Slobodan Milosavljevic ”slobaks”, former Supernova Elite from Serbia, answers questions for YourPokerCash. He talks about the current situation in the online poker world and what it does it take to become an online poker pro. Today he is still playing, grinding the Spin & Go’s and MTTs.
Hello Slobodan, thank you for taking the time for this interview! How did it feel to become the first and only PokerStars Supernova Elite in your country?
Hello, thank you for inviting me! Reaching Supernova Elite I still consider as my biggest success in life, even today. If it’s not the biggest, it is the most important for sure, because it’s not something that brings you just money. When I became Supernova Elite I realized that sky is the limit and I gained extreme working habits. That title, except 7 stars under your name brought me much more than I could imagine. I experienced some really great stuff and I found a huge motivation.
Did you have any backup plans ready when Supernova elite was canceled?
To be honest I didn’t. And in that time I was in kind of shock. I even considered quitting poker. I thought I will be able to continue my grind without those benefits Supernova Elite brings, but it wasn’t going so well and soon enough I was in a huge problem. However, I found another solutions and options, and here I am, still hanging around. 🙂
What is it like to earn a living through poker today?
Huh, that’s probably a dream of all players who like this game, to make living through this job. But that is much harder than they think. All in all, it’s not easy and nice how people think. It’s hard and every day this game becomes even harder. So, to live from this job is not so perspective like maybe it used to be before 4-5-6 years.
How much can a competitive online poker player make?
It depends on a game, format, and limits you are playing, and also depends on how many hours you are spending in front of your PC. For example, if you are playing MTT, you can reach some really big scores, but also you can face a downswing which sometimes can last for a few months or even longer. From the other side, if you are playing cash games, you don’t have an opportunity for a big score, but you will have a constant income every month. So again, it really depends on which games and limits you are playing and how much you are devoted.
What are the challenges faced by online poker players?
I think that most of the people don’t realize this is a job like every other. You have to work a lot and be ready for the grind. The game is really tough these days, and as I already said, every day it becomes harder and harder. So if you want to become or remain a successful poker player you also have to become better and better every day. That means a lot of studying and big-time grind.
How do you prepare before an online poker session?
First of all, I try to lay to bed as earlier as I can, but with this job, it’s not always possible. So, I try to get up by the noon. Then I have a breakfast, coffee with friends and after that, the grind begins. I have several sessions per day, and between them, I try to do at least one training or play basketball with my friends. This is very important for me because spending that much time sitting in front of screens demands physical activity.
How do you remain involved with other people around you who have more conventional jobs or professions?
Honestly, when I talk to my friend, I see who is satisfied and who is not with their jobs. And the terrifying fact is that there are much more of them who are not happy with their jobs and they have a lack of ambition. This is something that in the same time scares me and motivates me to work on myself every day, in order not to become one of them.
In your perspective, where will online poker go in the next 5 years?
To be honest, I really don’t know. I see that the game is becoming more and more popular all around the world, but as I said every day it is harder to play. Very good players are appearing at the tables every day. I don’t know what will happen even in some shorter period.
How much do you enjoy playing?
Years ago when I started playing poker it was only for fun. I couldn’t imagine that poker will one day become my job. Later I found out that a lot of people make living with poker, so I decided to explore a bit. Now, after 8 years there is none of the fun in it. 🙂 Now it is a lifestyle, regular daily job which is at the same time similar to other jobs, and completely different and unique.
How do you stay self-motivated to play?
I find motivation all around me. I try to get up every morning and start my working day with great enthusiasm. I am lucky that people close to me are giving me a big support. Besides that, I try to make my working environment pleasant, because all that small details can make you happy there where you are. Of course, there are days when motivation couldn’t be found that easy, I have a couple of hobbies I really enjoy. I am a fan and collector of Jordan sneakers, old VHS cassettes, cinema wallpapers, vinyl, comic books, pinball etc… With poker, I manage to enjoy all these things much more, and small things make people happy.
So, looks like that playing poker really contributes to your happiness?
Just to make it clear, this job is very stressful. Your every click is one decision. If you make a lot of bad clicks, the day can turn into a real hell. I am really trying hard not to let poker affects my mood, but sometimes that’s impossible. But from the other side, poker brings me some really good things I was talking about in the previous question.
And for the end, what would you advise to newbie players who would like to become professional online poker players?
If you want to play poker for a living, you have to work a lot! You have to constantly improve your knowledge. If you can’t do it by yourself, there are a lot of staking and coaching houses out there for every format, which are looking for beginners, and I think you should use that opportunity. GL!
Ok, Slobodan, thank you very much for your time! YourPokerCash wishes you the best both in your professional and personal life!
Thanks, cheers, and GL! 🙂