The road to an epic 2015

    • bogstratos
      bogstratos
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.05.2012 Posts: 161
      Hello everyone! This is a later edited post, the original opening post is available in a spoiler below.

      2014 has been a good year for me. I managed to get out of a situation that was ruining all the fun in life for me, going to a uni where I studied what they call “Computer Science” (but it’s more like engineering + computer science). It was just soul draining to have to go there 7h/day on average during the week and to work on homework and projects the rest of the time, with very little time for poker, going out with friends or other hobbies. I had little to nothing in common with the students at that faculty and there were quite a few profs there that made me want to rip my hair out. I really couldn’t handle 4 years of that only to get a degree and some IT knowledge, with a lot of other stuff that I don’t really enjoy (maths+physics), tho they can be useful if you want to become a sick programmer. I quit uni at the end of the 2nd semester of my first year, around April-May. I spent some time wondering about what my future should be and I thought that giving poker another serious go while learning to program and getting other useful life skills on the side is the way to go for me.

      In May I started a coaching deal with someone I met through a Skype group, who has had really good results at NL50-200, and he helped me move up to taking shots at NL25. But then July came and we felt like we can’t go any further together, since things seemed to not click anymore for me when he tried to coach me. I then withdrew and spent most of my BR during the summer (like I always did xD ) and was left with about $150.

      I am probably heavily influenced by manu in many ways. He thought me quite a few things and was helpful on many levels. If you don’t know who he is (probably most ppl here do :f_p: ), he is an old coach here and a long time member who quit playing poker 1-2 years ago, and he moved from Romania to Vienna to work in a startup. Because of him, I also started following the startup scene and I spent a few months volunteering as an ambassador in Bucharest for Startus.cc (a platform that promises to facilitate the networking of investors, cofounders and people looking to work at a startup in Europe). I enjoyed my time going to events at startup hubs in Bucharest, meeting cool people and expanding my network in the startup scene, but eventually felt that this wasn’t as much of a passion project for me as I initially thought it would be, so I decided to stop my collaboration with them.

      I didn’t play any serious poker until the end of the year, when I started working with the wonderful vonki. She has been a good friend and helped me improve my game a lot, while also telling me honestly with no BS that I was wrong or just lying to myself in certain situations, something which I really appreciate. I tend to get comfortable normally and create a lot of bad habits for myself, which are most of the time hard to get rid of.

      Last year for a few months, after I quit uni, I used to work out on a daily basis, had a good sleeping schedule, only drank moderately at parties and was eating really healthy. Then after I lost hope with poker and started spending my BR, I quit a lot of the good habits I implemented and replaced them with others that were fun at the time, but that get me nowhere near my goals. I started going out and drinking a lot, having awkward sleeping schedules and wasting a lot of time gaming or watching random shit on youtube/twitch.

      Unfortunately for me, I took some of those bad habits with me in 2015, and I still had a general state of uncertainty regarding what I want to do with my life. I had good days and bad days, but I entered a routine that doesn’t help me complete my goals. Fortunately, I decided to once again sit down at my desk and write about my last experiences and also go through my vision statement I wrote in May 2014, as well as reliving the good moments I had when I started owning life in 2014. I felt really inspired again to do the same thing, because I remembered how awesome it felit when I was working hard and doing what I wanted with passion.

      In May last year I actually started implementing advice from Schnitzelfisch, the productivity coach who used to make videos for Pokerstrategy. His articles and videos helped me have an easier time implementing good habits in my life and motivated me to work a lot more. I remember one piece of advice he gave was to write a vision statement and read it out loud each morning before doing anything. I used to do that for one month until I felt like I knew every word by heart. I know this might seem silly to some people who have an easier time just getting up and doing work, but I feel like there are tons of differences between people and how they are motivated to do anything. For me, it is really hard to just find motivation within myself to DO stuff, so I have to set up goals and keep track of them daily to be able to consistently deliver quality work in any field, otherwise I just end up wasting a shitton of time watching random things online.

      I did mention in my posts so far that I have exams coming up at uni, but now I am studying at a different one which is considerably easier and I have to put in way less time into it, but it’s still in the Computer Science field and it’s much more focused on that. The main reason I did enroll to this uni are my parents. They have been wonderful and very dedicated raising me up, and even though they did see me buy stuff with money from poker, they don’t yet truly trust that I can make enough money to live off of it and later invest that $$ into something that is sustainable super long term. So I’m not certain what my plan is with this if I do end up moving up to NL100+ (where I can basically make a lot more than the average salary in Romania), but for now I’ll just keep my involvement to a minimum, as much as I need to pass with decent grades (and so far it has been really easy for me).

      So why am I making this TLDR post now? Well I read my blog again and realized that it was lacking the energy I was used to and one of my goals is to also try to influence other people positively if I can. If there’s one person here that maybe identifies with me and I get that silent reader to start doing stuff, I am a happy man. If that doesn’t happen, at least I get motivated to update my blog and keep track of my goals here, which also helps me. I will also post some random life stuff that I have learnt through my experiences, stuff I think about and maybe even some of the retarded drunk stories I have.

      General 2015 goals:
      :spade: Play a minimum of 80k hands/month
      :spade: Move up to NL50 and establish myself as a regular there
      :spade: Work with vonki weekly to improve my game
      :spade: Buy a better setup for poker (desk+monitor)
      :spade: Work out on a daily basis (start with doing T25 then decide if I want to move to other stuff)
      :spade: Create and keep a healthy diet
      :spade: Go back to a good sleeping schedule (8h/night)
      :spade: Get a driver’s license
      :spade: Visit at least one foreign country during the summer
      :spade: Drink moderately at all times
      :spade: Pass all the exams @ uni with decent grades
      :spade: Keep my blog updated at least 1 a week with goals, graphs, hands, stories and thoughts
      :spade: Work on removing bad habits and implementing as many good ones as I can
      :spade: Try to improve my productive hours each day without rushing it

      It's been a while since I posted in the forums, I used to keep a blog here and randomly post in the blogs I followed the most. I'm back with what I hope will be the blog I use to keep track of my progress throughout 2015! I am also hoping that it won't be just another blog that goes bust after a few months :f_ugly: . This time I'll be working with vonki, and I'm sure most people here already know her. And because of that I'll be getting my ass kicked if I ever slack with poker and the blog, so I'll probably just keep up so that doesn't happen. :f_thumbsup:

      As a short history of my poker adventures, I have played microstakes cash games for a few years now, and I've always followed the trend of grinding up a NL25+ BR then cashing it all out during the summer to spend it on hookers/blow. The plan is to obviously keep away from that this year, and actually make it up to the midstakes to become a pro.

      I started off playing at the microstakes zoom again, and I'm playing NL5 at the moment. My goal is to get to NL10 by the end of the month and to be at least a reg at NL50 by the end of the year. I'll be aiming to play around 80k hands/month, except in months like January and June where I have exams @ uni. This month I'll be going for 65k hands.

      I will be keeping this blog updated every few days with my progress, graphs and interesting hands. Besides that I will also post some of the thoughts/difficulties I have while taking this long term commitment, which will hopefully help some of the other players that are going through the same journey.

      I'm gonna try to keep this short so I wish you all a great 2015 and I hope I'll have a brag graph by the time I'm gonna post the next update! :f_biggrin:
  • 14 replies
    • vonki
      vonki
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 6,091
      About damn time :f_ugly:

      GL in 2015 (not that we need it :f_biggrin: ). I am sure it'll be one hell of a year for the both of us! :f_love:
    • Ramble
      Ramble
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.11.2008 Posts: 1,421
      Good luck bogs! Hope you don't miss the hookers and blow too much this summer! :thinking:
    • bogstratos
      bogstratos
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.05.2012 Posts: 161
      Thanks for the nice wishes guys!

      I wanted to update my blog with results and post a couple of hands, but unfortunately my laptop decided to die, so I'll have to use my sisters desktop for a few days at least to play. I set up P* and HM2 and I'll soon be ready to start grinding again!

      So far my results in 2015 are far from spectacular, but it's a small sample and I didn't have the best of runs. Could have probably made a few less mistakes tho, I still find myself not believing some players when I should at these limits. :f_rolleyes:

      Hope you don't miss the hookers and blow too much this summer!
      To be honest I hope I will strongly miss them this year and actually move up :f_biggrin: .

      Thanks for reading and I hope you all had a solid start in 2015, good luck!
    • ZapOut
      ZapOut
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.08.2011 Posts: 222
      :gl:
    • bogstratos
      bogstratos
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.05.2012 Posts: 161
      Hello guys!

      I didn't play as much as I should have this start of the year, I had some motivation problems due to personal reasons, and the fact that I wasn't playing my best combined with a not-so-good run didn't help either. But I did work on my game and found out I wasn't paying enough attention to certain tells at NL5 and I wasn't adjusting my ranges correctly in certain spots. Some subtle changes and some rungood helped me a lot in the last 2 days and I'm feeling super good about poker again.

      At the moment I'm averaging around 1300 hands/day, and to reach my 65k hands goal this month I should get that up to 2100. I'll try my best but tests and then exams are coming up @ uni, so I'm not 100% sure I can get there. Keep in mind that for the moment I'm 3tabling until I feel 100% certain I have eliminated some leaks from my game, because at 4 tables I find it hard to work on my game as much. But I still think so far I've been a lazy idiot this year :f_mad: .

      I will post a graph with all the hands I've played this month when I'll get my laptop back from the service (it's been close to 1 week and I haven't received any news, I hope they'll contact me soon). I will also start adding more real life goals here, and I'll try to make it prettier with a list and all that. For now, my goal is to keep improving (which I am doing) and get my volume up to the desired amount. Besides that, I need to start forcing myself to wake up at a decent hour each day, because the winter break and all the parties fked up my sleeping schedule.

      Thanks for reading! :f_drink:
    • vonki
      vonki
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 6,091
      I think you can also just request the hands from pokerstars :) Im not sure, never tried.

      But you are doing very good! :f_thumbsup: Just keep reading the things youre supposed to focus on before every session to make sure you are trying to make them into automated moves to free up more mental space so we can move on to the next things to work on :f_drink:
    • bogstratos
      bogstratos
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.05.2012 Posts: 161
      I updated the first post, and originally included it here but I realized that there's no point in posting that twice since they are so close to one another, I was used to having a blog with more pages lol :f_p: . I'm going to list more detailed goals from now on and keep track of them here and in my own notes. I’m hoping that this year, if you decide to follow this blog, you are going to be witness to an awesome journey to an epic 2015! Good luck and work smart!
    • vonki
      vonki
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 6,091
      Drink moderatly only at parties... so whenever there isnt a party going on, its green light to get wasted... like, every day :f_biggrin: :f_drink: Cheers!
    • bogstratos
      bogstratos
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.05.2012 Posts: 161
      Oh well, it was a long post :f_p: . I wouldn't have expected anyone else to correct me other than you. :f_love: :f_mad:

      Cheers and thanks! :f_p: :f_drink:
    • vonki
      vonki
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 6,091
      Actually I was just making fun of you. Not correcting you. :f_biggrin: :f_love: :coolface:
    • MK7GTD
      MK7GTD
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.03.2011 Posts: 279
      Damn, the situation about university you speak of at the beginning of your blog is exactly the same as mine !

      Good luck with your goals!
    • BrokesoBroke
      BrokesoBroke
      Black
      Joined: 23.10.2007 Posts: 887
      Good luck and :f_drink: !

      :)
    • bogstratos
      bogstratos
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.05.2012 Posts: 161
      Thanks for the wishes guys, I hope you find a way to deal with that MK7GTD! :f_thumbsup:

      So I haven't heard any news from the service that is supposed to fix my laptop for 10 days now, so I'll just post the graph I have on this PC, it's not missing that many hands anyways. I've looked at the number of hands this month tho and realized I am way behind schedule. I've got in 22k hands by 15 Jan which is far from enough to reach my initial 65k hands goal for this month, so I decided to push for a bit more volume each day.

      Because in zoom it's super easy to take a break, at vonki's sugesstion I started to play 30 minutes sessions with a short 5 min break in between, and a longer break after 2 or 3 sessions, but sometimes because I don't keep track of my breaks I end up wasting too much time. To counter this I'll be playing 2 sets of 4x30 minute sessions each day, and sometimes break the 2nd set into 2x30 minutes sessions with a longer break in between them. I'll use my phone and set 30 and 5 min timers to keep me in touch with the time. The goal with this is to get to play 3k hands/day, or something close to that, aiming to get in around 48k more hands until the end of the month, for a total of 70k which leaves room for unexpected events or tilty days where I decide to stop playing.

      While working out following the T25 program (you should google T25 workout if you're out of shape and want to start working out at home, it only takes 30 mins/day and it got me from 79 kgs to 70 in 2 months when I did it) there were prints you could post on a wall where you could X each day of workout, and I found out it really motivated me to work out daily, so I thought for a long time of using something similar with poker. I will print out a page to keep pinned on my desk where I'll leave boxes to X for each 30 min session daily, and my goal from today to the end of the month is to keep the X chain from breaking! :f_biggrin:

      Besides poker I've also slowly improved my sleeping schedule, with today being the first day when I woke up at 8AM, and I thought of putting that too besides my poker goals stated above. I think it will help a lot, and I'll make sure to report here on how that is going!

      Here is the graph of the hands played on this PC, you can see a tilty drop in both the blue and red lines around 14k hands which was caused by overconfidence and stupidity :f_rolleyes: . Because of that I'll also begin reading The Mental Game of Poker and start to apply Jared Tendler's advice to improve my mental game.


      Goals for the rest of January:
      :club: Don't break the x chain on my print! (3000 hands/day)
      :club: Wake up each morning at 8AM
      :club: Start reading and implementing advice from The Mental Game of Poker
      :club: Study for the remaining exams at uni each day for at least 1 hour

      I'm off to eat lunch (which is weird now cause I use to have breakfast at 1-2PM for a month or so :f_biggrin: ) and then I'll go back to grinding, thanks for reading!
    • bogstratos
      bogstratos
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.05.2012 Posts: 161
      Hello!

      So far after 3 days I've managed to play 3000 hands/day with good results! I didn't break the X chain on my printed paper and I fell that I can make it all the way to the end without doing it. I must keep myself focused and aware of the fact that some runbad might happen during the month though. The great thing about this approach is that playing just 30 min sessions means that you get less accumulated stress/tilt during one session, which makes for less spew and improves the winrate a lot.

      Another good news is that I got my laptop back, so I can work quietly in my own room without having to bother my sister. While playing on my sisters computer, I realized how much I really need to get a monitor for my laptop. Playing on a 15" screen is doable at zoom, but it's so much easier if you have a big screen! I'll be on the lookout for good deals on decent monitors, and I'm hoping to get something like a 23"-25" screen which should be more than enough even if I decide to move to normal tables later on for some reason.

      As most of you playing on stars probably already know, they added the ultimate challenge which gets you a bonus that clears in once chunk and is calculated on your best volume month of 2014. I got $70 for 2500 VPP, which means that I would have to average close to 4000 hands/day on NL5 to get it. In the shape I am now, with some exams at uni coming up I don't think that it is doable, but I've made some calculations and if I move up to NL10 soon, I'll be able to go for it. At this moment, $70 would be a big boost to my BR so I'll decide if I should take a stab at NL10 at the end of next week, depending on my results until then.

      Another good thing is that I got some extra $$ from my father for helping him with some work last year, which means I'll be able to pay for driving lessons to get my driver's license! I've wanted to do this for almost 2 years now, so I'm glad I finally get to do it. I just hope that I'll keep working hard and nail everything in what seems to be quite a busy start to 2015.

      I want your opinion on this hand, which probably seems way too nitty for NL5: http://weaktight.com/7308190 .
      Villain wasn't full stacked at the start of the hand, which could mean he's fishy, but I failed to spot that while playing the hand since he had a weird 3bet sizing. To understand why I folded there, after my 4bet he took all the timebank down to the last 1-2 seconds and then 5bet. I didn't have much stats on villain, he was 18/18 with 50%(1/2) 3bet after only 15 hands or so. Of my experience at the micros, this sort of move is almost always AA, but I'm still not sure we can fold KK there. My approach to the micros this month has been to maximize value bets and stay the fuck away from regs when they get aggro, because most of the time at NL5 people don't bluff. So what do you think, good hero fold or is it just stupid? :f_biggrin:

      And because I promised a graph with all the hands this month, I'll post it here and the next one will probably be at the end of this month when I do a recap. So far it's looking like a solid month, I hope that it will keep going this way!


      Good luck guys!