100k in 100 days
Over the last couple of months I haven't been able to put in a lot of volume. It turns out that leading a poker stable takes time. It's a lot of fun, but it takes time. Especially in the beginning you're just going all over the place, trying so hard to manage the carreer of all these players that it becomes increasingly hard to think about your own.
It's not like I haven't played any poker at all, but I've honestly missed just sitting down for a couple of days straight and just battle it out at high stakes. So I've decided to turn my schedule around a bit and do a challenge: win 100k in the last100 days of this year playing poker. Now, I'm going to be realistic here and say that it's unlikely at best to assume that I'm to going to win that much playing the stakes that I do (mostly 400nl-1k). But that's not the point. I want to put a level of intensity into this as if there is a 100k on the line. I want to just lock myself up in the basement and grind it out. In the meantime I'm also working on bunch of stuff for the team, like preparing for our weekly masterclasses, finding new data exploits and working on our high stakes course, so it'll be a challenge. But honestly I feel like I'm ready. I think I found a way to balance my coaching work, personal life and the grind in a way that will allow me to succeed.
The goal is to post a weekly update with a graph and just take it one week at a time. So see you next week.
Sept. 23, 2021 | 7:27 p.m.
This might be obvious, but I think regardless of what you do, the most important thing is that you accept the fact that you're in a shitty situation, allow yourself to feel bad about and to take control over the things that are in your control. You could do that by pushing through and sometimes that can be a good thing, but you can also do that by sittng down the time you we're supposed to and grinding study material that gets you enthousiastic about the game.
I'm not saying: don't ever force yourself to play. In fact, pushing yourself a little can do very little harm. I do see a tendency though where players aggressively try to 'grind through it', sub-consciously thinking 'if I play more hours, more hands or more tables, I'll get through it faster.' Basically they try to take control over the situation by trying to control the thing they don't have control over (how long it takes). So they'll still be frustrated, as they just want this stretch of bad luck to be over with already, and they pump up the volume to play through it asap, causing them to enter a downward spiral where it takes a hard reset (usually a break of some sorts) or a steak of good luck to get out of.
Obviously everyone is different. You might cope in the exact opposite way where you'll just try to stop the hurt you're feeling by not playing at all. Either way it's not the solution.
A way more healthier approach is to acknowledge that, hey, you're running like shit and running like shit feels horrible, but that's ok. You're allowed to feel bad when things are not going your way. Just make sure you sit down, study, play, do whatever you feel like doing, as long as you take control over the things you have control over, instead of trying to control the things you don't. And if you do just that it's just a matter of time before the downswing ends and as a bonus you'll be a better player then you are today, increasing you EV at the tables.
I might be going on a bit of a rant here, but it makes me think of something similar that I've been through. One day I sat on my bed and I just didn't feel right. Out of nowhere I got a blurry vision, got super dizzy and heart started to go in overdrive mode. I immediately rushed to the emergency room, fully convinced I was having a heart attack. After a quick check-up from the nurse it turned out I was just having a panick attack. A couple hours later I was back home with medication that had calmed me down a bit, still kinda confused over what had happened.
Over the weeks that followed these attacks kept coming back. It came to a point where I couldn't take the bus anymore because I'd immediately feel like I needed to get out. It was just horrible. I was constantly stressed and I felt like I had gone from being a regular dude to a full-blown crazy person. Every time when I'd feel the stress levels rise I thought: 'oh god no, not now,' and I'd start pacing around, trying to make sure my actions we're more in line with my hear that went in full overdrive mode. I'd try to meditate, do breathing excercises, take walks, eat healtier, find distractions, you name it. But in the end they kept coming back.
Then there was this moment where, again, my heart started blasting like crazy out of nowhere and I started hyperventilating, but instead of trying to fight it by walking, breathing, talking to someone or trying to distracted, I surrendered. I just said to myself: 'you're having a panick attack, it's fine. It feels bad, but you'll be fine. Just calmly breath through it and accept it.' Immediately all the tension I felt flowed away. By accepting I didn't have any control, I gained control.
That was the last panick attack I've had. It's three years later now and I still have regular moments where I get that same feeling (often when I can't physically get out of the situation, for instance when I'm driving), but just surrendering to the fact that it might be a full blown panick attack that might feels horrible, makes it feel a lot less horrible.
I think it's the same thing with variance. If you're going to do things to try to prevent it from making you feel bad, it'll usually only hurt more. If you surrender to the fact that it's outside of your control, breath throught it and instead try to actively take control over the situation (by playing, studying, whatever), it'll hurt a lot less.
Aug. 22, 2021 | 12:57 a.m.
The Downswing Antidote
I had one of my students ask me the other day whether I'm still scared to go on a major downswing. The honest answer is: yes, I am. Going on a massive downswing is always horrible a horrible feeling. You lose control, can't seem to do anything right and yet you gotta power through. Honestly, it's the worst feeling. Over my carreer I've had multiple 40+ buy-in downswings and honestly it just feels like you're on a rollercoaster ride without a seatbelt on. You try to cling to the railing, hoping you'll make it to the end without any serious trauma.
There are a few things you can do to make it easier though. In this article I'll cover a few things that help me get through these patches of bad luck
Always Favor Quality Over Quantity
It might sound obvious, yet I see a lot of players making the wrong decisions on this very basic level, causing them to spiral into self-destruction-mode. Usually the train of thought someone uses goes something like this: I need this downswing to stop, if I can play more hands then variance becomes less of an issue so I might need to play more hours, more tables, more hands. I think this couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, when I'm on a downswing I usually play less tables and less hands. In situations like that I don't think you have the luxury to play less focussed. What you should do is aim for is more time off, less tables, higher focus and table/site selecting aggressively. Don't get caught up with the latest rakeback bonus you got form Stars; focus on quality, not quantity.
Re-Discover The Passion
In times where nothing goes your way, it's always very easy to forget why you fell in love with the game itself, rather than the lack of succes it brings you. Making sure you spend enough times studying can re-ignite that spark. Don't set too goals, don't study stuff you don't like. Just make sure that whenever you feel like spending your time on poker, you'll choose a study session (any study session) about half the time. The added benefit is that regardless of what happens in the coming sessions, you'll be able to tell yourself that you'll be a better player over time anyway. So even whenever that inevitable thought creeps up: I just can't beat this game, you can easily tell change that into: 'Even if I don't beat this game now, I will be a way better player in a couple of weeks anyway, so who the fuck cares?'
Don't Go Through It Alone
Poker can be a very lonely game at times, especially when nothing really goes your way. Finding a group of like-minded individuals that have similar ambitions as you can come in handy in times of need. Now, that doesn't mean you should spam every channel on Discord with 3-page essays on how unlucky you've been this week, as that usually only works counter-productive, but having the ability to reach out to someone to give you a sanity check is not only very useful, but it makes this game a little bit less lonely.
Remember: Your Beer Still Tastes the Same
I remember on my very first day playing high stakes I lost about 6k dollars during my first session. I ended up closing the tables and going downstairs to get a cup of coffee. After chilling for a moment or so I decided I wanted to continue playing as planned. I felt good, I played good. I just ran like shit. 30 minutes later I was down the full 10k and closed up. Now you might think that I felt horrible at that moment, and you'd be right, in a way. But on my way downstairs I decided that losing 10k in one day is a milestone as well. Something I could be proud of. So that night I went out with my wife to celebrate. We got a couple of drinks in our favorite place and ended up walking home. It was a warm summer evening, the air was thick, the sky sprinkled with stars.
The point is: it's really, really easy to forget that there are numerous things in life that you are still able to enjoy. The beer at the end of your day will still taste the same. So make sure you enjoy the fuck out of it.
Aug. 20, 2021 | 11:30 p.m.
Becoming The Best
Over the last few weeks I've had a lot of time to reflect on my ambitions as a poker player. At this point it's needless to say that I've been lucky enough to reach higher than I ever imagened I could. I mean, when I started off this journey the most I could dream of is beating 100z, which seemed impossible at the time as I had failed many times before. Now I'm at a point where I get to play high stakes on a daily bases. So while I laid on the beach in France not so long ago I asked myself the question: what's next?
There we're a few things that stood out to me:
- There is still a lot of room to grow, both on a technical aspect as in terms of higher stakes to aim for;
- I want to help as many others reach their full potential;
- I want to enjoy this thing while it lasts
The Road to Nosebleeds
Over the past 9 months I've played high stakes pretty consistently. I've gotten to a point where I feel super comfortable playing a couple of tables of 1k and 2k, and enduring the swings that come with that. I know my game is pretty solid and I could rake in a 100k+ a year fairly easily. And while that is a very large sum to me still, it's not what I want to take out of this game.
When I look back at all this in 30, 40 years, I want to be able to tell myself that I took everything out of it that I possibly could. That I didn't settle for anything. I know there is still infinite that I can improve about my game. There is not a session that goes by where I'm confused as fuck as to what I should do in a specific spot. I feel like I've got a pretty good grasp on how I can improve that, so it's just a matter of: am I willing to put in the work or am I going to stay in the comfort zone. Taking the time to reflect on this made me realize that I don't want to settle, even if it's more than I initially thought was possible. So, we'll see what the future holds, but I'm going to give it my best.
Paving The Way
I know it sounds cheesy as fuck, but I like helping others. It's why I got into teaching and why I ended up starting my own CFP: NachosPoker. Over the last couple of months we've grown quite a bit, starting out with just 5 guys in the beginning of April to roughly 25 active contracts at the moment of writing, ranging from players playing 25nl all the way up to guys playing 2000nl. I feel like we're at a point where all the hard work we're putting into this is finally starting to pay off. It's really cool to see that we got a real community going where people help each other when they're struggling. There's rarely a day that goes by that people are not hanging out in the voice chat, streaming sessions or studying together. Being able to not only be a part of that, but to lead them and hopefully take them with me on the journey to high stakes and beyond is truly amazing. I pinch myself daily to make sure I'm not dreaming. So over the coming months I want to cherish this as much as possible.
With money flowing in pretty consistently now it's easy to get caught up in a mindset where you lose focus of what is in essence important to you. Especially in a game of poker, where we do our best to quantify every decision in terms of the expected value we think it's going to bring us. At times it's not going to be easy, but as we grow this thing, I want to stick as much to my core motivation as possible. I like helping others. That is what'll give me fullfilment in the end. Money is important, but should always come second (or even third).
The Poker Dream
The last thing that I want to be mindful of is allowing myself to enjoy this thing as much as I possibly can. Over the last few years I've put in a lot of work, got incredibly lucky and now am in a position that I can travel the world and enjoy the freedom that this carreer brings along. When I visitted Cannes over the summer I got to play my first every live event. It was like I was playing poker for the first time again: hands trembling, heart racing and the overwhelming urge to play every minute of the day. Getting to experience that again made me realize that I should try to do that more often over the coming year. The world is opening up again and even though it might be more profitable to just sit at home and grind high stakes for 8 hours a day, I just want to live the poker dream as much as I can. The carreer is likely not going to last me decades, so I might as well enjoy it as much as I can. I already planned my first trip in September to Rozvadov for the WSOP Circuit events. One time?
Aug. 16, 2021 | 12:07 a.m.
That depends on what your goal is. If you want to go over the entire game-tree then I'd start out with 25 flops and try to make I'd try to view the game in different hand classes + turn/river classes. If you want to drill using something like PIO 2.0/Simple GTO Trainer you'll probably want to include at least a few more. If you want to run sims on individual hands you'll want to have as many as you can (or get something like GTO Wizard).
Aug. 2, 2021 | 2:45 p.m.
One of our high stakes players recently broke down his journey from the micro's to where he is today and there is so much value in it that I asked him if I could share some of it here. He generously agreed:
... With only a few months of living expenses left, and a dwindling bankroll I could no longer afford to keep losing. At the start of the year I was living off government stimulus, which had now ended. If I kept losing it was going to be game over.
Knowing that I would be forced to quit soon, I made myself a promise: one last hail mary and if that didnt work, I was out. My strategy was very simple: I would take two months off playing, and commit to studying 14 hours a day every single day without ever a day off. And thats what I did. I simmed databases for every single formation of the gametree (SRP IP PFR, SRP OOP PFC, etc) and by hand, painstakingly went through EVERY SINGLE turn, and river within the weighted subset of flops. I broke down which hand classes took which actions, and wrote them down by hand in a notebook. I didn’t really eat or sleep much, and at the end of it all noticed that I had lost 20 pounds. Oops. In retrospect it was super unhealthy and I really cant make a good faith recommendation for anyone to do this.
The strategy worked. It was now december. I had not played for 2 months. I loaded the last of my money back onto global poker and immediately started crushing. Bankroll went from almost dead > $10k that month. And another $10k in january. $20k in february. I flew up the stakes and just kept winning. Turns out going through the entire gametree by hand is actually pretty valuable.
Feeling like there would be a diminishing return in continuing to study the GTO side of the game, I reached out to patrick for data coaching around April. Using the data he has shared I now try my best to deploy a blended GTO/data strategy which I hope will take me to crushing 2knl.
In retrospect, what I would do differently would be two things: First, play less volume. It really doesn't matter. If youre tired and not having fun you are just wasting time. Second, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STUDY. It doesnt matter if you feel like youre studying enough, ITS NOT ENOUGH. I really felt like I was studying a ton, but until I locked myself in my room for two month IT WASN’T ENOUGH. I would go as far as recommending a 75/25 study/play split for anyone under 200nl.
It's funny, because I took the path that was completely opposite. I don't think I started using a solver consistently (and correctly) untill mid-2020, when I was already dipping in some of the high stakes games. What we have in common is that we both really liked the game to a point where we could spent hours studying without feeling too drained. For me, what I missed most over the last three weeks is sitting alone behind my computer, trying to figure shit out that I don't understand yet. I honestly don't think it's necessary to go as hard as this player went and I wouldn't advice it on anybody, but you can start studying more and playing less today. One thing that really helped me in that regard is starting my sessions by studying for 30-60 min. It might not seem like much, but do it consistently and you'll do a lot more than the average reg in your game.
July 31, 2021 | 11:35 p.m.
Over the last two weeks I've been enjoying some well deserved time off. With the travel restricitons around here mostly lifted, we had to opportunity (with some careful planning) to plan a road trip through France with a couple of friends and honestly: I can't believe how much I've missed being in another country. And although driving through southern France has been a bitch (some people put very little value on their life) France is truly an amazing place to visit.
We've been hanging out around the Cote D'Azur mostly, spending our time drinking beers and going to the beach and swimming in the clear blue waters. I've even had the chance to visit one of the guys that is on the CFP, Leo, who showed me around a bit in a local cafe with some of the finest beers and cheeses anyone is able to find in Nice. Right now we're in Cannes, where I've played my first hands of live poker (after being almost 15 years in poker!). I've had little success, busting a small stakes MTT fairly early, but honestly had an amazing time. Hands trembling, heart racing. Reminded me of first hands playing online.
We still have one week to go before we head back north and the grind starts again. I've had a lot of time to reflect here on what my goals are for the coming year and what I have in mind for the CFP. We've been growing pretty consistently, with over 25 active contracts right now with a healthy range of stakes and I feel like we're doing quite alright, but there's always more that can be done. But for now, I'll just enjoy the free time with family and friends.
July 24, 2021 | 11:02 a.m.
All Good Things Come To An End
This week I said goodbye to my job as a teacher, something I did not think was possible when I started out this journal. And not only because I could not have foreseen the progression I made as a poker player after being stuck in the micro's for so long, but also because I'd never thought I'd leave the school that I worked at before my retirement.
Over the last few months it became more and more obvious that I couldn't combine playing at a high level, studying consistently, coaching private clients, managing a stable and still teach my class. Every Wednesday I'd turn up to teach the class with 4-5 hours of sleep, only to rush home after because I had coaching sessions planned. It just was not doable anymore. In a sense the decision was fairly easy. I could pursue my passion and do things that I would never be able to do if I'd quit my job, but I underestimated how hard it would be to actually leave.
So here I am right now on my first day as a full-time poker professional, but with mixed feelings. In the 6 years that I worked there I've teached over 100 students out of 28 different countries. Some of them had expat backgrounds and came from wealthy backgrounds that allowed them to have most of their education in high-end private schools, others took their first steps in a classroom at age 13 on their first day attending our school.
I know there's a lot of fun things ahead, but for now I'll just remember all the fun we had and all the things that these kids taught me.
July 9, 2021 | 1:24 p.m.
Thanks a lot for the responses guys. I've always been a all-or-nothing kind of guy, so finding balance has always been kinda hard. At least I'm gonna take some of your advice to heart as I'll be going on a holiday for 3 weeks! I'll show some pictures if I get the chance :)
July 6, 2021 | 6:15 p.m.
The Volume Trap
Out of all the players I know in the high stakes community, very few play more than 50k hands a month. Over the last month I've realized more and more that there's a valid reason for that (and it's not just a matter of a lack of games running at high stakes!). Yet every once in a while I still fall into the trap of thinking I should play more hours, more tables, more hands. (You can spot them in this topic even by just looking at the amount of failed 'x number of hands in x number of weeks/months challenges')
If I could change one thing over the last two years it's capping the number of tables I play to 4 and finding more excitement in thinking really thoroughly on each decision I face and making sure I don't auto-pilot as much as I have been doing. I was reviewing hands I played in November last year to create some content for the CFP the other day and I was just baffled by the amount of mistakes I spotted. And I'm not talking about stuff that I just didn't comprehend back then, but simple over-folding spots.
It's funny, because back then I thought: 'well, I've played 24 tables for years, I can easily play 8-10 tables without caring too much.' The amount of arrogance that’s packed into a thought like that is incredible, yet I had just had my best month ever so at the time it didn’t even feel a little bit off to me. I was just one of those sick grinders that was able to 10-table high stakes quite casually. And then when I started losing I thought to myself: ‘fuck, I need to play more volume.’
Not a second was I worried about the quality of my play.
So for the rest of the year I’m just going to stick to 4 tables and focus on scraping as high a win rate of the tables as I possibly can. The funny thing is: it’s a lot more challenging as well. If you really want to make sure you hit every node with 100% accuracy, you just can’t get by on 1-2 seconds in each spot. Giving myself the time to think about what I want to do has made poker a lot more engaging to me.
In July I’m going to take 3 weeks off, which has been my longest break from poker in 2 years. When I get back I’m going to focus on building my roll some further and getting a lot better so I can hopefully take some more shots at 5knl towards the end of the year. Fingers crossed.
June 29, 2021 | 2:29 p.m.
SUCCESS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF COMFORT
During the many coaching calls I've had over the last couple of months, one of the most recurring themes is passivity leaks. I think conciously a lot of players know that players at high stakes bluff a lot and fold little and for good reason. There are infinite spots where the pool as a whole just over-folds significantly compared to a solver. Yet when I converse with player's there's a lot of resistance towards pulling triggers consistently. A lot energy goes wasted towards finding the exception to the rule. And the most important thing to note here is that need to find the exception is not grounded in reality, but in a inner-urge to default to passivity. So they'll say something along the lines of: 'I feel like he just doesn't have that many folds/bluffs here and solver really doesn't bluff/catch with my combo, so I'll fold this time'
What they forget is that this time is going to repeat itself over and over again untill you are able to surrender to the fact that numbers don't lie to you, but you do. It's always easier to come up with 10 seemingly valid reasons to not pull the trigger in some spot, then it is to just pull the fucking trigger.
Ever wondered why you feel bad about a profitable bluff getting called, but not about checking behind in the same spot? You're losing just as much EV for every -EV bluff that you take as you do for every +EV bluff that you miss, yet when you consistently miss these bluffing opportunities there's infinite comfort and even if there's not, you're monkey brain will find a way to comfort you by inserting some faulty logic. You can spend years in that place without realizing you're slowly bleeding. Believe me, I've been there.
I want to end this post by sharing this mini-podcast episode by Nick Howard on this topic. Honestly feel like everyone in poker should listen to this at least twice a day.
June 15, 2021 | 1:45 p.m.
I got a few guys asking me if the CFP is still open for new applications. The beginning of this month we started a new flight and we'll likely start another one towards the end of July. If you're interested feel free to DM me or apply directly via this link.
For the time being I'm also still taking on private coaching clients, although I've already started scaling down a bit.
June 9, 2021 | 2:03 p.m.
WHERE TO GO NEXT?
Five more weeks and I'll finally be a (full-time) professional poker player. We're nearing the end of the school year and everyone os already looking forward to what happens after the summer break (am I getting transferresd? which class am I getting? Do I get an intern assigned to me?) but for the first time in years tlI' no longer a part of those conversations. Over the last few months I've looked forward to the day where I can finally direct all my attention at this poker thing, but now that we're getting closer it's also weird to realize that some of my students will be staying in school and I'm the one that's leaving. I know it's inevitable, but still.
There are a lot of good things that I'll get in return though. I've always wanted to live abroad for a couple of years and now with poker going as well as it does and the stable growing quite rapidly, it might even be the best option. And since I recently was able to convince my wife as well, everything seems possible now. At this moment I have no idea where we'll go to as it depends on so many things, but it's thrilling to discover all these new possibilities!
June 8, 2021 | 10:02 a.m.
Just found this video on one of the books I've recommended (I think). I'm re-reading it now because I felt in my usual trap of focussing too much on the end result (x number of hands) instead of finding little upgrades to my process.
June 2, 2021 | 11:30 a.m.
The month has not come to an end yet, but I felt like updating my journal a bit early. The last few weeks have been stressful. There is a lot of shit going on: the stable is growing, I've a bunch of private coaching packages running, working part-time and trying to play full-time. It's been pretty stresful as there is never enough time in a day.
One thing that makes things worse is that I've given in to my degen tendencies a little bit. I always had these periods in my life where my alcohol consumption spiked and it was harder to keep to my schedule. Overall I've gotten better at finding balance throughout the years, but I've also realized that I'll always be someone that will degen it up from time to time.
The results have been decent, nothing too crazy. Volume is higher than most months prior to this one, so that's good. I also took some shots at 5kNL (which I'm obviously not rolled for). Nothing too interesting happened, except for this hand maybe.
May 24, 2021 | 10:40 p.m.
VegasandtheMirage On the river the pot is generally biggest and not following through on your game plan will therefore be most costly. Ironically it's also the spot where you generally have to make a lot of investments that you'll lose the majority of the times, while it's still profitable (due to the pot odd nature of the game). It's the street where it's both most tempting and most costly to default to passivity.
May 19, 2021 | 3:10 a.m.
Someone that recently got accepted in Detox hit me up today and asked for advice on how to take the most out of the opportunity. I think it's pretry useful (if I say so myself) for anyone, so I'll share it here as well:
In no particular order.
1. Try to connect with as many guys as you can. I'm a social introvert by nature, so I usually don't take initiative but in Detox I made it my goal to reach out to guys and build connections. Those connections have served me very well. Don't be affraid to ask for advice, people are happy to give it for free.
2. Share as much of your resources as you can. For a lot of guys this is counter intuitive, because it'a easy make the mistake of tbinking that if I give you sometging without something in return you won something and therefor I must 'lose'. It's usually the nature of a zero-sum game and as poker players we often are trained to think like this. The reality is that in a multiplayer zero-sum game it can be very benificial for you if other players 'win' (by you sharing something they don't have). Inevitably you're going to run into some walls and when that happens there are going to be plenty of guys that are willing to return the favor (making it a win-win).
2. Click the buttons you're supposed to click as consistently as posible, especially on the river. Many of the guys that started to develop 'systems' that allowed them to deviate ended up getting coached by me. The first thing they'd ask is: what are you doing different. The answer was always the same: I'm not doing something different, you are. Call if you're supposed to call, bluff if you're supposed to bluff.
3. Build effective habits. Start small. I started with doing flashcards before my session. I was working full-time and didn't have a lot of time to study and play. By doing these flashcards (the check-decide ones) consistently I got a little better each day. Consistent growth is what you'll want. Choose that over one big upgrade each month every time. Try to use poker as a hedge to develop skills that transfer to the real world as well.
4. Invest in yourself. If someone that plays d4/d5 offers coaching on the side, go for it. The upgrades you'll get there will be worth the investment multiple times.
5. Build a library of upgrades from today on. I used Evernote to structure my studies and flashcards to integrate them. Make sure you don't forget mental game upgrades.
6. Read: Grit, Atomic Habits and Peak.
7. Make sure you enjoy the ride, even when it goes down. When I look back now, the times that at times felt horrible we're also the time where I learned most. Be nice to yourself when you're going theough a rough patch and actively think back at times in your life that we're rough. I think often times you'll see that what felt horrible when you went through it also brought a lot of good things.
8. Celebrate wins AND losses. My first day playing 1k I lost 10k. By the end of the day I took my wife out for a few drinks and celebrated. I fucking made it to the point where I'm able to lose 10k in a day In a way it's something I dreamt about when I started out, so how the fuck can it be a negative thing? Being able to take the wins out of the losses is a trait that ebery succesful poker player has to have in order to survive.
May 6, 2021 | 9:57 p.m.
Keep in mind that for a lot of people (including myself) there usually is a disconnect between how much they feel they've progressed and how much they actually progressed. In other words, sometimes it can feel like your standing still but in reality by taking consistent steps forward you're putting yourself in a way better position to succeed. Sometimes it takes some time before it really starts to show.
The funny thing is (and I try to remind myself this as much as possible) the times where I learned most in poker (and in life) are actually the times where it felt like I was standing still. All you need is to continue on this path and a little patience :)
May 5, 2021 | 7:21 p.m.
Low volume, low stakes
Putting yet another month in the books. With the stable just starting out this month, the workload has been crazy. Besides the stable popping off, I'm still working two days and I've been doing a lot of private coaching as well. So all things considered I think I should be fairly happy with the volume I put in. Since I've played all of that volume on just one site (for tax reasons), I had to mix in a lot more 200nl than I wanted, but it is what it is.
For next month I'm going to aim a lot higher. I'll have a lot more time and I'm going to diversify and play across a couple of sites, so I'll be able to play a higher average stake as well. Gonna try to aim for a minimum of 100k hands.
May 1, 2021 | 12:43 a.m.
Might have to change pools if you're going to join my games :(
All kidding aside, it's been a shitload of fun seeing you rise through the stakes man. Guess both of our lives have changed quite a bit since our first conversation.
April 30, 2021 | 11:59 p.m.
This is such a cool update, holy shit. What a way to start my day. I honestly think you'll get there, eith this level of focus and consistency and a little bit of patience, you will be playing the stakes you set out to play when you signed.
It's not going to be easy, there will be a lot of shit to overcome. But no great story comes without suffer. Honestly really proud of the way you have been handling yourself. Don't forget to take a step back sometime and and give yourself a little pad on the back as well.
April 20, 2021 | 9:52 a.m.
Over the past year I've had to balance the grind, with coaching and a full-time job as a teacher, which at times was challenging. As someone who has lacked structure and dicipline for most of my adult life, it took a lot of falling down and standing back up again before I found a routine that worked (sorta). In this article I'm outlining some lessons I learned the hard way.
Allow for time off
Time has been my most scarce asset since I started to take this poker thing serious. When I started on stake with Detox a little over a year ago I was working five days a week and often felt destroyed when I got home. In the weekends I had at least one social activity, leaving very little time to study and grind. I forced myself to study for an hour after work and then play 3 hours. I barely took time off and when I tried to do nothing but watch Netflix for an evening, I often felt stressed because it felt like I was wasting valuable hours on something that didn’t help me in achieving my goals. As it turns out, I was making all the basic mistakes that somebody eager to reach high stakes is bound to make at some point; I was burning myself out. Essentially I was taking a loan out on future time. Around November I started to get panic attacks. I would walk in the grocery store and started hyperventilating. I’d get dizzy in front of my class. In the end I had to take two full weeks off and it took me till mid-way through January when I felt like I was able to pick up the pace again.
The first and last hour of the day are yours
One of the other big changes I made over the last year is going to sound very counterproductive, but I think it may have been the biggest upgrade I made. During the first and last hour of the day, I’m allowing myself to do whatever I want. I don’t need to do anything! In the morning I wake up, drink coffee and read the news for the better part of an hour. I eat a little bit and exactly an hour after I woke up I’m plowing up the stairs to get behind my computer to study.
Now you may think: what a highly ineffective use of time. But for me it works. Prior to doing this I’d plan to get started 15 minutes after I’d wake up and sometimes I’d do this, but other times I felt so tired that I just kept sitting (and sitting), until after an hour or two I’d finally crawl behind my pc, feeling super stressed because (again) I hadn’t sticked to my schedule. Now that I’m allowing myself to chill a bit, I’m actually way more consistent.
The last hour of the day I usually fill with listening to an audiobook. And even though I really like playing poker, there are often times where I’m in the last two hours of my grind and I’m looking forward to that moment where it’s just me laying in bed with my earphones in, totally relaxed, not a poker-related thought on my mind.
Choose one thing to focus on
It used to be that I’d come home from work, cook dinner, eat, study for an hour and then play for 3 more. While it may seem like it’s effective to stuff your schedule full with little bits and pieces of everything, often times it’s better to compartmentalize a bit and focus on one thing at a time. Right now I’m working in 4 hour blocks. If I’m grinding, I’m grinding for 4 hours. If I plan for study related stuff, I make sure I get in 4 hours. That way my schedule feels less fragmented and it gets a lot harder to skip entire segments. It’s also a lot easier to plan breaks when you are taking the breaks at the same time each day.
Sit down whenever you’re supposed to sit down
As poker players we have the luxury to choose when we want to play our session. There are players that like to wake up early in the morning, get a work-out in and then play a 9-to-5 type schedule and there are players (like me) who like to play during the nights, when everyone else is sleeping. This luxury comes at a price: it’s very easy to postpone the start for ‘just a couple of minutes’. And the weird thing is: whenever your starting time is not fixed, it seems like every night something important pops up right before you’re supposed to sit down and play. It took me a while before I realized that if you want to play poker for a living, it’s probably good to be at least disciplined enough to start on time. Right now there is rarely a session where I don’t start at exactly the time I was supposed to start. No excuses.
April 20, 2021 | 1:47 a.m.
Another months in the books
It's been a swingy month on pretty much every front. I haven't been able to keep up with my volume goals, which to be fair is probably more a function of them being unrealistic to begin with. At the moment I'm still working two days as a teacher, I've set up a business and I'm trying to play as much poker as I can, which is challenging. Since I'm also playing on non-taxed euro sites, I am forced to play during the nights, but since I have to wake up early two days a week still, it's a fairly ineffective schedule where most of the time I feel like I'm jet lagged.
Next month I am going to allow myself to have lower volume expectations (aiming for 60k hands in April) and hopefully get some better results in the process.
April 2, 2021 | 4:35 p.m.
Today I’m happy to announce my own coaching and staking company, NachosPoker! After being in poker on and off for 12 years I can honestly say that this far exceeds any other success I have had during those years. To be able to combine the two things in life I love doing most, teaching and poker, on a consistent bases whilst building relationships with a lot of fresh (and some older, you know who you are) faces in the game is truly a blessing.
The goal of our company is simple: get players from low stakes to mid- and high stakes as quickly as possible. The core of our methodology is based on simple metrics derived from 2020-2021 pool data, allowing players to exploit their opponents in zones where it is most incentivized, blended with simplified GTO principles. A lot of work has gone into crafting the strategy and I’m very excited to see where this all might lead to.
March 30, 2021 | 12:27 a.m.
Well, to be honest getting consistent action at 400nl-1k has been pretty tough, so I've had to mix in a bunch of 200nl this month. Probably going to have to play multiple sites, as I just play reg tables. Besides I've not been able to hit the 20k hands one week since I started to aim for that 3 weeks ago. I think it's just a little bit too much as I still work two days as well. Just not doable to play 40 hours, study, coaching and work as a teacher.
I'll make a post soon about scheduling and I'll share my Excel sheet that I use to schedule. My biggest