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Old 02-14-2011, 12:45 PM   #1
shaniac
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Shaniac: The Corner

Don't like the idea of being stuck in a well too much, but I will kick it on a street corner with just about anyone, so here we go (plus, an homage to David Simon's Wire precursor).

Planning on doing some errands and life-enjoyment stuff in the next couple days, so hopefully I'll have plenty of time to hang out on "the corner" answering questions. (Feel free to skip to the asking question part and ignore the fragmented bio).

I am 33 years old, and I've been around the 2p2 community since I was working a soul-numbing job as a CSR in Manhattan in 2002. Greg Raymer and Paul Phillips (on RGP) probably had the most/best influence on my poker-forum education, so I have a lot of appreciation for their wisdom and clarity, and their accessibility to the community. Back when poker educational supplements were few and far between, their knowledge of subtle donkament strategy was at a higher level than the field. They, plus a couple of chess players I met at the time, really helped me make the (slow) transition into being a full time poker player.

I have always taken the "stand on the shoulders of geniuses" approach and just tried to absorb whatever I could from people much more adept at the game than I am. This is still the case--when I hear a young 2p2'er or other 20-something poker genius effortlessly parse a poker hand and explain dynamics that I wasn't even thinking about, I am reminded how much work I have to do to maintain my poker mind. Also always reminded that I have leaks that need to be plugged, so it's also still a struggle against myself and my own bad habits.

In general, a major theme for me in 2011 and with this new Pokerstars Team Online gig is: Doing it right this time. I'm still busto, but what I have is an opportunity to grind hard and with a lot bit of work and a bit of good luck, get myself right-side up by the end of this year or ASAP. Build from the ground up but with a head start.

There are certain simple things, like owning an RSA token or using an HUD, that I am just beginning to utilize. So it's basically taken me six years of being a professional poker player to become a professional poker player.

Years of disregard towards money before I understood the basics of bankroll management and years more to begin to train myself to implement them. Spending habits, pit leaks, and a generally careless attitude towards money when the money seemed easy is what did me in.

If I can impart anything to people about the most important things in poker, it's the simple one: Money management. Turning off the disregard for money and practicing delayed gratification with your spending and bankroll decisions might be the most important thing in poker. I'd rather be a "rakeback pro" than "Patrik Antonius" if the rakeback pro has a lower risk of ruin than Patrik.

Someone making 80K a year with zero risk of ruin is, to me, essentially a "better poker player" than nosebleed guys with much higher EVs but no self-control and the possibility of total self-destruction.

In this sense, I think the younger crowd in this game greatly benefited from starting out understanding the principles of EV, whereas my fascination/interest with poker started with an AC weekend blackjack habit.

I love Billy Bibbit's posts for this reason...he always talks in a very sound and practical manner about being an MTT pro without being an MTT lunatic, and I think I have learned a lot by trying to incorporate his advice. Same goes for Shaun Deeb, who, despite being quasi-literate, helped explain very well some of the fundamentals of being a true blue MTT grinder on these forums.

Readers of my blog should have a good sense of what information I like to share and what I don't spend much time talking about.

You can check out my Stars bio here for additional grist for the mill.

Not sure what else I got, so let's kick it!

Last edited by shaniac; 02-14-2011 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:46 PM   #2
skater3598
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

1st. Grats on team online!!!

Last edited by skater3598; 02-14-2011 at 12:56 PM. Reason: marlo got his new package out tho
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:49 PM   #3
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

it's funny but when I see your name all that comes to mind is the Peter Alson book (which I enjoyed a lot!)
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:52 PM   #4
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

great post, don't have any questions but looking forward to some good answers!
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:55 PM   #5
shaniac
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssnyc View Post
it's funny but when I see your name all that comes to mind is the Peter Alson book (which I enjoyed a lot!)

Just for reference, ssync is talking about: Take Me to the River: A Wayward and Perilous to the World Series of Poker that my friend Peter Alson (who also co-authored the Stuey bio with Nolan Dalla) published about our adventures in the 2005 WSOP.

And thanks ssync, peter will appreciate hearing it.
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:55 PM   #6
shaniac
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

Quote:
Originally Posted by skater3598 View Post
1st. Grats on team online!!!
:] One of them good problems though?
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:55 PM   #7
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

+1 to the great post; might have some questions later

thx for doing this shane
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:58 PM   #8
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

From your time in turbo 180s, did anyone stand out as particularly good? Who did elmagopr blow to get team online? Why do you think stars doesn't consider me for team online? Why did they pick you? You have a2o in the bb at a 12/180 ft and I ship the sb what's the biggest stack you call?
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:01 PM   #9
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

hey congrats! =)
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:02 PM   #10
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

1. How did you become an online pro?

2. How come you are busto atm?
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:05 PM   #11
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

Who in your opinion are the top 5 MTT players of today?

Biggest/best piece of advice to players in small/midstakes looking to improve all aspects of their MTT game?

Have you ever received poker coaching? Did you feel it it benefited you?
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:07 PM   #12
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

Long time reader love the blog, congrats on becoming online pro!

In light of multi entry tournaments where regs ROIs are going to drop substantially but volume can increase I was wondering if you subscribe to the tons of volume or high quality hands/good game selection book of making money or a middle ground in which case i'd be interested to hear about your general opinion on multi-entry tournaments!
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:10 PM   #13
shaniac
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

Quote:
Originally Posted by brad2002tj View Post
From your time in turbo 180s, did anyone stand out as particularly good? Who did elmagopr blow to get team online? Why do you think stars doesn't consider me for team online? Why did they pick you? You have a2o in the bb at a 12/180 ft and I ship the sb what's the biggest stack you call?
Definitely have no opinion on 12/180 players or strategy (your question blew my mind). When I played those I was mostly hoping to not be a total donk compared to the likes of you.

And I'm sure Stars did consider you (assuming you submitted the application), and someone who is cogent and personable like you presumably had a better shot than a lot of the field. I think they picked me because I have been a decent conduit between various factions of the poker community, but mostly because I love playing donkaments on Stars.

Jean Robert Bellande said something in an ESPN broadcast that really is wisdom to take to the bank despite how superficial it sounds: "Self promotion in poker is very important, because no one else is going to promote you." That's why we've seen some spectacular phonies emerge as poker personalities despite not being able to beat 12/180s, while I don't even know Brad2002tj's real name! Keep blogging is probably the best advice.

Truthfully though, self-promotion is NOT important in poker if you're achieving a good hourly and have a low risk of ruin. But in the smoke-and-mirrors realm of poker promotion and self-branding, JRB had it right.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:12 PM   #14
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

5rd

Shaniac, I also feel that my biggest problem is total disregard for money/not caring that much, so I totally connect with what you're saying. Just today I was thinking about this myself, and decided to make a concious decision to try to cahnge my ways. I guess my question is: Do you think its easier said than done? Are people like us just manic and predisposed to getting rich, blowing it all, and doing it over and over again? What makes you think that this time will be different for you?

Congrats on the status and glgl
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:13 PM   #15
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

congrats on your success.

you've been around the online scene since the beginning, who have been your top 5 nemeses?

what are your thoughts on the transformation of mtt play in high stakes online tourneys over the past 2 years?

favorite pit game?

what are you doing for Valentine's Day?

when you have a poker related question, who do you turn to first?
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:14 PM   #16
shaniac
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

Quote:
Originally Posted by chilin_dude View Post
1. How did you become an online pro?

2. How come you are busto atm?
1. I got it by applying and getting lucky as hell I guess. Also, I am not an "online pro" FYI. I am a "member of team online."

2. Buying expensive crap that I didn't need and other lifestyle leaks, plus just practicing some very lazy BR management for years. To some extent I think I was content to go broke and get backed, and that is a disastrous mentality.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:16 PM   #17
shaniac
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Long time reader love the blog, congrats on becoming online pro!

In light of multi entry tournaments where regs ROIs are going to drop substantially but volume can increase I was wondering if you subscribe to the tons of volume or high quality hands/good game selection book of making money or a middle ground in which case i'd be interested to hear about your general opinion on multi-entry tournaments!
Thankfully multi-entry tournaments are run on a site that I do not play on, so I don't have to ponder difficult issues like this.

Again, this is like an area of expertise for Billy Bibbit and the Bear Jew. I just register for a bunch of stuff across a range of stakes and try to play well and adjust my game according to the stakes. Not sure if I'm coming close to answering your questions.

And TY!
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:16 PM   #18
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

2006 wsop me coverage was some of the most entertaining poker i've ever seen on tv, eric molina plays a starring role as an antagonist and general douchebag(so lol tho) and you're one of the only guys they show standing up to him verbally, it looks like he ended up busting you, but that could have to do with the way espn filmed it.

a) what did it feel like getting busted by him after the verbal spats you had w/ him?
b) have any clue if molina is still alive?
c) most frustrating wsop me for you ever?



what is your plan of attack for poker in the year 2011? general outline of what you are going to be playing and goals?



edited to include link to said wsop episode - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7lwC2Wwh3w

you were one of the first huge names i remember when i started playing $5 sngs online and stuff, congrats on the stars deal and gl in 2011
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:21 PM   #19
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

congrats on all the success and signing as a pro. Do you feel playing live MTTs for a living a viable longterm career? When factoring in traveling expenses, taxes, and of course variance, I dont see how guys expect to do this for 10+ years outside of hitting a big heater.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:22 PM   #20
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

this should be a great read. no questions atm, but I'm a shaniac fanboy! also always enjoy reading your blog. grats on Team Online, awesome to see!
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:23 PM   #21
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

Seeing as how you've been a professional for quite some time I was curious about your thoughts on where you see the future of ipoker in the U.S.

Do you have any contingency plans to move out of the country during the transition/blackout period (if this were to happen)?

In the event of federal U.S legalization there will presumably be a much smaller/fragmented market. Do you think MTTers are going to have to transition to cash games?
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:24 PM   #22
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

Im not sure if you are being modest, self depricating, or are truly just an average poker player, as the description of yourself suggests in the opening remarks of this "Corner". I highly doubt PS would offer you an contract if you didnt have some impressive accomplishments. So with that being said (giving you full reign to brag about yourself), what do you feel are your greatest accomplishments in the poker world.

I personally am not familiar with you, but I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your new position and in life in general.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:24 PM   #23
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

Congrats on Team Online and the recent 100r win. Thanks for the compliment on my posts.

Your writing style is so interesting and engaging. Any advice for how to get better at writing and telling stories?

Most of the old-school MTT pros from way back when have either quit or can't beat HSMTTs anymore. What do you think has given you more staying power than them?
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:24 PM   #24
shaniac
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

Quote:
Originally Posted by jon_midas View Post
Do you think its easier said than done? Are people like us just manic and predisposed to getting rich, blowing it all, and doing it over and over again? What makes you think that this time will be different for you?

Congrats on the status and glgl
Harrington said it in a CP interview: In order to be a good poker player, you need to have a disregard for money. In order to not go broke, you need to switch off that disregard for money when you leave the table.

Doing that is really hard, and that's why, yes, it is easier said than done. The first part of Harrington's assessment indicates that most of us poker players basically have a degenerate streak somewhere in our hearts, so you really need that ability to step back, be objective, and learn to appreciate the money from multiple angles (consider how poker money feels relative to the money your friends make in the straight world).

I think I will do it right this time, because, to paraphrase a hip-hop meme: Being broke in your 30s will give a dude the chills.

I have also found it very depressing to see enormous fortunes donated by friends to MGM and Harrah's, and I can't even root for them wholeheartedly when I see they got stacks in major live events, because I've seen the end result of their gambling addiction repeat itself over and over. I just don't wanna go out like that.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:31 PM   #25
shaniac
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Re: Shaniac: The Corner

Quote:
Originally Posted by M1cKmAcK View Post

you've been around the online scene since the beginning, who have been your top 5 nemeses?

what are your thoughts on the transformation of mtt play in high stakes online tourneys over the past 2 years?

favorite pit game?

what are you doing for Valentine's Day?

when you have a poker related question, who do you turn to first?
- These are not actual nemesis, I get along with almost everyone, but I will say: 1) Michael Gracz for picking off my bluff with ace-high in the 2005 1k rebuy at WSOP 2) Eric Molina for being an outrageous douche and successfully baiting me/tilting me in whatever WSOP he played the drunk young punk. 3) Shannon Shorr because we got into a blog fight (but again I like Shannon, I was probably overly harsh, and lol internets. Plus Shannon got me back with an epically awesome slowroll at this year's WSOP that backfired when I 2-outed him) 4) Dan Alspach just because he pissed me off one time at a Bellagio tournament enough for me to loudly declare him a "jerkoff." Again, no real problem with any of those people, and it's only four. Can't we all just get along?

- MTTs seem like they should be tougher than they are! Not sure if that makes sense. The game has gotten harder, but I still think the essence of MTT expertise is playing well "in the moment" and ability to adjust/mental clarity.

- craps

- For Valentine's Day, hanging out in MTT on The Corner. Supposed to have a first date with some actress/writer girl later this week tho!

- I have a few people that I'll talk poker with, most of whom are unheard-of on these boards. The nature of the question determines whom I'll ask.
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