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Day 37. so yesterday i actually played poker, which is a rarity these days haha. i began my day my one tabling 10/20, cos there was some weaker player at the table, but i had not done my meditation etc, so i did not want to risk hopping in to a proper session and potentially playing poorly. the guy was very tight though, and then it got down to me and Bit2easy/Pokerkluka and the rec, so i didn't see much point in continuing to play. personally i don't even mind playing vs these guys, but i would prefer to just step away and come back when i have prepared properly for my session. as they say; fail to prepare, and prepare to fail!

a couple of hours elapsed before i began my next session of the day, playing for just over 2.5 hours and grinding between 500z and 1k. i ran pretty crap tbh, but only lost like $1.5k, so it wasn't too bad. it was very weird being finished so early, as i was done by around 8pm. it did feel pretty good, but in all honesty the games were not very good, so it was hardly even worthwhile grinding during this time. i thought i was done for the day, and so chilled by the TV for a couple hours before making some food etc. then i started watching Joe Ingram's recent podcast with Phil Ivey, and it suddenly hit me with a jolt of motivation to get back on the grind. i ended up beginning my session at 1am (which is usually far too late for me to begin) but i felt pretty good, and kept the zoom tables to a maximum of 2 in the beginning, to allow me to warm up and see how awake i am. i only planned on playing for around an hour or so, but ended up grinding for over 2.5 hours again. the games were too good, and i knew i'd be taking a couple of days off over the weekend, so i thought that i may as well take advantage of them. so yesterday i ended up getting almost 3400 hands in, and played for a total of 6 hours, which i'm very happy about. fortunately, this session went much better, and i ended up winning over $5k.

i'm not sure what the plan is today, with the Euros beginning, coupled with the fact i am supposed to be up early tomorrow to go hiking again. so whether i grind today or not, remains to be seen. i'm sitting on 49k hands now for the challenge, so i'm tempted to even get in 1k hands and make it to the half way point. i also created my Fantasy Football team, finally. here it is:

Schmeichel, Robertson, Tierney, Cancelo, Pepe, Gundogan, Fernandes, Tielemans, Yilmaz, Depay, Lewandowski.

it's not a very defensive defence, but i think it will bring a lot of goals and assists (Tierney/Robbo very good in this department) with Cancelo and Pepe scoring quite a lot of goals. Schmeichel has an amazing record in goals for Denmark, they hardly ever seem to concede, so i think this is a decent pick too. then the midfielders/forwards speak for themselves; they score/assist a lot!

anyways, almost at the half way point, another day in the books. GG.

yesterdays results

big pot poker

when you have a good hand, go all in

bluff gone wrong

June 11, 2021 | 1:33 p.m.

zache86 yeah that's a good point about the lack of variance in chess. i would say that it's kind of a negative, because if someone continuously loses to the same opponent, they could lose interest in playing and the game. so even though we complain in poker sometimes about downswings etc, in some ways we should appreciate them because it keeps the recs coming back.

ah okay so it's different from a sweepstake. a sweepstake is basically just luck, but that game seems like it requires some skill and knowledge about the teams etc. France is always a good bet, though i have a feeling they won't win it this time tbh. Portugal are looking very good imo, though i haven't watched them play a lot recently tbh. just their lineup with Ronaldo, Fernandes, Silva, Dias etc. imo they have a much stronger team than when they won the tournament 5 years ago (arguably they done so with a pretty poor team). Argentina always seem to have world class forwards, but don't do a lot in major tournaments (at least not in the World Cups).

haha that's cool about Edinburgh, that's actually where i stay. did you guys go to the castle etc? you can actually see it from my street, i'll post a photo of it in here later today or tomorrow.

it's fine, we just won the league and Scotland qualified for the Euros, so i can't complain! ultimately it could work out best for him and Scotland, though it would have been nice if he stayed at Rangers for a few years and then we sold him for a large fee.

June 11, 2021 | 10:14 a.m.

zache86 yeah it was pretty fun, though i was like the new fish at the table, and that was even taking in to consideration that i was playing vs another fish (although he was slightly better lol). but we all start off as beginners, it's what makes games so great. when i first sat down at the casino table around 8/9 years ago, i was probably the worst player at the table. times have changed, though :P

that's cool though, do you not play it any longer?

haha i know, though it would have been quite unusual for a relatively well dressed young guy to steal some flat pack furniture and a bag containing food and a pillow lol. though i guess i could have been hungry, and also needed a sleep hahah.

yeah i know what you mean, it's like a sweepstake, where you draw teams out of the hat and then whoever chooses the winner gets all of the money. if that's what you mean? i still have to create my fantasy team, as i'm supposed to be betting against my 2 brothers haha.

you need to support Scotland as your team at the Euros! haha. we need all the help we can get :D though atm we finally have some good players, with the likes of Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, Scott McTominay, John McGinn all doing very well in the Premier League. even Billy Gilmour just won the Champions League with Chelsea aged 19, though he didn't make it off the bench. he was at Rangers as a youth, but Chelsea stole him off us when he turned 16 haha. he can be world class imo, if he keeps improving in the coming years and begins to get regular starts for Chelsea. so we finally have a decent team, after 23 years of depression haha.

June 11, 2021 | 2:55 a.m.

haha that's awesome RunItTw1ce what a guy he is! i remember his epic bluff against Phil Galfond, it probably still gives Phil nightmares hahah. i donated last year to the donkey sanctuary, which seemed like quite a nice charity, taking these donkeys from very harsh working conditions and giving them a comfortable life. donkeys

so it's not only in poker that i love the donkeys :D hahah

June 10, 2021 | 11:01 a.m.


Day 35/36. i have nothing really to note of on the poker front, having not played since Monday evening. tbh i am not even feeling guilty at this point, i'm quite enjoying taking it easy and just focusing on enjoying myself, getting back to the gym consistently etc and having more of a social life again.

on Tuesday my friend came through to get a haircut and to visit me. we went down to the park, bringing out the camping chairs (he said my chair looked like i was a fisherman lol), the speaker, a rugby ball and a chess board haha. after throwing around the rugby ball for a bit (you can do so much more with a rugby ball, compared to a football, as you can both kick and throw it) we played a couple of games of chess. i had not played chess since i was a kid, probably 15 years ago, so i didn't even know the rules. i put up a decent fight in the first match, managing to take quite a few of his pieces. then in the second game i lost after like 2 or 3 moves lol, making some massive blunder. the final match i knew i lost long before i officially did, but it was good fun playing something different, and getting away from technology etc as well.

i had also arranged to meet a different friend in the evening for a gym session, with both of us joining a new gym. it was funny though, cos i was literally right outside of his flat, about to cross the road and chap the door, but i noticed these two girls getting off the bus and struggling to carry their shopping. at first i kinda ignored it (Feminism dictates women are as strong as men, right) but they kept stopping every 5m or so. so i offered my help, as i regularly carry 15kg or so of shopping back to my flat for a 20 minute walk, so i can quite easily carry a couple of bags. the first one turned down my offer, but the second girl agreed and so i just took a flat pack and a shopping bag and started running lol (i must have looked like i was stealing their stuff, but i needed to be quick cos i was already very late). it's funny cos they lived on like 4 flats down from my old place that i moved from a few months ago. after finally making it to the gym, i got in a workout, though in all honesty it was a pretty poor one. it just showed how much i need to up my consistency when it comes to going to the gym. though it can be difficult to balance running, going to the gym, yoga, hiking and grinding/studying poker. i am not really built for lifting weights, in all honestly, and i am much better suited to running, or rock climbing etc. things that require cardio, or height and reach. i'm never gonna get particularly strong, but its cool i don't even care as i mostly just go cos it puts me in a good mood, and i get out the flat for a while.

on Wednesday i got up super late. i was thinking why i was so tired at the time, but then i realised that i had not worked out in a while, so it was probably from that. the plan was to get on the grind at some point, but i didn't eat my post workout meal until around 12am, so by that point it was too late in the day to begin a session imo. earlier on i had gotten in a good quality study session, discovering a couple of very cool concepts that i did not realise until today. this will give me good clarity when this situation arises again, in the future. so watch out opponents! my friend/flat mate also signed up to the new gym, so i went with him tonight. it was leg day for me, though, which is probably not a great idea, given the fact i am aiming to go hiking this weekend. 2 days is probably not enough time to recover from a bunch of squats, lunges, calf raises, hamstring curls etc. i'm trying to up my calories again too, eating around 3k+ per day. in all honestly i should probably eat more, but it is what it is.

honestly at the moment, i'm probably the happiest i have been all year. i don't know if it's because of the good weather, or the fact that things have reopened to a decent extent (though it seems like travel is off the table for this year from the UK, which sucks as i used to travel abroad like 6+ times per year), or if it's because i feel like i have a bit of a social life again, or a combination of things. either way, i'm feeling great. obviously this challenge is kind of on the backburner for now, but i will definitely get back to grinding more consistently again. however, the problem is the Euros are also coming up, with Scotlands first game on Monday, and i am off hiking again this weekend. so i would not expect too much poker content for the next little while.

regardless, i am COMMITTING to playing tomorrow (Thursday). if i don't, i'm gonna donate $100 to an animal charity. if i play and win, i'll still donate $50 to charity. so for the sake of the animals, lets hope i don't lose tomorrow! lol. the aim is to get 2-3k hands in.

GG poker, but not GG life.

June 10, 2021 | 1:32 a.m.

RunItTw1ce haha i know, i am also prone to writing very long messages as well, so no need to apologise! there is no word count max, but just wanted to highlight that i may struggle to respond properly in the future if they are of similar length.

i'm not saying that i am opposed to setting goals at the gym, but i just feel like its important that we remember the primary reasons for going there in the first place; to exercise and be healthy. it's cool if your aim is to bench 150kg or whatever, but that doesn't bother me that much tbh. with that being said though, i'm gonna start getting in to a more consistent gym routine as i'm probably regressing if anything lol.

June 9, 2021 | midnight

thanks a lot for the kind words RunItTw1ce and i will be sure to check that David Goggins video out!

Your habits seem very similar to mine in terms of grinding, studying, gym etc. I supposed it's common for a lot of people, which is why your journal is so good! A lot of people can relate to your struggles but also get inspired by your crushing win rate.

tyty. yeah i just try to include things i do on a daily basis, and i have noticed that others itt have picked up on a couple of my habits whilst reading this (such as the cold showers, meditation etc). so that's good, because these kinda practices are not only beneficial for poker, but also for life and for our overall happiness.

1-yes you are right about using those words, but really i have no huge motivation for rushing this challenge and completing it asap, hence why i am somewhat non-committal on the time span. i want to enjoy my life as well as grind, so on many days i don't really care if i take the day off at the expense of grinding.

"I've always been lazy" as an excuse to keep being lazy

i'm definitely not lazy. there was probably just some kind of misunderstanding there between what i said, and what i actually meant. i may have said that i was lazy on a particular day or something, but in general i am productive pretty much every single day. i get some form of exercise in, usually either study or play, do my meditation etc, have my cold shower. could i be more productive? of course. but is the end goal to simply be as productive as possible, or to enjoy your life and the freedom that working hard enables? this is, of course, a personal choice, and i choose the latter.


I think whatever activity you are trying to do that you should make goals for it

yes with regards to exercise, i agree, to an extent, with what you are saying. in reality i do not think you need goals to exercise, because the primary benefit for exercising is for our overall health and wellbeing, something that is completely independent of achieving some preset goal or aim. i would say the i exercise primarily simply to be healthy, to be in a good mood and so that my poker benefits from that good headspace i achieve. do i want to improve on my runs, at the gym etc? sure, but to me, it doesn't really matter at all because there are no real carrots or benefits i get from achieving a quicker time, or lifting more etc. where as with poker, if i move up in stakes, i can earn more money, and thus i am able to save more money towards a house. so my main aim at the moment is poker, all other things are merely towards this, or aimed at improving my overall happiness levels. i am extremely competitive, but i want to channel this to the most important areas of my life, and that would be poker, not running or weights. it's the same with my hiking. do i hike to beat my previous time walking the other mountains, or do i hike to enjoy some time outdoors, to spend time with friends and to detach from poker and technology etc?

so i would say that we should be aware where we are expending our competitive energy. as poker players, we are wasting a lot of it imo if we focus on too many meaningless things that do not benefit our bottom line in any way. of course this changes completely if you are a professional athlete. in that instance, all of my competitive focus would be on improving my times/lifts etc. but lifting 5kg more doesn't mean i move up in stakes, or increase my hourly. studying more does.


What I learned from this sleep doctor video is STOP TRYING TO BE SOMEONE YOUR NOT! Accept the fact you are a dolphin and build your schedule around that. There are 24 hours in a day

i agree, this is very good advice. i should probably just accept that i am not really a morning person, but i can still be as productive, if not more, than the majority of people during the hours i am awake.

the issue with playing during those hours you outlined is that the games are not very good, often with the 500z pool being very small, and not many reg tables running. so that's kinda how i can't grind during the day, as i don't play on any other sites other than Stars (though i'm trying to get on to GG atm).

i mentioned in an earlier post about how that strict scheduling just doesn't appeal to me. i enjoy the flexibility of poker, so i do not want to voluntarily opt in to the rigidity of a daily work day/week. usually i get most things done during the day that i set out for. could i get more done? of course i could. but then again, would i even be enjoying my daily life? probably less so, because i would feel much more restricted. i realise this works for some people, because as you alluded to, it allows us to have more time off in the evenings etc to watch sports or whatever. i'm not closed minded though, i have tried this in the past, writing down what i have done each hour, planning out a schedule etc, but it wasn't for me. it seems like it works for you though, which is great. as Jock Willink says 'discipline equals freedom!'

One last question in terms of volume how come you don't drop back down to 200NL? Less stress and can put in more volume as players are going to be weaker. You could probably 4 table 200NL and 2 table 500NL? Play like 6 zoom tables? You would easily meet any type of volume goals you have. I know volume is not really a goal as you want to beat 1kNL and 2KNL. But just a suggestion.

yes that would be a suggestion if my sole aim was for volume, but i would make less money opting for that strategy. basically my WR would need to be >2.5x what it is at 500z to ever bother going back to 200z. and lets just say, that probably is not possible haha. volume when i'm grinding is not a problem, unless i am opting to merely play regular tables, as i am capped at 4 on Stars. this is why i want to get on to GG, so i can play more 1k+ tables and then look at cutting out 500z.

In terms of improving this journal I would suggest adding more pictures. Maybe a map of where you hike, pictures of the gym, different foods your eating or places you are visiting. Also with the HH maybe put them in a replayer instead of a HH format? That way the viewers don't see what the other person has until show down? Do you use PT4? Can always export the video into replayer format and share the link.

thanks for the suggestions with regards to how to improve the thread, i was considering adding pictures of my hikes etc, so i will do so in the coming days/weeks!

i originally started off posting photos on my graphs itt, but people said they couldn't see them properly as they couldn't zoom in, so i switched to the links instead. i'm just gonna stick with them tbh, cos i don't really wanna leave my results on here forever anyways.

please don't bother reposting my screen shots back on to here though, as i am already sharing a lot of info and i'd prefer if they were just all in one place, not getting re shared on here and zoomed in on etc. otherwise i'll just stop sharing the graphs.

obviously as you just found out about my thread, i don't mind replying to a longer message, but there is no way i can keep replying to this length of message in the future cos its far too time consuming (probably took me 30 mins+ to type this all out). cos i gotta type out my daily updates etc too, and reply to other comments, which takes a lot of time and i'm only just doing this for fun.

lastly did you ever rank top 5 500z players or still giving it some thought? Don't remember seeing you list them.

haha nah not done this yet, i am still considering whether to do it or not. i might take a note of the better players and then come up with some sort of list. whether i publish it or not though, remains to be seen haha.

Good luck this week

tyty, you too!

June 8, 2021 | 2:21 p.m.

hey mate. gotta head out soon, so i will reply to this later as it could take a while haha. the only thing i will say quickly is that i am trying to move up, not down, so there is no chance i move back to 200z. if anything i am more likely to cut out 500z and play higher. obviously i did highlight how winning/losing a lot of money can be stressful, but that's what i signed up for when i chose to become a professional poker player.

like i said, i'll reply to the rest later, but i am glad that you have enjoyed the blog!

June 8, 2021 | 11:53 a.m.


Day 33/34. it seems like i have gone to posting every other day haha. i guess if i start playing more consistently again, i will return to the daily updates, but there is not much point if i'm not playing poker on that day imo.

i did not grind on Sunday, and tbh i kind of wasted the day as i didn't even get in any study either. although i did get out for a decent walk, walking around the city for around 1.5 hours or so. apart from that, there wasn't much to write home about haha.

on Monday i was much more productive, having my most productive day in a while tbh. as we speak, i am typing this out as my dinner cooks (it's 2am, and i just finished grinding, so i get to eat now haha). making every minute count lol. so i got in some study earlier on in the day, and then managed to squeeze in a quick gym session before i done my weekly study session with my friend. the gym was pretty busy, but i managed to do most of the exercises i was aiming for. i done some pull ups, dips, dumb bell rows and then tricep pushdowns. usually i would do biceps in with this workout as well, but i was already running late so i'll add that to my workout tomorrow. i've not been going to the gym as much as i should recently, so i'm looking to get back to a more consistent pattern in the coming weeks. i also cancelled my gym membership, and i am going to join a new one tomorrow. my friend pointed it out to me that the Uni one is actually cheaper during the Summer (they reduce the price when all the students are away) and it also has better facilities, so it made sense to join it and try it out. the only downside is that it's not as close to my flat as the current gym i go to, which is less than a 10 minute walk.

after the gym and my Skype call, i decided to just grab a quick snack and then get on the grind. i was only gonna play 1k hands cos it was already late, and i just wanted to get in some hands so i didn't take another day off haha, but i managed to play just over 2k hands instead. i stuck with playing 500z cos i couldn't be bothered playing higher tonight. i don't think i played bad by any means, but probably not my A game either. it was one of those very frustrating sessions where you just kept running in to the nuts. i feel like i was doing well in the small pots, but just losing basically every single 3bet pot i played in that seen a flop. at least i managed to win one stack back right at the end, to limit the damage a little. was just one of those very meh sessions, that you would sooner rather forget about.

i'm supposed to have plans for most of the day tomorrow, as my friend is meant to be coming through for the day and, of course, my first gym session at the new gym tomorrow evening as well. however, i wouldn't be surprised if he bails and then it will allow me to grind/study during the day instead haha. so either way, i don't mind. we shall see what the day brings!

hopefully my potatoes are cooked now. GG.

meh sesh

June 8, 2021 | 1:12 a.m.

thanks mate! if i'm just playing zoom then i will 4 table, but if i start adding reg tables i will reduce the zoom tables. so the max i would play would be 4 zoom and 1 reg, before i start reducing it to 3 zoom and 2 reg. i played 3 zoom/3 reg the other day, but that's the most i would ever play and only if i'm in the right mood/mindset. also, if i'm playing short handed then i might cut out another zoom table to focus on it more, especially if its 10/20.

haha yeah, seems that nothing will come out of it, but you never get anywhere in life without taking a chance!

nice man, that seems like good progress! imo you should just turn it to the coldest setting next time, even if its just for 10 seconds or so. just think, if someone was holding a gun to your head and said you needed to stand under that cold shower for 10 seconds, and you would get let off, you would do it. so really, you mind is the only thing holding you back, and you for sure could do it at the coldest setting. just like my run the other day, my mind/body was trying to trick me in to quitting early, when in reality i had another 10km or so in the tank.

June 6, 2021 | 9:40 p.m.


Day 31/32. so on Friday i decided to give my new running shoes a test run (pun intended). i usually run distances of around 10km, but as i hadn't ran in around 1.5 months, i wasn't even sure if i could manage this tbh. after around 5km i was feeling pretty gassed, but i always recall a David Goggins quote where he says when you think you are done you are only 40% done. your mind always attempts to trick you in to the easy way out, so you gotta simply ignore those thoughts and keep plugging away. i ended up running back to my flat, which resulted in a total run of around 11.5km, which i was happy about after so much time off. the shoes were very different to my last pair. the previous ones i bought cost like £30 and were very firm. these ones were almost 5x the price and were very soft when you landed. tbh i think i would maybe struggle to get PR's running in soft shoes, but i am sure they are much better for my joints in the long term.

i ended up grinding, beginning my session pretty late at night when it would have been so easy to take another day off. the plan was just to get in around 1k or 1.5k hands before i went to sleep, as i had to get up early the following day as i was doing hiking up a couple of Munros. however, that didn't happen and i ended up paying until around 3am, and getting in over 3k hands. i was very happy about this volume, and was quite proud of myself for getting in so many hands when it would have been easy to chill and watch TV again. i think its important to recognise your own achievements as well, and sometimes it's just showing up that you should be proud of. we are very harsh on ourselves 90% of the time, always thinking where we messed up, what we could improve etc, so give credit where its due. you showed up, you got on the grind. well done! i ended up winning a good chunk of money too, which is always nice. i actually got back to the 10/20 tables too, grinding on one table and getting a nice double with two pair bvb in a srp. 500z was extremely swingy, with some crazy fish in there, and i think i only broke even or so. but i will happily take that if it means beating my highest stake instead!

on Saturday i ended up waking up a little late, which is to be expected when you don't go to sleep until 4am haha. i like to always get in my meditation first thing, because i often feel like my mood is worse, and random thoughts more prevalent when i miss it out. so i'd rather go a little later to something, and get in my meditation etc, than go and not enjoy it because i missed it out. me and my friend hiked two Munros (they are small Scottish mountains of around 1000m) that took us around 5 hours 30 mins. the area we were hiking in is probably my least favourite area for hiking them, but the aim is to complete all 282, so it has to be done. the views at the top of them were still great, just they aren't amazing on the hike up the mountain. the thing i like about hiking them, other than getting outside in to nature etc, is that the people are very friendly and often stop to chat etc. there are often cute girls hiking, too. so on the walk back to the car my friend says i need to ask out a girl on the train if she seems friendly/interested (he was driving back to his parents, so i had to get the train home). i was waiting for the train at the platform, and i noticed this cute girl, so i smiled at her. she was wearing a mask so i couldn't really see her face properly, but she took it off and then smiled back a couple mins later. so i thought fuck it, i'm just gonna go chat to her (i feel like it's so easy to get nervous and then not approach someone you are interested in, simply because we have become so accustomed to interacting over the internet instead of face to face). we talked for 5 mins or so before the train arrived, then i got her number. so i have to give myself credit here too, because the other part of my brain always attempts to sabotage me here with thoughts that make me nervous etc, and then i simply don't bother. i'll give her a message today. not even sure if she will reply, or if i am wanting to date atm, but either way i thought she was cute and i am glad that i took a risk.

so whoever is single and reading this (not gonna encourage cheating lol), i challenge you to approach and ask out a girl (or boy, if there is one girl reading this haha) this week, if they seem interested and approachable. even if you know it's most likely not gonna go anywhere, you might get a good conversation out of it, and, more importantly, it's about getting out of your comfort zone.

anyways, back to poker for the next entry! haha. GG. gonna get on the grind later this evening, perhaps hop in some donkaments (though we all know how they are gonna end haha). will link the previous sessions graph when i go on my computer.

June 6, 2021 | 11:38 a.m.

tyty bud! hopefully we both crush it this month :)

June 6, 2021 | 11:04 a.m.

thanks man, glad you are enjoying it!

June 6, 2021 | 11:03 a.m.

zache86 cheers man! yeah for sure it's the guilt that is the killer haha. i'm not sure if its an ancient part of our brain or something, perhaps forcing us to not be complacent so that we keep hunting etc, and thus we avoid starvation. either way i always start to feel it when i take time off. so writing these thoughts/feelings down and having others share a similar opinion, is important in being able to identify that these are not logical thoughts and are just illogical emotions that we can simply ignore. so long as we are not slacking completely. i suppose if we did not have these thoughts though, we would all sit around all day eating food and not moving from the sofa. so these feelings for sure have a positive effect overall in us being productive, but it can start to become unhealthy when we cannot detach during time off.

June 6, 2021 | 11:02 a.m.

radtupperware thanks mate, i am glad that you are enjoying the blog thus far! that is good advice from you, and it's always nice to hear that some of your thoughts are shared by other people as well. i think in poker, and elsewhere too, we can develop a level of inner guilt when we do not do certain things, or even sometimes when we DO do certain things haha. just like when we do not play enough hands during a month, or take the day off the gym etc. whilst of course grinding (and earning an income) and working out (thus keeping fit/healthy and mentally sharp) are important factors in any poker players life, so long as we are being consistent, it should enable us to have some lazy days, or time off etc as well. there just needs to be some sort of balance, so that we do not fall in to unhealthy habits and just stop exercising, for example, or play twice per month etc haha.

June 6, 2021 | 10:58 a.m.

sorry RunItTw1ce i meant to tag you in my response there, but seems like i can't do it in the editing tool.

June 6, 2021 | 10:46 a.m.

Luke Johnson hahaha you got me there! though tbh, i have still liked and watched all of your videos since you started creating content, so that should still say something about the high regard i hold your videos! if you ask for opinions though, i will duly oblige lol.

Doing a deep dive where you have precise stack sizes, certain formation, to know each player is meeting proper frequencies, to know if each player is splitting their ranges correctly with different bet sizes, whether it's a Monday morning or a Friday night, if the person has been on an upswing and playing their A-Game or is tilted because he just got stacked the previous hand, etc etc. There are just too many variables for deep dives to be implemented correctly.

i wouldn't say that this would be the definition of a 'deep dive'. personally, i couldn't care less about how a player is feeling, what day of the week it is etc. good poker is good poker on any day of the week. i would say that by the term deep dive we simply mean to explore a situation in an in depth way that allows us to gain a solid fundamental understanding of how to approach similar spots, moving forward. we will NEVER be able to recall every different hand/flop texture etc that we study in game. however, what i have found to allow me recall and then relay that information garnered through study, to the highest degree, is when i study that situation in depth. this allows me to look at both players ranges, flop/turn sizings, what hands are we bluffing with, how thin can we go for value otr etc and then really solidify my understanding of that scenario. if i know merely what to do with AQ on AKxxx, what good is that when i have a hand like 55. do i ever bluff a pair here? what are my triple barrel bluffs? so as you can see, this form of study where we merely focus on one combo/line, can quickly become problematic when we do not have that specific combo.

I will say Demondoink is going to be hard to please because he is one of the few members that is a 500z reg or higher. I think the vast majority of RIO members are going to be playing lower stakes and if they are playing 500NL+ it's going to be at a casino where games are much softer or on other sites besides pokerstars where players make a lot of mistakes.

yes those are very fair and valid points. i would still argue that if you are playing weak live games, then you do not really need to consume Elite content. so why would we effectively 'dumb down' the top tier content, simply to appease the majority? by no means am i saying that you are other viewers aren't intelligent (i am sure many lower stakes players are smarter than i am tbh) but i just don't buy in to this view that we should effectively lower the difficulty of something to appease others. watching poker players who were much better and smarter than me enabled me to move up in stakes. if i were to watch players who were of a similar level, or were merely discussing simplistic concepts, then i would be currently playing lower stakes. we read a Shakespeare book, or a Philosophical book etc to challenge us and take us out of our comfort zones, so that we have to think in a different way. reading a children's book would have no benefit.

I just don't think a deep dive reaches a lot of poker minds in the community to fast track their careers.

there are no shortcuts in poker. you will not gain any success in the game by simply attempting to jump up in stakes or skip hurdles as fast as possible. poker is an extremely long and slow process of continuous learning, and is something that never ceases until you stop playing.

June 6, 2021 | 10:43 a.m.


Why not open 2.5 - 3.5x then?

c'mon man, i am sure you can figure this one out for yourself :P in poker we take the lines/strategies that we believe make us the most EV. Clanty isn't choosing a bad strategy just to be different.

June 6, 2021 | 10:20 a.m.

have to give props to you for being so open minded and trying out all the various kinds of video formats. i can imagine that this video is the most time consuming from you, as you have to look at/run all the various different sims for far more spots than you could ever cover in a video looking at PIO only.

personally, i would still say that my preference is for deep dives where we look at PIO sims for a limited number of hands. i think in the past i was guilty of attempting to review too many hands post session, and now my understanding and learning has improved by cutting down this number and focusing on understanding as much as possible from each sim. i can understand how this kind of format would satisfy both the entertainment (as we get to watch you playing 500z) and theory itches that we have, but imo theory still trumps entertainment, and deep dives are still the best way of achieving this.

June 4, 2021 | 1:13 p.m.

June 4, 2021 | 12:19 p.m.


Day 29/30. so i'm not gonna lie, i have kinda lost interest in grinding at the moment. i think it's mostly down to the good weather and the fact that i can do things again, as well as the fact i have actually played a decent bit in the past month or so, including lots of study etc. we are now on Friday, and i have only played on Monday/Wednesday, both of which i almost didn't play on. i will definitely grind tonight, simply because the games are usually good on a Friday, and i'm busy tomorrow so i know i won't be playing then either. so my entries will perhaps start getting a little more sporadic, but i will still keep everyone up to date on the challenge etc.

so on Wednesday i ended up starting my session pretty late in the evening, and it was one in which there just seemed to be a tough spot in every large pot i played. it was just one of those sessions where i flopped a marginal hand in 3bet pots, and then got in to a situation where i was bluff catching for my entire stack. fortunately, upon review, a few of my lines were good, but one fold was an absolute punt, so this hand was a little frustrating, but we all make mistakes i guess. at the time i didn't feel like i played particularly well, but i think this could be bias because i was just in tough spot after tough spot, and in these situations the optimal play is less clear, so you can get the false impression that you aren't playing great, simply because you keep facing a tough and unfamiliar spot. the key to this is that you simply navigate these spots better than your opponents would, even if you do make some mistakes in the process (which everyone will do).

i will post my session's graph when i get on to my computer.

on Thursday i went to a running shop to get some shoes fitted, as i had just bought a random cheap pair last year and had been using them every since. i have not actually ran in 1-2 months now, but i am definitely going to get back in to it as it is, perhaps, the BEST form of exercise in terms of boosting your mood and putting you in a good mindset etc, at least for me it is. you go on a treadmill and they record you running, then you compare that to the various different shoes and see what one looks the best. it's kinda funny cos i ended up buying the first ones i tried on, despite trying on another four or so after them. so i'm gonna need to test them out in the next couple of days. i then got in some poker study, reviewing many of the tricky spots from the day before. it was a productive study session, and i'd been slacking recently in terms of study too, so it was important to get one in. afterwards i done some yoga etc, then had to go and do a food shop as i'd been living off porridge and pasta for almost a week (though, tbh, that is mostly what i eat anyways). we don't have a large supermarket nearby, being in the centre of the city, so my friend drives us out to a large one on the outskirts every week or two. i used to go to the shop daily, but it's just such a massive waste of time, so now i buy in bulk instead and go once every week or two instead. time saved, is time you can use elsewhere. when i got back i made food and then just chilled for the rest of the night, watching Youtube etc as i wasn't interested in playing. i can tell the difference between when i am merely procrastinating (in which case, i usually force myself to play) and when i am simply not interested. i never grind if i'm just not interested in playing, cos i won't even enjoy it and won't wanna be there on my computer. hopefully i will be in the mood to play tonight though. as i alluded to in earlier posts, i am not a massive grinder and i try to actually enjoy each day and not merely grind for the sake of it. isn't the point of having a flexible job to allow us to be flexible in choosing when we play, and when we do not? it's obviously nice making more money, but at what point do we begin to enjoy the benefits that earning a decent living allows us? such as, more time off, more time spent travelling etc.

anyways, seems like another really nice day here, so i'll just take it easy and see what the day brings!

June 4, 2021 | 11:43 a.m.

zache86 glad that you enjoyed the read!

tbh i didn't really have to help them out that much, as i just cleaned their rooms and wasn't doing a care job. so in the building where they had more severe mental issues etc it could be a bit challenging, as a lot of them didn't really know who they were and would do some very strange things as a result. not going to go in to details, but it was definitely a shame for them as i'm sure many were just regular people before they got these illnesses.

the other building was fine, as most of them would chat with you and were only in there because they were really old and needed some help living their daily lives. people would die regularly though, so it was common to chat to one person for a few weeks/months, then they suddenly die and their room is now empty. i used to go to the bookies (it mean sports betting shop) on my lunch break to place a couple bets on the horses for one of the guys who was a resident there. he would give me a few pounds and i'd go place the bets for him. then they found out that i was doing this for him, and i was told to stop by the people working there. it was pretty ridiculous as he was placing bets of like £3/£4 (around $5 or so) once a week, where as these care homes can charge THOUSANDS of pounds per month to stay there. but yeah, better deprive him of a little enjoyment in his life in the last year or two of his life, in case the cleaner steals £3 from him...

it's a shame though, cos he was still alive when i left, but it's like 0% he is still alive now as that was 10 years ago.

June 4, 2021 | 11:13 a.m.


Day 28. yesterday i was busy for basically the entire day, so i did not have time for any poker. fortunately today i don't have many plans though, so i can definitely get a good grind in at some point. my Gran came through to visit (who is 91), and we walked like 2 hours down to the beach and got something to eat there. it's pretty funny how she is probably fitter than many people my age, despite approaching the century mark haha. it was another really nice day, i think it got up to 20/21C, and i actually managed to get a little sunburnt haha (my skin is so pale, classic poker player). after that i came back to the flat, and then went back out to sunbathe in the park with my flat mate cos he had been indoors working all day. i had a Skype call at 8pm, which last a couple of hours, and we went in to good depth on our current area of focus. so i guess i managed to still get in some poker study yesterday, despite enjoying a 'day off' for the most part. post study i went to the gym, as i haven't been going as much as i should have been recently. it can be difficult balancing poker/exercise/socialising, and some days you have to sacrifice one, or more of these things. by the time i showered and made food, it was past 1am and of course far too late to begin a grind (especially as i was operating on 5 hours of sleep, when i normally get 8).

unlimitedgambler asked me to expand on my poker career, and how i got to my current stakes, so i will do so in this post.

so i finished high school in 2011 aged 17, and planned on going to University the following year as i didn't really know what i wanted to study. i managed to net myself a lucrative job as a part time cleaner in a care home, earning £7.50 per hour and working 2 days a week on the weekends. tbh i was pretty lazy, regularly coming in late and i remember one time i cleaned the first few rooms really quickly so i could sit and watch the 2011 Rugby World Cup match between Scotland and England in one of the residents rooms (they sat downstairs during the day). we lost. though as a Scotland fan, i have become accustomed to the disappointment. after working there for around year, i simply walked out one day at the beginning of my shifts as i had been moved buildings without discussing it with me. basically you had one building for the people with very bad Alzheimer's, mental health issues etc and the other one with just 'regular' old people. i began working in the former place, and then moved over to the latter, where you could converse with the old people and thus the job was not too bad. but after a year there and having been moved back, then this signified the end of my stint as a cleaner. i got a job selling berries at this little hut afterwards (i think this was in 2012), but this would be the last time i worked officially.

i then went to University for a year, but the course was not really what i was interested in (as i didn't work very hard in school, and thus didn't have the grades to get in to the class that i wanted to join). i stayed at home at my parents house, instead of moving out, and thus didn't meet that many people through the Uni. the people i was friends with all failed first year or quit, so i was not that bothered about going back tbh. i'd been playing a bit of poker on the side since my friend introduced it to me, and we regularly went to the casino/played home games. so i probably began playing poker in late 2011/early 2012, and by the Summer of 2013 with no job and not enjoying Uni that much, i decided to deposit one last £300 before giving up and getting a 'real' job for the Summer. i think i turned that $500 in to around $8k by the end of the Summer, and didn't go back to Uni. by no means has this been plain sailing throughout my poker career, i have almost busted a few times in the first year or so, and enjoyed several months of losing, but i have never gone busto since then.

i began my career playing mtt's online, and then switched to cash games a bit later on. again, it was not a seamless transition, but i got there in the end. i played a bit of cash games on the side when grinding mtt's, but i began taking cash seriously when i hopped in to 100z towards the end of 2015. i thought i was good at poker cos i was winning at mtt's, but i was probably a fish at cash and it also prayed on my tilt issues haha. mtt's weren't too bad cos they were slow, and at the time there wasn't any re-entry tournaments, only rebuy ones, so you couldn't punt off that much in them. but with the fast paced action of zoom, coupled with the auto reload, it could be dangerous haha. so anyways, i played 100z for a bit, and then moved up to 200z in 2016 and got in quite a lot of hands there. i had good success there, and then moved up to 500z, taking my first shots in April of 2017. after winning $8k right off the bat, i proceeded to punt that off in one session and not play it again for a couple months. at the beginning of 2018, i switched to 500z as my main stake, and during 2018/2019 i played most of my volume at 500z, but would drop down to 200z when i was on a downswing, or wanted to play a more stress free session against weaker opponents. i played a tiny bit of 5/10 and 10/20 this year, but i started to play it a bit more often during 2019. since the beginning of 2020, i have not played one hand of 200z, with the bulk of my volume coming from 500z, and the rest from 1k/2k or the very occasional 500 reg table. my volume on reg tables tends to be low, hence how i have not gotten in a large enough sample size at these stakes to be able to move up further. so that is obviously something i am looking to rectify this year. i am sure if 1k zoom ran regularly, i would be playing that as my main stake, but as 500z is the highest stake game that runs there, that is why i have not moved up much further in the past couple of years (though i have for sure gotten a ton better). personally i enjoy zoom much more than reg tables, but i am slowly coming around to them.

in terms of coaching, i have never been coached by anyone, nor had any mental game coaching. i just used RIO, read books on mindset and then, in the past couple of years, started using PIO. my poker friends were basically just casual, with many of them playing lower stakes mtt's, so i didn't even really discuss strategy tbh. this has changed in the past couple years though, and now i work regularly with a friend who also plays cash. but i managed to move up to 500z without any coaching/poker strategy discussion with friends. so i guess i would be classed as a 'lone wolf' in that regard haha. personally i don't believe in CFP/staking, why would you want to give away half of your profits? the most important thing is to be honest with yourself and introspective. people will tell you things you are already aware of, but you just wanted to hear it from someone else for confirmation. we have all the tools available to us nowadays with PIO, pre flop solvers etc, so really there is no reason to give away 50% of your earnings for coaching when you can do the study yourself. if you wanted coaching, i would still say this is beneficial (i have come close to getting it a few times) but just pay hourly/by the session. i actually do coaching sometimes (though i never advertise for it), so if you are interested, drop me a PM.

anyways, that's enough for today. hopefully you guys appreciate this post as it has taken me over an hour to write haha.

on to today, lets go!

June 2, 2021 | 1:33 p.m.

bobby peru thanks man, very kind words!

haha that's great to hear that you are sticking with them, as it's easy to skip them for a day or two and then just give up on them altogether. as with any habit, consistency is key. so just gotta keep going with them even when you aren't in the mood, then you will start to enjoy them imo. there aren't many things that make you feel as alive as when you turn the water to freezing, for the first few seconds when your body is in shock at the sudden change in temperature.

June 2, 2021 | 12:19 p.m.

HeavyMask thanks bud!

unlimitedgambler hey man, i'm glad that you are enjoying it! haha i know, but i don't wanna out myself with the 50bb/100 WR, so gotta keep the volume low to avoid this :P

as i didn't play yesterday, i will dedicate that post to discussing the things you just highlighted in your question.

June 2, 2021 | 12:16 p.m.


Day 27. another month in the books. another month that we will never get back in our lives. it's easy to let another day drift by, then another, and another and next thing you know a month, year or lifetime has flashed before your eyes. it is vital that we appreciate and enjoy each day, so that we don't simply drift through life and then regret it when we are too old to do anything about it. if you don't like the trajectory of your life, change it now before it's too late. by no means am i saying my life is perfect, there are many things i have to improve or change, but i appreciate each day and don't take them for granted.

anyways, away from Philosophical musing's, and back to poker! we all know the script by now, get up around 2pm, do some productive things and then get on the grind (sometimes). well, today i was extremely close to taking the day off. i got in some good study earlier on in the day, and then went out for a walk again as it was another great night. that short walk, which i planned on being around 30 mins, turned in to two hours haha. then i decided to get a takeaway (we have a chip shop around the corner that does great vegan chippy sausage supper lol) and chill with my friend for a while. i looked to get on the grind at 10:30pm, but the games were very dry and so i watched a Nuno HU video instead. even if you don't play HU, which i don't, imo they are well worth a watch. were i to create training content, i would do so very similarly to him; picking out 3 or 4 hands to break down and review in depth using PIO, and try to gain a better understanding of the spot. as opposed to simply checking in PIO if our play was 'right' or 'wrong', whilst barely even looking at the solver outputs.

the games picked up a little, and i ended up beginning my session at just before 12:00am. i usually never play this late, as i kind of have a rule not to begin my session much later than 10pm, as i have been known to sometimes grind until 8/9am if i start sessions late at night and i am losing. i don't tend to quit when i am down as i think i can recover the session haha. the plan was to just play 1k hands cos it was late, but i played 1.5k hands just to get to 39k hands for the month. overall i am happy with my volume, happy with the standard of my play, and happy with my results. i am also glad that i have stuck with grinding 1k, when it would have been easy to move on from it and avoid the variance when i went through that two day period of losing 10 buy ins haha. at one point i was actually down $13k for the month at 1k, but finished down only $4k. so definitely feels like a win in that regard. ran pretty hot tonight at 1k, but not so well at 500z (including losing close to 400bb pot w AA vs combo draw in 4bet pot).

as promised, i will share my graph for the month and challenge thus far, as well as the graph for the session, as per usual.

GG. 39% of the challenge completed. at my current pace, it will take around 69 days for me to complete the 100k hands. my original aim was to have it completed in around 1.5 months, but this was pretty speculative given the fact that it took me 4 months to grind 110k hands, and now that the weather is getting better and restrictions are lifting, i will actually have more of a social life again. perhaps even going travelling abroad again. so yeah, if i managed to complete the hands in under 69 days, i will be happy. if not, no problem either as we earn money so that we can enjoy our lives away from the tables.

session results

challenge results

leave rope

stacked by OTB

June 1, 2021 | 1:41 a.m.

great video! with regards to you not having a click back range, do you not think this is losing you a decent amount of EV? i would assume that it allows IP to raise a lot more if you can only jam over their small raise, and allows them to realise more equity than they should by effectively freezing you.

personally i have a click back range vs IP flop raises in 3bet pots, although i'm not gonna lie and say its perfect by any means. however, it punishes players who like to throw out a cheap bluff raise on the flop and puts them in a tough spot instead of forcing me to play OOP in an inflated pot vs a polarised range.

May 31, 2021 | 10:22 p.m.


Day 26. so yesterday i had quite a productive day tbh. i got up late (as usual) but i've kinda accepted it at this point because i tend to grind later on in the evening when the games are better and there are more reg tables running/zoom entries. i think i should still be getting up a couple of hours earlier, but it is what it is. i'd say i normally get up around 2pm, but could probably do so around 12pm instead.

anyways, i was still very happy with how the day went. it didn't make a ton of sense give the fact it was a Sunday and i was planning on grinding some mtt's, but i ended up doing a lot of household chores that i had been meaning to catch up on. just boring stuff like doing the washing, some cleaning etc, but things that needed done nonetheless. after this i got in some yoga and then i decided to go on a walk, because it was a nice day and i think its important to take advantage and appreciate good weather when it comes around (especially in Scotland). ended up walking for like 1.5 hours, and then began my session at around 8:30pm. as i alluded to in my previous post, i wanted to play some tournaments (for the first time in a while) and so i started off my session grinding those. i don't tend to play particularly high stakes, mostly because i don't wanna punt off my hard earned cash winnings, chasing an mtt bink. so i'd say my ABI is probably just over $100 or so, and i don't tend to buy in higher than $500 unless it's like a SCOOP main or something (i bought in to the $1k a few weeks ago and managed to cash in it). i also realised that regging at 8:30pm GMT is actually too late for mtt's nowadays. there was hardly anything to register, so i quickly joined a couple tables of 500z after busting a few tournaments. needless to say, i didn't cash anything so waste some money there haha. fortunately, it went better at cash though and i won some money there.

this month i have been happy with my volume. there have only really been a couple of days that i took off, when i know i should have played and had no reason not to. the others were basically either planned days off (such as visiting parents/taking the weekend off etc) or i was feeling slightly burnt out/tilted so opted not to play. i'm gonna grind today, and as we speak i am sitting on 37.5k hands of cash for the month. this is not bad considering i didn't begin playing until the 5th, and took 4 days off whilst i was away as well. the aim for today is to get in 2.5k hands so that takes me to a nice, round 40k for the month. i will post my monthly graph, and the graph for the challenge thus far after today as well.

GG. another day, another opportunity.

session results

when two people go all in and you have AA

good river

May 31, 2021 | 1:56 p.m.

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