Today we meet a NLHU Soldier student, Jernej “Myst”, who is doing very well in the program.
1- How did you start playing poker?
I started to play poker long time ago. My friends were playing for play money and were always inviting me to join them, but it felt kind of stupid to waste time playing cards online. However, on a birthday party, they wanted to play live, so that was when I understood all of the excitement about the game. Bluffing, trying to outsmart opponents, the feeling of having a huge stack and winning the money…
I started reading about strategy, became play money millionaire baller on Pokerstars and thought: “If I turned those 1000 into a few millions, I can make the same with $50.” Unfortunately, after losing five $5 SnGs and half of the money, which was a lot for me back then, I pretty much quit my poker career and thought that maybe gambling is not the way to go. Oh yeah, the iron determination, persistence and realistic view of things 🙂
However after some time I got an entry to a great series of freerolls, when Titan poker first opened its doors. I cashed a few times to win $250 and with that started playing my beloved SnG’s again. After that, I signed up for limit poker school running strong in Slovenia, and I was progressing slowly until the police stormed into where the poker club was placed and the project ended.
I could still finance my first trip to tropics with the money I made. Getting a taste of what poker can bring me. I switched back to SnG’s, built my bankroll and soon start winning an easy average wage by playing 2-4hours a day (with lots of free days in between).
I was just starting to move to mid stakes, even tried some cash games, but got destroyed by Black Friday. Luckily I was saved a year later, continuing with SnG’s. This time being more professional and playing more hours. But I failed to take a shot at $40 6max hypers and didn’t win as much as I wanted.
I would need additional help to improve. I always wanted to learn how to play cash games, and I felt that HU is the place where real poker is played. It was then when I decided it was a good time to switch and joined BPC.
2- How did BPC help you to improve your game?
I didn’t only learn strategy and correct mentality. BPC also helped me change my attitude, helped me break my perceived limits of what I can do and improved my organization as well.
I have never taken the game this seriously and put so much time into playing, studying and progressing. I always had big dreams, but somehow thought they would happen eventually, slowly. Here I learned how to plan for it, work for it and get it now.
3- You live in Ljubljana, right? How is it to live there for you? What do you like most about it?
Ljubljana is a very beautiful city with a Castle in the middle overlooking everything. There is a river running through and a lively Old Town. It is not a big city. I’m basically 5 to 15 minutes of walking from everything. Cost of living is quite low, although in main tourist areas prices are becoming more “European”. You can find lots of good food and it is very safe. You can wander around at any time without fear.
4- What gives you the motivation to get back to the tables every day?
I’m a naturally competitive person. Used to be a pro sportsman and I’m also interested in solving things (was competing in logic as well). The game gives me motivation in itself. I just like to try to beat the next person, outsmart him and figure his strategy out.
Every person is different and so are every match up. There are so many situations you can encounter playing poker.
A big part of the motivation is also the potential to win a lot of money and to live a different lifestyle. Being above average is what keeps me wanting to progress, learn and play.
5- Can you recall a special moment or hand in poker, which was interesting/meaningful/memorable for you?
The one thing I remember the most was a KK hand that I got in a freeroll where I cashed for $125. We were on the bubble, a lot of the players had about 2 or 3 bbs and were timing out every time trying to get in the money.
The structure was crazy. From 15th to 4th everyone would get $125, and then $250, $500 and $750. I got the black pocket Kings and shove it in, got called by players with higher stack sizes. I still remember the excitement and all emotions and hope going through my head. It was quite a sweat as well, I think the board looked bad and then I spiked a K or flush on the river to take down the pot and ensure the cashing. It was a big deal for me with this money I ran up my bankroll.
Well, another special moment was when Pokerstars bought FullTilt to “save” the “Black Friday”. I got close to 5 figures bankroll back and could continue my poker career after one year off.
6- Any tips for motivation for your fellow grinders?
Don’t give up! It’s not hard to earn a nice and comfortable living with poker. Just do the homeworks and everything you are asked to. Learn/copy what successful people do. Don’t focus on excuses, be positive and just eliminate the mistakes you are making, sooner or later everything will come together and you will get rewarded for it.
7- If you could suggest only 1 thing for poker players to improve their game, what would it be?
Consistency, it is the most important trait in my opinion. Set a minimum requirements goals every week and don’t waste your time. Consistency really makes you break barriers and something beautiful happens when you keep it up.:)
Thank you for your time Myst, GL at the tables!