Grinding away life tilt

The last time I wrote a blog, it was all about my travel problems in 2012. Sad to say, it was a bad start to 2013 for me. My travel woes continued as I was unable to make it to the PCA. It was the same situation as EPT Prague - I was refused a visa. I don't know what happening or why nobody wants to give me a visa.

So instead I've been playing online. A lot. In January alone I played more tournaments online than I did all of last year. Playing online was my answer to a never-ending stream of life tilt.

Mentally, I was in very bad shape after having my visa applications denied several times in a row. When you're planning to play some live poker tournaments and get your visa denied just before you're going to leave, it's really tilting. You don't know what to do. And your poker game gets affected. Or at least mine did.

Grinding online helped me re-center my mental focus and plug some leaks in my game. They weren't even really poker leaks. They were more like life leaks that bled into poker.

I was very glad to grind online again because I had started losing some skills and confidence. Regular play helped me to get those skills and confidence back. Generally I grind four or 5 days a week, 15-20 tables at a time. To be honest, I think I'm more of an online grinder than an offline grinder. And now my visa problems are allowing my online game to get back to a level that satisfies me.

I'm finally free. I made it to Berlin this week and hope to go to Monte Carlo. That's how I see myself evolving: getting back to playing more online, and mixing in the really huge live stops. Berlin is my favorite city.


Me in Berlin this week

The visa situation got so bad I'm thinking about moving out of Moscow. Moscow isn't working for me right now. Time to change it up. I'm not sure where I'd go though. Probably some place in Europe, but I'm not sure which country exactly.

For me, visa problems were a very bad theme for last year, starting with the WSOP. I hope things will be fine for this year's WSOP. I really love the WSOP. I hope I can fix all my travel problems and win another one or two bracelets.

Maxim Lykov is a member of Team PokerStars Pro

Max Lykov
@PokerStars in PokerStars news