Nekims journey and the continuous struggles of a part-time small stakes grinder

  • Nekims journey and the continuous struggles of a part-time small stakes grinder

     Nekim updated 4 months, 3 weeks ago 5 Members · 30 Posts
  • Nekim

    July 15, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Hello everybody,

    My name is Nekim and i have been playing PLO for a couple of months now. I have been a member of the mastermind with on and off periods, ran a blog for quite some time on the “old” platform and am constantly trying to improve and find success in the world of online poker.

    when corona hit and more players found their way to the tables i also ramped up my volume and tried to get my piece of the cake.

    It worked out quite fine resultswise, but once again it got abundently clear that i am far away from where i would liked to be.

    in my old blog i wrote fairly openly about my personal struggles, working in a boring 9-5 office job, having mental health issues, being out of shape and generelly not happy with myself.

    I would like to continue writing about my progress to increase accountability, but also to show interested peers how things can be approached – and to get input on what others are doing differently.

    I will be open about bad things i am doing as well and i hope this will help me to reduce those issues.


    here is a couple of quickfacts what i have been up to during the last ~4months

    – moved up to PLO50

    – breakeven-ish / small winner before rakeback (decent winner after rakeback)

    – playing 10-25hours each week on RIO

    – have recently played a couple hands of PLO100 on stars

    – studies: havent been active in the lab, just analyzed a ton of hands on my own with HM3 (closely monitoring how players on RIO PLO50 play the game)

    – grinding very low tables count/volume

    – mindset: bought Elliot Roes A-Game masterclass and am just getting into it slowly



    here are the things currently on my to-do list:

    – make maximum use of the promotions running on RIO (weekly rewards are doubled and they have special happy hours where rakeback through the “splash the pot”-feature gets doubled)

    – play much much tighter (i am very unhappy with my VPIP slightly above 30%, getting myself in a lot of uncomfortable spots facing aggression)

    – plan my weeks ahead – full schedule of everything i want to be doing

    – work with the A-Game masterclass and fastly improve on mindset issues (tilt, procrastination etc)

    – improve fitness (better eating habits, more sports, better sleep)


    current BR:

    RIO: 4995€

    Stars: 1161$

    and since ppl like graphs .. this years hands on RIO

    if you have any questions, advice or suggestions just feel free to engage! looking forward to it

    happy grind my friends!

  • Fernando Habegger

    July 17, 2020 at 8:43 am

    Hey Nekim, glad to see you back on our new forum. I will be following along and I’m looking forward to monitor your progress and learn more about your journey.

    What I’ve came to learn over the last two years is that the most important thing is to implement strong routines and focus on the processes that get you to your goals (grinding x hours, studying x hours, going to the gym x days etc.

    I would also recommend to heavily focus on your diet as it plays a key role in A) losing weight B) having more energy and faster recovery.

    All the best


  • Sonny Poker

    July 17, 2020 at 8:48 am


    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by  Sonny Poker.
  • Cayla2016

    July 17, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Hi Nekim, I can relate myself a lot to your story. I’ve a 9-5 job as well and it’s very challenging to combine this with a poker career. Do this all together in a healthy way (with a family life) is even a bigger challenge. Funny thing is that my vpip on 25 and 50 plo is around 31 % on a big sample as well. I just can’t resist to iso more wide and to cc wider to get involved with weaker players πŸ˜€

    A nice advice from Jnandez is to keep track of your results in a diary. Every day I update my diary manually. I write about poker results, mindset, alcohol use, sport activitities. I give ratings to my sleep, level of play, taking breaks in session, etc. I do it consistently now since January and it’s really helpful and motivating.

    GL on your journey, I’ll be following

  • Nekim

    July 17, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    i just wrote a long blog update and anwers to your input. Sadly my post got lost somewhere… not trying again today, kinda pissed now

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by  Orestto.
  • Nekim

    July 17, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Hey everybody, thx very much for chiming in and showing interest!

    things are going well thus far. Plans are getting better and better. But even the best plans doesnt help if its not executed well or executed at all. πŸ˜€

    With the help of a co-worker i designed my own session protocol that i am going to use moving forward for every session i play. It contains some pre/post-session checklists, goals and guidelines on the generel structure.

    Hope it helps me grow and keep a much need structure.

    @sonny-poker thx very much for the input on tilt-issues. For its a couple of triggers that lead to bleeding money

    – evil suckouts

    – being down some stacks early in a session / chasing losses

    – losing consecutive big-ish pots / not hitting draws etc

    there is a lot to work on. I also have the issues of looking at my “live-balance” way too much to check whether i am up or down – need to focus on the long run obviously.

    @cayla2016 & Fernando: Diary is coming, in form of weekly planning for overall life, session protocol and this blog. You are welcome to keep me busy writing here. Ill share whatever you are interested in.

    to end this here comes a quick recap of my session that i played right after my opening post.

    I was activily focusing on reducing my VPIP and was very happy with my game, think it was one of my best session in recent weeks. Then, nearing the end, a massive punter joined the game, played every hand, 3b massive amounts, stacked off with any form of equity… and… won every damn pot.

    Those are the moments where i usually tilt a lot, but i think i had my self under control quite well, but anyway i made my session longer just to keep playing with this whale.

    He quickly went up to 700bb but really tried to get rid of that money…. sadly he punted it off to my neighbor and left me with this graph ^^

  • Nekim

    July 19, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    Hey everybody,

    gonna end the week with a quick update:

    – very happy with my play overall and lowering of VPIP (still need to improve!)

    – running the literal worst

    – started actively working with the A-Game Masterclass

    the biggest challenge this week was to deal with being on the bad side of variance. On several occasions i had the chance to play with insane punters who tried to blast of their money as quickly as possible. I took the chance on printing ev and played deeper than id usually do. It backfired badly and left me with a loss for the week.

    find attached my graph for the week and some hilarious hands i played. I lost all those hands and could show you ten more of those ^^


    • Fernando Habegger

      July 20, 2020 at 11:19 am

      Hey Nekim,

      Looks like you’re in a great player pool. Variance will be in your favour at some point and you will start printing $$$, instead of EV.

      Keep it up!

  • Adelaney

    July 21, 2020 at 11:04 am

    Hey Nekim,

    Great to see you back, I hope everything is well on your end πŸ™‚

    Glad to see that you moved up to PLO50 and taking some shots at 100 hope they went well!

    I hope that the mental health issues have improved even if this uncertain time we have been in where it’s been difficult especially for those of us with mental health issues (I struggled significantly for a 4-6 week period during lockdown, before I managed to get back on track again).

    I am glad to see you back though and wish you the best of luck look forward to reading further updates and seeing your progress.

  • Nekim

    July 23, 2020 at 5:29 am


    Welcome to my block Ash, hope i can keep you entertained πŸ˜€

    Shoting PLO100 has gone quite well, people over there did wild stuff πŸ˜€

    so now its been a week for after reopening this blog. To its at the moment to be highly aware of everything i do and improve in scheduling and organizing.

    At tables i was happy with my latest adaptions, things didnt run my way but im confident that was a decent start.

    After losing 10 buy ins early i have basically spend the rest of the week getting back to the starting point but at least that worked out πŸ˜€

    in addition to that i made progress in the A-Game Masterclass mindset course

    watched Fernandos video on variance and BRM which once again reminded me that my own downsing i quite normal

    also watched a video of Bencb where he talks about lawyers and accountants. It made me reach out to a lawyer he basically recommended in the video. Waiting for his response, might spend a couple bucks on his advice. Im not making much money (yet) with poker, but i would really love to no longer act in a grey area. From what i have seen and read on their homepage, my chances are fairly good to get the answers i am looking for.

    If the result ends up that i have to pay taxes i would have to rethink my entire approach.

    my plans for the rest of the week are not very much poker related – gonna finish a reward-level on RIO which will probably take another 2.5h and on the weekend ill join a friend to do a magic the gathering stream of a big event – well be the official german stream and he is still trying to build up his stream, really looking forward to help him out on that front.

    thats it friends, happy grinding!


  • Cayla2016

    July 23, 2020 at 9:36 am

    The taxes are one of my worries as well. So far my winnings are unsignifacant but I know some other players who had big troubles with the tax gouvernment in my country. Taking into account that RB is prohibited in my country as well, I doubt sometimes if there is a future in poker for me…

    Anyway, it’s good to hear u are on the good path and shottaking on 100 PLO already. The games seems beatable on this stake. I did some shottaking on 100 PLO as well, but I faced a lot of strong regulars in comparison with 50 PLO. It made me aware that studying the game and working on my mindset is unavoidable.

    • Nekim

      July 23, 2020 at 7:32 pm

      yeah you are right Cayla, constant improvement is key.

      today i sadly fell back into bad habits and got tilted quite a bit. Was already playing a bad session, down several stack an then i lost quads to quads … yeah sometimes its just not meant to be πŸ˜€

      better days will come, but i am done with poker for the week ^^

      gl everybody and have a nice weekend. Ill be back sometime next week

  • Nekim

    August 2, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Hey everybody,

    hope things are going well for you. As planned i have been running a low volume schedule and mostly took care of my regular-job duties and private stuff.

    Currently still on a pretty rough stretch of hands that are dealt to me which increases my personal weaknesses. But overall i am happy with how i approached the games.

    Lowering the VPIP / RFI / Coldcalls certainly improved my gameplan. I find myself in a lot less difficult spots with marginal hands.

    Id describe myself as a little bit passive and / or overly cautious, putting the nuts into my opponents hands a bit too often and folding too many fine bluffcatchers.

    While reviewing my hands it gets quite clear that i should trust and rely on my reads more often.

    In anonymous games observing players general approaches to the game and identifying player types plays a huge role.

    There are players who have close to 0 bluffs

    there are players who have well chosen bluffs with blockers and actually find high ev spots to apply those

    but there a also crazy punters who click random buttons but love to apply pressure and force any4 cards through.

    its obviously not just this black and white but it helps a little when trying to make decisions and i think i am on decent path to finding a good balance. Note taking/tagging players and reviewing those spots helps a ton.

    after my initial opening post i dropped a bunch of buyins but now i have fully recovered from that little swing in the wrong direction.

    current BR:

    RIO: 5069 € ( starting: 4995€)

    Stars: 1262$ (starting: 1161$)

    sadly for the next week ill have to run a low volume plan again. I do most of my grind on Tuesday and wednesday. For the upcoming week ill help a friend renovating his house he just bought. On Friday ill host a magic: the gathering event at my place and weΒ΄ll likely have a couple of drinks πŸ˜‰

    need to check out whats the next promotion on RIO and than somehow do my plans around that and squeeze some sessions in somehow somewhere.

    ill keep you updating how thing develop, thx for reading and enjoy your sunday πŸ™‚

  • Nekim

    August 8, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Hello happy grinders,

    big news to share πŸ˜‰

    boring stuff first – i have reached my goals for the week, slightly overcome them even because i had more free time than expected.

    Still mostly happy with how i am playing, still lots to improve upon but i think my direction is fine.

    I honestly think i am still running kinda shitty but i am certain better times will come. Might also just be my brain trying to trick me and afterall it doesnt actually matter anyway ^^ … but i am hovering around the same BR for quite some time now after having a blasting start. Guess its just something i still need to get used to.

    when looking at my results i recently found that they are much better when playing with 4+ players at the tables. Winrate goes down a bunch when playing short handed or HU. Its something i need to work on in the future, but for now i think ill try to just avoid playing those situations.

    lets get to the important news: for the next 3 months i will have a lot of free time and going close to full time poker.

    At my job we will be set on shorter hours because of the corona crisis. It means ill only need to work 2 days/week but still get 90% of my salary. Didnt have the time to make complete plans yet but i want to make big progress.

    For a lot of people situations like this are massive problems, financial cuts no matter how small or big they are may threaten them in some way. For me i see this as a chance. I have poker as a secondary income stream and i am far away from using my full potential in this area.

    I dont want to need to rely on poker income so i will come up with some very conserative goals once i get the time, but i am actually excited to tackle some productive weeks.

    ill have my magic gang comin in 3 hours and we will have a nice event with some drinks, so my journey will continues on monday!

    see you then, have a nice weekend and gl !

    yours, Nekim

  • Nekim

    August 13, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Hey Everybody,

    yesterday was my first day within the “new situation”. I have to work mondays and tuesday only and have the rest of the week available for whatever i like. Didnt find the motivation to write down an entire concept for the upcomin 2.5 months, but ill get there eventually πŸ˜‰

    have been slagging in the off-table-work-department quite a lot lately and need to get that back into my routines.

    tuesday after work and wednesday i grinded a bunch trying to score decently on the leaderboard. Missed my goal by 1 spot, but thats fine.

    I am getting beat up everytime im playing at the moment. My ev looks very fine, but for now the random punters prevail. Im now running 1000€ below EV in just one month and thats as bad as it gets for my low volume :-/

    I know thats something i have no impact over, but i feel my conscious attempt of playing much tighter was the biggest improvement i have ever made to my game. Not seeing it rewarded and watching some idiots run away with massive stacks after yolo jamming their stacks with 4 random cards if freaking painful.

    I know it makes me play way worse when it happens a lot to me and i need to really work on this mindset-flaw.

    One other great addition to my session are the protocols i write everytime i play. Ill try to attach it, feel free to use πŸ˜‰ (apparently i cant attach a worddoc, sorry)

    Today ill try to get another good day of volume in and a prepare a D&D session for friday with my coworkers.

    gl at the tables everybody!

    greetings, Nekim

  • Nekim

    August 17, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Hey Everybody,

    the official 1 month-in update πŸ˜€

    things that have been going well:

    – lowering of VPIP/RFI/CC great improvement (find myself in less thin spots, which fits my playstyle better)

    – decent volume and EV

    – shotted PLO100

    – got table selection and tables awareness / note taking

    – regular sessions recaps with help of session protocols

    things i am not yet happy with:

    – lack of actual theory and mindset study

    – lack of discipline in a lot of areas

    – actual results (will follow at the bottom)

    – still very uncertain about my overall direction

    – alcohol consumption


    i am generally enjoying the overall situation, but it often leads to me slacking and underperforming.

    i have a couple of events lined up that i am really looking forward to, but it also means i will lose a couple more days of playing / studying.

    I have no clue yet what a healthy balance of life & poker is, what i certainly dislike is regretting doing or not doing some things.

    Whats all the won money good for if you dont take it to improve your life, take time off and enjoy things? someone got a good answer to this? πŸ˜€

    i have scheduled out a busy week that includes poker, poker/mindset studies and fitness workouts. Hope i can tick off all those boxes

    find attached my results since starting this blog. Mostly PLO50 with 15% shotting PLO100


    RIO: 5006 € ( starting: 4995€)

    Stars: 1576$ (starting: 1161$)

  • Nekim

    August 25, 2020 at 8:39 pm

    Hey everybody,

    after posting my latest update things went even more downhill very quickly. I let my runbad get to me emotionally and spewed off a couple of stacks on tilt.

    I have massive mindset leaks and they cost me lot during the last week. I lacked a professional attitude and even played under the influence of alcohol. It might be true that i am on my worst run of cards ever, but in this situation its my task to minimize my losses and dont let me get dragged down to the levels of the the spewtards i am ranting about.

    I lost one of my biggest strenght – folding against aggression, not wanting to believe my nice looking hand got cracked again in a 3 or 4bet pot. That let to bleeding stack after stack.

    Since this is still on my mind and i feel the triggers flying in a lot i have decided to take a little break to clean my mind and refocus.

    I am way too heavyly focussed on short term results and dont value the process of getting better enough.

    I promise to change this in the upcoming weeks and months.

    but for this week ill enjoy some time off and go and a weekend trip with my longest friends, that should help to get other things to mind.

    gl on your journeys friends!

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