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I was driving home from the first training camp of the year. I heard I got a text but didn't bother to dig for my phone. The camp had been a bit more chill than I perhaps expected. An hour of going through offence's playbook followed by an hour of defence's playbook. Then a few hours of practice, just helmets, no pads, nothing too tough.

At home I read the text: "We got you a stack ready in case you come.. We just started." A quick decision was made, a quick shower, and I was headed back to the city for some home-games-action. Ok, maybe everything didn't happen so 'quick' since my stack had been blinding out for an hour and a half when I got there.

The game seemed the usual. One good online player and five 'freeroll experts'/sports bettors. Only three were drinking.

                              no limit hold'em


                              7 players

                              20€ buy-in + rebuys

I still had around 18k from the 20k starting stack. Blinds were 200/400. Two players had been stacked and re-entered so the average stack was a bit over 20k.

Nlhe tournaments are not my main game, but I do put some effort in them also. Some time earlier I was thinking about these home games and how I should adjust my game in them since I have such a big edge and the opponents' skill levels vary so much. I decided that next time at the home games I would experiment with really opening up my game and seeing a lot of flops at the early stages. Still trying to keep in mind the goals of home games:

                             1. Have fun

                             2. Make money

                             3. Make your friends suffer

But I only had 45 big blinds instead of the usual 200bb stack the tournament starts with. So I went with the normal game plan; see what others are doing and adjust. I ended up folding every hand for the first few rounds and it was getting pretty amusing. I was sit out for the beginning of the tournament and when I joined the table I continued to blind out.. Then I woke up with AA in the big blind.

                              blinds 300/600, my stack ~17k

                              hijack opens to 1500

                              cut off calls

                              button calls

                              small blind calls

                              I 3bet to 6000

                              hijack folds

                              cut off 4bet shoves ~16k

                              btn and sb fold

                              I call and win the flip against QJo

Easy game. It was weird what kind of cards I was being dealt. Either I got totally unplayable cards or then I got absolute monsters. Or maybe I was just actually nitting around.. I got kings twice and won small pots with them. The next hand I went to showdown with was aces again:

                              blinds 600/1200, first hand after the rebuy period ends

                              6-handed, my stack ~40k

                              I open from utg to 2500

                              2 players fold

                              btn 3bet shoves ~21k (same player who shoved earlier against my aces)

                              I call the shove and win the flip against A7s

We were into 5-handed. The good online player was in clear chip lead, thanks to a 4-way preflop all-in he took down during the rebuy period. I think I had the second biggest stack at this point. We increase the blinds after every orbit so the game really starts to pick up when the table gets shorter.

My strategy was to stay away from the chip leader and target the other players. I kept shoving from the small blind to the short stack on my left, but he kept calling my shoves and managed to double through me a couple of times. I also failed to stay away from the chip leader and failed to bluff him in two pots. My stack was getting shorter and shorter. So I ended up being the short stack when we got 3-handed. The bubble.

                              Final payouts:

                              1.     140 €

                              2.     80 €

Blinds were 2,5k/5k. The good online player had 140k, the other player, who we shall call 'the bubble boy', had 50k and I had 30k. I was thinking and actually said out loud that 'we short stacks' only have a change to win this if we get to the crazy-huge blind levels where the tournament turns into a complete lottery. I don't know if that's true but it did kinda happen.

I was shoving a lot of hands with no calls and managed to get my stack bigger than the bubble boy's and got closer to the chip leader as well. At level 6k/12k I shoved from the button with A8o and the bubble boy called from the big blind with KTo. I won the flip and he earned his nickname.

We started the heads-up with me in the chip lead 125k vs 95k. 

                              blinds 6k/12k

                             I'm on the button with 94s

                             "good enough" I think and I shove

                             opponent snap calls with K9o

                             I win the flip

Not the proudest way to get the victory. Afterwards I started to think out loud if my 94s shove was any good and of course the opponent thought it wasn't. Strategy talk! We check it online and figure out that 95s+ is the line for an unexploitable shove in that spot. And the equity from 95s to 94s probably drops quite significantly (compared to the drop in equity e.g. from 94s to 93s) since 95 needs only three cards to make a straight. So it might have been a pretty light shove, some might think it's incorrect, but I still think I should be shoving there pretty close to any two. At 9bb effective, it's a push-fold-game, and I think open-folding the first hand of heads up would send out a message that I'm willing to wait for a good hand. Instead I want my opponent to think that I'm willing to gamble with any two, so he might even tighten up his open-shoving range a bit. 

I drive home around 10pm feeling happy about the day. I decide I'm going to start this poker blog I've been thinking about. I check the community to see if there was the extra twitch freeroll with possibly a trip as a prize. Looks like not. I fire up the final table stream from Bahamas and start writing about my day. 

Let's see where this goes.. I think I might have to write a more formal intro for the blog as my next post.


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Nice blog, and nice homegame win 😃

As for heads-up strategy and when to start push/folding, this article contains interesting advice: 

"One common strategy adjustment away from shove-or-fold above 8bb deep is to start minraising a balanced range. Combine junk hands you'll fold against an all-in and with dominating hands that crush a wide 3-bet shoving range. For example, a hand like KJ has very strong equity against a lot of 3-bet shoving hands, like J9s. By minraising, you can do much better inducing worse hands to get it all-in than you can by simply jamming yourself."

And this elaborates further and gives a complete range to play (these articles are part of this free heads-up strategy ebook)

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Gotta post all the trophies I get this year. Here's the first:


Let's hope it won't be the last. :laugh:

I got a NL200 ticket with my golden ticket from the Around the World -raffle and changed it to 100€ bonus and 100€ worth of small MTT tickets. So I have a little project trying to use all the tickets before they expire and, of course, get as many trophies as I can with them. 21 days left: 1 trophy.

In the Community Leage I got too excited about the final table chip lead, so I busted 9th. 🤣

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Last year

A year ago I graduated and got a degree in business. But I had no plans to jump right away into the working life. I felt like I finally had the opportunity to really focus on my hobbies: american football and poker. And actually football was taking so much of my energy that I barely had any left for poker. Then I broke my knee and couldn't train, or even walk, for a month or so. There happened to be a nice cash game promotion on Unibet that month and I ended up grinding some pretty sick hours again. 

While summer was getting closer I was working hard on getting my knee alright, and poker was falling again to the background. During the football season I managed to play some poker, but clearly it wasn't a top priority. Summer was pretty rough.  I kept struggling with an over-use-injury in my lower legs and our team was struggling to get those wins. We just made it to play-offs, but when the stakes were raised we became unstoppable. We made it to the bowl and got to life the trophy after an awesome thriller.

The bus ride home from the bowl game was crazy, but I had to dig up my laptop and fire up the Unibet client since it was also the last day of the Rio Showdown MTT-league. I was having a good run at the leaderboard and might have gotten a trip if I had binked one of the bigger tournaments that day. But I couldn't even make it till the first break in any of the tournaments, so no fairytale ending (in poker) this time.

After the season I took some time off from just about everything. The stress my body went through had gotten into my head.

And the break did me good. I cut off the pain killers. Sleeping became easier. Being awake didn't hurt anymore. I was feeling good. But that meant there were no more excuses. I had survived with poker as my only income, but I knew I had not done my best. I had to start putting in the hours.


The community

Looks like I joined the Unibet community in October. I think I just joined to exchange my poker tickets, and at first that was pretty much the only reason I visited the community. I might have taken a peek at the general poker section, but that's about it.

Then came December and the advent calendar got me logging in here daily. I participated actively to the calendar missions and got a lot out of it. It also kinda showed me around the forums, whether it was looking for Marco in the bingo section or checking out the betting tips to not lose too much in a betting mission.

I found myself spending more and more time at the forums, following almost all the poker blogs, sweating all the fun little competitions, watching uhlenpoker's twitch for grinding motivation and Unibet's own twitch for entertainment. I really liked the atmosphere in the community and started to feel like contributing more myself.


The blog

I'm still in my twenties but I've been playing poker for almost ten years. I have never written anything about my poker life and I kinda regret that.

I want to have something to look back to. To see how my poker mind develops and overall how my thoughts about poker change.

This blog will be about my year as I try to balance my life between american football and poker. I want to keep developing in both. I have motivation and passion for both, but I have to be real with the fact that football isn't going to pay the bills.. But poker might. 

The goal for the year is to move up to the stakes where it's possible to make a good living. The dream is to spend my future off-seasons abroad, somewhere nice and warm, grinding poker and training for football. 🆒

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Wishful thinking & tournaments

Had a deeeep run the other night. I wanted to have a MTT session where I'd be really focusing on every decision I make. Kind of like a practice session. So I chose only eight small buy-in MTTs (from another site) scheduled so that I would be mostly 4-tabling.

The session took me ten hours with over 3 hours of 1-tabling.

At least I got a good eight hours of background-entertainment by Davitsche's twitch listening/watching him grind NL4 and that Pirate -game. :laugh:

In my opinion the most accurate adjectives to describe MTTs are brutal and heartbreaking. Yea, in my deepest run that night I got 16th out of 5900. Just out of the big money.

But I was super happy. I was happy I stayed focused and didn't mess up like I usually do when I get deep. I was happy because I felt it was pretty close to the best tournament poker I have ever played.

However, I think the probability of me being 'super happy' after a MTT session is around 0,5 %.

I know wishful thinking shouldn't be part of my thinking process while I'm playing poker, but I can't help it. When I see the cards being dealt in an all-in situation my mind starts yelling the cards I want to see or don't want to see.

Back in the day I was all about the power of positive thinking, and I think it actually worked. I'm still carrying the mindset that I run good.

But the more tournaments I played, the more I found myself feeling that I couldn't take those beats anymore. What made me like tournaments more, was the decision to stop watching the cards being dealt in all-ins. When I get all-in I look what the opponents have, and then I ignore what happens for the rest of the hand. I usually pull up the browser to cover the all-in table. Wait a few seconds, bring back the table again and adjust according to my new stack size, whether I won or lost the flip. If I got busted I just close the table and continue with the tournaments I have left. I never look at the replayer to see how my top set lost to bottom two. It doesn't matter. It just hurts.

In this session I found myself with different sort of wishful thinking. I had a crazy heater when there were around 160 players left. Everytime I 3-bet light they folded and everytime I got the goods they shoved on me. This got me the chip lead that I was able to carry to the final two or three tables. At final two tables I was card-dead and just couldn't find any spots to open or 3-bet. And there were two much better players than me at my table. The wishful thinking began. I kept thinking that all I need is a piece of that heater again and I'm in the final table with a good stack. I was also hoping that someone would bust those good players so I wouldn't have to deal with them. Very normal thoughts I guess, but totally useless in that moment. Instead I probably just should have been satisfied that I knew I was doing good decisions, easy pre-flop folds. And when it comes to dealing with better players, I guess there's no other 'trick' than get better myself, because I can't keep avoiding them forever.

I was 7/16 when I picked up queens and got it in against AKs to end the 10-hour grind. Standard. But so brutal and heartbreaking.


Trophy-count still at one with the MTT tickets from the golden ticket.  Only 8 x €2 MTT left with 12 days till expiration. We need the Butler -league to make a comeback to get some value for those tickets! 😉



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Can I just finish like Brady?

Okay, I'm pretty sure I jinxed myself by announcing to post aaaaall the trophies here. I managed to use all the golden MTT tickets without extending but didn't  manage to get more than that one tiny trophy. So many 2nd and 3rd finishes though, that I easily got the original value of the tickets back, but definitely feels like I lost a little confidence in my end-game skills.

It's not going to be a fun month of MTT Leagues if I can't win a tournament. :laugh:

I'll still keep the main focus in cash games. But since I anyway like to play some tournaments a few nights of the week, I feel like I just have to go after the extra value when MTT Leagues come around.

Plan A is to only take part in the Low league. I like the stress-free-stakes in tournaments to keep them fun and to not bust my bankroll. However in the last league few months ago I gave my best effort so far by playing 90% of the Low league schedule and got my worst finish so far with 7th place in the leaderboard. That just felt like too much effort and too little reward, so this time I'm going to take it more easy. If I get a good start I might put more effort in it, but I also came up with plan B if I get tired of the Low league.

After 5 days it's not looking too good. Already had two days with zero cashes and still winless. In the last league I had two zero-cash-days in the whole month: 1. the day I played without coffee 2. the last day of the league, no excuse.

Plan B is to not go after any leaderboard prizes but just enjoy all the Low/Mid/High PLO tournaments that probably have bigger fields and more non-plo-players than usually.


About last night's Super Bowl. Wowww. My money and heart where with the Patriots and I'm pretty sure I haven't had that much chills go through my body without being on the field myself.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A new trophy from last night:


The heads up was actually so long and tough that this one felt like a big one. :happy:

Been hanging in the top 5 of the Low MTT League for the first half of the month. Need some big scores to catch the lead tough. However I'll be taking some days off this weekend to participate in some-sort-of 'winter olympics' with events that mainly involve drinking and side-betting.

Also got my late Christmas presents from Malta! 


Btw, when you get a mini chip set from Unibet, it doesn't mean there are only few chips, it means the chips are actually miniature. :laugh:

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Struggling with some technical difficulties and with me not being able to play my A-game.. Both most likely caused by playing too many tables. Still lucky enough to win one!


Good time for the break! 😃

I think my  last day-off from online poker was the day I wrote about in the first post of the blog. And that day I was playing live poker..:laugh:

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Pretty much a full day-off from football training, just 15 mins of daily rehab exercises, so I was really looking forward for a good long MTT session while watching the stream from London. 

But an hour into the session I started to get that heated feeling on my cheeks aka the tilt. I don't know if it was the madness during the eSports sit-n-go stream or something I did at the tables, but I just realized I wasn't enjoying the grind. 

Somehow I cleared my mind, got 3rd or 4th in the first tournament, quite happily continued to grind for a few more hours and ended up having one of my best sessions this month. So many final tables that I think it's ok say that I only won one.




Also the stream got good! So cool to see Isildur1 play with 'our guys' Sjlot, Uhlen and DaVitsche. :Satisfied:


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A Goodbye to February & MTT League

Following UO London via Twitch/community was so much fun again that I'm not sure I can be happy anymore with just following the events through the screen. I've randomly gathered some UO250 tickets and I think it's about time to stop extending them and start qualifying.

I had the London stream open the whole week and only missed the beginning of the final table on Sunday because it was the second training camp of the year. Full-pads this time, but still indoors. Definitely not as relaxed as the one in January. Definitely not...Three days later, trying to get socks on my feet in the morning feels like going for a new PR at the gym.

Rest-days mean more hours in poker. I had some deep runs at MTT League tournaments but got just one new trophy.


Then all of a sudden it was the final day of the MTT League. I was 7th in the Low leaderboard and the points were so even that there still was a realistic chance to drop out of the top 10 or move up at least to 2nd place. The final day turned into a pretty exciting one and got the only appropriate ending a MTT league could have: me absolutely hating life, poker and MTTs.

I got close to a dream start for the day by final tabling the €500 GTD Bounty Deepstack which was the #1 tournament to get points. Two players got knocked out in the first hand of the final table. I was left as the short stack with 90k against the-big-stack-trio of 360k, 510k and 590k. Blinds were 3k/6k but the big stacks were shoving on each other like it was level 30k/60k and I wasn't there. However, they didn't manage to knock each other out, and I got coolered first. Still a good 48 points with 4th place finish and the top 5 of the leaderboard was well in my reach.

I bricked other tournaments quickly but the Daily 4 offered me another shot at good points. I started with 6000 and had build it up to 40k when we got to the final two tables. 

"I was happy I stayed focused and didn't mess up like I usually do when I get deep." I wrote in some earlier post. Well.


I messed up. I was 3/10 with 20bb stack (avg ~10bb) in the final table bubble. The chipleader opened to my big blind and I quickly reasoned in my mind why ATs was a perfect shove in that spot. Before I had finished my thought process the chipleader had knocked me out with AKo. 

I was so mad about the moment. I thought it was the worst thing ever. Which made me flashback to the actual worst moment of my poker career.

The first time I took a shot at PLO5k with a full stack. I felt I was ready. The client was already open. Join table. Click 'Wait for big blind'. First hand: Someone steals my big blind. Second hand: AAxx in the small blind. EP raises, MP calls, CO squeezes, BTN folds. I just flat my aces. MP also calls and we have a 3-way flop AJJ. I lead, MP folds and CO raises small. All I could think was "quads?" while I shove the rest in. He calls with the nuts. I shut the computer as fast as I could, kicked the couch on the way out, went to our home gym/storage room and smashed it...The value of money had blurred in my mind a long before, but watching that 11k slide to the opponent after sitting under two minutes at the table was too much for the kid I was then. I think I wasn't ready.

Last night's disappointment wasn't about being the bubble boy in that tournament or in the leaderboard.  It was about screwing up the moment I had built up in my mind as very important. 

A day later I can say it was just a momentary collapse. It was probably just too long since my last coffee. And generally I'm more happy with myself when I choose the ballsy move (aka the unnecessary risk) over a p*ssy-fold.  I'm pretty sure I won't remember that one for the rest of my life, or even after a month.

Overall the month was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the MTT League grind after all. Of course it felt like I ran like sh*t but the results say I had the 6th best run-goods in the Low league. Some days I even found myself impatiently waiting for the evening MTTs. Final-tabling and winning tournaments is just one of the best feelings poker can give you. And when you tune into a MTT League you usually get to do that a lot!



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Another Sunday MTT session and I get to make another 'new trophy -post'! No huge scores, but a super-fun session and done before midnight! (Although finishing a Sunday session before midnight is probably more of a beat than a brag :laugh:) But at least I'll be more fresh on Monday with the new week's grind.



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