Posted on 09 September 2010
Just a quick introduction from myself, I’m Richard Grace, and I’m rjmgrace everywhere online. I’m currently the number 1 ranked NZ poker player online, and hopefully I can continue to hold of Shaun ‘mathclub’ Goldsbury and keep my top spot . I’m 28, grew up in Wellington and moved to London with my wife Megan about 3 years ago. The most important lesson in all of life for any aspiring poker player is to keep your spouse / partner as happy as possible and everything will be fine .
So anyone who has played online poker at all knows that the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) has just started. Now I tend to put in a lot of volume every week, around 50 hours (give or take 20, depending on whether I’m winning or not!), but the WCOOP pretty much means that I’ll be playing 80 hours a week. the structures are amazing, and there’s just so many tournaments on every day that you pretty much just have to put your head down and go for it. So i guess the question becomes how on earth do you play such long hours, locked staring at a screen slowly going more and more crazy?
Routine is essential. In London I end up having to play overnight, given that the WCOOPs start at 1200, 1400, 1700 and 2000 EST (these times are 1700, 1900, 2200 and 0100 GMT). So I get myself into a routine where I’m waking up at 4pm every day. On top of that, the first thing I do when I get out of bed is get on my bike and go out for around 1/2 an hour. It’s not a lot of exercise, you don’t want to blow yourself out before a long session like that, but it’s important to get the blood flowing. When i get home, usually around 4.45, I have a shower then make dinner for myself and Megan, since she’s getting home from work around then. If one of the WCOOPs that start at 5pm is on, I’ll fire up my laptop and 1 table it while I’m making dinner, then move to my desktop when I’m finished. I don’t usually eat at this point, but it’s a really big deal to have a good meal to eat around 10pm for me. I’ll finish registering for tournaments around 2am (2100 EST), which in general will have me in bed before 8am, when I fall asleep and wash rinse repeat the following day.
I’m aware that this appears incredibly mundane, and I can promise you you’re completely correct! However, there’s no way you can survive 3 full weeks of grinding this heavy without just putting your head down and getting yourself a routine that allows you to keep some level of sanity. I develop these routines to allow me to both maximise my profitability and keep my sanity! when it’s all said and done on the 25th of September I’ll have a few days off then get straight into EPT London and all the side events. In those few days I’ll probably spend a lot of time at the nearest pub, I’m still a kiwi after all .
I know it’s boring but I thought people might like to know what it’s like to grind really heavy and intense schedules. I’m pretty sure mathclub will have similar stories as well, given that he’s on the same schedule except starting at 5am, not 5pm! I still don’t know which I prefer, although i get the feeling the 5am start is more sustainable. I have to reset my body to daytime at least once a month for a few days just to make sure I get some sunlight and a bit of daytime, whereas Shaun could do that for a long long time!
That’s me signing off, I’ll update later on during the WCOOP to give you guys updates on my progress. so far I’m 2/4 in them, cashing the 2 Sunday tournaments and amassing some pretty large stacks before the bubble in them both, very useful. Unfortunately for me they were both 9000+ person tournaments so while it’s very useful to have that many chips, it certainly doesn’t mean for a deep run, and i finished around 500th in each of them. Tuesday was pretty much a blowout in the PLO and the 6 handed shootout, with me ducking out after 4 hours or so in the PLO and being the first one out of my table in the shootout. Tonight is 5 card draw (which to be honest I’ll probably pass on), triple stud and the $1k NL, which thankfully they have made a 2 day tournament (during the SCOOP earlier in the year there were 2 of these. Both of them took 22 hours to go to completion, and one of my friends final table bubbled both of them after 17 hours. He’s never been the same since).
Richard ‘rjmgrace’ Grace
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