Onkleb's avatar


1242 points

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

youseffahmed I hope this makes your day, losing month at stars.

Played almost whole month on untracked sites and 26k$ there, at least according to my book keeping.

Weirdly enough it was quite easy to go from playing almost exclusively zoom to 100% reg tables. Sure volume wasnt amazing (40k hands) compared to zoom but im still quite pleased overall. Those games play totally different compared to 500z, so its really tough to mix them on same session.

Plan for next months is to play those sites and occasionally jump to 500z just to keep my game sharp. So that means that i have even less to post here, since no graphs or anything.

Oct. 30, 2020 | 9:39 a.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020


Cant promise you that... But when i do i assure that you are the first one to get noticed. :D

Yea its hard to notice any progress in day to day grind. Also its really hard to separate what is real progress and what is just variance. But like you said, now im able to play 5-10x bigger games than i used to around 2 years ago. And i do feel that my mental game is stronger all around. But thats one example where im not sure if i have made genuine progress or is it just that i havent experienced long, mentally taxing stretches this year.

Oct. 19, 2020 | 7:11 a.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020


Fine month overall. Managed to play mostly nl500, even though pools were pretty horrible time to time. I even tested out some untracked sites and around 6-7k $ there. Volume was a bit lower than usually, mainly because of less zoom and more regtables. Still having difficulties concentrating while constantly opening tables, checking lobbies etc. But im quite sure this will get easier with time.

Sept. 28, 2020 | 3:51 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020


Hey, seems you're really crushing these games, I was reading back through your first ever blog, you said there were big mental blocks holding u back from eventually moving up to 200nl, could you give any insight into how you overcame these, and how your mental game is now? GL

Great question!

You are right that i was stuck at nl100 for very very long time. I remember correctly I started playing nl100 around 2008-09, maybe even earlier. Started making descent money for student that plays poker part time, around 2-3k per month. So I was clearly winning and did something right, so why I didn’t aggressively try to move up and make way more money? Mental game, more specifically risk aversion and fear of failure.

For me losing has always felt extremely bad, compared to how good winning feels. I know its completely natural for people to feel that way, but im pretty sure I was extreme case of that. So every time I tried to move up all was fine until I made mistakes and had couple of clearly losing sessions. After those I really blamed myself, saying stuff like “you aren’t good enough to beat these games”, “now you blew the month”, “you cant win at poker anymore” etc etc. So I dropped back to my comfort zone playing lower and poker was enjoyable again. Then I grinded back up, took a new shot, made mistakes, had losing sessions and felt utterly miserable because of that. And that cycle continued until I stopped taking shots. So id rather play lower stakes and win less, but at the same time have less variance and smaller monetary swings. And feel way better because of that.

This all seems so irrational when looking back at this, but thats what mental game usually is. Irrational but still makes complete sense in your head, especially in heat of the moment. So I never truly understood variance and especially how to cope with it.

So what changed? First was 2016, when I had really bad year results wise. I was pretty shattered because it was first time In a long time when I wasnt sure if I can make it in poker. And for me making it was low but mostly variance free winnings. Also I was finishing my studies then, so I had to decide whether to really go all out in poker, or quit and go to a real job. After reflecting I decided that I will give this game one last shot and if that goes wrong its fine, at least I tried.

2017 I rebuild my technical game from ground up. I somehow stumbled to Nick Howards stream and fully committed to his methodology. His way of approaching the game was revolutionary for me, both technically and mentally. I immediately started crushing and with his approach there was way less mental pressure while playing. So big shout out to Nick and Poker Detox, without them im pretty sure I wouldn’t be here right now.

So finally to answer your question, how did I get over these mental blocks that kept me from moving up? First, I did lot of writing and reflecting about the problems I mentioned which helped tremendously. Breaking down those blocks really clarified why I feel the way I feel and how I can make things better. Book The mental game of poker has really great tools how to do this, highly suggest checking that out. Second thing that helped was turning “pro”, so playing poker full time. That made me take way more responsibility and now there were less excuses to blame. That made me realize that moving up was necessary if I wanted to keep playing fulltime. Last was making moving up my main goal and priority. Earlier I didn’t have real goal for moving up, so it was easy to just give up. Now when its was biggest goal for the year and I had accepted that failing would be totally fine, it was actually pretty straight forward.

Now, how is my mental game and are all those problems long gone? Id love to say perfect and gone, but I really doubt it. I still see myself fixating on short term results and I have to constantly aware of that. What comes to feeling miserable when losing, hard to say because of godrun + coronagames. I think its way better than let’s say 2-3 years ago, but that will be tested when I experience my next big downswing or breakeven stretch. But now when I looked way back its extremely pleasant to see that I have really come a long way what comes to these issues.

Ok this became a wall of text and not sure if i answered to your questions. :D

Sept. 1, 2020 | 8:06 a.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

Thanks for the kind words! (:

Sept. 1, 2020 | 6:37 a.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

A little late, but time for monthly recap


Not sure if this qualifies as a winning month but lets pretend it does. Took half month off so considering that pretty descent volume. Im really trying to force myself to play nl500+ and not be lazy and open 200z pool every time tables are a bit bad. This month i did hardly any table/pool selecting, so every time there was nl500 game running on my hours i was in. Probably a bit -EV in the short term but really +EV in long run. Ive actually been enjoying the challenge playing vs really good opponents and 3-4 handed games.

Next month is first full poker month after a while. Goal is to play as little 200z as possible, while getting descent volume on my hours. Been trying to map out different sites to play on, but everything about those is so confusing and shady. But probably still have to take a risk and test them out, well see.

Good luck at tables. (:

Sept. 1, 2020 | 6:34 a.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

You can go as simple or complex as you want. I personally keep it pretty simple. In game usually you have pretty limited info, so complex models dont really benefit you so much .

Aug. 20, 2020 | 6:26 a.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

I think nodelock is useful for understanding how quickly equilibrium changes when one side doesnt play theoretically optimal. But i agree that it can get really complicated and assumptive when you start to lock multiple street or model different runouts.

Aug. 16, 2020 | 1:13 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

Not really. :( Im not really into sharing hands, i like to keep my posts more on macro level. Also funny hands i mark in game are all usually the same, regs checking back third nuts or just flatcalling w absolute nuts and something else on those lines. So pretty standard stuff.

July 27, 2020 | 6:52 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

Thank you mr Steve. (:

Yea H2N is the best one for that job as far as i know. Of course not perfect but is still able to handle big databases sufficiently.

July 27, 2020 | 6:49 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020


I dont think i play especially aggro. I just try to play every hand the way that captures the most EV based on how i think pool / individual player is playing. In many cases that means playing a bit looser than "you are supposed to play". Or in some cases total opposite...

July 23, 2020 | 6:59 a.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

Another month, another post


Ended my month quite early, got stuff coming up that takes up time from poker. Also during summer i tend to take longer breaks for obvious reasons.

As you can see i really tried to force myself playing 500+ as much as possible. That meant playing regtables, which is really really tough for me. So much energy goes to other stuff than playing. I really have to consider what to do with my schedule if 500z doesnt start running constantly on my hours.

Results were pretty mediocre but 30k hands is pretty much a coin flip anyways. But im glad i kept mostly grinding nl500 and winning month is a winning month.

July 20, 2020 | 6:51 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

I post results here every month so you can check them out from this thread.

July 13, 2020 | 11:25 a.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

If it was only about bankroll when moving up it wouldve done it 10+ years ago...

July 9, 2020 | 6:34 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

Thank you sir!

July 9, 2020 | 6:32 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

I reached 100k hands @nl500 so decided to recap first half of 2020.

STAKES 2020 GRAPH 2020

Crazy times. Kind of weird to be in a profession that benefits from global pandemic, but can’t really feel guilty about it either. As you can see have ran pretty well to say the least. Don’t really know how much you can brag on beating coronagames, but im still quite happy nevertheless.

Transition from 200 to 500 has felt easier mentally than from 100 to 200. Of course current situation has made it way way easier than it would’ve been in normal conditions. But I do think I have improved my mental game tremendously over the last year or so. Way less focus on short term, less judgement over mistakes etc. Overall my sessions are just less emotionally charged that they used to be. But really interested to see how im able to handle bigger swings which will eventually come. Not expecting or hoping stuff like that obviously, but I tend to remind myself that you can easily drop 30+buyins in no time.

Goal for rest of 2020 is to transition fully to nl500+. Have been testing out regtables as well, which is pretty horrible given I have played fast poker only since it was launched by fulltilt. But it’s a must if I want to play nl500 only during my hours. And I really don’t want to change my schedule so playing regtables is lesser evil.

July 4, 2020 | 2:15 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

GocceGocce Id rather not. Monthly results are mostly variance so positional result are even more all over the place.

MagicRiver Nah probably not 6bb/100. But i do think my b-c game is pretty solid which helps tremendously. Many players could improve their winrate massively if theyd just focus on fixing massive c-game leaks.

youseffahmed fu. :D

July 2, 2020 | 5:48 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

Another month in books:


Got crushed at 200z but ran hot at 500z. Not much to say really. Pretty happy on my volume given i took one whole week off + weather has been pretty amazing here. Havent really done any studying lately, just played my hours and thats it. Thats one part of the game where im really struggling, having good studying routines. My studying is pretty random and mostly all over the place. Thats something to really work on.

Probably going to play very little next month, got lots of stuff going irl which will definitely take energy away from poker. But when i play i try to really force myself to put volume at nl500+ rather than be lazy and autopilot 200z.

June 30, 2020 | 1:11 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

Thanks ! Id say my main form of studying is reviewing spots w other players. I admit that my studying habits are pretty bad and there is room for big improvements.

Tough question. I think it isnt mandatory but helps tremendously. Its really hard to understand range vs range interaction without help of a solver.

June 5, 2020 | 12:20 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

Sure it makes sense. Just keep in mind that fish have way different pfranges than regs have.

June 5, 2020 | 12:12 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

Yea im in a lucky 50% group of poker players.

June 2, 2020 | 6:55 a.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

10k over ev that doesnt obviously count.

Hard to say, redline is combination of so many aspect. Also pretty useless tool, you can win huge with losing redline as well.

June 2, 2020 | 6:50 a.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

Time to wrap-up yet another month

After ridiculously smooth last month managed to catch some negative variance as well. Had few pretty rough days where i played quite poorly and ran pretty bad. But all in all im happy how i was able to manage these swings. Of course it helps tremendously that im winning but still. Even six months ago 4k losing day wouldve effected me way more than it did now. Of course bigger challenge will be when games get tougher and i experience long breakeven or losing stretches.

For the next months i dont have any massive goals. I will most likely drop my volume and enjoy summer as much as possible. But still playing and when i do im trying to increase my 500z volume and even throw in some regtables as well.

Thats all for now. (:

May 31, 2020 | 1:17 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

Of course almost impossible to estimate. Average reg profile is better at 500z obviously, but there is lots of deviation in skill level. Some regs are extremely good and play bigger stakes as their main game. And some are not so good.

May 24, 2020 | 12:54 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

h2n is pretty userfriendly once you understand how it works.so not that long.

i havent took any coaching in my poker career.

May 19, 2020 | 12:35 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020


Do you have massive sample on both environments so that you are able to compare results? Its quite likely that winrate differences can be explained by variance only.

I have never played in an anon pool so im not sure if i can answer to that. But i wouldnt change my game massively until i have concrete proof that some players are countering my strategy.

Vs players that try to counter your strategy you can either re-counter them or try to play more theoretically solid game.

May 16, 2020 | 4:56 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

Yungda Liu

Variance calculator is extremely useful to keep perspective. With that you can see how much results deviate even on big sample.

May 16, 2020 | 4:45 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Onklebs 2020

I hit 1 million hands at nl200 zoom

Interesting to notice that even though graph looks like pretty variance free there is couple of 100k hand breakeven stretches. But that really shows how crucial it is to have big sample size before drawing any conclusions.

May 13, 2020 | 1:34 p.m.

Good luck for the future. :)

May 8, 2020 | 7:40 p.m.

Comment | Onkleb commented on Covid upswing graphs

COVID nl500z

along with some positivity/gratitude/comedy

"Blindly copy PIOsolver and results will come." Is it posivity/gratitude or comedy, i let you to decide...

May 5, 2020 | 4:57 a.m.

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