Interview from the 22. Januar 2020 with out player habit

YPD Username: Habit
Playing: At the moment PLO Cash Game
At YPD:  Since 2019
Poker Sites: PartyPoker/GG Network
Nationality: German

1. How long have you been playing poker or online poker?

Like most my age, I’ve been playing recreational poker since the poker boom. First only with friends, then some offline material prize tournaments (Ripoff) and finally I fell in love with online poker together with a friend at the time.

However, the whole thing was always an on-off relationship, in the MTT area I had good success from the start, but at some point I always lost the money won more or less only out of boredom at the high stakes cash game tables. After that there were longer and longer breaks until the hands itched again. Off to the tank, get a Paysafecard, build a 4-digit bankroll and off to a high stakes table.

Approximately In 2013 I took the whole thing a little more seriously and was able to achieve good success in the MTT area (without defaming the money again). The whole thing then stopped in 2015 when my girlfriend moved in with me and I no longer had enough time for MTTs. With the majority of my remaining bankroll I staggered an RL friend, unfortunately without success.

More or less due to injury, I had to give up more and more sporting hobbies in 2016, which left a certain emptiness in my everyday life. The perfect time for me to start playing poker again. So in January 2017 I started blogging about my progress as a poker player and have been hooked again!

Comment from YPD: If you are interested, feel free to drop in on the Habit poker blog. LINK HABIT POKER BLOG

2. In your opinion, what has changed in the game the most in the last years?

When I started playing poker there were only CG SNGs and MTTs and almost exclusively NLH was played. There were players from every continent and you had almost exclusively recreational players at every table.

Nowadays there are almost innumerable variants; DONs, Spins, Allin or Fold, Shorttrack and what I do not know, everything is not played almost exclusively NLH anymore, but PLO is gaining popularity.

And there are different approaches for each variant. Despite this diversity, you can now meet constantly, even at the smaller buy-in limits with relatively competent opponents.

3. Many people say online poker is dead. How do you see that?

It is certainly not dead, but it is not obvious that the fields are becoming increasingly difficult to beat. In addition, there is the greed of the poker sites that the rake is actually constantly increasing and more and more random factors with high jackpots etc. are being introduced, which are intended to attract recreationalists, but to increase the swings of the winning players, up to a point at which certain limits or complete variants are no longer beatable ,
The original games that made poker big are increasingly forgotten. Then there are more and more technical, sometimes illegal, tools that make the games even more tough and many poker sites don’t seem to care. Whether these are bots that actually lose longterm money, but win any leaderboards every day, Livetime GTO bots that are unbeatable or just simple ghosting, which makes it impossible for certain variants to play profitably against the ghosts.

Where money is involved, people are cheated. Unfortunately, the poker sites do far too little. Even the Recreationals are now getting some “sophisticated” approaches to the game and would rather invest in real gambling or betting.

4. You have been playing the Spin & Go tournaments (spins) for a long time. However, more and more players are moving away from the spins because there are simply too many regulars, the edge is too small and the variance is too high. How do you feel about the topic?

I played Jackpot SNGs almost exclusively in 2018 and 2019, but recently ended the chapter for me. The main reason for me was that there is unfortunately only bad news from all sides about this format. Party poker banned HUDs, Winnamax introduces a nitro (faster) variant with the same rake, Pokerstars copies this variant, Pokerstars increases the rake, Pokerstars changes the blind level structure so that fewer chips can be generated, Pokerstars increases the rake again. And all within half a year, from formative changes, such as when Pokerstars switched the SNE-Reward system to 3% rakeback boxes, where rake-heavy variants like Spin & Goes were the clear losers, I’m not even talking about here.

In addition, Spin & Goes has been bombarded with regs from all sides in recent years. Many of these regs have no understanding of the game, but can play low – mid stakes profitably because they are taught a pre – chewed simple strategy. In any format that would not be a big problem because you could still play profitably against this type of player. In spins it is unfortunately a little different, you have relatively little scope if the opponent has a little basic knowledge and there is also the high rake. Thus, even as a “good” player, you cannot win money against these types of regs. Often these “regs” come from Eastern Europe / Asia, make a living from them and make the games relatively tough.

Another important reason for me to leave spins behind was that I no longer had a vision of how I could get even better in the variant. The last few weeks I’ve actively played spins have been just stupid grinds that felt more like a job than a hobby. I didn’t spend a single minute expanding my theoretical knowledge, except for a few reviews with my study partner.

On the one hand there was / is no high quality content for the level I am at, on the other hand it does not feel right to waste time in something that I no longer enjoy. Even then, I preferred to invest my theoretical time in other variants or in the mental game.
Even if the variance is very high and I feel a little bit a victim of the variance, it still didn’t contribute to my decision.

5. It doesn’t take that long anymore and you fly to Las Vegas and also represent YPD at a tournament. Is this your first time in Vegas and how long are you staying there?

I was in Las Vegas in 2015 as a tourist, unfortunately (or luckily?) At a time when I was a little bit distant from poker. So I only left about $ 300 at the poker table in one evening! But I couldn’t have spent much more time playing poker anyway, since the vacation was well planned.

In March it’s the first time as a poker player to Vegas and I’m really hyped! I am accompanied by my studio partner, who has accompanied me almost all of my poker career and is now one of my best friends. Our location is right on the strip, so all major casinos are within walking distance!

Thank you again for representing you at a tournament in Vegas!

6. What are your expectations and goals for Las Vegas?

The most important thing is that we have a great time with an appropriate American diet!

Since we have both been to Vegas before and therefore have already worked through many tourist destinations, this time we can concentrate almost exclusively on poker.

The only tourist goal I have is to do a lap with The Linq High Roller, preferably at night! Otherwise I would like to look at many casinos and of course above all the poker rooms.

Nevertheless, even if the fun factor is in the foreground and it is only a relatively short time that we spend in Vegas, we have been preparing for the trip for a long time now with a live CG course and a mindset course, as it is not the only one of its kind will remain. We both decided that in the future we would like to play live poker more often, also locally with us, and on this trip we don’t want to leave anything to chance and be well prepared.
We have targeted 100 hours (MTT + CG together) as the volume target. Subordinate are then a number of subgoals which can of course change depending on the March Madness Promo:

– Grind 13 hours on the first full day in the Flamingo NL300 that we get a $ 12.5k Gtd. Player Appreciation Tourney can play
– 4h in one day NL200 in the Bally’s for Free Buffet, perfect for the American Diet! (Maybe more than once)
– Saturday 30k Gtd. $ 230 buyin at Wynn, staked by
– Spray 1-2 Buyins in the PLO200 player pool in the Venetian
– we still hope for Aces Cracked Promo in Mandalay Bay that we can pass the time there in the morning

In terms of win rate and money, 100 hours of live poker are of course a sample that is much too small and still very much dependent on the variance.
It would be a great success for me personally if the trip (hotel + flight + consumption) could be paid for by the poker winnings on site.

7. Have you set specific goals for the 2020 poker year?

After the Vegas trip, I would like to take on a new project that is very likely to be PLO. Leaving the Micros behind me at the end of the year would be a great success because the format is almost completely new to me. EV $ goals will only be available again in 2021!

I also want to play more live. To do this, I will explore the nearby poker rooms with my studio partner. If the games are of course not good I have to check it all out and limit myself to a few trips a year to the larger casinos.

I also originally planned that I would like to slip into coaching, but since I have left the Spins chapter behind and starting from the beginning in a new format, I am of course very far away from this.

8. What do you think is the most important thing to play poker successfully in the long term?

Here I am somewhat controversial. Discipline, discipline and discipline again. I always hear from all sides that you have to motivate yourself. Not correct! Planning (Grind + Study) and pulling through the plan, that’s all it takes to successfully gamble long-term.

The games are relatively solved, the players even on the small buy-ins are becoming more and more competent, but there are still aspects that are ignored, although it is relatively easy to develop a huge edge there. The mental game area, for example, is even negatively promoted by your favorite Twitch streamer where he starts whining about beats live on air or how “incredibly” bad he is doing.

Acceptance is very important, especially in Germany. Somehow it has become anchored in German poker culture that everyone thinks they are the best and help and other (often correct) opinions are ignored or rejected.

What helped me the most in terms of play was to cooperate with my studio partner and just talk about spots and try to solve them to the best of our knowledge. I can only recommend everyone to find a like-minded person for several sessions per week.

What is not directly related to the game but is particularly important in today’s poker environment is having a good rakeback deal. Winrates and bb / 100 will probably continue to decline and cannot be calculated at short notice (depending on the format, even monthly / annually), while rakeback is almost exclusively tied to volume (sometimes also to the game style) and thus a constant source of income for every serious poker player is. Many players give away lifetime money to any breakeven streamers without really realizing it. My tip: Accept a rakeback deal and then donate the money directly to your favorite streamer / blogger / whatever, so you are not committed for a lifetime.

9. Have you ever thought about turning your back on poker forever? (Possibly in a downswing or a bad period)

sometimes, but also rather calculated. This has nothing to do with downswings or a bad phase, but rather when there is bad news again. Bali gang shits here, GTO bot $ 5 million taken out of the system there, increase in rake, new 30 second variant invented, Swiss from player pool etc. Something really troubles me.

I actually just want to do my thing peacefully in a fair environment and that sometimes seems to be disappearing.
I always say to my buddy for fun that I would probably make more money with less stress if I spent the time I spent in poker instead in knitting or whatever.

But according to the current status I have a hobby that mostly fulfills me and generates no costs for me so it will probably continue for a while.

10. Are you happy with YPD so far and is there anything that could be improved or that you would like from us as an affiliate?

I’m actually absolutely happy here and think that you are doing a great job. Rakeback is a super important element in today’s poker environment and nobody should miss out on a good rakeback deal, as mentioned above. I notice that YPD is always trying to offer the best deal.

Here you are helped directly via Skype without long waiting times and even with things that are not directly YPD’s I was always offered a helping hand.

I found a flaw! When I log into your website I always click on “Password reset” :)

Otherwise continue as before and thank you for the honor to be interviewed here!

Author: YPD
last updated 04.02.2020