We sat down recently with Daniel "notontilt09" Weinman to discuss what he would be doing if he wasn't playing poker, the poker books (if any) that helped him better his games, and of course, poker.
Can you give us a background on how you got started on poker.
I started playing in high school with a group of friends, just some low-limit cash games for a few dollars. Eventually it turned into a bit of an obsession and I read all there was available, trying to get better. In college, I would continually run up thousand-dollar rolls and bust them playing games I had no business being in. Eventually I made the switch to mass multitabling cash games and have been doing that ever since.
You are known to 24 tables levels of $1/$2 through $25/$50 and go for SuperNova Elite each year. For people who are trying to accomplish this, or become the next "nanonoko," what is the key to getting there?
The key to mass tabling, especially in higher stakes games, is not allowing yourself to fall into the habit of auto-piloting. This is when you are not truly thinking about each decision in depth but rather are just making suboptimal plays all over the place. Truthfully, you could probably auto-pilot at 24 tables of full ring up to $1/$2 without much of a problem. However, at $2/$4 and above the regulars are good enough to pick on anyone who is simply sitting there clicking buttons, as supposed to making informed decision.
Since you can't focus on every single player, do you use a HUD and how essential is that, if so?
I do use a HUD, but I don't rely on it as much as other mass tablers do. The main use of my HUD is for locating the weaker players in the games. Many players get so dependent on using stats for every decision that their decisions are often suboptimal. Poker is such a dynamic game and a statistic is really only one useful tool in making any decision during a hand.
Besides grinding out cash games, will you play any MTTs or live events to broaden your horizons?
Like most cash players, I have somewhat of a hatred for MTTs. However, because I'll be a Supernove Elite on PokerStars, I will get free entry to a couple of live events next year. I also plan on playing many WSOP events, as the fields are always very soft compared to any other tournament series. This year I did not play many MTTs online or live, but had decent success during the summer cashing in one of three WSOP events and final tabling the Venetian Deepstack Main Event.
I take it PCA is on the list then, and you are looking forward to it. Are you looking forward more to the playing or the partying?
PCA is 100% on the list. I'm really looking forward to meeting a ton of the guys I play with every single day. I'd definitely say I'm looking forward to the partying a lot more than the actual event. It'll be the first time I've gone to PCA, and everyone who's been before has told me it's a blast.
Is there anything you can take from your time as a student at Georgia Tech that you can relate to poker?
I think one of the few things that relate between my college experience and poker is the work ethic required to be at the top. In school, I usually took the easy way out and as a result didn't really have too many great prospects once I graduated. I took a similar approach to my poker game for a long time before realizing the benefits of putting in the extra work. Simply playing a ton of poker (and I've played a ton of poker) isn't going to make you a better player unless you are putting in some work away from the tables.
When you are taking a break from grinding online, what do you enjoy doing?
If I'm not playing poker, (which I'm doing entirely too often) I'm usually out on the tennis court or on the golf course. I also enjoy snowboarding and am moving to Lake Tahoe for ski season, so I'll be on the slopes when not at the tables.
What are the best poker books or sites you would recommend for up and comers?
Don't read poker books if you already have a solid understanding of the game. If you don't know what beats what, then, sure, open up a poker book. The TwoPlusTwo forum is a goldmine of information for new players looking to improve their games. The only poker book I have truly not regretted reading was Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo, as it focused on parts of the game that are often overlooked but are essential such as tilt control, bankroll management, etc.
What food or drinks give you the stamina to get to Supernova Elite?
I'll be the first to admit this is one area I really struggle with. I don't eat well, and it definitely affects my performance. If I decide to go for Supernova Elite in future years I'm definitely looking to improve on my diet and overall health a ton. I've heard that eliminating sodas and drinking green tea instead is very beneficial to stay awake and grind out long sessions. For laughs, this has been everything I've eaten so far this week - Lean Cuisine, Lean Cuisine, Lean Cuisine, bowl of cereal, Lean Cuisine, Willy's, Lean Cuisine. I'm 5'11 and weight 140 pounds, maybe I should get fat cuisines instead.
What's the best prop bet you've been a part of this past year?
Best prop bet I have done this year was one I wasn't even involved in. While living in Las Vegas during the summer for the WSOP, I received a call from one of my roommates that he was involved in a last-longer bet in a strip club. The first person to leave would lose $5k. Unfortunately, he had run out of money to pay for the "entertainment," so I had to drag myself out of bed and drive to the club. I was there for probably five or six hours at noon on a Tuesday, I believe. There was one girl in the entire place. They would take turns getting dances and I'd play Chinese Poker against the other one. My roommate ended up losing the bet, and I think I lost somewhere around $5k gambling with them.
What top three sites do you surf when playing?
TwoPlusTwo — admittedly I'm on there way too much, but it's the only outlet I have to other people around the world doing what I'm doing. YouTube — I need my music while grinding, usually something chill while grinding out long sessions, and then switch it over to techno when I'm tilting and need to get pumped up: PTR — I have to talk trash about regs that own me or suck out on me.
If you weren't playing poker what would you be doing?
I'd likely be teaching or coaching tennis. I've been interested in teaching for a long time, unfortunately poker pays just a bit better. I also played tennis at a high level for about 10 years and have always enjoyed coaching other players.
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