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Poker Goals & Challenges Post your threads logging your travels up the poker ladder as you achieve your poker goals and dreams. "Challenges" does NOT mean prop bets, wagers, etc.

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Old 07-24-2017, 12:18 AM   #1
meale
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How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

"Changing the way we see the world does not imply naive optimism or some artificial euphoria designed to counterbalance adversity. So long as we are slaves to the dissatisfaction and frustration that arise from the confusion that rules our minds, it will be just as futile to tell ourselves 'I'm happy! I'm happy!' over and over again as it would be to repaint a wall in ruins. The search for happiness is not about looking at life through rose-colored glasses or blinding oneself to the pain and imperfections of the world. Nor is happiness a state of exaltation to be perpetuated at all costs; it is the purging of mental toxins, such as hatred and obsession, that literally poison the mind. It is about learning how to put things in perspective and reduce the gap between appearances and reality. To that end we must acquire a better knowledge of how the mind works and a more accurate insight into the nature of things, for in its deepest sense, suffering is intimately linked to a misapprehension of the nature of reality."
- Matthieu Ricard

Welcome!

The goal of this thread is to document my journey as I step into the world of poker as a profession, but also to draw particular attention to the mental challenges associated with sitting in a casino, surrounded by degenerates, for 40+ hours a week. I am by no means an expert or authority on this matter, yet. In fact, I don't think I've ever played 40 hours of live poker in a single week before. So it'll be a learning experience for myself, and a journey I'd like to document publicly so others who may be in a similar position to myself can benefit as well.

Current Situation

I currently live in Brisbane, Australia. This is perhaps one of the worst possible cities in the world for any poker pro. The casino's card room is not much bigger than my bedroom and the home games run infrequently with mostly the wrong games. I will look to make my living playing NLH (2/5) at the Treasury casino (Star Brisbane?). I will occasionally switch it up by playing in good NLH home games when they run but the casino will be where the vast majority of my volume will be played.

Goals & Progression

Obviously, I want to get out of Brisbane. ASAP. The next step for me will be Melbourne, home of the biggest card room in the southern hemisphere. And further down the track, I'd like to find myself in London where the rake is much lower and games play a little bigger.

The ultimate goal is to be happy as a live cash pro, wherever I end up, and whatever stakes/games I end up playing. Wherever I end up, I'd like to find myself a master of the mental game of poker; an authority on how to deal with the mental challenges incurred with poker as a career. Maybe write a book, who knows. Further down the line, I'd like to write or have a career in academia.

What I refuse to do, however, is ever become an employee again. The 9-5 life, as I've said over and over in the past, is a trap. Not the hours, specifically, but the life of an employee. I'd much rather work 60 hours a week self employed than 20 hours a week as an employee.

So my next step is to save a little more money, head to Melbourne, continue grinding, and then when finances allow, move to London to continue the saga.

Bankroll & Finances

I have 10k for a poker bankroll which is 20 buyins for my local 2/5 game. I've discussed this particular figure on my previous thread - a lot of people were under the impression that 10k was slightly too aggressive in terms of BRM. However, I think it'll do quite nicely for a 500 cap 2/5 that plays short and passive.

I have roughly another 10k that will function as a "living expenses" fund. The purpose of this is to cater for the volatility of live poker. This means any winnings will go straight back into my BR and savings. I am looking to reach a figure of $27,500 before I move to Melbourne (life and bankroll combined). This will enable me a smooth transition and enough money to settle in before resuming play. Effectively, I have about $8k to save before I can make the move to Melbourne - and I will generate this money through playing full time here in Brisbane.

The Role of This Thread

I plan on spending way too much of my time updating this thread. While I'll be putting in 40-50 hours of table time each week, starting next week, I'll also be putting in several more hours attempting to make this thread one of the most revered PGCs in all the lands! On here you will find:

1. Mental game concept discussion - Each week (or biweekly or fortnightly, not yet sure), I'll choose a particular topic - generally with relevance to the mental game of live poker, and write about it. I'll look to introduce cool new systems and strategies to the existing mental game of poker discussion.

2. Hand histories - Obviously. It's only fitting for a PGC.

3. Strategy discussion - In addition to the mental game specific stuff, I'll look to discuss some actual live poker discussion. Traditionally, a lot of poker strat is based around game theory, as is most notable in the online arena. However, my poker strategy content will focus more around exploitative adjustments to the live environment and player types.

4. Life as a poker pro - I want to share with you all my journey as I develop as a professional. You'll get a unique take on this as I evolve from my current state as a fledgling into something more seasoned.

5. Off-topic anecdotes & commentary - As an aspiring writer, I spend a lot of my spare time reading and learning about topics I find interesting. I want to bring a few of these concepts to you guys and open the discussion. I'm a philosophy major at heart so I love to discuss and debate a wide variety of issues. For instance, the quote at the top of this post is from a book I'm currently reading - I'd love to share snippets like this and my thoughts on them and how they can be applied to poker as well.

6. Results - Probably weekly I'd imagine. Simply because people sweating PGCs tend to love giraffes. I'll do pretty comprehensive weekly recaps as well.

So once again, welcome! I hope you find this PGC to be a useful tool and I hope you'll join me on my journey. Always happy to answer any questions, so fire away. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the ride!
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Old 07-24-2017, 12:58 AM   #2
GeeTeeOhh
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

Leeeeeeeets go man happy to follow. Also really like your approach to the live scene. Best of luck.
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Old 07-24-2017, 01:27 AM   #3
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

gl
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:09 AM   #4
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

good luck, interested to see what happens.
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:15 AM   #5
Fatboy54
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

in and gl

I'd love to see some "sweat with me HH". Like stop the hand stuff, or what did villain show down with stuff.

Done a little philosophy myself over the years. A poker pro once said something like "You have to be dead inside, to make a living from poker".

Last edited by Fatboy54; 07-24-2017 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:49 AM   #6
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

Gl man, will be following closely
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:53 AM   #7
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

In for epic success story, gl !
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Old 07-24-2017, 04:27 AM   #8
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

I am interested just because of the mental game. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

What is your current awareness as far as mental game goes, meaning What material did you study on the matter?


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Old 07-24-2017, 04:32 AM   #9
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

GL, looking forward to following.

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Old 07-24-2017, 05:58 AM   #10
meale
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeTeeOhh View Post
Leeeeeeeets go man happy to follow. Also really like your approach to the live scene. Best of luck.
Let's gooooooooooooo!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokenstars View Post
gl
Thanks, Mason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chipmystak22 View Post
good luck, interested to see what happens.
Ty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatboy54 View Post
in and gl

I'd love to see some "sweat with me HH". Like stop the hand stuff, or what did villain show down with stuff.
Absolutely! I plan on doing fairly comprehensive HH reviews; not just writing them out but rather doing some analysis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatboy
Done a little philosophy myself over the years. A poker pro once said something like "You have to be dead inside, to make a living from poker".
In a way, yes. That's a bit of a crude way of putting it, but it's certainly not far off the money. My approach will be slightly different - rather than just completely numbing myself to the throws of the game, I'll look at other ways we can deal with the swings as well. But of course, thick skin will always remain the central ingredient.

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Originally Posted by hoodboy View Post
Gl man, will be following closely
Thanks, brother.

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Originally Posted by TreadLightly View Post
In for epic success story, gl !
Let's hope so!

Quote:
Originally Posted by abecede View Post
I am interested just because of the mental game. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

What is your current awareness as far as mental game goes, meaning What material did you study on the matter?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I've not really read a lot on the subject. Read MGOP 1 but that's about it. I plan on just winging it and creating my own systems and concepts and applying them, then sharing them here and we'll see together whether they work or not!

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GL, looking forward to following.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
Thanks mate, should be a fun PGC I'm hoping.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:06 AM   #11
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

gl !
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:20 AM   #12
bolzzzz
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

GL ! will follow
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:46 AM   #13
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

In for a variety of reasons, mental game chat should be super interesting.
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Old 07-24-2017, 12:35 PM   #14
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

Subbed, GL OP
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:29 PM   #15
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

IN gl
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Old 07-24-2017, 04:30 PM   #16
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

Particularly interested in your opinion on how to be happy as a live pro. Good luck!
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:22 PM   #17
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

following
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:06 PM   #18
meale
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by day'n'night View Post
gl !
Quote:
Originally Posted by bolzzzz View Post
GL ! will follow
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labax View Post
In for a variety of reasons, mental game chat should be super interesting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bl1zz22 View Post
Subbed, GL OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by squire1888 View Post
IN gl
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordRiverRat View Post
Particularly interested in your opinion on how to be happy as a live pro. Good luck!
Quote:
Originally Posted by moremore View Post
following
Cheers boys!

Avoiding the Food Rake

So today is all about food. It's no secret that casino food is generally pretty expensive and the same holds true at my casino. I think it's something like $14-$16 for what is effectively a toasted sandwich. If I'm in the casino for long hours each day, and eating the casino food, I'd imagine I'd end up spending on average $40 a day on food/coffee just at the casino. No rakeback in Brisbane either. So that's $240 a week just for food and this excludes breakfast/etc meals. IMO that's simply way too much to be paying.

So I've been thinking lately, what can I bring to the casino to cut costs. I obviously wouldn't have access to a microwave so it has to be cold food, essentially. I was thinking I could do 2x protein shakes (mass gainer shakes for the extra calories). I might have one of these part way into my session and one towards the end. I could also bring some nuts to snack on (cheers Pete for the suggestion). But I think I'd like a proper meal as well. And I've decided to have a crack at making a special fried rice that I can simply whip out of my bag and tuck into. It won't be magical cold but I can't think of much else that will do the trick. I guess I could take some sort of sandwich if the fried rice doesn't work out?

So I imagine a full day's eating for me will look something like the following:

Breakfast:
- Oatmeal w/ honey and banana

-Gym- (includes pre-workout i.e. caffeine, as well as BCAAs)

Post workout (bigish meal to keep me going for a while):
- Oatmeal w/ honey and banana
- Mass gainer shake w/ no fat greek yoghurt and banana

Head to casino...
- Coffee
- Special fried rice
- Mass gainer shake at some stage (x2 if long session)
- Nuts if the above doesn't get me through or if it's a weekend and I'm planning on putting in a long session

Head home... / before bed:
- Casein shake
(This one depends a bit on what time I get home as to whether I cook food or just have a shake and go to bed. If it's earlyish (i.e. Mon-Wed/Thur) I may cook a salmon fillet w/ spinach too)

The diet is something I'll definitely be refining over the next few weeks as I learn what I can and can't eat at the casino, just how much food I need there, what time I get home in the evenings, etc etc.

One thing I won't compromise on is going to the gym. If you're going to be sitting in the casino for 40+ hours a week and you don't exercise at all, I can't imagine how terrible you'd feel. The gym for me will be central to my physical health which will translate into mental health to a degree. Also sitting down for such long periods of time can't be good for your hammies or back, so getting in the gym and stretching out will be beneficial as well.

Right now, I'm going to make a shopping list of ingredients I'll need for this SFR, then probably find a coffee, and read in the library for a bit before doing a food shop. Hopefully get a session in tomorrow or Thursday.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:42 PM   #19
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

glgl. Mental game is just don't be a dumbass; exercise common sense. I'll throw that out there partly as a challenge/overstating it, but I've also kinda always felt that.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:04 AM   #20
Fatboy54
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

If you have not already read it, give Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman a shot. It isn't philosophy, but it is one of the best books ever written on the vulnerability of the human brain to irrational thought.

I like the food/gym plan, will require a lot of mental discipline to "rinse and repeat" month after month...I couldn't do it (not now, not in the past either). Don't forget to program in sufficient downtime, both weekly and in terms of a complete break (as in vacation).
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:47 AM   #21
GeeTeeOhh
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

Couple of questions.

How good are the games said to be in London? Close to American lol levels?

How are the rules regarding having an Ipad at the tables in London? And is it possible playing a couple MTTs at the side while playing cash live?
( Anyone having experience doing so? )

Thanks to anyone <3
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:57 AM   #22
GeeTeeOhh
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

Throwing another one out there, or two, three actually. Lol four.

* Are there any poker rooms in Amsterdam ^^?

* How are the games in the Barcelona live pokerscene? Also, would one be able to play the Spanish Stars games somehow?

* Smoking weed in or outside a pokerroom? Possible?

Am i able to sit out for a full round of blinds, " go to toilet, or take my diabetic medicine " but actually go out to smoke?

Or can i just go smoke?

Anyone have done this?

Thanks again!!!
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Old 07-25-2017, 03:19 AM   #23
abecede
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by meale View Post
Cheers boys!

Avoiding the Food Rake

So today is all about food. It's no secret that casino food is generally pretty expensive and the same holds true at my casino. I think it's something like $14-$16 for what is effectively a toasted sandwich. If I'm in the casino for long hours each day, and eating the casino food, I'd imagine I'd end up spending on average $40 a day on food/coffee just at the casino. No rakeback in Brisbane either. So that's $240 a week just for food and this excludes breakfast/etc meals. IMO that's simply way too much to be paying.

So I've been thinking lately, what can I bring to the casino to cut costs. I obviously wouldn't have access to a microwave so it has to be cold food, essentially. I was thinking I could do 2x protein shakes (mass gainer shakes for the extra calories). I might have one of these part way into my session and one towards the end. I could also bring some nuts to snack on (cheers Pete for the suggestion). But I think I'd like a proper meal as well. And I've decided to have a crack at making a special fried rice that I can simply whip out of my bag and tuck into. It won't be magical cold but I can't think of much else that will do the trick. I guess I could take some sort of sandwich if the fried rice doesn't work out?

So I imagine a full day's eating for me will look something like the following:

Breakfast:
- Oatmeal w/ honey and banana

-Gym- (includes pre-workout i.e. caffeine, as well as BCAAs)

Post workout (bigish meal to keep me going for a while):
- Oatmeal w/ honey and banana
- Mass gainer shake w/ no fat greek yoghurt and banana

Head to casino...
- Coffee
- Special fried rice
- Mass gainer shake at some stage (x2 if long session)
- Nuts if the above doesn't get me through or if it's a weekend and I'm planning on putting in a long session

Head home... / before bed:
- Casein shake
(This one depends a bit on what time I get home as to whether I cook food or just have a shake and go to bed. If it's earlyish (i.e. Mon-Wed/Thur) I may cook a salmon fillet w/ spinach too)

The diet is something I'll definitely be refining over the next few weeks as I learn what I can and can't eat at the casino, just how much food I need there, what time I get home in the evenings, etc etc.

One thing I won't compromise on is going to the gym. If you're going to be sitting in the casino for 40+ hours a week and you don't exercise at all, I can't imagine how terrible you'd feel. The gym for me will be central to my physical health which will translate into mental health to a degree. Also sitting down for such long periods of time can't be good for your hammies or back, so getting in the gym and stretching out will be beneficial as well.

Right now, I'm going to make a shopping list of ingredients I'll need for this SFR, then probably find a coffee, and read in the library for a bit before doing a food shop. Hopefully get a session in tomorrow or Thursday.
You might wanna try food replacement in form of drink. I have never used it myself but some of my friends did. Its something like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_(meal_replacement)
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Old 07-25-2017, 03:54 AM   #24
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

All your other PGC's got better and better so I cannot wait to follow this one!

Best of luck on this new part of your journey Sir!
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Old 07-25-2017, 05:42 AM   #25
meale
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Re: How to Be Happy as a Live Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by pokerodox View Post
glgl. Mental game is just don't be a dumbass; exercise common sense. I'll throw that out there partly as a challenge/overstating it, but I've also kinda always felt that.
Thanks mate!

I feel like this is fine for poker in general but I also think playing 40-50 hours a week in a live environment will require more mental fortitude than just discipline. Some people I think are naturally better at mental game stuff than others and I think maintaining A-game is far easier for some people than others. I'd say I'm fairly good - but then again I've not exposed myself to such a life-sucking environment just yet. Hopefully I'll be able to help out those who struggle with MGOP though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatboy54 View Post
If you have not already read it, give Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman a shot. It isn't philosophy, but it is one of the best books ever written on the vulnerability of the human brain to irrational thought.
Hey mate,

Yeah I bought TFAS a few months back. Read a bit of it while waiting to get sat at a table. I found it incredibly dry and painful to read, tbh. And others I've talked to have said the same thing. It's basically like reading an academic paper on statistics? At least the first part of it seemed that way. Maybe I just need a bit more patience.

One of the things I did like from it was a thought experiment where it asks something along the lines of, "Do you think a shy, introverted, and analtical man in the USA would be more likely to work as a librarian or as a farmer?"

Obv, prima facie, we all think librarian, of course! But in actuality, there's something like 20 male farmers to every 1 male librarian in the US and so regardless of personality traits, he's more likely to be a farmer. It's an excellent example of how we overlook information that's so obvious but not exactly right in front of us. And in a way, you can see how this sort of thing relates to poker thought processes.

I might have to pick the book back up again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatboy
I like the food/gym plan, will require a lot of mental discipline to "rinse and repeat" month after month...I couldn't do it (not now, not in the past either). Don't forget to program in sufficient downtime, both weekly and in terms of a complete break (as in vacation).
I've been fairly good at sticking to bland and repetitive diets over the past few months at work so I think I'll be able to stick with it again. ATM, in terms of rest, I'd like to have one full day off per week for poker, and 1.5 days off per week re training. Mondays, I imagine, I won't play any poker at all. It's probably the worst time to play but also seems like a smart time to take a day off since I'll be playing a pretty full-on Fri/Sat/Sun schedule.

On Monday I'll do a half day gym-wise. What this means is sprints. I want to start incorporating sprints into my routine each week because they're an excellent way to boost testosterone and burn fat. No weights on Monday because it's supposed to be a "rest" day, but I'll do sprints - otherwise I'll probably feel bored or lazy if I just do nothing at all all day. Then like Thurs/Fri I'll take a full day off the gym to assist with recovery.

In terms of taking a week off etc, I don't imagine I'll be doing this any time soon. I'm basically on a week off right now since I won't "officially" be starting the 40 hour grind til next week. I'll look to set a goal to play AT LEAST 40 hours a week and NO MORE THAN 55 hours p/w between next week and the point where I have reached my $27.5k goal necessary to transition down to Melbourne. Part of that fund includes some "holiday" money if you will - I'll be taking a week off then to settle into Melb and party.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeTeeOhh View Post
Couple of questions.

How good are the games said to be in London? Close to American lol levels?

How are the rules regarding having an Ipad at the tables in London? And is it possible playing a couple MTTs at the side while playing cash live?
( Anyone having experience doing so? )

Thanks to anyone <3
Hey mate,

I'm by no means an authority on the London games. Would be cool to see Acidhauss or some other London regs to weigh in on this one. However, here's what I understand the games are like...

Games in London, certainly compared to AUS, are pretty sweet. Virtually lowest rake you'll find outside of USA, deep games that play fairly big. I imagine slightly more regs to recs ratio than here in AUS but nothing outrageous. Pete has also told me there are some pretty sweet rakeback deals for the live grinders and regular freerolls with very handsome prize pools for those who play a lot.

I think it's more than fine to use an iPad at the table there, but by no means quote me on that. Do that in Australia and you'll be shot. Would be nice to play a nice Sunday MTT schedule on Stars while grinding the live game tbh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeTeeOhh View Post
Throwing another one out there, or two, three actually. Lol four.

* Are there any poker rooms in Amsterdam ^^?

* How are the games in the Barcelona live pokerscene? Also, would one be able to play the Spanish Stars games somehow?

* Smoking weed in or outside a pokerroom? Possible?

Am i able to sit out for a full round of blinds, " go to toilet, or take my diabetic medicine " but actually go out to smoke?

Or can i just go smoke?

Anyone have done this?

Thanks again!!!
No idea on any of these unfortunately!

Quote:
Originally Posted by abecede View Post
You might wanna try food replacement in form of drink. I have never used it myself but some of my friends did. Its something like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_(meal_replacement)
Link looks pretty broken to me. :s Ideally, I'd like to avoid completely liquefying my food. You lose a lot of dietary fiber when only consuming liquid-based products. Which is why I want at least one hearty meal per day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KP24 View Post
All your other PGC's got better and better so I cannot wait to follow this one!

Best of luck on this new part of your journey Sir!
Thanks so much, bruv! Hoping this one will blow the others out the water tbh. Have some cool plans for this so I'm sure it will!
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