'Time for an update, I guess.
On Monday 2021-09-06 I arrived to Vienna after no sleep as I got 2 flights to get there and needed to be at the airport at 4:30 am, which was a little painful. I slept a bit on the second flight and took a nap after arriving to the hotel in Vienna. In the evening I went to Fabi's place as guys were playing couple WCOOP day2s. We had beers and I humiliated myself loosing 2 bets playing 'live poker' (which I still have to do btw, or at least find a replacement for those bets). We played a version of life pineapple poker and the game that is called 'bluff' but not sure if it's correct naming. Anyways, I had double digit score in beers and was back in the hotel around 6 in the morning. It was nice meeting the guys and proving that not all poker players are nerds and they can have some fun as well.
Day after, we went for a trip to the city centre. Unfortunately I had limited time sightseeing in Vienna, but I enjoyed what I saw. It seems to be pretty cool place, but I prefer something less 'historic' and more chilled, preferably with the sea breeze and cocktails on the beach. That being said, I can totally understand why poker players, especially Germans are re-locating to Vienna. I definitely want to be back there to see more and hang out with the crew a little longer. In the evening we took beers and went to the park to chill and talk. There was some interesting conversations going for sure. At that time I was already thinking about being relatively ready for live grind so I said 'fold' to going to the club and I got a bunch of shit because of it. I think it was smart decision anyways, considering that they closed the place 30mins after we started talking about the idea. Meanwhile, guys decided to book a room and stay for a night in Bratislava on the festival. Fabi had a wedding to go to on Saturday, so he couldn't stay and Ole is the opposite of a fan of life poker, so I was happy that they are staying at least for a day.
On Wednesday, we went to Wiener Prater and had scary time on many roller coaster rides. It was good day as the place wasn't crowded at all, so we took advantage of most rides without waiting in the queue. I went back to the hotel early, because I wanted to get good sleep before travelling to Bratislava and also cure my hangover after 2 days of eating very little and drinking a lot of beer.
Oh, I forgot to mention, we also went for Schnitzel obviously, just can't remember which evening was it. It very nice place, one of the most popular venues in Vienna, which you can feel straight from the start. We were slightly under-dressed, but noone gave a shit about it. We are tourists/pokerplayers, so not wearing a suit is part of a game. Food was very good and also expensive, but I really think that spending more money on experiences is good, rather then buying nonsense things just to impress others. I was always like that, and I think it's good approach overall.
There was a shuttle bus taking us from Vienna international bus station to Bratislava on Thursday morning. It was booked by Pokercode, so only community members were in there. We blundered a bit in DTO during a drive. We arrived in Bratislava around 1pm or 2pm, and the Main Event day 1A was already in late reg. I decided to play shortly after getting a room and taking a shower.
Playing live poker after such a long break from it was very challenging at the beginning. I'm very picky and very methodological when it comes to poker, so I was a little bit tilted about lack of ability to know exactly the pot size at any point in a hand, effective stack size and all that. So first bullet was gone after 2 hour of play, mainly because I decided it's a good idea to bluff older Slovakian gentelman in the 4 way limped pot, which resulted in me loosing half of the stack. It went limp HJ (villain), BTN overlimp, I complete SB w 98cc and BB checks. Flop was AK2cc, pot is 3200, villain decided to bet pot, folded to me, I call, BB folds, HU to the turn. Turn was Jx, and he bets 3400. Facing this turn downbet, I went for a raise, as mostly they bet their hand strength, which they will fold vs river aggression unless they improve to 2 pair, so I think that 2betting that street outperform calling OOP. I got snap called and the river was a Qx, so the board is AK2JQ and I'm repping 2 pair+ on the turn, and straight on the river, so I thought that 2/3 psb will force folds from all 1pair hands and mostly 2 pair hands from him on this runout. I was wrong as he turns over K6o after taking 3-5 seconds to make a decision. I departed the pretty cool table shortly after re-jamming AJo SBvsBTN and running into AK. I had 2 Pokercode members on the table, Sebarino and Pferdinho, and we had a nice chat with each other. After talking with Fabi and Ole about the structure, level of play and all that, I decided to fire 2nd bullet. If I qualify today, I don't need to play day 1B tomorrow, so I can have a day-off and see a little bit of Bratislava, so I decided to jump again on ~40bbs. That went relatively OK, and we bagged 18bbs for day 2, which was taking place on Saturday. Not a great stack, but a stack indeed. By the way, in the middle of the grind, I needed to get back to the hotel upstairs and change, as my mammoth hoodie suffered a beer attack. Unfortunately the casino waitress unintentionally of course, poured out a tray of beers on my back. All good, but it was on the turn in checkraised pot, which slightly affected my ability to make good decision and also affected my mood. It happens, we move on. I was a bit tilted, because just before a trip I ordered 3 hoodies, new one for me (as the one I have is a bit washed-out already) and 2 for the guys, and now I can't really wear it as it has a big beer stain at the back. Ole was wearing it and some people confused him with myself, which was funny. Especially when 1 player approached him and started talking in Polish to him. In the evening, we stayed in the casino hanging out and meeting all community members and coaches and of course drinking beers. It was good talking to all members, twitch streamers and of course coaches. I was a little bit star-struck at the beginning, but after starting a conversation I realised that all those high rollers are just normal people that worked harder then the rest in the past, so they are where they are. Talking about poker with others helped me to understand that what we are currently doing with the team is very good. We need to stick to our routines and work even harder and more and we will get there. We will get to the high stakes, I have no doubts. It was very good evening and eye-opening too. It made me realise that I was underestimating what we are doing and how good it is.
Guys needed to check-out on Friday before noon, so they did and left luggage in my room and we went to explore Bratislava for a while. It's very beautiful and 'relaxed' city, especially the riverside. Very cheap as well. I can totally recommend, but again, I haven't seen much. They left to Vienna around 3pm and I stayed in the hotel lobby with Curtis, Mathias, Simon and couple community members and we analysed some hands in ODIN. Unfortunately ODIN doesn't have 4 way limped pots in there, so I couldn't see if my play was fine (joking obv). It was cool to talk hands live and discuss it with coaches. Way better setup for that compared to typing in zoom chats. There was pub quiz in the evening, that I decided to skip, because I wanted to be 100% for day2 and get good night sleep. As I bagged 18bbs, I looked at 20bb RFI, re-jamming, BVB spots in Preflop Academy and played around 200 hands in DTO on 20bbs.
After good breakfast and a shower, I went to the casino to pick up my chips and saw that I have Mario and Curtis on my table which wasn't optimal, but they were also quite short if I remember correctly. I ended up busting both by just having better hands preflop in pretty standard preflop all-in spots. After that, I started accumulating a decent stack by picking my spots wisely and applying aggression. Few double barrel spots with good blockers and some light check-raises vs Slovakian recs helped me build 40bb stack around the bubble. 3 off the money, I was forced to fold a combo draw on the turn after calling a flop check-raise, because BB shoved the turn for infinite. I had 15-20bbs on the bubble and was chilling, waiting for someone to get coolered or punt. I can't remember who busted and how, but after 1 hour long bubble we were in the money with 10bbs or so. Shortly after the bubble burst, I open jammed 77 and Seb calls ATs on the BB and we lost a flip for a mincash. GG
There was PKO running upstairs, but I decided to skip it as I would've only 20bbs if I reg it, so it's -EV reg imo. There was 5k HR running as well, and they were live streaming it, so I went to my room and watched it till the end, so I was slightly late for a players' party. It was a good night, I talked and met so many cool people there. It's very good community and I will be joining more events in the future.
I checked-out just after breakfast on Sunday, didn't go for football tournament that they organised and took a flix bus back to Vienna. While in Vienna, I went for 3 hour walk to the city and had a nice meal.
On Monday, I checked out and went for another walk to see more. My flight was in the evening, so I still had some time to kill. Flights went smooth and I was home around 11pm.
I had a lot of fun and can totally recommend being a part of a community to anyone. It's very important to surround yourself with like-minded people and people that want to achieve more then average. It gave me a massive confidence boost, as I realised that all high rollers are just normal guys, and some are just hilarious (Simon and Steffen) :) It was great hanging out with Ole and Fabi and I think events like that are strengthening us as a group. It's always nice to see who's behind the screen, even though we already saw each other on a zoom call once with Matthias. I will be back in Austria for sure. Very soon. I hope you enjoy your hoodies, and they will bring some rungood.
For all of you that are interested in seeing more, Pokercode uploaded couple a coverage of the festival on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gm1NyDcVEgQ&list=PL-eP6yArJKCaAiZ05qo2ZH22RRcfjLCCD
mammoth hoodies: https://store.waitbutwhy.com/collections/sweatshirts
This blog update is about my time on Pokercode Festival, but I as I always do, I will also update results since last post. Because of travelling and creating content for seminars, I didn't have much time for grinding.
Thanks for reading and thanks for showing interest in this blog. Thanks to all that asked me for an update :)
GL on the Sunday!