Daniel: BPC born and raised!
This month we congratulate Daniel for finishing his contract with BPC. Not only did he achieve his goals, he also developed an admirably strong mindest which helped him through some tough times. Every student can learn something from his insights and it is a pleasure to have a student like him, living the life that BPC preaches.
Hey Daniel, first up: Congratulations on finishing your contract! Can you tell us something about you and your life and what brought you to Poker.
My name is Daniel, I am 25. I graduated from university in 2016, with a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, and then moved back home with all my family. I haven’t had a job since I graduated because, much like a lot of graduates these days, I had no idea what I was doing with myself. I found myself spending a lot of time gaming though. I played Hearthstone a lot from 2014 and since then I started to get really interested in the technical aspect of card games and casino games.
Where do you live and how do you like to live there?
I live with my family in Greater London, where I was born and raised. I haven’t had the opportunity to visit many more places than the UK so everything about it is familiar to me, including the cold and cloudy weather. More importantly, though, I have pretty much everything I need here to work on my poker game and I wouldn’t ask for anything more right now. Except maybe that I’d like to live closer to my girlfriend because she’s awesome and it would be nice to be able to see her more often. That’s what poker winnings are for.
How did you learn about BPC and how has your game changed since joining the program?
I joined BPC in January 2017 after my brother had been in the SNG apprentice course for a few months. Skipping the details of my decision, it seemed like a really good idea to join alongside him. The funny thing is that I had never played NLHE before and for the first month I had to keep looking up the rules and terminology. There is a lot of poker slang. I played my first hand in February 2017 after having gone through all the course material. I was pretty much born and raised in BPC.
Do you have any poker role models besides your brother?
One of my biggest influences over the last few years is actually a retired German poker pro called Adrian Koy AKA Lifecoach1981 on twitch. I wonder if some of the coaches know of him. I followed him a lot while I played Hearthstone at university and he inspired me to get up and start making positive changes in my life. Since I joined BPC, my coaches Bencb and Julian have also been good role models. Bencb has a great mindset / mental attitude about life and poker, and Julian is simply a beast of MTTs when it comes to technical knowledge.
What is your approach to poker and do you have any specific goals in mind for the future?
My main goal in poker is just to make as much money as possible. I enjoy studying and learning about the game but this is just a bonus. I suppose it would also be nice to win some huge event one day but this is not important to me right now. Before I joined BPC, I wanted to learn how to make money and this is what I am looking to accomplish by mastering poker.
Do you have any memorable moments regarding your journey with BPC?
It has been a long 14 months with so much happening and there are many memorable events. Obviously, my 1st place finishes were momentous events in MTTs but also back in the SNG days, one thing I hyped up a lot was hitting top 3 on the SNG-coach leaderboards for 3-handed ICM spots.
The lengthy downswings I will also probably never forget. It seems like nothing to me now because it’s just part of tournament grinding but I took some of them quite hard, wondering if I would ever make it to the end of the 5k contract.
∙How did you cope with the long downswing you mentioned and what kept you going on? How big was the downswing? Any advice with fellow students with how to cope with such times?
I had a number of ‘long’ downswings during my time completing CFP; they felt long to me at the time because I was so inexperienced. My first one during the SNG program was ongoing for around 4 months. The ones I experienced while grinding MTTs were around 2-3 months. I don’t know what cash games are like but it wasn’t really until recently that I realized that tournament grinding is just a never-ending downswing. The majority of the time I spend grinding, I also spend losing. It only takes a couple of tournaments to turn the month from a huge loss to a huge profit. Once I came to accept this, I started to take losing a bit easier. It’s also just a waste of energy to dwell on things that you cannot change, rather than focusing energy on those things you can influence. All the BPC coaches helped me realize this.
I think there are another two important factors which keep me going. The first was that from day 1, I took Ben’s advice to practice meditation using Headspace on a daily basis. Headspace is a great tool for learning about our minds and it has helped me a lot since I started. I’ve also noticed that a lot of people like to talk a lot about mindset but it gets to a point where talking doesn’t help anymore. Kind of like with poker, we cannot learn by simply talking about strategy, we have to take action and do something every single day in order to get better at it.
The second point is that I have received constant support from my close family and my partner. My girlfriend especially, always tells me how she admires how many hours I dedicate to achieving my goals and how, regardless of my results, she believes in me. These conversations can easily turn a sour mood into a smile. I really believe what the coaches say about other people being our greatest asset.
What was your key to success when you started with BPC?
I only have the graph which was from CFP software. As you can see, I spent a lot of time at the micro stakes while I learned the game. It’s mostly the last 3-5 months where I have been pushing myself to grind more MTTs than ever.
- What was your biggest win during your journey?
My biggest win was in March where I came 1st in the $16.50 bounty builder. First prize was $2.3k + $1.3k for bounties. I was playing on the same table as M1ndCrtl (our HU and mindset coach) on the final two tables and we played together until he busted in 3rd. I managed to trap him with AA one time on the final table which is always fun.
People talk a lot about feeling pressure during big final tables but I was surprisingly calm during this deep run and I think I played a very solid game. I had already played a number of final tables with 2.5-5k top prizes earlier in the year; I was very much used to busting without winning big and didn’t really care if it happened again. Luckily for me, the guy I played HU with was a huge fish. He went into the HU match demanding a good price for a deal because he had 5x my stack and I was like no thanks, I am confident in my game. 30-45 mins later the full 1st prize was mine.
Would you recommend BPC to your friends?
I don’t have many friends who are playing poker at the moment lol. Regardless, I hope one day to have good enough results that will speak for themselves
To your fellow students: what would your number 1 tip be to improve their game?
Listen to your coaches. That’s all I’ve been doing from day 1. There’s a lot to learn for MTT grinding but I think as long as you just listen to those who have already achieved what you are trying to achieve, you’ll probably be fine.
What do you think of the BPC community and did they help in any way? How?
I really like the MTT discord group that we have. When we used Skype it seemed harder to get involved with others but now with discord, it feels like its growing into a nice community. It’s made me feel like I’m part of something bigger. I try my best to get involved with other students because it’s good to just communicate with as many people as possible who share the same goals. Also, you can see who is actually grinding every day because discord tells you when people are online playing poker.
What do you plan on doing next?
Now that I’ve finished the first part of my training, I imagine I’ll be grinding the low-mid stakes for a short while to consolidate my learning and build a bankroll. There are so many things to learn for MTTs that I think I will just need time to practice and go through everything again and again before I can move up more. I would like to eventually move up to the high stakes ($100+ buy-in MTTs) and I would really like to have Julian on my side once I am ready to learn to crush these limits.
Some last words for your fellow students?
I wanted to wish everyone else good luck and say thanks again to the awesome coaches. Grinding MTTs is tough and I’ve needed every single lesson they taught me. I haven’t had any coaching with Gordon but I watched his tilt free course and I’d also like to thank him for that content, as well as for putting together this community.