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Breaking from ordinary life (with the help of w34z3l)

    • eXtremeACE
      Joined: 22.02.2011 Posts: 267
      Welcome everybody :)

      :club: Personal Info :club:
      My name is Stefan, I am 20 years old. I'm an aspiring poker player and a programmer. I'm in uni dedicated to programming and stuff, it's called computer science and mathematics :) I'm also from Serbia, so my English is not all that great, but I'm trying to perfect it, hopefully you won't have hard time understanding my rambling and stuff :P

      :heart: Reasons :heart:
      Well, this is not my first time to "start poker seriously". I've tried many times in the past, and it wasn't the BR management, or that I was plain bad that killed me, it was the lack of motivation period.

      So why I think this time is going to be any different? Well, first, I'm a bit older, I am writing this 2 years later and I've learned one or two things in the past.

      Not every hand that you play will be interesting, there will be many, many times where watching a tv or playing a game is much more fun that playing poker, and I'm ready to accept that. I was under the impression that if I really want it that every single minute playing poker would be a dream come true. But it doesn't work that way really, you have to struggle really hard if you want to be proficient at something. Even faculty taught me that. I used to love programming and I though faculty was going to be a breeze because it's that way oriented, but it simply isn't true.. I had many programming assignments when I felt like not doing a shit, let alone programming :D

      So yeah, I'm ready to embrace the fact that isn't going to be fun all the time, that there will be countless grinding sessions where I would play purely for volume sake and not for my enjoyment..

      Now don't get me wrong, I adore poker in some sense. It has many cool elements, you need to think rationally, you need to have some logic and it's always best to learn all the ins and outs of poker theory then just to to do what someone's told you to do (I can say w34z3l is the biggest reason for making me think that way)

      Talking about w34z3l, this is a second big reason why I have much more confidence that I'll "make" it this time around. You have probably heard about him if you're into or forums anyway, he is a new coach here and so far has been getting great feedback and I'm sure he'll continue to get it all the way because he is really great person and a good coach most of all! Basically, he's my coach for some time already, and will continue to be.. Thanks to his deep knowledge of the game I guess I can only move forward if I put enough time into this, which I sincerely want to. :)

      :diamond: My Game :diamond:
      *EDIT* (See next update) My current game is NL5 6-max ring tables. My bankroll currently only allows for a maximum of -5BI's @ this stake, and if that happens I'll, sadly, need to move back to NL2. So this is really a basic start, I mean almost anyone can afford to deposit 50$ to poker room and try to "make it".. So if I can do this, anyone can! long as they have that burning desire and manage to overcome emotional problems that playing poker brings in.

      :spade: Blog Structure :spade:
      Hmm what can you expect out of this blog? Alot of things. First and foremost I like teaching, and seems I'm good at it - most of my friends @ uni and close friends anyway say that all the time. I'm using their word for it. So, once I get good @ poker, I'm not that keen to keep it all for my self, I like giving away information, even in this sphere of work where it might be better to keep some stuff for yourself only. :D

      Another thing, I'm really into programming as well. Plainly, I like doing it. If any of fellow poker players are into that aswell, I'm ready to step up and give a helping hand.. I could even make an analyzis of how poker bots really work as that's a hot topic right now, and I have more or less tehnical knowledge to dissect it. It's not that I'm into that at all, otherwise I would put so many hours and hours into my own game, but I'm amazed at that stuff. I like machines, aritifical intelligence and computers most of all :)

      I can't say for fact whether or not w34z3l is going to be active in this blog or not, you'll have to ask that him personally, but I guess he'll be monitoring this blog since I'm his student and I'm sure he'll be ready to answer any problematic hand or aid in a discussion, so there you go, you'll even have some professional feedback on this blog as well :)

      :heart: Closing words :heart:
      Well guys, that's about it. I hope this blog will turn into something interesting, fun and useful, most of all. If you have any questions, fire them away! If not, wait for my update where I'll talk more about my game in details and my goals. :)

      Till then, enjoy the game and best of luck at the tables! :s_love:
  • 14 replies
    • w34z3l
      Joined: 03.08.2009 Posts: 13,332
      TLDR :D

      Oh wait! Is that you Stefan?

      Good luck man, will be following!
    • eXtremeACE
      Joined: 22.02.2011 Posts: 267
      Welcome w34z3l,
      Yeah it's me! Good to see in my blog, even though you TLDR it :D

      Thanks, we'll see how it goes! :)
    • legand73
      Joined: 01.06.2010 Posts: 4,136
      hey extreme

      welcome to our blogging section. Love the blog especially how you outlined what people can expect from it. Your english is great by the way.

      All the best with your goals,
    • gadget51
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      I can't see you going too far wrong with w34z3l helping you out! :s_cool:

      Have fun and run good,

    • gxtwo
      Joined: 15.12.2010 Posts: 1,268
      nice intro :s_cool: will be following ;)

      Are you currently living in Serbia or are you at uni elsewhere?

      What year/ how long is your course?

      can you program me a money printing poker bot please? :D
    • eXtremeACE
      Joined: 22.02.2011 Posts: 267
      Hey guys, thanks for an encouraging words! Feels great when I see that someone else read what I said, not just me.. :)

      legand73, Thanks.
      Well, I really wanted to put some time into deciding what outline would be best for my blog. I don't really want to make a blog that's unstructured, I want a blog where there will be times where I'll be plainly answering questions and having fun with all you good people on this blog (like this post I'm currently writing), but at the same time I want to have some of my more important posts stand out, so someone who wants to read it from first post can easily make a difference between what stuff is important (both in how I'm progressing and in what information I'm giving out) and what isn't that important to my progress..
      And thanks for saying my English is great, I'm trying to improve it :)

      gadget51, And I think you would be right about it :) w34z3l is apsolutely great coach :)
      But still, it isn't w34z3l that I doubt about it, it's me..
      I need to focus and start hard-working, else it's ain't gonna happen :)
      Thanks, will see how it goes.

      gxtwo, Thanks and thanks, you're welcome!
      Yes, I'm currently living in Serbia and the uni is in Serbia.
      I just had to move to capital - the Belgrade, because that's where the uni I'm currently studying at is located.

      Oh, I'm just first year, since I'm 19-20, I just started. It's 3 years long, but I plan to do master studies anyway so it's going to take me 5 years atleast, and that's if I continue to work hard. :)

      "can you program me a money printing poker bot please?"
      Um, not really. Actually I never tried it to be honest, there is so much work involved that it would take me weeks, if not month to try to prototype it. But it's not impossible, or anything close to it.. Basically, it depends on how "good" of a bot you want to make. If all you want to make is some breaking-even/rakeback-making-money type of a bot, it's pretty doable. Since shortstack strategy isn't all that hard, logic behind it wouldn't be as well..

      Taking the input and output could be a hassle, since poker sites these days are doing many countermeasures against it.. But there is always a way to hide it, if you want it so badly..

      But IMO, just play the game, enjoy it, be good at it and there is no need for machine to play it for you :)

      I plan to make a detailed update to my blog since there are a few big changes that has happened already.
      I'll try to write it as soon as possible!

      Until then, good luck at the tables! :s_cool:
    • eXtremeACE
      Joined: 22.02.2011 Posts: 267
      Update - 2/25/2013

      Alright guys and gals, it's time for an update.. :f_biggrin:
      Actually, I could have made an update even sooner, but some things got in my way, as they occasionally do..

      :spade: Change: ZOOM -> Ring Tables :spade:
      First big thing is that I've switched from playing ZOOM tables to playing 6 max ring tables instead. No disrespect to any of you ZOOMers, as I was one of you until recently, and while I like some of the conveniences that ZOOM offers, playing good poker with good reads/stats IMO isn't one of them..
      I've been playing zoom for quite sometime actually, my entire NL2 playing was on ZOOM and just recently switched.

      Motives? Well, it's easier to play vs fishes really when you do play ring tables and you table select well. Plus I am playing 6 max, so it's even easier to play against them since I can isolate them alot. And when I made this switch, poker instantly became much more fun to me, because you like have a goal right now, and that's it to identify and try to understand logic behind every fishy player you come across at your table. :f_p:

      :heart: History :heart:
      Well, since it's not the first time we met, it's time to talk a bit about my poker history, but the recent one, I don't want to bore you with my previous attempts at poker. :)

      So, when I first started taking coaching from Adam (w34z3l) I have been playing ZOOM.. And this is the graph from 1 month playtime.. It's not pretty I agree, later when we were analyzing it we came across that I had a leak in 3bet pots and pots where I used to cold call..
      Can't say if graph would be totally awesome if I didn't had that leak, who knows, maybe it's variance.
      One thing is for sure, we will never know, since that's small sample size. :D

      :diamond: Present :diamond:
      As present is concerned, there isn't a lot to talk about really. I've just recently started focusing on ring tables, and only last 3 days did I actually play a bit of poker, so there isn't alot of hands to show off right now.. I put a nearly 5hr today playing poker, so that's one thing to brag about. :)

      I have like, just 1.5k hands at NL5 at the moment of writing this.

      But I'm really more concerned with quality, than with quantity right now, so there won't be a big graphs for quite some time I think..
      Would depend on uni as well, hopefully the won't bother us for some time as the second semester has just started. :evil:

      :club: Summary :club:
      One more thing, even though I may not have a big graph to show to you guys yet, I do plan to write a lot of tips and tricks type of posts that should help you guys if you're in the same spots as I am right now. They won't be anything totally new, but I would just highlight key ideas that helped me and are helping me through this journey as I continue my way.

      Thanks for reading,
      Best of luck at the tables! :heart:
    • eXtremeACE
      Joined: 22.02.2011 Posts: 267

      Welcome to my first tip for the microstake players such as myself.

      Today's topic is about "setting goals" and instead of just writing one sentence about how you should incorporate it in your own game, I'll write a little on when I first started using that and how dramatically it changed my game for better..

      Now, arguably, the forums are filled with advices on setting yourself "rational" goals. I did read about it alot, and few times I did write like goals section in my previous blogs, but that was just it, I just wrote it down and was hoping that somehow, magically, just by writing that few sentences where I'd list my goals I was doing a good thing that will somehow help me improve myself in this world of poker..

      Heh, was I naive back then.. *facepalm*

      Listen guys, seriously, this one is big.. Because poker is such a complex game, if you give yourself a structured learning path plus a rational goals to stick with, you may just succeed in it as well..

      When I first spoken with Adam (w34z3l), one of the first things he said to me was: "Set yourself a goal on how many hours you want to play daily/weekly. So how many is it going to be?". And I was like, alright Adam, you don't have to torture me right from the start, I mean, life is full of surprises, I can't know for sure how many hours I'll be able to play everyday, etc..

      BUT, when I did set that X hours per day and STUCK WITH IT, guess what happened? It ended up as a month with most hours played in comparison to those months when I haven't set up such goals.

      I was playing a lot of poker, and I was playing it on regular basis that I almost accepted it as a some sort of a job. It was really cool, and it was working - which is most important! After some time you just get used to it, and you just do it, day by day, if you go to gym, you know what I'm talking about.

      :heart: So, how to do it? :heart:
      Well, create a plan for yourself that's rational.
      Now, what I mean by repeating the word rational again, and again?
      Well, the thing is, you need to set up a goal that's realistic! There is no point in saying to yourself: "Well, I want to earn X amount of dollars by the end of November" because that goal isn't realistic! You can't control how much will you earn (or lose for that matter) since you're not in direct control of it.. Hours, or the number of hands played, on the other hand you can control. You can decided when to play and for how long.

      :spade: (Just) DO-IT :spade:
      If you want to improve your poker career, take a piece of paper, a pen and write down how many hours you can REALISTICALY play everyday given the current state of your life at this exact point. It can be hard to calculate, and if you really can't put down the exact (or rough) number, calculate the hours per week that you intend to play. You'll then have the flexibility to play less one day and play more the next day.
      The most important thing is that you stick to it, I can't stress enough how important this is!

      :club: Summary :club:
      So, if you're struggling with volume, take 10 minutes of your day and finally set yourself a goal.
      Trust me, you'll notice the change. One of the first things that separates professionals from amateurs is how they look on their hobby/work/profession. Amateur would most likely only play poker when they feel like it, and would spend 90% of the time more talking about poker and reading about it, than actually playing it. And guess what you need to do to move up the stakes? You need to play, especially when you're playing microstake!

      Let me know what you think about this type of posts that I intend to write. The thing is, it's easy to copy-paste common 10 tips for microstakes player off google or something, internet has enough of it already, but I'm not after that, really.
      What I want to do, is to write a series of tips that has worked for me. Everything I write in this blog is not just a copy-paste, it's sincerely from my own experience, and that's the sole reason why I believe in everything I write down - simply because it has worked for me! :heart:

      I hope you didn't just wasted 5-7 minutes of your life reading this, I sincerely hope you've learned something and that you'll incorporate it in your own game after reading and most of all, that it will help your own volume. :)
    • roopopper
      Joined: 31.12.2010 Posts: 4,289
      Great tips!!! :)

      Originally posted by eXtremeACE
      Just dropped in to say hi :D

      We used to discuss MSS strategy years ago, don't know if you remember.. :D

      Best of luck!
      I do indeed :D
    • eXtremeACE
      Joined: 22.02.2011 Posts: 267
      Originally posted by roopopper
      Great tips!!! :)

      Originally posted by eXtremeACE
      Just dropped in to say hi :D

      We used to discuss MSS strategy years ago, don't know if you remember.. :D

      Best of luck!
      I do indeed :D
      Hey roo, glad to see you haven't forgotten about me :D Hope you're doing great poker-wise! :s_cool:

      Gosh I need to update this blog, a lot has happened recently, but my blogging skills are sucking..
    • roopopper
      Joined: 31.12.2010 Posts: 4,289
      Yes update please :)
    • eXtremeACE
      Joined: 22.02.2011 Posts: 267
      Yes update please

      Here it comes :D

      Hey guys once again, I never was away from the poker, just to be on a same page, it's just hard for me to keep this thread alive, hopefully I'll make a better job out of it..

      So what has been going on? Well, I had a decent success at NL5 I think, here's a graph to back it up..

      NL5 Graph

      I had sessions with w34z3l where we worked on my 3bet game, and so far it was going great.. :)

      Also remember my post about making a schedule, well it seems it was hard for me to keep it up even after understanding all the benefits, for that reason I created a solid schedule that I have hanging on my wall now and hopefully will help me with my productivity..

      Example of my working schedule

      I now have officially a working poker time from 16:20-18:20, and while it's just 2 hours per day, they are the MANDATORY ones =)
      I can fill the random gap or even the fun/eating one as well with playing studying as long as life allows it..
      This should keep me busy for a day..

      I also plan to read schnitzelfish' productivity guide which should help me out as well, and I recommend all of you guys to read it as well, here's the link for a quick access => HERE

      I'm also an official NL10 player now, getting my feet wet but I'm still finding it hard to accept the fact that just a months ago I played NL2 and I had a 2$ in front of me and now all of the sudden I have 10$ in front of me.. :P Hopefully will get used to it, and would be solid at it..

      So far I have < 1000 hands at NL10, because I 1-tabled for a while to see on what level player thinks there and seems it's not too much of a difference from NL5 apart from being mentally a bit tougher since there's more to lose. :)

      And another thing, I started to really work on mathematics of a poker, since that should be my strong spot given my uni.. Started with bare basics, from counting outs (which I knew of course) to combinations and calculating equity vs range which is a tougher one.. I plan to make tutorials on this one if anyone even wants it, because I want to really delve deep into it, have already gotten myself multiple books on this subject and I also plan to create a few applications to help guys like myself and other get that practice away from tables.. =)

      :heart: My newest application on poker :heart:
      Speaking of which, in my free time I started working on an application that should help you get the feel for counting odds and outs by practicing numerous situations on the spot where you have a draw and villain bets into you.. You'll need to work out your outs, pot odds and later to be introduced, implied odds as well.. =)

      (I though I would combine programming and poker :P )

      It's still just work in progress really, and I don't have a lot of time to keep working on it constantly, but here is an image if anyone is interested to see it..

      Well that's about it, my main focus right now is get done with finals and to keep up playing NL10, hopefully becoming my main stake right now =)

      Best regards,
    • seranpoker
      Joined: 08.07.2010 Posts: 276
      Interesting Blog. Will be following.

      I look to get coached by Mr. Weazel too, starting soon.

      Any updates?
    • eXtremeACE
      Joined: 22.02.2011 Posts: 267
      Hey seranpoker,

      Sorry for not updating.. The faculty is killing us, hate it.. :(
      I set myself rules not to touch poker until semester is over, and semester is over in a 17 or so days.. Then I'll start to play again regularly..

      Reasoning is mostly because I need to try to get myself on the budget for the next year as the cost per year is ~1000 euros, and there is no way I could make that amount of money playing nl10 in a month time :D So, globally, it's +EV decision..

      Furthermore, even if I were to let myself play poker for only a few hrs per day and then keep on studying, the problem is I'll motivate myself too much on poker and studying would be a hassle.. :D

      Good to hear you're looking to get coached by W34z3l as well, he's really an awesome coach.. Sadly I haven't heard with him in a while, but it's mostly because of my studying..

      Are you NLHE shorthanded player as well?