Congratulations to Xptboy for reaching the $60's stakes at Spin & Go's! Those 4,600 games with 55 cEV got you here and you should be proud of yourself!
This is another beautiful story of a Smart Spin member:
Xptboy: Hey, I am glad to do this interview! Before I joined Smart Spin when I was playing the low stakes at PLO50z-PLO100z. Occasionally I played some Spin & Go’s and I immediately noticed how soft the games were compared to PLOz, so I decided to put some more serious volume in and managed to go up to $15’s stake, which was pretty decent. This is when I decided to commit to this format and try to get as much help as possible so I could move up the stakes as fast as possible. Smart Spin appeared to be the best poker school and the most obvious option for this format. So I joined Smart Spin in October last year, and I was immediately placed into the $15’s stake. I was already doing decently at this level so in less than 2 months I was promoted to $30’s, in December. For me this was already a big deal, I was full of success. Especially since 2016 was my first year grinding full time as a poker player. And I didn’t really cope with this success so well to be honest. I ended up being very inconsistent in terms of volume, some weeks or even months I’d be barely grinding at all and this is one of the main reasons it took me so long to move up to $60’s. Finally, I think it’s since I’ve been really working on my mindset and work ethic and general approach to life that led me to put in more volume on a consistent basis. Now because I’ve been putting in volume on a consistent basis I have improved as a poker player and I think that’s a big reason why I’ve reached $60's now.
adaeg: Have you worked with any coach in particular since you have been in Smart Spin?
Xptboy: Yes. To be honest, in Take&Share I’ve got private coachings from quite a few of our coaches which were awesome obviously. I already did coaching sessions with Zuber85, Darkornot, and Fi_sh_ark84. But personally the most helpful to me has been the session with Wolle83. I was lucky enough to get invited to one of his private study groups with a few other Smart Spinners who were some of the top grinders at $30’s and $60’s, and this study group has been very helpful. We had some coachings, but we also discussed hands freely, had our own study partners, we also motivated each other to grind harder. I really liked Wolle83’s approach to poker when I talked to him in private about scheduling routines, and goals, and general mindset stuff, because it was sort of a wakeup call to me. I don’t know how much longer poker will last, I was sort of treating it like it would last forever and that’s one of the reasons I didn’t feel much pressure to have to grind sometimes. But knowing that poker may not last forever puts things in a different perspective and also some more pressure on me now. Also, I’d just like to mention that Grasiu is my favorite coach replying to my forum posts. Because I post quite frequently on the forums, and he always asks the correct questions to me so I have to figure out the answer myself with his feedback.
adaeg: Tell us about your future plans for your poker career?
Xptboy: Generally, I just want to keep improving and get better at the game. I used to want to kick everyone else’s butt at poker before and have ego wars, out level and prove I was specifically better than the other guy, and generally just “be the best”. Now I’m not like that anymore, I’m just trying to be the best I can and be better than I was yesterday. And I totally accept that there are much better players than me and probably always will be. Poker is a very complex game and there’s always going to be something more to learn as games keep on adjusting and evolving, so why not focus on your own personal self-development. Another thing I'm really trying to focus on right now is just enjoying poker more and finding more ways to make it fun because this translates naturally to more volume and better play. To make this possible I'm also trying to enjoy life more in general. A while ago, I was on a very strict, more professional approach, but I found this to be too robotic and hard to stick to. Eventually, it led to burnout and a lack of motivation. Now I'm trying to enjoy life every day so it feels like I'm not working a day in my life when actually I'm being more productive than ever. Right now, more specifically regarding poker goals, I’d firstly like to establish myself at $60’s. Then I want to move to $100’s eventually, and then crush them. I will be able to build a bankroll and set myself up well financially for my future whatever that may lead to.
adaeg: What advice do you have for your colleagues who are still struggling at $30’s?
Xptboy: To those stuck at $30’s or lower, in terms of strategy, I’d say to focus on just solid play. The things we’re taught in CrushFest and charts work very well and there’s really not much need to get creative. And focus more on extracting the most from fish rather than playing perfect vs regs, because it’s vs the fun players where most of our chips come from and where the most common spots happen, so if we win a lot vs them it’s OK to lose a bit vs regs, although ideally, you’d also do well vs regs obviously. Also, maybe some of the people aren’t using all the resources available in Smart Spin. There’s so much out there to use. You can use the forums, join the coachings, create study groups, watch strategy videos, Smart Coach, etc, - they’re all useful. Personally one of my favorite methods of studying is using the forums and I’m surprised there are like 700 members+ in Smart Spin but so very few people are posting hands on forums. But probably some people at $30’s are good in strategy and theory department but are just struggling in mindset or work ethic areas, much like I was. In that case, you need to fix that obviously because it’s hard to reach promotion requirements if you don’t have your mindset and work ethic right. Whys0serious’s webinars are great resources! Starting a blog or at least having your own mindset journal are also great ways to try and work on these issues. Try to actively improve it. I’m posting many of my thoughts on these topics regarding mindset on my blog and it’s awesome. It has helped me fix some of these mindset/life/work ethic leaks, and I believe it could also help others who may be struggling with similar issues, so I’d definitely recommend reading it (haha).
adaeg: How are you enjoying life?
Xptboy: I like to go to the gym. I’ve been going for almost ten years now on a consistent basis, and in general, I can’t live without some exercise. Besides being a professional poker player, I can also identify myself as some fitness freak. Also, I enjoy reading occasionally, as well as going out with friends to dinners/bars/clubs/events.
Good luck in the future, Xptboy! Follow your dream and see you at the top!