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Old 10-05-2014, 02:46 AM   #1
piranha
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Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

For all intensive purposes I'm retiring from online poker. I don't want to cite all the reasons here - I've put many of them in my blog if you're interested. But in short, this is my twelfth year playing online poker and I just completely lack any interest or motivation in playing.

I spoke to BigBadBear about doing a "Well" because I think it would be fun and possibly informative for some people, particularly the guys coming up through the ranks playing low/mid stakes. In addition I think it would provide me with some closure on something I've spent 2500+ hours a year doing for over 10 years now. In that respect, it's a little hard to walk away having devoting so much of my life to this game but alas it's time to move on.

Feel free to ask me any question, really nothing is off the table. I will do my best to answer each and every one as thoughtfully as possible. If it takes me a while to respond, I'm not ignoring anybody, it just means I'm busy. I just got back the US and have a lot going on right now trying to get caught up on things but I will get to any and every question in time.

So feel free to shoot...
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Old 10-05-2014, 04:21 AM   #2
Judice555
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

A boring strat question then if I may - if you were to recommend 1 book or other training tool for someone looking to move up from the microstakes to low/mid (in terms of skill level not bankroll) what would you recommend?

Gracias
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:18 AM   #3
piranha
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

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Originally Posted by Judice555 View Post
A boring strat question then if I may - if you were to recommend 1 book or other training tool for someone looking to move up from the microstakes to low/mid (in terms of skill level not bankroll) what would you recommend?

Gracias
This is actually a pretty tough question for me. I'm so out of touch with poker books and poker training sites at this point. It's ironic because when I started playing I bought every single poker book I could get my hands on and when training sites came out, I had memberships to half a dozen of them and would watch every video I could. I actually have a huge bookshelf I bought a long time ago still filled with hundreds of poker/gambling books. I think if I tried to give you a one book or training video series to this now though, I'd probably get laughed at.

I'm going to try to answer this in a more general way. I don't think there is one magic book or training video that's going to propel you from microstakes to low stakes. What I'd recommend and sort of the approach I took was to read and watch as much as you possibly can. Try to take something away from every book and video you read and watch. Even if you don't agree with what you're reading or even if the author doesn't know what they're talking about, it's still valuable insight into how someone thinks and approaches the game.

One of the advantages I found in watching a lot of videos was understanding people's thought processes and why they were doing what they were doing. So even if I didn't agree with what they were saying, I now had access to a subset of players thought processes. When certain situations or unfamiliar plays would come up at the tables that I'd previously watched in videos or read in books, I was immediately able to recognize them and could better understand what my opponent was doing and why.

All that said I'll try to answer your question the way I think you probably expected. The last good LHE strategy book I remember reading was Phillip Newall's Intelligent Poker Player. Again I don't think this is going to magically move you up in stakes by reading and honestly I'm not even sure it's totally appropriate for low stakes (it's been quite a while since I read it).

Most of the reading I did in the last few years I've played poker was centered around the mental game. And I actual read nothing outside of Jared Tendler's books that were even written specifically for poker. I still would recommend those types of books not just for improving your poker game but for improving your life as well. Pursuit of Excellence is one that comes to mind.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:20 AM   #4
Negri
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

whats your net worth and do you have a job lined up ?
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:22 AM   #5
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

Just read your blog post and see that you are getting into DFS. I've been quite into it for the last year or so. Seems quite a lot of poker players have gotten into it. Do you plan on playing all of the major sports year round? Best of luck.
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:34 PM   #6
epdog2005
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

I have just gotten back to lhe after ten years only playing nl. I have found my hand resting skills in game are not good. With the speed of lhe, what mix of playing vs study do you recommend? Thanks
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Old 10-05-2014, 02:22 PM   #7
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

are you available for private coaching?
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Old 10-05-2014, 02:42 PM   #8
Judice555
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

Cheers...
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:27 PM   #9
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

hi piranha, thanks for doing this thread/well. hope you enjoy it
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:43 PM   #10
JDalla
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

what were my main leaks that you tried to go after - back when I played

who are your lifetime 5 'best friends' and 'worst enimies' in winnings/losses
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:46 PM   #11
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

Subbed, don't have a question at the moment.
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:46 PM   #12
tiger415
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

1) will you be playing live in the bay area, and

2) what exactly is the skill gap between a live grinder and an online grinder?
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Old 10-05-2014, 04:13 PM   #13
PlsFold
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

Unlike many succesful limit players 4-5 years ago, you didnt add other games to your portfolio. Why?

Looking back, do you feel it was a mistake focusing much on SNE instead of getting 50 hands/day in at 50/100+?
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Old 10-05-2014, 06:00 PM   #14
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

What situations have the most Reciprocality in today's games?
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Old 10-05-2014, 06:23 PM   #15
piranha
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

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Originally Posted by Negri View Post
whats your net worth and do you have a job lined up ?
Not nearly as high as most people would probably think.

One of my biggest regrets over the last ten years is not managing my money better. Up until about two years ago I was extremely wasteful with money spending tens of thousands of dollars every year on unnecessary trips, lavish meals, entertainment, etc. etc.

Once Black Friday hit, my expenses skyrocketed which forced me to get smarter about money. It was also around that time that I realized I had probably hit my peak in terms of earning potential and that there was a real possibility I wouldn't be able to sustain my income level much longer. Couple that with fact that I was starting to get tired of playing and it became clear I needed to be less wasteful with my money.

My poor money management aside, the single biggest income hit I've taken over the years (and still take) is state and federal taxes. I have friends in Canada who are in disbelief when I tell them how much money I have. I ask them and anyone who lives in a gambling tax free country, how much money would you have right now if the government came and took 43% of all the money you've ever earned gambling?

As far as what I have lined up, I'm playing DFS or Daily Fantasy Sports now.
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Old 10-05-2014, 06:50 PM   #16
piranha
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

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Originally Posted by DrOlson View Post
Just read your blog post and see that you are getting into DFS. I've been quite into it for the last year or so. Seems quite a lot of poker players have gotten into it. Do you plan on playing all of the major sports year round? Best of luck.
Hey Dr. O,

First congrats on your WSOP win. I was following the online stream and sweating Greg pretty hard at that final table. At the time I didn't even realize it was you playing. I remember watching and thinking to myself, I haven't seen this guy make a mistake.

The easy answer to which sports I'm going to play is whichever I think I can make the most money at. I've only played MLB and NFL to this point and almost exclusively GPPs. I picked up MLB very quickly but am struggling with NFL so far. It's hard to get a good grip on where I'm at skill wise with NFL since it runs so infrequently and is subject to so much variance.

I know next to nothing about hockey but am planning on trying NHL this week when the regular season starts. My favorite sport to watch is the NBA so I'll be putting a lot of time and effort into that as well. If NHL and NBA go well, I may forgo NFL or at least do it in a more limited capacity.
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Old 10-05-2014, 06:52 PM   #17
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

You would think the NFL would be the softest.
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:36 PM   #18
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

Wow thx for the opportunity to ask you some questions. You are a FL Legend and i want to know some of your thoughts about Fixed Limit Gameplay:

1. Do you think there is a significant difference in the overall winrate of the sameplayer if he plays 34/24 or 29/21. Or in other words, does preflop have really an big impact for the winrate?

2. Do you think you have a special gift, or be a mathematic genius, or any other reason why you were the best online grinder?

3. What is the street in FL were the most mistakes are made, Flop, Turn or River?

4. Can you tell us, what you think ist the most common mistake, which break even regs on Fixed Limits have? (for example: less valuebetting, less bluffs, too aggressive, to passive etc...)

5. Do you ever testing playing more than 4-5 tables? and whats your experience for the winrate for 6-9 tabling compared with 3-5 tabling?

6. How many fishs (40/8, 50/35 etc...) are enough to play a table for you?

7. Do you think exploiting the enemies is more important than a overall balanced Gameplay?

8. Do you ever thinking about join No Limit, the games are softer and its easier to make money nowadays? Maybe you tried in the past? Also more games are available, which was one of your reasons to quit poker.

Thanks if you could find the time to answer these questions. Wish you all the best in your new life. You are a great inspiration for me.

Last edited by FreakyWeirdo; 10-05-2014 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:17 PM   #19
lemonseeds
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

Hey TP thanks for doing this!

My question is how many hours per week / month would you spend studying and trying to improve your game away from the tables? And what would that study time consist of doing?

Thanks!
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:14 PM   #20
piranha
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

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Originally Posted by epdog2005 View Post
I have just gotten back to lhe after ten years only playing nl. I have found my hand resting skills in game are not good. With the speed of lhe, what mix of playing vs study do you recommend? Thanks
Hand reading skills are obviously extremely important, perhaps the single most important skill to have at a poker table. I'm very much a stats guy and have always used a HUD. Everything starts with people's opening ranges which can be gauged very well from looking at RFI %'s from each position. It's important to understand your own opening ranges from each position because it'll give you a good picture of what other people are opening with.

As an example, I open 19% of my starting hands from UTG in a typical 6-max game. I know my range consists of the following hands: 55+ AT+ A2s+ K9s+ KJ+ QJ Q9s+ J9s+ T8s 97s, 87s, 76s

If I'm up against an opponent that's opening say 22% of their hands from UTG, it almost always means they are opening weaker aces, weaker kings, or weaker Q's. The suited hands don't make up much combo wise and as a result don't effect people's opening % as much. So a typical player opening 22% of their hands is going to have things like A9o, KTo, and QTo. This can be really useful information later in the hand or even preflop if you're sitting on the button with a marginal 3-betting hand like AJo.

Once I have a good picture of my opponent's opening range, it's a matter of narrowing that range down postflop through a variety of factors that include their tendencies (again I use stats for this), the board texture, and their view of my range and how I expect them to adjust their play based on this.

Probably the best general advice I can give you is make sure you always have a picture in your head of what your opponent's range is to start the hand. Narrow down that range as the hand continues. When you get to showdown, always check to see if your opponent's actual hand was part of the range you assigned. If it was, great, you probably don't need to much else. If it wasn't, you'll want to replay the hand in your head and figure out why you didn't include the hand in your assigned range.

Sometimes the reason will be as simple as your opponent made some whacky non-standard play. Other times they'll actually be a flaw in your thinking, where you overlooked something or underestimated your opponent. Either way, you now have valuable information about your opponent while improving your own hand reading skills.

The bottom line is takes lots and lots of practice to get good at hand reading. I always found I was playing my best when I was looking at all the hands that went to SD and was replaying hands in my hand. When I was playing poorly and in auto-pilot mode, I'd be too lazy to even look or take the time to think about how the hand had played out.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:28 PM   #21
piranha
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

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Originally Posted by Tirol View Post
are you available for private coaching?
Not at the moment. I am tutoring one mid/high stakes player that I made an agreement with last year but I don't have any intention of taking on anyone else right now.

If DFS doesn't work out for me or I need an additional source of income, it's possible I'd offer coaching. If I do end up offering at some point, I'll post it in my blog.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:29 PM   #22
PaulyJames200x
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

Hey man i read your blog a while back and i know you are one of the best online limit holdem players. I also recalled you posting a few years ago about betting sports with pinnacle and i have some questions to ask about this and nothing related to poker. Did you bet quite a bit of sports while you were playing poker? What sports did you bet? I assume you were betting a good amt of money per game? Any other books u used?


I read you were in canada and then mexico. But issue is in canada, theres no more skrill so thus you can't move funds around. Also i'm not sure but did you ever play on matchbook? They no longer serve canadian customers.


Did you enjoy canada or mexico more? Where did you stay in mexico? Rosarito or playa?


You mention about daily fantasy sports but are you planning to bet sports in the usa? Because if you are, there aren't any sites out there really left dont you agree? Its basically bookmaker, 5dimes and heritage and 5dimes/heritage limits if you are a winner.


Then again im not sure how anyone feels comfortable keeping a big sum of money even at a book like bookmaker. Would you agree? If you were to bet sports full time, do you think you would be able to do this? Were you a winner betting sports previously? I assume if you bet sports full time instead, you probably will have to go to mexico again then right b/c the climate for sportsbetting in the usa pretty much is horrible?


From what i read about fantasy sports, you can't really make that much money... is that true? All i see in fantasy sports are those small contest etc. So when you say you looking at nhl and nba... do you mean fantasy sports or betting in general.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:30 PM   #23
piranha
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

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Originally Posted by BigBadBabar View Post
hi piranha, thanks for doing this thread/well. hope you enjoy it
Thanks Todd, I appreciate you linking in the other forums.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:57 PM   #24
piranha
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDalla View Post
what were my main leaks that you tried to go after - back when I played

who are your lifetime 5 'best friends' and 'worst enimies' in winnings/losses
Hey JD,

Man we must of started playing together a good 9 or 10 years ago on Stars. I don't really have any specific reads on the "old" you. I know you've played less and less over the past few years and the few times I did play with you I think you were playing too tight preflop. I just assumed you were doing this because you were out of practice and wanted to keep yourself out of tough spots. But really that's it, just playing too tight preflop and that was only recently.

I'm not sure what you mean by best friends and worst enemies. I'm guessing either people I lost/won the money against or people I had the toughest/easiest time against.

If it's the former, that's something I tried to avoid thinking about as hard as it can be. The variance in individual player matchups is mind-boggling. I distinctly remember running insanely hot against ZZeigler for over two years when we were both playing in the same games on a day-in and day-out basis. ZZ never said a word to his credit but it was such consistently amazing variance for so long that I actually brought it to him up at the table. I remember Debilne-Ucho mentioning in the chat how he couldn't beat me a hand after about a year of playing together and I told him not to worry that it'll change at some point and I won't be able to win a hand against him (this prediction unfortunately came true).

That's just the way it goes if you start looking at that kind of thing, you could be substantially better than your opponent and seemingly lose every big pot in the most unlikely fashions for a long, long time.

I think all the comparative type of thinking only serves to detract from play. There are always going to be those guys you can't beat for an extended period of time and guys you can't lose a hand against and it isn't necessarily anything other than variance.

If it's the latter you were asking about, the easiest opponent's to play against are the most predictable and the toughest were the most balanced or unpredictable. I know this is common sense but that's all it really comes down to. If I'm able to easily assign ranges to a player, it's very easy to consistently make the right decision against them. If they're more balanced or unpredictable, it becomes much trickier and requires a lot more thought.

I won't name the guys I felt were the easiest to play against but the people I had the most trouble against were Cosi, KPR, St!ckman, Heisenberg, and Schafsheep.

It's worth mentioning I don't necessarily think those are the 5 best LHE players, just among the toughest to play against because of the thought that's needed when playing against them. Those aren't guys you can ever be on auto-pilot against in other words.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:19 PM   #25
epdog2005
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Re: Retirement from Poker/TPirahna "Well"

I appreciate your thorough response. Thanks for taking the time. Best of luck in your retirement.
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