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StunZ

5 points

I didn't quit chess, I still play for fun. I was just realistic about the prospects. I know I could be good at chess, but it was simply unrealistic to think I would be world-class since everyone who is great has been committing to the game since they were born. I never wanted to be a chess GM, it was just an example of my mindset regarding it. I agree poker is different, in the fact that at any age you can commit and become great. I think this is special in this sense though since poker is changing very quickly and it's a completely different game than it was even 10 years ago, so everyone is as clueless as each other. Good luck to you man! Hope we make it.

Jan. 2, 2023 | 10:14 p.m.

Post | StunZ posted in Chatter: 2023 - The year I become pro

Hello! This year I have intentions of becoming a professional poker player, and these are my plans in order to do it. Firstly, the reason I want to be a pro. Throughout my life, I have always had the drive to be great in some field. When I was around 10, this was being a world-class goalkeeper in football. As I got a bit older, this drive ended up fizzling out and I lost the motivation. During my early teens, I had the drive to be one of the best in the world in video games such as Overwatch and Rainbow Six: Siege. Due to issues involving commitment and other aspects such as school, this never manifested. Again I had this drive when I was roughly 16-19, I wanted to be great at mathematics. I was very good, but once I started my degree I realized that it wasn't for me. The reason I wanted it wasn't for ego or prestige, I wanted to see how far I could stretch my mind and body. There's a Socrates quote, "It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable". I have always had a strong self-belief that I had what it takes, but nothing ever came to fruition for me. I had a sad realization as I got older, the less chance there is for me to be great in a field. I got into chess when I was 19 but I knew I would never be a GM because I didn't start when I was like 4 years old. I had been playing poker since I was 18, for fun, nothing more than kind of just knowing the rules and some basic strategy. Once I got to university, I started playing in the universities poker society, where people would play every week for money and had stakes as low as 1p/2p. I went every week under the pretense that I was going to spend money for entertainment, and in the long run, I will always lose. After a couple of weeks, it became clear this wasn't the case, and I could very much make money in this game. It seemed like a good supplement to university, and could maybe help pay for some extra things.

I kept playing, becoming obsessed with the strategy, and talking for hours with people better than me and anybody I could learn from about what was going on. Quickly, feeling myself improve, I wanted to learn more and more. It's a rare experience to feel yourself improving at something and that directly affects the amount of money I could make, especially since I've been in academia my whole life with only a couple of part-time jobs. There were times the idea of going pro crossed my mind, but I would push them aside, in order to not get ahead of myself. The difference with poker is that everyone starts when they are (roughly) 18, so I am not already 15 years behind everybody who is good and simply can't compete. This obsession with learning has been with me my whole life, and this wasn't a new phenomenon for me, but it always feels good. I got better, I became the president of the university poker society, I made some money, and lost some money, nothing special. I made another thread where I spoke about strategy and my current playing plans. I am playing 5z and 10 reg at the moment. I am grinding up a roll but I understand this is incredibly hard, and that micro stakes are somewhat of a rake trap, but I do think anybody who thinks it's impossible to make it through is just coping and isn't committed enough to improving or making it through the stakes. I have started taking solver work and independent study more seriously, and I am feeling it in my game.

Funnily enough, this year starts with me playing poker less. I am in my final year of university and am taking a break from the amount of poker I play, in order to make sure I finish out my degree with no regrets regarding the effort put in. After my exams in June, I will start committing to poker almost wholly. I have plans of working part-time from July to Septemberish, to build up extra roll, and in order to survive before I can do poker full time. This will either be through a trading internship if I can get one or some other job. Towards the end of the year, in autumn, I will take a break away from work to play poker full-time. During this time I plan on temporarily living in a country with lower living costs like Thailand, with a couple of friends who are also trying to be pro poker players. This time will give me the experience of playing poker full time and the lifestyle that comes with it, so I can see if 1) I am capable of doing it and 2) if it is the life for me. Hopefully, after this trip, I will not need to go back to work and will be able to support myself full-time from poker. I understand this is hopeful for such a small turnaround, but with the amount I plan on committing to poker I believe it can be done.

I am open to any advice or speaking with anybody else who is on or has been on, a similar path to me.

Jan. 1, 2023 | 11:23 p.m.

Comment | StunZ commented on Beginning My Journey

13/12/22

The theme of today's post is folding. I haven't got much volume this week due to being at a wedding and other activities outside of poker. I have however noticed that I've been making some very premature and nitty folds, on purpose, knowing nodes are underbluffed. Making these folds benefit wr since people aren't bluffing, so folding sooner rather than later makes the most sense.

This one I am most suspicious of. He shouldn't have ATo in theory and in practice I think people at this stake with 3b even less than they're supposed to, not more. He can have ATs which is what makes me suspicious of this hand, especially since intuition tells me doesn't go this size with AA, so I am fine admitting this is probably too far. I don't think he is bluffing this size though.

This one I was happy with. My initial reaction was "ah I have to call with the Qc" which is the thought process I think a lot of players have when I hear them speak. However, as I thought a bit longer it felt like I was literally drawing to getting coolered. I think this is a pretty good fold since I don't think he bets like this with AA KK without a club, or already a flush. Getting out of the mindset of thinking you have to call something is a really good step. Most people aren't going to be 1) paying enough attention to you to find ways of exploiting you directly, especially in a large zoom pool, and 2) aren't going to be balanced enough in their sizings, so you can make really exploitative folds and not think twice about it.

On this hand, he tripled 33%, pot and then overbet. I think this is honestly quite an easy fold to make if you're tuned in to the pool. First thing is, he is never bluffing. I don't think once in micros I have seen an overbet bluff. He has no worse two pairs so you just run into 33 44 every single time. I'm okay being called a nit for this because I am so sure of it.

Dec. 13, 2022 | 3:46 p.m.

Comment | StunZ commented on Beginning My Journey

06/12/22

Again, I am feeling good about my play. Redline is continuing to strive etc etc. Finding new ways to exploit the pool and my study for this is coming along well. I'm finding plenty of nodes that are clearly overfolded, especially in the pool I play. I find a spot that I suspect is overfolded and then using solves come to the conclusion that it either is or isn't and find which hands I am supposed to be bluffing. Once I find the hands that bluff at any frequency, I turn that frequency up to 100 and in some cases make sure I have even more bluffs than that, in order to make it very easy to over-bluff. My main downfall right now is 'taking too many bites of the apple'. Say I know a spot is overfolded on the turn, I often find it hard to give up river once called, despite their range now is much stronger than it should be and hence an overcorrection happens and they end up overcalling the node. Sometimes I do this for good reason, such as timing tells, but often it's a mental barrier of not being able to give up the bluff, and I think this is a new step for me to work on.

I haven't put as much volume as I would have liked in the past week due to traveling and other stuff I've been doing in my life, but I am still enjoying playing and at this stake where it feels like the money is less important I can have a much more relaxed attitude towards how I play because it feels like I'm winning regardless, though, of course, you would always like to have as high a win rate as possible from playing as optimal as you can.

This hand I feel is pretty theoretically sound. I don't necessarily think this would be an overfolded node, but I still think this is a good node to have bluffs in and JJ seems near perfect as an option, maybe JTs would also be ideal. There's not much interesting going on but I do think that it's a big upside to being willing to put in a stack like this.

The float on the flop comes from my personal confidence that this line will be overfolded in the future. This is an example of getting more bluffs in an overfolded node. People often play this spot with a middling A and bet twice and hope the river goes x x. This is why it feels very good to specifically raise turn on these types of boards. On the turn, he practically tells me he has thin value from his sizing and I can raise my entire range and then jam river and I'm convinced he rarely calls. This play makes an insane amount of big blinds and it feels really good to be able to call flop knowing how the rest of the hand is likely to go, and for the plan to work to near perfection.

People love calling these boards. Despite A high being behind a lot of my range because of his sizing on the turn, I am convinced he almost always snap calls A high on the double paired board. I think my biggest downfall this hand is honestly the size. I'm sure I can go pot or even overbet and I still get called by A high. I think this is another example of just understanding human tendencies and pattern recognition in order to extract max value on boards, which increases the win rate significantly.

Dec. 6, 2022 | 3:35 p.m.

Comment | StunZ commented on Beginning My Journey

this will always be an option for me, poker is a dream I'm chasing. The idea of excellence in a field is what's driving me right now. I understand it is difficult but I am willing to put the work in.

Nov. 29, 2022 | 1:31 a.m.

Comment | StunZ commented on Beginning My Journey

28/11/22

I'm happy with how I've been playing so far. I have a very prevalent redline in 5z, since the whole pool feels very nitty and obvious in which hands they have (very clear sizing tells). I have done some small study but I would like to crank this up more and more, it's just a little tough to get into at the moment.

My current goal is to play 1k hands a day (I know this isn't a lot, but I'm not currently on a grinding schedule and instead focusing on fewer tables to improve and get reads on pool tendencies). I am not worried about getting a full sample at 5z as I believe I'm very much beating it. I am instead just focusing on improving and building a roll to move up to 10 and so on.

I think this hand illustrates how I'm currently approaching the game quite well. I think there is a valid reason to fold as early as the flop. However, once he goes 50% on the turn I believe he doesn't have a set or anything too strong, and I instead think his range is very equity driven. I believe people in general go greedy with their nuts and go smaller with equity in order to 'realise' or see the river for cheap. I chose this size to raise because I think all these hands I am ahead of will still continue, and I don't think he will jam with equity. If he jams I can just fold this hand and not care too much about it. I also believe he will not donk river enough, even if his draw completes, meaning I realise very well with ATo here. There is some merit to raising larger on the turn, to make it very hard for him to continue with draws. I think this could force him to jam more often with combo draws and I can decide on call or fold, but I don't think this is the hand you want to invite aggression with.

Ignore me getting out of line pre haha. This hand can go many different ways I feel. I think it's certainly +EV to x the flop or the turn in order to pot control. However, from both timing tells and pool tendencies I decided to bluff with this hand. I think he has a lot of middling pairs which call twice and I believe the river will be overfolded. Of course, this looks best when the river is so perfect for it, but I think I was jamming almost any river and I think it will still end up overfolded, however, I am not completely convinced of this right now. I have been trying a lot of different things in order to get a feel of the pool and how to exploit it better.

My goal for the next week is to continue to try new things and push my redline to the best it can be, without hurting my blueline. I think there's not much to tweak right now other than more study in my own time away from poker, since this is where I have been lacking recently. I want to find more and more nodes which I believe will be overfolded to exploit the pool as much as possible.

Nov. 28, 2022 | 3:48 p.m.

Post | StunZ posted in Chatter: Beginning My Journey

Hello, my name is StunZ and I have interest in becoming a professional poker player. I am currently studying at university so this is my first priority. Still, I look to set myself up to be in a position to give professional poker a shot by the time I graduate.
I have been playing poker for fun for about 3/4 years but started to take it much more seriously in the last 13 months. I have started to build up a bankroll (despite being a student) and am now looking to build it up further and do it all properly. I have a small sample (roughly 40k hands) at 10z on PokerStars and am currently breakeven. I have shot taken some reg tables of 25nl and it hasn't stuck, so I am resetting and playing 5z and starting the slow grind up the zoom stakes.
I have decided to create a thread documenting this journey for me (and maybe others) to look back on in the future, whether it works out or not. I know there are infinite people who have done a similar thread before me so I am not focused on others seeing what I'm saying. Another reason for creating a thread is to get better at articulating my thought process, as this currently feels like a downfall of mine. I have internalized some ideas so much that I struggle to put into words what I believe, and I think this leads to mistakes in going on autopilot or making plays where I am not even sure of why I am making such a play. I am currently quite good at taking concepts I am told and applying them to my game, but one of my downfalls is a lack of creativity in my thinking and not coming up with these ideas on my own. I hope that beginning to speak deeper about hands will help become to more creative conclusions on my own, before sharing them or discussing them with others.
If you're reading this in the present, come along with me. If you're reading this in the future, I hope I made it, and if not, at least gave it a really good shot.

Nov. 26, 2022 | 1:04 a.m.

Post | StunZ posted in NLHE: Beginning my journey

Hello, my name is StunZ and I have interest in becoming a professional poker player. I am currently studying at university so this is my first priority. Still, I look to set myself up to be in a position to give professional poker a shot by the time I graduate.
I have been playing poker for fun for about 3/4 years but started to take it much more seriously in the last 13 months. I have started to build up a bankroll (despite being a student) and am now looking to build it up further and do it all properly. I have a small sample (roughly 40k hands) at 10z on PokerStars and am currently breakeven. I have shot taken some reg tables of 25nl and it hasn't stuck, so I am resetting and playing 5z and starting the slow grind up the zoom stakes.
I have decided to create a thread documenting this journey for me (and maybe others) to look back on in the future, whether it works out or not. I know there are infinite people who have done a similar thread before me so I am not focused on others seeing what I'm saying. Another reason for creating a thread is to get better at articulating my thought process, as this currently feels like a downfall of mine. I have internalized some ideas so much that I struggle to put into words what I believe, and I think this leads to mistakes in going on autopilot or making plays where I am not even sure of why I am making such a play. I am currently quite good at taking concepts I am told and applying them to my game, but one of my downfalls is a lack of creativity in my thinking and not coming up with these ideas on my own. I hope that beginning to speak deeper about hands will help become to more creative conclusions on my own, before sharing them or discussing them with others.
If you're reading this in the present, come along with me. If you're reading this in the future, I hope I made it, and if not, at least gave it a really good shot.

Nov. 25, 2022 | 3:06 p.m.

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