Part of being a great poker player is putting in the work, being thorough, staying disciplined, and working to cross the finish line. Fredrik completed all of that recently by finishing his 5K 6-Max Micro contract. It’s a big accomplishment for this young player who’s got some big goals with hopes of moving up even more.
Finishing the contract not only taught him a lot about poker but also has the dedication needed to really achieve success in the game.
“The hardest part was to stay motivated,” Fredrik says of his recent accomplishment. “When I started I was not very structured and would play a lot for a few months, then not play for a while and so on.”
After going at it this way for a time, Fredrik figured out this plan wasn’t working. While he is attending university and needs to study, Fredrik says his schedule does leave him with some free time. He admits he could have done better at using more of his time to play more at the tables and is working to remedy that situation.
“My schedule at school is stressful but still flexible,” he says. “Thus, I could really play almost every day.”
Like many young players, Fredrik fell in love with the game as a teenager. A friend introduced the game to him, and they began playing and learning some of poker’s different formats. The more he played, the more he wanted to play. Now as a BPC student, he sticks with 6-max most of the time.
“I grinded from 2nl to 25nl and got stuck – basically making very low profit,” he says.
With BPC, Fredrik is hoping to change that and moving his situation more in the black. He wants to make money consistently and continue to learn and improve.
At the tables, Fredrik sees poker as a way to relax, but it’s a pastime that also offers him a way to make some money as well. After college, he should have even more time for playing at the tables – and hopefully with plenty of profits and more nice months. The game allows him to satisfy his need to stay competitive as well. Competition and winning money are the perfect combinations for this rounder.
“I’m pretty competitive at games so I just find it fun to go on the table and win some money,” he says. “My goals, for now, are probably to focus on my university studies, but still make some side money from poker.”
In the month of May, Fredrik was pushing himself to finish his contract, but also to come out with a nice finish on the plus side. That definitely was a goal completed.
“May was really good,” he says. “I just felt like I would like to finish, so I pushed myself and made roughly €700. I haven’t played much in June.”
That’s a nice finish for a micro stakes player. A few really good days stand out in May including one day finishing a session +12 buy-ins in 25NL, and amazingly beating quads two times in the same week.
Unfortunately, one losing hand stands out even more or his month could have even better. In the hand, Fredrik was battling a fish at the table at 4 a.m. with K-K on a board with another K and two low unconnecting cards. His three of a kind seemed really good and his opponent moved all in on the flop with A-Q. Astonishingly, his opponent hit runner-runner cards to make a straight.
It was quite an unfortunate run-out and very frustrating considering that one hand cost him 200 big blinds. It was quite a cooler for Fredrik. That little luck element in poker can be a pain sometimes, and Fredrik just must consider his skills will pay off in the long run. Bad beats happen unfortunately in poker – and in this case, can really affect those monthly profits.
Away from the poker tables, Fredrik enjoys playing guitar quite a bit, developing his skills at both acoustic and electric. On weekends and in his free time, he enjoys just hanging out with friends and having a good time. He lives with his girlfriend and is studying to earn a master’s degree in applied mathematics. That should certainly help with calculating odds and situational strategy in poker. Mathematicians have proven to be excellent poker players including David Sklansky, Chris Ferguson, and Bob Bright.
When playing cards, the routine is important to Fredrik. He tries to make sure he is well rested and focused so that he can perform to his optimal level.
“Whenever I have a few hours to spare I try to fire up a session,” he says. “But I try not to play if I sleep less than six hours.”
There are a couple more axioms Fredrik practices as part of his card-playing routine:
• Don’t play hungry – Fredrik always keeps a few snacks close by just in case. In his view, avoiding hunger makes for a better day and hopefully good cards.
• Meditate before a session – He believes this is an excellent way to begin playing and helps to at least focus on areas that a player hopes to improve on. “For example, I try not to focus on bad beats, folding in spots where I struggle to find folds or spots where I forget to bluff, open, or three-bet,” he says.
Staying disciplined and keeping a level head are important traits for any successful poker player. Fredrik finds this an easier part of the game. He isn’t a calling station and feels he has a mental edge in avoiding tilt and just bleeding off chips. Self-control is of maximum importance to this Swede – at least that’s usually the case. Everyone has the occasional shortcoming, but he works hard to avoid those situations.
“I just find poker relaxing and I enjoy winning, so I don’t find it fun to gamble away any winnings,” he says. “I don’t usually get upset after a bad beat. But sometimes when you get several in a row, like in the case where I hit a five buy-in stop-loss. Then I’m usually like, ‘fuck it,’ and do something else. That’s probably a sign that you’re not playing your A-game.”
When things do go bad or after taking some bad beats, what does Fredrik try do to recover?
“If I remember bad beats from yesterday or several days ago, then usually I’m on tilt,” he says of a situation he tries to avoid. “I will then try to not play for a day or two and not play very long sessions.”
His approach to the game seems to be working so far, and hopefully get even better with his coaching from BPC. As the game continues to improve and grow, where does he see his poker career in five years? Poker may stay as a side occupation, but he definitely plans on staying active on the felt.
“I will likely keep playing,” he says. “I’ve been playing for almost six years and I enjoy it even more now. I don’t think I will play professionally since I can get a good job after my studies, but you never know.”