Questions and Answers

AskThePRO with Paul "Cog Dissonance" Collins

We would like to invite all our users to watch and participate in the next AskThePRO episode on TiltBook.com that will take place on Wednesday, 21.05.2014 at 17:00 CET! You can start posting your questions right now and when the session begins, our hero will choose and answer your best and most interesting ones in a course of exactly one hour.

This week's special guest: Paul "Cog Dissonance" Collins

I'm a midstakes HU hyper sng player on Stars. I'm also known for coaching over 400 students and for making videos on husng.com. I'm older than most poker players - 43 (my god!) and live in a nice villa in Bali. My only income for the last 5 years has been from poker, so in that sense I guess I'm a pro, but I don't make huge money.

To check out my personal coaching, feel free to visit my twoplustwo thread :)

Paul will be live on TiltBook to answer all your cool questions on Wednesday, 21.05.2014 at 17:00 CET at www.tiltbook.com/AskThePRO.
And as always, remember the best question posted wins

Sorry, you can't post questions at the moment.

Scarmaker: Hey there Paul! Thanks for doing the AskThePRO!! :) So... the obivous question for a start - how come such an old fart is capable of beating online poker so hard? :P No seriously though, do you know any actual online pros (not ones that transitioned to online from live) who are older than you? Because I don't think I can.
May 19, 2014 20:29
I can't think of any pros older than me, certainly not in heads up. I think being older and having a family makes it so much tougher. Imagine how hard it is to build a roll when there's 3-4k a month being drained from it, every single month. It certainly makes you more risk adverse. As for how I manage at 43.. well in my head I'm still 17 :D
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:16
SanderSmets: Hi Paul! Why are you attracted more to Heads-Up play rather than 6max or full ring? Is it the reads and adapting to the others? (i find that very difficult to do myself)
May 19, 2014 22:19
I started out playing $5 MTT tourneys, and on the side I just loaded up a hu table. After a while I realized that I was making more from the hu than if I cashed in the MTT, so I dropped the tourneys in favor of hu. I find hu to be very personal, it's really a one on one battle with your opponent. It's such an intense experience where you're totally focused on what your opponent is doing at all times.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:17
SanderSmets: How did you study poker? And do you still study for it a lot?
May 19, 2014 22:26
I never used to study, but hu hypers have become so much more competitive lately and I now do work on CREV http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYzdTrxSPLw and discuss poker a lot with my friends.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:19
SanderSmets: Do you chat with some regulars you know, or do you play too much (how much?) tables at the same time? :)
May 19, 2014 22:26
I have a lot of friends who are hu pros. Moca choca89 a $500 reg who is here in Bali and a very good friend of mine. Kyle Aiken, who lives in my spare room and is a legend for making SNE two years running at the $60-$200 level (in heads up this is a mammoth achievement). Campbell gee who is a former student of mine who also lived with me for a while and also lives in Bali. He plays $300 hypers and up to 1k turbos. As well as I just l0ld, someone I consider a very close friend even though I've never met him irl.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:17
Also I'm frends with chucknorrisq and is wife who stayed in Bali for 3 months and the Estonian crew, as well as the UK guys who live here (1rake1, mav, and majcy) Technically Majcy is Polish, but he speaks better English than rake and mav
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 17:04
swayzy: Hey Paul, I noticed you said you were living in a Villa in Bali. I lived in Bali myself for several months and over a year in Indonesia. However, online poker is illegal there, do you simply use a VPN to play? I want to visit Indonesia for a few months but am worried about what would happen if they catch me playing. I know the chance is minuscule, but do you know what the repercussions are for poker players who are caught playing in Indonesia? Finally, what hud do you think is the best for heads-up? Do you have any opinion on the Alpha Hud?
May 19, 2014 23:30
Serjo600: How much money u grind to the ur working session on a day?
May 20, 2014 00:48
Last year I made $60k and the year before 70k at the tables including rakeback. This year has been tough, I've been in a breakeven stretch. So I make an OK living on the tables. I probably play 3-4 hours a day and normally have some coaching on top of that. For me, as long as there is food on the table I'm happy, and try and spend as much time with my family as possible.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:20
Scarmaker: Also, I do post this question every time and I am very interested to read yor answer as for the live scenarios - what are the main leaks that other regs have that you think you have made the most money off?
May 20, 2014 12:27
I'd have to say most other regs in hu come from the same school of Mersenneary videos and for a while they were exploitable, but now the edges are much lower and really I just battle enough regs to keep the waiting list low at the buyins I play.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:24
SirLordJames: Hey Paul, for how long do you plan to stick to the playing poker. Do you consider to lower volume of playing the game and start to do even more coaching, since you already have so many students and like Scarmaker mentioned, you're out of average age of online poker pro :). So my question is basically if you want to ever quit playing online instead of coaching or live playing. Thank you for your time and good luck with crushing these HU!
May 20, 2014 18:52
I don't play as much as other full time players because of the coaching. Only 3-4 hours a day. I think that sort of time commitment I can keep up for the foreseeable future. Eventually I may move out of poker and in to building villas, but that's a dream at the moment.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:22
Scarmaker: Could you name any biggest "aha moments" that lead to the lovely graphs you have? :)
May 21, 2014 13:13
When I worked out that everyone has leaks, they are either too tight, too loose, too aggressive or too passive, and that a way could be found to exploit each of these flaws. Some of the best players are superb at being balanced and that's why they are better than me and would crush me :D
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:27
johnworf: As an "old fart" myself the same age as you - 43. What is the maximum amount of tables you multi-table...or maybe as you are heads up you only play a maximum of 4 tables at once? Do you find being older it's harder to maintain longer grinds at the table...and do you do anything to help you maintain it for longer (ooh-err!)
May 21, 2014 13:20
privador: Being a 43 do u think you are still competitive with young guys? I am 33 and seems like im too old for poker and most pokerplayers retire at the age 30 s Which poker formats suit for older pro players?
May 21, 2014 13:30
I'm definitely competitive with the younger guys, I do work pretty hard at my game to make sure I don't get picked off. As for older pros, I'd guess that MTTs would be good. You get to use the patience that develops with age to your advantage! Also hu guys seem to do very well in this format, which makes me think it's one of the softest formats left.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:28
realista73: is it tru that You never went broke on the Way up? have can You do this?
May 21, 2014 13:40
Yes I deposited $50 and now including rakeback that's probably turned into 300k, I made 100k on FTP pre rb, 100k on Stars pre rb, and about 60k on other sites before I moved to FTP. But I did this over quite a lot of years, I'm just one of those guys who made a steady income each year, nothing special. As for how I didn't go broke, I started when the games were incredibly soft, and I'm sure that's why.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:31
pacristea86: What question would you have asked to win you're first 20$ ?
May 21, 2014 13:50
Errrr.. hmm. Maybe, how do you think playing poker compares to a regular job?
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:32
iceman: Hi Paul, thanks for spending your time with us. Looking back to when you started out and knowing what you know now, what's the best advice you could give someone that's planning to pursue a career in poker and more specifically in the format you play, hyper HU SnGs?
May 21, 2014 14:20
Very welcome. Well I think I'd get coaching as soon as I could afford it. It's a shortcut and will end up saving you so much time and effort in the long term. There's no way you can work out hu without videos or coaching at this stage. So a husng.com membership is also a necessity.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:34
Very welcome. Well I think I'd get coaching as soon as I could afford it. It's a shortcut and will end up saving you so much time and effort in the long term. There's no way you can work out hu without videos or coaching at this stage. So a husng.com membership is also a necessity.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:34
rollinas: Hey, buddy, first of all, I want to use this opportunity and thank you personally, because your vids on husng.com made me grow fast [it was like in 2009-2010], when I was just starting to get into poker :) one of the best video producers of all time, imo. I never looked back after that in my ~4 year poker career, never busted BR, and largely it's your fault [and mercenneary's, but hey ...], so THANKS! I just wonder how do you keep going ? what motivates you ? I feel like money is not a motivation for me anymore, although I never made crazy amount of money [compared to some husng pros]. Thank you in advance!
May 21, 2014 14:21
Rollinas, a fellow hu pro! Thank you for the kind words! I have a family which includes my wife and 2 young boys (who never stop driving me crazy). My motivation is putting food on the table, because if I fail at poker it's back to a real job, and believe me, a real job is NOT fun.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 16:36
Destinysta: Hi Paul. My question might be irrelevant but just curious what country have you won the most money in and also which country would you like to retire considering its right around the corner :p
May 21, 2014 16:53
Indonesia. I've lived here for 15 years, so I'm very comfortable here, I speak the local language, my wife is Indonesian. Bali is an awesome place to live, so I could see myself being here forever.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 17:02
Destinysta: Hi Paul. My question might be irrelevant but just curious what country have you won the most money in and also which country would you like to retire considering its right around the corner :p
May 21, 2014 16:53
Axif: What do you like the most about Bali? And also, why did you choose Bali?
May 21, 2014 17:14
The people here are really lovely. The island is just magic, beautiful beaches, fantastic weather, great food. But really it's the people who make its such a fantastic place to live.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 17:17
PumaPerez: are super detailed HUDs needed to beat HU games? are you using such HUD? what HU limit do you think can be easily crushed without such advanced techniques?
May 21, 2014 17:21
Nearly everyone playing hu from the $30 level up is using a hud, and nearly all of them use the coffee hud. I do use the hud, but lately I've found myself too reliant on it so the last week or so I've switched it off in order to get more focused on my opponent rather than just stats. I'd say if you played one or two tables at most, you could beat almost any limit without a hud, provided you had the skill level.
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 17:24
The top guys all mess with each other's hud stats anyway, they are aware of how to exploit people who over rely on the hud
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 18:06
rozerocool: Why poker?
May 21, 2014 18:25
 photo cogdis May 21, 2014 18:48
firekill79: Which format of poker did you start with? Did you start with HU with your own bankroll, or did you have a big MTT score which helped you to start your career? Have a nice day!
May 21, 2014 18:48
I was playing micro mtts and started hu on the side. Eventually I realized I was always making money hu, while mtt was hit or miss.
 photo cogdis May 23, 2014 04:32
fulixas: Hi Paul. Big HU HYPERS FAN!Any tips how to don't go to high limits and start losing? How to stay at my limits? how to control yourself? Is that right to call all in with Any Ace or Any King? How should you play if player plays you very agressively or passive? Some playing: I have 10c9c blinds 25/50 i have 400chips , and he raises me 100 i go all in . Is that right decision? What is the biggest mistake that HU players do? Is bluffing in HU is great tactic? Thanks for answers Paul and goodluck!
May 21, 2014 19:07
Use the responsible gaming options on Stars. Block yourself from any limit you shouldn't be playing. I do! How deep you call any A or K depends on the stack depth, but for a full stack you should be stacking off with 44+ and A9+. As for the Tc9c I might flat that, unless he raise folds a lot. Barreling can be a great tactic, but bluffs need to make sense or you're getting called!
 photo cogdis May 23, 2014 04:34
dexon303: Hi, what Do you think about Hyperturbos? Why do you prefer Turbos?
May 21, 2014 20:16
All the action is in hypers, the turbos have really dried out. Hypers are really the format to play at the moment.
 photo cogdis May 23, 2014 04:35
swayzy: Would really appreciate if you could answer my question about playing online poker in Indonesia. I really want to move back to Indonesia myself so I would be very thankful for your answer.
May 21, 2014 21:27
Hey Swayzy, I actually did answer and then think I forgot to publish, sorry about that!. No one minds if you play poker here even thought it's not legal. In all of Indonesia there's only a handful of players and the government isn't going to allocate resources to such a small problem. As for huds, the coffeehud is definitely the best.
 photo cogdis May 23, 2014 04:30
mooNkr: If I want to become a Pro Poker Player, HU Hypers are a good option?
May 21, 2014 22:24
Yes probably the best option in poker atm. You can make 3% pre rakeback.
 photo cogdis May 23, 2014 04:36
blender803: what do you think that is your "factor x" if i can say in poker?[something that makes you better:P]
May 21, 2014 22:53
Just the fact that I'm patient, and and always work on my game.
 photo cogdis May 23, 2014 04:37
blender803: what do you think about preflop game?how % do you think that preflop play influence your game?
May 21, 2014 22:53
I think I make most of my money post flop, its harder and harder to get a preflop edge.
 photo cogdis May 23, 2014 04:36
Scarmaker: Thanks very much for the AskThePRO Paul! :) Was a nice read. The $20 for the best question posted is going to iceman, congratz! :)
May 22, 2014 14:52

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