Questions and Answers
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bigstealer: Talk us through your bust out in yesterday's SCOOP-7 Mid level HU tournament vs a tight passive fish.
May 15, 2013 16:47
johnaz: why do you prefer SNG?
May 15, 2013 17:26
Honestly, it's just what I started playing online in 2008, so it's what I have the best skill set to excel in now. I had just got laid off from my job b/c of the economic collapse in the USA, and I was messing around playing $5 reg speeds (one tabling) on Pokerstars. Some reg must have not liked a call I made and he said "Bad ICM" to which my novice reply was "What's ICM?" He said "That's -EV" and I replied "EV?" He said "nevermind donk" to which I replied "donk?" He said nevermind. I googled the terms ICM, EV and Donk (no lie) and I found an article on Poker X Factor talking about how to make $10/hr 4tabling $10 Turbo SNGs. I took my last $600 and signed up for an FTP acct w/ RB, ordered and Laptop and a PXF membership on a creditcard and started playing all day and watching beanmo videos each night. 5 months later I was playing $500 SNGs. So I guess don't tap the glass?
lolipopboy: How much do you play poker? =)
May 15, 2013 18:05
It varies, when I go back to visit USA I don't play at all. Some weeks I play 50-60 hours, some I struggle to get 25. I'd say 30-35hrs on average. That said, poker is a full time round the clock gig. I've embraced it as a lifestyle. It's why I live where I live, why I know who I know ect. It would be impossible to quantify all the time I spend thinking about poker or talking about poker. I guess that's why when I take a vacation I open my laptop or even go on skype.
I don't open my laptop or even go on skype*
masuronike: Im so proud we have another one of the best 6max hypers reg in askthepro and I can tell everyone its really tough play against James. Thats why I want to ask you how did you become so good player? Did you have coach or you just worked on your game all days long?
May 15, 2013 18:41
I have done an AWFUL lot of studying in my lifetime. I used to Study (SNG WIZ, replayer videos, 2+2 forums, ect) more than I played. I figured the more I improved, the greater my hourly when I played, so in the beginning, when I'm not very good and playing low stakes, I devoted more time to studying. Now that my time is worth more and I have the knowledge base I spend MUCH more time playing. Playing also helps you improve. I've played over 100,000 Sngs, it's impossible not to get better. You just see so much, and you internalize game flow and what different things mean through repetition and sub-conscious observation
Seda16: Can you swim? What types of swimming do you prefer? Can you swim backwards?
May 15, 2013 18:54
I swim with the fishes, wherever they may be ;)
Scarmaker: Hey man! There is one thing I am wondering of lately I would like to ask you about. Do you always think strictly in ranges or do you tend to (mostly post-flop) use betsizing and time "tells" to determine opponent's holding more precisely?
May 15, 2013 19:08
I definitely use all of the above. It's important to know your opponents pre-flop ranges and carry those ranges street by street. You can certainly pick up on bet-sizing tells and timing tells from people you play against frequently and exploit them.
oKiNeK: how did u get your nickname?
May 15, 2013 19:41
I actually was an author and a comedian when I was in college. I used to write a humorous dating/sex-advice column for my school paper. I bought the domain name thedrunklife.com back in 2005 and used it to re-post my articles to get further exposure. At the time it was all drunklife brand on the brain when I made my PS acct. My FTP account was BigGamesJames, a nickname I got from my gf at the time's older sister b/c I was playing poker all the time.
BluffieAA: What was your hourly rate when you decided to play for a living?
May 15, 2013 19:57
I don't remember exactly but I think it was around $100/hr. I was making 5K a month when I felt like it was a real job. But I guess I decided I was going to play for a living before I ever made a cent. I knew it could be done, and therefore I knew I could do it. I didn't have a job when I started, and I stopped looking for one as soon as I started playing. I think to do anything that most people will tell you is "unwise" or "impossible" you have to have an unwavering belief in yourself.
HonzaT: R u happy?
May 15, 2013 20:10
Sometimes. I strive for happiness in life and success in poker to be unrelated. Thing is you can be happy with poker but unhappy with the rest of your life, and vise-versa. It always seems when one is soaring the other is plummeting. I try to make sure I always do the things that will make me happy regardless of how poker is going. Exercise is a huge one for me. To take a step back, I believe that nothing can make you happy. No amount of money, no girl, no place. Nothing. Happiness is an internal disposition. It's a choice, but a very hard one to make and commit to. It's not easy to be happy, but no matter who you are and what you feel you "have" in the world, there are people happy with less and people miserable with more. I think the idea of "having" is a flawed concept anyway, because in life you take nothing with you, and you can't really own anything, even your body, let alone a house or a car. I believe in being happy first, and that happiness can help you reach your goals, not the other way around.
masuronike: What do you think about future of 6max hypers?
May 15, 2013 20:31
I see me with a sharkscope hollow star for anystakes and you begging for a stake
Scarmaker: Do you still do comedy in any way except for posting random lolz on TiltBook?
May 15, 2013 20:40
See below :D I kid myself that I'll get back to writing or open mics but I feel like trying to excel in multiple things at once is very hard. I'm not a fan of Multitasking. I've always felt that when I focus on one thing, put all my eggs in one basket, don't have a backup plan and just do, I can do anything. When I try to spread my efforts in a buncha different things, I just do a buncha things ok but no real greatness in anything. Maybe my belief is a self-fulfilling prophesy. I'd def like to write a book someday, I doubt it would be a comedy book, but I'm sure it would be funny in some ways. I guess the comedic aspect of my personality comes through in all aspects of life, my blog posts, my conversations, and my table antics.
masuronike: Are you happy in real life? How do you balance poker & real life?
May 15, 2013 20:40
I like to think so. There are things in my life that aren't ideal, like having friends and loved ones in all different parts of the globe, many of whom are in a country where I can't work. But there are FAR more no-ideal situations in life. I have my health, I have my freedom. I have a lot to be happy about. As I mentioned before, I commit to exercise 3x a week. I do Crossfit, which is super-hardcore but it gets me in very good shape. I eat healthy. These things help my confidence, which in turn makes me more outgoing. As a single guy, it's important to be able to shake off the "I've been sitting behind a computer grinding poker for 60 of the last 72 hours" and be a human and interact with people when you're "out in the world." Aside from that, I make sure I get outside and get sunlight. For instance today I woke up at 4pm after playing all night, so I went and had lunch in the park. Just kinda chilled with nature, enjoyed the last bit of sun. Had a nice convo with the dude who maid my lunch. I'm a deep thinker, so I try to meditate sometimes to clear my mind and I watch a lot of videos that are motivational or otherwise uplifting to help me stay positive and keep me in a frame of mind that's conducive to abundance in life.
Scarmaker: Can you imagine any reason why would you somehow swtich to cash games at any point of your career?
May 15, 2013 20:41
It's certainly not impossible. I'm actually friends with some really sick cash players from my time living in Vegas. Compared to some of my friends making millions (literally) I'm like the bum playing SNGs lol. If I were to find myself in the right living situation where I could get coached by the right people it could happen. If anyone can learn to make millions at cash poker then I believe I can do. I just think It's a bit of an uphill battle. I believe I'm top 5, and I think most people would say I'm at least top 20 sng players in the world. I don't even think I'm top 2000 cash game players. I have 5 years of work into SNGs, and I think it's less likely now that there are 500 hypers and will potentially be 1ks. I believe I can optimistically make 500K+ a year in sngs if I had the roll to play high enough and sustain the variance. I think my opportunity cost to stop playing SNGs would be very high, but there are factors that could weight against that, such as long run ev or more likely life ev. I didn't get into poker to sit behind a desk 40+ hours a week, and oddly enough that's what SNE amounts to. Also, part of why I started playing poker was b/c I enjoyed it. Learning new skills and overcoming challenges is fun for me. It's not always about optimizing your hourly. I think sometimes it's about making your work a pleasure so that you never feel like your working.
masuronike: Do you play MTTs? If yes what kind of MTTs do you prefer and what do you think about your roi in MTTs? Do you have patience to play slow structure MTTs with unreal amount of bigblinds?
May 15, 2013 21:19
I do play MTTs. I've had solid results in 25BB hyper MTTs and turbo MTTs, not so much in the big field slow structure stuff. My most played MTT is turbo hundred dollar buyin events that usually have 100-1k ppl. My ROI is like 60% but it's only a few hundred games. I literally think I'm as good as anyone in the world with 25 big blinds or less. I feel it's hard to imagine not being +ev in big field reg speed events, but the variance is just absurd. I look at a lot of people scopes, and there are massive 6 figure winners who are down 40-60k in 215 reg speed scheduled events. I find most of the MTT sickos make their money in high buyin events with smaller fields. 2k scoops, 100 rebuys, sunday 500 ect. It also makes sense b/c although it brings a tougher field, just like in SNGs, you can develop history and metagame with you opponents that carry over from tournament to tournament. Basically you can make moves, where as I feel the strategy in big field slow structure events is just standard lines a lot of the time, and where is the fun in that. Not exactly my specialty. Personally, I like to play any hyper MTT, especially 6max. The supersonic is a bit of a nightmare, but if anyone is +ev I'm confident I am. Same with any small field turbo, although sometimes they are just all regs. I play the big field stuff also, but I definitely have improvements to make on my game at deeper stack sizes. That's ok though. I've been on a bit of a downswing lately, so I've been messing around in other games to give myself a bit of a break and find the fun in poker again. Learning and improving every day makes me wanna get out of bed and play poker. Watching my redline soar at 3% in hypers while losing 100s of buyins is less enjoyable ;)
fwiw, i got inside the final 100 of the 30,000 player sunday storm 2 weeks in a row now. Arguably a bigger accomplishment than Dan Harrington final tabling the WSOP ME 2 years in a row??
pLAYERsvk: i dont know what to ask :D ,but I have to say, there are awesome answers and you are big inspiration to me :) GL HF
May 15, 2013 21:29
Thank you very much! You might enjoy some of the entries on my blog thedrunklife.com I Don't update too frequently (maybe once every 2 months) but I think my posts generally have some substance.
gato: What do you think of the idea that in the hyperturbos no "zero edge"?
May 15, 2013 21:35
I'm not sure i understand the question. If it's the idea that "there is zero obtainable edge in hypers" that's just nonsense. I could imagine specific games where no one has an edge. 6 regs all playing push/fold nash from 25BB on down would give the edge solely to poker stars. However, with 25BB play not being push fold, metagame, adjusting ranges ect and most importantly table selection,t here are still a lot of edges to be had in today's games. Anyone who doesn't think so is likely diverting responsibility for their results.
masuronike: What player would you like to see in askthepro and ask him something?
May 15, 2013 21:48
My #1 would probably be dhilton12. That dude plays everything. Got the Scoop Highs and the $11 turbos and $1 3x rebuys all at the same time. I'd love to know more about his apporach to sessions and his set up. Aside from him, honestly, any of the greats. For SNG players maybe Scossett, Kenny05, MouldyOnions, Jorj, ect. For poker in general, Phil Galfond, shaud deeb, Brynn Kenny. I could go on forever, it's a hard question, but the good news is there are so many right answers. Biggest bosses you can IMO.
masuronike: Instead of Mossos obv
May 15, 2013 21:51
I think we give Mossos more attention than he deserves. He's a whatever reg who types as if he were a fish. It is what it is.
- 32 supernova Elites
- And players who actually win pre-rakeback
- They all share their poker lives on TiltBook