Janis 'none888' Karklins: 'Best way to learn poker constantly is to never be satisfied with your results'

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Charles Hawk
High Stakes Reporter
Joined: Mar 2 2012

Interview with Janis 'none888' Karklins

Janis 'none888' Karklins
28 years old 
From Latvia
15-60$ hyper husngs on Pokerstars

Charles Hawk: How did you become a poker pro? What did you do before discovering poker? How long did it take to build significant bankroll and be able to pay your bills from poker? 

Janis 'none888' Karklins: It all began in highschool, playing poker with friends for just a couple of cents. Thats how I got familiar with poker. I didnt really know that you can make money from poker. I really liked this game, later started watching videos on Youtube, I remember watching High Stakes Poker, and Poker After Dark, only then I realised there are people who constantly are making money from poker. So I tried to learn the game, downloaded bunch of poker books, read them all, It was enough to get better tham my friends, I thought I have figured out this game so I tried online poker and than harsh realisation came in, I realised I dont know anything. I played micro stake cash games, tournaments, sit and goes, I was losing money everywhere, I kept looking how to get better, then I found online poker forums and only then I started to understand how things work in poker and that I have to learn so much. So very slowly I studied the game, but it wasnt my priority, it was something like hobby. It continued for 2 years, I was at uni studing information technology, but I didnt enjoy what I was doing, so I decided to quit uni and seriously started studying poker. I gave myself 9 months, if I fail at poker then I just go back to uni. It took me 4 months till I started winning, I was playing 7$ regular and turbo husngs at that time.

Janis 'none888' Karklins: Another 2 months to move up to 15s/30s and then I had my first month when I made more than 1000$ and that was it for me, no going back. One thing I regret is turning professional too soon, I was at 15s hypers, 30s turbos when I started to pay my bills, I could easely make 1k$ a month which is very good money in Latvia, that limited very hard my ability to move up in stakes, after unsuccessful shot at next stake, I had to spend months grinding so I could afford take another shot.

Charles Hawk:  What, at the very beginning, was the hardest thing to learn to be able to climb the limits?

Janis 'none888' Karklins: Hardest thing to learn was mindset. I guess we all have been there, tilting, playing bad, spewing when things dont go our way. 

Charles Hawk:  How has the game changed from the days you remember? 

Janis 'none888' Karklins: Game has changed very much, first of all action has droped a lot, back in a day people had no problems  four tabling 100s, now its just a couple of games per hour, that was the main reason why I left 100s. And of course level of play, back then people didn't know much about gto and how solved game would look like. If you werent minraising 90% and had a limping range people automatically assumed you are weak, cbetting 90% was standard.

Charles Hawk:  Do you think it's possible to get better by just grinding a lot, when you already know the ABC's / backgrounds? 

Janis 'none888' Karklins: I dont think you can get better by just grinding a lot, if you are doing something wrong, like folding too much to cbets, or calling too wide turn barrels, there is no way you will improve those spots by just playing, you have to take closer look at your game to improve, ofc ginding a lot helps, you can get bigger samples and more accurate idea how peoples ranges looks at certain spots. Best way to learn poker constantly imo is to never be satisfied with your results. There is always room to improve.

Charles Hawk: Did you have any strict schedule?
Janis 'none888' Karklins: Only rule I have is that I have to spend at least 4h a day playing or studying. That don't count only for weekdays, I basically never play on weekends.

Charles Hawk:  Tell me more about balancing poker with leisure activities. What do you like to do when not grinding?

Janis 'none888' Karklins: I like going to gym, always have liked it. Between sessions I play computer games, helps me get my mind of poker, also I guess keeps me from burning out. After the day is over I'm just spending time with my girlfriend. Just relaxing on weekends, once in a while going out, you know just a normal life, nothing extraordinary.

Charles Hawk:  How do you see your poker future?

Janis 'none888' Karklins: With all the changes lately im not sure what to expect, seems like poker is becoming worse and worse for professionals. At least I'm living in Latvia where average monthly wage is something like 600 euros, so it will be a while when working normal job will be better than playing poker.

Charles Hawk: Why are you not transitioning to Spins? 

Janis 'none888' Karklins: I tried spins last summer, I played 30s/60s, with ok results I think. I dont know why, but I enjoy husngs much more than spins, also variance is better at husngs, I can make ok money at hypers, so decided not to move to spins for a while, but that can happen in future.

Charles Hawk: What new have you learned over the last year theoretically ? Any specific advices for new upcommers which you wouldn't have a year ago?

Janis 'none888' Karklins: Hard to say, a lot of things, I guess just becoming better player in general. 

Hmm, same advice, I would say, - never be satisfied with your results, There is always something you can improve.

Charles Hawk:  Do you notice overall improvement in your mental approach, motivation or multitabling comparing with a year or few ago? Could you describe/tell about it?

Janis 'none888' Karklins: Yes, year ago I didnt play much, it was very hard to find motivation to play. I was playing 60s/100s and then I have to mix in 30s and after some time action is so bad that I have to mix in even 15s. It was hard to motivate myself to grind. Took me some time to accept that it is what it is and by not playing and studying things wont get better.

Charles Hawk:  Do you like to travel? Tell me about your most memorable moments from places you’ve visited. 

Janis 'none888' Karklins: Yes, but I dont do it that much. Most memorable trip was with my friends couple years ago, we went on road trip from Latvia to Croatia, visiting 8 other countries inbetween, seeing a lot of different places in such a short period of time was very interesting, starting from cold, snowy mountains till hot, sunny beaches in Croatia. I'm thinking about going on similar roadtrip with my girlfriend this summer.

I am always looking for new interview opportunities with HUSNG and Spin Reg's who play $30s and higher. Please PM me here or on 2p2 (Charles Hawk).