Hi Callmuckty, thanks for taking the time to do this interview, how are you doing today?
Hey mate, doing very well, a bit tired after such a long Thursday grind but I get used to it.
What days tend to be the longest grinds for you in general or does it vary?
Actually Sundays. Mostly I start around 4PM and the session lasts at least until 4-5 AM, hopefully till 10am as it means I reached the milly final table kappa
Haha, do you find it difficult to maintain a schedule if you do have a deep run and end up staying till 10am or will you tend to just start later or take the next day off?
I am not the guy who skips a session when planned.
Let’s say I grind the Sunday schedule and I am playing till 8am, I take my sleep until 14:00 and after I prepare for the evening session again, It just requires willpower to still play those sessions.
Was it ever an issue for you when you started doing these marathon sessions? I find that my play used to drop off massively after I hit around the 11-12 hour mark and took a while to get used to doing those long sessions.
No I always had fun playing my sessions and never needed extra motivations to stick to those sessions. It’s kinda hard for me taking 1-2 weeks off due to vacations and afterwards getting in the schedule again. But when I get back into it again it’s all good
Do you take a lot of vacations throughout the year? I would imagine as you move up to higher stakes you have to try and take more breaks and find balance in your life.
Being a professional since this year I am going to do a lot of things different. Over the last few years I have been stressed so much by grinding and studying that I simply haven’t had energy for sports and activities alongside poker. But this wasn’t the right way, gonna get up a way better schedule and also take more rest. Separating Poker and having spare time is very important.
So this is something I am trying to do now in terms of I become obsessive and just play a lot or study and neglect real life to an extent, what steps have you tried to take to fix that or make adjustments in?
Actually if you want to become better or the best in the game you simply have to cut down on other activities a lot. Over the years I simply wasn’t able to put enough energy in my studies due to poker. I had an issue with not enough time, but this is what you have to accept. My adjustment right now is taking days off, playing in my spare time and when I sit down to grind, I simply put all my energy in.
Do you think it improves the quality of your play or motivation to play if your dedicating yourself for these set periods of time or that it matters more to you?
Definitely having a good rest is key. My best results tournament wise came from the sessions in which I had vacation or days off beforehand but also dedicating a lot of time for poker is key as well. You have to find a way to get decent volume in and taking good rests in between
So if we rewind it all the way back as there isn’t too much about you out there in the poker world except for some excellent youtube content, how did you get into poker and what was your life like before you got into poker?
After i finished my studies I took half a year off and concentrate day in and day out on poker. I spoke, played and analyzed close to every minute I had. I started my roll with 100$ and nl2, stuck to cash games at this point and moved my way up to nl100-200 but it had been a rough journey.
I was not good enough and my Bankroll management had been too poor.
I couldn’t concentrate on nl2, because in my mind these 2$ BI were like I was playing free money, so I shot at nl5-10 and busted there a bunch of times. Over the time you simply face way more decisions than the aspect of money. Nowadays I treat a $50 MTT as if I am playing a 1k
Do you think there is any way to avoid BRM issues and going broke or is it just part of the cycle of learning? I think most players go through being busto early in their career at least once and it takes that lesson to realise what you actually want from poker.
My main concept about approaching poker is learning from mistakes we are doing. We are just human beings and making mistakes is part of it. BRM is a big part of the game and people do make a lot of mistakes there, but learning from mistakes is key.
Growing up what where your life aspirations or plans for what you wanted to do past education?
My studies where to become a teacher because I am able to do well with people around me. The problem I faced over the years has been my dedication to the beautiful game, i simply fall in love with the deepness in the game of poker from the first day. I had to face a decision lately to become a professional poker player or keep doing both, would never have stopped playing poker and the decision was clear for me at a certain point.
Do you coach poker currently then or something you would consider in the future? Seems like the two would go hand in hand
Yes I am coaching atm, but not that much actually. I Don’t have that much time to coach, but sometimes I like the mix of doing something different besides analyzing and playing.
I always find talking through hands with people being super helpful just in terms of also explaining your thought process to yourself as well as the other person, how do you approach your studying and is it something you have a big emphasis on?
Yes it is key having opinions from other players. My studying consists of a lot of different things, the major mistakes people are doing is not seeing the big complex behind the game. They are learning ranges and try to implement them into their game, but that’s a wrong approach if you ask me.
The key is getting as much information or ideas as possible and thinking critically about them.
So in terms of the big complex behind the game you would look at a concept or a strategy to implement or explore in your game rather than just try and define everything to a fixed game plan?
Exactly. Personally I will be 100% serious with you I have just watched 2 videos of the RYE course, its a very good course Ben offers, but those are just guidelines. People have to understand that you have to develop strategies for yourself. Every person is different, some guys are more aggressive, some are taking a more conservative approach so I cannot be successful approaching a passive approach, because my style has been aggro all the time,
However some people take the passive approach and would just spew when taking the aggro approach. Players developing their own style while learning game concepts is very important.
How important do you think it is to develop your own style as a player? I feel like there is a big emphasis on poker as almost playing like a robot or trying to be perfectly balanced in every spot whilst if you look at other sports or games there are very rarely “GTO” players it all comes down to finding something that suits them
You have to think outside the box at this topic. You will see people playing an ABC style, then there are some players who go straight out of line, there must be a mix of those. Balancing is key while having GTO in the back of your head.
In terms of moving up the stakes and making your way to the top of your game format of choice, what advice would you give to someone trying to attain that or two things they should focus on to achieve that goal?
It all comes to the individual ability of the person and the skills this person already gained during his progress. I would advise people to think outside the box and not taking everything as the right/correct approach/play they hear from others.
Do you have an end goal for poker or a legacy which you would like to leave on it?
There is a guy who inspired me since the first day I started playing the game. Fedor Holz. The positive side effect of poker when you get better is that you earn more money over the long run, but that doesnt matter that much for me. I simply want to become the best around, the guy people get afraid of when they see me at the table that’s basically why I chose my avatar (Bane).
So this moves on nicely to something which is always fun to do, how would you compare yourself to the top MTT regs (specifically online) and also who do you consider some of the top regs to be currently?
I think my progress over the last months is a lot more than the progress of most of the regs. I feel a lot of them get comfortable with what they achieved and not taking it 100% serious anymore. I take it 101% and I feel I am catching up a lot atm.
Biggest difference is the experience the top regs already gained over the years playing the highest stakes and toughest opponents. The best regs are of course the top 3 guys of BitB, Bencb and people like gray31, BIack88 and girafanger.
Do you think people do lose motivation to learn or it’s something that inevitable? I always wondered how you would look at some people who were the top of the game like 10 years ago and then they struggle to keep up with the curve after they reach the pinnacle of success.
I think the main issue is the comfort problem. People achieved a ton while getting financially stable and that is the main intention why they are playing the game to earn money. But I think the motivation should be way higher. Achieving something bigger, aiming for being the best at the thing you are doing
Would you apply this same drive to any field that you got into in your future or do you think it applies more specifically to poker then some other careers?
Personally I think it’s a long road getting the best at a certain way in any career outside of poker as well. When you start reaching the top you have to push even harder, people paying attention, you get well known and this is where you have to keep going and going.
Thanks for the insight, this has been super interesting! Let’s round this up with some fun questions. Which are your favourite tournaments, and what are the cursed tournaments which you can just never cash?
My absolute favourite tournament is the 215$ 6-max, since I came from 6max cash i feel like having a super edge against the regs. Also the sunday million is obv. my favourite one by final tabling it twice within a year.
I struggled a lot at the 55$ tournaments 2 years ago, hopefully i can make a positive win rate these days there *laughing emoji*
It must be a very proud feeling to look back on that considering where you are now in your career, what’s your favourite degen moment/story?
My most degen moment I face while becoming better actually.
People pay more attention and when they see you are on a minor downswing, which is obviously part of the game, they try to pull you down. There was one guy I talked to, he was a losing low stakes player and shares 10$ tournaments and he told me that I am a horrible player at this time. You have to face a bunch of jealous people who you don’t even have to prove yourself to, but they keep going until they get silent. Now he is silent.
Haha, nothing better than one of those victories!
We can end with, what is your favourite experience you have had as a result of poker
Definitely my two live events i played so far, met up with some guys and it has been so fun. That’s one of my big ambitions playing way more live and driving the live circuit crazy.
Would you ever consider taking a year out to do all the EPT stops and become a circuit grinder?
Definitely putting in more live tournaments from now on. But I think over the long run you have to get more competitive while playing online because you face so much more good opponents than live.
Alright awesome, well thanks for your time mate, do you have any shoutouts at all?
Ya shoutout to my family/friends and girlfriend who always supported me even at the rough time where i started and not having success at all.