Little by little, we want to present all of our crew to you. Over the years we've managed to gather some beautiful and very motivated people and this coach is no different.
Hi! I'm pretty good, thank you. This year was great for me so far. A very big change happened for me: after many years of playing professionally, I started focusing almost exclusively on doing work for Smart Spin and fortunately got rewarded for that.
At first, poker was another game where I could compete with others and win because of logical thinking. I started with free-rolls, built my bankroll, but the dollars from the poker account were not money for me, they were just a way of showing how I beat my opponents. After some time the amount money started to be substantial. I loved poker because of its justice - in poker, you always get what you deserve! Sometimes you need a few months to wait for the long run, but you get what you should get. If you work hard - you will profit. If you are lazy, you won't score big, at least at cash games which were my main game. It doesn't matter if your uncle is a city mayor, nepotism won't help you in poker.
Well, at the moment it's Smart Coach, creating pre-flop charts and learning paths (the first steps on our forum). Other than that I'm working on some projects that are not official yet, but I believe they will have a big impact on our players.
I believe it's all about finding the best way to motivate yourself, that is crucial. My first instinct was to say "make poker fun for you", but this was just what worked for me. When I studied with other poker players, we were having fun together, grinding, learning, working on mindset etc. And that made it easier, it was not a job. For some, money can be a motivation, for others it could be the desire to be best, for others it could be to prove to their friends/family that they were wrong when they doubted you will be able to turn pro. Actually all of the above motivated me at the beginning of my career, but after a few years, I realized that simply having fun with what I'm doing is the key.
I have a wife and a son, 11 months old. At first balancing work and family life was very tough for me, I'm thinking about Smart Spin almost all the time, no matter what I do, and when I come up with an idea I want to start doing something to make it happen right away. There were nights when I couldn't sleep well because ideas came to my mind one after another. Every time that happened I got up, took my notebook and wrote them down, go to sleep, another idea - and I repeated the process. Also my son needs a lot of attention, but fortunately I'm adjusting and my balance between family life and work is becoming better and better. I'm not a master yet, but hopefully I will be soon!
I read to relax so 95% + of books I read are not very ambitious, mostly crime stories. The last one I read was "Fortune" by Erica Spindler. It's a pretty decent one. When it comes to hobbies I like watching NBA games, reading and traveling. Oh, and ale :)
In the spring of 2016, my deal with Smart Spin was getting closer to the expiration date. I felt that poker is not as thrilling of a challenge for me as it used to be for the past 10+ years, and if I want to be the best at something it needs to be super exciting for me. I decided to quit poker and turn myself into an analyst, learn new things, find new challenges, and play from time to time for pure fun. I talked about it with KillU and he said (except for many other things xD) "Remember that there will be always a place for you in Smart Spin." I thought that he is just being nice, but he really meant that. After a few days Bakudranski came to meet me face-to-face, we found out that we have a very similar approach and I became an analyst for Smart Spin, working mostly with him. After the first partners were announced I had a long talk with Baku (big up for Baku!) about the requirements of becoming a partner starting from my position. I started to take more responsibility, be engaged in more and more projects, I even started my own ones and five months after our talk I became a partner. And I'm not going to lie while joining Smart Spin as a player I had a vision of me becoming a partner in the future, so I can easily say that it was my long term goal. I am fulfilled, I can retire now.
Poker is much easier when you realize that you get what you deserve. There is no secret how to become a good player. Not everyone can become a top player, notice the difference! But to become a good player you simply need to work hard. Grind a lot. Learn the theory and work with ranges outside the tables. I spent many hours looking at numbers describing particular players, and guess what: people who grind a lot move up in stakes. At high stakes, it changes a little bit, but to move up in stakes while being on low/mid ones, you simply need to grind and work outside the tables at ratios of 3:1 or 4:1.