Turning Pro? A ride with a Spin&Go player

    • Squad77
      Squad77
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.03.2011 Posts: 100
      First of all, thanks a lot for taking a few minutes of your time to read my blog.

      Who am I?

      My name is Víctor, a former English teacher from Caracas, Venezuela. Currently, 29 years old.

      Poker experience?

      I don't recall exactly the first time I played poker, but it was sometime after the Moneymaker boom. I remember I was in college, maybe 12 or 13 years ago. I still couldn't go to a casino to play, so I used to play in home games with friends. As many of you, I liked the feeling of winning some extra money doing something both fun and mentally engaging, so I started to study the theoretical side of the game.
      I improved a lot, enough to score some decent results in Pokerstars,mostly in MTT's but no life changing money.
      Then, back in 2014, catastrophe hit... I lost my internet access X(
      I couldn't play any poker for almost two full years...

      So, what am I doing right now?


      Thanks to a friend, I have my internet access back. While updating my poker knowledge, I came across with Alvaro Romero's Spin Legends. I never heard of Spin&Go before, so I went to Pokerstars and played a few... Needless to say, I got crushed quite easily; however, I was engaged. So, in Feb 28th, I enrolled with Spin Legends, starting from the lowest stakes, which was $0.25. As of now, I'm playing $15 Spins.

      Why am I turning pro? Do I even know what it means?

      If you read carefully, you'd know that I'm a former English teacher. When I moved to $3 spins, I quit my teaching job, and I dedicated myself to play poker for a living, so basically, I'm a professional poker player :s_drink:
      Nonetheless, it doesn't mean that I'm a shark at the tables; on the contrary, I have lots of room to improve, many leaks to fix, which you will get to know as I write about them.
      I bet you wonder how I'm making a living playing such a small stake. Well, if you read news, you know that my country, Venezuela, is undergoing a big, catastrophic economic crisis, due to a variety of factors not worth mentioning. So, doing something that I can get paid in $$$ is incredibly awesome here, even if it's something silly, like $100 per month. Currently, minimum wage in Venezuela is $15 a month, plus a bonus for food worth around $30.


      How am I doing in Spin&Go's?

      This is my graph since I joined Spin Legends:



      So far, I've more than 4.5k games at 65cEV. However, my results are not very good since I moved up to $15spins. Here's the graph:



      This is one of the reasons why I'm starting this blog, so I can keep track of everything I do, in order to improve as a poker player.
      One thing that's really bugging me off is tilt. I play 10 good sessions, but there's always this one session that's really, really bad, and destroys whatever I've accomplished in the previous ten. Therefore, I've written down a list of goals for this month, which, I believe, will improve my game in general:

      1.- Go to gym. It's been 11 years since I last did some real physical exercise, and it's been scientifically proved that exercise helps a lot our mental processes, and avoids fatigue while playing. I already started today :D , and I plan to go to the gym five times a week, from monday to friday, 7am to 9am. Then, some 30mins running.
      2.- Cut down volume. Whenever I try to play more games, the quality of my game decreases substantially. So, instead of playing 2k games this month, I'd like to play 1.5k, and that leads to the next goal...
      3.- Think logically and rationally about in-game decisions. This is probably the main and most expensive leak in my game. I just never take enough time to think through every click I do while playing. Sometimes it's a good decision, but most of them are not. Then, when I'm doing reviews, I just feel mad at myself, because I know I could've played better, but I wouldn't, because of not taking enough time to think.

      So far, this is it. If you have any more tips, advices, or comments in general, please do so; I'll sincerely appreciate them.
      And again, thanks for reading me.
      Víctor

      PS: I'm updating this blog on a weekly basis.
  • 16 replies
    • KTU
      KTU
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 24.01.2007 Posts: 6,434
      Very nice blog :)

      [x] subscribed
    • tobaent
      tobaent
      Gold
      Joined: 12.09.2006 Posts: 1,010
      Good luck :f_thumbsup:
    • ThisGuido
      ThisGuido
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.10.2015 Posts: 27
      Lol, in the point 3 i REALLY feel you: is so difficult think logically and rationally everytime...

      Congrats for your result, good luck!
    • Squad77
      Squad77
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.03.2011 Posts: 100
      Originally posted by ThisGuido
      Lol, in the point 3 i REALLY feel you: is so difficult think logically and rationally everytime...

      Congrats for your result, good luck!
      Indeed it's very hard to do so, but we must make our best attemp at it. Otherwise, it'd be wasting whatever things we've learned while studying.
      Thanks for the good vibe! Cheers, mate!
    • Squad77
      Squad77
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.03.2011 Posts: 100
      Hello everyone, thanks again for reading me :D

      It's been a fun week, very active on every level, both in my life and in the poker tables.
      Like promised, I started my workout routine, though I strained a muscle on my arm, but nothing too serious. Definitely continuing, because I already started to see the results of exercise. I felt very good about myself, kind of proud actually, and it transfers to my confidence while playing. Also, I felt very relaxed, It has to be positive, right? Nonetheless, I need to be more careful about how hard I push myself; so, this week I'm going to take it slow with the weights 8-)

      In terms of poker results, it's been the +EV week I've had since I joined Spin Legends =)
      Here's the graph from May 8th - May 14th:



      As you can see, I played 315 spins, 45 spins a day, for a good 93 evChips per tourney. Yayyyy!!!
      I played with a lot of confidence, like I said, taking my time, thinking things fully through, and it payed off. Though I cut down volume, it wasn't because I decided it, but of SCOOP :P I had to take a try on a few MTTs, though with no avail.

      So, my graph and numbers from this month look like this



      A nice 66 evChips per tourney, although what I like the most is that the golden line continues to go up on a steady pace :s_cool:
      Of course, there is room for improvement. I need to review my game against very aggro players. I'm sure my numbers against them are horrible, because they pissed me off so bad, I tilt and make mistakes. At least, I'm wise enough to recognize I have a problem. I'm sure I'm going to solve it soon :coolface:

      If things continue as they are, I expect to move up to $30 spins in a fortnight, tops. I believe I'm ready, but time will tell.
      As for this week, I'm planning to play about 550-600 games, depending on how I feel. If things take a bad turn, I'll slow down a bit. Otherwise, it'll be easy to reach.

      One thing that's troubling me is solitude. I really miss my students, and teaching. I didn't realize how hard is to work by yourself, spending your whole day in front of a computer for a living. Also, it's kind of hard not to transfer your negative emotions after a bad session to your family, but they are very understanding, and they already know when I'm mad :ayfkm: My whole life circles around poker right now, and I know it's not healthy, but I can't go anywhere to have fun, like a disco, or even a cinema, since Caracas is not a very safe place at the moment.

      How is one of my days? Here's my routine:

      5.30am Wake up call
      6.30am Breakfast
      7.30-9.30am Gym
      10.00am Shower and nap xD
      10.45am Hands review session
      11.30am Poker session
      12.30pm Lunch
      1.00pm Coaching (If my internet speed is good enough; otherwise, continue playing)
      2.00-2.45pm Break
      2.45-7.00pm Poker Session
      7.30pm Dinner
      8.00pm Video review
      9.30pm Go to bed

      It's kind of intense, right? :roto2:
      Anyways, thanks again for reading me. Appreciate all your comments, opinions and suggestions.
      :gl:
    • ThisGuido
      ThisGuido
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.10.2015 Posts: 27
      Hey, you are doing very well, keep pushing like that! You are spending a lot of time and energy and of course all the effort you are putting in will pay off. :f_thumbsup: :f_thumbsup:
      I'm following by news the situation in Venezuela and I guess is kinda hard living there nowadays... I hope everything will be ok..

      Good luck!
    • tobaent
      tobaent
      Gold
      Joined: 12.09.2006 Posts: 1,010
      Congratulations! :f_thumbsup:
    • Squad77
      Squad77
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.03.2011 Posts: 100
      Originally posted by ThisGuido
      Hey, you are doing very well, keep pushing like that! You are spending a lot of time and energy and of course all the effort you are putting in will pay off. :f_thumbsup: :f_thumbsup:
      I'm following by news the situation in Venezuela and I guess is kinda hard living there nowadays... I hope everything will be ok..

      Good luck!
      It better pay off xD
      Thanks for your good wishes!

      Originally posted by tobaent
      Congratulations! :f_thumbsup:
      Thanks mate!
    • Squad77
      Squad77
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.03.2011 Posts: 100
      Results 05/15 - 05/21

      Hi everybody! Thanks again for reading me.

      This past week was not very fortunate, as the previous one. Varience hit a little, and it led me to play some river spots in a poorly manner. Nevertheless, I managed to recover during the weekend, after carefully reviewing my game. Here's the graph:



      405 spins, played at 58 evChips, for an evROI of 4.84%. Not the results I expected, but it could've been worse.
      I wanted to play 550-600 games, but I had to review a lot of spots I was not playing correctly, specificly from BB during HU play. I was literally bleeding chips. So, some studying had to be done. I think what screwed me over is that on monday I lost a x25, and a x10, back to back, :spit: and it tilted me until wednesday. What can you do, right? :why:

      This week I'm planning to play just 400 spins, two-tabling, but focusing on maximizing EV, avoiding unnecessary all-in situations, if possible. Also, no more hero-calling, it's hurting me so bad... My goal is to play these games at 100evChips. If done, I'll move up to 30s.

      Anyway, I hope next post will be about moving up stakes, and not whining about my game :coolface:
      Good luck y'all!
    • Squad77
      Squad77
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.03.2011 Posts: 100
      Wow, it's been almost a month and a half since the last post. Lots of stuff went down.

      First off, I went up to 30s. :)

      It was hard to finally find myself comfortable playing 15s, but once I had the groove on, it was a piece of cake, although II had to spend many hours reviewing, studying and even second-guessing my own game.
      My final graph for 15s looks like this:
      15s Graph
      On june 1st I went up to 30s, finally. It's been a roller coaster. I started not good, but not bad, then I had an epyphany and played the best I've ever played in my life, just to cool down and play my worst. Nothing to worry about, though, since I have Spin Legends having my back. It's not that villains are super hard, but because I've been focused on some personal situations that have kept me aside from the tables. On June, I played less than 900 games, which is pretty low. Anyhow, I hope this month everything will be better, and I know it will. Cheers!
      30s Graph
    • mikelito85
      mikelito85
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.08.2012 Posts: 1,105
      Hi, nice blog, nice graphs. Im Venezuelan too, i was an english teacher for 3 years but now i play poker oc but cash games 6max, it's nice to see ppl from my country that dedicate time for this game...i quit my job because my salary was awful to dedicate 100% to poker (i think :f_rolleyes: ) as i dont have any different option! Well paisano, hope you keep the hard work and continue to improve!
    • pokeng
      pokeng
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.01.2009 Posts: 30
      Hi Squad77, very nice blog, i send you an friend invitation. I am from Venezuela too, and playing spins. I wish to do some questions to you, and prefer to do it by private messages. Congratulations about your hard work, a keep going.
    • SDK1987
      SDK1987
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 12.11.2008 Posts: 34,059
      How is everything going the last 1,5 months?
      Further is wish you all the best with playing Spin & Go’s and improving your game :gl:

      Cheers,
      SDK1987
    • Squad77
      Squad77
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.03.2011 Posts: 100
      Hi everyone, Squad77 here again.

      I kind of abandoned my blog, which is embarrasing. However, let's pick it up again. I've missed writing here, since it helped me realize things which were not visible at first glance, like how much I've improved as a poker player, or even get a boost of self-steem from time to time.

      I'm still grinding 30s. I don't think it's good or bad, but I didn't expect to be in this stake such a long time, and it has been mainly my fault. On July, I didn't grind a nearly acceptable volume, for I took almost two weeks to travel, get my mind off poker for a while. I felt I was burning out, since I had been playing almost everyday non-stop for the previous five months, four of them playing for Spin Legends.

      However, it did help me to realize I still have much left to achieve, and that there's a lot whole more to learn. Therefore, I set out this month to play at least 2k spins, and try to move up to 60s.

      I've had lots of ups an downs while playing poker, but I've never experienced such a high variance, and I'm not talking about cards or results variance, but the differences in my game. Let me show first my graph for 30s since July 1st:

      The graph itself is not great, but it's not also bad. But there's so much to it. I explain: My A-game is quite tough, I consider myself quite a good player, whenever I'm in the zone. The thing is that it doesn't last very long. So, I go to my B-game, which is not that bad either, I can beat most opponents while making some good EVchips. The problems come when I go to my C-game. IT IS TERRIBLE! August has been such a terrible month, regarding tilt, like one I've never thought I'd had again in my life as a poker player. Every bad beat, every cooler, every mistake I had on the tables would set me off like a spark on a bin of gas. Such issues had costed me tons of money, and, more important, quite a good amount of EVchips.

      As a consequence, I decided to take action. First off, a friend of mine lend me Jared Tendler's "The Mental Game of Poker", which, so far, has been an amazing exploration into things I've never considered to be important. In order to mantain a high level of quality in your game, the mind takes a front seat, and if my mind is not set correctly, my game hurts... a lot. Secondly, in order to set things straight, I'm back at 15s, at least until friday 24th, trying to ease off the pressure, and get comfortable again. If my game improves, which it has since friday, I'm back up to 30s. But, in general, my short-term goal is to increase the quality of my C-game.

      Anyway, no one said that this would be easy, and if it was, everybody would be a winner and playing poker for a living. I'll be back next monday with good news, I'm sure of it. Cheers!
    • Squad77
      Squad77
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.03.2011 Posts: 100
      Hi everyone!

      I waited until today to give a summary about my play during August. As I told you last week, I was having problems with tilt, I'm sure everybody can relate with that, right? Well, I've been pushing myself very hard to grow my mental muscle, to learn how to cope with the various stressful situations we, poker players, come across, both on and off the tables. I cannot say that I successfully have achieved that, but I know I'm onto the right path.
      These past ten days I have never, ever, not even once screamed, yelled at, throw something or even curse (well, maybe once or twice, but they were like whispers :transpire: ) Of course sometimes I feel angry when getting coolered, or after a bad beat, but that does not neccessarily mean that I have to go nuts over it, and affect my game afterwards. Seems logical, right? But it was so hard to learn, and very expensive too.
      Also, I didn't properly manage my sessions, sometimes playing too long, sometimes too little, not warming-up before start playing, etc. So, this month has been very positive, if I look at the glass half-full, and look back at the things I've learned, and how I've grown up. It makes me proud of myself.

      I told that I was going back to 15s, to regain confidence, which I did, since I crushed it, so I went back up to 30s, and I haven't been doing that bad. So, my graph for this month looks like this:



      1744 games, both on 30s and 15s, played at 49.5EvChips. Not great, but not bad, especially considering all the problems I encountered.

      And my historical graph for 30s:



      2844 games played at 44EvChips.

      Now, for this month, I need to, again, establish a set of goals that lead me towards a bigger, long-term goal, which it's not something I've done in the last couple of months. I recognize it was a bit of laziness, procrastination, and overconfidence. But, since I'm on track again, let's go for it.

      Goals for September


        Volume: Over 1.5k games, but not more than 2k. Why? If I play over 2k games, I will not dedicate enough time to study, reviewing, etc. If I play less than 1.5k, I'm not putting my finest effort.

        Stakes: There still room for improvement at 30s, so I'll be playing for a bit in that stake. However, I'm planning on, at the end of the month, finally playing at 60s. Of course, if the latter becomes a reality, my volume needs to decrease substantially, because of the new, tougher player pool.

        Study: I'm guilty of not studying nearly enough. As a consequence, I'll impose a minimum of 3-hours-of-studying-by-day regulation on myself, even if that prevents me from doing other fun stuff, like watching TV xD
        Population is getting tougher everyday, villains are studying, improving, and if I don't study away from the tables, I will be on the back end. Period.

        Mindset: As I mentioned, I've improved, but I want to keep on doing it, so I'll be researching for ways to relax while playing, and choose whichever suits me the best. So far, taking deep breaths and stretching have done the job, but there's gotta be more effective, long-term techniques.


      Also, I must update my blog on a weekly basis, like I promised at first, even if I don't feel like it.
      Anyway, wish me good luck, and thanks for reading this looooong post.
      Cheers! :f_drink:

      PS: Jesus Christ, what the hell happened with the big multipliers? I'm not getting enough x6, x10 and x25. I think Stars may have changed the distribution. It'll be nice to compare notes on this with other players.
    • SDK1987
      SDK1987
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 12.11.2008 Posts: 34,059
      That could be variance as well.
      How’s September treating you so far on the Spin & Go tables?

      Cheers,
      SDK1987