Michael Carbone: Hey! How r u?
razvanel1987: Pretty tired, grinded a lot lately. It’s not a good month EV wise but I’m happy with the real money earnings.
Michael Carbone: So tell me your story – how did you get to where you are in poker? Where did you start?
razvanel1987: I started when I was in university, one friend told me about the 5$ bonus if u make an account on Pokerstars. It was 4 years ago, I think. I had never played poker before.
Michael Carbone: Cool, and what game did u start playing in?
razvanel1987: I was playing all formats in the beginning, and I liked double or nothing. I was playing 5$ and 10$ limits for half a year, then skipped to $3.50 18 and 27 man sngs. But, I was a gambler from the start and I had the desperation tilt problem. When I was losing, I was trying to recover my losses as soon as possible.
Michael Carbone: And you would go play HUSNG to recover losses?
razvanel1987: Yes. That’s exactly how I got in contact with HUSNG.
Michael Carbone: Haha – that’s the exact same way I got into it too!
razvanel1987: And I was always doubling the buy-in when I was losing. I had this problem until the end of January this year. I was trying to get in $100s, losing 5k in 3 days, and then tilted and played $500s and $1ks. All the people from $100s were railing me, all together and were saying what a fish I was and how I would never get in $100s. But, as soon as I got in contact with HUSNGs, I liked them so much and know it would be my main game.
Michael Carbone: Yeah, nice
razvanel1987: So, in the beginning of 2013, I was playing 15$ turbos. I was beating the limit w/o any coaching, and I didn’t even know what NASH equilibrium was at that time. Then, in March I was playing 200$ turbo HUSNG while on tilt vs Romanian player called “vladxxxro” and I asked him if he could recommend a coach or something so that I can improve myself as a HUSNG player. And he offered to teach me himself!
Michael Carbone: Nice…so what was your agreement.
razvanel1987: We did a couple of hours together and then I started to crush 30$ turbos. I made $3,000 in the first month and $4,000 the next month. I then took the decision to quit my job – I was working part time for 3 years and playing poker professionally. Unfortunately, one week after I quit my job in May, the traffic dropped a lot in turbos and so, I started to play 15$ and 30$ hypers.I didn’t understand why when I was registering I was playing with the same player all the time. It was “habis15” if you know him. He had me on auto-sit, and I found out after a couple of days that he was using Sharkystrator, HEM, and other software. I was such a noob in poker technology, even though I had an IT degree. So I bought a few video packs and then started to win at the $30 games and grinded them until last December. I was trying to get into the $60 but I was hunted by the regs and was a losing player. One day I noticed that “niceiq25”, a Romanian player, was playing $500s – so I started to rail him. Then I had the idea to type his screen name in the search box on Skype and found him and added him as a friend. I booked 2-3 hours with him and improved my game, which turned into my best month ever in December, with over $20,000.
Michael Carbone: Wow, crazy story!
razvanel1987: Yeah. So then, in January I decided to get into the $100s but I was losing again. So I went back for more coaching to get in $100s and then the $200s as well. I played 3months and nearly 11k games to get all the 39 votes. On April 15th I got into the $100s – that was such a great day!
Michael Carbone: Sweet, good stuff man.
razvanel1987: Yep crazy amounts of work, I have played 50k HUSNG this year alone.
Michael Carbone: Wow – how do you think you’re able to put in so much volume?
razvanel1987: I like the games so much! My work ethic comes from having a lot of stamina. I can stay focused for a long time. I guess it’s because I grinded so much from the beginning of my journey in poker. Even when I was losing, I was playing more and more to recover my losses and I think that trained me. Funny this is, when I was winning, I was playing so short, but I fixed this leak. I remember in December, I played for 28 hours and won 4k in $60 hypers.
Michael Carbone: You’re a beast!
razvanel1987: It’ s not healthy though, I must admit.
Michael Carbone: How do u balance your lifestyle around it?
razvanel1987: Well, I live with my girlfriend, I go to the gym, I like football and hanging out with my friends. I play poker about 10-12 hours per day. I can’t sleep much, I’m always waking up at 7am and start grinding as soon as I feel ready for it. I’m planning on being more balanced next year, if I’m not chasing SNE.
Michael Carbone: Nice. So, before you go…what was your biggest AH-HA moment?
razvanel1987: my biggest ah-ha moment was when I got my first hour of coaching and found out how regs were exploiting me as a fish. For example, by 3 barreling on over cards, I was like AH-Ha that’s how they bluff me!
Michael Carbone: Haha, yeah. Do you have an exact example of that 3-barreling scenario you mentioned?
razvanel1987: Yeah, so for example, I have 89o and call the min raise. Then call the continuation bet on flops like A83o, then call a turn barrel on an overcard like To, but then fold on the river bet when another overcard hits. So on boards like A83TK you know?
Michael Carbone: Yah, I get it. So, how do you suggest someone navigates their way through a hand like that? I think a lot of people just get to the river and take a wild guess. Or just call and pray they’re good.
razvanel1987: Well, it depends if it’s readless, 1st hand or not. You can take some information about your opponent’s barreling style from previous hands. Readless I would call more than I would fold on the river in that spot. The amount regs are barreling these days, they are thinking they can fold your range on that flop plus on a good turn and river.
Michael Carbone: And what about vs fish readless? Do you give them more value oriented ranges here?
razvanel1987: Against fish readless, I would call more because they are so spewy and all that they think about is “hey it’s an ace on the flop, I’m going to represent it!” It s all about decisions in poker, you can t be 100% sure but you need to take the most profitable decision. Like you can’t expect to call profitably every time with bottom pair when facing 3 barrels.
Michael Carbone: Totally. Now, other than 1 on 1 poker coaching – how do you work at improving your game? Or do you really think getting 1 on 1 coaching is the best way to improve in the shortest amount of time?
razvanel1987: Yeah, 1 on 1 poker coaching is the best option to improve your game in the shortest amount of time because there aren’t any good videos at the moment. I am also working on my own game too, reviewing hands, thinking about ranges and lines. You need to know that a range affects another range. For example if you see a reg limp trap at the 1st blind level, his min raising range is very weak and you can 3bet shove lighter. Also, I’m talking with other regs about strategy, bet sizing, etc.
Michael Carbone: That’s fantastic dude! Well, thanks for taking the time to share your story with us, I’m sure you’ve inspired a lot of people out there! Keep crushing dude, good luck!
razvanel1987: My pleasure, good luck