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Charles Hawk's picture
Part 2 interview with Alexandru "stalagmita" C.


Charles Hawk: What are the most valuable lessons which you learned in Spins not from theory but from practice?

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: As a professional Spin grinder, I believe you should stop caring and hoping and hitting the big jackpots. All it does is just make you anxious when you're not hitting any for 10k games or more. Instead focus on making the correct decisions everytime, even in x2.

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: Also any chip advantage counts. The fact that you can lose a flip and still have chips in play gives you tremendous edge, so chip up in that first level yo!


Charles Hawk: Tell me how are you balancing life with poker? What do you do in spare time?

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: I'm getting better at this balance. I've reached a certain point where I don't need to be at the tables 24/7 to make a living, thus I spend more and more time improving my wellbeing.

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: I like going on roadtrips throughout Romania (highly recommend any mountain enthusiast to visit our mountains). I spend quality time with the female, my family and friends. I read tons of random stuff that i'll probably never apply in real life but makes me feel good. Go on movie marathons and enjoy the hell out of it, and then I go play the occasional live mtt for fun.

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: Also, regarding career alternatives, I'm planning on getting back to college and get my degree in marketing.

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: And lastly, nothing beats a good sleep.


Charles Hawk: What was your first opinion about population tendencies when you started playing Spins and how it changed over time?

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: When I first started spins it really seemed everybody is overly aggressive, even most of the regs. This really changed over time... Nowadays most regs are quite fit-or-fold postflop and can easily let go of medium-strength hands if the texture gets trickier on the turn/river. Also the average vpips changed drastically. We were all playing "by-feel" for a while, but now most of the regs are using rather complex near-optimal frequencies in most spots, especially preflop.


Charles Hawk: Describe the biggest leaks of Spin population tendencies?

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: Biggest leak by far is overestimating their Ax hands preflop. Also, basically everybody overfolds flops. There's still a lot of people that just play on autopilot and don't adjust fast enough, even tho they should; I used to play like that too when SNE rakeback was bigger and most of my hourly wage came from it.


Charles Hawk: What are your main leaks in SPINS which you are willing to improve in 2016?

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: Main leak of mine I think is getting too sticky in certain spots with my 2ndpairs; I'm also probably overly attached to my herocalling ranges. I'm just too curious and want to see villain's holding more often than I should :)


Charles Hawk: What is the biggest differences playing 3 handed vs 2 handed? What are the differences between a heads up game in Spins and a husng match?

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: Main difference between 3handed and 2handed would be the need to jam wider ranges when in sb and btn folds. Given us being out-of-position postflop, we are comfortable with playing a higher-variance style preflop and just sticking in a bunch of mediocre hands pre, hands which in hu we could comfortably limp/open.

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: Another would be our relative tightness from the button. Obviously, we can't really play the same VPIP while on the button in spins like in hu. Folding our low kings and then suited 3-4gappers nonbroadways is standard in spins btn, whereas hu they're a charming holding.

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: Spins hu and husng games are quite similar tbh. Main advantage in spinhu is that sometimes you reach hu deeper, thus your winrate increases drastically when playing worse opponents. Also I find that reaching hu in spins with a 2-to-1 advantage while blinds are still 10/20 gives us tremendous edge, because even if we lose an allin we're still left with a full huhypersng stack to maneuver. I've been playing 90%+ husng throughout my career so that helps me a lot.


Charles Hawk: Tell me what are your hobbies and off-table activities?

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: Traveling, roadtrips and nature; collecting good music albums; collecting good movies; a bit of pool and xbox games; reading a good book from time to time; noob cycling; the art of trolling; ah, also petting my dog.


Charles Hawk: What is your philosophy on how to live a happy and meaningful life?

Alexandru "stalagmita" C.: It's quite simple: chill the fuck out, then care for yourself and others !

And this pic

Wubblepig's picture
That pic...

...is a real gem (bow) - seems like some players think like the dog when they play spins (^^). 

Cool interview; very articulate especially given English is not your first language, wp sir wp.

stalagmita's picture
thanks, dude. glgl !

thanks, dude. glgl !

wtf hu ?