Poker 4: A little while away

So after a week or so of no posting, followed by one of the worst weekends of my life (which I couldnt play poker), I gotta post again.

Before anything, I got my first ever royal flush, made no money from it obviously, but still super cool to make one.

At the end of last post:  $116.48 profit over 18,662 hands, running at 12.48bb/100 hands.

After my last post, I ran in to some pretty bad sessions. Played badly, ran badly, and tilted way way way too easily. Went down 2 buyins to up 2 buyins back to down 1 buyin and was just a really lame session. The next one, only 16 minutes, was just AWFUL, and I quit before I tilted and spewed my money away.


After that it has been pretty smooth sailing. I’ve been pretty disappointed in how I’ve been playing, though. Against regulars I’ve yet to really figured out how to exploit most of them, though I feel I can outplay most post-flop. Lots of my money has come from the fish and spewtards that stack off with ATC.


So the obvious thing to notice is the two loosest sessions in terms of VPIP and PFR are also two sessions I lost. Maybe I should tighten up ever so slightly.

Still, I feel like I’m playing winning poker, loose enough to exploit lots of the multi tabling nits who can’t swallow their pride to admit that they need to learn how to beat micro stakes poker and play 20 tables at once, but disciplined enough to easily crush the huge amount of awful, awful players that spew money away with top pair.

Lots of hands I have no idea about:

Aaaaaaaaaand it looks like is not working properly.

Hand 1 –

Pretty normal I guess, but my bet sizing seems bad – should I be betting more on turn/(100% sure) river?

Hand 2 –

Not a confusing hand at all, play wise, but pretty crazy to have the nuts and a draw to better and have two people shove in to you. Biggest pot I’ve won since starting again, I think.

Hand 3 –

Should I just lead out on the flop? Raise the turn? Call river? I felt like I played this as awfully as possible, but I dunno how to come up with a better line. I guess he has a set most of the time there, or maybe some overpair on the flop. Still just felt yuck at that huge river barrel.

Hand 4 –

Looking back, not too fussed with this play. Flop donk looks like a weak jack or some hand like 55/66 or A2/A3. Checking turn lets him fire with worse jacks or semi bluff with draws. Just lame I ran in to a set this time.

Hand 5 –

Just… bleh. I guess he flopped a set? Or at worst, Qxdd, probably AQ, cos I don’t think he’s gonna c/r then fire turn and river when he misses the flush. Just a lame spot I guess?

Hand 6 –

This guy was one of those very strange fish that always bet 1 or 2 big blinds on the flop/turn, then would either bet like half pot on the river or make some ridiculous overbet, and they’d call down with literally any two cards, so I figured my flopped pair was probably good. On the turn, I feel like he can be raising ATC, like one of those guys who puts every villain on AK, so obviously an 8 high board will miss them. Against his exact hand I’m a 20-80 dog, but I’m getting 3.28:1 odds (23%), so it’s a pretty bad play in this exact spot with no real implied odds, but I felt like I was ahead and he could call with overs, one of those kind of guys. Turns out I wasnt but I binked my hand on the river anyway. Not tooooooo awful math wise but still pretty bad I think, just lucky I guess.

Hand 7 –

How don’t I get his stack?!?!

Hand 8 –

Pretty gross – am I ever ahead here? If he has a flush it’s going to be bigger, and he could have 22 and backdoored in to a boat. Of course, he could be awful and think KT is the nuts here since I just called his raise on the turn and checked the river. My intention was c/c a river bet, but then he shoves and I’m confused, since river shoves at NL5 are generally super, super, super strong. Looking back at this hand I think I should’ve just called. I’m really not sure.

So yeah, a few strange spots that I’m not sure about.

Still profiting, so I guess I should keep playing the way I am. End stats for now: $144.84 profit over 24,202 hands, running at 11.97 bb/100. Winrate is slowly shrinking, but I guess that’s to be expected as the sample size grows. My aim is to get to 50,000 hands of NL5 (should be done by the end of next month at the very latest) with a winrate higher than 8bb/100, then it’s on to NL10.


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Poker 3: Raise of the Machines

get it like the terminator?

Last post I had a total profit of $108.86 over 13,809 hands, running at 15.77bb/100 hands.

The crushing has well and truly slowed down, a mixture of playing poorly/being lazy/playing when I shouldn’t be/running pretty poorly has shot my winrate down quite a sizeable amount. Over the last 3 days I’ve booked 4853 hands over 7 different sessions, averaging about 90 minutes each.

The bottom session was an experiment – I wanted to see how I’d play watching a movie, and it was at 1am. As you can see, it went terribly. I have to give my full attention to the tables or else I just turn on my bad auto pilot and make awful plays nonstop.

The other sessions were pretty normal, except for the top two, which were both super odd. The 1pm starting one began with me running ridiculously, Jamie Gold level of cards, for the first half an hour or so. I was only up like a buyin and a bit though, because noone was really spewy or anything. Then I lost 3 buyins super quickly, just bad beats and dumb bluffs, and I got a bit tilted and played poorly. I decided to stop, and all of a sudden on my final orbits on my tables, people decided to donate me 2 buyins so I could make a tiny tiny profit.

The most recent session was similar, I hovered between one buyin down and one buyin up, eventually I got to about $1 up near the end, hardly amazing, but I felt I played pretty poorly so not gonna complain. Then the same thing happened – one 80bb stack and one full buyin randomly hand me their stack in hands I played super standardly and they just called off with air. I’m a bit confused because I don’t know if I ‘should’ be winning this money, since I’m not playing good poker and instead just having spewtards throw their money at me with the nuts.

Nothing too surprising, maybe a little looser than normal, but my 3bet steal at 4.11% was my biggest winning session, maybe I should defend less? Or maybe I should just tighten a little bit, since I think I 3bet quite wide, and there are only a few regs I know have huge fold to 3bet stats.

I felt I played overall very poorly compared to last month, so maybe some hand analysis is needed.

Hand 1 –


I said I folded AA and he said that he “had outs”. Not sure how I can EVER call there though and be confident I’m far ahead. Oh well.

Hand 2 –

Re-watching this hand has me a bit confused. I have to ask myself, I guess, what can I ever beat on the river? Busted clubs (without the Tc), 9x, and that’s it? He’s never donking the river with some random 55/66/88, and 68 gets there on the river. Random two pairs like T9, T7 or 97 beat me too. I’m getting 2.4:1, so it’s 30% to call, but I feel like he is betting missed clubs and 9x practically never in this spot, so looking back at it I like the fold. Maybe it’s a little nitty though.

Hand 3 –

Another (puke) hand – when he shoves the river I’m trying to find a way to fold, but I never can, right? Getting 4.22:1 means I have to win this just over 20% of the time, and perhaps he’s shoving QJ/QT/Q9 in that spot, but he’d probably shove those on the turn after my c/r. Just a cooler I guess, but I still feel sick calling a raise on the river, since at NL5, it’s the nuts practically all of the time.

All the other hands I tagged under ‘review’ were pretty normal, probably just need to think more about bet sizing to induce calls/bluffs.

To close, then, my overall November stats were:

Obvious this was only 1 week of the month, so to be winning that well I’m obviously happy. If my bb/100 stays over 10 for December I’ll be super ecstatic and plan to move up to NL10 once I pay back the stake + some profit. Only 3 buyins under EV is good too, I’ve seen others charts and they’re, like, 30 buyins under EV and I don’t know how I’d be able to manage that.

Overall stats to the present: $116.48 profit over 18,662 hands, running at 12.48bb/100 hands. Quite a hit to my bb/100, but a profit is a profit.


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Poker 2: cant think of a witty title

In short, the crushing continues.

At the end of last post, I had a ~$94 profit, running at 15.61 bb/100 over 12,000 hands.

Last two days I’ve played relatively little poker, spent more time watching films/music/games, so played only ~1600 hands. Stats of:

28th session was pretty boring, ran pretty poor and dropped a buyin or two and worked it back up to a slight loss, nothing I did super wrong or super right I feel, just a pretty standard session.

Todays (29th) session was pretty ridiculous – people were donating their money to me, and I was making pretty normal plays and people never seemed to believe me, and kept paying off my thin value bets and always folded to my bluffs and semi-bluffs. That 3.5 buyin profit should have been a lot, lot higher, but I ran in to some coolers which changed my (at that time) $22 profit to an $8 profit in the space of three hands. Regardless, I powered through and worked it back up to a solid 37.25 bb/100 session.

Preflop stats  are pretty much spot on with my averages, so nothing to say there. Maybe I’m still calling a little loose from the bb/sb, but it generally is against fish with good postflop hands.

The big dip here  in my hands played/bb won graph was thanks to 2 hands, these:

Hand 1 –

This fish had been running something absurd like 59/8/2 over ~100 hands, so I should’ve just seen it coming. The context, though, was the previous hand, where he limped A4s, I raised 55, and he called and check the A94 flop, I checked back, and binked a 5 on the turn. He bet, I raised, he called. River he c/c my pretty sizable bet. Then he started complaining and was like “why don’t you raise???” – then as he types it he raises here, so I 3bet with my KK super happy, and he just shoves. I was tempted to fold, since his likely hand range here is only ever AA and a tiny percent of the time KK and AKs, but given the context I opted to call because he felt super spewy and I had been 3betting a LOT this session. In hindsight, an easy fold, but oh well.

Hand 2 –

On the flop I’m pretty happy with my hand, and on the turn I’m slightly less happy but still happy. His raise here was giving me 2.91:1, so I’d need to win the pot slightly less than 30% of the time. Against his exact hand, I’m a 25-75 dog, so it’s the wrong play, but against a range of some overpairs and two pairs and sets and stuff, I’m a 38-62 dog, so it would be correct to call. I’m not sure if this is one of those spots where they’re probably only making a play with a strong hand, either way, just a shitty spot and happened exactly after hand 1 on another table.

Hand 3 –

3bet and bink trips, wee. Should I check the river to try and induce a bluff? I felt like maybe my hand looked super weak after I check the turn on such a wet board, but his check back maybe signals he’s really as weak as I’m pretending to be. I guess a check on the river is the right play so he can bluff with his missed flush draws or overcards, but I guess I hoped he had AK and would call a bet there.

Hand 4 –

Can I ever fold the turn here? Getting 4:1 so I only need to be winning 20% of the time, and I feel like I am even though this turn shove seems super super strong – if he has AK he’s probably gonna 3bet preflop, K9 is possible since there were good odds preflop, but more likely is probably Qxcc for a flushdraw+pair, or some two pair hand, or 89 for a straight of course, probably even more likely. Even then, I’m still getting the right price to call even vs a straight, but against a wider range of flush draws and two pairs and stuff, I’m a slight favourite. Pretty awful play by him I think, we ran it twice and chopped when he binked a club on the river on the first run.

Pretty happy overall with how I played today, some gross spots but some pretty good spots too. Total profit over the last two days of $14.48 (2.896 buyins), can’t complain.

Graph update: Slight increase to bb/100, and a nice increase to total winnigs.

My Currency Won in USD over Hands Played for (PokerStars) frequency172

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paykah 1 – November 19-27

So so so, let’s begin.

Starting roll was $100 – a stake from a friend. My end goal is to be rolled for NL100 ($2000+) and have a good winrate at NL50 and then obviously NL100. This post is essentially just going to be the starting point, I’ve got a small but decentish sample size of hands and statistics to look at and think about as I move forward. All these questions I pose are just questions to myself, I don’t expect anyone to read this.

The huge bulk (~95%) of the 12,000 hands I’ve played so far at NL5 6max have been in the last 7-8 days, I was donking around at NL2 and NL5 full ring trying to remember how to play this new Hearthstone patch (haha lol). I was up like 10 buyins at NL2 (stupidly boring and easy), which then buffered my 4 buyin loss at NL5, causing me to remember I hate full ring and move back to 6 max.

So my stats over this last week and a bit are:

For a total of 12,093 hands and an average of 412.73 per hour. That one red line shows a losing day (boo), for this in $ terms:


So that’s ~2 buyins (~$9.50) per day, averaging at 15.61 bb/100, which is an absurdly high bb/100 rate and only attainable at the micro levels, but even then, I’m unsure if something as high as 15bb/100 is sustainable, or if I’m going to slow down or take some bad sessions.

Overall my stats are pretty good I think, especially since I just started playing again. Then again, it is NL5 and people are generally beyond horrible, and will hand you their money if you just play with some common sense and are able to identify trends in betting patterns and postflop lines.

Preflop seems pretty normal for a 6 max table:


The top session is an outlier, in that it was only 200 hands, so the higher VPIP/PFR isn’t too important. I’ve noticed a lot of the other regulars that don’t suck have stats more around 20/15/4 – so I’m a bit looser, and generally a bit more spewy against regs, since they tend to fold to 2nd barrels a lot more. Sometimes I have cbet%s of <30, when I never cbet vs fish because they never fold to cbets, so I only cbet with good equity.

Still, overall, I’m happy with my winrate, and should just focus now on putting in volume and continue playing the way I am and think through tough decisions a bit more, and review them when they come up.

Which is what I’m gonna do now.

Hand 1 –

The UTG raise is pretty bad probably, but obviously I hit two pair on a draw heavy board, so I’m happy and gonna bet. The short stack shoves over me, and I can’t re-raise because of his tiny raise amount. The turn is obviously where I am concerned, it fills JT, flush draws, KQ, and of course I’m still dead vs sets or higher two pairs. Is c/f the only line? Is b/f too weak? I’m not sure, obviously I played perfectly since I put money in when I was ahead and folded when I was behind, but it is a bit of an awkard hand.

Hand 2 –

This hand is a bit more about bet sizing on the river. I didn’t want to c/r the flop despite probably being a huge favourite against just about any non-J hand because I’ve found at these limits, a c/r on paired flops sends a terrifying message to the opponent and they fold unless they have the nuts (or AA, obv the nuts 100% of the time).

Anyway – the river. Half pot sized bets are pretty much obvious value bets, so thinking through his range (25/25/25 over 8 hands, so useless stats) that’s going to fire two large bullets on that board, it’s probably a hand like AK/AQ/AT with a club, maybe sometimes A9/T9/89 or some other 9x hand, and perhaps TT making a thin value bet on the turn. Jx is possible, but obviously he didn’t have one (unless he did and he made a hero fold). So given that, is half the pot too obvious of a value bet? I can’t ever c/r because he’s never calling with just Jx, and a smaller flush probably wouldn’t raise. I have no idea if I should have bet smaller or bigger, but I’m pretty sure half pot was bad.

Hand 3 –

Plenty of these crazy spewtards at micros – I 3bet AKo from the BB and get called by a guy 150bb deep and with a 40% VPIP over a tiny sample. Preflop and flop is normal, but on the turn I decide to check, for a reason I’m not totally sure of, maybe I wanted to keep the pot controllable on a pretty dangerous board for my hand – he can easily call here with AJ, AQ, KT, QJ, and obviously 33 or even sometimes a random A3s. I’m expecting him to check back lots here with bad aces or jacks, and then I can put a value bet on the river where he’s going to do that thing that people at the micros do where they percieve a check as weakness and will call down with 3rd pair, because obviously if I check on any street I have nothing.

Then he shoves for 1.8ish times the pot – am I ever ahead here? Putting it in to Pokerstove (sets, two pairs, pair+broadway draws, random Ax etc) sees me at 62% equity, but since I have to call ~70bb to win the 50bb in the pot, I’m not getting a good price and I rarely see him bluffing here.

Hand 4 –

This hand I must have just had some sick read, I guess I tagged it as ‘good hand’ in PT4. Probably a losing play in the long run, but I felt good about making the right play.

Hand 5 –

Table about to break, so only 3 people left. Is this a fold preflop? His 5betting range is obviously super narrow, but I’m getting 4.18:1 on a call here, and we still have ~80 bb behind, so if I flop a J and he has QQ+ and we get it all in, obviously I’m loving it. I flop an overpair and a gutshot and backdoor hearts, and he shoves. Here I can just fold but for some reason I prayed he had AK and I called. Looking back obviously this is bad, the hugely likely hand he has is AA or KK, which I’m a huge dog against, so even despite almost getting the right odds (Pokerstove says I’d be a slight favourite against QQ+,AQs+,AQo+ as his range, but I even doubt he’s 5 betting AQo, even 3 handed).

The math seems to say this isn’t tooooooo terrible of a call, but I feel like this is one of those spots that math is trumped by experience.

Hand 6 –

Only 4 handed this time, and I open JThh and get 3bet by a guy that had been 3betting pretty liberally. We’re both 120+ bb deep, so I choose to call with a good hand. I flop top pair and a gutshot, so I’m liking my hand. He checks, which I should’ve read as odd, because he had a 100% cbet rate. Still, he could have just 3bet with air or some picture cards and is going to give up and try to get to showdown as cheap as possible. I bet a pretty normal I think 65ish% of the pot, and he raises, in this exact spot I’m 35% to win, and I’m getting 33% on a call, so logic says I should call and see what the turn brings. Against a pretty wide range of 99+, AT+, KJ+ and QJ+, I’m a 71% favourite, but like the last hand I think this just felt wrong, as soon as I bet I was worried for some reason. So I shove and he calls, I’m not thrilled with this hand but in hindsight I don’t think I played it too terribly.

Okay and to close heres my graph so far, running only 1 buyin under EV which is really great, was even running above EV. The big drop just before 8500 hands was pretty gross, losing 4 buyins in the space of a few hundred hands to random two pairs being hit on the river and random backdoor flushes and losing QQ vs JJ and AA vs KK, but oh well, not like I’m running bad.

My Currency Won in USD over Hands Played for (PokerStars) frequency17

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pa pa pa pa pa poker face

Not that anyone cares, but I’m going to start posting about poker.

I first started playing in 2008 – my brother and I were at a family friends house and one of them played pub poker quite a bit, and suggested we go play cos we had nothing else to do. I was only 17, so used his brothers name to register, and got obsessed. Basically I was a typical pub poker moron that eventually read a little bit about how to play properly, and started playing online. I ran up my first $50 deposit to $750ish somehow, which makes me incredibly confused because I had literally 1/30th of the knowledge I have now (which is still practically nothing). Then I withdrew it for whatever reason, got staked $200 by some guy, ran it up to $230 over a little bit of time then he said he didnt want to stake me so I gave him the $200 back and kept the $30 which I ran up to $900 (in 2012 I think), which was surprising again because I sucked. Then one day I lost like 5 buyins at NL25 and decided I hate poker and withdrew it all (about $750 again). So like $50 to a total profit of ~$1400 over the course of like 5 years.

I decided to start playing again and try to take it seriously this time, in the past it was just semi-serious but never really studying or trying to improve, it was just wanting to make some money. I’m just going to post stats/graphs of sessions and that sort of thing, make myself motivated and give myself goals to reach and make myself think about how I play rather than just going on autopilot mode (which, admittedly, has done pretty well so far).

A friend staked me $100 and I’m playing NL5 6max. I used to play NL25 6max and was a break even rakeback hero, so let’s aim for better than that.

My end goal, at least in the short term, is to get a comfortable bankroll for NL100 and get a decent winrate.

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So I’ve left FXOpen. Before I joined (Dec 11, 2010 officially), I told myself that if this wasn’t ‘the’ thing that  made esports work for me, I would quit trying. Two years later, that’s exactly what happened.

You can skip the next 5-6 paragraphs if you don’t really care about me. If you’re expecting a polished read, don’t, I just wrote this tonight and I cant be bothered to proofread.

The start (you can  skip this all if you dont really care)

Since most people only know me from FXO onwards, I guess it would be fitting to explain my history. Growing up I was always in to technology and games, and when I hit 11-12, I started getting fat and my parents split up, so it wasn’t a very pleasant time in my life and that’s when I escaped most in to video games (not even sure what games I was playing in 2002/03, I had a bad PC so probably was still playing WC2/HOMM). Then in high school (I vividly remember this exact moment in my mind), it was orientation day where I met a guy called Stefan, who mentioned that he liked Counter-Strike. I had never even played CS, but for some reason I knew what it was, and decided to try and make a friendship out of this. We became friends, and one day told me to come with him to an internet cafe (it was called ‘The Zone’, and boy oh boy do I have many memories and stories). There, I first got to play WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne, and my life was forever changed. I had only played RoC before with my brother and our 2 friends (we used to go to their houses a lot and 4 player LAN loads of games like MOHAA, Diablo 2, WC3 ROC, etc) and I absolutely loved it, and so TFT was so exciting for me and I immediately tried to get it at home, probably playing hours on end against the computer and getting stomped.

Then, oh boy, came one fateful day where I was googling away and found something about WC3 replays. From there I found, and learned that people played WC3 professionally, like, for money. Like, holy shit? I must have downloaded every single WC3 replay on WCR from the 2004-2006 period, I remember at one point my replay folder having 1500 files in it. I remember finding out about Grubby, who then went on to win WCG that year, and I was a huge fan. I guess it’s his fault I got sucked in to all of this, thanks Manuel. For all this time, though, I was just a fan, and if I had known that there was a “forum” button, I would’ve been an active community member but instead I just watched hundreds of replays and followed dozens of tournaments, because of this I think I can recall just about any players country/race if you ask me, lame super powers right. 2005 was the time that I got introduced to the Bored Aussie server ( This is where I really got in to DotA, before that I had only played at net cafe with friends on US West, bearing with that 300+ ping and Stealth Assasin with blink/death ward/lvl 5 invis and Sand Kings that went “mass nulls” because it was a “legit strat”. I havent posted on the BA forums in about two years, but I’m still #18 on most posts, I was top 5 or so at one point (sickbrag). As I said, for all this time I was just a fan, but then one day I saw MYM was recruiting admins for the next MYM Prime Defending, #5 or #6 I think, it was 2007 (I’ll go off on a tangent about this later), and I recruited to be an admin for the Oceanic region. They said yes, and I was the most horrible admin ever. Like so many little retards, I just wanted a tag, like really, how cool and famous was the MYM tag? Eventually, s1rro (the head admin and most retarded retard in DotA history) told me that there wasn’t really a need for admins, and suggested I do writing.

MYM to FXOpen

So, s1rro changed my title on MYM from DotA Admin to DotA Editor, and from there I kicked off my esports life. At the time, it was just a poorly structured bunch of people writing whatever and whenever they wanted. There wasn’t even a division leader if I remember correctly, so it really was just silly. Then Rinoa (Neha) joined as DotA head, and everything changed. She turned us from a bunch of little taghunting morons into an efficient content producing machine, and it was definitely the turning point in taking things more seriously. Sadly, she got royally fucked over because one of the MYM high ups wanted to give his girlfriend a job, and replaced them. They still hate eachother, hohoho. But what started there kept me going for a long, long time doing writing.

Then MYM died, T_T. I kinda was doing nothing for a little while there. Then MYM came back, and boy oh boy was it different. The new owners were (I think 1 or 2 still are) the German guys that were from Wicked eSports, but there were still lots of old faces. Jonas Gebhardt (his ID was The1Crow) was the editor in chief, and is one of the more influential people in my time in esports. He was part of the ‘old’ MYM as well, so knew me and knew what he was doing, and for the first time I felt like I was with a group of people doing something that I could really make something of. There was basically Jonas, myself, Frank (Mirhi, now IPL head honcho), Eric (was EIC of joinDOTA), Pouyan (Elven_Star and fellow WC3 lover), Albert (Chinese guy who ran CS 1.6 part of MYM). Jonas left after a while and Eric took over as the EIC, and we had the fun fun task of trying to make the #1 English esports website again. I don’t think we got there, but we did a pretty fucking good job and it was definitely the most rewarding and interesting thing I did in esports.

This was also the first time money was involved. It was only a few hundred euros, but it was still an actual reason other than passion to do something. After this, I think money was all I cared about any more. All I wanted was a proper job in the industry – not just some online spare change shit. Sadly, I live in Australia (Adelaide even moreso), and that just wasn’t gonna happen 3 years ago. Perhaps this is why I really dislike people like HD and Husky, who were just in the right place at the right time and their popularity exploded and now they (well, not sure about HD any more) filthy amounts of money just by saying “HEY GUYS IM H TO THE USKY HUSKY AND IM GONNA BE CASTING ANOTHER ONE VERSUS ONE STARCRAFT II WINGS OF LIBERTY MATCH ON TALDARIM ALTAR” and being “le epic xDDD”. Anyway, MYM gave me lots of experience and also left me bitter – some promises by some people were broken, and I lost lots of trust. They dangled some things in front of my nose, but were ultimately unreachable, also the management were completely fucking awful, so I left, and it’s no wonder that they’re 1% of what they once were. Disgraceful, really. Then came the ol’ thing – Kwan was  super excited and kept tabs on people to start a new website, with clear goals set out and everything. It launched. I never got a message after that, and it died in a flash. Woops, reminder to never get too ahead of yourself.

In 2010 I was running some WC3 tournaments on BA with no prizes, just one day I had the spontaneous idea to get the 8 people that were playing all day to have a tournament. It went down well, and I kept doing them. I did about 6 or so, and everyone had fun, and I had fun, and WC3 on BA was kept alive thanks to me. StarCraft II beta came out, and the natural progression came. Thanks to Frank, I got to play a bit of the beta early on on his account, and eventually got a key. I, along with deL, spearheaded the tournaments, and we did a pretty decent job. From there, came FXOpen. Josh (FXOBoSs) and Dan (Unstable) had a horrendously awful first event, and decided that getting people that knew what to do would be beneficial. They asked deL, and then deL suggested me. I got a Skype message one day from Josh – “Hey, do you want to work for us?” and  here I am.

<Okay, you can start reading again>

So FXOpen comes along – and as I said at the start, I told myself, after all of the broken promises and failed attempts at stuff, if this wasn’t it then I was quitting. When I joined, I thought it was really going to be something special. I was kind of right, my initial thoughts were still kind of ‘old-esports’ based, the days when MYM and SK were the big dogs were what was my way of understanding still, and it took me a little to  really understand the streaming revolution properly, even though I saw it coming. I thought that FXOpen had lots of money (which it does), and that would translate in to a huge investment into esports (which it kind of did), and this would in the long term, result in something concrete for me (which it did not).

To be honest, Josh was waaaaaaaaaaay too gung ho about doing stuff. While we started out small and containable, soon there was the want for more tournaments and players to do more things. Myself and deL did a shit ton for all of the tournaments and KOTHs, and announcing a “Date TBA” $20,000 finals which had no actual structure or anything was definitely not the smartest idea. You have no idea how often sYz would harass me on Skype  asking about what was going on (he got 11 wins in a row in one of the EU KOTHs, putting him easily #1 of the ranks), and having to say “I don’t know” over and over felt pretty bad for both of us. I think Josh would agree, but that was the past, so we can’t do anything now. I’m kind of ashamed I didn’t argue against it enough, because I had a tiny feeling in the back of my mind that it wasn’t really going to happen.

Originally the ‘plan’ of sorts was that if things kept getting better, myself and Alan (Raelcun) would move to Malaysia and work full time for FXOpen. Dan moved there mid-late 2011 I think, I can’t remember the exact date, but it was a while in to everything. Our events kept getting better, our team got better (fOu absorption) and seemingly  everything was falling in to place just nicely. But nothing happened. I had too much invested to give up hope, but there was a little niggling in the back of my head that said it wasn’t going to happen. I felt kind of shitty when the team went to GSTL – really one of the most amazing opportunities, and I felt like I should’ve gotten something. Maybe I’m just overly bitter now, although seeing qxc all kill IM was pretty fucking amazing. I still remember about a week before everyone was set to go, someone gave Filthy (Australian player) his itinerary for the trip, only to have him reply “I didn’t say I wanted to go”. Awkwarrrrrrrd. Karl (Optikzero) got there, played 1 game in GSTL and then said he didn’t want to play any more. :/. I dunno, I just felt uncomfortable looking back at all of it. Slowly things started to go downhill a bit – players leaving (qxc, Sheth, glade) etc, I felt kind of frustrated having seen how much FXOpen had given them, Glade in particular. I dunno if that feeling was justified, and I guess I’ll never know. Our events, however, seemed to be getting better and better. deL randomly left one day, saying “Tell me when you shut up” or something, and left the Skype chat. :S. So then I was on my own to run the next few tournaments, I did okay, but was always a little nervous and was too scared to tell stupid players that they were stupid when they did stupid things.

The most recent Invitational, however, was a complete disaster. We changed format to include a bunch of qualifiers, which had me having like 5 hours sleep for 2 days and running tournaments almost the entire other time. I went to sleep one night and it felt like I was having a fucking heart attach ($5 on paypal anyone that gets that joke) or something, and I was actually unable to sleep and felt like I was going to die… so I had to cancel 2 of the qualifiers, oops 😦 Anyway, the only other mistake I made was that I mistimed one of the groups (I put the groups with Americans on separate times than the normal all-KR ones), and I thought it was 30 minutes later than it was, so I woke up when it meant to start, showered/ate etc and then I get to my PC and I see skype msgs from Scarlett and HerO like “Uh whats going on?” – it all worked out in the end, though!

The real problem was just YouTube. YouTube is pretty fucking amazing. Like, really amazing. They just didn’t bother to make good software for YouTubeLive. The CPM and fill rates (read: how much money you make) on YTL are MILES better than Twitch/own3d, like, it’s not even close. But, in order to be able to make money from YouTube… you have to go through a lot. Josh and Dan worked their asses off with seemingly the slowest replying people on the internet to get it working, and when we did, it was mixed. To play an ad on YouTube you have to use Wirecast for YouTube, however using that client with SC2 didn’t work properly, and as a result, we had to pipe the video feed in to XSplit, then in to Wirecast, and stream it like that. It looked bad. It was incredibly smooth and stable, but it looked bad. If YouTube just had a Twitch/Own3d like “Play ad” button, I might not be sitting here making this post. Combine this with lolol Malaysian internet, and you have a completed tournament that only ever got 30% broadcasted to fuck all viewers because we had to go through ridiculous hoops with TL to get the stream linked on the main page (you can’t embed with YouTubeLive). I did all I could, and I guess my best wasn’t goooooood enough.

At first the Koreans seemed distant and I didn’t think I was going to be able to connect to them on a personal level due to the language and culture barrier, but I tried to learn a little Korean and speak with them enough, and now I think it’s pretty comfortable. I’m really glad I did this, and I urge others to as well if you’re really in to SC2. Hangul is ridiculously easy to learn, and simple Korean is pretty cool, just google talktomeinkorean and you can learn it all and then you can tweet at Eve saying cute things all you want. Luckily there was one friend named InnateMasteR, who was pretty much fluent English, due to this, we became friends pretty much instantly. He was a really really good Terran player, and was high masters, and then  put his mind to it and broke in to GM on Korea and did really well. He was always looking for a team, and was 99% about to join StarTale, but then they said no. T_T. Anyway, I told him to apply for FXOpen and I would put in a good word, he did, and Choya agreed and so my best Korean buddy was now on the team, and I was so happy :3 He never broke out, which made me sad, he got to the finals of his Code B group, and was leading 1-0 vs Bomber but then got 2  BO losses and was out. Now he’s retired and in the military, and got engaged to his girlfriend :3 Not sure why I said all this, maybe I just needed to point out that I’ve made LOTS of friends on the journey, this just being one case.

Most recently, FXOpen absorbed Legion (LgN) – I wasn’t really in to this idea. The rationale was that we would get everything we needed: a website (I’m not even gonna talk about the last website because I will get too angry), staff (proper translators/website etc) and a presence in NA again, as well as a community feeling that we never really had. By this time my passion was waning, and thoughts of leaving were coming more and more. To be perfectly honest, I have no fucking clue what they were doing most of the time. Every second day I’d get a random tweet “<random NA guy> has joined fxopen wow congrats!” and I was just dumbfounded as to what was going on. We were the best team in the world (2x GSTL and Leenock, you can’t even argue that) and yet we had to resort to this crap. Then Josh left FXOpen due to other reasons (0.0001% about esports), and that was really the straw that broke the camels back. Everything I was banking on disappeared in a spray of lighter fluid ($5 on paypal anyone that gets that reference) and I decided to call it quits, and here I am today.

I wish I didn’t have to, if  I could’ve just gone to Korea and done media stuff there I’d have been so happy and fucking killed it. Imagine Seltzer with less attractive breasts but 10x the knowledge and an actual interest in players/teams/how the industry was. Granted, I don’t look anywhere near as good as her in a dress, MahE either. Choya even said after they won the first GSTL that if they made the finals again, he’d fly me to Korea. Well, he didn’t. I was 50% expecting it and 50% really thinking that he would, but no, it seems I’m doomed to never go to a proper event and experience the thing I’ve been doing and passionate about for the last 6 years first hand.

That’s about all about FXOpen, I’m sure I missed a boatload, and if you bothered to actually read it and want to ask, go ahead.

My general thoughts about esports

Esports isn’t fair, and it won’t ever be. Some talentless,  gimmicky people will succeed because this is a business, and not a sport. Just remember, you are watching people play a video game. Players and teams are just marketing tools, and I doubt it will get to the point of being the good kind of human billboard. At the moment, teams have to convince sponsors to help them, while I  don’t think Real Madrid [hola, como estas (i doubt you’re still reading though)] and Man Utd have to spend all of their time trying to find sponsors.

People think theres lots of money, when there really isn’t. The money is very top heavy, and the only way esports is ever going to succeed is if there is motherfucking regionalisation. Korea did it, and look what happened to them. You don’t have to always be the best in the entire world, if you can create a domestic product that works, why don’t you? I dunno, maybe I’m just channeling my inner keekerdc.

Real sports have venues, where they charge people admission to enter a door to watch a game. Esports doesn’t have this, and it’s really the biggest thing, in my opinion, that will stop esports from every growing to the same size as other sports. And just remember, you’re watching people playing a video game. Sometimes it’s beautiful, but most of the time, you’re just watching people playing a video game.

So, in my years of doing this, I’ve met thousands of people from pretty much every corner of the planet. Time to look through my Skype and remember people. Get ctrl+f ready for your name :>

First off, the most influential people:

Grubby – without Grubby, I don’t think I would’ve stuck around and really gotten properly in to WarCraft III, and on to everything else. Also the greatest Orc player of all time. OF ALL TIME.

Chris Schetter (keekerdc) – The absolute BEST blog in esports. I wish I had a million dollars to do something in esports, Chris would be #1 person I’d go to.

Josh (FXOBoSs) – I learned a lot about business and life from Josh, including many not so pleasant things. If it all went to plan it’d have been nice, but oh well, it didn’t 😦

Neha (Rinoa) – The time with her as EIC of MYM was the best, and I learned a shitload about how to properly do stuff.

Jonas (The1Crow) – The same, one of the nicest people ever and always, ALWAYS helpful. I can’t say enough nice things about Jonas.

Frank (Mirhi) and Eric (ReiNNN) – The time at the ‘new’ MYM just sitting in IRC talking about games was the best. And we made a pretty fucking good news website.

Probably more, but those were I think the most, as far as ‘work’ wise went. Now the rest :3

The /vg/ guys – I actually love all of you (even you Jambikun) guys for keeping shit real amongst le epic upboats of reddit and nazi retardation of TL. I actually fucking HATE MahE though. I’m not even kidding. I wish he would stop being an annoying cunt on Twitter and just fuck off to pretending he’s an insiderbro and go dress up in his mum’s clothes some more.

FXOpen guys – Unstable, deL and Raelcun – couldnt’ have done anything without you guys, and never a dull moment.

fams – Honestly, you were a little annoying sometimes, but  your heart was always in the right place and if I ever needed something you’d be more than willing to help.

Mali (French guy with 10,000 names) – One of my longest esports friends, met via Shadowleague (lolol Ange scamming some more), and I helped you as best I could, and hopefully still can.

Sarra – She disappeared and I have no idea where she went. 😦 French girl that used to do stuff for Millennium.

Harry (hxd) – You joined Fnatic like a week or two after me, and were always a little annoying fag that wanted to talk about DotA. Now you’re the LoL manager and living the life. Actually nah I hate you. 😦 😦 😦

Janine – Probably the single nicest, honest and caring person I’ve ever met. Hopefully one day I’ll come to Germany and we can get some ice cream :3

Zechs – Your one article about Orly being good at SC2, thus meaning all WoW players weren’t shit at gaming was definitely one of the worst things I had ever read. Other than that, you put in so much time and effort, and though I didn’t agree much, I can’t say you didn’t influence my thinking.

Richard Lewis/Thorin/Malystryx – Pretty much the exact same as above, all put in ridiculous amounts of time and effort in the name of journalism. Thorin is still the most boring CS caster I ever listened to, though.

Roald/Qun – I don’t even know how we met, but always good for some fun times on Twitter. It’s a pity things didn’t work out for you guys either sometimes 😦

Yana/Alisha (Visarka/d0t4bunny) – TBOH

Phil R (i-dunno-how-to-spell-your-surname) – Always-been-a-friend-and-hopefully-I’ve-helped-you-out-as-much-as-you-helped-out-me-after-all-of-these-years.

Tobi – I remember once casting a game on BA with Tobi, I couldn’t get a word in. Nothing has changed 😀

Mick/Dan/Bruno/all the Quake people – Quake is the pinnacle of esports, and anyone that kept it going is a true legend.

Eric B (snatcch) and Terrence (MrBlue) – The only way I keep up with Dota2 any more, and always helpful with anything and everything I need.

Terence (SoloZ) – I wish I could’ve gone to Singapore and helped Flash. T_T

Mathias (losemann) – Still influential from the ‘old’ MYM days, and hopefully one day I’ll come to Thailand and see the incredible looking Neolution stuff first hand

Marcus Ho (Wind) – I remember him getting kicked out of a WCG event in China, I think. Always was doing the best coverage for MYM, ah the good old days.

Jasper – Literal philosopher

Polish Albert/seimys/tomko/Chinese Albert – The core of MYM, and some of nicest people ever.

All of the Koreans – I need a proper translation, not like they would’ve read this anyway, ha.

I’ve missed so many people, oh well.

If there’s one of you that has read through this all, you’ve pretty much been exposed to the last few years of my life. I just had to get everything off of my chest, and vent my frustrations about how I’ve fucked up a load of my life.

Always speak your mind, and don’t be afraid to speak up if you think something is wrong. If I had, maybe I wouldn’t be posting this. Esports isn’t as big as some people are making out. Just remember, you’re watching people playing a video game.

Since I’m a dark and edgy atheist, I end with a quote from Christopher Hitchens:

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.”

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WCS Oceania

So following our British ancestry, Oceania has gotten Tasteless and Artosis, as well as HD and PainUser to come and commentate the World Championship Series finals for Australia and Oceania.

The first thing I thought of was iaguz’s post, which kind of made me giggle.

But anyway – getting some casters to come down will boost viewership and will make more people remember the event, obviously. My problem is that I don’t think it will benefit the entire scene all that much. What good did Tastosis do for Philippines? What about the UK? Are people really going to go and tune in to those tournaments because they watched the one with Tastosis? Unless everyone picks up their game and shows the community theres a reason to watch Australia in the future WITHOUT having to spend money on getting some big names (and PainUser and HD) to artificially bring viewers in, then I don’t think the event will be a true success.

We don’t live in a vacuum, and we have to be honest with ourselves. Yes WCS Aus/Oceania is very likely going to be a good event, but also we have to realise that every fucking weekend there is another good event going on around the world. You can’t just be ‘good’ in a market that is already way over saturated.

After all of the recent talk about how SEA has to prove itself to the world, I do find this quite puzzling. How are we (we being Australia) meant to prove that when things are imported?

PS. I was actually going to go to Sydney for WCS (my uncle lives in Sydney and wanted us to visit) but now my mum and uncle are going to Italy instead 😦 So I’ll be in Sydney later instead.

Also, mandatory song (themed!)

And a bonus

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