Dec 302013

After 5 years playing professional poker, 4 years of blogs and 3 years of PokerStars: Team Online it’s time to retire. It was a very hard decision to make but I believe it’s the best choice going forward. This will be my last blog on this website, it’s time for a new chapter in my life.


Often you finish a blog with “thank yous”, I want to start with it. The biggest thanks by far goes out to RJ who has been my motivator throughout all these years. We started playing poker together, we went to Las Vegas many times together and combined we 48-tabled Low/Mid-Stakes LHE and crushed it back in the days. I’m not somebody who likes to do things solo, I need somebody around me with whom I can share the journey and RJ has been there from start to finish. We deposited our first money on PokerStars together and yesterday we were both grinding out the last hands of the year on the LHE tables. It’s been fun, exciting, adventurous & profitable for us both, something to never forget!

A shout goes out to the Yanks Zandvoort Poker Boys, especially Bram who always organised great Sit & Go’s from which I have learned a lot. Jeroen for telling me back in November 2009 I should go for SNE, he actually made me believe I could do it. The crew, Frank, Remko & Eric for writing articles about me, doing soundbites with me but even more for bringing poker to the people in the Netherlands. The live reporting, interviews, soundbites & articles are so vital to keeping the NL Poker Community alive and they have done an outstanding job in doing that over all these years.

I’ve also received great support from the poker community, especially during my SNE run but also when I joined Team Online and during my ups & downs as a poker player. It’s great to see how supportive most people in the poker community are, it’s a community in which it’s very easy to make friends and there will be plenty of people who I will continue to follow via social media.

PokerStars definitely deserves a big thank you! Not only for asking me to join Team Online which has been a great honor but also for creating the best poker website on the internet which has been the platform on which I have played all these years. It’s unbelievable what an impact PokerStars has had on the Poker Community and the great software and support has been a vital pillar in my poker career. Being able to represent PokerStars for 3 years has been a dream come true and an experience to cherish all my life. Chris, Steve & Dustin thank you!


Why Retire?

When I started working part-time to play poker professionally the dream was to make it my full-time job. If that wouldn’t work-out I would go back working full-time, my idea was to give it a try for 3/4 years. After my initial year I knew financially I could do it full-time but the combination of both jobs worked perfect. After joining PokerStars: Team Online in 2011 I started thinking about a full-time poker career again but after “Black Friday” in April 2011 I was happy I never pulled the trigger. My favorite game, Full-Ring LHE, almost died out and I had to move over to 6-Max LHE games with way tougher tables then I was used to. My job title had already changed from what it was back in 2009 and throughout the years playing professional poker I climbed the ladder at the company I was working for. I’m currently working in the role of IT-Architect and unfortunately the combination with poker isn’t ideal anymore. Within my current role it’s very hard to only work 24 hours a week as the demands for my current role are a lot higher compared with my role back in 2009. Going back to my old role isn’t possible but also not something I desire so it became clear this year that I had to make a choice.

Besides that also my social life has changed in these years. In 2009 I loved having no rhythm, going to bed whenever I wanted and having all the freedom in the world. When your girlfriend and friends are all working regular jobs this suddenly becomes less appealing since having the same structure as them works out way better. Poker is truly a fantastic job but the lifestyle also has to suit you and although you can certainly start a family while playing poker, a 9-5 job probably makes it a bit easier. Another huge factor for me was the fact that the poker hype is already over for a couple of years in the Netherlands and most friends have quit playing for some time now. The whole buzz around poker has died a little and in anything else I have done in my life this always meant it was time to move on. I’ve always considered Poker as a hobby and always all of my hobbies have been things I’ve shared with my best friends. Playing Magic the Gathering, Counter Strike, Planetarion, World of Warcraft, Cycling, Tennis it doesn’t matter what it is as long as I do it with my friends. The last years playing poker was less of a hobby since my friends have moved on to other interests and RJ was the only one left which whom I was still sharing the love for poker.

As a young kid I didn’t dream about playing poker but I did dream about being the best in something. When poker came into my life I knew this would be the thing I could be good at. In the previous blogs about my 5 years as a professional poker player I already looked back at what I have achieved and I can say that I’m damn proud of what I’ve done. 5+ years making profit playing poker is not something a lot of people have achieved, sure we all know many other professional poker players who have done this but there are many many more people who have failed. As said I wanted to give poker a shot for 3/4 years and although these years have been profitable I haven’t made it to the absolute top. Unfortunately I’ve never won a big tournament and I also don’t include myself to the top of the world in LHE cashgames. If one of both were true I probably had more reasons to continue playing poker but I don’t believe I will ever make it to the absolute top. I have a lot of skills which you need to become a successful poker player but I miss the true talent and/or skill which you need to become the best.

In September it became clear that I had to make a choice. I had a chat with the PokerStars: Team Online manager and we concluded that I would think about it during the WCOOP, possibly give it another try but if things didn’t work out it would all end by the end of this year. To make it even harder in August I was asked again to fulfill another position within my company and this would mean even busier times at work.  My poker volume had already suffered the months before and the only way to stop that would have been to start playing poker full-time. Since full-time poker was for sure not going to happen the choice was simple, but not easy! I couldn’t postpone the inevitable anymore, my poker days were over and so together with my Team Online manager we agreed I would complete this year within Team Online and wouldn’t renew my contract for 2014.

I hardly played poker since September but had the opportunity to take an extra week off work and I didn’t want to quit that easily. I wanted to feel like a grinder once more, prove to myself that I didn’t quit because I didn’t had it in me anymore and while this could have easily failed big time I’m really happy I’m concluding my poker career doing the 100hr/7days challenge.


What’s next?

Back to a normal life working 9-5 probably. It’s really weird that you dream about something, live the dream and give up the dream after a couple of years. I’m looking at moving places which probably will cost loads of time and want to continue to stay fit (which failed big time during December) which have been one of the reasons to start playing poker part-time and also one of the reasons why giving up poker was so hard. I have two more or less serious business plans I might invest time in and obviously want to enjoy life with friends and family. Within a couple of months I probably set-up a new blog, talking about anything but poker. I will transfer most of my money from my poker account to my savings account but will leave enough money to play mid-stakes LHE, although currently I don’t see myself playing a lot anytime soon.

So I believe that’s it. Thank you all, goodbye and good luck to all of you. It’s been a blast!

 Posted by at 2:55 pm
Dec 292013

This is the 3rd blog in a series of 4 in which I’m looking back at my professional poker career which started 5 years ago.


These numbers are lifetime stats for Limit and No-Limit Hold’em cashgame hands:

Total # hands played 3.726.994
Most # of hands played in 1 Year 1.566.065 – 2010
Most # of hands played in 1 month 241.260 – Nov 2010
Most # of hands played in 1 day 24.249 – 26/11/2011
Most # of hands played in 1 session 24.249 – 26/11/2011
Total # of VPPs 2.297.693,44
Most # of VPPs in 1 Year 1.000.043,9 – 2010
Most # of VPPs in 1 month 141.966.06 – Nov 2010
Most # of VPPs in 1 day 17.022,45 – 26/11/2011
Most # of VPPs in 1 session 17.022,45 – 26/11/2011
Friends & Foes
Most money won from #1 vinnybstgk – $5.430
Most money won from #2 8superpoker – $3.958,24
Most money won from #3 200XPoNnies – $2.560
Most money won from #4 Umumba – $2.308
Most money won from #5 knife420 – $1.983
Most money lost to #1 vovojc – $5.684
Most money lost to #2 ChiphunterTH – $4.174
Most money lost to #3 schafsheep – $3.880
Most money lost to #4 donjuanmt – $3.542,50
Most money lost to #5 dborys – $3.427
Most Played
Most Played Player #1  apdsn – 398.975
Most Played Player #2  donjuanmt – 367.543
Most Played Player #3  JaneTheHot – 335.374
Most Played Player #4  CubfanAA – 301.975
Most Played Player #5  vinnybstgk – 240.524
Opponents Played
Total # of different opponents played 74,501
Hands Dealt
Most dealt pocket pair KK – 17.067
Least dealt pocket pair 44 – 16.729
Most dealt suited hand A2s – 11.559
Least dealt suited hand KTs – 10.987
Most dealt unsuited hand 83o – 34.169
Least dealt unsuited hand A9o – 33.264
Hands % Won Top/Bottom 3
Most % Won #1 AA – 85,11%
Most % Won #2 KK – 76,35%
Most % Won #3 QQ – 69,56%
Least % Won #1 32o – 0,95%
Least % Won #2 83o – 0,96%
Least % Won #3 42o – 1,02%
Final Hands
Straight Flush 155 (Lost 2)
Royal Flush 36
Biggest Hand Won

Poker Stars $100/$200 Limit Hold’em – 6 players – View hand 2390514
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is UTG with K of clubs J of clubs
Hero raises, Mieses88 3-bets, 4 folds, Hero calls

Flop: (7.5 SB) J of spades K of spades 8 of diamonds (2 players)
Hero checks, Mieses88 bets, Hero raises, Mieses88 calls

Turn: (5.75 BB) 2 of diamonds (2 players)
Hero bets, Mieses88 raises, Hero 3-bets, Mieses88 calls

River: (11.75 BB) 2 of hearts (2 players)
Hero bets, Mieses88 calls

Final Pot: 13.75 BB
Hero shows K of clubs J of clubs (two pair, Kings and Jacks)
Mieses88 mucks K of diamonds A of diamonds
Hero wins $2.747
(Rake: $3.00)

Biggest Hand lost

Poker Stars $100/$200 Limit Hold’em – 6 players – View hand 2390512
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is CO with T of spades T of hearts
2 folds, Hero raises, vovojc 3-bets, marlin5555 caps!, schafsheep calls, Hero calls, vovojc calls

Flop: (16 SB) 4 of clubs 7 of hearts J of hearts (4 players)
marlin5555 bets, schafsheep raises, Hero 3-bets, vovojc calls, marlin5555 calls, schafsheep calls

Turn: (14 BB) T of diamonds (4 players)
marlin5555 checks, schafsheep checks, Hero bets, vovojc calls, marlin5555 calls, schafsheep raises, Hero 3-bets, vovojc calls, marlin5555 calls all in, schafsheep calls

River: (25.677 BB) K of clubs (4 players – 1 is all in)
schafsheep checks, Hero checks, vovojc checks

Final Pot: 25.677 BB
Hero mucks T of spades T of hearts
vovojc mucks Q of hearts Q of clubs
marlin5555 mucks A of spades K of hearts
schafsheep shows K of spades K of diamonds (three of a kind, Kings)
schafsheep wins $193,50
schafsheep wins $4939
schafsheep wins total $5132.50
(Rake: $3.00)

Best Session

Best Session

Worst Session

Worst Session


6-Handed Limit Stats $0,50/$1,00 +
VPIP 25,13%
PFR 20,09%
3Bet 10,16%
AF 1,90
CBet Flop 98,84%
CBet Turn 78,02%
WTSD 39,31%
W$SD 54,87%
Under The Gun 17,21%
Middle Position 25,07% / 7,97%
CutOff 35,77% / 9,76%
Button 51,71% / 14,54%
Small Blind 56,28% / 13,63%
Hands Played per Limit
Limit $100/$200 6-Max 233
Limit $50/$100 6-Max 2.143
Limit $50/$100 Full-Ring 260
Limit $30/$60 6-Max 4.217
Limit $30/$60 Full-Ring 297
Limit $15/$30 6-Max 5.239
Limit $15/$30 Full-Ring 21.833
Limit $10/$20 6-Max 12.761
Limit $10/$20 Full-Ring 88.082
Limit $5/$10 6-Max 29.492
Limit $5/$10 Full-Ring 853.437
Limit $3/$6 6-Max 148.316
Limit $3/$6 Full-Ring 1.537.226
Limit $2/$4 6-Max 163.563
Limit $2/$4 Full-Ring 713.087
Limit $1/$2 6-Max 1.130
Limit $1/$2 Full-Ring 94.443
Limit $0,50/$1 6-Max 681
Limit $0,50/$1 Full-Ring 13.974
Limit $0,25/$0,50 Full-Ring 139
Limit $0,20/$0,40 6-Max 73
Limit $0,10/$0,20 6-Max Zoom 2.311
Limit $0,04/$0,08 6-Max Zoom 408
Limit $5/$10 Heads-Up 375
Limit $3/$6 Heads-Up 273
No-Limit Hands 33.001
$2/$4 Full-Ring Graph (Best Limit)

2-4 Lifetime

 Posted by at 10:41 pm
Dec 232013

As most of you already know, I made it! After all it really felt like a marathon. I’ve played huge sessions before so I knew I could do it, there are plenty of people who have done it as well so you know it’s possible but along the way you get at certain points at which mentally you really have to push yourself to continue. I was truly happy to cross the finish line!


Time for a recap:

I’ve decided to have myself a little poker marathon next week. The details are simple: 100 hours of poker in 7 days. It’s not totally insane and probably lots of people have done this before. I’m not taking bets against me completing it or anything like that – it’s just a little experiment/challenge.

As I mentioned this was really something I did for myself. There are plenty of people who are also grinding insane amount of hours in December to finish SNE (or more) so I wasn’t alone in this grind. I didn’t do it to proof that I could do something others can’t. I did it to proof to myself I could still do it and to get that same feeling (back) as other grinders have in December.

Why was I doing this?

December has always been the month in which I played the most poker, often finishing a milestone or SNE. There was always a special feeling when playing in December and by doing this challenge I hope to get back that feeling since this year I haven’t played as much as I would have hoped.

Yup, I definitely had that old grinder mentality back!

I already planned to take a break from work around Christmas and New Year but it felt like a good idea to take an extra week to play some poker, so why not a poker marathon?

Playing a lot is fine, a marathon is something different. There is a huge difference between grinding 12 hours a day or 14,5 hours. If you “only” have to grind 12 hours a day you can take small breaks whenever you get tired or play/run bad. When you have to play 14,5 hours there is just no time to waste so you have to push yourself when things go bad. I had two of those moments.

The first one was on Friday when I was up a nice amount during the first 3/4 hours and then suddenly I played 1,5 hours like a zombie. I was timing out on tables and was getting non-stop beats, probably also playing really bad. At one moment I checked the lobby and I was playing 16 tables, why? I played 10/12 tables most of the time and at the moment I could hardly keep my eyes open, somehow I had opened more tables? It felt as if I was brain dead for 1,5 hours, during the dinner break I could hardly remember something about it.

The second time was Saturday afternoon, I could hardly keep my eyes open and was getting nonstop beats again and whatever I did, nothing seemed to work. Somehow I got my energy back later that day, since I stopped grinding at 04:15, it’s really strange how your body works sometimes.

Part of the December Festival promotion on PokerStars are the $700k Milestone hands. It’s always fun to playing during these Milestone hands and most of the time this also means softer games. The Milestone hands start the same day as I will be starting my marathon so that’s another reason to play a lot of poker.

Having the Milestone hands running was a huge help. If you set yourself a “big” goal it always helps to break it up in small chunks. My sessions looked like this: Start the session and check how much VPPs I had. Play and when close to a milestone start counting down a little in your head. Right after a milestone check my VPPs and every hour check how I was doing on the tables $ wise in PokerTracker. If things started to get tough, try to play till the next milestone and sometimes after 15/20 minutes you feel fine again and pushing yourself to that next milestone did the trick.

Now the funny part was that I think I counted down to most of the milestones, at least I was almost always aware a milestone could hit any moment. The one time I really wasn’t looking, I hit one! I was really surprised and due to all the tables I was playing I couldn’t see how much I won. It was on a Full-Ring $3/$6 table but I wasn’t sure how long I had been playing on it. I saw $270 and since most tables paid $1k/$2k I was a bit disappointed but when the hand played out I saw I was awarded $726,80, not bad! 🙂

Poker Stars $3/$6 Limit Hold’em – 9 players
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

Pre Flop: (1.333 SB) Hero is MP2 with 3 of spades 5 of spades
$Meniralka$ calls, korrnel calls, bukukun raises, HAL9QQQ calls, Hero calls, donjuanmt calls, tidnish51 calls, siliciom calls, cc_me9464 calls, $Meniralka$ calls, korrnel calls

Flop: (18 SB) A of diamonds K of clubs 4 of diamonds (9 players)
siliciom checks, cc_me9464 checks, $Meniralka$ checks, korrnel checks, bukukun bets, HAL9QQQ calls, Hero calls, donjuanmt calls, tidnish51 calls, siliciom calls, cc_me9464 calls, $Meniralka$ calls, korrnel calls

Turn: (13.5 BB) 9 of hearts (9 players)
siliciom checks, cc_me9464 bets, $Meniralka$ calls, korrnel folds, bukukun calls, HAL9QQQ calls, Hero calls, donjuanmt folds, tidnish51 calls, siliciom calls

River: (20.5 BB) 9 of clubs (7 players)
siliciom checks, cc_me9464 bets, $Meniralka$ folds, bukukun calls, HAL9QQQ folds, Hero folds, tidnish51 folds, siliciom folds

Final Pot: 22.5 BB
cc_me9464 shows 9 of spades A of hearts (a full house, Nines full of Aces)
bukukun mucks A of spades K of spades
cc_me9464 wins 22 BB
(Rake: $3.00)

Only for players in the Netherlands there is a VPP Challenge in which I would have loved to compete. Unfortunately I had way to much work to finish before my holiday started but during my Marathon I will try to get myself in the top 20 and earn some extra money this way.

The leaderboard at the PokerStars website isn’t up to date unfortunately but in total I made 42.571,43 VPPs this week which isn’t bad 😉 Looking at the last update on the forum this should get me into 10th place but others have been grinding as well obviously so at least my goal of getting into the top20 has worked out. Looking at the others in the top20 I doubt I will drop out, unless people don’t like christmas 😉 Not sure how much money that will give me but it was more about the challenge then the money anyway!

For fun. I miss playing lots of poker so I’m definitely doing it for fun as well, if I’m actually winning some money I bet it’s even more fun ;)

I loved it, this was the first week in a long time in which I could really feel like a poker player again. With work nowadays it’s just so hard to focus on poker since there is always something in the back of my mind. To play proper volume you need to have a freed up schedule so there is nothing else you are doing besides poker. During this week poker really felt like having fun again, not something I had to squish in between other things. Sure I had my moment at which things weren’t funny at all, but that’s part of the grind!

Things I wanted to do throughout the week

Get a minimum of 6 hours sleep a night, but no more than 8 hours.

I’m really an evening person so often I didn’t go to bed because I was tired, I went to bed because I had been playing poker for 15 hours. The first two days I woke up pretty normal but later during the week it was really hard to get out of bed. My mind didn’t feel rested while my body was obviously doing fine. I did get out of bed before 8:00 each day (except Sunday) which is a huge thing for a poker player 🙂

Eating healthy and refrain from overeating. When you put in so many hours it’s easy to eat only snacks and overeat yourself during the small breaks between playing poker.

I’ve drunk only water, about 4/5 liters a day which was great. Drinking coffee or red bull only helps you short-term and will make things worse if you are doing a marathon. Breakfast, lunch were all healthy and most dinners were fine except one evening at which my girlfriend decided to make pancakes. I’m a big fan of pancakes and eat them with a lot of sugar…. Bad idea! That evening I couldn’t focus, felt really hasty/restless and this obviously doesn’t help when playing poker. If you want to play long sessions you have to keep your sugar levels at a constant level if possible, these kind of things are really important and shouldn’t be underestimated!

Keep my back healthy. I don’t have a standing desk setup like Roy but if I notice my back suffers too much I will take a break. If my back keeps being an issue I will quit the challenge.

To go from 0 to 15 hours a day playing poker isn’t really smart but I just didn’t have the time for a little practice earlier this month. My back was fine but my wrist felt “stressed” at certain points and my right shoulder really stiff. In 2010 I’ve had much worse issues and I know my body pretty well so I kept things under control.

Stay focused and limit distractions: Facebook, Twitter and What’s app. Banning it however would be a step to far ;)

Did worked out way better than I expected. Often I spent my time on Twitter/Facebook when playing poker but somehow I was completely focused during the first 6 days of my challenge. Sunday I wasn’t grinding seriously, just having some fun so I had some time left to spent doing other things on the internet as well. I hardly checked my phone, never picked it up when I was called (sorry) and checked Twitter or Facebook only during short breaks! This is something which is hard to control when you are doing “routine” work but obviously it’s in your best interest to focus 100% on playing poker! Happy this worked out and I must say that listening to the fantastic CLR Podcast was a huge help in this. Chris Liebing truly does an amazing job in delivering banging techno sets and I listened to over 80 of them during my grind. I play the music on max volume on my headset and as soon as the music stops I’m out of the zone so for me having good music during my grind is really important to get/stay in the zone!

Play at least 50,000 hands. That’s only 500 an hour and should be relatively easy, I except that during the morning not many tables will run and I will use that as a sort of warm-up. During the evening I expect myself to 10-12 table most of the time, I’m not planning to 20-24 table besides during the end of the Milestone promotion.

Including the “fun games” on Sunday (excl 8-game/MTT hands) I played 82.495 hands. Mission accomplished! I started out playing 9 tables and felt really rusty, timing out sometimes. At Saturday night during the last milestone hands I was relatively easy playing 16 tables. 24 tables is really hard nowadays since they have reduced the time you have per decision and I play without Table Ninja or any other software which “helps” you in that. The first 6 days I played a MTT ration of 10.41 averaging 896,03 hands/hr.

Hopefully maintain a small winrate pre rake-back although I don’t expect this to be big due to me being out of shape. Winning money post rake-back is obviously the minimum:-)

So what’s small? I already wrote in another blog that a 0,5BB/100 winrate is considered good in multitabling limit these days. My start was awesome and unexpected! I had some issues playing 9+ tables but other than that things went really smooth, winning 0,85BB/100. Tuesday I had another great start but then things got real and I lost a shitload, -1.97BB/100! On Wednesday things didn’t went very well either but at least not so bad but on Thursday I really got the feeling that I had improved a lot over the week. I learned again how my opponents were playing and instead of being outplayed by some of the better regulars I was able to control the damage vs them and to even own some of them, always a great feeling. Things went fine on Friday again until I hit my first tough moment in which I played like a zombie for 1,5 hours and lost shitloads again, I felt so disappointed since I had just grinded myself in the green again that morning. However after dinner I managed to make a great comeback finishing the day with an awesome 0,95bb/100 which was my best day of the week. On Saturday I was able to keep myself in the green as well meaning that after all I did win, anything counts right? 0.08BB/100 🙂

BB Marathon

What preparations did I make for the week?

Make sure there is plenty of food in the house so I won’t need to do any groceries during the week.

So happy I have a sweet girlfriend who provided me with everything I needed. Big kiss to you Nienke!

Minimize distractions. I’ve cleared out my calendar and have almost nothing scheduled for the whole week. Aside from one dentist appointment I can wholly focus on the challenge. Not going out during the weekend will probably be the hardest part :)

Normally I get a text message from the dentist a day before my appointment. On Thursday I didn’t pick up my phone and obviously didn’t listen to my voice mail so when I got at the dentist I heard my appointment was rescheduled to the 24th. Argh! I should have called to see if something was up 🙁 Luckily they could squish me into the planning and I didn’t even had to wait, so at least I didn’t waste any extra time. On Saturday a new housing project went on sale in my neighborhood and I’m really interested but I couldn’t skip 2 hours of my grind to go, that would have really complicated things. I asked my girlfriend to go with my mom and it seems like a real viable option. Unfortunately I couldn’t go but I’m going to make up for it this week!

Have my poker setup ready, something which I have already prepared so it seems like I’m ready to go.

I restarted my PC after each day and things went pretty smooth apart from 1 time at which my internet seemed to have dropped out. I probably lost a little of $ but other than that nothing happened, luckily! Having to fix your PC during a marathon is not something you have time for to do.

Ensure that I start off on the right foot. Sleep well the night before and be fully rested.

I had the “Open Poker Dag 2013” at Saturday and was pretty wasted when I got to bed around 04:00. I woke up feeling really bad at my hotel room on Sunday, staying in bed till around 14:00 having no painkillers to battle the hangover. So the plan was to go to bed early on Sunday which somehow never really works out on Sundays and this time was no different. I was in bed at 22:00 but couldn’t sleep and counted down the hours on my alarm clock. I think I maybe slept 2/3 hours in the end so next time I need to start my preparation on Saturday, not Sunday 🙂

What else?

So it’s a wrap! Obviously winning 0,08BB/100 looks like it’s been a waste of time but I can tell you for sure it wasn’t. Besides that fact that in LHE you won’t have a huge winrate, the rakeback and bonuses make up for most of the profit normally anyway. I don’t want to go into details to much but I got enough money to book a trip to South-Africa next year for 3 weeks with Nienke, which was the plan already anyway 🙂 I would also say that since my last serious session was in the summer, with a little practice (which I have had now) I would normally do a lot better. I really felt like I was learning stuff all over again which was part of the plan but obviously $ wise it isn’t the smartest idea to do that during the marathon. Playing 15 hours a day will hurt anybodies winrate, I would recommend to better spread your sessions if you seriously want to earn some money 🙂

I’m not going to make even more excuses it’s up to you if you think it’s good or bad, I’m satisfied with the results and I’m really happy I did it. I’m planning to play a couple of hours this week and want to finish a new blog around christmas with my lifetime statistics in any form or shape I can think off.  I’m not going to do totals of $ earned but I will search for the biggest pot I’ve won/lost, longest session, best month etc etc. If you have any questions feel free to drop a comment. My last blog will be just before the end of the year about my plans for 2014!

Thanks for all the support! It’s really amazing how inspiring this works and from the responses I might have inspired some of you to do something like this in 2014!

 Posted by at 3:43 pm

5 Years: The Mistakes

 Poker  Comments Off on 5 Years: The Mistakes
Dec 212013

This is the 2nd blog in a series of 4 in which I’m looking back at my professional poker career which started 5 years ago.

Being late to the party

This is an easy one which I guess many poker players would answer if you ask them what they could have done different at the start of their career. Everybody has heard about the stories how easy making money online was back in 2005/2006 but I was really hesitant at first to start playing online. For me however it was another reason why I didn’t play as much as I would have loved and that was World of Warcraft. I wanted to quit that game for a long time already and exchange it for poker but I just couldn’t quit the game that easily. I had build up a big WoW Guild with a lot of my personal friends and was managing that guild since the start of it. I just couldn’t say goodbye to something I had put so much effort in and the many players who were personal friends before WoW or became personal friends during the time I played WoW. I struggled a lot to quit the game and the moment my father died in November 2006 was for me the final blow which made me quit WoW and focus on poker. I loved WoW as much as I love poker but sometimes you need to learn to let go.


Learning from others

I learned the game by reading a couple of books before I started playing actively but everything else was just learning by playing. While playing is an important part of becoming better, every professional poker player would say studying is at least as important. I’ve used PokerTracker a lot to study hands I played but to be honest that’s about it. I had one good friend who also played Limit with who I discussed hands but he played such a different style that it was hard to apply his approach to my own game. Today most poker players are in a Skype group to talk hands and I think that’s a really smart thing to do, however I’ve been to stubborn to discuss hands with other players my whole career.

Sure I’ve browsed the forums to look for good posts, articles and what not but since I mainly played Limit there wasn’t a lot of stuff that caught my interest. When looking at the forums most plays seems so standard that it often felt like a waste of time. Sure I understand that tweaking your game only by 1/2% has a huge impact on your winrate, especially when you play as many hands as I always did but I just never really got into the whole studying thing. I’ve tried watching video’s as well and that bored the hell out of me to. 55 out of the 60 minutes are standard plays and in those other 5 minutes someone was discussing that in some cases you could do X and other cases Y would be better, for me that kind of advice never really worked. My approach to poker is a very mechanical one, which isn’t the best approach but it has always worked for me. Sure I adjust to the different opponents I’m playing but I’m not 3-betting AJo UTG+1 in 64,5% of the cases against a specific player. It’s either always raise or always fold and while that might not be the best play in the long run, while playing 24 tables there isn’t much time to think about these kind of situations.

Coaching is something I’ve thought about a lot and that seemed more worth my time but again I never took any coaching. I’ve looked into a couple of peers who coached other players but I never felt comfortable opening up my game to other people which is probably my biggest leak in the last 5 years. Again even if somebody can improve your game with a simple tweak by 1/2% it’s just so much worth in the long term that it’s always profitable to take coaching. Sometimes I feel stupid for doing it all by myself and I know for sure I could have improved a lot quicker if I had done things different, the ego in me however feels proud for doing it all by myself. I do advice however everybody else to take coaching, talk hands in a Skype group and watch video’s. Your opponents do it and to stay ahead of the curve you need to know as much as they do and more!

Playing LHE

I’m not sure if this is a mistake but for sure there is more money in other games today then there is in LHE. This year I’ve seen many LHE players trying to learn other games and this made the low/mid stakes at least not any harder than the previous year. All the others years before that LHE has gotten harder to beat and has been for many players a game in which they try to break-even and win the money by getting SNE which guarantees a nice amount of money in rakeback. While a lot of professional poker players don’t get this approach I think it’s the only way to go in LHE games today, apart from a handful of players who can nearly play GTO (Game Theoretical Optimum) poker. There are very little players who beat the game by more than 0,5BB/100 and that’s just because the game is more “solved” then other games. Since you don’t have to think about bet sizes in LHE the game “solves” itself a lot easier and thus makes it harder to make a huge profit pre rakeback.

There are 2 main reasons why I never left LHE and yes I’ve tried. The biggest reason is probably because I like the game better then NL or PLO. Many people don’t get that but to me NL feels like the most boring game ever in which you fold way to many hands pre-flop and with most other hands you are either all-in pre-flop or never see a showdown. I like the fast pace action in LHE even if you can’t make any huge bluffs. PLO for me feels like to much gambling and thus creating a lot more variance, while LHE is already a much more high variance game then NL is, I never wanted to get into a game with even more variance.

The other reason is that I just couldn’t start from scratch anymore. When I play LHE I feel comfortable and know I can beat the game up to a certain stake and have faith in what I do in 95% of the situations I’m facing. When learning a new game it feels like starting all over and while that is exactly what you should go through I just never had the energy to do it. I think if I didn’t work part-time I could have done it but I didn’t want to invest in my poker career by scrapping a couple of months of profit and start all over in a new game. I did try it for 3 weeks playing NL but just didn’t like it and I have tried MTTs and Hypers as well but with the crazy variance in those games I always reverted back to LHE.

While I’m not good enough to make money playing NL or PLO cashgames I do feel fine about my overall poker skills and would say I’m not that bad in games like Razz or Triple Draw. Being versatile as a poker players is something good and I think I’ve always been versatile so it’s not like I can only play one game and have no clue what to do in any of the other poker variants.

Play Full-time

While this isn’t an actual mistake I do think that it makes much more sense to play poker full-time. I already had a good career going when I founded poker but most other players started out while they were studying or working jobs which didn’t pay good or which they didn’t like. Poker is a game which you need to fully embrace and the more you live and breathe it the easier it gets. The thousands of decisions you make a week are becoming a sort of rhythm and the more often you play the more you start to recognize situations and the easier it becomes to take the right decision in those situations. I’ve had weeks in which I played every day and would notice myself how things got easier. After a holiday it sometimes felt like starting all over and that already gives a lot away why it’s better if you play poker full-time.

While it’s better for your game to play poker full-time I think for me doing it part-time has always been the better choice. I never had to worry about bad streaks in which you wouldn’t win anything for weeks. Since I had an income on the side I never had to worry about money in those periods and as important I didn’t end up in a black hole in which the only thing you do is play poker and when things are not going your way you can become really frustrated which again doesn’t help your game. Often when these periods happen stepping out of the game for a week or so is the best thing to do because if all you do is playing poker you often don’t see your own mistakes anymore. Sure I have had my days as well in which you kept playing while you knew it wasn’t the smartest thing to do but on Wednesday I always had to go to work and that always made me think about what I had done the days before. On Sunday it always felt as I had reset myself, seeing it as a new week and taking a fresh approach.

So while the dream was always to play poker full-time and while I recommend everybody who tries to go professional to do it that way, I have always embraced the fact I had something besides poker and I think many other poker players seek something like this after playing full-time for years. But this is often after they already have made plenty of money, not when they are still building their bankroll.

Stay disciplined

Now this is something I regret. In my best years discipline was the thing that was probably the skill in which I excelled and which compensated a lot for the fact I never really studied a lot of poker. I never played above my bankroll, never played drunk and never really tilted, at least not those tilts which you regret afterwards. Also I always kept grinding, starting at Sunday evening and playing on Monday and Tuesday. While I still never do anything really stupid the amount of hours I’ve played the last two years have been way below the goals I had set myself. Till Black Friday (April 2011) my volume had always been great but I’ve been struggling ever since. The first months after Black Friday it felt like a well deserved break after 30 months of non-stop poker and hitting every volume goal I had set for myself. In 2012 I tried to set goals and stick to them but my life had changed and my priorities were different. Making money somehow didn’t seem as important as it had been the years before and although my discipline in poker suffered a lot I was very happy to stay disciplined in staying healthy and hitting my goals I had set myself in cycling.

2013 hasn’t been very different from 2012 although work has been in the way even more then it was in 2012. When I started to play poker part-time my job kept me busy 24 hours a week but when I got home I didn’t had a lot of work related stuff on my mind and had plenty of energy to play a 3/4 hour session. Nowadays things are very different and I hardly stop thinking about work when I’m home, often need to read some e-mails and for sure don’t have the energy anymore to put in a session of poker. Sure if I want to I can stick to my schedule at work and play as much poker as I used to do but that would mean I need to switch jobs and I do really like my current job. The mistake is probably not about being disciplined but it’s all about the priorities you set yourself as I know I can be very disciplined as long as I set the right priorities.



 Posted by at 8:40 am
Dec 182013

This is the 1st blog in a series of 4 in which I’m looking back at my professional poker career which started 5 years ago.

Starting Out

When you discover something new the first steps are always the most exciting. Poker had actually been something I had done a lot before when I re-discovered it somewhere in 2005/2006. I remember everybody was crazy back then about the game. You could walk into a random bar and you saw people playing poker and having fun. At first I wasn’t really interested as most people played without any money, but when the hype grew bigger play-money became real-money and people understood that bluffing was something completely different when there was money at stake instead of just chips. We all played as much poker as we could and my favorite bar hosted small tournaments which attracted 70+ people easily. All my friends were playing poker and the whole vibe about poker was really fantastic. Soon I helped organizing a weekly tournament with a leader board and after my hometown casino started offering poker things became more serious.

In 2006 I played some poker in Vegas but in 2007 I was really going for it, playing Limit Cashgames in the Bellagio and even trying to qualify for a $1k daily event in the Bellagio during the WPT. I played a $240 Sit&Go which paid 2 seats and some money for 3rd place and I won it! The next day I would play the $1k and I finished around 34th place with 27 people ITM, so close! I remember Noah Boeken, Thierry van den Berg & Rob Hollink being in the Bellagio as well that year, all three showed up this year during the Master Classic of Poker in Amsterdam and Noah even won the main event this year, crazy. After I came back from Las Vegas I really wanted to give poker a serious shot, the hype was still going strong in the Netherlands and there was a lot of easy money to pick-up so I moved away from friendly pub games and tried my luck in home games. Starting out, playing for €5 bucks with loads of people who were crazy about the game and who all were trying to become the best is what motivated me to study the game and try to become better at it. The buzz around poker in those years was really fantastic!

Going Pro

In 2007 I had started to play online and played a bit more hands every month. I was still only breaking-even at $2/$4 full-ring ending the year with a little over 120.000 hands. In 2008 things got more serious and I wanted/needed a change in my life. Poker seemed the ideal way getting out of a “standard” life as an IT-Engineer and so I ramped up my play and basically decided to chase my dream by the end of 2008. I hadn’t won anything big but I knew I was good with managing my bankroll so the “gamble” to go pro felt kind of safe.

With this graph in 2008 I decided to go pro:

BB in 2008

In September I had a big downswing $ wise (and BB wise but in this graph it looks less worse) since I tried playing $10/$20 while I wasn’t even beating $5/$10 yet over a decent sample size but I recovered in October and November and by then I had moved up to 12 tabling and knew I could make plenty of money playing $2/$4 & $3/$6 because of the high rake and thus high rakeback. In December I launched a test month in which I wanted to see if I could play 16 tables and plenty of volume. I played 112 hours of poker besides my full-time job, I played every day including Christmas, played 110.000 hands within that month (341.140 hands for the year) earning $2.768 in rakeback alone and so I knew I could earn enough money in rakeback playing 16 tables even when I showed only a little profit on the tables.

And while in September I wasn’t even really thinking about going pro, mid December I decided to ask my boss if I could start working part-time as of January 2009. If I now look at my stats from back then it was a pretty bold move but it didn’t feel like that at all back then. I was confident I was beating my opponents and I had plenty of time to get better, move up and the safety of my part-time job if things failed. Going Pro is my single best decision I’ve ever made in my life.

January 2009 was my worst month ever so my start as Pro wasn’t really a good one. I kept confident, improved my game and after a great February and March I never looked back. I slowly moved to 20/24 tables and was beating all limits up to $10/$20 by the end of the year. Playing 895.443 hands was more then I had hoped, the 742 hours I had put in was a little less then I had aimed for. Still 500.000 VPPs meant plenty of rakeback and together with the money I had won at the tables I had proofed myself as a Poker professional!

BB in 2009


WSOP Main Event

Something else which was a huge highlight in 2009 was going to the World Series of Poker for the first time. Already early in 2008 long before I had the plan to go Pro I had decided I wanted to save up all my FPPs to buy-in for the WSOP Main Event some day. By the end of 2008 I had already saved up plenty of FPPs to buy a package into the WSOP Main Event of 2009 and so I did. Playing the WSOP was an awesome experience! 6.494 players and $8.547.042 for 1st place! I wrote a blog in Dutch about the whole experience on the forum, it feels like yesterday when I re-read it:

Unfortunately I busted right after the dinner break after struggling all day long being outplayed by professional No-Limit players. Still it’s something I will never forget or regret, the vibe I had while playing the tournament but maybe even more important, the months leading up to my first big event was awesome!


SuperNova Elite

So due to my good results in 2009 I got the idea to go for SNE in 2010. One reason was the fact I would commit myself to play more hours than I did in 2009, the main reason was the awesome amount of rakeback it would guarantee. Since I was winning pre-rakeback during 2009 and was beating the LHE mid-stakes I was aiming for a $150.000+ year. I calculated it was doable next to my part-time job, which I wasn’t ready to give up yet, so I made a run for it in January also because my girlfriend was backpacking in 2010 for 5 months. As of the 1st of January I had myself on lock down and did nothing else then playing poker. After 5 days I had to work my regular job again and on the 6th when Scottyy (PokerStars site rep) posted the first VPP leaderboard on the 2+2 forum it triggered something in me. I was 5th overall and just wanted to stay high up that list so bad! Mid January I got my first huge losing session (over $4k) and I finished the month down $8k but I did earn 141,500 VPPs…..

2010 Elite Thread 2010-01-06

Browsing the Official 2010 Supernova Elite pursuit thread it’s fun to see so many familiar faces posting, like Daleroxxu, Jorj95, GodlikeRoy and Innerpsy which are currently all within PokerStars: Team Online. The good old days 🙂

With already so many VPPs it sort of felt like there was no way back but after a -$12k February I was kind of desperate. I moved down which meant I had to play more hours, I wasn’t ready to quit yet! I won again in March, April and May were small losses and in June I hardly played. SNE was basically the only way to make it a proper year knowing that I would get a great amount of rakeback and the guarantee I would put in plenty of volume in the remainder of the year. I can’t say things turned out great, especially due to a -$15k November but it definitely brought out the grinder in me and while blogging the whole year I got more known in the poker scene, something which lead to an even bigger highlight in 2011.

I don’t regret going for SNE although it was a though year. It’s something I’m actually very proud off, since playing almost 1.200 hours while working 24 hours a week at my part-time job meant I had put in a great sacrifice to achieve something I wanted so bad. By the end of the year I hadn’t earned the amount of money I had hoped for but I did got to know myself better during that year. I had showed a great deal of discipline and emotional control, knowing that I was capable of putting in so much effort if I wanted something really bad has helped me ever since in achieving other goals I have set myself in the last couple of years. You can find a complete recap of that year here:


PokerStars: Team Online

During my SNE run in my worst month on the tables ever I was contacted by PokerStars to join PokerStars: Team Online. This is of course something you never expect, especially not if you haven’t won any big tournament yet. It’s hard to describe what a great feeling this was, becoming part of a team you’ve always wanted to be part off and becoming a sponsored professional, unbelievable. Up to this day my journey within Team Online has been fantastic. Being an ambassador for PokerStars is truly a great experience and although we are mainly seen as a group of online poker geeks, the members of Team Online who I have almost all met in person are a fantastic bunch of people. Being together at the PCA once a year is always fun and really makes you feel you are part of a team.

I’ve participated in great promo’s in which you can give something back to the poker community. Something by playing low-stakes ZOOM during a promo like last month or in events like the “Open Poker Dag” in which you are meeting poker fans face to face and answer questions which could help them in achieving their dreams in poker. I’ll probably write more about Team Online in my next blogs damn, making it this far was something I never expected back in 2008!


Poker Trips

The various poker trips have definitely been a highlight in my poker career. This has been the first year since 2004 in which I haven’t visited Las Vegas and I already booked my trip for next year since I really missed Vegas this year. Vegas is just awesome, the vibe, poker and the parties! I had so many fantastic trips to Vegas and poker is of course one of the reasons to come back every year. I haven’t won big in Vegas although I have tried a couple of times. I already wrote about the WSOP Main Event in 2009 but I came back in 2011 to play the $10.000 Limit WSOP Championship. (Trip Report:

Also I’ve been to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) three years in a row. The first time was part of my SNE package in 2011 and took another shot in the $10.000 PCA Main Events. In 2012 and 2013 I came back to meet up with the fellow members of Team Online and like I already said this has been so much fun.

I’ve always treated poker trips as “fun” while grinding online is something I see more as “work”. Playing live poker is the “real” poker as the human interaction for me is part of the real game. Trips like these keep the dream alive to win your “1 time” but also gets you in contact with fellow grinders, something which I think is really important if you want to stay connected with the poker community who can help you get better or keep the game interesting at times things are not going your way.


Staying healthy

Part of the reason wanting to play poker part-time was the fact that I found it very hard to stay healthy working a full-time 9-5 job. Since I lost a lot of weight in 2007/2008 I really wanted to change my life for the long-term but while working full-time sports was something which felt impossible to keep at the top of my priority list. It was just so much easier going cycling on Monday or Tuesday afternoon and playing poker afterwards. In 2010 I set the goal to cycle up Alp d’Huez in May that year while grinding for SNE. I’ve cycled up Alp d’Huez 4 times since , started to play tennis again which was something I couldn’t do anymore after having a hernia surgery years before. My weight have been going up and down but I’ve felt fit since 2008 and playing poker part-time is a big reason for this!

 Posted by at 8:58 am