Zankas poker-journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Zanka
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

@Cheepnis Yeah so I usually play 4 or 5 tables at once and I believe that my average hands/hour is 400 or so. So playing 30k/400= is about 75h of play. Playing any more than 5 tables makes me go tired a lot faster than playing 4 since I do not get any mini-breaks during session, once I play higher Ill probably play mostly 3-4 tables, at least in the beginning. On top of that I spend some time working on my game, usually I do that at my downtime at my actual job which amounts to maybe 10-15h/month.


Last week me and my dog went for a little hike, here are some pictures.

Image

How the forest looks.

Image

Path leading up to the lake.


Image

Slept in my hammock.


It was so awesome to get out for a night and just be with my dog, the feeling of going to bed at 8pm and just laying in the hammock and looking up on a clear star-lit sky is hard to beat. The days after we got home I felt so happy and relaxed without even trying :)

Poker is going well, I will not be able to get to 30k hands, probably 25k hands tho, and I am very happy with that since the month have been quite a challenge for me emotionally. Results are looking good and I am in the hunt for a new journal record ;)

/z

ertyu
Posts: 1506
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by ertyu »

wow pictures are awesome thanks for sharing

with trading stocks, many say trading is a completely different psychological ballgame depending on the size of the pot you play with and the size of the individual bets. i wonder if something similar holds for poker. also i wonder if smaller hands aren't actually more lucrative - these are more likely to be hobbyists/people of lower skill who are easier to fleece ...

Zanka
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

Yeah it takes some time to get used to playing higher stakes for sure. But it obv depends from person to person, for someone that has a lot of money 500$ might be "worth" as much as 5$ for someone else. The real difference is what you are getting at with the second question (i assume you mean smaller stakes, not hands?) and that is who you are playing against and what it means to your hourly income.

In poker there are 2 main ways to track your winnings;
a) bb/100 (which translates to how many big blinds are you winning per 100 hands) and
b) $/h.

If I use myself as an example here and take my winrate I had at the 20c big blind game I played when I started this journal it goes like this:
my bb/100 were 18. So I won 20c*18= 3.6$/100 hands. And since I play 400hands/h i made 3.6*4= 14.4$/h.

When I moved up to the 50c game I am playing now a few things happen:
a) some opponents are way better since they are fulltime grinders (no one at 20c are full time)
b) more decent average regulars
c) the amount of rake that is taken changes
d) the bad players are fewer
e) my winrate drops

First thing I do is to find out who are the best players, this is to avoid getting superowned time and time again in the beginning of moving up. So when I try to move up I just completely avoid those players. Then I try to understand how the game changes overall, are there more raising in certain spots, are people tighter, bluff more etc etc (basically finding out how the average regular plays). Then I just focus on playing a lot of hands vs the worst players and the worst regulars.

Then one has to concider how the presumable worse winrate affects my ability to play. A lower winrate means bigger swings and more pressure on me. Do I need to take more breaks, play fewer tables and a bunch of other things that can affect my bottom line.

So with all that hassle, why move up?
The thing I find is that usually my winrate gets 30% better once I establish myself at a level above. I also get the opportunity to move up further in the future, it is also way more fun ( up to a point) to challenge myself and getting better at the game. The thing that seems to have happened to me this time is that I basically almost kept my bb/100 when moving up so my hourly has almost doubled lol. :)

ertyu
Posts: 1506
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by ertyu »

moving up is one of those things that are worth trying out. if it doesn't work, you can always move back down. thanks for explaining, i know nothing about poker (as you can tell from me messing up basic terms :lol: so this glimpse into a different world is really interesting

Zanka
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

Haha:) I like the questions since I have to think about why I do things!

Zanka
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

October has been a month of hard work, mostly on the inside. I am growing a lot as a person and are taking big steps to becoming more of myself than ever before. Learning to say now, learning to have uncomfortable conversations, learning to listen to myself etc. I did not reach all of my goals but I am very happy with how I handled the month overall.

This was the goals:
Play 30k hands or more.
Play at least 15% of my hands on the 100$ buyin games.
Relax more
Talk to parents
Make out with someone
Start to look at cameras so I can film my nature adventures
Keep writing in my diary
Keep crying often
Do something outside of my comfortzone


The bold goals was reached.

With poker I did only play 22k hands this month, half of what I did in September. It is def on the smaller side but I have been dealing with so much emotions this month so I am ok with it. As I keep saying, there are a lot of variance in poker and results are never 100% accurate in any given month but this month I almost won more than last month! 2.1k.
So how did this happen? I probably are a bit lucky this month, id guess my true winnings are around 1.5k maybe. But the fact that I have been able to win at such a rate during a month that have been difficult in other ways in my life makes me proud. I have only played when I wanted to, and I have listened to myself when to cut sessions short and when to keep playing longer.

I am forming some kind of plan to go full time with poker, or at least almost full time, in the future. If I can keep playing and no more regulations that restricts my abilitiy to play, and if games still are beatable for 40+$/h I believe it will be the right move if I do it correctly.
Playing full time will automaticaly improve my hourly with a decent % just from being rested and focused when sitting down, also being able to put in more hours than I can now will make me improve faster.
The move to fulltime pokerplayer would be taken with some security measures behind it, and id make sure I have at least a year of expenses available, and if I do this correctly there are some ways that I probably could keep my employment if I ever wanted to come back. Also it would probably be like a 1y at a time basis where I just would try to make as much money as possible shortish term just to get to retirement faster.
Plan is still up in the air but I am feeling more and more intrigued by it.


Goals for November:
Make out with someone I do not know yet.
Meet someone new that could become a friend.
Sleep outside at least one night.
Play 30k hands of poker.
Establish myself as a regular at the 100$ limit.
Play a few hands at the 200$ limit.
Keep writing in my diary.
Do something fun with my kids.
Make one trip to the waste dump.
Finish reading Sapiens.
Post in some of the other journals here at ERE.

I like these goals, I def need to get out and meet grown ups a bit more. I spend time with kids and at work there are 0 interactions with adults, then I go home and play poker by myself lol. I realized yesterday that I had not talked more than 1 sentence to a adult in 7 days, no wonder I felt trapped in my own head.
Writing in my journal has been great, also good to see how my inner world progresses and evolves.
I want to make my home a nicer home to be in, so I will keep improving it bit by bit, it is a slow process but Im getting there.
Pokergoals is to be comfortable at the 100$ stake, but play mostly 50$ and if games are good start to get a taste of the 200$ games also. The volume of hands should be reached.

Lets go November!!

/ Z
Last edited by Zanka on Sun Nov 01, 2020 5:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

zbigi
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:04 pm

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by zbigi »

Your poker numbers, both in terms of volume and winnings, look great for someone who has a family and fulltime(ish?) job. I have a friend who's been an online pro (meaning, he exclusively lives off his poker winnings, not that he's some kind of big shot :) for the past 12+ years and his numbers are currently worse than yours, even though he has no other obligations to distract him from playing well. You might have a real talent for poker!

Zanka
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

Yeah I work like 75% and not fulltime, work is also long shifts, 20-24h so I have more whole days free from work than normaly.
I have been living completely of poker for 7-8y or so up until my life sort of crashed in 2016, and I believe I am a decent player but always have had huge issues in life that have had to be worked trough. I think Ive come a long way with that work now and sort of have felt I did not reach my full potential in poker (and I still think poker is very interesting and fun) so I hope I can see how good I actually can be :)

Interesting with your friend, it is kinda easy to be satisfied and comfortable where youre at since poker is in some ways very stressfull at times. And putting in the hours to work on your game and move up can be a big challenge. Also people have different preferences and maybe your friend has some saving and are just happy with some nice income or something along those lines..?

Thanks for the comment and encouragement :)

Oh and for some perspective on skill-level I used to play 400-1k$ buyin games back in the days :shock:

zbigi
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:04 pm

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by zbigi »

In my friend's case, his life is full of other interests (largely philosophy and mysticism) and people he spends time with, so yeah, he's not exactly super focused on his poker career. Also, he has two major personality traits, which are terrible if you want to make it in poker, namely lack of discipline (he's in his forties and never worked a day in his life, so he never really learned how to grind through the suck) and issues with anger/tilt, which stem from childhood trauma. I'm kind of amazed that, with such personality, he's a winning player, which can be only explained with his otherwise brilliant mind (and especially by almost prodigious memory, which is invaluable when you want to detect patterns in opponents). However, those issues do hamper him, so he's hovered around NL25/NL50/NL100 for years, which admittedly, combined with rakeback and bonuses, allows for an ok living here in Eastern Europe.
Regarding life crashing and that affecting poker, something like that has also happened to my friend a couple years ago. It sucks that any serious issues (ex. within family) which affect your mental well being have such an immediate impact on poker winnings - in my friend's case, they wiped out most of his bankroll. With regards to this, poker players belong with other highly sensitive professions, like perhaps rope dancers, air traffic controllers or surgeons.

Zanka
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

Yeah I understand that, but playing those stakes I assume he is doing fine if you live in a low cost country. Playing much higher than that nowadays require a TON of work and you have to be a pro in all aspects of your life.

You are totally correct that poker is a very stressfull job to have, and it require emotional and mental toughness on a level most people understimate. Poker has a tendency to draw out all weaknesses that one has inside so it can be a very effective tool to work on yourself, but it can also be very destructive if one has one or two very weak spots, thats when the crashes happen.

That might seem very dark but the reward for mastering this game is complete freedom from as much autorities one can be free from without much responsibilites, so a success is worth quite a lot. :)

ertyu
Posts: 1506
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by ertyu »

Would you elaborate on how poker draws out your weaknesses and can serve as a tool for personal growth? I find this very interesting and also strongly suspect it might be applicable to playing the stock market.

zbigi
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:04 pm

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by zbigi »

Poker really exposes any hubris you might have - i.e. if you think you're better than you really are and start playing difficult spots or challenging difficult opponents, your inadequacy will be quickly exposes in your win (or, rather, loss) rate. Psychologically, poker at most levels of play is mostly about patience - to win, it's basically enough to wait for weak opponents and spots where you have inherent tactical advantage (due to being last to act, holding a strong hand etc.). In all other spots, you should fold your hand and just wait for a better opportunity. What hubris does is it makes you "widen your range", i.e. makes you play in more situations that you really should.

Another weakness that poker exposes is laziness/inattentiveness - you will be punished the moment you start playing your B game because you're too lazy to track everything that's going on within the game or don't want to stop and think through every decision.

Another one, and a huge one too, is emotions/anger control. It's irritating for anyone to put in half a day of concentrated play and only have a couple hundred of $ of losess to show for it due to short-term bad luck. Fatigue combined with irritation weakens impulse control, which usually leads to a widened range (see above) or straight up irrational behaviour, such as wanting to "get revenge" on a certain player. This behaviour is known as "tilt" and is a bane of many, often otherwise good, poker players - they can lose many days' worth of winnings in a couple hours of tilt.

As for analogies with investing, I think there are many - both emotion control in trying times and patiently waiting rather than getting oneself into exciting iffy situations (investments) being key.

Zanka
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

@zbigi Yeah that is pretty much how it works, very good post :)

Imagine that every decision on the pokertable is like evaluating and picking micro shares of different stocks and every full hand you play is representing maybe 1 year of a stocks development. On top of that there are 2 outcomes after that "year", either the stock doubles you investment, or it crashes to zero :D
That is kind of the stress you are dealing with. Some stocks you pick you Know are winners in the long run, but you also have to make a lot of thin decisions (simply waiting for good hands is a bit of a simplification from zbigi but it is def not totaly wrong) and trust that you can identify stocks that will skyrocket 52% of the time and have the courage to pick them over the ones that goes to zero 52% of the time.

Oh and it takes like minimum 50 000 hands before you get some sense of how good you are (more like 200k hands is better), and, how good you are are constantly changing in relation to you opponents skill level so even tho you are winning at x/hand over 200k hands it will never represent your current winrate since maybe those 200k hands are played over 4-6 months and at hand 200k you might have a smaller or bigger edge than when you started.

Other than that, poker is easy peasy ;)

Zanka
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

I have had a great start to this month in a couple of areas. First of all I improved my bed situation so sleep has been better. Also I allow myself to sleep in when possible rather than stressing up and trying to get things done.

Poker has also been great, but I lack some mental energy and volume is not good yet. Winnings are tho (800$).

So in the sprit of opening up I will tell you what I am dealing with. So my 5yo daughter has a mother that is.. not always acting in a reasonable manner. Now she wants to move and bring our daughter out of her area where she has friends, daycare, family (and me) and go to a place where neither daughter or mother knows anyone. The place is maybe 30min by car so it is not the other side of the country but still..

She can not move our daughter without my concent but I anticipate a shitstorm coming up when she realizes this is the case. We have a counceling meeting in monday.
Her Backstory is a fair bit of mental health issues and very illocial decisionmaking in the past.

Also, whoever claims that you meet you parents in your own relationships.. I wont argue with that;)

Zanka
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

Make out with someone; check

First things first as usuall :P

Poker has been ridiculous for 1.5 weeks or so. I have not played that much but am still up by a good clip. I am very very comfortable at the tables and my mind starts to think more and more about going full time. I need to stick to my day-job as long as the relationship with my 5yo mother is bad tho, and it is a big frustrating.
But I need to reflect back to where I was a year ago and remember that I have come a long way. Now I have so much more freedom and am making a lot more money, my body altho it is still not fully recovered from all the strees, it is getting better and better. My mind is also a lot calmer and if I have to stick to the setup with normal job and poker ill still be able to make at least 3.5k/m for the forseable future, and if I can keep working and nothing major interupt, possibly more than that.

The cap is probably 4-4.5k or so right now since I can not have a lot more than 40$/h without putting in more hours and I simply am already at my maximum workload each month. being at 30/h now and trying to put in 70-100h/month is a lot of effort and it takes a big toll on my social life.

I also have these financial goals I set in the beginning of the journal. I have not updated them due to focusing on building my poker-bankroll and healing my body.
The goal was to have 17k by april 2021. This will be hard to get to but not impossible. I spent 4k on a car and if I save 2k/m from now until april I will be a little short of the goal. If I would count my bankroll id make it tho so it is fine by me. I am thinking about having a new goal over 2021, since it is so hard to predict my income I need to think about it for a while. Maybe to have 35k by the end of the year could be a starting point.

What I need to change is my mindset of being broke. I need to start thinking that I have money, and that I can keep money, and that I will keep working hard to build up some serious security even if I have made myself somewhat secure. It would indeed be surreal to have like 100k in the bank, and that should not feel surreal, I want it to be a sure thing in my mind.
I have been raised in a environment of scarcity (if that is the right word for the opposite of abundance) where food was watched over, spending was kept at an absolute minimum, one needed to be very carefull to not break anything etc etc. And that is the biggest challenge for me in all this; Changing my mindset.

That is something to think about.

/ End rant

Zanka
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

Some of these entries is going to be me just ranting and trying to figure out what I am thinking about. So I appologize if I repeat myself and change my plans back and forth :) This is how I process things best.

Have kept playing a decent volume and have kept winning. I am definately on top of these stakes now. Probably one of 2-3 players that have the highest hourly. My hourly since september has been 35$ and it is probably bigger today than it was in the beginning of september. Samplesize is getting decent at 80k hands.
Downside is that I have a hard time going to work right now. Most of my time at work is prime poker hours and making 3x at poker than at work makes me just wanna be at home grinding. I need to remind myself that I am in a great position and that the way the world is in right now I am lucky to be so secure.
Also things could change rapidly with legislation and stuff like that, so I need to give myself at least one year of expenses before even thinking about going full time. I could reach this in say April. And if I quit my work in May I will have all summer free (while grinding obv), and then start to study in september at 50% speed so I can keep grinding full time. It would give me so much freedom and peace of mind to just be on my own again.

It would be cool to reach a 6k income and live on sub 2k.

Zanka
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

It has been hard work to stay happy. November here in scandi is dark, rainy and very depressing. It takes a bit of effort to stay happy and relaxed. I have been struggling as I usually am this time of the year.
Family drama is still in the background but I am feeling better and better on my own, my brother and I are slowly developing our relationship so that is good.
Poker is still moving along nicely, last days have been rough and I have had a bit hard to focus, but results are ok at 1.4k or so. Aiming at 2k+ but we will see what happens.
I have been dating and it has been very good for me, just exploring my own personality in new environment and having the freedom to be however I feel without being stuck in old ways is doing a lot of good things to me. I feel like I can express loving emotions in a better way towards others and myself and at the same time keep my boundaries a lot more than before.

Hard work pays of.

/ z

ertyu
Posts: 1506
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by ertyu »

fuck family drama but i did 2 yrs in norway with the occasional hop to sweden and scandi is beautiful any season

stay strong :muscle:

really awesome you're keeping track about what's good here, e.g. relationship with sibling and continued poker kickassery. and yay dating success

Zanka
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

November update:
November has been an interesting month with a lot of ups and downs. I have meet a woman that so far is incredible, I hope something serious could develop over time.

Poker has been a lot of ups in the beginning of the month and then it has leveled out. I finished the month at around 1.6k$ wich I am fine with but I hoped to win more.

I am settling in to a plan where I take paternity leave the whole summer (starting june), and then start to study philosophy in September. This seems to be the best option and gives me some stability economicaly while still giving me the opportunity to play a lot more poker than currently. I can get a loan at .3% interest and that could cover about 80% of my lean budget so that will be enough as a security. This will allow me to study when games are bad (in the mornings on weekdays) and play poker freely during weekends and evenings. This could be huge for me and I am looking forward to it a lot.
This means that I am only 6 months away from going on paternity leave. Freedom!



Goals for November:
Make out with someone I do not know yet. Done
Meet someone new that could become a friend. Done
Sleep outside at least one night. Fail
Play 30k hands of poker. Done
Establish myself as a regular at the 100$ limit. To few games have been running.
Play a few hands at the 200$ limit. Fail
Keep writing in my diary. Done
Do something fun with my kids. Done
Make one trip to the waste dump. Am going on thursday so im fine with it.
Finish reading Sapiens. 50 pages left.
Post in some of the other journals here at ERE. Fail


Goals for december:
30k hands poker.
Keep dating above mentioned woman.
Celebrate christmas.
Spend less money on food (been slipping lately).

disk_poet
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by disk_poet »

I always adjust my expectations on myself during the dark months. It just takes effort to stay positive.

Congrats on the dating. I hope it works out for you! I think I want to start dating again next year since I needed some space after my breakup. It's exciting but also nerve wrecking. I'm rooting for you two.

Your plan sounds great. I've always had it in the back of my mind to study philosophy some time but now I am getting older there are just so many things I could see myself studying. That's one of the goals with ERE for me. Have more time to diversify my knowledge. Work these days is so specialized.

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