Buying in for 20k is pretty baller tho o.o
Also, when I see your sn on RIO I tend to think of you as either: "The Nacho" or "Nacho Libre". What do you think?
Finally, when is there gonna be a Nacho public discord? I need to chat with my fellow Nachonians.
Jan. 21, 2023 | 8:14 p.m.
Wrote this on twitter. Repurposing in case anyone is interested in the topic:
Poker training will become dominated by cloud-based sites like GTO Wizard. They're on track to serve as a one-stop-shop for all things poker, and their offerings will progressively make various coaching duties by humans obsolete.
"Database Analyzer" tools will be essential. Wiz allows you to upload 100k hands / month, and calculates average EV loss w/ details on individual sessions. On a basic level, you could infer that a perfect GTO player could add 3bb/100 to their winrate with a -0.03 / hand avg loss
It makes studying easier because you can upload your hands at the end of the day, click on the session, and sort by pot size or EV loss to see your biggest mistake / pots, and you can view the GTO solution for each of these hands.
This product is still in its infancy. For instance, Wiz also has "reports", which are basically multiflop aggregation reports that determine the overall fold, bet, and raise % across many different lines and textures. So it knows the optimal fold vs 33% c-bet in SRP as IP.
If Wiz already has your hands, then they should be able to tell you what your fold/call/raise is in every line, and match it up to the reports they already have. This would be the ultimate leak buster, and saves an ungodly amount of time.
Further, if they have all your hands, then they should know the range composition as well. Hand2Note can look at something like flop c-bet and break down your range comp by sizing, and tell you if you favor one size too much, or don't use enough weak hands. (note: not my stats)
This will become a bit of an arms race in the long run, because the DB analyzer isn't perfect. It still doesn't work for multiway, and hands will get errors if it it's not a situation it already has solved. So the analyzer gets stronger as sites add more solutions to the cloud.
Further, they don't seem to have GTO fully mapped out. Flop reports are simpler, but turn and river is more complicated. AFAIK Wiz does not have river reports at all, and turn is minimal. Eventually, a push will be made to fully quantify the game tree.
The vertical experience is that Wiz can quantify your mistakes, but then also prescribe the solution in the practice section. So if it tells you that you overcall by 5% facing a c-bet BvB, then you can drill that spot on the same site. (They'll prob offer a link to make it easy)
This is important because the most common coaching offering among high stakes pros is the "database review". I know because I've personally done a few hundred of these, and these DB tools would completely blow that away by offering accuracy a human could never reach in a blink.
(Someone on twitter linked me to GTOBase. They appear to already be doing something like this for Spin & Go's, and have plans for 6-max cash in the future. Below is from their sales page.)
This is coaching at scale done by computers. There will be a place for human coaches though, and we already see that playing out. Different iterations of "Team Pro" emerge as these sites will have a very strong network effect and become mini-training sites.
These cloud sites will benefit from respected pros because it provides their service with social proofing. Pros will use GTO Wiz / GTOx in videos and webinars, which teaches people valuable strategies while tacitly implying that this is the software the best players use.
Pros will benefit too. Not only do they make a side income, but it provides them with exposure to promote their own side hustle. For example, TheWakko has @Poker_Ambition. Saulo has @brpokercrew. Donk Orleone does private coaching. etc.
Poker coaching will shift from leak finding to strategy building. It will become about guiding people to become better pattern recognizers and calibrators so they can more easily hit their desired metrics. A subscription to one of these sites will become an absolute must.
DB Analyzers will prove to change the game online, and vertically-integrated hybrids of training site + cloud server + GTO practice drills will become the gold standard.
Nov. 13, 2022 | 7:34 p.m.
Inspiring stuff Matt. Thanks a lot for sharing.
What site are you playing you >2KNL volume on? Would like to avoid itt
I play on Ignition and ACR.
how do you assess things like double-barrel opportunities if the solver in the majority of cases is mixing check and bet with a significant portion of its range?
Betting a polarized range is always hard because we need to balance both our checking range and sizings. That's why most of my drills revolve around responding to bets, which is best studied through pattern recognition and repetition.
For betting a polarized range, Pat basically developed a way to bet a range that is close to GTO (very low exploitability compared to the pot) while still being simple enough to remember. I've always been a strong advocate of simplicity > complexity, so it wasn't hard to convince me that this was the way to go.
Thank you for sharing this! I have been looking for a good warm up
routine for I while. I was only practicing random spots with gto
wizard but now I have good plan. I tried to create drills for these
spots myself but the issue I had was that I had to choose between
selecting the excat spot with sizings or just the positions and
preflop action. Which do you prefer / what do you use? If its not too
much to ask, would it be possible for you to share your gto wizard
I may share the drills at some point since there is an export button on GTO Wizard. I tend to choose the exact spot with sizings, but I think there's plenty of ways you could go about it. You're good as long as the practice focuses on specific weaknesses and is applicable at the table.
Found your study table very interesting, and might pinch the general
concept of it! I can't work out what 2BP IP PFR BF 30f means though.
Is it cbetting flops in single raised pots for 30% and facing a raise?
Yes, small c-bet facing a XR.
Interesting to see you say the reg-to-rec ratio has been horrendous in your games this year. I'm wondering if economic reasons are really the main catalyst here, or if there simply isn't more regs nowadays playing those games. It would seem with all the CFPs, training material, rta, etc, that the reg-to-rec ratio was bound to get quite bad.
It's impossible to say for sure. There's always been poker training, but it is more organized now. My feeling about it is that crypto tanking probably had something to do with it, but hard to say.
Oct. 6, 2022 | 8:25 p.m.
I shoot for 6 tables and play 5 days a week at night time in the US. My goal is to play 300k hands of 2knl+ per year.
I've legitimately been running insanely hot, so luck is honestly the most important factor for this sample. The reg:rec ratio has been horrendous this year so I know times have been tough, but that's part of what's inspired me to come up with the best study regime I can think of to give me the best chance possible.
Sept. 25, 2022 | 10:20 p.m.
My main recommendation for selecting a CFP or coach is to prioritize working with whoever's free/low-cost strategy content resonates with you the most. You could get coaching from ja.sam.gale on how to beat stars, but if you don't jive with his way of teaching or there are language / culture barriers then you'd have been better off picking someone with less impressive results that really resonates with you.
Personally, I went with Nick Howard because I watched his RIO videos, which lead me to his youtube channel. I thought the content was top notch and went all-in on their CFP. I can't speak to what their content is like at this time because I'm not in the CFP anymore, but I recommend them because I'm on good terms with Nick Howard and their exec team and think the program is very strong.
I'd also recommend BitB, as George and Darrel are top players playing in the toughest games. Poker with Riske also seems worth a look considering they have a youtube channel with free content, and Connor, Alvers, and Ryan all play fairly high stakes online. If you read this blog then you're probably familiar with NachoPoker, so you could check out his RIO videos to see what you think of him.
I'm not going to hard vouch for anyone, but I'd start by making a list of everyone you're interested in and prioritizing your gut feeling about the free content they offer. If they have an inexpensive strategy pack or RIO video then check that out. If they don't have free content then shoot them an email and ask for a demo (they should be able to come up with something). If you're in love with the idea of joining Detox but can't get over the stars thing, then it couldn't hurt to shoot them an email and ask if they can send you any results from stars/gg/euro sites or at the least can share specific success stories.
Disclosure: I have no financial interest in Poker Detox. I have no incentive to refer you to any of the people I mentioned above. This advice could be applied to anyone interested in finding a CFP.
Sept. 25, 2022 | 10:03 p.m.
Remember that you're in control. If you're getting hammered in a session and feel bad about it then just stop. I take little breaks all the time, and I stop playing immediately if I feel like I'm not in the right headspace.
It sounds like you're not at peace with losing. You can't use logic or variance calculations to get around that (I've tried), and no amount of winning will ever save you. As soon as you establish a new benchmark then that becomes your new floor. Ex: Maybe you played micros for a while and dreamed of beating 200nl for 4bbs, but once you get to 200nl at 4bbs then it feels bad to win at 2bbs. You'll dread dropping down to 100nl. etc.
The swings are stressful for me as well. There's no magic bullet, but a series of healthy decisions and re-frames. Remember poker isn't everything: spend time with loved ones, invest in new hobbies, take vacation. When it's time to sit at the table remember that you don't need to do anything sensational and you're enough just as you are.
Fighting with myself to do the "right" thing (shut up and grind) has never worked for me. It's best to make healthy decisions for your mind and body, deescalate the self-imposed personal stakes, and be kind to yourself.
Sept. 25, 2022 | 5:02 p.m.
I'm currently on my sickest run ever. The winning streak at 15/30 has been so epic it was actually foretold in the Bible.
Obviously I'm running insanely hot and my true winrate is not this high, but I'm pleased to see that my intensive study routine has been paying off. Several people have expressed interested in hearing how I study, so I decided I'd write this post outlining my process. Here's what I do:
Drill + Review
I have a journal page divided by 10 sections. Each section is used as a pre-game warmup with a target duration of about 15 minutes.
These sections are not random; they're prioritized by EV impact. I've determined this by multiplying the number of times a spot comes up by the estimated pot size at the decision point, and rank each spot by total volume of big blinds.
This isn't fool proof as I'm sure someone could improve on this, but it seems like a reasonable way to prioritize my study time on the lines that have the biggest effect on my winrate.
It's also important that the process for studying be as smooth as possible, which is why I like using GTO Wizard drills and saving a directory for each section. Also, I set each section to be 20 hands to pace myself and reduce decision fatigue of deciding when to stop. I typically go through all 10 flop sections in 13 minutes.
The goal is to cover everything remotely relevant by the end of the 10 warm-up sessions, and to go back to Part 1 and start the cycle over. In addition, I review roughly every pot above 10bb+ at the end of each playing day. I'll review 15bb+ if I played a ton of volume that day and reviewing each hand would be too burdensome. Reviewing all these pots accomplishes:
- No stone left unturned. I don't like the idea of "forgetting" to study a spot in my game for an extended period of time.
- Inspiration. This is less regimented than the routine-based studying listed above, so it gives me a chance to rabbithole on abstract concepts about the game. Now would be the time to think "Hm... could I try 30% pot XR on this board?" "What's the best river XR candidate in this situation if I nodelock this bet composition?" etc.
- It helps me stay calm in-game if a confusing situation comes up because I know I'll study it later. This helps address "did I make the right play?" syndrome that a lot of guys (myself included) can get hung up on.
The drills are a part of my weekly process, but I review my overall database using Hand2Note (H2N) monthly. H2N is a sophisticated database tool that makes it easier to review how you're playing in ways that HEM / PT4 cannot.
For example, I may want to see how well I'm defending overall in BB vs SB, 3BP OOP PFC facing a c-bet. It takes time to set it up, but H2N can tell you how often you take an action in pretty much any scenario (marked Hero).
The stats in yellow under PIO come from multiflop aggregation reports, and I have these for all major lines. The exact XF,XC,XR are estimated because they will vary depend on preflop opening / 3-bet sizes and rake structure, but it gives me a solid target for where I'd like to land.
The stats I review are great for measuring how well I'm playing against a GTO baseline, but I only check it once a month because it takes time to for any changes I make to accumulate a sample. I basically go through every line in the game tree looking for places I may be deviating, write my leaks down in my notebook, and make a point to review it specifically in the coming week.
Finally, there's the never-ending journey that is strategy development. I leave most of the high-impact stuff like flop c-bet and river bluff catching to my coaching partner, Pat Howard. Pat focusing on the big picture frees me up to study my curiosities, so I devote time to various niche strategies that interest me. I'll share an example of something I'm working on this week.
Let's say you want to figure out how to c-bet in squeezed pots. I could take a crack at it by extrapolating from other comparable situations, but I typically like to measure things to minimize human bias and discernment (which always leads to EV loss).
So I plug squeeze preflop ranges into PIO and run a 25-flop subset script. I do this for a couple different formations and catalogue the results using the multiflop frequency analysis tool. The MFA gives you the average bet frequency from the 25-flop subset.
Once I have the baseline frequencies and preferred sizings, it can help me make a decision about how I want to compose my range and frequencies. For instance, if we squeeze then we need to c-bet more if the BTN overcalls, whereas we should c-bet less if the CO calls. That makes sense intuitively because their range should be stronger to call with a player left to act.
There's also other tools that can help develop strategies for spots that aren't easy to study. I use Simple Preflop and Simple 3-Way for a lot of those situations (though the user experience isn't great for me personally).
Let's say a recreational player limps from EP, and a reg isolates to 4.5x from the BTN. We're in the BB and we'd like to work on developing our range because we've mainly been winging it. So we plug the perimeters into Simple Preflop and get the grid. Here's a screenshot from my journal on this spot:
Once we have a GTO baseline, we can make a judgement call on our exact range based on the player / situation. If we have reason to believe the reg is isolating wider than GTO (which is often the case), then we should be 3-betting and calling more. Now we'll have a framework to apply at the tables the next time we face an ISO from the BB.
All this can be intimidating because there's several different pieces to my routine, so I have a white board in my office to keep track of my current poker projects that are typically at different stages of being finished. I usually have 5-6 different projects or ideas on my white board, which makes it easier to remember and keep track of what I should be working on when it's strategy development time. I typically do all coaching / strat work in the morning & afternoon, which is when high stakes games are pretty dead here in the US.
If we compared my study routine to something like a weight loss goal, it would look like:
Drills = Eating healthy meals and working out (Present-focused, focused on execution )
Strategy Development = Building a diet plan (Long-term focused, focused on planning )
Database Reviews = Monthly Weigh-Ins (Medium to Long-term focused, focused on measuring progress)
If you'd like to craft your own study routine then you don't need to copy my methods verbatim, but your study process should be one where the fruits of your labor should benefit you in every session. Many people fall into the trap of studying totally esoteric river situations or spending too much time watching live-play videos, whereas the most beneficial things you can do often revolve around polishing the fundamentals or reviewing spots that are "too obvious" for others to study. If you aren't able to implement what you studied today in a typical 1,500 hand poker session, then you have room to make your study process better.
Sept. 25, 2022 | 3:40 p.m.
Congrats! I hope it's the next step in a very successful poker career for you. :)
Just show them why you belong on the team. Detox is looking for hard-working individuals that listen to the coaches and are driven to succeed, so everything will work out fine if you put in the time and work your butt off. You got this.
Aug. 6, 2022 | 10:33 a.m.
RunItTw1ce I guess it's time for another update.
My days have generally been filled with either studying poker, playing poker, or coaching poker. I've been working in waves where I work really intensely for 4-6 weeks and am completely immersed in what I'm doing, followed by 1-2 weeks of down time. This is my version of balance as a classic "all-or-nothing" type of person.
In my off time, I generally spend time with my wife and do fun stuff in Los Angeles. Our 1-year anniversary is coming up and we're planning on going to a music festival and having a bit of a get away. I'm still figuring out how to balance such an intense career with enjoying my life and having fun, but I've certainly gotten better at it.
With work, I've been putting a ton of time into my coaching business with Pat Howard, whom many of you may know from his Mobius RIO blog / twitter. We've been working at it a long time and it's been rewarding to see how sick our content library has gotten, and I really enjoy working with the players.
In poker, my lifetime results on Ignition specifically are closing in on $1,000,000.
I've also played around 200,000 hands since launching the coaching business with Pat. Here's how that's going.
I'm disappointed that my 5knl shot didn't go well, and I think I could do a bit better than this overall, so I believe the back half of the year will be even better. It's tough to be too sour about >$1 / hand, but I'm very competitive and a bit of a perfectionist, so I still see plenty of room for improvement in my game and results.
Overall, I'm happy, busy, and still driven as ever to kick some ass at the tables. :D
Aug. 6, 2022 | 10:20 a.m.
Shaun Pauwels Thanks, Shaun. Looks like you were the first to comment on this thread. You got in on the ground floor. ;)
Qing Yang Thanks, Qing. It's certainly a nice compliment to hear from a great player like you.
Douggyfr3sh Thanks for the kind words. It's scary to ease off the hours at a steady job, but it's ultimately the leap you need to make to succeed. Best of luck!
freenachos All I can think about now is the 2-week break I'll be taking to relax. I'm sure you know it's incredibly hard to balance coaching and poker, so I'm looking forward to taking some time to myself and blowing some of that MTT money. ;)
March 10, 2022 | 3:07 a.m.
Nice to hear you've been feeling good. :) I live near the beach and tend to go for 60-90 minutes walks there to relax & exercise. I can tell I'm much happier in life when I can just listen to music and enjoy the fresh air / sights / sounds instead of being in my head and thinking about shit I have to do.
It's definitely really satisfying to play a shorthanded match against regs you think are good, even if it isn't +EV at the moment. A lot of SSNL/MSNL regs get stuck in the mindset that everyone 1-2 limits up is so much tougher and smarter, but I think a healthy dose of contempt / disrespect for the competition is good for your career. Everyone has leaks, even 5knl gods, so I believe it's important to never put anyone on a pedestal.
March 10, 2022 | 3 a.m.
Profit since challenge start (Sept 2018): $1,053,000 / $1,000,000
The challenge came to a close this weekend in fitting fashion: luck-sacking a 2nd place finish in a big Sunday MTT for 92k.
It took 1 year and 9 months since creating this thread to get here, but the journey is complete. I'm proud that I'll always be able to say that I won 7-figures playing online poker no matter what happens. It's crazy to think I started Poker Detox CFP in late 2018 as an SSNL grinder with a dream and a part time job.
I'm very grateful to everyone that's helped me along the way. I'm thankful Nick Howard started Poker Detox CFP to help people like me make it, that Pat Howard came in and brought an insane level of innovation to what we did, and to Gabe Roy for being the glue keeping this shit together. There's so many people I've met through Poker Detox that it'd be impossible to thank them all, but it was easily the best decision I ever made and I'm happy for everyone that's come into my life over the past 3 1/2 years.
I had a larger goal to hit 2mm that I shared earlier, but it's highly unrealistic and arbitrary so I'm gonna scrap it. Instead, I'll just share how I'm doing here periodically.
With that said, I said I'd share results at 100k hands:
Thank you to everyone that has followed along with this thread and supported me in my poker career thus far. No man succeeds alone, so I appreciate all the help I've received.
March 4, 2022 | 10:28 a.m.
RunItTw1ce I would tend to think that playing more 5-6 handed would increase winrate for HSNL because that means there's a rec at the table. I don't know if I play more or less shorthanded compared to most, but I guess I'd say average?
It depends on the stake. At 2knl I take on all comers and just open tables and see who comes / never sit out. 3k-5k its more dependent on my mood / if I feel like battling / how tired I am. 5knl specifically on ACR usually has bomb pots, which spikes your standard deviation because they're such big pots and you play 4 / hour / table, so you need to be ready for the swings when you play there.
Jan. 5, 2022 | 6:16 p.m.
My best month ever. Absolute sun run.
I debated whether or not to share these results because a 20k hand sample is really trivial, but I’m really proud of this and have worked my ass off so screw it.
My main emotion when looking back at this is vindication. It’s been a long year that started with my wife leaving her job, making me the sole provider for our household. It’s extremely stressful to be a professional poker player and have the responsibility of taking care of others financially, especially when you have setbacks or shots that don’t work.
It was also daunting and expensive to travel to Canada for 2 months this fall with my wife and dog in the midst of so many covid restrictions, only to win probably the same amount I would’ve won if I just stayed in the US. In particular, it was disheartening to lose $38k at 10knl in a ~2000 hand shot.
What made it even more frustrating is that I was, and still am, reviewing every single 10bb+ pot I play every night. In the mornings/afternoon, I have a routine of drilling in GTO Wizard, and either working on new strats I’d like to implement, or having a meeting for the business/coaching. I’m literally up until 2am reviewing hands, and the next day I’m in the lab game-planning / drilling.
So it’s vindicating to see the work actually pay off in a big way. AllinPav posted on twitter in his year-end recap saying the frustrating thing about long breakeven/losing stretches is feeling like all your hard work is for nothing, and I can +1 that. But I’m proud that I’ve stuck to my guns, worked diligently regardless of short term results, and didn’t back down from shot taking when things didn’t go well initially.
If anyone is reading this that is currently in one of those debilitating downswings, then my advice is to dust yourself off, keep working, get better, and try again. I didn’t do anything special this month; it was just preparation meeting opportunity. The poker gods decided it was time for me to run good, and I was ready to capitalize on it to the fullest extent I could. Hopefully you can do the same.
Best of luck in 2022. Let’s pray the poker gods will continue to shine on me for at least a little while longer.
Jan. 1, 2022 | 6:27 a.m.
Dec. 6, 2021 | 10:20 p.m.
(I started another blog on a different site where I set a goal of making $1.2mm by the end of 2022, which would get me to roughly 2mm overall. Reposting first update here)
The most important update is that I got married. I didn't get to play as much since starting this thread because we had the wedding and a 2 1/2 week honeymoon, which was a ton of fun, but it's been my first week back and I'm happy to be back on the grind.
I didn't exactly blow the doors off the hinges, but I won't complain too much. A lot of this challenge really depends on how godly I can run at 5k+ if/when I get back on GG. We're still planning on going to Canada this spring as of now.
My hours have been really intense as I've spent an absurd amount of time studying this week. I've been reviewing every 5bb+ pot, doing a lot of drills in GTO Wizard, modeling random things in PIO that interest me, and working on an assortment of coaching material. It's really satisfying to pursue a career I enjoy, but it's also really daunting to hold myself accountable to high standards.
I like balancing that intensity out with different forms of meditation / mindfulness. My wife and I have started going to Barnes and Noble and buying physical books so we're not on screens all the time, and I've been reading "Eleven Rings" by Phil Jackson, the NBA Hall of Fame Coach. He's an interesting character because he's coached some of the grittiest and winningest basketball players of all time, but he also had a very particular style that integrated Native American culture and Zen meditation into this coaching. He quoted Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu,
"I have just three things to teach:
Simplicity, Patience, Compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and in thoughts,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world."
I really enjoy reading things like this, especially when contextualized by great competitors. It can be daunting to always learn forward, work hard, and pursue, which makes it important to slow down and reflect. I appreciate having the spirit and grit of a warrior, while returning to an inner calm when the battle is over.
I look forward to putting in maximum effort for the remainder of the year. Let's make every day count. :D
Dec. 6, 2021 | 8:54 a.m.
Oct. 12, 2021 | 5:16 p.m.
Profit since challenge start (Sept 2018): $860,000 / $1,000,000
I've been traveling the past few months and have been playing on GG, ACR, and a bit of Ignition/Bodog. In particular, I got the opportunity to play some 5k and 10k on GG, which was definitely a rush. There were so many times I had a feeling of disbelief that I'm really here playing against Limitless, Stefan, and the whole crew of guys that have ruled over high stakes on PS for a while. Pretty surreal.
Unfortunately, I lost a big chunk in my limited sample at 10knl, but still managed to make about 20k on GG + ACR despite that. It's definitely a different experience with some of these really high stakes games because if you run bad for a couple sessions at 10/20 then you can always find another 10/20 game and grind it back. But 10k seems to have 1 table going at most, and you may not get a seat or be awake for it when it runs, so there's only so much volume you can get there. But hey, that's what we've signed up for.
I'm heading home to LA now and will be taking some time off. I'm getting married in two weeks, and then have my honeymoon shortly after. I'm also just exhausted from my rigorous schedule so I'm literally gonna relax by the beach a bit and have some fun. Don't worry, I'll be back at the tables by the end of November. The other regs can finally relax... for a little bit. ;)
Looking forward, I'm anxious to hit +$1,000,000 on Ignition and hope I can hit that early on in 2022. I've also really enjoyed playing on different sites, particularly when I can play 25/50, and I've set a goal for myself to play 100k hands on GG+ACR so I can share a legit sample here.
Finally, I just feel especially grateful to live an interesting and independent life thanks to poker. It can be hard to appreciate it when you're in the slog of the grind, but it's truly a special thing that makes me happy. And it's all the better that I can share the ride with my buddies at Poker Detox who help me grow as we work on this business together and try to make a living at this absurd game.
Keep the tables warm for me.
Oct. 12, 2021 | 4:58 a.m.
They have weekly rb, but there's an additional daily rake race for each individual stake up to and including 5/10. For instance, 8th place pays $100 for 200nl here, which is 50bbs. That's clearly going to be really influential in determining your post-rb winrate.
They also have a bunch of different promotions that seem to change a lot that amount to more rb. The entire system is gamified, which is sort've annoying for pros, so you have to be intentional with your setup.
For ignition/bodog, it's more about just playing winning poker, but there's basically no rb and the software tilts the crap out of some people. So pick your poison.
For reference: https://en.ggpoker.com/promotions/holdem-daily-leaderboard/