Lately, Smart Spin members have been hitting big multipliers left and right. The run was so good that we couldn't wait to write about one more jackpot!
And today we can proudly announce that it has happened:
fredydruger won €80,000
in the jackpot at €10 Expresso tournament!
A huge achievement for him, congratulations!
Even though we have already talked to many jackpot winners, we can't imagine the amount of stress in such a tournament. Every hand can be your last and every nerve-racking all-in can make or break your dreams.
fredydruger experienced it first-hand in the €100,000 jackpot on Winamax and was more than eager to share his thoughts with us:
Smart Spin: Only two hours have passed since you won your jackpot on Winamax. How do you feel about this accomplishment, are your emotions still high?
fredydruger: I have to say that quite surprisingly, it's the people who watched the game (my study group but also my 2 roommates who came running in my room when I shouted "I hit the 10k") were more affected by the win. I may not really realize it yet, this is possible. But during the game, I was quite focused. My hands were a bit shaky and my heart was beating fast but I was fine and definitely played my A-game.
Now (1 or 2h later) I'm still a bit shaky, my face is a bit hot like when you're drunk but I even played another 1h session after that and it was great! I was feeling so good I had to continue to play.
It feels like an accomplishment but for sure I'm aware that this is more due to the luck rather than skill. I mean, my dedication, hard work etc.. definitely brought me this win but it's not like I "deserved" it. I mean that I'm not the best player out here, I wasn't particularly waiting for the jackpot or anything but yeah - that feels good.
Also, I had rough 2 weeks just after promo. I was struggling with a huge downswing (more than 120 BI difference between EV and real € results in less than 1k games). I also had tilt issues. The beginning of this month was crazy: a creation of a study group, more hours than ever, more theory than ever, I also joined Smart College 2 days ago.
This jackpot is just the cherry on top of everything. Now I have a free mind and no more money issues. I wasn't sure if I could go pro, I was living on savings for a few months and until now I didn't win enough at poker to fully live from it. This month was kinda hit or miss, my last chance to either get promoted to higher stake or win some jackpot, or next month I would have had to find a stupid part time job like washing dishes in a restaurant (did that for 2 days in September) just to pay the bills.
Smart Spin: It's good that you found this win at such a crucial moment in your life. How about the tournament itself, what can you tell us about it?
fredydruger: The 2 other guys were scared a lot but I didn't decide to widen my ranges right at the beginning. They were not opening that much.
I busted the first one in a 3bet shove situation BTN AKo > SB 3BS AQs. Sorry not sorry but it had to happen :)
Then during the heads-up, it was a minraise festival. We started with approx same stack and my opponent was so tight that I almost opened any hand. Took half of his stack just by min-raising and him folding in HU SB preflop. I had a big advantage, then we had an all-in situation with "almost" similar equity. I was a bit behind but I hit a gutshot straight flush draw on the flop. I finally didn't hit anything and lost the pot. We were at around 13bb avg stack I guess.
Now he has the advantage in chips and I won the most important 30/70 of my life! I was back as a chip leader in the tournament and my opponent decided to shove his last 6bbs into my KK. He still had 30% equity with A4o, turn gives him a flush draw but the salty river is an Ace, giving me a straight and only a top pair for him!
I have to say that I was really asking myself If I should follow our basic strategy or change it a bit. At some point, I had to shove KTo vs 2 opponents and that was soooo scary! There is a spot I even folded top pair in HU SB. It was a terrible top pair, a weak kicker on a monotone board (of course, I didn't have the right colour in hand) and my opponent donked almost pot size. With such shallow stacks, I prefered to fold to avoid crappy spot and abuse him in some other better ones. Since he was so nit and quite predictable I wanted to take easier spots rather than the tough ones but I may have made some mistakes here. I shouldn't be result oriented, there might be some folds or calls I shouldn't have made.
Smart Spin: Thankfully, the tournament went your way. What now? Business as usual and moving up the stakes with the comfort of having jackpot money?
fredydruger: For the next few weeks I guess nothing will change. I have the chance to participate in Smart College so taking a week or two of holidays would be a huge mistake in my opinion. Also, now I'm feeling good and this will probably continue for some time so I should take advantage of that. I realized recently that my biggest leaks were concerning mindset.
Obviously, if we look at the bigger picture, that changes everything. I just finished my studies so it is "life-changing money" as we like to call it. My experience in poker is very limited and I never won more than €500 so it's a giant step towards being a poker professional. Now I will take the time to explain to my family what I do.
This year I made the choice to join Smart Spin and invest my time and energy in poker instead of finding a job, believing in my capacities and also the efficiency of Smart Spin. The trigger was last year when I almost got a job at Ubisoft but they finally decided to take someone with more experience. (Surprised that someone studying has no experience? Are you kidding me, Ubisoft?) If I had had the job, I would have moved to a city where I don't know anyone. I would have worked 60+ hours per week on a video game (sounds fun but it's stressful), working for bosses with strict schedule etc.. My friends and family knows that it's totally the opposite of the lifestyle I expect. I had summer holidays at home in France and then went back to Montréal and no one in my family really knows that I made this choice to play poker. I was afraid of telling them because I thought they would not understand and also be really disappointed, thinking I was wasting talent or something. I wanted to wait until I can prove them that it's not only a lottery and it's not a shitty lifestyle like people can think. I have never met people who work 70% as hard as the poker players around me.
Now it's time for me to explain them, with graphs and numbers to help my speech. And to answer the first question - yes, now my goal is to reach the highest stakes as fast as possible (it has always been my goal but now it's more likely to happen). Then, to win the most I can. Then... I don't know, enjoy life?
Smart Spin: Thank you, you wrote a lot about yourself. We wish you good luck in going up the stakes and explaining to your family what you are doing!
fredydruger: You're welcome! Definitely, the jackpot money will help them to understand the profitability. I won in 5 minutes what I would have earned in the 1.5 years of work.
I also want to thank you and every Smart Spin member without whom I would never have achieved that, especially the few ones that helped me going through those terrible weeks I had lately; my French-speaking study group and few staff members in particular!
Poker is really a game that changes lives. Learn how to beat it with us!