0ivka: Everyone thinks I play like top 10% hands and that I can't bluff!

It's Ivka time! No further hesitation, no further bullshit. Episode 3 / Part 1 of Awkward Banter is here! You can read the talks with Epiphany77 and Jdawg91 by clicking on the respective buttons in a left News sidebar on your homepage.

Ivka! A lot of TiltBookers did not pass the opportunity to ask you a question. Naturally, none of them are worth posting, so you’re stuck me with me. Let me start off by saying that you surely do stand out in our community, even though you do not post a lot and we do not really know that much about you – besides the fact that you play poker and foosball. So... who exactly is Ivka and how did she find her way to TiltBook?

I am not even sure how did I get into TiltBook. All I know is that I did not want to post my poker stuff on Facebook and I eventually found TB... somehow. People were interested in me and I had a place to cry my heart out when things weren’t going that well, so I kept posting. Btw, I just checked and my first post was 1123 days ago, whining about a -$20 day, lol. I was so bad back then!

But you’re right, I do not post a lot anymore. My poker career is mostly a steady grind, there is hardly ever anything worth posting. I do not play MTTs much, so I got no big hits either. And sadly, nowadays, even when I do post something, I get a lot of stupid comments. That’s why I am actually planning on starting my own blog.

Wait, what do you mean „A lot of stupid comments“ ?! I do not comment on your stuff THAT much!

Well, after all those years, I finally learned to just ignore you.

...and yet we are doing an Awkward Banter.

Sometimes you actually can be pretty serious.

Nah, I just pretend. It’s something Masuro is willing to pay extra for. Anyway, most people love TiltBook because it’s a „safe“ and accepting place for grinders wanting to post their stuff.  You seem to be suggesting otherwise.

The truth is, there are a LOT of people on TB who don’t care about what I am actually posting, you know, they care about me only because I am a woman. But, there is also a whole bunch of awesome and inspiring players that are truly supporting me. Oh, and I for sure have to mention the fundraising we did for a treatment for my friend’s little kid. That was a big plus!!

Ivka (bottom right) at the final table of Slovak Series of Poker Deepstack event

Oh, yeah I remember that. That really made me happy, I am very glad we can do something like that from time to time. The only question is, how much (less) would we raise if you were a man.

Nah, there were a couple of fundraisers before mine, done by men, who raised even more, so... it does not look like it matters.

Heh, fair enough. Poker is heavily dominated by men overall, though. Is that something that has any impact on you? Do you feel like being a poker pro is in any way different for you as a woman, than it is for the guys?

Oh, for sure. I learned pretty quickly that... during a certain time of the month, I have to tone my volume down to a minimum. I mean, one bad beat and I feel like throwing my setup out of a window :D Another thing that comes to mind is my image in live poker. I get chips, like, basically for free, it’s ridiculous. The men there want to keep me in the game for as long as possible :D

Wow, you know, when I was asking that question, I wasn’t really thinking about periods at all. That is actually a pretty fascinating point, that you have to deal with this as a player.

That was the very first thing pLAYERsvk (a good friend and coach) warned me about when I told him I wanted to be a poker pro.

Wait, he warned you that being a grinder won’t be easy for you because of your periods? :D

Actually... yep :D He explained to me how female hormones work and all that stuff.

Wait, wait, wait, wait :D ... Let’s… let’s take one step back here please. HE... explained to YOU... how female hormones work? :D

It sounds funny, but... yes, pretty much :D

Damn it! :D I gotta get him on here ASAP! I mean... someone who can explain to ALL of our members how female hormones work... that’s gotta be the most GTO piece of coaching material we can possibly get in here! This is amazing!

He could explain a lot of things :D

I am speechless, I mean, what a beast! :D I am still processing this. Let’s get back on track though. So there’s periods and there is also more fold equity vs live players.

So much more fold equity! I mean, everyone thinks I play like top 10% hands and that I am incapable of bluffing :D Which is of course not true at all :P Btw I also want to say that I am a girl who lives with a poker player and I think that men have their… “times of the month” too. It’s less extreme, but I believe it’s there!

Hah. I believe you are talking about your boyfriend WWO16 or „Vovo“.

Yep. If it wasn’t for him, I would never got into playing poker or into TB :-)

Ivka with her BF WWO16 (bottom left) and pLAYERsvk

Which is an awesome segue to one of the questions our reigning Member of the Year Abarone68 suggested (thanks, mate!), while bigstealer didn’t post shit. He was probably busy getting mad or something. But, here it is. Do you think there is a difference between dating a poker player in comparison to a non-player?

You know, I can’t really tell you, cause I have been with Vovo for 6 years now, you know. But I think it would be tough, especially if the guy had some kind of a regular job. I am not sure if he would understand that I can set my schedule however I want, while at the same time I’d be probably be pissed that he cannot do anything with his schedule.

That said, did you get into poker because you were interested in WWO and therefore interested in stuff that HE liked, or were you geniuenly interested in poker from the get-go?

I always loved maths, riddles, puzzles, all that stuff and I have always been better than others at figuring this stuff out...  so poker just seemed perfect for me. I also studied civil engineering that includes a lot of maths and creativity too, although I eventually dropped out to play poker full time. I think there is a much bigger potential and more fun in poker.

A true poker pro! Do you still think that the potential is there, though? I am starting to worry that it’s simply not true anymore. I used to use this argument too, but with all the games getting either tougher or dying out, rakeback getting cut, rake increased, countries being pulled out... I am not really sure.

I am not saying that it’s amazing or that it is as good as it once was, but I think that the potential is still there. Look, you don’t have to earn millions for poker to be a good option. Even if we earn just enough money to buy ourselves a house would be amazing! Also, I know a lot of people who have a really well-paid job, their position is very promising, but they don’t have any time to travel and to be truly free. I would hate to be in such a job, poker suits me much much more.

Ivka somewhere in the world

Fair enough, I think I am with you in all of those points. There is certainly money still to be made, especially for us, cheap-ass Eastern Europeans. And Ragz. If he can FINALLY catch some rungood. So, what do you even play now and how does it go? We do not really know much about how has your poker career been.

Currently I play 9-man sit & gos and that is actually the format I first started my grind with. I also had a big 6-max phase, in fact, I was seriously thinking about going for SNE last year, but I hit an awful 200 BI swing on $30s. To be honest, in the end I was happy I did not have to put in those 200-hour months, cause I hate being a no-lifer.

Then, for two months I played Spins, where I was doing well when it comes to chipEV, but again, that bloody variance! But it all taught me a lot and now I am using all that to be better at 9-man sngs. I am not earning millions, but I have a very good life balance, so I am very pleased :)

Yeah and there might be another reason why you are probably glad the SNE thing did not work out. I am just saying, so that I can throw "Fuck Amaya" somewhere in here. How about other formats, though? Aren’t you getting tired of sits?

Yeah... I like to play a couple of MTTs from time to time, but the structure is not for me, really. I sometimes play a bit of cash, I also enjoy playing heads-up, but the classic sit & gos will probably always be my main thing.

Let’s say hold’em would completely die out tommorow... and all the other games would be pretty much the same in terms of traffic, profitability etc. Which one would you go for?

Uhhh... I guess PLO. I barely even know what other games there are, you know. :D But! My mom plays all of them!

Haha, Momma the Grinder?

You bet! First she did not really like me playing, but now she is the one playing like all the games :))

Hah, that is awesome! Will we see her playing 8-Game Mix at the WSOP one day? Let’s go, new challenge!  „The first mom and daughter to win a bracelet", cmon!

:D That would be so cool.

Is anything like that the dream? WSOP bracelets, EPT titles, high stakes cash games in Macao...

Oh yeah, I would love to play some of those one day! Especially the World Series and EPTs. Maybe next year!

Maybe next year indeed! I think 2008 was the year I first said that to myself.

This concludes the first part dedicated mainly to pokerz n shit, next time we will talk about foosball n shit! - where Ivka has been doing some pretty amazing things! Stay tuned, we will have a lot of fun! In the meantime, tell us what you did like and what you didn't!

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