is against me!

There is losing without dignity, and there is losing with pride. I choose to do the latter.

2- As i mentioned before, i have been renting a server and running a bunch of sims so that i have them at the touch of my fingertips and oh my, it is amazing! My study efficiency increased even further and i feel super confident of taking my game to the next level as a result. I've been studying a bunch of btn vs bb spots over the past couple of days and for me it's really satisfying to have such clear answers from PIO so that i can formulate more accurate heuristics in my find for the next time that i play that spot. I am starting to enjoy studying again.

For much of this year i have been setting a timer for an hour or so, and almost counting down the time until the end of my study. However, now i am almost having to hold myself back from continuing to study. I look over one hand, decide that that hand will be the final one of the session, then i scroll to the next one and just have a quick look through that one as well haha. Sometimes i think that i enjoy studying more than playing haha.

Anyways, my volume has been poor, but i will increase that for the past couple months of the year!

3- So today, as i alluded to, i wasn't in a great mood after my recent rut and yesterdays terrible poker/football results. As a result i decided to clean 'my' room. I had left a bunch of junk in the cupboards that has been there since my teenage years, and not really touched it since. So i took on the task of cleaning this stuff out, and was actually rewarded with finding £50 inside a Christmas card that is from who knows what year.

I grinded the room cleaning for over three hours, and afterwards felt so much better. I think the reason that Jordan Peterson stresses the importance of cleaning your room is because it acts as a metaphor for your life. If you are messy at home, then your life will often be messy and disorganised in the 'real' world. Your mind will also be cluttered as procrastination lurks constantly at the back of your mind, with that daunting task of cleaning out your cupboards holding over you. A clean room and a clean home means a clear mind, or at least helps dramatically on that path. My friend then came over at night and we effectively booked a trip to Riga next month. I have never been to Latvia before, but i think that it will be another cool experience in a country that probably doesn't get the tourism that it deserves (like much of Eastern Europe imo).

So i went from an awful mood yesterday, which honestly felt close to rock bottom (with everything taken in to account) to a great mood today. All thanks to cleaning my room!

Oh, and one other thing- albums are 100x better than random shuffled playlists. I found an old Ipod classic, charged it up and have been listening to it for the rest of the day. Usually i just listen to a random playlist on Youtube, or shuffle my playlists on Spotify. However, listening to an album from start to finish (that is a similar style of music, transfers to the next song much more seamlessly etc) is so much more calming and enjoyable. I think that i am going to buy Apple music and just download a bunch of albums and listen to them as i grind, do cleaning or whatever instead of fucking up my brain with the constant dramatic music switching of genre's, style's, voices etc.

I'm just going through life trying to figure things out as i go along!

Also i'm sorry about the slow responses to messages etc, but i'm a little overwhelmed and i want to get back to being in a good mood consistently again so that i can give people the responses they deserve!


Oct. 14, 2022 | 12:49 a.m.

great video and series. I think that running some PIO sims either at the end of the video, or the end of the series of video's is vital so that we can see how correct our assumptions were and improve our understanding of the spots overall. Personally i don't play HU, but i still think a lot of the heuristics can be applied to 6m as well (for example bluffing with bottom pairs on Axx, which you often do btn vs bb in 6m).

I think you make the best cash game content on the site. The only reason that your video's aren't more popular is because most people aren't playing HU.

@40:20 it's cool that the EV of calling K6>A2, simply because with the A2 we actually start to block a lot of the bluffing range (the 2x) and with K6 we just purely block value. pretty cool and something that i have also noticed during my studies.

Oct. 4, 2022 | 3:07 p.m.

zache86 haha yeah i think that i must have played close to 50k hands this month, which is a ton for me (and you also have to remember that this isn't zoom or anything, so it takes much longer to play 50k hands of regular tables). I was really happy with my volume and consistency, just not totally happy about the way that i played on some of the days and disappointed in the finish that i had in the series.

Though, like i said, at least i finished up a little!

Did you play any of the WCOOP events? I don't know if you have said before if you play on Stars or not, but if you are in Argentina then there is no reason why you cannot.

Sept. 30, 2022 | 11:20 p.m.

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