A new big interview is already here! Talked to one of the oldest Spin&Go players, LesShiy.
— Hello, Artem! How do you usually introduce yourself to new people?
— Probably one of the oldest Spin&Go players. I've been playing them for 4.5 years, and from the very beginning I've been doing it professionally, while training in poker schools. I describe my Spin&Go journey in my blog on gipsyteam (it's in Russian): you can trace the entire career cycle through these posts.
— What did you have before Spin&Go?
— Before that, for 7 years, I was trying to move from the category of amateurs to the category of earning players. And I couldn't manage it.
— And what was the pivot point?
— The fact that I started working with coaches. First, I found a couple of good people who taught me how to play cash, explained how to work with psychology (there were a lot of problems with this). And then I started studying at my first Spin&Go school, and that was the turning point.
— Which one?
— “Young lions”, they’re closed now.
— Can you point out anyone else who has influenced your poker career?
— Yes, this man has already left the Spin&Go world, Vlad tantiarella. He had an anti-school where I used to be a coach. Thanks to him, I figured out the poker logic, and began to deeply understand all the things I do. The school was small and very homey, literally 20-30 people. But they did good things, even then they were implementing what is now very popular with Pokerhero: solvers, error classification, the whole learning process was built on this. Plus individual sessions.
— What software do you use?
— I use GTA base all the time.
— What are you planning to do next? Are you staying in Spin&Go or are you thinking about something else?
— I really love Spin&Go. I've thought many times about where and why I could go, but I really like all this action. Plus, the daily mode, which can be combined with Spin&Go, really suits me. I have ambitions to play 500-s, but I have had these ambitions for a long time, and I still don't play them :) Therefore, I do not make much bets on this, but I will move forward.
— Have you ever thought of going to foreign projects? How's your English?
— Pretty bad. I get simple things, but I don't understand poker terminology. And when you learn poker, it is very important to deeply comprehend the concepts, dig into them, not just touch the surface.
— Let's talk a little bit about your work on the Board of players. You have been a member of the board for a long time. What was it like for you? Was this experience useful for you?
— I’ll put it another way: when I shared with my girlfriend that I was invited to the board of players, she said: "This is exactly the place where you should be”. She knows my so-called “nerdiness” very well. For example, how can I write two A4 pages in discord answering the question “Why can't 500-s be excluded from the pool”.
— Seems like you are professionally suitable just for these purposes.
— Yes, I have just such a mindset, impelling me to a scrupulous analysis of complex situations, yet I know how to be unbiased.
— Which cases do you most remember?
— Of course, most of the cases are quite ordinary. I remember rather how much cases similar in their substance can be different depending on what kind of people participate in them.
For example, someone has not sent a payment to the pool. Every situation is unique. Of course, there are no valid reasons why you may not send money to the pool — but someone's reasons are a little more strong. Therefore, such cases are always very complicated. Someone needs to be banned from playing in the pool right away, and for someone you can find a compromise.
— Did you have any moral problems with that? After all, by your decision, you could influence what would happen to a person, whether he would be able to, let’s say, buy food or not.
— To be honest, yes, I did. It often put pressure on me, I'm quite an empathetic person. I understand that if a person does not have money for payments — he will be kicked out of the pool, he will be in debt, his poker career will be very affected due to the fact that he is in some sort of arbitrage. Of course, it put pressure on me. But what helps me is the ability to emotionally detach and talk purely in the language of logic. Although I take into account the ethical side of the issue as well.
— This is also very difficult for the HS administration. It's hard to make decisions on each case, to be the last resort, especially alone, without any consulting. That's why the board of players appeared. Firstly, to see the sides that may not be visible to one person, because his gaze is narrowly focused. And secondly, to come to a balanced decision, taking into account all opinions, not being arbiter of destinies.
— I get it very well. At the same time, even if in fact the solution is as adequate as possible for the vast majority of players in the pool, all these people with broken poker “destinies” will be angry at you personally.
— First of all, we are talking about the moral complexity of such decisions. Not everyone has enough wisdom and ability to analyze, see the situation from the outside and, perhaps, change their mind. It happens that initially there is a certain categorical judgment, and you are so attached to it that you can’t disengage.
— I think there should be both people who make decisions from an ethical point of view and people who make decisions from the point of view of strict logic. And between these two types, you need to find a middle ground.
— Yes, the conflict of opinions allows you to find the optimal solution.
— The truth cannot be born without discussion. It works like this even in politics: in countries where there is no opposition, all is very bad with decision-making, even if the rulers are adequate.
— Can you tell a little more about yourself, not from a professional point of view, but from a personal one. What are you like, what do you live by?
— It may sound too majestic, but right now I am primarily a father. Six months ago we had a baby, and it requires a lot of effort and attention. Despite the fact that my girlfriend is trying to unburden me as much as possible, the focus is still exactly there.
Besides, I'm in constant search of myself. A year ago I would have described myself in a different way, two years ago — also differently. I want to find such a side of growth so that I can move forward in my work and have time for hobbies. Because I immerse myself too much in work, I can grind 200 hours a month, and then be extremely tired for the next few months. Now I'm trying to find a balance.
It doesn't say much about me, but it's something that really interests me right now.
— Do you spend your whole life trying to find yourself?
— In a way, yes. Sometimes there can be involvement in some social group, but now there is no such thing. For example, I'm trying to keep a youtube channel. If I realize that things are not very good — I immediately change direction. By the way, youtube is a great tool to find yourself :)
— Do you blog, stream, or what exactly do you do?
— I started with streaming a children's game called Brawl Stars. Then I started making videos, then switched from videos to studying marketing. For example, how to promote tiktok in order to transfer traffic to youtube.
— And how long does a video last on average?
— Since I 'm filming for a young audience, up to 14-16 years old — the average length is 3-4 minutes.
— How many subscribers do you have?
— I reached 1800 and realized that I was going too slowly, so I changed direction. On the one hand, I came to youtube to develop skills and competencies, and on the other, I would like a certain future. Looking at children's gaming content, I understand: if you want to earn good money, you need to have at least half a million subscribers, better more. My original goal was exactly such an account.
It happens that you get lucky, and you end up on a hype wave in a project, and thus you gain an audience. For example, there is a game called Genshin Impact: those who started playing it before it became popular now have an average of 3 million subscribers. Market laws also work: you can make as good content as you want (I have very positive feedback from the audience), but due to the fact that there are a lot of similar bloggers, you just can't be found in this crowd.
Recently I was told an interesting concept on startups: you spend 5% of your budget on its growth. And if it doesn't progress, you just switch to a new one. I think this is quite suitable for youtube. You spend 3-4 months promoting the channel, and if nothing works out, you go to another channel. Or you choose another theme. I should always keep in mind: every hour I spend on the channel, I take away from poker. And, accordingly, this is a large amount of money that I could save and invest somewhere.
— Why don't you spend extra hours training poker? You said that positive changes occurred when you started working with coaches. Maybe you would have surpassed your current stakes. And when you spend time on the channel, you stay on the same ones.
— There is a very thin line here. For many years I have devoted time only to poker and realized that if only one area prevails in life, the remaining ones simply stop progressing.
— That is, there are three main areas now: poker, youtube channel and fatherhood.
— Yes. I'm trying to add something, but I don't have enough time.
— Does your girlfriend have a job or is she just taking care of the baby?
— She can't live without work :) Therefore, she tries to work, simply because she wants to. But she does everything so that my lifestyle remains the same as much as possible.
— How social is your lifestyle? Friends, parties, theater, traveling?
— Very much asocial. Not because I am like that myself, it just kind of worked out that way. I have always been an introvert, and, by the way, I started streaming exactly for the purpose of developing those qualities that I lack. When you devote 200 hours a month to poker, it's hard to find friends :) Especially when you move to another city: my girlfriend was transferred from St. Petersburg to Kirov for work, I followed her.
— In what proportions do these three categories occupy your time?
— Poker now takes an average of 80 hours a month (this is very little, I would like to increase it by one and a half times), 60-70 hours on youtube, which is rather sad to realize. As for fatherhood, it cannot be singled out separately, because there is also time I spend with my girlfriend: watching a movie, going for a walk, and so on. Spending time together can be called "family time". And it can't be measured in hours. Just the rest of the time when we're near each other.
— You also have an interesting tradition of writing the month's results. When did you start doing this?
— I have never missed a single month since November 22, 2017.
— Consistency is awesome.
— My creed is getting things done. Regularity was my goal.
— Regularity is one of the keys to success. Especially in the info space: once you disappear for a while — you are already falling out of people's sight, others have taken your place. And if you do something regularly, it is memorable.
— Initially, when I was studying at my first school, they gave 10% discounts on training for writing a blog. Anyway, it was interesting to me, I like writing long texts — but this factor certainly influenced my decision. And then I took out a lot of other benefits from it.
For example, the community provided me with great support during the period of strong strikes: I wrote about the results, spoke about my feelings — and was greatly relieved. Firstly, by writing out negative emotions, and secondly, by receiving feedback. And in good periods, on the contrary, I blogged, because it could help those who are now going through a bad one.
Now I'm falling out of the community a little bit, and in my experience, at such moments my results tend to get worse. Regular blog reports allow me not to get completely lost, to be closer to the community, not to miss interesting offers, such as, for example, recent participation in HU tournaments in the PCL project. I always keep my doors open for something new in the poker world :)