Home Forums Poker Blogs Tournament Blogs Keeping it simple – A tournament player

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  • happygaylucky
    Post count: 32


    Hello everyone, my name is Daniel. I am a low stakes MTT grinder from the UK looking to start blogging here on RYE. I previously had a blog on a different site but I wanted to continue it here so I could also get more involved with the community at RYE. Here’s a short intro about my poker life so far.

    I first started playing poker in January 2017. Prior to that, I had zero experience playing NLHE and I was a fresh university graduate trying to find out what to do with myself. Like most people, I left university with no money, no self-esteem and no clear direction. Just after Christmas 2016, I decided to gather up all the money I had been given and join a coaching for profits (CFP) course at BestPokerCoaching to learn how to crush 6-max hyper SNGs.

    The head coaches for that course were Bencb and Julian “HealTheWorld” Thomas; two amazing high stakes tournament grinders and coaches. I learned pretty much everything I know about poker from their content which included many strategy videos, group sessions and 1on1 coaching.

    During my first 9 months, I focused most of my efforts to studying the game rather than playing. This was because I wanted to maximise the value I would get from the coaching before I switched my focus towards grinding. Although I was trying to study all different aspects of the game, my main focus was on understanding how to play in high ICM situations because this is where I was told we will lose/win the most money. After 6 months dedicated to SNGs, we were all advised by the coaches to focus our efforts on MTTs because of the way that Pokerstars changed their rakeback system in 2017 (reward chests lol).

    After the format switch, I continued studying MTTs full-time and then, around November 2017, I decided I was ready to switch my focus towards grinding. I wanted to finally start making some money because at that point I still had the same bankroll I had started with in January. I started with exactly €500 and since then have made around €5000 after playing approximately 10k MTTs.


    Blog: Purpose for blogging and plans for 2019

    I am writing this blog to document and share my experiences with everyone. Poker can be a bit lonely sometimes just grinding for many hours alone with my own thoughts and I’d like to reach out to other players. So for those who have made it this far, I encourage you to hit me up and say hi!

    I have dedicated myself to online poker for around 5000 hours over the last two years but, without having achieved any real momentous financial results, it still seems like I have a long way to go. This will change by the end of 2019. My next target will be earning $20k through poker and I will put all my effort into reaching that target.

    The first thing I must make sure I do in order to reach this goal is play the appropriate volume. My target will be 800-1000 MTTs this month. I am currently playing $5.50 – $16.50 buyin MTTs, taking some shots during the Winter Series and then also filling up my screen with 3.50 turbo rebuy MTTSNGs towards the end of my session.

    I am also hoping that I will be able to purchase one of the RYE courses this year. I don’t currently have the poker bankroll to justify it and also have a lot of things I can revise from the course I completed last year. However, the bounty beast course looks super nice and I would  like to have access to the member forums for hand analysis. I will just take it one step at a time for now :)

    I hope everyone has enjoyed their holidays and good luck to everyone in 2019!

    Some links:

    My first blog: https://www.bestpokercoaching.com/topic/keeping-it-simple-sng-student/

    My second blog: https://www.bestpokercoaching.com/topic/keeping-it-simple-mtt-student/

    scooba troopa
    Post count: 658

    Hey mate, welcome and good luck for your 2019! Let’s crush! :)

    Post count: 1959

    What’s up Daniel! Welcome to the community.  I guess since you know Ben already you know you can expect very high quality content from RYE.

    Be sure to also join the discord app if you haven’t for studying and networking purposes.

    good luck with the journey!

    Post count: 32

    Hey scooba and mariano, thanks for the replies and the support! Yea Ben is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever seen and it’s a no-brainer for me to eventually check out all the tournament content. The PKOs are also the softest MTTs out there atm so I hope to build up my roll enough to jump into the bounty beast soon.

    January week 2

    Over the last 7 days I played around 225 tournaments. The volume is slightly lower than I had planned so I need to step it up a bit moving forward into the rest of the month.

    Since the beginning of January I also managed to reintroduce some good habits I lost at the end of the 2018, including:

    1.       Regular, solid sleep schedule + sleep hygiene routine as recommended by the National Sleep Association

    2.       Regular diet plan.

    3.       Regular exercise routine 3 times / week

    4.       Regular meditation routine 2-3 times / day


    The details of these daily habits are a bit long to type in one post but I have been working on refining these things since I started poker in 2017. Grinding MTTs efficiently, on a monthly basis, is just impossible for me without maintaining this lifestyle. I started slacking on these things towards the end of last year when my general motivation dropped. However, towards the end of December I decided to commit to them again. So far so good.

    One of the last things I must reintroduce to my routine is a regular study schedule. I have been slacking super hard with studying. There is no excuse for not revising every week and if I don’t study I won’t achieve the best ROI at the end of the year. So I cancelled my play session yesterday and today in order to focus on reorganising my study schedule and building some momentum in that regard. Hopefully I have good news on this by next week.

    Otherwise, I am breaking even this month so nothing exciting to report on the results. I came 4th in the big 7.50 last week. The F2T and FT went on for over 3 hours and it was full of interesting spots. I will post one of the hands tomorrow that had me a bit stumped.

    Good luck to everyone this week!

    Post count: 32

    January end of week 2. Sunday update.

    Quick update. This week I managed to complete a good number of my study tasks as planned. I was really struggling with keeping myself focused but as long as I keep working on trying to be more efficient, I think I’ll get there.

    I’m hearing a lot of people talking about volume this week. I had a session on Friday where I got completely destroyed at the tables. I played 68 tournaments (42 MTTSNGs and 26 MTTs) in 9 hours and I ended the session 50 buy ins down. If I’m honest, when I sit down and prepare to play for 10 hours, I always have a slight fear that these kind of terrible days will happen. What do I want to do about that? Do I want to give in to my fear or do I want to sit down and hit those volume goals that Julian tells me I have to hit each month?

    After Friday’s session, I spoke to my gf on the phone for a bit and then had a bit of a rocket league binge to take my mind off my results. I have shrugged it off now and I am ready to get back to grinding this Sunday. I love Sundays. I just know that my ROI is higher on Sundays and that makes me happy. I will try and play my best game today, be mindful and focused, and that is all I can do.

    Good luck to everyone this Sunday! And good job to those who will sit down and play focused all day even if they are getting rekt 

    Post count: 32

    January week 3

    Since the last update I’ve been quite busy on the grind. I’ve been trying to start the year off by playing a decent amount of tournaments and so far this month:

    –          335 MTTSNGs played. 390 MTTs played. 725 tournaments in total.

    –          104 hours played. 52k hands.

    As it turns out, I can play a lot more MTTSNGs than I originally thought I could at the beginning of January. My weekly sessions start at around 14:00 GMT and I start by regging to as many MTTs at ≤$11 and then once I’m warmed up a bit, at 16:00 the SNGs start popping off and I can play those until around 22:00. I could be aiming for around 200 hours / month which at this rate would mean more than 1000 tournaments.

    I also managed to get some studying in again! I was mostly analysing hands on ICMizer last week and did a few “case studies” on certain spots I felt I was very weak/rusty in:

    –          Ultra-short stack (USS) all-ins (≤ 5bb), especially MW. USS all-ins with ICM implications.

    –          BvB all-ins with ICM implications. Especially BB call spots.

    These seem quite frequent in the 180-sngs and turbo MTTs but can also appear in any other tournament. I made that the focus of my ICMizer study this month and I’ve started making quizzes for myself that I can revise over and over again. Once this is done, my next priority is to revisit certain postflop spots where I feel weak. I will look to share loads of hands with others and provide my own analysis + will be reviewing old notes I have from previous coachings. The topics which I think I need help on the most are:

    –          OOP HU 3bet pots as SB.

    –          OOP HU limp pots as SB.

    –          OOP HU SRP as BB.

    Playing OOP can just be tough especially as SB where we are always playing wide ranges in 3bet pots vs late position and limp pots vs BB.

    Aside from all the poker stuff, there’s one last thing I wanted to mention. A few days ago I accomplished one of my meditation goals which was to meditate daily for 2 years straight. I started using Headspace in 2017 because Ben recommended it for BPC students and since then I just decided to dedicate myself to it. It’s been an incredible experience so far and has definitely changed my life in many positive ways, mainly with how I deal with my close personal relationships. I imagine I am also much more composed at the poker tables because of this training. I would recommend training the mind using this app to anyone, it might well be the most important purchase I have ever made.

    Good luck to everyone working hard this week!

    Post count: 3

    Keep it up bro

    Post count: 32

    Hey thanks for the encouragement 


    February week 1. Plans for the month.

    These are my results from last month:

    –          Play time:

    • 1053 tournaments. 75k hands.
    • 151 hours played
    • Approx. 490 MTTSNGs and 563 MTTs

    –          ROI: -2.31%

    I hit my volume goal in terms of tournaments but given by the hours played it seemed I could have played maybe 150-300 more tournaments. Either way, I think I worked a solid month and will continue looking to do more of the same.

    I also took last weekend off to spend some time with my gf who lives in a different city atm. I was feeling a little burned out or low motivation before I left and it’s amazing how much these few days off helped me. I feel quite well rested and ready to apply myself again this month.


    Now that I have set myself a good foundation for playing appropriate volume, I want to lay down a good foundation for studying this year. I will attempt 130 hours of studying over the next 3.5 weeks. I will also still be playing tournaments alongside that and have planned around 100 hours of play time. What do I want to do and why:


    –          Do a broad sweep of my entire game, going over everything I learned over the last two years and make sure I have not developed any random shit habits

    –          Get started on the topics I mentioned in my last update to continue improving my analysis

    –          Begin sharing more hands with other people. In order not to waste anyone’s time, it’s important that I do my homework and brush up on the topics I am commenting on


    All this will be time consuming and I need to dedicate more hours than normal to studying this month in order to get the ball rolling.

    Good luck to everyone this month!

    Post count: 286

    Hey Daniel, nice blog, all the best for your journey!

    Your objectives in terms of volume of play and study are big, no doubt you’re pushing yourself there. So if I understand correctly, most of your time is dedicated to study? Like 60/40 or something like that?

    And do you have any non-poker related objectives? Related to a healthy lifestyle for example (meditation, work out, eat well, sleep well, etc.) or anything else?

    Post count: 32

    Hi pendul7 thanks for the reply.

    Over the last 6-8 months I’ve had approx. 20/80 split study/play. This month I wanted to have it around 60/40 just to fully refresh my game and make sure I am not forgetting things or picking up bad habits. We can’t really go by short term results to determine whether we are playing well or not and I was beginning to feel a little less confident.

    I do not have any new lifestyle habits I am looking to implement right now. Right now I feel quite comfortable with the way I am living. These are some of the things I do:

    –          I have a diet plan for the majority of the week. Strict meals breakfast and lunch.

    –          Meditation every day 1-2 times. Currently working through “Handling sadness” pack on headspace

    –          Exercising 2-3 times per week. Short intense exercise 20-30 mins.

    I have also started trying to learn some yoga poses but that’s just for fun.

    I’ve never been able to hold down a specific routine because MTT grinding is really weird sometimes I finish session at 9pm sometimes at 1am. I feel like this means I have to learn to be flexible with my sleep. I try to keep good sleep hygiene rules for myself as recommended by the National Sleep Association but no schedule right now.


    Mid-week update

    So far this week I have mostly been revising old content. The topics I have revised the most are:

    1.       Short stack preflop. All-ins, RFI strategy, and defence strategy < 30bb

    2.       IP as PFA in HU pot. 3bet or SRP pot. 40bb+


    I’m finding studying for long hours (6-10 hours in 1 day) difficult because I am not used to it so I have to try harder.

    I got back to the table yesterday and had a super long play session of 13.5 hours and 65 MTTs. I managed to make it deep in the big 22 and hit a super nice score of $3.6k. It’s been a number of months since I had such a nice score and I am very grateful for the experience.


    Otherwise, nothing changes. I continue revising the topics I have marked so far. I realised I was playing way too tight in most < 8bb spots so I’ll be looking to spend another 4-8 hours analysing these hands this week and creating my revision quiz.


    Good luck everyone this weekend!


    Post count: 32

    Late February update

    I was meaning to update last week but some other stuff came up and I didn’t get round to it in the end.

    I am currently behind on my study and volume goals. Once again, I will remind myself that I will want to put a lot of effort over the next 10 days to make up for that.



    The main bit of news is that I am moving a lot of my action away from stars. There are two reasons for this:


    1. They recently announced more changes to their rakeback system for tournament players and, as far as I understood it, it means much less rakeback.
    2. My bankroll increased a fair bit already this year and it is time for me to once again search for the most profitable low-mid stakes tournaments

    If anyone has any opinions on which tournaments are best to play at $11-$60 then feel free to hit me up.


    This big change has recently given me a mountain load of admin tasks to do. After I made a prototype tournament schedule for the next few weeks, I had to start reorganising my finances. I hadn’t really been paying much attention to them until recently so I had loads of personal documents to sort through but this wasn’t really that bad. The biggest task was figuring out how I was going to manage my online finances moving forward. For example, I have basically 0 experience using e-wallets which will be essential now that I will have my BR split across multiple sites.

    Once again, if anyone has any tips on how best to optimise the distribution of my poker bankroll and avoid currency exchange fees then I would really appreciate some advice. My situation is specific to those living in the UK because, for some reason, the UK is special when it comes to online gambling.

    To make things even more fun, I have also started to try to take into account how Brexit is going to affect me. The value of the pound seems to be going crazy right now and I’ve tried to do some light reading to determine whether or not I should be taking action in some regard to save myself losing a bunch of money in dollars.


    I am also able to finally plan my purchase of the bounty beast course here at RYE. I don’t know exactly when I will enrol to that course but it will be very soon.


    Anyway, I have a shit load of work to be getting on with. Thanks for reading and good luck everyone this week!

    Post count: 32

    Saturday 9th March

    It’s been a while since my last update but I’m still around! I had “update blog” fairly low on my priority list with stuff that was happening the last few weeks and hopefully I can keep up a bit better moving into March.


    February was not such a successful month for me. I missed almost all the targets I set myself up for which I was not happy about. I set them all to be higher than I imagined I would perform and then afterwards felt like a moron for proving myself right that I could not achieve them.

    On a positive note, I managed to get through a whole load of study/revision tasks I had planned and feel much less rusty than I did in January. I went through almost all of my old notes that were most important for preflop and postflop, and now I have my drills/quizzes set up again that I can go over for a couple of hours each day before my play sessions. I am feeling a little slow on my range vs range analysis but it’s really important that I practice so that I can make decisions faster so that I can continue to play 12 tables at high winrate.


    Plans for March


    This month I will refocus on grinding a lot at the tables. I want to get back into the routine of studying for small time slots each day (to refine my game) whilst also having the energy to play 5-6 days per week for 8-10 hours. Recently, I almost completely shifted all my volume from stars to other sites. So far, it seems like a very positive change although there are some growing pains associated with this; I’ve been getting on my own nerves misclicking all-ins and misreading stack depths.


    I have also decided to refrain from posting my future scores on discord because I don’t want to make all my poker nicknames public, but I think after March I will post my graphs. Otherwise, I don’t think there will be many new exciting poker updates for the rest of this month so I will leave it like this for now. However, I will try and find some other interesting stuff to post about.


    Finally, I am hoping that my bankroll doesn’t tank too much this month because I am planning to enrol to the RYE Bounty Beast in April.


    Good luck to everyone this March!

    Post count: 32

    Tuesday 2nd April

    Poker update

    March has come and gone and I’m back for an update. These are my poker results:

    –          Played 17 days out of a possible 24

    –          Played 155 hours out of a possible 240 (24 days x 10 hours sessions)

    –          ROI 3.4%. 558 MTTs played, not including rebuys. 66k hands. ABI 18.4.

    Based on this I rated my performance around a 7/10 during the month. Break-even in terms of results so nothing really to celebrate but I am also glad I’m not on a severe downswing.

    The struggle this month was definitely in maintaining discipline. As I mentioned in my blog post at the beginning of March, there is almost nothing for me to say right now that is exciting or ground-breaking. My life is about maintaining good levels of performance in my daily & monthly performance until we can gather enough sample to do more analysis of my situation. Week 3 of this month was probably the worst for me in terms of performance because I let my fatigue catch up with me; only worked 3 days out of 7! In order to maintain high standards of performance over the course of weeks, I must make sure I keep up with all my tasks off the tables; sleep in particular. I will give myself the benefit of the doubt this month because I was also struggling with a new sleep schedule given that I have been playing a new MTT schedule.

    During POWERFEST this will be most important. These are some of the things I do to maintain my performance (and sanity lol) while I grind 10 hours per day for 5-6 days per week:

    1. Same diet for breakfast and lunch each day
      • Green vegetable smoothie + bulletproof coffee for breakfast
      • Vegetable soup + green tea for lunch
    2. Exercising multiple times per week. Short intense workouts just to stimulate the mind
    3. Meditating twice per day. Once before my play session and once after my session.
    4. Good sleep hygiene for quality sleep

    I also like to study for 1-2 hours before my sessions


    Notes on meditation during March

    I have always done a 10-15 min meditation before my sessions but I only occasionally do one afterwards. After these long sessions my mind is normally a huge mess so last month I tried to make it habit to do it after my session EVERY TIME.

    For this, I have been practicing a certain recovery meditation technique. It’s a guided visualisation that’s aimed at aiding mental rest and recovery after training sessions. This has been unbelievably helpful over the last few weeks. It offers me time to unwind and I can more easily let go of what might have happened during the day. It has allowed me to get to bed without dwelling on the events of the day and generally I feel better in the mornings as a result.

    If anyone wants to check it out it’s called “Recovery” on Headspace in the sports section. I highly recommend it as an introduction to efficient rest for anyone who feels like they are finding it difficult to apply themselves to working for 60+ hours during the week.


    Plans for April

    For the moment, my plan is to grind as much as possible during POWERFEST. I will be focusing on efficiency of daily tasks and trying to bring my best performance each day to the tables. More specifically:

    1.       Play at least 12 days of POWERFEST. 120 hours in 14 days. 360-480 MTTs.

    After POWERFEST I will be purchasing the RYE TMC and moving my focus more towards study again. I was originally going to buy the bounty beast but some other RYE members recommended I go for the TMC first to solidify my understanding of NLHE before moving on to specialising in PKOs.



    Good luck everyone and see you after POWERFEST

    Post count: 32

    Mid-April update


    POWERFEST is over. My performance during the event was good although I bricked pretty much every POWERFEST MTT. Over the last two weeks I’ve played just over 100 hours and 400 MTTs. I have been having some luck in other MTTs and I have hit 57% ROI this month already so I am relieved.

    I will be buying the expert TMC now and shifting my focus a little towards studying in preparation for another solid 4 weeks grind in May. My gf will be visiting for easter weekend so I will be planning to get in 1-2 hours of study each day while she is asleep or something.

    Given that after this update I will be a fully initiated RYE member, I thought I’d write a bit more about who I am before joining. I already wrote a short summary of what I did at BPC in my first blog post but I never really mentioned what I did over the last 12 months since completing my contract there.


    Story time with Daniel


    I completed the contract around March 2018. I had received a bucket load of content from some of the best players in the game and my ROI at the micros was like 40%+ and I had just binked the bounty builder 16.50. I felt like I was pretty sick at the game and was ready to start grinding more and proving myself at mid stakes. My plan was to play 8000 MTTs from $11s – $33s and develop a decent sample before getting more coaching.

    The first 2000 tournaments I played during this time could not have gone worse. I ended up dropping around 450 buyins (close to $4000) and lost so much of my bankroll that I had to move back down to $1-$5s, I think at one point I was even like nope can’t play the hot 5 anymore. Julians advice at the time was something like “yea it sucks but it can happen, you just have to keep grinding”. Also around this time one of my study partners quit the game and I started to lose connection with some other students I was studying with at the time for whatever random reasons.

    Playing became so much of a slog but I was VERY humbled by this experience. I started being ultra-critical of my tournament selection as well as trying my best to close all these leaks that I thought were costing me a lot of money. My performance from April – November was definitely not the best. It is much more difficult to continue grinding like a beast when being down so much but somehow I made it through.

    For around 8 months I had not made any profit but eventually I started to rebuild by bankroll again. Results started to become irrelevant to me, I stopped posting deep runs on discords and just got on with my work as best as I could. Results are just so volatile in the short term that I was like man fuck them they don’t mean anything. I still have to wake up tomorrow and study/play my ass off regardless whether I win or lose.

    Now here I am, around 9000 tournaments later and things are actually looking up. I genuinely think that I am one of the better regs at the low-mid stakes at this point and it’s all thanks to the content that I have been poring over that I received in BPC. My current winrate and ROI looks good over the tournaments I have played and I feel like there are no more short term surprises left that I can face.

    Finally, here is my tournament winnings graph of the last 12 months to go with that story…


    Moving forward into 2019


    Why do I want to buy the expert TMC?

    I would like to start exposing myself to new content that I have not looked at before. There are a number of things I recognise myself as being weak at and I am hoping to be able to improve as a member of RYE.

    One of the biggest factors is the study groups. I would like to branch out a little more in the poker community. I am interested to see what the private RYE communities are like and how it will help me improve my game to be involved with them.

    Ultimately, I would like to be able to confidently say that I am CRUSHING the mid stakes by the end of the year. I hope that by the end of next year I will be moving into high stakes and be able to work with some of the best players in the game. I know that some of those guys hang out at RYE!


    Now that I have rambled enough, it is time to get to being productive again. Thanks to anyone who has taken the time to read this blog post. I would like to get round to reading other blogs and replying to anyone else who wants to reach out and improve together.


    Good luck to everyone and happy Easter!

    Post count: 14

    Hey! Great blog. I just started one as well. Im starting out in the micro stakes everything under $3 but mainly trying to learn as much as i can and slowly moving up in stakes. Definitely will look in to purchasing headspace. Ive been using the free trial ones the last week and they are definitely helpful. Hopefully by the end of the year i could build a roll to play higher. Feel free to comment on some of the hands i post! GL

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