Thursday, December 22, 2011

Playa, Sway, Poker

Ok, I had to delete the last post because it was awful. The more I read it, the more I hated it. Just lacked originality and looked like it was done in a hurry. I'm taking my time with this one, haha.

Playa del Carmen: There's a bit of a back story for this. When I was with my now ex-girlfriend, some horses of mine had expressed some interest on living in a mexican grindhouse. Couldn't do it, because I would've obviously gotten dumped, lol. So, as luck would have it, I got dumped anyways for other stuff, haha, so that opened up the possibility of actually setting it up. I thought about all the pros and cons, and the only real Con is that my fixed costs will increase, perhaps about 1.5k/month, so that's definitely reasonable. As to the Pros, there's just so many: Living with other pros, living with people that share the same interests/goals as me, not being by myself grinding all day, living in a city with a beach, better nightlife, etc etc. So, we're all getting there on the 6th of january (6 guys), looking for a house/condo for a week, then on to grinding and shipping heaps. So, getting there on january 6, 6 guys, 6 months. That's obviously a good omen, lol. Soooo excited. I haven't lived away from my city for 7 years now (semester in Madrid was the only other time).

Playa Bucket List:

- Deep sea fishing
- Skydiving
- Visit Xcaret
- Go scuba diving
- Go on a booze cruise
- Stay in Cancun for a weekend

Book Recommendation and real life applications (and "in before tl;dr") :    

"Sway: The irresistible pull of rational behavior"

Loss aversion: It's our tendency to prefer avoiding losses, than maximizing gains.
Real life: Me playing the 2-180's for so fucking long. I always found an excuse. "Oh, I'm a life nit", "My life roll is too small", etc etc. Fuck that. Play the games that your bankroll and skill allow you.

Diagnosis bias: It's sort of like judging a book by its cover.

Real life: Pfff, I've done this countless times. Someone rubs me the wrong way initially, and that's it. I've made my mind and they can go fuck themselves, lol. I've changed a bit in the last few years, but still got some work to do there. Some people just give off bad first impressions and then you find out they're actually pretty cool.

Commitment: Not in regards to settling down, but more along the lines of getting "pot-commited". Sometimes, you'll have invested time, money, your emotions on something that's clearly not working out, but people have a tendency to feel committed.

Real life: We've wrongly felt commited with various of our horses, when they were clearly not working out from the start.

Real life: Also, I was commited on a doomed relationship that had so few good moments towards the end. We should have been over from way back.

Value attribution: In other words, "The value that we attribute to something fundamentally changes how we perceive it". This one blew my mind, haha.

Real life: Recently got together (for drinks, not, like, you know what I mean) with this girl that I've always considered "the one that got away". Funny how practically everyone has one of those. Ok, well, I placed soooo much value in seeing her again (after about 6 years), that anything that wasn't a total failure, I would consider it a success/win. So, I did have a good time, but I was so "swayed" from the start, that I incorrectly judged the interaction. Got infatuated and shit, hahaa, but the book helped me realize what had actually happened. So it's all good. Peter Lassiter said it best on Family Man: "Leave it in the past. Old flames are like old tax returns... put 'em in a file cabinet for three years, and then you cut 'em loose."

There's more cases of people getting swayed in our everyday lives, but that's the gist of it. Thanks to Ben Reasons for recommending me that book.

The Staking Business: It's going well. We got bogan as administrator doing an awesome job, an mtt sicko owning souls and coaching our horses, and also outsource some coaching from other mtt beasts. Everything's goooooooot. 2012 will be amazing.

My poker: 
Chavarov  Click for details  This user has won and claimed $100 in the Optin Cash Giveaway.  Visit my Blog1,541$6.4  $10  64%$9,870  Super TiltN/APokerStars11/10/2011 12/22/2011 E180-180 Rebuys Only SNG Only

Pretty nice heater. I don't think it's a coincidence that I changed a bunch of things in my game. Seems I reached the huge downswing and ensuing b/e RIGHT AFTER getting coached and changing my game towards more aggression. I was pretty clearly doing it wrong. So, good things to come there imo. I'm thinking of completely erradicating freezeout 180's, and just focusing on 3rs + Mtts in 2012. It will be awesome.

Well, that's it for now. Will update when I'm settled in Playa del Carmen....weeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Merry Christmas,


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Epic Fail

Okay, this post will probably be all over the place, not as structured as usual, I just have a bunch of thoughts bouncing around in my head right now.

Sigh, I delayed updating this blog till things straightened out a bit. I had a truly terrible month. Lost 1.2k. First month I've ever lost $$ as a grinder. I over-tweaked some stuff in my game and suffered the consequences. I'm not completely to blame, don't think it was greed, I just wanted to get better and have a better ROI (like jabracada, who is arguably the best 180's player in the world), but I wasn't doing it right, lol. Not really sure if I'm running good or I'm playing better, but things have gotten better this month.

About my July goals: The only word that really comes to mind is "Sigh". There's a mexican saying that goes "El que mucho abarca, poco aprieta". The literal translation would be "He who covers too much, can't squeeze". It's obviously metaphorical, but, like, if you over extend your arms, you can't really squeeze too hard. So that's what happened. I crashed and burned really hard. Couldn't accomplish shit, even when I put in many 10+ hour days. Oh well, live and learn. I did read 1 entire book, 1k pages long (A Clash of Kings, by George R.R. Martin, sequel to A Game of Thrones). It's fucking awesome. It's HBO's Rome meets Lord of the Rings. And there's dragons and shit. One thing that affected me was that I broke up with my girlfriend. If your brain's not in the game, it's pretty hard to own souls.

Stable: Really glad that I teamed up with Gavin555. We complement each other pretty well (no homo, lol). We've made some mistakes, as was to be expected, but I think the business is coming along pretty well. Very happy with it. At the start, I was thinking that if we ever reached 100 students, I'd quit poker to manage the stable + coach, but not anymore. I just love the grind too much. I may well play all my life, hahahaa. I'm throwing a huge party when I reach 1 million (with my future kids and their wives and shit).  EVEN with a truly ghastly month (July), and me busting my ass off to lose money, I still loved my life for the most part. Absolutely no one I know irl loves his job as much as I do. I gladly not go out on a friday, in order to be healthy to play on saturdays. A professional player in a recreational atmosphere. Can't beat that. If I could be earning a living by playing Nintendo, I'd probably do it, hahaha.

Poker skills in real life: mrpaintball asked in a recent group conversation "what are some positive skills acquired by professional poker players". My snap response was "Work Ethic, Increased Pattern Recognition, Mathematical Reasoning". I did underestimate the most important thing tho, which is Problem Solving. Poker is a constantly changing endeavor. Like life, it's full of challenging things that you need to overcome along the way. Poker has taught me not to give up EVER. I'm not talking about a chip and a chair here. I'm talking about having the confidence to pull through whatever it is that's holding you back. Here's a good story. I was 8 years old, playing my first tennis tournament. I reached the finals versus a kid much better than me. I was down 6-1, 3-1 (so 3 games from losing), and it started raining and it was postponed 2 hours. I was practically bawling on the ride back, since I'd never lost and really hate losing at anything. My dad was really helpful. He told me that I wasn't adjusting to the bounce correctly (top spin). We practiced about half an hour in my house, and I started to anticipate the bounce better. After our session, he showed me a picture. It was a stork with a frog in its mouth. BUT, the frog somehow had its hands out and was choking the stork. The stork had eyes as if it was dying. The caption read "NEVER EVER GIVE UP". It was such an awesome picture. Long story short, I ended up winning the match 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. Such a sick lesson I learned then, and I never forgot it. Dad = hero obv.

Well, that's it for now. Will probably update today again, but need to socialize a bit for now. All work and no play makes Chavarov a dull boy, hahaha.

Friday, July 1, 2011

July Goals!

A) 3,000 games at least.
B) $10 ABI minimum.
C) Read 2 books.
D) Train tennis 15 times.
E) Coach 40 hours.
F) Smoke no more than 5 cigarettes on weekdays, 10 cigarettes on weekends.
G) Not get drunk.
H) Do 40 hand history reviews.
I) Watch tv maximum 2 hours per day.

If I can somehow accomplish all 9, I'll have to change my name to Superman. hahaha. Didn't want to include a profits clause because I wanted my goals to be about things that I can control. This way, it's well within my power to do everything.

A) 3k games: I think this is definitely achievable by playing on weekends too. Since I started playing poker seriously, I've taken weekends off, but not anymore. Some beasts that are way better than me, play every day, why can't I?

B) $10 ABI: My friend/ex-backer, Benjamin Reason, finally convinced me to drop the damn 2.50-180's from my schedule. He made me realize that I'm basically losing my time with so much variance control, instead of just trying to win a bunch of money at the stakes I should be playing. Big props to him, because I'm really stubborn. Thanks for showing me the light! hahaha.

C) Read 2 books: Shouldn't be that hard. Once I start reading one, I usually finish it that same week. Just kinda been hypnotized by so many good series on the tube.

D) Tennis: I took June off because I thought I wouldn't have enough time to grind/coach, but that's nonsense. There should always be time to try to stay healthy. It's not just that. There's an ulterior motive. My game has struggled due to lack of exercise. I've made some mistakes recently that I never did before. Just outright idiotic folds and shoves. Healthy mind in healthy body imo.

E) Coach 40 hours: Just 10 hours per week sounds very doable. Just going to try to schedule 2 hour classes at end of grinds, and it's on. Obviously, very +EV to coach as much as I can. Absolute must.

F) Smoking: I'm such a cigarette fiend. It's unbelievable. If I buy a pack, gg the pack that same day. I've spent countless 5 minute breaks just scrambling for loose cigarettes, in the drawers, couch, between the linens and shit. Such a nasty addiction. I'm going to cut down all through July. If I can do that, I'll cut down even more in August. Going cold-turkey has never worked for me, so maybe this will. Vamoooooooooooooo!

G) Getting drunk: I've actually been able to pinpoint the exact cause for when I get lazy; It's being hungover. I just don't care about anything but laying in bed feeling sorry for myself, lol. But, I mean, there's so much money to be made by massive grinding, with the right mindset, that it's just so unprofitable to get drunk/be hungover. I'll still drink obv, but not too much. I think this is the most important aspect of the goals. If I don't get drunk, these goals should be ez game.

H) 40 hand history reviews: Not easy, but I'll certainly try. I'll have to really commit to this one. Gotta make each one count. Hopefully, each hand history review get our students closer to crushing, so they're crucial for the success of our business.

I) TV: Such a zombie. Every time I'm done for the day, I watch tv for endless hours. I can almost feel my brain turning off. Well, that's the end of that. BUT, I still/always will love laying in bed watching good television, so I'm allowing myself to watch 2 hours (or if it's a long movie, well, however long it takes, hahaa, can't nitpick there).

Conclusion: Well, that's it for now. I'm really looking forward to a month of hard work. I've always had trouble implementing drastic changes in my day-to-day life, but I'm really motivated and excited. Wish me luck :)

Good luck at the tables,


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Backing/Coaching for Pokerstars' 180's

It's on!

I teamed up with a good friend of mine (Gavin555), and the business is up and going. We're still in the process of setting up a website, but the important thing is we're ready. We got a few students alraedy. Still taking applications.  (Skype: Chavarov , Skype: Gavin_555)

copy/pasted here:

Myself (gavin555) and Chavarov are offering coaching/staking at Pokerstars' 180s. Chavarov will be conducting coaching sessions in spanish and english. I will be doing sessions in english. Players will be staked $1 and above.

Coaching will be strictly 1 on 1 with HH reviews. I will also review hhs for spanish speaking students so the student can get 2 different perspectives. Students will be able to discuss hh's with either coach on skype and organize weekly coaching sessions. There is an 8 hour time difference between myself and Chavarov, so one of us will usually be available for coaching/spot discussions.

All students must agree to be coached and staked, not one or the other, and play at a level we believe they will be most profitable. 

Bah, I was going to paste some graphs and stuff, but I suck at the internets. 

Gotta go analyze some hand histories right about now. 

Have a good day,


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Third Blog entry = Coaching and Backing / Supernova / Translating / Fitness / Smoking

Coaching and Backing: 

I've gotten a few coaching requests already, and complied with a couple students. I'm also going to establish a staking business, but I'm still figuring out the terms and conditions. I'm confident I'll be ready in a few weeks. It's just that I'm a little anal retentive, and I want everything to be perfect. I bought the domain already. When the business is up and running, we'll have a forum, use dropbox, have group coaching sessions, etc etc.

So, if anyone's interested, hit me up on Skype. I'm usually there grinding. If I don't reply, I'll get back to you when I finish my session. 


Pffffff, being a supernova has never been my goal, but I think it would be a sweeeeeeet end of year bonus. I'm at 23k points right now. The supernova rate should be about 34k. To offset this difference, some mass-tabling microlimit cash is in order. By my calculations, I'd need to play about 100 extra hours of 25NL, so it seems very doable. I know, I know, I said in a past blog that cash games are tedious, but it's all about the money, baby! (or the bonuses, anyways)


Yeah, I'm gonna translate this blog eventually. It will be available at the website. I just haven't gotten around to doing it. 


I'm going to try doing the P90X workout. My back is completely sore right now, from doing 20.... count them, 20 pushups two days ago. That's sooooooooo pitiful. Hopefully it'll motivate me to work on my body and not just on my game. I do train tennis about 3 times per week, but my core strength is so disgusting. Need to do some serious work there. Of course, I won't just jump into the workout. I'll be doing situps, pushups and ab crunches for a few weeks. By the time I can do 100 of each, without feeling like I'm in the seventh circle of hell the next day, I'll start the P90X. 

Alright, have a good time at the tables,


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Second Blog Entry: Musings and Introspection on Poker

Caveat: This post will be long and won't contain any poker strategy whatsoever. You have been warned   :)

On "Playing as many tables as you can handle": I've seen countless posts on pocketfives that go like this: "How many tables should I play", and the standard response is "As many as you can handle". I don't agree with this. I could only handle 2 tables when I started out. Then 4. Then 6. Then stopped at 9 because I was timing out all over the place. Then I found out about Boku87. I mean, there's really only 3 actions in poker; Bet / Fold / Call. How could someone be able to play 6 times as many tables as me, if we had the same options? No one truly knows their limits until they push themselves. After his $100-$10k challenge in 15 days, I started to really try pushing myself. In about a week, I was already 12 tabling. then 15. Currently, I play 20 tables. Every single day I try to load more tables, but I seem to be stuck there. I don't really mind. I know someday I'll be able to play 30, then maybe 35, and so on.

My point is: We need benchmarks. We need to push ourselves. Sure, I "could" play 6 tables very comfortably, but I wouldn't be reaching my full hourly ($) potential. If you play low limit cash or low limit SNGS, I don't think there's an excuse to play less than 10-12 tables. My current human benchmarks are: Simakos and Johanfbomb. I'm not talking about style here, but basically the combination of A) The # of tables they can play  B) Their ROI  C) Their work ethic. I look up to them every single day that I feel like taking the day off. These guys are 180's beasts and I respect them a lot.

Book recommendation: Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell)

The book's main premise is the 10,000 hour rule. You, like I, probably heard this before, but didn't know where it comes from. Basically,

"the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours."

Sure, there's Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Doyle, that probably have an innate ability at poker. However, this doesn't mean they didn't work their asses off to get to where they are today. 

On "The legitimacy of poker as a full-time job / taking the plunge"

As poker players, we face a big bias by people that don't know where we're coming from. I've heard it all:

1. It's all luck.
2. But how much did you lose (my second favorite)
3. The server is letting you win, so you get hooked, deposit and lose everything. 
4. If I have AA, I can beat Phil Ivey, so, it's all luck (my favorite, obviously)
5. Etc etc etc

I do admit I was a bit reckless when I quit my last job. I had about 1k in the bank, and a 1k bankroll. EVERYONE was against it;

My parents: "You can't quit a job before having another one lined up"

My girlfriend: "You can't seriously think about living off your poker profits. It's a game"

My friends: "You're such a degenerate."

However, In my mind, I didn't really have a choice but to quit. You see, I was a salesman. A galvanized steel salesman with 2 small problems:

1) I hated to be a Salesman

2) I wasn't good at it.

I majored in Finance because that's what I'm good at. Analyzing / Mathematical reasoning / Logical reasoning. Poker is a pretty good fit imo. 

Ok, got sidetracked a bit. Let's carry on. 

And somehow, today, all is well. How? A lot of hard work at the virtual felts. My parents/girlfriend/friends are really happy for me. Happy that I finally found what I love, after being a boat without destination for 5 years. 

Book Recommendation: Treat your Poker like a Business (Dusty Schmidt)

A quote wouldn't even begin to explain what I learned through this book. It changed my whole perspective on the way I see the grind. I highly recommend it to anyone that's even beginning to think about taking poker seriously. 

On "Attitude"

Poker players usually love the culture of victimhood; "I run bad", "That guy runs good", "I always get coolered", etc etc etc.  It's just such a nasty trait. I've made a firm commitment to never post another beat again. We could all have so much more interesting discussions and dialogue if we could get past our own bad luck. Everyone has it. It's part of the game. Get over it. A part of running bad is playing bad, so why don't we make a conscious effort to try to control what we can control (our leaks)?

Book Recommendations:    Zen and the Art of Happiness
                                        Zen and the Art of Poker

The premise of the former is: Everything that happens is the best thing that could happen to you.

The latter doesn't really have a premise, it's just the Art of War quotes focused on poker. It's pretty good if you filter out the bad advice, sort of like the Bible, hahahaa. 

Well, that's it's for today, hope it was a good,


Thursday, March 24, 2011

First Blog Entry = BIO

First post. Hopefully a good one.

I started playing with my friends after watching Rounders around 2004. We didn't even know the rules but we kinda winged it. I won our first home game tourney, 6 players, $200 pesos buy-in (about 15 bucks), winner take all. I was a student at the time, and like anyone, loved the "free money". Decided a small investment would be great. I decided to purchase Phil Helmuth's "Play Poker like the Pros". Well, no way I was just going to play the top ten hands or rate people as Lions, Elephants and whatever. So that was that. I searched around for poker knowledge, and eventually got to 2+2 and pocketfives.  I really hated 2+2's format and the general condescending attitude there (not towards me, but in general, I was just a lurker). Started reading every poker strategy article. I couldn't fathom the fact that someone could actually fold AK preflop. That was probably my first realization that I didn't really know anything. I mean, these guys were winning thousands of dollars, so they had to know more than me. Dedicated a lot of time to getting better. Practiced stuff in home games, read many more books. Oh, and throughout my life, I've always loved games. Could always play hours on end, as long as it was interesting. Nintendo when I was a boy. Chess as a teenager. Poker as an adult. Sounds like a plan.

Fast forward to 6 months later. I enter my first MTT tournament. $120dlls buy-in. 95 people. I was half staked by my dad, by the way. I wasn't even going to play. Ended up chopping it 3 handed for a cool 32k pesos (about 2.7k dlls). I was hooked. Bought Harrington on Holdem. Got a little better. Now I was consciously aware of not blinding out. In total, I played 15 live tournaments over the next 2 years. Outright won two more. Cashed 6 more, for about 110k pesos profit. I deposited $50 on party poker in 2006. I just played cash games when drunk and ran over the table. I would just wake up and find out I'd won $500 or so. Ran it up to 3k. I was on top of the world! Cashed out 1k. 5 tabled $2-$4, 6 max the next day. Hmmm, let's just say that didn't go as planned. Busted the roll obviously.  Learned a really important lesson though. NEVER PLAY WHERE YOU DON'T BELONG.

Quit online poker for 3 years. Got a job. Worked for the Man. Hated almost every second of it. In the back of my mind still lingered my long lost love affair with the beautiful game we love. I was making 1k per month at my job when I was 26 (3 years ago). Mexican jobs for the lose obv. In 2008 I correctly answered an Intellipoker quiz for $5. I test well. So, that was the start. It was probably around September 2008. I logged in to pokerstars, played 10c - 360's for a while. I won one and was psyched. I mean, 8 bucks for clicking buttons! I was so there. I learned about multi-tabling profitably. Really? There's actually people that can play well on multiple tables? How do they do it? More tables = More hourly. I'm so there. Started multi-tabling the 10 - 360. Played about 900 of them, with an awesome 140% roi... or 14 cents per game. Then, decided to play micro-cash. Started 16 tabling $0.10-$0.25. Made like 1.5k or something. But it was just too tedious. Entered a few 2.20's. Won one and I felt as if I had found my calling. 108 bucks!

Bought a PC with dual monitors, got a new job (which I eventually quit because I sort of hate being told what to do, at what times I could eat, etc.). Then comes 2010. I have a plan. I have a grinding schedule. I'm loving my life. Then comes May. I'm reviewing a post on pocketfives. Some random guy says something about some dude, "mrpaintball", that "doesn't experience downswings, but he's really THAT good". I check out his stats, and they ARE really good. So I send him a stalker-ish pm for some coaching. The guy answers that he's holding a ghost for $50 next saturday. OOOh, I'm so there. I watch him play. For the second time in my short poker career, I realize, I don't really know anything. His thought process is just so far ahead of mine and I metaphorically blush in shame. Props to him obv. About 2 months later, I get a pm through pocketfives. I do a "background check" (I check for his posts on pocketfives), and he's got 0 posts. I think I'm getting scammed obviously. He says "Hey, nice graph. Have you ever thought about playing the 12 -180's? I can hook you up for some coaching and staking. Let me know". I give him my secondary e-mail, send him some hand histories. He writes back that they're are definitely interested in staking me. He's in charge of getting some coaching for me. I'm in charge of eventually crushing. I'm skeptically there!

Eventually, mrpaintball is the 180's coach and I'm pretty happy because I didn't really care much for the former 180's coach, and matty's ghost in May was the nuts. I start working with mrpaintball and he just outright owns, so I get better. This whole experience was my jumping point for bigger and better things and I'm really grateful for it.

Salvador Lozano

ps: Next blog entry= Sharkscope graphs, where I am, where am I going, poker business opportunities, coaching?, etc