When I found out about the next founder I was to interview, I had yet to know about the fantastic journey I was going to participate in.
I already knew about his tremendous willpower and attention to details, but those words can be used to describe many poker players. As I was unveiling other chapters of his life, I've been more and more astonished by his approach and attitude.
"From zero to hero" can't really be used because he started with less than that. With loans to survive a couple of months and three mouths to feed, he devoted his time to poker. As irresponsible as it seems, it has turned out to be the greatest decision of his life.
Thank God he is one of the few because the poker world would be much much tougher If I had someone like
Designs strategies and charts for Smart Spin members. A founder of $300 HU HT group.
Smart Spin: Let’s start from the very beginning. A working man who is about to become a father. He leaves his regular job, take some loans and starts playing poker. Pretty crazy, right? Tell us what happened!
I borrowed the money. The plan was simple. I sustained myself on the borrowed money. I deposited a small amount of money which let me play at the low stakes. I would continue borrowing money if my skills, stakes and initial bankroll were increasing. The goal was to find myself in
Smart Spin: Why would you do such a risky thing?
When I decided to dedicate myself to poker at the beginning of 2010 I wasn’t satisfied with my financial situation. At that time I was familiar with poker. I was playing with friends and making smaller deposits on-line. I loved playing, but I didn’t study the game. Inspired by people achieving success in poker and with the belief that if you are completely dedicated to something you will succeed, I decided I would do it.
I would become a professional poker player. The fact that I didn’t have financial flexibility was the biggest problem.
When we don’t have a comfortable financial situation, most of our energy is taken by thinking and acting in order to earn for current needs. Since I wanted to focus only on studying the game and playing I had to organize enough funds.
Smart Spin: I can only imagine how stressful this was for you.
I didn’t have a mentor. I didn’t know anybody who regularly earned serious money by playing poker, I just heard about some who treated it as an extra income. I knew websites tracking scores on-line and that was my only source of knowledge regarding poker players’ earnings.
I felt it was a chance of a lifetime. However, I had to completely reorganize my life. I was very lucky because I had my family’s support. There was no turning back. If I had failed, the only option would have been to return to an average job and it would have taken me a long time before I could have paid back all the debts. In case of a failure, I would have lost a couple of years and a chance for a better life for me and my family. I couldn’t afford to waste time. I had to work on strategy and mindset, and play. The key was to keep my mind in a good shape under pressure in order to implement the strategy.
It took me less than a year. I did it. I could make a profit playing poker.
Smart Spin: I am impressed, but on the other hand, also a little horrified. There were so many things that could have happened to you. Don’t you think you were extremely lucky?
Smart Spin: You have some guts. But you did not reach high stakes immediately. You had ten attempts at playing $100 HU HTs. Ten! Why was it so difficult for you to get used to those stakes?
Every time I tried to shoot $100’s, there was something that had been switching in my mind and I wasn’t able to play optimally.
When I was analyzing the results of players from $100 stakes at the beginning of my career, I knew how much they could earn. The best were able to earn in one month what I could earn in two years in my first job. Such amounts were previously unimaginable for me. My dream was to reach that point and to enjoy life. It was my greatest mindset leak. It took me a long time to understand that it is just one of many steps and there are no limits.
Smart Spin: What was wrong with that thinking? We’ve been talking a lot about setting smart goals and this seems to be a really good one.
Why should I limit myself? Why not set my eyes on the very top? It will involve more work and dedication. Moreover, the probability of succeeding is lower. However, if I set the top as my goal, I will constantly make progress, propelled by my motivation.
Even if I do not reach my end goal, I will definitely be playing higher.
Smart Spin: The good attitude is important to reach the top, but improving
Right now I do not need so many notes, because I am able to analyze plenty of things without them - just like people who have been on a diet for a few years do not need kitchen scales to prepare a meal. Some time ago I was tidying up and I found quite a lot of my notes.
Smart Spin: You reached the $100’s. Was any other stake level so difficult to conquer?
When I sat in the lobby for the first time, a player nicknamed “n1fan” decided to test me. He was a regular there. He still
Here I was… Completely aware of the fact that the biggest reg-war of my career was about to begin. I should play the next couple of hundred - or even thousand - matches against the same opponent, who theoretically should be better than me. When you attack higher stakes, every reg-war can be decisive for your position - whether you stay at the same level or fall. If you fail, you lose time and money. You can imagine the pressure accompanying such a shot.
Smart Spin: I can’t even imagine the money involved at those stakes. Tell us, how did that reg-war go?
It is not all about the money in reg-war. Your opponents must feel pressure, must feel your will to fight.
I spent a lot of time on a very detailed analysis of his tendencies. It was my strong point. I never played with someone without preparation. I also analyzed his timetable. I knew when he’s been sleeping and playing. If necessary, I would have learnt how his girlfriend looked like and what was his dog’s name. When he logged in, I was already waiting - well-rested and ready with my strategy, with conclusions drawn from the previous session. For some time we played every day for a few hours in a row. I had to create an image in his mind, portraying myself as a determined, relentless and self-confident person. When the number of games approached one thousand, he’s been losing around $20,000. One day he didn’t appear at his usual hours. I sat down in the lobby and I saw him playing $100 stakes.
After our war, the information about the results spread out. I had only a few smaller reg-wars following that. Paradoxically, it was easier than moving up to 100$, it took me less time.
Smart Spin: A breathtaking story. This was something else than a simple motivation, more like a sheer will to destroy the guy who was standing between you and those stakes. Let’s fast forward a little, can you tell us how you became one of the founders of $300 cartel?
It was a time when a lot of lower stakes players started to open our lobbies. We had to wait too long for a game with recreational players. Some people, not belonging to any group, were testing newcomers. I was one of the person doing it. The goal was to discourage the new ones to open those stakes without hesitation. Unfortunately, not many people were active in that area. The rest of the regulars were “freerolling”. When we were fighting newcomers, the remaining regulars were getting recreational players. It wasn’t profitable for us. If we hadn’t done anything in six months, all regulars would have waited an hour for one game. Before, it was even 30 games per hour.
I started to cooperate with some fighters, but how to convince other regulars to start playing newcomers and let them open the lobby only if they are skilled enough?
We were a small group who tried to address individual regular players and show them the consequences of being passive, as well as the solution to that problem. One by one. If someone didn’t want to join us, he was against us. Very soon our group expanded to 50 people. At that time there were over 100 players opening this lobby. We set a schedule to cover lobbies in order to implement our plan as soon as possible.
Smart Spin: What happened during that time?
I was playing with people who didn’t belong to our group, eliminating them from the lobby one by one. The plan started to work. After a few
Smart Spin: A lot of non-Polish players probably don’t know about your long-lasting cooperation with
I was reading his blog and his style really suited me. I followed his steps and opened a blog on the same site. Killu often posted his hands and I was gladly writing short texts about them. Someday he announced that he is open to cooperation with other players. I eagerly sent my CV. Then, we talked via
I made it. It was a breakthrough in my career. We spent a lot of time together, breaking more and more records. During our cooperation, I progressed from low to high stakes, whereas Killu - from high stakes to nosebleeds. I felt wonderful being his closest poker partner at the time when he was becoming the world’s HU legend.
Smart Spin: You were a powerful duo, how did you work on your games? I heard stories about some
I am very grateful that I met him on my path, he had a positive influence not only on my poker
Smart Spin: Let’s move to the Spin & Go’s. Smart Fight was your personal challenge with FCD. We would love to know how it looked like from your side of view and why you decided to focus solely on Spin & Go’s!
I decided to resign from my safe source of income in order to focus on the spinning strategy. I needed to learn more about the spin dynamics. FCD had a minimal advantage in terms of Spin & Go
We both enjoy competition and therefore, a challenge appeared. The rules were simple. The winner is whoever ends up with a higher $EV post-
FCD played more games with better results and has earned $18,000 EV, as I have made $13,000 in EV. FCD profited from all his winnings and
The lessons taken from the challenge and during its analysis were valuable for both us and Smart Spin players, so I came to terms with my failure quite fast. Playing against such a great player, even in spite of my defeat, was an honour.
Smart Spin: Now, you work to improve the skills of all Smart Spin members. Could you please tell us more about that? How does it look like, creating a winning Spin & Go strategy?
My duty is to provide our players with the best possible strategy available on the market.
We make a list of game areas which, in our opinion, are worth analyzing. Then we set priorities. Special tools and data are necessary if you want to research a given area, and therefore the next stage involves appropriate planning and preparation. After that, we need to analyse the report and draw conclusions. When we develop the optimal strategy, we face one of our greatest challenges - sharing this knowledge with players in a clear way, so that everything is understandable. Day after day.
That is why when you join Smart Spin, you receive 100-150 preflop charts, depending on stakes. This part of the game is most important - any significant mistake here is impossible to be made up for on the further streets. Our charts are “
Let me use the
We have the best strategy and we will continue to expand our offer. In the nearest
Leakfinder is currently being improved and players with solid volume will have a possibility to receive it with their broken down to two: against fishes and against regs!
Smart Spin: That’s not the end of your poker history, but one of the chapters is definitely over. Although it’s been over 1,5 years now, we are still at the beginning of the next one: Smart Spin. How do you approach that part of your poker, and also life, journey?
Our goal is to make Smart Spin the best poker school in the world. I will do all it takes to make it so.