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Old 06-21-2019, 04:29 AM   #276
Re8uZ
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

The books i recomen are not classic self improvement books like you are special, you xam do whatever u want jus imagine it etc bul****.... there are more about principles for how to approach live challenges and problems, how to make good plan to increas productivity so u can be able to do ****load of work ( productive smart work toward your goals) and how to switch from bad behaviour/ habits to habits/ behaviour you want to have

About impact theory i really like almost all interviews ( i watch them all, some couple of times) and really depends what you are interested in, there like hour long and any one out of each interview can get out one quote/ tip/ concept to apply/ try/think about it

Like for ex last resent interview with this indian mystic was very good, also goggings inteview was prety good ( the final message from goggins what his goal is), jim kwik, robin sharma, mel robbins etc etc

The thing with impact theory is that this guy Tom Biley his goal is to live forever ( like for real) and his plan is (he is like 40 and smth years old) to try to live to 130 because he thinks/ hopes that in 70 years or so science/ medicine will catch up and people will be able to live "forever"...
so he is having imterviews with all this guys and girls that have done something for improving life in some sphere like health, productivity, mindfulness, strength, feeding, sleeping, mind improvment ( remembering) etc etc to give you guidance where you need to put work in and what sa sacrifices you need to do so u can have better and longer (quality) life and achive ypur goals
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:29 AM   #277
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

Just read the entire thing on a 15 hour flight. Love your thought process and style of writing. Looking forward to more updates!
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:37 AM   #278
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

Yugi, what happend with stars payout rant???

I mean just look at the y-day (sunday) payouts in mid stakes pkos, is jus absurd how the payouts are...

For ex. in 44 pko from like 4,3k runers #1 is wining more money then 2,3,4,5 together (including pkos)... first place is 2.5x more then second place prize.... first is almost 4 times more then third place

i am pretty sure that out of last 18 out of 4.3k runers there are at least 16 players that are not happy with money they won
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:21 AM   #279
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Re8uZ View Post
Yugi, what happend with stars payout rant???

I mean just look at the y-day (sunday) payouts in mid stakes pkos, is jus absurd how the payouts are...

For ex. in 44 pko from like 4,3k runers #1 is wining more money then 2,3,4,5 together (including pkos)... first place is 2.5x more then second place prize.... first is almost 4 times more then third place

i am pretty sure that out of last 18 out of 4.3k runers there are at least 16 players that are not happy with money they won
17
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:14 PM   #280
carolinabay
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by YugiohPro View Post
The Death of Greatness
Back to the Beginning
The Pursuit of Greatness
Realizations and Moving Forward
This would be a mainstream dating book, not poker-niche.
This was a great post. You express very well what many people go through in various stages of their life, as well as recognizing the challenges between balancing family and career. One thing someone said one time (and this was directed mainly at American's and our work addiction culture/very few days off allowed compared to Europe, etc., that is usually required to be financially successful in the US):

Never forget to take care of the relationships with those people who will be attending and crying at your funeral.

Pretty profound I think. Usually, these aren't the people you worked for in companies over your lifetime.

On the book idea, I say it is a great idea. But do not do it for the money, do it because you want to do it. And maybe some money will come. While it is easier than ever to get a book published (using self-publishing), it is possibly harder than ever to make any money on one. Even if it is accepted by a publisher, very few authors make big money. You will have to do a ton of marketing yourself, even if a publishing house publishes it.
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:12 AM   #281
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/2...-sl8a-1746267/

Someone's pretending to be you on Skype mate.
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:32 AM   #282
YugiohPro
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTyman9 View Post
Do you know much about the live mtt world? I find it pretty fascinating and am curious at a good mtt regs thoughts on it. These guys that are traveling around to a bunch of different stops all year (not the super high roller regs but like the avg solid reg that grinds a bunch of the $1-2k ish stuff and then fires the 5 or 10k main event for each series as well), do you think these guys are actually making a worthwhile amount ev wise? Can a strong reg get a million in buyins in the 1k-10k range per year at a 30-40% roi? No prob if you don't have any familiarity, but you seem like someone who might have an informed opinion with your long mtt background and your work with pokerstars.
Hey Tyman, I'm not super in touch with these types of grinders. I'd think they'd mostly be American/Canadian and I haven't lived on that side of the country in quite a while. I have seen people like BodogAri and bob43155 (spelllcheck please) absolutely crush it live so I'd assume there's a decent chunk of money for those who want to live that lifestyle. I have some experience grinding a few festivals out here in Asia as well and these are the problems I see:

1) You need a backer for sure I think. The buy-ins are just too big and you can definitely go busto unless you're starting with 7 figures+
2) Live expenses do add up. Flight + hotel + food will cost $500+, probably more like $1k+ easily per stop. So you need the stop to have some kind of $5K or $10K or multi-bullet $2K to make it worth going to.
3) I would assume the grind would eventually add up having to put in so many live hours, plane hours, and stopping in so many withered towns across America.

$1M in buy-ins would be 100 different $10k's. This seems at the upper limits of what is attainable. The problem with this for me is it's super easy to get in thousands of buy-ins a day playing online, even in soft games like $33's and 55's. I think touring the world and making a bunch of stops is actually directly contrary to playing online which is much more convenient. It's like you're an expat anyways if you're a full time live grinder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Re8uZ View Post
The books i recomen are not classic self improvement books like you are special, you xam do whatever u want jus imagine it etc bul****.... there are more about principles for how to approach live challenges and problems, how to make good plan to increas productivity so u can be able to do ****load of work ( productive smart work toward your goals) and how to switch from bad behaviour/ habits to habits/ behaviour you want to have

About impact theory i really like almost all interviews ( i watch them all, some couple of times) and really depends what you are interested in, there like hour long and any one out of each interview can get out one quote/ tip/ concept to apply/ try/think about it

Like for ex last resent interview with this indian mystic was very good, also goggings inteview was prety good ( the final message from goggins what his goal is), jim kwik, robin sharma, mel robbins etc etc

The thing with impact theory is that this guy Tom Biley his goal is to live forever ( like for real) and his plan is (he is like 40 and smth years old) to try to live to 130 because he thinks/ hopes that in 70 years or so science/ medicine will catch up and people will be able to live "forever"...
so he is having imterviews with all this guys and girls that have done something for improving life in some sphere like health, productivity, mindfulness, strength, feeding, sleeping, mind improvment ( remembering) etc etc to give you guidance where you need to put work in and what sa sacrifices you need to do so u can have better and longer (quality) life and achive ypur goals
Your post and links actually woke something up inside of me so thanks for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomRBoyden View Post
Just read the entire thing on a 15 hour flight. Love your thought process and style of writing. Looking forward to more updates!
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Re8uZ View Post
Yugi, what happend with stars payout rant???

I mean just look at the y-day (sunday) payouts in mid stakes pkos, is jus absurd how the payouts are...

For ex. in 44 pko from like 4,3k runers #1 is wining more money then 2,3,4,5 together (including pkos)... first place is 2.5x more then second place prize.... first is almost 4 times more then third place

i am pretty sure that out of last 18 out of 4.3k runers there are at least 16 players that are not happy with money they won
It's coming my friend. Just have been sidetracked with living life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinabay View Post
This was a great post. You express very well what many people go through in various stages of their life, as well as recognizing the challenges between balancing family and career. One thing someone said one time (and this was directed mainly at American's and our work addiction culture/very few days off allowed compared to Europe, etc., that is usually required to be financially successful in the US):

Never forget to take care of the relationships with those people who will be attending and crying at your funeral.

Pretty profound I think. Usually, these aren't the people you worked for in companies over your lifetime.

On the book idea, I say it is a great idea. But do not do it for the money, do it because you want to do it. And maybe some money will come. While it is easier than ever to get a book published (using self-publishing), it is possibly harder than ever to make any money on one. Even if it is accepted by a publisher, very few authors make big money. You will have to do a ton of marketing yourself, even if a publishing house publishes it.
I appreciate the wisdom carolina. I am exploring the possibility of writing this book and am excited at the prospect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sl8a View Post
https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/2...-sl8a-1746267/

Someone's pretending to be you on Skype mate.
I'm not going to blog about this hoodrat BS but you can follow along with that link if you want to know what's going on. People are trying to steal my identity to scam innocent people on 2+2 and it's really upsetting.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:16 PM   #283
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

Small Steps

BTC is now up to $12,800 and this wild jump has actually erased my poker downswing and then some. There's actually a separate moral I've drawn from this: there are better ways to earn a lot of money than playing poker. But I digress.

The fact is it should never have been about the money. Me investing in BTC as a near-novice, it tripling, and then me being hoodrich again is irrelevant to the question of whether I'll make it as a poker professional or not. Also me shooting up to $150k, then dropping to $75k, then crying-JOing-crying again? That's also irrelevant to the question of whether I'll make it.

Re8uZ threw up a few recommendations above in post #271 and #276. Motivation speaking type stuff really isn't my thing so I didn't fully submerge myself. But I did take a look and gain some real insights. I went back and reread a few of my favorite books as well. What came out of this is you should visualize where you want to be and then cut everything extraneous that prevents you from getting to that point. I had to look inward to find what my goal is.

Life Goals and Realizations

Deep inside my goal has always been to re-climb the summit and try to recapture the glory of my 2012-2014 run as YugiohPro on PokerStars. Those were the years I was truly happiest and I think it's because of work success. It felt good to be on top. It felt good to sit and fire sessions and feel ahead of the curve. It felt good to win day in and day out, track TLB points, and have a Pretty Tony graph. In fact, it felt so good that I gave most of my extra money to my parents and their doomed businesses, made training videos for $100/pop or something just so I could share winning methods with other hard working players, and tried to coach a bunch of players (some for free). A lot of this was short-sighted, obviously, and there weren't a ton of people there for me when I fell down. In fact, there's more than a handful of people who kind of stepped over me on their way to success and I did not appreciate that. In general in life I've found that the networkers/suck-ups/users tend to get ahead more than the "good guys." A bit unfortunate but I've accepted it for sure and I want to "stay gold" and win on my terms.

So what's blocking me from this? My EV is great. It's actually better than it was in 2012-2014. During my dark times I actually installed my entire database of hands from 2012-2014 and I never had this kind of winrate. I run daily calculations and am quite proficient with modern poker tools. I try to watch YouTube regularly to see how other regulars are thinking and processing spots. It's not enough.

What's the difference between Bryce Harper (one of my favorite players) and Mike Trout? Randy Moss (all time favorite) and Jerry Rice? All of the NBA players I used to trade for in franchise mode and Kobe Bryant? I've read a lot of profiles about all of these athletes and I really think it comes from small margins. Work the thin margins and you slowly become excellent.

I left PokerStars because I felt like greatness wasn't attainable on merit alone. I was so roadblocked at the top because the executives were living in a different world, recruiting each other from the "executive type" pool and feeding each other salmon skin hors d'oeuvres while tugging at their cream jumpers you know? I was doing great work but all decisions went through one person.

With poker there's no real excuse. Yes you can run bad over a sustained sample but you can actually control how good you get at the game and the level of your competition. You can actually get so good that run bad doesn't even matter. When you look at my PokerStars graph you can see plenty of 200-300 BI downswings at all stake levels: 0-$5, $11-$33, $55-$109, $530+, etc. You name it I can claim it.

Did I care that I would occasionally have a 500BI downswing at $11-$16.50's? No. And there's no reason to care about having a 70k downswing either. Considering I was playing $500's and 1K's that's like 70 games of 1k's.

Unblocking my Shine

So back to Mike Trout, Jerry Rice, Kobe Bryant, Ichiro, etc. Their work ethic and will to win and devotion to craft are legendary. I've always hated Kobe by the way. If you take someone like Trout and compare him to any excellent MLBer that's not quite him, it's conceivable that the difference between the two was just a few hundred reps every few days.

My study regimen looks like PIO, PokerSnowie, training videos, and hands to coach. But what's holding me back? What's blocking my shine?

I have a mobile phone gaming addiction. It's been with me for a while. And I play a lot of non-poker games like Hearthstone and Slay the Spire. The mobile phone games are a real problem because they are constantly on stamina timers so you feel like you're missing out when you're not playing. Often I'll be playing a game while waiting for a sim to run.

What could I be doing with that time? I could be watching training videos and finishing my backlog of content. I could be rewatching some of the better series I have. I could reopen a subscription to RunitOnce and other training sites and go through the catalogue. I could try to better visualize each poker hand before starting the sim and try to guess the correct play. I could take a tug to relieve stress and tension. The possibilities are endless.

Moving Forward

I've decided to really cut down my phone usage and do a better job of separating work hours and family/self hours. For the past few days I've made an effort to not use my phone while studying. It's made me much more productive and I can feel the gains.

I've been working on my diet and I'm getting leaner and meaner for sure. I can feel it.

My sessions haven't been going as great. One session I lost focus because I was trying to set up my twitch stream and played poorly during that block of time. Near the end of Sunday I was trying to set up a Skype call with my boy as he was about to win the $215 UFC Supersonic and played a hand very poorly as a result. Lesson learned. Poker time is sacred. Treat it with the respect it deserves.

Writing it Down

I'm not posting this stuff so I can be like one of those Instagram dorks being circle-jerked. Not looking for people to say yay Jae you're so awesome teehee and I'm not trying to present myself as some paragon of virtue either. I guess my simple hope is that I can post all of this and hold myself accountable. Maybe then I will succeed with my goals at some point and be able to look back and say this is what it took.

I want to hold myself more accountable to be excellent as a poker player but also as a husband and a father. And it's hard to be excellent when you're just chasing stamina timers like a zombie (shoutout to Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle). I considered offering some freerolls to have more focused sessions but that goes against the spirit of this. When you try to freeroll important things like that you just end up freerolling YOURSELF. And I'm not about that.

So I'm working on a better me. We'll see where this goes. Thanks to Re8uZ for posting the links that made me start thinking. I can see a lot of bright projects I can work on in the future if poker goes well but I don't want to get ahead of myself. Let's start with the poker first.
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:07 AM   #284
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

Nice post! Concentration is everything when grinding. Leave your phone in another room or somewhere you can`t see it - that way it`s easier to forget about it.
Good luck
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Old 06-27-2019, 06:44 AM   #285
Re8uZ
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

glad u like my book suggestions + impact theory and that u find value in them for improving your life

be legendary
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:27 PM   #286
blakkman08
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

Yugohpro you are so awesome teehee
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Old 06-28-2019, 05:25 AM   #287
YugiohPro
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

I've started turning things around. Had another great session today capping it off with a win in the .ES UFC KO-23 20 Euro Uppercut for 6,382 Euro. This puts me positive for the month. Winrate is great and overall FT distributions are also sharp. More important the schedule/game selection I'm playing is quite sustainable. I was in a bit of a break-even/holding pattern over the past few weeks but never had any doubts it would turn around. I have some momentum now and it's looking good.

Biggest losses for the month at ABI $58.74:

215 (KO)- 2549 over 15 games
109 Freezeout- 1626 over 22 games
320 (KO)- 1043 over 3 Games
530 (KO)- 935 over 2 Games

The scores on the 215's and 109's are mostly fine. You have to keep your eyes on these because they can end up quite withered when a bunch of decent regs are just firing. The Sunday 320 KO's are 215 KO's are mostly fine. The 109 Freezeouts are mostly withered, possibly fine. The 320 KO's on Party are the Sunday versions with 150k which is a pretty ambitious guarantee I reckon. Not the greatest games. The 530's as well are just a few Sunday edition BBHR's. I actually semi-regret firing the 320's and the 530's they don't mesh well with the rest of my approach.

UFC KO Series

Enough about me. As stated previously I want to start writing more about industry related happenings. Ideally I'd like to break into a job like Poker Industry Pro giving analysis just to keep my writing skills sharp and my finger on the pulse.

As most of you know PokerStars.com and PokerStars.FRESPT are running a UFC branded tournament series. The UFC mockups and planning are some of the last "insider projects" I got to see before leaving the company so seeing it come to fruition has been great. Before I get into this let me just insert a standard disclaimer: I did not contribute to the UFC project and all opinions that follow are personal opinions as a user of PokerStars.COM and PokerStars.ES.

The series has a few distinct features that distinguish it.

- Very strong collaborative branding with a major mainstream entertainment company. In terms of recognition I would classify UFC as a tier 2 or tier 3 type entertainment provider (tier 1 would be NFL/NBA/MLB/EPL/etc). This is a pretty big deal.
- Distinct visual identity linked to the branding. I saw the UFC theme on .ES as a default when the tables popped up. I have not seen the theme on .COM and I'm not sure if it's running on there but I assume it is.
- Unique structures. 62.5bb starting stacks in most events fueled by re-entry. This is a huge deal in online poker.
- Conservative guarantee setting.

1. Collaboration with the UFC

So right off the bat PokerStars should be commended for this partnership and breaking new ground. This isn't something to be hand-waved away or glossed over. This is the type of action that can justify a price increase or wonky payouts (I said "can, not "does" :P). I don't buy UFC pay per views out here in Korea but I would imagine the UFC is also doing a lot of cross promotion and steering new players over to PokerStars.

I remember having conversations with a big player in CRM who has now left the company. He was telling us the ROIs/costs of different deals like with CR7, Nadal, Kevin Hart, Neymar, Usain Bolt, and others. Often the impact of a mainstream endorser can be surprising (in good or bad ways). I assumed based on the direction Stars was taking that they were steering away from these mainstream sports types of partnerships. Of course partnering with the entire league is much different from partnering with an individual athlete.

I think the UFC and PokerStars are a good fit in a lot of ways. Poker attracts a lot of male energy in that 21-50 range or something that probably does most of the UFC PPV purchasing. There has been historical precedent before with UFC partnering with FTP. And I think PokerStars should always be in a "thirsty for mainstream coverage" mindset because Poker is such a niche game. The UFC has kind of graduated from the thirst zone but it wasn't too long ago that the UFC was also craving mainstream acceptance.

This is one of the first mainstream collaborations I can recall and I think it's a great step forward for the industry. I remember bringing up talks in the office of selling our virtual felt. You'll be playing the Bounty Builder $11 and in the middle it will say "Sponsored by Rakuten" or something. PokerStars has such a massive amount of users and I think more can be done with the real estate.

2. Distinct Visual Identity

The graphics are just LIT beyond belief. I say this as a DIRTY HYPOCRITE who instantly turned off the theme on .ES but indulge me. This is another thing I think Stars should get more credit for. I have noticed a lot of regulars do credit the quality of Stars software and it is indeed great. But the overall level of polish and the immersiveness/majesty of this UFC theme is really something else. I do know Stars has tested some beta graphics that will allow for a lot more visual effects.

I think it means a lot for a random Jacked Jonny in his Affliction T-Shirt to show up to a poker site and see an experience like UFC KO, as opposed to the devastating train wreck that is Black Chip Poker/WPN's new software update. Good lord what a buggy POS that one is. Sometimes I click in the wrong area and my entire table has to crash so I have to close the table and rejoin and end up folding top two in a big pot deep in a tournament. Remind me to go IN on this whack ass BCP update soon.

I'm very excited to see what's in the pipeline for future Stars graphics. We had so many cool ideas we wanted to work on that just weren't possible due to technical difficulties. Also shoutout to Stars project management again it seems like the recent build they pulled out really did stop like 95% of the late registration tables not popping bug which has been great.

3. Unique Structures

I've seen Stars take some flak from the regulars over the starting structure of these UFC events. I think it's a complex issue and I think Stars deserves some credit for experimenting. I think this type of experimentation is actually huge for the industry and we'll see where it leads.

Keep in mind that the historical precedent is that PokerStars NEVER mixes up structures like this. In fact, Stars has always been super rigid in terms of always offering people obnoxiously deep 150bb stacks in most COOP events. Reducing starting stacks has several key ramifications for the game:

- Shallower starting stacks are more casual friendly. Recs will do much better in a 62.5bb starting KO format than a 150bb freezeout format.
- Shallower starting stacks lead to more re-entries which leads to bigger prize pools but a strain on players' wallets. Shallower starting stacks actually have great synergy with multi re-entry schedules. This was made abundantly clear to me when working on the Sunday Million Anniversary Take 2. We made a few adjustments to the starting structure and voila. More re-entries! This isn't always a good thing.

So yeah I like the decision making here and I think it's a bold step forward. I hope the team continues experimenting in spots like this where it makes sense. Tournament operations is filled with very intelligent hard-working members with a lot of experience in managing tournaments and you need to just unlock them I think and let them work. I would characterize Poker Operations as a whole as super cautious, almost paralyzingly so, when it comes to experimenting. I think the combination of being the market leader + public company is the main reason here. The adjusted structures and visual pizzazz of this series bodes well for future developments.

4. Conservative Guarantees

I added up the prize pools (rounded to the nearest number) and divided by the guarantees to derive the guarantee clearance. I used to do this all the time at the office so it triggered some flashbacks. Also this is NLHE only since the other games aren't real games and don't count.

All Games: 6893k generated on 3945 in guarantees for 74.7% clearance
All Games $530 and below: 6283k generated on 3395 in guarantees for 85% clearance

You'll notice that the 1K Daily Cooldowns are struggling. This makes sense to me considering a lot of HS regulars are chasing WSOP glory. One curious phenomenon about midstakes series offerings at Stars.com is that ambitious midstakes guarantees almost always seem to hit comfortably. Slap on some $150k's or $250k's or even $500k's on $55's and they get there. Slap $1M on a $22 during MicroMillions no problem. This suggests to me that the midstakes segment is a bit under-served which makes sense when you see how weak and flaccid competitions like the Big 55 and Hot 55 have become now.

In fairness to operations summer always has murky visibility and you can just take inexplicable hits in participation. Another point in favor of being conservative is if you woefully misjudged the climate often it will be too late to change things and you just have to eat the hosing if you're an honorable poker site that honors its guarantees. I think you can see from the multiple re-entries on each event from the very start that they were a bit uncertain about how the series would go and it's probably exceeded expectations.

I remember when I was doing Bounty Builder Series I thought it would go fine mostly but there was a dark 10-20% chance where we'd just get absolutely hosed. And Big L reassured me and told me everyone loves the PKO baby. He was right. So I have been guilty of this type of nittery myself, often because when you make mistakes and lose a lot of money in overlay, it will probably end up hurting the players in the future through either reduced guarantees or "other things."

You'll notice that most of .COM series end up well ahead of the 50% clearance. I had a big problem with this personally. I think 75-85% clearance is just too high a target and can potentially stifle growth. One of my biggest issues with the top leadership structure is it felt like they were just reading from a Corporate 101 book without actually thinking outside of any context besides bean counting. Two examples here:

1) The guarantee clearance guidance and the overlay budget are clearly coming from some corporate mandate to control costs/meet numbers. However, there's clearly a trend line you can establish where as you increase the guarantee of a tournament, you will increase interest and participation in at as well. This is counterbalanced by overlay. Extreme example: Say you took the Big 215 ($12k GTD) and set it to $500K GTD no rhyme or reason tomorrow. Yes, you're taking the L. But how much would participation increase due to the new number? Would it hit 200k? I'd bet it would at least hit 120K which means it just increased tenfold due to a simple guarantee change.

This implies there is a "sweet spot" where an optimal guarantee clearance number is set and both participation is maximized and overlay is reduced (to a reasonable extent). My bosses had analytics working on all sorts of ways to pervert the ecosystem to increase the bottom line but never ran a study on guarantees vs participation (to my personal knowledge).

It's possible Stars is shooting itself in the foot with this nitty approach, like a hedgehog that has curled up in a ball and doesn't see the T-REX approaching. It's possible Stars is shrinking the growth potential of the entire MTT market with this approach. I had issues with this thought and wrestled with it constantly. It's also possible that a conservative 75% clearance target is optimal without simming it. Highly doubtful.

2) When I resigned I was overworked. Poker Ops has a great culture of everyone pitching in an extra hand. We worked overtime constantly (in a good way), were on call on weekends to help with any site emergencies, and even though I was a hard worker I was outclassed in the WIM department by Big L and my other partner triple J James Jarrett for sure. Again, when it comes to adding more specialists to the team it seemed like the top level were just bean counting without thinking about what adding head count would provide. Caveat: this is my personal opinion and one of my managers who I love actually disagreed with me on this. He didn't push for head count because he wanted all of us to be secure in our jobs which I appreciated.

I'm not about job security though. I'm about creating the most wonderful poker future for everybody. And to me that means optimizing revenue from every source to prevent the long list of negative changes that have occurred since Amaya took over. Fun fact: I would have saved the company many multiples of my salary in overlay (by oversight) if I had just been glued to my seat running overlay numbers day in and day out. I didn't have time to do this though because Tournament Analysts are like Lone Rangers with a diverse set of skills to put out fires and save cats from trees and etc. You will hit a point of diminishing returns but we were far from that point and I felt like every new, competent person hired into Poker Ops would provide multiples of their salary in value. This is also a subjective opinion but I feel like the pool of candidates that can work at a high level in Poker Ops is dwindling by the day due to Poker's general trendline as a hobby. I'm not going to go into specific detail here but you'd be surprised at the focus and attention paid to Poker OPs compared to some of the other departments in the company. Sometimes it felt like they were trying to get by with the minimum investment possible, benefiting from people like Luke working above and beyond the letter of their duty, and that's something I can't agree with.

Last edited by YugiohPro; 06-28-2019 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 06-28-2019, 05:52 AM   #288
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

sucks about the scammers using your name, I think you handled it very well on your end in that thread
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Old 06-29-2019, 09:04 PM   #289
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

Wish you best of luck
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:01 AM   #290
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

There's a lot of good stuff I could point to in the last few posts from OP, but I'm short on time/posting while on the 5 min break, so that'll have to wait. For now, let's highlight this.

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Originally Posted by rickroll View Post
sucks about the scammers using your name, I think you handled it very well on your end in that thread
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Old 06-30-2019, 12:17 PM   #291
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

Reminding myself to read all this gold later, glgl OP
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:10 AM   #292
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

wassup mate? We need updatez. hope u are fine
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:24 AM   #293
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

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Originally Posted by Grammen1985 View Post
wassup mate? We need updatez. hope u are fine
He shipped bigger 44. Pretty sure he's fine :P
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:35 AM   #294
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

Thanks for the posts guys. I'm not sure why I don't feel like writing these days. Can't quite put my finger on it. There is a lot of industry news these days I want to weigh in on and I have quite a few personal development updates as well. The grind is going great.

I'll be back with some more substantive stuff soon, I think :P I'll consider this post a good first step.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:03 AM   #295
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

just caught up with this, love the long form stuff, super interesting
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:08 AM   #296
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

Cool thread. I remember you used to make the MTTSNG vids on DC.
Nice to see that you are still in action!
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:42 PM   #297
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by YugiohPro View Post
Thanks for the posts guys. I'm not sure why I don't feel like writing these days. Can't quite put my finger on it. There is a lot of industry news these days I want to weigh in on and I have quite a few personal development updates as well. The grind is going great.

I'll be back with some more substantive stuff soon, I think :P I'll consider this post a good first step.
As a writer myself, I totally understand the "not feeling like writing" thing. It is totally natural, especially if you are writing for some kind of therapeutic purpose. Writing can be so good for that self reflection kind of purpose. In any case, the urge will return at some point and we all look forward to when that happens. In the meantime, take care and keep on grinding.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:07 AM   #298
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

I'm Back

Was sitting in my tub checking up on the Hearthstone subreddit and it's made me want to write a long post about PokerStars. That will be right after this personal update.

It's been a long time since updates. The last few times I checked in I was going through a soul-crushing SCOOP downswing, the worst of my career, and my motivation was very off and on despite trying to reframe the problem and come up with sources of inspiration.

The poker was pretty spotty during this period. I started playing more offpeak because of health. I was making some progress in bits and pieces but mostly treading water. EV and other metrics were still looking good so it was always easy to just blame the variance. I did make some strides in game selection. I've played very few high stakes tournaments since June, looks like 7 total according to Sharkscope and 3 of those were Party Phases I qualified into. So I've played 4 Bounty Builder High Rollers (2 of which where UFC Series) and 1 Venom that doesn't show up on Scope.

I had two fortunate epiphanies during this period that really helped me turn things around:

1) I went on vacation with my wife and daughter and my dad to a nice beach resort in Korea. It was a gorgeous venue, basically a small paradise. During that time I had a full blown gout attack for the first time in a long time. It caught me slippin in the middle of the night and there were no pharmacies or stores nearby to buy Advil so I basically had to endure incredible ankle pain for 5-6 hours. To give you some idea of the pain, I stubbed my other foot and toe on pure marble, very hard, and literally laughed at it because it was nothing compared to the agony I was in.

So I was lying on the floor of this gorgeous hotel suite with a nice beach view. I had wanted to watch some Team Fight Tactics VOD since the game had recently launched and I was getting really into it. And I realized at that exact moment that compared to good health nothing else matters. You can set up TFT, Netflix, drug binges, grind sessions, or even full blown orgies and all of these pleasures and plans in life will be scuttled if your health fails you. I was sitting there too pained to touch my phone, too pained to watch VODs or play games, and was just in PURE misery.

Now unfortunately this episode wasn't completely enough on its own to turn my life around. But those few days off put me in a bit of a rut and then my condition wasn't very good at all due to my foot/ankle. So I ended up playing a bunch of TFT, very competitively, and neglecting poker.

Now I've always had a weird relationship with gaming. I tend to only play competitive games that I can really try-hard in so I've never really touched games like Starcraft, Counterstrike, or League of Legends. I have dormant hoop dreams of streaming video games just like others. This is probably due to being a mildly e-famous Yu-Gi-Oh! player back in the day or something. So at one point in my life I was try-harding Hearthstone quite hard and was playing at a semi-pro level. Same thing with TFT. A lot of the big Hearthstone streamers have moved on to TFT and I suppose I was playing it 1) because it was very fun and engaging and 2) because I had very mild/semi hoop dreams of becoming a great player and seeing where that goes.

2) So around this time I had a bad foot and I was just playing a bunch of TFT. After about a week of this my foot was getting better so I put in a Sunday grind. It went great and I chopped the Hotter 109 for a five figure score. I always believe in striking when the iron is hot so after that I started grinding my ass off. Had quite a few final tables including the mythical (for me) Bounty Builder $215 and the Saturday $215 KO. They didn't pan out that great though and after another Sunday with a lot of runs and then even a Mon-Wed grind after that, basically all out, I felt spent and a bit down on myself. The last days had not gone well so it was just a lot of effort and not much to show for it.

I retreated back into my gaming mode and was trying to hit Master/Challenger in TFT. I was at around Diamond 2 and it was here that I realized that the competition was quite tough and I was where I was at with Hearthstone. Basically good enough to make it to the fringes of the top ranks but nowhere near good enough to bang with the best in the world. This is naturally due to a split in focus with poker and TFT.

So one night I was venting to my coach/backer, basically being a big baby, moaning about how poker was so tough and unstable. Honestly I was entertaining getting into other more stable careers because I had enough of the stress. But there was always a feeling in my head that due to my gaming addictions and smartphone habits I wasn't maximizing my potential. While talking to him I just came up with a new life plan:

1) No more gaming. Drop it cold turkey

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyVSe9EdTVI

I keep hearing this Earl Sweatshirt/Frank Ocean song in my head. Apparently I misheard the lyric it's actually all my dreams got dimmer when I stopped smoking pot. But I feel like my life has just gotten much brighter since I stopped playing games on my phone. Man it was a full blown addiction. Having never been a drug addict I don't want to marginalize that struggle at all but I suspect the way I feel now is somewhat similar to how it feels to get clean from drugs or something. It's like they had completely taken over my schedule due to stamina timers on these manipulative games and the need to always strategize and spend some small brainpower on them.

At the time I was trying to sell one of my accounts because it's quite valuable but I just said forget it and cut it off. And it is so liberating. I have quite an addictive personality so knowing my personality I've never started cigarettes or hard drugs. My brother was basically doing everything under the sun when we were growing up so he also set a good example for me indirectly.I also don't play TFT or Hearthstone any more. Strangely enough I miss the TFT most of all. Eventually when I know I've kicked the habit for good I'll schedule a few hours each week to play some games. But for now I'm really enjoying being able to focus on family, health and poker.

2) Exercise before every grind session

I've lost 5+ kilos in the past month even before doing this. I wrote about this in the "apple not an apple" post up above but my friend has given me a lot of fitness tips over the past year that I've mostly just ignored. I've never really prioritized health and even as I write this I'm forcing a day off today despite really wanting to play because I know my work habits have been quite unhealthy.

My apartment is set up quite well with a few exercise machines and then I have a basketball and a jump rope. I'll be getting in exercise before every grind session and every day in general. I'm still quite overweight, about 84kg right now and 180cm. Goal is to get below 80 but honestly I haven't even sniffed below 84kg in a while now.

3) Try to bring my best foot forward in every session

Poker has been going extremely well and I see a very bright future for myself. This past Sunday I had a great series of runs. Finished 11th in the Bounty Builder $33 150k with 6800+ runners. Got 2nd in the Powerfest phased $55 for 16k despite getting it in quite good for a lot of the heads-up. And most tantalizingly got 48th in Phase Powerfest $1,050 (started as a $109) where first was 160k or something. There was a guy that made an optimistic reshove on me and got there who ended up getting second so I could almost taste it!

All of my sessions have been great lately independent of results. I've been keeping an accountability journal to write down mistakes in my approach. Some sample entries:

- Too many bad habits
- Wanting to scope an aggro reg while playing. Why?
- Wanting to check EV while playing.
- 9 tables + 7-8 extra was too much action
- Loss of focus at the end chatting on Skype (Triton Million)
- Need speakers
- Check on block bets
- Q6s shove no
- Again lower energy, foot pain. Condition is not great
- Pick up milk for baby (just kidding on this one)

I feel like the competition is sweeter than ever and I'm still sticking to solid game selection so it's a great combo. Putting in sessions with the Mike Tyson voice in my head saying they don't want it today. Tasting like Honey Nut Cheerios today. etc.

I'm much happier and healthier than I was a while back and poker success probably correlates to this for sure. For a while there I didn't want to post because I wanted to sustain it and make it happen before cataloging my thoughts. I want to be more like jdawg mentally. Try not to let the losing get to me and try to be more stable overall. I can't keep going back and forth between wanting to be the greatest and wanting to quit you know?

The downswing was a real crucible for me and I've emerged from it a much stronger player. I am playing objectively much better in a lot of spots and the ways that I am netting chips today are much more variegated than they were before.

Pictures speak better than words here. I'm trying to focus less on results in this thread but I do know graphs and binks are a big part of 2+2 and MTT life in general.




This is my 0-$320 since leaving the job. You don't want to see the $530+, trust me. Take away the $530+ and it's quite a respectable income and validates my decision to believe in myself and walk away from a great job at PokerStars. There's a few things going on here I'd like to add:

1) Making $200k+ a year is very difficult unless you're one of the super sickos who just bink 6 figures on the regular like an mczhang who I was just reading about. I've always set $200k as a target due to my 2012-2014 but it's really quite difficult.

2) Amidst the sea of scum regs, of whom I can make a long long long long long list, much respect to a few names that stand out to me. markovitsus, Belabacsi, jays94. I'm curious how they perceive me (have never really talked to them) because I am a spewtard guzzler but I really respect how solid their games are and how the first two, in particular, have some of the most absurd mixes of games I've seen in my life. Every now and then I'll search marko or Bela and find them like 3/4 in the $1,050 Daily Warmup and then also playing a $7.50 Hyper and a $16.50 turbo. WILD

3) It's too reductive for me to say to just cut out $530+, especially as I grow more confident in my game. It's still a good idea to pass on the daily high stuff but I'm looking forward to WCOOP and my rebuild has come just in time. I've learned a few lessons from the last go round though and didn't repeat my mistakes from the last time out. I do eventually want to start getting back into $530's with 200k+ and even $1k's with 500k+ but now is not the time yet. Still recovering my morale and motivation from the last episode.

Moving Onward and Upward

I recently said goodbye to my database. It was too big due to my detailed HUD and I was getting a lot of lag. The database came to 526k hands where I put up an adjusted ev bb/100 of 10.27. I haven't compared my sub 40 stack winrates with too many other regulars but I think my number is quite high. Possibly even world class. I'm very happy with myself for maintaining double digits over such a long time and I actually think I've improved significantly today compared to most of that sample so I'm very excited for the future. A few observations here:

1) I follow quite a few other PG&C threads and one of the only elite players who regularly shows his ev bb/100 (probably for the e-peen flex) is abarone. I play with him quite often and study him and we play quite differently in a lot of spots. I would say I'm spewier for sure and I'm confident he's theoretically more sound than me due to his background (spins etc). But I found it interesting that we can both post elite winrates with very large differences in strategy. More than one way to skin a cat, I suppose (I hate that phrase sorry animal lovers).

2) At $215+ my EV falls off quite steeply. It's less than 10% of the sample (only 45k hands) where a few deep pots/coolers can really affect the output but EV is at 2.70 here despite near identical WWSF and other metrics. However, the ev bb/100 at <40 stacks stays very close and I'm confident a lot of the sources that contribute to the sub 40 winrate are repeatable across all formats and competition. 100k SHR's here I come! No.

3) Site by site observations.

One thing I always have trouble with on the softer sites is whether the elite players are actually elite or because the competition is so soft. On sites like WPN and Ipoker you will see a lot of the regulars have incredible results and ability scores but I find them quite bad in practice or mediocre. I'm starting to suspect the fields are just soft so they can continually beat up on their competition. My 19.32 ev bb/100 on WPN is the highest by far despite me feeling like I was running into bot like opponent profiles in the end game of really tough tournaments. Maybe it's fine to start firing high stakes here, especially when the heater comes. Not sure. I've cut out the 1k's and most of the high stakes stuff but I still dabble in tournaments like the daily $165 and $215 at times. I think they're fine-ish and I've done great on the site this year.

My Stars and Stars.ES winrates are mixed together but they are the largest sample and the winrate is 11.08, which sets the baseline. IPoker falls below this at 8.18 but only 11k hands. IPoker is one of the highest bot-likelihood sites out there though.

The two lowest sites are Party and Winamax. For Party, I have not had stats since the change to HUDless. But I'd say in general I'd always suspect way more potential for lapses in game security with Party than with Stars. Even moreso after the HUD changes. The competition has always been tougher on Party, driven by potential overlays and rakeback. And then Winamax, oh Winamax.

Winamax has the most short-handed formats which is tough for me because I play a lot of tables. My winrate on Winamax is 4.28 with a $110 ABI. But then I would say for sure Winamax has by far the largest number of players that "play tough." They have also had a number of confirmed botting scandals and frankly it would not surprise me if there were a lot of bots in the high stakes MTT pools today. The ways that some of their best regulars play is just so LAG and tough that I suspect something is not right here. And I'm speaking as a person who posts higher winrates short-handed. I just see player profiles with insanely high WWSF, very low folds to all actions, high percentage floats, and other things that don't line up even with the elite competition I play against on Stars and Party.

Future Posts

I wanted to get this personal update out of the way first but my main motivation for posting is my next post, which will compare PokerStars to Blizzard and Hearthstone. I plan on writing a lot more about industry stuff that interests me and maybe slightly less personal stuff in the future. I'll keep posting exciting runs and interesting hands but I'm trying to get away from the "driven by graphs/ev/results" type mentality that has led to toxicity and moaning from me in the past.

I want to write a series of posts on each site I play on and the successes/challenges facing them from my perspective. I'll start with Stars, and then write a bit about Party, Stars.FRESPT, Winamax, WPN, and others. I have quite a lot I want to say about Party as well so hopefully I get around to that sooner than later.

Last edited by YugiohPro; 08-15-2019 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:26 PM   #299
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

PokerStars and Blizzard

For most of my adult life, the two titans have been PokerStars and Blizzard. The two companies were once absolute paragons that shared an ethos. Do great things, provide great service, and provide quality products. Both are examples of companies that became corporatized, creating a new set of incentives, and lost their way. Ironically, the head of my department at PokerStars is a huge fan of Blizzard.

Hearthstone took the world by storm 5 years ago. It revolutionized or even created the digital card game industry, is the consensus #1 and titan among its competition, created tens of millions of monthly revenue for Blizzard, and is currently in a decline cycle. Twitch viewership with each expansion has dropped, player participation and revenue has dropped consistently for the past few years, and the vocal community on the reddit is lambasting the company constantly for not doing anything in terms of new features. Blizzard has attempted to mitigate this decline in the past few years by switching to a faster release cycle that requires more $ spent from each player. Sound familiar?

So I was splish-sploshing around in the tub and read this post from the lead card designer of Hearthstone:

Quote:
Questions like this come up every couple weeks, they always come up in an AMA, and someone on the team answers in some fashion every time. We have features on our roadmap. We have ideas we are excited about, and we have content in development that is well beyond the idea phase. When that content is ready for the public eye it'll be released on our official channels, but rarely if ever will these things be announced on reddit in comment form.

As for our past and current content development pipeline, Hearthstone used to be a very small team focused on building a great core game experience. Over many years, that team built most of the base level interactions you see in the game today along with a pretty cool set a basic and classic cards. Over time, we greatly expanded the team in order to support the rapid 4-month cadence we release card expansions. We expanded a little to support Tavern Brawls and Events, then expanded even more to support a ton of single player mode experimentation that resulted in things like Dungeon Run, Puzzle Mode, and Dalaran Heist.

The truth is our game has a ton of development upkeep. It takes a small army of folks to support our 4-month expansion and single player pipeline. Just in the last year or so our team has grown to a point where we can support both those pipelines and get dreaming on what the future might hold. So we have been. We started working on a bunch of different things, we're just not quite ready to share what those things are.
Emphasis mine. With my work experiences, I read into the bolded bits a bit farther.

From a consumer perspective, the problem with corporations is their main (only?) incentive: share value. The entire concept of success in the corporate environment implies that you have to generate a surplus of value from somewhere. And that surplus usually comes from either the employees or the consumers.

From my working perspective, corporations are also rigidly hierarchical so the incentives for employees who want to continue working usually ends up in them moving around quietly and collect the checks. From all I've read about Hearthstone's team, I do think their environment is probably more team focused but still controlled by the higher up directions, for sure. So when Hearthstone begins to decline, Blizzard has to come up with ways to staunch the bleeding. Even if it impairs the quality of the product.

Hearthstone used to have a different release cycle. They would release the big sets, 130+ cards which often require you to buy packs for sure. But then they would alternate these with Adventures, sort of mini-sets that contained entertaining modules with voice acting and light story line. These adventures would release 30 or so cards for a flat fee that would impact the metagame for sure. For $20, you could get the full set of cards and play a nice little single player game.

A few years ago Hearthstone moved to a model where Adventures were removed and three card expansions were released per year, each with 130+ cards. This squeezes out extra revenue from players because you need to buy packs to get the cards. When you make a rapid release schedule like this, it becomes very difficult to be a free to play player. Meanwhile, the Hearthstone client is old and bloated and aging poorly. It's missing a number of features including a Tournament mode, achievements, statistics, new gameplay modes, and other features the community is constantly crying about.

There are ramifications to every decision. And if you're making this decision purely to boost revenue, it's probably going to be short-sighted.

1) The quality of the product is going to suffer

It's much harder to balance 390 cards a year compared to 200. Each card requires visual art, voice art, playtesting, and balance. What ends up happening is the team gets spread too thin. When Iksar says "rapid 4-month cadence", "small army of folks," and "just in the last year our team has grown to a point where we can support both those pipelines," he is explicitly saying that the team was basically spending all of its time just coming up with the cards each year. This leaves no time for quality of time improvements and other overhauls that the game needs.

2) Barrier to entry increases

The game is just going to get more expensive for the average player and it's also going to get more arcane because of the release cycle. Older cards are rotated out, newer cards are flooding in, and it becomes a bit too extra. It's a very chicken or the egg situation in spots like this. Is the game declining because of the direction the company is taking? Or is the company taking this direction because the game is declining?

It's indisputable that Hearthstone, or poker, is declining anyways even without decisions from the people in charge. But then you wonder if they're helping the cause. Probably not.

How this Relates to Poker

I see a lot of parallels between this Hearthstone situation and PokerStars itself. Even the way they respond to the fan criticism is similar. It's mostly pure silence with a token post here or there. It could be so much more. Reddit users were posting conjecture on how a lot of corporations have restrictions on who can talk and communicate with the fans with video game companies and I've found this to be true. PokerStars has reacted to a hostile community by shutting down communication entirely. Party has also left its feedback thread on 2+2 and I see no replacements on reddit or Twitter with the same ambition.

When I see Iksar talk about rapid cadences I see how in my first year we expanded from running 3-4 series a year to 12+. Off the top of my head we used to have TCOOP, SCOOP, WCOOP, and MicroMillions. I might be missing a handful. Now we have Turbo Series, Bounty Builder Series, Winter Series, High Rollers, 3-tiered WCOOPS, UFC Series, and more. More and more. Series bring in deposits, generate prize pools and market share, and bring in revenue. Which brings me to another problem.

Whoever is calling the shots in a corporation has to look at employees as expenses (this is not to imply they don't treat us warmly or on a personal level). Each employee you add has to generate a surplus. Thankfully for Iksar's side he is at least saying they've expanded the team and now they're in a place where they can start working on additional features. That didn't happen for Poker while I was there.

What happens to the team when the cadence is basically a new tournament series every month? Each series requires events, satellites, and more. My main partner and I brainstormed a number of automated tools that he then created that have simplified the job enormously. But it's still a mountain of work. Do you know how much time it takes to script a dozen satellites for every target even, and then do that for 120 events? And then repeat that in another month for the next event?

When I left my job I thought it was a great asset for me to be on the ground floor playing. I sent my former team a number of suggestions and feedback from my experience. My manager handled it extremely well (he always has). But my teammates ended up pretty much ignoring it. I'm just going to blame this on being too busy. I've sent some suggestions that are easily changeable such as this one: The Double Deuce starts at 1:22 and ends late registration after 1.5 hours. That's 2:52. Extend late registration by 8 minutes to line up with the sync break. It won't hurt the tournament and you will get at least a handful of extra registrations from regulars such as myself that bust it and want to re-enter during the sync break. Say 50 extra players register that every Sunday. That's $5200 extra a year in rake. That's $52k extra per year in market share. Every little bit counts.

Right now we're in a situation where I monitor all of the player feedback channels, am a part of numerous Skype groups, and know that the people on my team are poker lifers who were once part of the 2+2 community. Why is there so much silence? Why is there such a wall of communication between the two groups?

An Example of What Could Be

It's very frustrating for me, even now after all this time, to see this unfold. Recently PokerStars unveiled a new feature that provides 1% Insurance in Cash Game Pots. I personally think it's a great feature. I think the cost is reasonable and, assuming the fee is proper, is a situation that creates a win-win for the player and the operator. If I was in charge of a company I would be looking for every win-win like this possible to be exhausted, to retain goodwill and engagement from my customers, before going with the dark stuff like heinous pay tables and price increases.

I thought up a number of features like this while working at PokerStars. Some were great ideas, some were okay, and some were terrible. What about a staking tool that lets backers send money to their horses and automatically sends back profits from scores assuming both parties agree. How many tens of millions do poker stables move yearly? How much vig would they pay for a feature that removes the busy work and eliminates fraud entirely? Especially in the case of something like a Spin and Go. How many people do you trust to deliver your 50% share of $1M dollars to you? Would you pay 1%, 2%, 3% for that peace of mind? Snap call.

The problem with these companies is that the department is only incentivized to make changes when the stock price is down, revenue is down, and the company needs to hit its numbers. In fact, managers and directors suffer from the opposite problem. If you make a big move and it fails, you either take a big hit or you're fired. But preserve the status quo? All good baby. Blizzard will start adding features to Hearthstone once the players have started leaving and revenue has taken a big hit. PokerStars will introduce All In Insurance when the stock is flagging and poker revenue has taken a hit. With an approach like this it's not hard to see why there is a decline.

Again, very chicken or the egg here. Is Blizzard still one of the best game companies in the world? Did WoW/Starcraft/Diablo/Hearthstone become the best of the best industry leaders because Blizzard was not a corporation and driven by corporate metrics? Nobody really knows the answer to this. But what we do know now is that a lot of Blizzard's core fans are turning on them. WoW is in a terrible state because the latest expansions have just been fast cadence cookie cutter mail-in jobs with homogenized character roles and trying to conform to the way bean counters want you to play the game. HOTS never really took off and just recently removed competitive prize funding. Diablo fans are in an uproar over the next game being mobile. Hearthstone I just described. And so on and so forth.

All I know is there are so many more things we could have accomplished if we had more input and we had more time. For God's sake, the main schedule has seen only a handful of refreshes since it was revamped by Luke years ago. What kind of tech/gaming/service company would go so long between overhauls and updates?

The Poker Industry

I'm not a financial expert but Stars is currently taking a beating on the share price. Ironically enough in my layman's opinion I actually think Stars has a bright future and I would buy a bunch of shares if I invested in anything other than index funds. So I'm not sure why everyone is hating on the Stars Group. The outlook for poker looks quite grim but the outlook for the company itself looks pretty bright, I think. Again, take my opinion with a grain of salt I know almost nothing about stocks. In these conference calls and public statements I hear a lot of talk about diversification and risk-management. I hear very little about making poker greater. It's like a neglectful boyfriend/girlfriend that has already bagged the goods and takes your sweet contributions for granted. And it's almost like poker has the cooties and PokerStars is trying to escape from it. Best of luck to my homies in PIO, who I miss dearly, riding this wave.

HOWEVER, when are we going to call a spade a spade and starting putting some of the shot callers on blast? If you're overseeing a process that leads to declining revenues and a share price that has dropped from 49.71 CAD to 18.20 CAD, shouldn't heads be rolling at this point? Is it all just politics and the schmoozers can just continue falling upwards? Are you going to fire some of the hard working ground level employees to cover your own sweet cheeks? Rhetorical questions.

My next pieces will be a slurp job really praising PokerStars.FRESPT (boy do I love Stars.FRESPT) and a piece on Party, the prince who was promised, the chosen one. I feel like Party is in a much weaker state now than it was when I left my job. At that time I was hoping Party would continue growing into a legitimate competitor and threat to Stars but their momentum seems to be stalling. Rob Yong wrote a tweet about how some of their ecosystem changes (PKO Pricing, Re-Entry policy), etc have actually just hurt them. Very unfortunate.
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:50 PM   #300
YugiohPro
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: There and back again
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Re: YugiohPro: There and Back Again (MTT Discussion Thread)

E-Peen Odds and Ends

One thing I forgot to mention in my updates. So one thing I've really been thinking about lately is my poker goals. One of my problems, being heavy in the game for so long, is I've run into a lot of people who have absolutely "made it" and it provides bittersweet motivation for me too. I won't name names but there are a lot of people I have known even prior to their come up and now they are running around binking 100k high rollers and sucking caviar out of supermodel clavicles and other places.

The dark underbelly of this is the swongs man. Seen some GGNetwork and global aliases, even of the god tier regs, and some of these swings ooh boy. 300k no problem? Yes, it's a problem.

So I've been thinking a bit about my goals. One thing I really really really really miss about the old days is the Yearly PokerStars leaderboard. Man if they resurrected that thing I would squeal in delight and ejaculate many expressions of joy such as "that's great" and "so wonderful." Thinking of sending some bribes over to Big L and the rest of the crew to get it done but it will probably never happen.

I still love the PocketFives Rankings. They don't mean much, especially with buy-in INFLATION where you can just break even or lose but fire enough to get top 20. And realistically I've never ever had a shot at 1st place because 1st place is always a super elite regular that fires everything. probirs, lena, pleno, Darwin, giraf, Romeo, etc. But I've been tracking my progress this year. I'm at 84 currently but for the year I'm actually 55nd despite not being on Stars.COM for the first 3 months and taking almost all of January off.

I think realistically I can target/expect a top 25 in the rankings if I keep up my pace which would be a nice goal of mine. Not a big goal or anything but just a small little have-sie I can enjoy. If WCOOP goes really well you might see me making a big push just to see if I can hang. Feeling really great about my game/approach right now but it's mostly against the much softer midstakes fields. You have to switch up quite a few things when you play with the high guys and honestly I know I'm not ready for that smoke and don't think I ever will be. Can you imagine just playing 6-tabling against Probirs/Lena/Darwin 5 days a week? Ew.
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