Reminder: Do NOT buy from 3rd Party Marketplace Seller on Ebay/Amazon/Newegg (unless you want to pay more). Assume all the 3rd party sellers are scalping. If it's not being sold by the actual retailer (e.g. Amazon selling on Amazon.com or Newegg selling on Newegg.com) then you should treat the product as sold out and wait.
Below is the compilation of all the reviews that have been posted so far. I will be updating this continuously throughout the day with the conclusion of each publications and any new review links. This will be sorted alphabetically.
NVIDIA says that the RTX 3080 is the gaming card and the RTX 3090 is the hybrid creative card – but we respectfully disagree. The RTX 3090 is the flagship gaming card that can also run intensive creative apps very well, especially by virtue of its huge 24GB framebuffer. But it is still not an RTX TITAN nor a Quadro. These cards cost a lot more and are optimized specifically for workstations and also for professional and creative apps. However, for RTX 2080 Ti gamers who paid $1199 and who have disposable cash for their hobby – although it has been eclipsed by the RTX 3080 – the RTX 3090 Founders Edition which costs $1500 is the card to maximize their upgrade. And for high-end gamers who also use creative apps, this card may become a very good value. Hobbies are very expensive to maintain, and the expense of PC gaming pales in comparison to what golfers, skiers, audiophiles, and many other hobbyists pay for their entertainment. But for high-end gamers on a budget, the $699 RTX 3080 will provide the most value of the two cards. We cannot call the $1500 RTX 3090 a “good value” generally for gamers as it is a halo card and it absolutely does not provide anywhere close to double the performance of a $700 RTX 3080. However, for some professionals, two RTX 3090s may give them exactly what they need as it is the only Ampere gaming card to support NVLink providing up to 112.5 GB/s of total bandwidth between two GPUs which when SLI’d together will allow them to access a massive 48GB of vRAM. SLI is no longer supported by NVIDIA for gaming, and emphasis will be placed on mGPU only as implemented by game developers.
So there we have it. The RTX 3090 delivers - at best - 15 to 16 per cent more gaming performance than the RTX 3080. In terms of price vs performance, there is only one winner here. And suffice to say, we would expect to see factory overclocked RTX 3080 cards bite into the already fairly slender advantage delivered by Nvidia's new GPU king. Certainly in gaming terms then, the smart money would be spend on an RTX 3080, and if you're on a 1440p high refresh rate monitor and you're looking to maximise price vs performance, I'd urge you to look at the RTX 2080 Ti numbers in this review: if Nvidia's claims pan out, you'll be getting that and potentially more from the cheaper still RTX 3070. All of which raises the question - why make an RTX 3090 at all? The answers are numerous. First of all, PC gaming has never adhered to offering performance increases in line with the actual amount of money spent. Whether it's Titans, Intel Extreme processors, high-end motherboards or performance RAM, if you want the best, you'll end up paying a huge amount of money to attain it. This is only a problem where there are no alternatives and in the case of the RTX 3090, there is one - the RTX 3080 at almost half of the price. But more compelling is the fact that Nvidia is now blurring the lines between the gaming GeForce line and the prosumer-orientated Quadro offerings. High-end Quadro cards are similar to RTX 3090 and Titan RTX in several respects - usually in that they deliver the fully unlocked Nvidia silicon paired with huge amounts of VRAM. Where they differ is in support and drivers, something that creatives, streamers or video editors may not wish to pay even more of a premium for. In short, RTX 3090 looks massively expensive as a gamer card, but compared to the professional Quadro line, there are clear savings. In the meantime, RTX 3090 delivers the Titan experience for the new generation of graphics hardware. Its appeal is niche, the halo product factor is huge and the performance boost - while not exactly huge - is likely enough to convince the cash rich to invest and for the creator audience to seriously consider it. For my use cases, the extra money is obviously worth it. I also think that the way Nvidia packages and markets the product is appealing: the RTX 3090 looks and feels special, its gigantic form factor and swish aesthetic will score points with those that take pride in their PC looking good and its thermal and especially acoustic performance are excellent. It's really, really quiet. All told then, RTX 3090 is the traditional hard sell for the mainstream gamer but the high-end crowd will likely lap it up. But it leaves me with a simple question: where next for the Titan and Ti brands? You don't retire powerhouse product tiers for no good reason and I can only wonder: is something even more powerful cooking?
When we had our first experience with the GeForce RTX 3080, we were nothing short of impressed. Testing the GeForce RTX 3090 is yet another step up. But we're not sure if the 3090 is the better option though, as you'll need very stringent requirements in order for it to see a good performance benefit. Granted, and I have written this many times in the past with the Titans and the like, a graphics card like this is bound to run into bottlenecks much faster than your normal graphics cards. Three factors come into play here, CPU bottlenecks, low-resolution bottlenecks, and the actual game (API). The GeForce RTX 3090 is the kind of product that needs to be free from all three aforementioned factors. Thus, you need to have a spicy processor that can keep up with the card, you need lovely GPU bound games preferably with DX12 ASYNC compute and, of course, if you are not gaming at the very least in Ultra HD, then why even bother, right? The flipside of the coin is that when you have these three musketeers applied and in effect, well, then there is no card faster than the 3090, trust me; it's a freakfest of performance, but granted, also bitter-sweet when weighing all factors in. NVIDIA's Ampere product line up has been impressive all the way, there's nothing other to conclude than that. Is it all perfect? Well, performance-wise in the year 2020 we cannot complain. Of course, there is an energy consumption factor to weigh in as a negative factor and, yes, there's pricing to consider. Both are far too high for the product to make any real sense. For gaming, we do not feel the 3090 makes a substantial enough difference over the RTX 3080 with 10 to 15% differentials, and that's mainly due to system bottlenecks really. You need to game at Ultra HD and beyond for this card to make a bit of sense. We also recognize that the two factors do not need to make sense for quite a bunch of you as the product sits in a very extreme niche. But I stated enough about that. I like this chunk of hardware sitting inside a PC though as, no matter how you look at it, it is a majestic product. Please make sure you have plenty of ventilation though as the RTX 3090 will dump lots of heat. It is big but still looks terrific. And the performance, oh man... that performance, it is all good all the way as long as you uphold my three musketeers remark. Where I could nag a little about the 10 GB VRAM on the GeForce RTX 3080, we cannot complain even the slightest bit about the whopping big mac feature of the 3090, 24 GB of the fastest GDDR6X your money can get you, take that Flight Sim 2020! This is an Ultra HD card, in that domain, it shines whether that is using shading (regular rendered games) or when using hybrid ray-tracing + DLSS. It's a purebred but unfortunately very power-hungry product that will reach only a select group of people. But it is formidable if you deliver it to the right circumstances. Would we recommend this product? Ehm no, you are better off with GeForce RTX 3070 or 3080 as, money-wise, this doesn't make much sense. But it is genuinely a startling product worthy of a top pick award, an award we hand out so rarely for a reference or Founder product but we also have to acknowledge that NVIDIA really is stepping up on their 'reference' designs and is now setting a new and better standard.
This commentary puts the RTX 3090 into a difficult spot. It's 10 percent faster for gaming yet costs over twice as much as the RTX 3080. Value for money is poor when examined from a gaming point of view. Part of that huge cost rests with the 24GB of GDDR6X memory that has limited real-world benefit in games. Rather, it's more useful in professional rendering as the larger pool can speed-up time to completion massively. And here's the rub. Given its characteristics, this card ought to be called the RTX Titan or GeForce RTX Studio and positioned more diligently for the creatoprofessional community where computational power and large VRAM go hand in hand. The real RTX 3090, meanwhile, gaming focussed first and foremost, ought to arrive with 12GB of memory and a $999 price point, thereby offering a compelling upgrade without resorting to Titan-esque pricing. Yet all that said, the insatiable appetite and apparent deep pockets of enthusiasts will mean Nvidia sells out of these $1,500 boards today: demand far outstrips supply. And does it matter what it's called, how much memory it has, or even what price it is? Not in the big scheme of things because there is a market for it. Being part of the GeForce RTX firmament has opened up the way for add-in card partners to produce their own boards. The Gigabyte Gaming OC does most things right. It's built well and looks good, and duly tops all the important gaming charts at 4K. We'd encourage a lower noise profile through a relaxation of temps, but if you have the means by which to buy graphics performance hegemony, the Gaming OC isn't a bad shout... if you can find it in stock.
Summarizing the GeForce RTX 3090's performance is simple -- it's the single fastest GPU on the market currently, bar none. There's nuance to consider here, though. Versus the GeForce RTX 3080, disregarding CPU limited situations or corner cases, the more powerful RTX 3090's advantages over the 3080 only range from about 4% to 20%. Versus the Titan RTX, the GeForce RTX 3090's advantages increase to approximately 6% to 40%. Consider complex creator workloads which can leverage the GeForce RTX 3090's additional resources and memory, however, and it is simply in another class altogether and can be many times faster than either the RTX 3080 or Titan RTX. Obviously, the $1,499 GeForce RTX 3090 Founder's Edition isn't an overall value play for the vast majority of users. If you're a gamer shopping for a new high-end GPU, the GeForce RTX 3080 at less than 1/2 the price is the much better buy. Compared to the $2,500 Titan RTX or $1,300 - $1,500-ish GeForce RTX 2080 Ti though, the GeForce RTX 3090 is the significantly better choice. Your perspective on the GeForce RTX 3090's value proposition is ultimately going to depend on your particular use case. Unless they've got unlimited budgets and want the best-of-the-best, regardless of cost, hardcore gamers may scoff at the RTX 3090. Anyone utilizing the horsepower of the previous generation Titan RTX though, may be chomping at the bit. The GeForce RTX 3090's ultimate appeal is going to depend on the use-case, but whether or not you'll actually be able to get one is another story. The GeForce RTX 3090 is going to be available in limited quantities today -- NVIDIA said as much in yesterday's performance tease. NVIDIA pledges to make more available direct and through partners ASAP, however. We'll see how things shake out in the weeks ahead, and all bets are off when AMD's makes its RDNA2 announcements next month. NVIDIA's got a lot of wiggle room with Ampere and will likely react swiftly to anything AMD has in store. And let's not forget we still have the GeForce RTX 3070 inbound, which is going to have extremely broad appeal if NVIDIA's performance claims hold up.
In Summary: this card is a real giant, especially at higher resolutions, because even if the lead over the GeForce RTX 3080 isn’t always as high as dreamed, it’s always enough to reach the top position in playability. Right stop of many quality controllers included. Especially when the games of the GeForce RTX 3090 and the new architecture are on the line, the mail really goes off, which one must admit without envy, whereby the actual gain is not visible in pure FPS numbers. If you have looked at the page with the variances, you will quickly understand that the image is much better because it is softer. The FPS or percentiles are still much too coarse intervals to be able to reproduce this very subjective impression well. A blind test with 3 perons has completely confirmed my impression, because there is nothing better than a lot of memory, at most even more memory. Seen in this light, the RTX 3080 with 10 GB is more like Cinderella, who later has to make herself look more like Cinderella with 10 GB if she wants to get on the prince’s roller. But the customer always has something to complain about anyway (which is good by the way and keeps the suppliers on their toes) and NVIDIA keeps all options open in return to be able to top a possible Navi2x card with 16 GB memory expansion with 20 GB later. And does anyone still remember the mysterious SKU20 between the GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090? If AMD doesn’t screw it up again this time, this SKU20 is sure to become a tie-break in pixel tennis. We’ll see. For a long time I have been wrestling with myself, which is probably the most important thing in this test. I have also tested 8K resolutions, but due to the lack of current practical relevance, I put this part on the back burner. If anyone can find someone who has a spare 8K TV, I’ll be happy to do so, if only because I’m also very interested in 8K-DLSS. But that’s like sucking on an ice cream that you’ve only printed out on a laser printer before. The increase in value of the RTX 3090 in relation to the RTX 3080 for the only gamer is, up to the memory extension, to be rather neglected and one understands also, why many critics will never pay the double price for 10 to 15% more gaming performance. Because I wouldn’t either. Only this is then exactly the target group for the circulated RTX 3080 (Ti) with double memory expansion. Their price should increase visibly in comparison to the 10 GB variant, but still be significantly below that of a GeForce RTX 3090. This is not defamatory or fraudulent, but simply follows the laws of the market. A top dog always costs a little more than pure scaling, logic and reason would allow. And the non-gamer or the not-only-gamer? The added value can be seen above all in the productive area, whether workstation or creation. Studio is the new GeForce RTX wonderland away from the Triple A games, and the Quadros can slowly return to the professional corner of certified specialty programs. What AMD started back then with the Vega Frontier Edition and unfortunately didn’t continue (why not?), NVIDIA has long since taken up and consistently perfected. The market has changed and studio is no longer an exotic phrase. Then even those from about 1500 Euro can survive without a headache tablet again.
RTX 3080 was heralded by many as an excellent value graphics card, delivering performance gains of around 30% compared to the RTX 2080 Ti, despite being several hundred pounds cheaper. With the RTX 3090, Nvidia isn’t chasing value for money, but the overall performance crown. And that is exactly what it has achieved. MSI’s RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio, for instance, is 14% faster than the RTX 3080 and 50% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti, when tested at 4K. No other GPU even comes close to matching its performance. At this point, many of you reading this may be thinking something along the line of ‘well, yes, it is 14% faster than an RTX 3080 – but it is also over double the price, so surely it is terrible value?’ And you would be 100% correct in thinking that. The thing is, Nvidia knows that too – RTX 3090 is simply not about value for money, and if that is something you prioritise when buying a new graphics card, don’tbuy a 3090. Rather, RTX 3090 is purely aimed at those who don’t give a toss about value. It’s for the gamers who want the fastest card going, and they will pay whatever price to claim those bragging rights. In this case of the MSI Gaming X Trio, the cost of this GPU’s unrivalled performance comes to £1530 here in the UK. Alongside gamers, I can also see professionals or creators looking past its steep asking price. If the increased render performance of this GPU could end up saving you an hour, two hours per week, for many that initial cost will pay for itself with increased productivity, especially if you need as much VRAM as you can get.
As with any launch, the primary details are in the GPU itself, and so the first half of this conclusion is the same for both of the AIB RTX 3090 graphics cards that we are reviewing today. If you want to know specifics of this particular card, skip down the page. Last week we saw the release of the RTX 3080. A card that combined next-gen performance with a remarkably attractive price point, and was one of the easiest products to recommend we've ever seen. 4K gaming for around the £700 mark might be expensive if you're just used to consoles, but if you're a diehard member of the "PC Gaming Master Race", then you know how much you had to spend to achieve the magical 4K60 mark. It's an absolute no brainer purchase. The RTX 3090 though, that comes with more asterisks and caveats than a Lance Armstrong win on the Tour de France. Make no mistake; the RTX 3090 is brutally fast. If performance is your thing, or performance without consideration of cost, or you want to flex on forums across the internet, then yeah, go for it. For everyone else, and that's most of us, there is a lot it does well, but it's a seriously niche product. We can go to Nvidia themselves for their key phraseology. With a tiny bit of paraphrasing, they say "The RTX 3090 is for 8K gaming, or heavy workload content creators. For 4K Gaming the RTX 3080 is, with current and immediate future titles, more than enough". If you want the best gaming experience, then as we saw last week, the clear choice is the RTX 3080. If you've been following the results today then clearly the RTX 3090 isn't enough of a leap forwards to justify being twice the price of the RTX 3080. It's often around 5% faster, sometimes 10%, sometimes not much faster at all. Turns out that Gears 5 in particular looked unhappy but it was an 'auto' setting on animation increasing its own settings so we will go back with it fixed to ultra and retest. The RTX 3090 is still though, whisper it, a bit of a comedown after the heights of our first Ampere experience. To justify the staggering cost of the RTX 3090 you need to fit into one of the following groups; Someone who games at 8K, either natively or via Nvidia's DSR technology. Someone who renders enormous amounts of 3D work. We're not just talking a 3D texture or model for a game; we're talking animated short films. Although even here the reality is that you need a professional solution far beyond the price or scope of the RTX 3090. Lastly, it would be best if you were someone who renders massive, RAW, 8K video footage regularly and has the memory and storage capacity to feed such a voracious data throughput. If you fall into one of those categories, then you'll already have the hardware necessary - 8K screen or 8K video camera - that the cost of the RTX 3090 is small potatoes. In which case you'll love the extra freedom and performance it can bring to your workload, smoothing out the waiting that is such a time-consuming element of the creative process. This logic holds true for both the Gigabyte and MSI cards we're looking at on launch.
There’s no doubt that the $1,500 GeForce RTX 3090 is indeed a “big ferocious GPU,” and the most powerful consumer graphics card ever created. The Nvidia Founders Edition delivers unprecedented performance for 4K gaming, frequently maxes out games at 1440p, and can even play at ludicrous 8K resolution in some games. It’s a beast for 3440x1440 ultrawide gaming too, as our separate ultrawide benchmarks piece shows. Support for HDMI 2.1 and AV1 decoding are delicious cherries on top. If you’re a pure gamer, though, you shouldn’t buy it, unless you’ve got deep pockets and want the best possible gaming performance, value be damned. The $700 GeForce RTX 3080 offers between 85 and 90 percent of the RTX 3090’s 4K gaming performance (depending on the game) for well under half the cost. It’s even closer at 1440p. If you’re only worried about raw gaming frame rates, the GeForce RTX 3080 is by far the better buy, because it also kicks all kinds of ass at 4K and high refresh rate 1440p and even offers the same HDMI 2.1 and AV1 decode support as its bigger brother. Nvidia likes to boast that the RTX 3090 is the first 8K gaming card, and while that’s true in some games, it falls far short of the 60 frames per second mark in many triple-A titles. Consider 8K gaming a nice occasional bonus more than a core feature. If you mix work and play, though, the GeForce RTX 3090 is a stunning value—especially if your workloads tap into CUDA. It’s significantly faster than the previous-gen RTX 2080 Ti, which fell within spitting distance of the RTX Titan, and offers the same 24GB VRAM capacity of that Titan. But it does so for $1,000 less than the RTX Titan’s cost. The GeForce RTX 3090 stomps all over most of our content creation benchmarks. Performance there is highly workload-dependent, of course, but we saw speed increases of anywhere from 30 to over 100 percent over the RTX 2080 Ti in several tasks, with many falling in the 50 to 80 percent range. That’s an uplift that will make your projects render tangibly faster—putting more money in your pocket. The lofty 24GB of GDDR6X memory makes the RTX 3090 a must-have in some scenarios where the 10GB to 12GB found in standard gaming cards flat-out can’t cut it, such as 8K media editing or AI training with large data sets. That alone will make it worth buying for some people, along with the NVLink connector that no other RTX 30-series GPU includes. If you don’t need those, the RTX 3080 comes close to the RTX 3090 in raw GPU power in many tests.
NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3090 is an interesting card for many reasons, and it’s harder to summarize than the RTX 3080 was, simply due to its top-end price and goals. The RTX 3080, priced at $699, was really easy to recommend to anyone wanting a new top-end gaming solution, because compared to the last-gen 2080S, 2080 Ti, or even TITAN RTX, the new card simply trounced them all. The GeForce RTX 3090, with its $1,499 price tag, caters to a different crowd. First, there are going to be those folks who simply want the best gaming or creator GPU possible, regardless of its premium price. We saw throughout our performance results that the RTX 3090 does manage to take a healthy lead in many cases, but the gains over RTX 3080 are not likely as pronounced as many were hoping. The biggest selling-point of the RTX 3090 is undoubtedly its massive frame buffer. For creators, having 24GB on tap likely means you will never run out during this generation, and if you manage to, we’re going to be mighty impressed. We do see more than 24GB being useful for deep-learning and AI research, but even there, it’s plenty for the vast majority of users. Interestingly, this GeForce is capable of taking advantage of NVLink, so those wanting to plug two of them into a machine could likewise combine their VRAM, activating a single 48GB frame buffer. Two of these cards would cost $500 more than the TITAN RTX, and obliterate it in rendering and deep-learning workloads (but of course draw a lot more power at the same time). For those wanting to push things even harder with single GPU, we suspect NVIDIA will likely release a new TITAN at some point with even more memory. Or, that’s at least our hope, because we don’t want to see the TITAN series just up and disappear. For gamers, a 24GB frame buffer can only be justified if you’re using top-end resolutions. Not even 4K is going to be problematic for most people with a 10GB frame buffer, but as we move up the scale, to 5K and 8K, that memory is going to become a lot more useful. By now, you likely know whether or not the monstrous GeForce RTX 3090 is for you. Fortunately, if it isn’t, the RTX 3080 hasn’t gone anywhere, and it still proves to be of great value (you know – if you can find it in stock) for its $699 price. NVIDIA also has a $499 RTX 3070 en route next month, so all told, the company is going to be taking good care of its enthusiast fans with this trio of GPUs. Saying that, we still look forward to the even lower-end parts, as those could ooze value even more than the bigger cards.
Still, the performance offered by the RTX 3090 is impressive; the Gaming X is 53% faster than RTX 2080 Ti, 81% faster than RTX 2080 Super. AMD's Radeon RX 5700 XT is less than half as fast, the performance uplift vs the 3090 is 227%! AMD Big Navi better be a success. With those performance numbers RTX 3090 is definitely suited for 4K resolution gaming. Many games will run over 90 FPS, at highest details, in 4K, nearly all over 60, only Control is slightly below that, but DLSS will easily boost FPS beyond that. With RTX 3090 NVIDIA is introducing "playable 8K", which rests on several pillars. In order to connect an 8K display you previously had to use multiple cables, now you can use just a single HDMI 2.1 cable. At higher resolution, the VRAM usage goes up, RTX 3090 has you covered, offering 24 GB of memory, which is more than twice that of the 10 GB RTX 3080. Last but not least, on the software side, they added the capability to capture 8K gameplay with Shadow Play. In order to improve framerates (remember, 8K processes 16x the pixels as Full HD), NVIDIA created DLSS 8K, which renders the game at 1440p native, and scales the output by x3, in each direction, using machine learning. All of these technologies are still in its infancy, game support is limited and displays are expensive, we'll look into this in more detail in the future. 24 GB VRAM is definitely future-proof, but I'm having doubts whether you really need that much memory. Sure, more is always better, but unless you are using professional applications, you'll have a hard time finding a noteworthy difference between performance with 10 GB vs 24 GB. Games won't be an issue, because you'll run out of shading power long before you run out of VRAM, just like with older cards today, which can't handle 4K, no matter how much VRAM they have. Next-gen consoles also don't have as much VRAM, so it's hard to image that you'll miss out on any meaningful gaming experience if you have less than 24 GB VRAM. NVIDIA demonstrated several use cases in their reviewer's guide: OctaneRender, DaVinci Resolve and Blender can certainly benefit from more memory, GPU compute applications, too, but these are very niche use cases. I'm not aware of any creators who were stuck and couldn't create, because they ran out of VRAM. On the other hand the RTX 3090 could definitely turn out to be a good alternative to Quadro, or Tesla, unless you need double-precision math (you don't). Pricing of the RTX 3090 is just way too high, and a tough pill to swallow. At a starting price of $1500, it is more than twice as expensive as the RTX 3080, but not nearly twice as fast. MSI asking another $100 on top for their fantastic Gaming X Trio cooler, plus the overclock out of the box doesn't seem that unreasonable to me. We're talking about 6.6% here. The 6% performance increase due to factory OC / higher power limit can almost justify that, with the better cooler it's almost a no-brainer. While an additional 14 GB of GDDR6X memory aren't free, the $1500 base price still doesn't feel right. On the other hand, the card is significantly better than RTX 2080 Ti in every regard, and that sold for well over $1000, too. NVIDIA emphasizes that RTX 3090 is a Titan replacement—Titan RTX launched at $2500, so $1500 must be a steal for the new 3090. Part of the disappointment about the price is that RTX 3080 is so impressive, at such disruptive pricing. If RTX 3080 was $1000, then $1500 wouldn't feel as crazy—I would say $1000 is a fair price for the RTX 3090. Either way, Turing showed us that people are willing to pay up to have the best, and I have no doubt that all RTX 3090 cards will sell out today, just like RTX 3080. Obviously the "Recommended" award in this context is not for the average gamer. Rather it means, if you have that much money to spend, and are looking for a RTX 3090, then you should consider this card.
Let's be clear: the GeForce RTX 3090 is now the fastest GPU around for gaming purposes. It's also mostly overkill for gaming purposes, and at more than twice the price of the RTX 3080, it's very much in the category of GPUs formerly occupied by the Titan brand. If you're the type of gamer who has to have the absolute best, and price isn't an object, this is the new 'best.' For the rest of us, the RTX 3090 might be drool-worthy, but it's arguably of more interest to content creators who can benefit from the added performance and memory. We didn't specifically test any workloads where a 10GB card simply failed, but it's possible to find them — not so much in games, but in professional apps. We also weren't able to test 8K (or simulated 8K) yet, though some early results show that it's definitely possible to get the 3080 into a state where performance plummets. If you want to play on an 8K TV, the 3090 with its 24GB VRAM will be a better experience than the 3080. How many people fall into that bracket of gamers? Not many, but then again, $300 more than the previous generation RTX 2080 Ti likely isn't going to dissuade those with deep pockets. Back to the content creation bit, while gaming performance at 4K ultra was typically 10-15% faster with the 3090 than the 3080, and up to 20% faster in a few cases, performance in several professional applications was consistently 20-30% faster — Blender, Octane, and Vray all fall into this group. Considering such applications usually fall into the category of "time is money," the RTX 3090 could very well pay for itself in short order compared to the 3080 for such use cases. And compared to an RTX 2080 Ti or Titan RTX? It's not even close. The RTX 3090 often delivered more than double the rendering performance of the previous generation in Blender, and 50-90% better performance in Octane and Vray. The bottom line is that the RTX 3090 is the new high-end gaming champion, delivering truly next-gen performance without a massive price increase. If you've been sitting on a GTX 1080 Ti or lower, waiting for a good time to upgrade, that time has arrived. The only remaining question is just how competitive AMD's RX 6000, aka Big Navi, will be. Even with 80 CUs, on paper, it looks like Nvidia's RTX 3090 may trump the top Navi 2x cards, thanks to GDDR6X and the doubling down on FP32 capability. AMD might offer 16GB of memory, but it's going to be paired with a 256-bit bus and clocked quite a bit lower than 19 Gbps, which may limit performance.
Warzone Solo Strategy - My Tips for Kills and Success
Hi everyone, I have been playing almost exclusively warzone solos for a while now and I've noticed there is actually not much in the way of good strategy guides just for solos. I am a bit above average (KD 1.24) but far from the best player around, nevertheless I believe I have a great deal of experience in fine-tuning different solo strategies and seeing what works and what doesn't. In this post I will go through my process of what to do, when to do it, why I'm doing it and how I go about doing it. Gun-skill and situational awareness are two prerequisites that should be nailed down before thinking about macro-strategy, and can only be learnt by practice. Note that the strategy below is probably not the best one for overall win-rate. That one would probably the do-10-recons-and-camp-the-final-circle strategy but if you like to play more aggressively getting lots of kills and dislike the camping playstyle, read on. Step 1 - The Drop The very first step to a successful game is a good drop. As with many things, you should be able to drop anywhere and make it work, so this is mostly about efficiently getting kitted up as soon as possible so you a) don't get into a position where you are encountering loaded-out players while you're stuck with ground loot and b) can get your loadout as soon as possible and start racking up kills on players that haven't yet got theirs. Dropping locations vary on a scale of hot (many players landing in a condensed location) to cold (no other players landing there). The heat of a particular drop location depends on the following:
Relative position to the flight path. Almost without fail the hottest drop locations are immediately below the point where the plane enters the map. These are the players who are in a mad rush to start looting and don't want to waste any time in the air. The middle of the plane's flight path is still pretty hot for much the same reason, just not so much as the beginning or end. The end point of the flight path is hot because this is where the AFK players get kicked out. Usually there are about five AFK players but also another five who want to grab some easy kills on them. Conversely, the longer the transverse distance from the flight path the colder it gets because it takes longer to get to, risks being shot while parachuting and is frankly a little bit tedious. That is not to say that it is necessarily a bad thing to do.
Relative position to first circle. There does not appear to be much variation in heat within the first circle which is marked on the map - the centre is not particularly hotter than the edges. But the further you get outside the first circle you get the colder it becomes. The reason for this is obvious, you only have a couple of minutes to loot before the gas closes and if you are far outside the circle you will have to race back to safety.
Scavenger contracts. These contracts can turn an area from a cold to a hot drop location, simply because most people realise that these are one of the best ways to begin a solo game.
High-value locations. These locations will generally always be hot, more or less-so depending on where they are, relative to the flight path and first circle. High-value locations are places which have a lot of valuable loot in a small area and are consequently the quickest way to get decent ground loot and the money for a loadout. Examples include the train, superstore and passcode bunkers.
What is good to keep in mind is that a drop location will be hot for a reason - people want to drop in a certain place because it offers a certain advantage. Equally, a cold location will be cold generally because it offers little advantage. On the other hand, lots of competition in the early game is very risky. Even if you have great gun-skill it is very easy to get third-partied and therefore in half the games you drop hot you will get sent to the gulag within a minute or two. In solos the player count drops from 150 to 120 or less in about a minute - those 30 almost certainly dropped hot and paid for it. Cold drops, while taking longer to reach, will allow you more time to loot in peace and will generally give you enough space to seek out enemies on your own terms. However in the coldest spots you may struggle to find anyone, which isn't very fun at all. As with most things in life, a compromise is often the best option. You should be able to handle the heat of two or three players dropping within 100m or you, so no need to go colder than that. Go much hotter and it becomes a toss-up if you'll survive into the top 100. Obviously there's more to it than simply trying to pick a lukewarm drop position. You have to think about what you want to do upon landing. A contract is generally your answer. Bounties, while rewarding, aren't generally the best thing to get straight away. For a start, often your bounty target will still be in the air and will soon be hundreds of meters away. Alternatively they could have had a lucky drop and have found far better weapons than you. There is one situation however where I would recommend bounties straight away, and that is when you are the one who got a lucky drop and you were able to get a very good ground loot weapon very quickly. For example, with the season 6 ground loot origins even if the bounty target hides like a rat upstairs in a building, you can reliably rush them. Time is the great equalizer; after about five minutes you can assume that everyone has a good weapon. Before that time, if you have a powerful ground loot weapon then squeeze as many kills as you can. Recons are only good in my opinion if you go big on recons till the end (as I mentioned above). Supply runs are a bit meh, at the start you want to be focusing on looting items not buying stuff. That leaves us with scavengers. While I did mention above that these contracts make for pretty hot locations, they do so for good reason. A scavenger contract only takes a minute or so to complete and rewards you with all the plates you'll need, a high chance of rare/legendary weapon and often enough cash to go straight for a loadout. Essentially, they reward you for what you would be doing anyway at this point in the game - looting. Furthermore, in season 6 the drop rate for plates decreased a lot - meaning that generic looting cannot guarantee you will get enough plates as quick as you will need them. With a scavenger, you avoid getting stuck without armour - suffice to say this is not a good position to find yourself. Since scavengers are hot drops, you'll want to go for one on the colder end of the spectrum so you actually have a chance to reach it first and not die in the process. So long as you pick one that's not under the flight path you should be fine. Also, think contingencies. Think 'what am I going to do if I can't get that contract?'. This is why, ideally, you should go for a spot with a few scavengers in the vicinity so that if one gets taken there will still be others to grab. Ironically these locations are often less hot than places with just one scavenger - in such places there will likely be three or more players all converging on one place. Another tip is that some scavenger icons on the map are hard to see because they are under other icons or place names - many players would have missed those, leaving them all to you! Alternatively, instead of going for a contract you could drop on the train. The train is pretty much a moving bunker's worth of loot but avoids the risk of getting trapped inside by another player. Admittedly, if the train is close to the flight path it can get really hot and therefore not worth the risk. If it is far away however it is possible to have the whole train to yourself. If you do then you often will get twice the loot of a scavenger contract in a fraction of the time; then jump off the train at a buy station and you could get your loadout within a minute of the drop. Obviously it is a lottery whether other players have the same idea as well and most of the time you will have to fight the other passengers. What's good about the train is that it is easy to bail and escape a bad gunfight if you feel you need to. An ideal drop that leaves both strategies open is if you aim for a scavenger contract near to the train track and loot until the train approaches. Then you can quickly see if it is unlooted in which case you can jump on and do the honours, if it is currently being looted it is quite easy to kill the looter who, thinking they had the train to themselves, is focusing on looting. If the train has been looted and the looter has skedaddled, no worries! You still have a scavenger contract to keep you busy. One final thing I will say about dropping is that it is preferable to drop fairly centrally in the first circle. The reason for this is that you'll want to have your free loadout drop deep in the circle which means it will stick around into the mid-late game. You will want this because if and when you get sent to the gulag and return you will want to be able to grab your loadout ASAP. The later in the game it is the harder and more dangerous cash is to find, making raising 10k a tough prospect. To summarise, drop on a scavenger or the train (ideally both) in a medium-heat location in the centre of the circle. Step 2 - Early Game (drop -> loadout) Ok, so you've dropped on your scavenger and have started looting. Your priorities here are as follows:
Getting a decent weapon. Doesn't need to be fantastic, just lose your pistol as quick as you can. Even the plain old grey Uzi will serve you well in the early game. As you loot further you can pick up better weapons.
Getting plates. The one plate you need to get from your starting two to the full 250 health bar is critical. You don't want to enter any gunfights until you are fully plated - ideally with a few more in the pocket to sustain prolonged intermittent firefights. Don't panic if there aren't any plates around - just focus on completing the scavenger and you'll get all the plates you need.
Getting cash. The ultimate aim for early game is saving up the 10k for a loadout. A scavenger won't generally give you enough cash on its own, so as you proceed from box to box make sure you open regular blue boxes en route to try and grab more cash.
Once you've completed the scavenger take a look at your cash stack. If you have 10k, then head to the nearest buy station and grab a loadout marker. If you are short of the 10k, you will need to either loot some more or grab a bounty. I'm partial to a bounty at this point if I have a decent weapon and I'm not in downtown (bounties in downtown are very difficult to pull off). A bounty will give you 6k in addition to whatever the target drops, so if you kill them you will have more than enough for a loadout as well as a self res or UAV. Buying and grabbing your loadout is one of the most dangerous parts of the early game - the red smoke is difficult to hide and often snipers will wait for you to stand still for half a second while you open the loadout before they dome you. There are however ways to mitigate the danger. One tactic is to run off into the woods or mountains on the edge of the map and drop the marker there. This method is fairly safe (so long as you make sure you're not being followed) but it takes a while to get there, if you're in the centre of the map it can be unfeasible. Another method is to find a building with an accessible roof, clear it of any enemies, and drop your marker on the ground floor. This will both hide most of the smoke and put the loadout on the roof, hopefully avoiding people sneaking up on you while you grab it. Note that this latter method is vulnerable to snipers, so avoid using buildings that are close to even higher buildings (e.g. downtown) and remember to go prone while opening the loadout. This brings me to the question that is always on the mind of warzone players - what loadout should I get? The only rule I would stick to is to make sure you have the ghost perk. You are playing at a massive strategical disadvantage, especially in mid to late-game, if you don't run ghost. Overkill may be tempting, but at this point you should have a good enough ground loot weapon to keep on hand along with whatever loadout weapon you pick. Even if you don't have anything decent, just go with an all-comers weapon like an assault rifle. Honestly, it's not worth being the one guy that everyone will be making a bee-line too when they start popping UAVs in mid-game. Since you'll only be getting one primary weapon in your loadout, you ought to pick whatever complements your best current ground loot weapon. As a rule of thumb, you always want something to cover mid-range (assault rifles, long range SMGs, LMGs) and then you can pick a long-range (snipers) or short-range (SMGs, shotguns) weapon depending on where the circle is moving and/or your playstyle. The northern part of the map has a lot of open spaces that reward sniping, while in the more urban areas you will want something to handle close-quarter encounters. Personal preference is of course a major factor - don't pick a sniper if you hate sniping. If you like rushing buildings then don't leave without an MP5 or good shotgun. In season 6 there are good ground loots weapons in every category. When you head to buy your loadout, have a think of what you want to keep and what you'll want to pick up (make sure to do the thinking before you throw down the loadout marker, you want to pick up the loadout as quick as humanly possible after that). Below is a list of what I would recommend getting depending on what you have on hand, in terms of ground-loot:
Good ground loot shotgun (silenced origins) -> Assault Rifle loadout
Good ground loot SMG (silenced MP5, P90s) -> Assault Rifle or Sniper Rifle loadout
Good ground loot AR (thermal AN94, Grau) -> Shotgun or Sniper Rifle loadout
Good ground loot sniper rifle (HDR) -> Assault Rifle or long range SMG loadout
The other things to consider are perks, tacticals and lethals. Everyone has their favourites, but for solos I recommend the following:
Blue perk - EOD is probably the most useful perk here, and most of the time you won't even notice you have it - that's because it's working! Nobody likes dying to explosives. However, in season 6 I would say it is perhaps less vital than before now people aren't lobbing several kilos of C4 around all over the place. The only other one I would consider is Double Time, which is by no means essential but nice to have.
Red perk - Ghost without a doubt. As explained above.
Yellow perk - Here you have a lot more comparable choices. I like amped when I run a sniper rifle because I want to be able to quickly pull out an AR or SMG if I miss a shot and start getting beamed. For loadouts and playstyles where I'm rushing buildings then tracker is incredibly useful. With this perk no matter how a player tries to run and hide in a closet you'll track them down with ease. It's also the only thing that will allow you to see sweaty Roze players skulking in a dark corner in their all-black gimp suit. Battle hardened is good if you encounter many players running stuns or flashes, although in solos most people run heartbeat sensors so you won't often have this problem. Some people love spotter, but I can't say I've ever got much out of it.
Tacticals - As mentioned above, most people run the heartbeat sensor here. While ghost does nullify a lot of its utility, it is still an incredible advantage when you're tracking down a non-ghosted player. What's more, I'll talk more below about hunting for kills using UAVs, but the gist is that you can use an UAV to put yourself in the general area of a target and then pinpoint them with the heartbeat sensor. Just remember that it can only confirm that someone is nearby, not that someone isn't nearby. In other words, don't let it give you a false sense of security. Stuns are the only other tactical I would consider, but that's down to personal playstyle.
Lethals - Before season 6 I would just write C4 here. Since its nerf however the meta has diversified into thermites, molotovs and semtexes. Each have their particular strengths and weaknesses, take your pick. I would always take one to handle those annoying riot shield users.
Once you have picked up your loadout, remember to pick up whatever ground loot weapon you decided to keep (if any, you may prefer a launcher secondary to handle vehicles) and high-tail it out of the area as quickly as possible. You want to put distance between you and the red smoke which has probably caught the eye of some thirsty players who are now running there trying to catch an easy kill. You could wait and try and kill some of these players, but consider they could be coming from any direction and you will have to keep an eye on 360 degrees of approach. At some point, 13s before the gas reaches the first circle IIRC, you will get a free loadout. Leave it alone unless you're coming back from the gulag. For one, it will likely be camped and become a deathtrap, secondly you want to leave your future self a lifeline if you go to the gulag and redeploy. Again, this is why it is helpful to be near the centre of the circle when the free loadout spawns so that you can take advantage of it even if you redeploy late-game. Optional Step 2.5 - Gulag Fairly often in the early game you will get unlucky or outplayed and get sent to the gulag. It happens to everyone and is far from the end of the game. I would say that at least half of my wins have come after returning from the gulag. I can't tell you how to win the gulag - that comes down mostly to gun-skill and muscle memory. If you lose the gulag, it's not the end of the world, just play again. Now let's say you kick your opponents ass and you redeploy, you should aim straight for the free loadout if it has spawned yet. If not, drop on a scavenger and go through the early-game process of getting plates, weapons, cash etc. Then grab the loadout when it arrives. Doing this is dangerous especially if many players' loadouts drop together, but so is waiting around without your loadout. Either approach as soon as it drops and grab it before people settle in to camp it, or encircle the loadout and clear out potential camping spots before grabbing it. Optional step 2.6 - Bunkers If at any point in the game (except perhaps late game) you find a red access card, drop everything and head to the nearest card bunker. There are four I believe; dam, military base, hills and prison. Especially since season 6 these are incredibly valuable. Now there will always be, right at the back of the bunker, a 'super-legendary' item. This could be a loadout drop marker (a.k.a. 10k cash), durable gas mask, advanced UAV, minigun, foresight or juggernaut. All are incredibly useful (except perhaps the minigun) and potentially game-winning, especially the juggernaut and foresight. If you pick up a juggernaut it is very hard to lose in solos. It feels like a cheap win, but a win is a win. Foresight is also incredibly broken, it's gives you the exact position of the final circle including all the circle movement. When I talk about the late-game I emphasise how important circle movement is to victory, and this gives you all that intel on a silver platter. If you fancy a relaxing game it also tells you exactly what house to go and have a nap in until the late game. Even if you get none of these items, the sheer amount of cash you can loot from the bunker can mean you'll never need to worry about money for the rest of the game. Be careful getting to the bunker though. By all means take a vehicle, just don't park it right outside the door. That's just asking for an uninvited guest to crash the party. Park a hundred meters or so away and take the rest by foot, making sure nobody sees you go in. If you're trapped in there by someone waiting at the door there's no other way out. Step 3 - Mid game (loadout -> top 20) Now this is where the fun begins! When you have your loadout you could pick a building and sit in there like a loser. What is much more rewarding is to go out hunting. Players could be anywhere, just wandering around aimlessly is not the key to a high-kill game. You need targets to aim for and approach strategically like a tiger. How can you find targets? You can see players visually and follow them, which is a cheap and effective method but unreliable, furthermore if they have decent situational awareness they will spot you back very soon after you do, leaving a limited time window to attack with the element of surprise. Another way to locate targets is to head in the direction of unsuppressed fire, which will place a temporary red dot on the mini-map. If this happens close to you then you have a prime opportunity to third-party someone and get a cheap kill, but if you have to travel a few hundred meters it becomes a less reliable way of getting kills. Consider that the player who has been firing their unsuppressed weapon is fully aware that they have just broadcasted their location and will be quickly relocating after the fight if they have any game sense. Furthermore, many players will likely have the same idea as you and will flock like moths to a flame hoping to get a few juicy kills, this can often create a chain reaction of third-party attacks as people arrive to intervene in the unsuppressed gunfight, who fire more unsuppressed shots thereby attracting more people. This generally ends badly for 90% of those involved, so best avoided if you can. There are only two methods to reliably locate targets - UAVs and bounty contracts. The former costs money, while the latter awards it. However, the crucial difference is that someone highlighted by an UAV is completely unaware that they have been targeted and that you are heading straight for them. Granted, they will hear the 'UAV overhead' announcement but that is so common in solos that it doesn't have much meaning - in mid-game solos you can reliably assume that there is always at least one UAV overhead from someone. In contrast, when someone is chosen as a bounty target they know that they specifically have been singled out and how close their hunter is. Most players' reaction to this is to just camp in a building for the three minutes until the time expires. If you have a decent short range SMG or shotgun you should be able to rush a building in which your target is hiding, but it is no guarantee of success. Remember, just because you have a bounty target it does not mean you have to attack - if they're hiding upstairs in a house with an origin and claymores on the stairs, it's not a fight you have much chance of winning. Move along. In short, if you have the money buy a UAV and hunt with whatever intel it gives you. Ideally the kill you get with that intel will fund your next UAV purchase and you will snowball round the map racking up the kills. Remember if there are no UAV targets near you and it runs out of fuel before you reach the red dots, you can try and pinpoint them with your heartbeat sensor. Think of it like a mini-UAV. I should probably mention at this point that if you have left over money from buying a UAV, pick up a self-res if you can. 80% of the time they won't help but you'll feel incredibly grateful for the 20% of times they do. Of course, if there is a fire sale you might as well grab one for free. If your snowball of death grinds to a halt; maybe you ran out of non-ghosted players in the vicinity or you ran out of money by killing too many poor players, now is a good time to pick up a bounty target to get the snowball going again. A third way to find targets more reliably than just wandering around, but without the risk of bounties or the cost of UAVs is to employ the famous 'pinwheel rotation'. Popularised by youtuber Icemanisaac, this is where you hug the gas while it is stationary and then rotate into the next circle at a 45 degree angle to the gas when it closes in. The logic for this strategy is that you will catch players moving into the inner circle directly perpendicular to the gas, including players flushed out of their camping spots by the encroaching gas. What's more, you don't need to worry so much about your outside flank since that will be covered by the gas. I find this strategy works best mid to late game when the gas isn't moving as fast and the amount of non-ghosted players diminishes the value of UAVs. Be sure to grab a gas mask if you're using this strategy as you will occasionally need to dip into the gas. Note that you can use UAVs as you pinwheel, giving you extra intel (e.g. if the UAV picks up someone in a building on the edge of the gas, you can expect them to be flushed out where you will be waiting for them). Using our toolkit of UAVS, bounties, unsuppressed fire and the pinwheel rotation, you should be able to grab a good amount of kills in the mid-game. Step 4 - Late game (top 20 -> Warzone Victory) Generally around the top 20 the real end-game begins. Now the value from UAVs is diminished, since non-ghosted players are probably dead and in any event you don't have the liberty anymore to start running around everywhere looking for kills. Bounties aren't worth it anymore because cash becomes more or less irrelevant at this point - there's probably only one or two buy stations left and they're most likely camped. If you come across a bounty you can take it just for the extra intel it gives you, just be very careful about going after them. At this point in the game you need to play a lot more cautiously. I would say camping is fine at this stage - you've had your fun already. If you can secure a house in the final circle then that's ideal, what is more likely is that the recon-ers have already secured all the nice camping spots. If you have a good MP5 or shotgun you could rush the building but its a risky prospect and liable to third parties joining in the fun. If you are stuck outside in the cold then, if it's an open area, your best bet is probably to continue to pinwheel in as the gas closes, albeit at a slower, more cautious pace. If the final circle is a more urban area like downtown or promenade, you can slowly but surely proceed into the circle making sure to check all your corners, make maximum use of cover and dial the situational awareness up to 11. You can still get quite a few kills this way as often players won't hear your approach if you don't run. At the final circle it all comes down to gun-skill, stealth and a healthy dollop of luck. In the top 3, try to third party the other two. Nine times out of ten the two players who start the gunfight lose to the player who waited and finished off the victor. Of course, you often don't have the luxury of picking your fights. When the circle starts moving, this is where the RNG can give you or steal away the win. If the circle moves to your side then it's simply a matter of waiting for the gas to deliver your opponent(s) into your arms. If not, then the opposite will apply. The odds will be against you in this case but it's by no means a done deal. Here your only chance of survival is superior gun-skill. And there you have it! The entire process from dropping to winning the game. This took way longer than I thought it would but I hope I've given some useful tips. I would love for you guys to offer any thoughts on my strategy and stuff you do that also works well.
Playing Jungler made me question how is even possible to die from a gank: the importance of Jungle tracking and communication with your Jungler, and why "/mute all" is bad for you.
Long story short: learning how to play Jungle made me realize a lot of mistakes I did as a laner and taught me a lot more about the game, especially at macro level. Most things you deal with as a Jungler will make you a way better player because you will be able to understand in first person the reasons why something is happening in the game you are playing. So, I guess making a post sharing my newfound knowledge could help a lot of low elo players during their climb. I don't claim to be a pro-player by any means, so if anyone has something to add or want to correct me on something he thinks I was wrong with, feel free to do so.
1. Knowing what the enemy Jungler can do in the immediate future.
Jungle tracking is a skill that most of the time is underdeveloped, but any (good) coach/tutorial/guide you can find will tell you that is one of the most important things to learn, and I believe it is 100% true. Most player will be afraid to learn it or focus on other skills (like CSing, trading, learning a Champion, etc.). The truth is that it is not a difficult skill to develop. You see, the map is filled with things to do as a Jungler, some of them are just in plain sight: Baron/Rift, Dragon, gankable lanes. If you take a glance at the minimap and ask yourself the question: "If I was the enemy jungler, what I would do now?", the answer you'll get will be correct most of the time. Junglers are busy, there are things to do every minute, you just need to think about what is the best thing the enemy jungler can do in that moment. Playing Jungler and focusing on this aspect of the game at some points was like playing with a maphack. I am not saying that all Junglers are predictable, because they are not: there are informations you can't access that can dictates how an enemy Jungler's next move will be, and skillful Junglers will bait, fake a move or strike when unexpected. I am just saying that there are things you can easily imagine the enemy Jungler will do, and you should keep them in mind. One of the most important tool for Jungle tracking is vision, a.k.a. wards. Placing wards in areas where the enemy Jungler will most likely walk in will give you his position on the map. Knowing exactly where the enemy Jungler is allows you and your team to make plays elsewhere on the map or to counter a play that is getting in motion. I am honestly amazed how many players with a clear information about the whereabouts of the enemy Jungler don't take any advantages: if the enemy Jungler shows in the opposite part of the map where you are, you have one less threat to worry about, if he is near you then engaging your opponent could not be the best idea. I lost count of how many times I pinged the exact position where the enemy Jungler was coming or hiding just to be blatantly ignored by my teammates, who naturally died afterwards. More of this later.
2. Help your Jungler at any stage of the game, especially in early game.
Your Jungler needs help and your aid doesn't stop by covering and leashing. Thinking your Jungler is a separate entity of your team able to mind his own business and existing only when it is time to gank (and that ganking is his only job) is how "jg diff" is born. Helps comes mainly in two forms: assisting an invade and securing an objective. Assisting an invade: different Junglers have different dueling potentials. As a laner, you know you have different matchups, and it is the same for your Jungler: just because the two Junglers don't face directly in a lane like you and your opponent do doesn't mean they will never interact with each others. Most invades (and counterjungles) can be done fairly safe: your Jungler sees the enemy Jungler on the opposite side of the map and goes in his jungle to steal camps. Some Junglers are more daring due to having a way out if caught (think about Shaco). Others will look for a fight since they know that at the moment they are stronger, so if the enemy Jungler is around they can just kill him. The latter are the worst for your Jungler: if somehow your Jungler is behind and the enemy Jungler decides to fuck him even more, there is nothing he can do. He can't fight the enemy Jungler because he is weaker, he can't farm his camps because they are either get stolen or lives in a constant fear of getting killed while doing them. The personal vision a Jungler can provide for himself and his jungle is also limited, and requires to forfeit the red trinket too. You simply can't blame your Jungler for being behind while the enemy Jungler (and maybe his team too) is keeping him behind. You need to help him recover, unless you want to hide behind the usual "jg diff" while you just watched your Jungler bleed the entire game. Even without someone saying a word, you can tell who Jungler has the upper hand by just looking at the scoreboard (look for how many levels/CS/kills/assists they have) and knowing the Champions they are playing. How can a Jungler be helped when he is behind?
Provide vision for him around jungle's entrances so he and your team can spot the enemy Jungler going for him.
Listen to your Jungler and trust his tracking skills: if he is asking and pinging help on one of his camps, he probably thinks the enemy Jungler is here. The best thing that can be done against stronger Junglers that keeps your Jungler behind is to collapse on them, outnumber them and kill them. You may not always be able to come to your Jungler's rescue, but it is your duty to read the game and understand that your Jungler may need help, so plan accordingly. It is also your Jungelr's duty to communicate with you about his situation in order to know if he is farming up to recover, setting-up collapses, etc.
Some Champions are naturally inclined to counterjungle and dueling the enemy Jungler, so be smart to have the possibility that this would happen in your mind and maybe be more mindful of what both Junglers are doing.
If you are playing against a Kindred and you don't collapse when she is doing a Marked camp in your jungle, you are doing it wrong. Playing with a Kindred and helping her secure a Marked camp (or just getting ready to come to her aid) is the best thing you can do for her. Marks basically screams: "Kindred may be here", use that information. Remember that Kindred's jungle Marks are perfectly visible on your minimap.
Securing an objective: objectives are important. Baron/Rift, Dragon, tower plates, crabs, even a gankable lane is an objective in some ways. Most Junglers, in most situations, needs help securing those objective, they can't do it alone. Dragons and Rifts don't magically come to you because your Jungler is here to get them for you while you are playing in your bubble during lane phase. If your Jungler calls for an objective it is because he thinks is the best course of action or wants to contest that objective otherwise the enemy will take it. It is your job to setup for the objective, for example shoving the lane or killing your opponent (your Jungler can also setup by ganking your lane, if your lane is in a gankable state) and then moving to help your Jungler securing the objective. Too many times I pinged the Dragon's respawn timer to give enough time to my laners to setup for it only to arrive at the pit and finding myself alone. No matter how many pings or "guys help at drag plz" I typed, my botlane was backing or jerking off while their opponent were dead and my midlaner with a priority in lane was spamming his Mastery emote to a 25% HP opponent under his tower. Guess what happens next? The enemy jungler arrives, his botlane is back and I must give the Dragon to them. Later in the game I enjoy my bot and mid spamming "jg diff" when we have zero Dragons and the enemy team is a Soul point, because now, suddenly, Dragons are important. Also, when doing an objective, take into consideration that Smite scales with levels, so if your Jungler is even one level behind the enemy Jungler don't be surprised if he gets outsmited (and let's not talk about the enemy Nunu). That is why is very important to help your Jungler securing objectives. Be very careful if your Jungler pings that his Smite is on cooldown: he may be a moron for having used it knowing there was an objective to take, but this doesn't change the fact that he is Smite-less, so play accordingly.
3. Understanding what ganks really are.
For a laner, a gank is an easy 2vs1 to get free cash. For a Jungler, a gank is a gamble. The most secure form of income (Gold and XP) for a Junger are his Jungle camps: every time a Jungler ganks, he is betting time he could use to farm, counterjungle, constest an objective or reset (going back to base to cash the money) for a kill or assist to get one of his lane ahead and the enemy behind. So, if a gank fails, the Jungler slightly lose something. It could be a big deal in some situations. So, your Jungler will gank your lane when he'll be sure that the odds are in his favor. This is the reason why Junglers rarely gank losing lanes and don't make a living with ganks (except some carry junglers played by smurfs, but that is another world entirely). Yeah, they will gank your 10 deaths botlane if he is around by the time the 10 kills botlane is so out of position that would be a free kill, but in the majority of the situation, unless your Jungler is smurfing, don't expect him to come to put a patch on your horrendous performance: he would rather play for any other lane that is winning or has the potential to win. Your job is to avoid bleeding and trust in the rest of the team to get things done, and eventually rotate to recover what you have lost. Your Jungler is not responsible for you losing your lane and is not there to win your lane for you. If you get ganked three times and blame the "jg diff", ask yourself why the enemy Jungler was able to gank you three times in the first place. If you want a gank, you need to set it up: vision control and wave management are a big part of it. No, I won't gank you if you have zero mana or too low health to follow, no I won't gank the enemy in the middle of two of his waves, no I won't gank if the sums of our levels makes a result that is less than the level of your opponent, no I won't gank if I need to reset because I am bringing a Hunter's Machete in a fight against a Tiamat and a pair of Ninja Tabi. And when I can finally go in, there is execution, that in my experience is a big problem for almost everyone (Jungler included): the coordination isn't simply there most of the time and the pressure to "kill or get killed" is high enough that mistakes will be made (from both sides). Ganking isn't flawless, getting there in your lane is half the work, at that point is all about teamwork and we'll success or fail together: understand this, and most importantly listen to calls. You go in when your Jungler pinged to back? Your fault. Your Jungler goes in when you pinged to back? His fault. We are the only persons capable to determine if we are able to do something or not and we only will evaluate how to behave in any situation, but we must inform other about our intentions. I expect you to do something, you expect me to do something, but not every time those expectations comes to fruition. If the gank goes wrong and I decide to ditch out, stop pinging that my Ultimate is ready, because I probably have evaluated that preserving that cooldown was better than wasting it on that gank.
4. Why you shouldn't "/mute all".
I admit I clickbaited with this. let me explain: I am one of those players that say: "Yo, '/mute all' at the start of every game, the chat isn't useful" and I still believe that is true, with one exception: pings. You see, until now this post was all about the importance of communication between your team and his Jungler, because the Jungler is not an autonomous machine that plays by itself and does something magical behind the scenes, but is a member of your team that (surprisingly!) needs help to get things done or to recover from a bad start. If you "/mute all", what you do is muting everything from any player, including emotes and pings. This is extremely bad because pings are very important for communicating things in the fastest way possible. Yeah, I know it sucks when your Jungler is spamming "?" over your dead body or when he expect you to 1vs5 the enemy team to defend the Nexus, but if you mute his pings you can't know when he has actually something useful to tell you. This is why I said before that I am astonished how people manage to die to the enemy Jungler when I used all my pings to even draw his pathing on the map: it is probably because those people "/muted all" or just me out of spite because I didn't gank their lane or I am two level behind the enemy Jungler and they want me to fight him in a duel in my jungle. By doing this they stay in their quietly comfort zone, but since they also have ADHD, a dangerous form of tunnel vision, or are playing with a locked camera with a post-it covering their minimap, they are missing all the important stuff I am feeding to them. As a result, they die in the stupidest possible way and use their death timer to type, you guess, "gg jg diff" in chat instead of planning what to buy next. If you have the habit to "/mute all", I suggest to not mute pings (or emotes, I use emotes also to communicate, like I do an "OK" when the leash is done and they can go back in lane, or to congratulate for a good play), or at least don't mute your Jungler's pings even if he is a dickhead that spams them to annoy you.
5. Playing and winning from behind.
Something I learned while jungling is that it is almost always possible to recover from behind, unless the enemy is so fed that breaks your base before 15 minutes. Especially in low elos, people usually don't know how to win games: the games drag on and on until the death timers are so big that a Nexus inevitably falls, so until this happens the losing team has a lot of chances to close the Gold and XP gap and come back into the game, and turn the tables. As a Jungler, when I played games where I was behind and couldn't do shit, I simply ignored everything and cleared my jungle until I got my items and turned my 0/4 in a 6/4, and at that point my team stopped complaining about my performance and actually trusted me and listened to my calls. The "0/10 powerspike" in low elo is a reality more than a meme, the enemy most of the time underestimate the fact that all you need to do to even the odds is to get items, or that their 20/3 Lucian will still be oneshotted by your 0/7 Rengar the moment he gets two items and half. The problem of being behind as a team is that you'll lose map control and with that objectives control, so the enemy will start running around with Dragon Souls, Elders and Barons since you can't really contest them without dying horribly. The major mistake most teams do is keep teamfighting and losing every time, until the point the infinite death timers kick in and the game is done for. But if you don't play stupid, stall decently and farm, given enough time you can basically turn any lost game in your favor against a dangerous enemy that is too passive to close it. Some advices are:
Never teamfight, instead get picks or setup ambushes. In low elos, fed people will get overconfident a lot and will go in solo missions to farm sidelanes or take a stroll in the jungle. Punish them.
If you manage to get a pick or spring a successful ambush, don't overstay and don't chase survivors in areas you don't have vision. If you have number advantage, look for an objective to take, and if there isn't none, push and farm. Check death timers and when the enemy is back, rinse and repeat.
If you want to get an objective like a Baron or Dragon but you can't teamfight to contest it, your options are either send someone (usually your Jungler) to steal it, or create a distraction in the opposite part of the map and send someone to solo it/attract the enemy team to his position. Most of the time in low elos people will group to stop split pushers, so you can easily have one of your teammate lure 2-3 people to him and you are suddenly in a 4vs3 situation in your favor.
Every man for himself: you should never wander alone, and if someone gets caught let him die instead of trying to save him or counter-engage: your team is behind, it won't win that shit, don't give free kills and stay alive as much as you can.
Get red or blue trinkets and Control Wards: your success now depends on applying guerrilla tactics and in order to do that you must regain map control by countering the enemy's vision. You can't ambush if your bush is warded, so sweep around and clear wards, activate red trinket when moving near bushes you don't have vision on and scout with blue trinkets.
6. General tips!
Some general tips to close up the post:
As a general rule of thumb, never AFK when the game starts: everyone in your team should cover for his Jungler to counter invades and get informations about the enemy Jungler's behavior, instead of dancing in the middle of the lane or chitchatting with the enemy. Watch out if your Jungler asks you to ward specific spot of the map during this time. Also, always leash unless your Jungler explicitly said he doesn't need a leash. If you don't do all of this, don't be surprised if your Jungler happens to be fucked up at some point.
I strongly suggest to never invade at LV1, no matter who you have in your team (Blitzcranks are well know for this), unless you are in a full premade of five people. SoloQ uncoordinated teams spell disaster, it is way better to play safe. Also, if you absolutely want to invade, at least be sure your entire team (or the majority of it) is following you.
If you manage to invade at LV1 and get something out of it without losing nothing or not much, don't overstay. Get your cash and GTFO. Track Summoners used, and if you used a Summoner like Flash assume you'll probably get ganked ASAP.
Towerdiving for a gank is an option that you should never pick, no matter who are you playing: it goes horribly most of the times and is a too risky move to pull at lower elos. Just stick to safer plays, no need to be a daredevil. A gank can be ok even if you just burn Summoners or force a back, you don't need to kill at all costs.
Crabs in the river are very important objectives: they give Gold, XP, heals and provide vision in a strategic point of the map. As a laner, you should always keep an eye of those little bastards when they spawn and especially when your Jungler is around doing them, because that is the moment the two Junglers may met and start a skirmish, so you can come to help.
Most of the time, your Jungler will be your shotcaller. Obviously, the Jungler isn't your boss, leader or whatever, but like every other member of the team he can and will make calls in order to get something done, and he will make those calls with the macro of the game and enemy Jungler in mind because that is his area of expertise. In other words, you'll best bet in most games if you are at lost is to trust your Jungler's calls. If your Jungler can't be trusted because he is an autofilled mid Yasuo main, follow the most fed and competent member of your team. If you are the most fed and competent member of your team, be the shotcaller.
I strongly believe that we need a "Enemy Jungler is Here!" ping. In the meantime, what I do to alert my team about the position of the enemy Jungler is to ping "Danger" where I think he is, followed by the "Alive" ping. I think it raises more awareness.
[Bloomberg] Day Traders Will Have Fun Until They Get Wiped Out
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-06-23/robinhood-traders-will-have-fun-until-they-get-wiped-out One time when I was sitting in my college dormitory, I heard a whoop of joy from down the hall. My dormmate announced that he had just made $500,000 trading in the stock market, after having invested only a few thousand dollars. When I asked him how he did it, he grinned and simply said: “Call options.” I spent the rest of the day reading about how this marvelous financial instrument could be used to make a fortune in a day with just a small initial stake. Of course, my lucky dormmate doubled down on his investment and ended up losing most of his money when the dot-com bubble burst a couple of months later. This saga illustrates the danger of day trading, especially with leveraged instruments such as options. After the 2000 tech bust, day trading declined, but the coronavirus pandemic seems to be driving something of a renaissance. Goldman Sachs Investment Research reports that the percent of trading volume in the stock and option markets from small trades has increased a lot since January, while discount brokerage TD Ameritrade reports that visits to its website teaching people how to trade stocks have nearly quadrupled. Robinhood, a trading app that offers zero-commission trades and a simple, video-game-style interface, had 3 million new accounts opened in the first quarter. Half of its new customers are first-time investors. Many online communities are filled with the standard elements of day-trader culture -- stories of fabulous fortunes gained, hot tips, trading systems and theories and so on. Coronavirus probably isn’t the only reason for the boom in day trading. Brokers realized that they could offer zero-commission trades and make up for it with interest earned by lending out their cash balances. Mobile apps made trading easier and more fun than ever, and allowed new traders to start off with small amounts of cash. A new generation of speculators has no painful memory of the dot-com bust. But whatever the reasons, the new day trading mania is not likely to result in a happier outcome than the last one. There are many theoretical reasons and a wealth of empirical evidence to suggest that most day traders are wasting their money. One of the most important concepts in finance -- and yet seemingly one of the hardest to understand -- is that there are two sides to every trade. For a day trader to make money, someone else has to lose money. In the most optimistic case, the loser could be a normal person who needs to put money in or take money out of their retirement account, and who therefore doesn’t worry much about the price at which they buy or sell. But most trades are not this. Instead, day traders are usually buying and selling either from each other, or from algorithms programmed by skilled, experienced financial professionals. If it’s the former, their trading is a zero-sum game. If it’s the latter, human day traders are very likely to lose because the people who program trading algorithms are typically very smart, and their computers can spot market-moving developments faster than people can. This is why professional human traders have been increasingly driven out of the market. A related problem is the idea of slippage. Day traders might think that because they’re paying zero commission, their trades are free. But when a day trader places an order, a trading algorithm somewhere quickly figures out that they want to buy or sell, and raises or lowers the price accordingly, so that the day trader gets a less favorable price. Another reason day trading is a bad idea is that people often fail to understand when they’re winning and losing. If the market as a whole goes up (as it has recently), many stocks will be winners. That can make a day trader feel like they won, even if they would have made as much or more money if they had simply bought an index fund and held onto it. This is especially true right now, when correlations between stocks are very high -- in this case, meaning many stocks are rising or falling together. Finally, day traders often don’t understand the amount of risk they’re taking. Call options of the type my college dormmate bought, for example, are a form of leverage -- you might make fabulous riches, but you’re very likely to lose your money. One young novice investor tragically committed suicide after seeing his account generate large losses; though he probably misread the account statement, this incident drives home the point that investors may not be prepared for how much money they can lose with the trades they’re making. A large amount of empirical evidence confirms that most day traders lose money. A very large 2004 study of Taiwanese day traders, for example, found that more than 80% lost money. A tiny number -- about 0.03% -- earned consistently large profits, but the odds of possessing this kind of skill are slim. Most studies of day traders in the U.S. and Finland yield similar results -- a few traders are consistently good, but most lose out. Day trading might therefore be a fun way of gambling for those who are locked inside waiting out the pandemic. But if regular Americans start betting large amounts of their money on individual stocks and options, they’re courting financial ruin. If you want to day trade, the best thing to do is to bet only a small percent of your money to learn whether you’re one of the few who has the skill to beat the market. Day trading should be treated like an expensive video game, not like a way of getting rich quick.
I am 53 years old, have a combined $210,000 annual income, live on Long Island, NY, and work as a Project Coordinator
First, I'm sorry this is so long. Second - please be nice. We have debt, bad habits, and are Catholic. So if any of those things are going to get you spun up, just skip this one. Section One: Assets and Debt Use this section to explain your current financial picture at large. Everything here is joint – “M” and I have been married 22 years and we’ve had “smashed money” that whole time (and really for about a year before that). Retirement Balance (and how you got there): Approximately $500,000 in a variety of IRAs and current 401(k)s. Equity if you're a homeowner (and how much you put down and how you accumulated that payment). Bought our house in 2001 for $239,000 with 20% down (some aggressive saving and a gift from each of our parents). We refinanced, took some cash out for some home repairs, and reduced it to a 15-year loan in 2009 – our current equity would be about $195,000, but similar homes in the neighborhood are listed at $475,000-$525,000, so if we ever sell, we’re probably coming out ahead. Savings account balance: $6,000 Checking account balance: $6,500 Credit card debt (and how you accumulated it): I hope you’re sitting down. Approximately $40,000. Yes, you read that right. How we accumulated it? The house is 90 years old and constantly falling apart, so we’ve had to charge things that needed to be done (some we wanted to have done, but some – like the time our oil burner stopped working in December – were needs). We had two dogs with numerous medical issues – I don’t want to calculate what they cost me, but they each had surgeries that were about $5,000 (each), plus other chronic and acute medical issues. And yes…for a while, we were doing and buying things we probably shouldn’t have (not bad things, just vacations, clothes, and non-essential home improvements) So…when I’m 100 and greeting people at Wal-Mart, I’ll at least have some good memories. That said, I can’t tell you the last time I used credit – if we can’t afford to pay cash, we don’t do it (and I say that fully realizing most people would feel that I shouldn’t do anything). Student loan debt (for what degree): None – my husband went to the military and then to work after high school and I went back to community college later in life and paid as I went. Anything else that's applicable to you: If my ex-husband dies before me, I’ll have about $6,000 in a money market that he must have forgotten about. When we divorced, he was supposed to liquidate all those accounts and give me half. He was an accountant and a SOB, so I never knew exactly what we had, but what I got seemed accurate (it paid for furniture, my wedding to M and part of this house, so I was OK with it). Lo and behold, a couple years ago, I found out we still have this money market account in both names. I tried to find him so we could liquidate/split it, but he’s missing. I get the statements here now, and the good part is he’s older than me, so I’m holding out hope he predeceases me and it will be mine. Section Two: Income Income Progression: I've been working in my field for a year and a half, my starting salary was $100,000. I did a salary story with the entire progression – long story short, I’ve made more, and I’ve made less, but this is probably about the average of the last five years. My husband has been at his job for 14 years – he started there making around $75,000 and now makes $110,000. They usually give him a $10,000 bonus at the end of the year, but are always crying poverty if people ask for a raise. Prior to that, he worked for a company that paid very well and he had a 15-minute commute, but he got out one step ahead of their bankruptcy. Main Job Monthly Take Home: Me: $5,152 J: $6,230 Side Gig Monthly Take Home: M is paid $1,300/month by our parish for serving as Youth Minister. Any Other Monthly Income: $16.00 I get quarterly dividends on stock I was given when I was born (I may not have been born into money, but apparently my grandparents had friends who thought this was a good baby gift). The last few were around $50, so I divided by 3. Section Three: Expenses Rent / Mortgage / HOA fees (please specify how you split it if living with a partner): $3,043, which includes the property taxes and homeowner's insurance Savings contribution: $500/month without fail (my bank transfers $100 if we get over $500 in, so once each paycheck and once when we put the church check in). More if I feel the savings needs a boost. Debt payments:
Credit card #1: $350/month (this is about twice the minimum)
Credit card #2: $375/month (minimum payment)
Credit card #3: $200/month (minimum payment - this is the next one getting whacked when #1 is paid off)
Donations: OK – anyone who isn’t screaming because I owe $40K is going to start now.
$300/month to the church in the “collection basket” (it’s electronic, but same diff)
$100/month to the church building fund (last year of a five-year pledge, thankfully – if I hadn’t promised to pay it, I wouldn’t)
$25/month to Habitat for Humanity
$20/month to Citymeals on Wheels
~$50/month to various other charities
~$100/month in food for the church food drive (we don’t have a food pantry, but collect food every week and anyone from the neighborhood can come take some. The rest is donated to several food pantries and soup kitchens in the Diocese).
As far as volunteer hours, M and I both teach Religious Ed. I'm on the Parish Council and co-social media manager of the parish (basically, I schedule Facebook). M also videotapes the 5:00 Mass and the children’s worship message each week and uploads it to the parish YouTube channel.
Electric: $110 Gas (stove/hot water): $50 Oil: $250/month in the winter Wifi/Cable: $179 Cellphone: $252 for both of us (I get mine expensed except $26 for my phone payment) Subscriptions:
$.99/month for iCloud Storage
$545/month for life insurance for both of us, plus $202 quarterly for the life insurance policies we took out when we bought the house
$17/month for NY Times online
$10.86/month for Ring video doorbell
$12.99/month for Netflix
$9.99/month for Spotify (I think M gets reimbursed for this, because he has it for Youth Ministry)
$119/year for Amazon Prime (yes, I know, I am an awful person)
Car payment / insurance: $295/month for my car (leased). My husband is driving a 10-year old car that is paid off. $128/month for auto insurance Lawn care: $50/month Commuting: Now that we’re in COVID times, I’ve been buying a 10-trip off peak railroad ticket every five days for $78.75. Pre-COVID, M and I each bought a monthly ticket for $270, and I took the subway most days for an additional $100/month. I fill up the car about once a month (~$36) and M fills his about every other week (~$70/month) Saturday, September 26, 2020 7:45 am: Up and at ‘em! I get up, get coffee, check emails and social media and start the day. 8:00 am: M leaves the house for a long list of errands, the payment for which will be shown below. I put in a load of laundry and discover…a leak! There is a large pipe between our powder room sink (which I used when I woke up) and the outside world that runs through the basement and is apparently leaking. Yay whee. If you get one thing from this diary, let it be these words of wisdom – don’t buy an old house! No beautiful feature is worth the aggravation! I get the water (I hope it’s water) cleaned up, a load of laundry in, take a shower, do some picking up around the house, get dressed in a Rangers t-shirt and cut off distressed jeans, do my makeup (Olay microsculpting serum and Miracle Blur over the bottom of my face, pink, gray, and violet eyeshadows, a swipe of foundation under my eyes, black eyeliner, black mascara, and dark brown eye pencil. This is standard everyday makeup for me and will be repeated each day. I put volumizing mousse in my hair and blow dry it (also routine). In the meantime, M gets a haircut ($30 including tip), sets up the video equipment at church, goes to CVS for passport photos that he needs for an application ($18.87), and goes to the religious goods store for a book of the Liturgy of the Hours ($42.31). He is starting formation for the diaconate (the process of becoming a Deacon in the Catholic Church) today, and they said he’ll need that book. He also needs the photos for his application, and he stops at the bank for two money orders – one to send with the background check request and one for his high school transcript ($26). On the way home, he picks up breakfast (brunch?) for us – classic New York BEC, SPK (bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll with salt, pepper and ketchup) for him and egg whites, turkey and swiss cheese on a whole wheat wrap for me ($10.78), as well as cigs for him and vape cartridges for me ($36). The washing machine isn’t causing any additional leakage, so I move the wash to the dryer and start moving the winter clothes from the portable closet in front of the leaking pipe upstairs (they’re not wet, but we’re going to have to move the closet when the plumber comes). After eating the egg sandwiches, we get changed for deacon class – I look like a good church lady in black slacks, a black and white flowered shirt with a black tank underneath, and black sandals with a chunky 2.5” heel. M goes with the classic golf shirt and dockers. While we’re getting changed, he mentions he needs new underwear, so I whip out the phone and order him some ($18.64). 6:30 pm: Home from deacon class and Mass and the groceries show up! I ordered them yesterday, but I don’t think the charge went through till today, so here goes. Asparagus, broccoli, celery, bananas, cucumber, lime, grape tomatoes, peaches, carrots, potatoes, spinach, lettuce, zucchini, frozen burgers, ground turkey, chicken breasts, whole chicken, fried chicken and a pot pie for J’s lunches, yogurt, sugar free pumpkin spice creamer (YES! I’ve been looking for it for weeks!), milk, heavy cream, OJ, k-cups, frozen green beans, cauliflower rice, stuffing mix, microwave rice, cake mix (the good ones were on sale), chicken broth, potato chips, and trash bags. Spent $154.95 including delivery, saved $14.50 (very low for me), tipped the delivery guy $10. 7:00 pm: After putting away all that food, what do we do? If you guessed order dinner, you’d be right! I don’t cook on Saturday unless we’re having company. We order from a new taco place – three each and “Mexican wings”. The wings were meh, but the tacos ranged from good to outstanding. $53.78 including tip. After dinner, M starts post-production of the Mass video and I do some laundry, watch the NASCAR race and the hockey game, and play games on my iPad. Remember, you’ll be old someday too! 11:00 pm: I go to the basement to pick up laundry and remember I wanted to order a new garden flag (this isn’t as random as it sounds – all my seasonal decorations are stored in the basement). I have had a cart set up for days with two garden flags ($6.99 each) and four magnetic mailbox covers for my parents for Christmas ($11.99 each) – they’ve talked about having a different one for each season, and I saw them when I was looking for a garden flag. Total with tax and free shipping: $61.94. I love Christmas and generally spend way too much on gifts so I’m trying to start shopping before December and at least spread out the pain. We went to a crafts fair a few weeks ago and I picked up a few things and now I’ve got this done – go me!! 12:30 pm: The hockey game is over (2 OT!) and I go to bed. M is napping waiting for his video production to finish. Daily Total: $463.27 Sunday, September 27 7:00 am: The alarm goes off – ugh. It’s the first day of Religious Ed (virtual, but I have to do a 9:45 zoom with my 4th graders). Coffee, social media, shower, dress, makeup. Put on a black eyelet dress because we’re going back to church today so M can videotape First Communion. Do the usual makeup/hair thing. 10:30 am: My 4th graders are great and we’re ready to roll (M has on a shirt and tie in honor of the First Communion), and we’re off to Mass. Drop off the food I bought for our food pantry last week and help him video. Of course, the kids are adorable! 12:00 noon: We’re starving after church, so we stop at our favorite local pizza place on the way home. Get a variety of slices for $22.62, including a tip (we’re getting it to go, but I’m tipping everywhere, because I know restaurants have been hurt badly by the pandemic. These folks are in NYC and still haven’t opened inside dining.) 1:30 pm: Ate, ran more laundry, changed into the jeans I wore yesterday and a Yankees t-shirt and call the nail place. Of all my expenses, nails are probably the most non-negotiable – I’ve been getting my nails done for 40 years, and when I couldn’t do so during the lockdown, I was miserable. They can take me right away, which makes me happy. 3:00 pm: All 20 nails done – gel on the fingers and a regular pedicure with callus removal ($75 plus $15 tip = $90). I went with an autumn theme and got copper on the fingers and bronze toes – the nail polish looked in the jar like it would match the toes, but it doesn’t. Stop at CVS for eye cream (Olay for tired eyes) and mascara (L’Oreal Voluminous) - $27 with coupons. M asked me to pick up cigs on the way home, so I do, as well as vape cartridges, which I don’t technically need yet, but it will save a trip later in the week ($36). 3:30 pm: While at the nail place, I saw that one of our favorite local restaurants had a fire, which consumed an entire block of restaurants and small businesses. The Chamber of Commerce is doing a GoFundMe, and I donate $25 to the cause - $28.75 including the charge. I also notice that the weekly charge for my church donation went through ($75). 11:30 pm: Took a quick nap (the highlight of my week every week), put some fall decorations out, had our family Zoom call, laundry, got the end of the winter clothes moved upstairs, had dinner (roast chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and roasted asparagus), made an apple crisp (I’m not a huge dessert person but M is and I like making desserts, so it works), watched baseball, football, the NASCAR race, and basketball, and took a quick shower. Bring a Light & Fit Toasted Coconut Vanilla yogurt (the best!) to bed, finish my book (“Next Stop, Chancey”) and find the next in the series on my iPad – I’ve read them all before, but I’m in the mood for something cozy, especially after reading about the Current Occupant’s taxes – ugh!) , and turn off the lights around midnight. Daily Total: $279.37 Monday, September 28 6:45 am: I work from home M/W/F and so I can sleep in. Relatively speaking, anyway. Get dressed in a sleeveless top and shorts (despite the fall decorations, fall nails, and roast chicken/apple crisp, it feels rather summery out there), do makeup, have some coffee and scroll through emails/socials, move yet another load of laundry (I’m trying to get it all done before the plumber comes), find the number for the plumber and give it to M to call, get the trash out, and boil some eggs for breakfast this week. I’m sitting in front of the computer by 8:15, which is ok (technically, my hours are 8:30-5:30 – it’s usually more like 8:30-6:00, and on WFH days, starting at 7:30 is not unheard of). M drops off the car at the shop – I think I forgot to mention this, but he mentioned yesterday that when he was driving around Saturday, there was a grinding noise when he backed up. More joy to come, I’m sure. 9:45 am: I hear M on the phone with the garage – apparently, they can get a used part and do the job for $450. Not great, but it’s better than it might have been! He works from home basically every day except when he has to see customers, but thankfully we’re separated enough that we can hear each other but it’s not intrusive. 10:30 am: Between cursing at people on the phone, M calls the plumber and I grab some cheese and more coffee! I’d tell you about my job, but honestly, it’s not worth talking about. Basically, I go to meetings, take notes on meetings, and send follow-ups (I do other things, but that’s most of it). When I get off my 11:00 am meeting, I’ll find out when the plumber is coming. You guys are getting a much more exciting week than I expected! 12:30 pm: What a miserable day – it seems like everyone is annoyed! Take a break to eat a slice of leftover pizza and a Diet Coke (M finishes some rotisserie chicken from last week). He says the plumber may come today to look at the situation but can’t do the work till tomorrow. 6:00 pm: Keep my head down and get some work done in the afternoon and knock off for the day. Run downstairs and make dinner – “tacos” with strips of beef grilled with Korean barbecue sauce, shredded cabbage, cheddar cheese, pineapple salsa, cucumber slices, and lime inside warmed tortillas. Delicious, if I say so myself! 7:30 pm: I get on a Zoom faith sharing meeting and M gets on a Zoom religious ed class. 11:59 pm: Contemplated Sunday’s Gospel with my small group, watched Tampa Bay win the Stanley Cup, took a shower and set clothes out for tomorrow, and off to bed. M picked up the car after Religious Ed. Daily Total: $450.00 Tuesday, September 29 5:45 am: Ugh. Up and out – I’m wearing a green dress with a black jacket and have black slingbacks in my bag. I have to walk 30 short blocks and five long blocks once I get off the train, so I’m traveling light. I used to take the subway to my office, but since COVID, I try to limit that as much as possible. 7:45 am: Off the railroad and walk uptown. I actually don’t mind the walk, because when I WFH, I walk very little – at the beginning of the lockdown, I had a nice walking routine, but lately the work seems to start the minute I wake up, so walking to work takes care of getting in those STEPS! I forgot my boiled eggs and I’m starving, so I end up buying an egg sandwich. $5.43 12:30 pm: Because I only go to the city twice a week and I have to walk uptown with all my work stuff, I don’t bring lunch often (pre-pandemic, I used to bring breakfast and lunch every day, but I also took the subway). Decide to run to Pret and my boss and co-worker both ask me to pick something up. Of course, no one (including me) has anything but a $20, so they both say they’ll get me next time. I get my favorite chicken parm wrap and a Diet Coke. $32 12:45 pm: I look at my personal email and discover that J’s car registration needs to be renewed. Hop on the DMV website and take care of that. $158.50. I also realize I never took out the sausages for tonight’s dinner and call M to ask him to do so. He mentions the plumber has still not shown up. 5:45 pm: Leave a little early to get to the Fed Ex office and make my train home. I’m a little later than I’d like to be and it’s raining, so I get the subway, which is thankfully empty, reasonably clean, and quick. $2.75 7:15 pm: M picks me up at the train station and mentions that he was so busy working that he didn’t take the sausages out. He asks me what I want to eat and we end up at Wendy’s. Cheeseburger, fries, and (surprise, surprise) a Diet Coke. He gets the same thing, but bigger. $19.75 11:30 pm: Avoid the debate by watching the Yankees pound the Indians. Usual routine (plus ironing a shirt for J, because he has to go to a customer tomorrow) and off to sleep. I’m up to Book 3 in the Chancey series, for those keeping score. Daily Total: $218.43 Wednesday, September 29 5:30 am: Double ugh. Woke up to use the bathroom and couldn’t get back to sleep, so here we are. Get dressed (long-sleeved Yankees t-shirt, straight leg jeans), do the face, have some coffee, and try to avoid the fact that my boss sent me an email at 11:00 pm last night looking for changes to a document, which I said I would do today. Get the trash out, pick up a little around the house, and get to work by 7:00. OH, and despite the lack of plumber and his lack of general motivation, M moved the plastic closet…in front of the washing machine! Glad I bought him underwear, because I won’t be doing laundry any time soon. Now I’m wondering if he looked at the menu (I am an obsessive meal planner and post it on the fridge weekly) and that’s why he didn’t take the sausages out – he’s avoiding zoodles! He can run but he can’t hide – I have zucchini and I’m going to spiralize it sooner or later! 8:00 am: The document my boss needed is out, the agenda for our 9:00 am meeting is done, the morning emails are sorted (for now), and I got a link to our parish survey up on the Facebook page, so I make an egg and cheese on a tortilla and eat at my desk. 12:50 pm: Wednesday is conference call hell – I have recurring calls every Wednesday at 9:00, 10:30, and 11:30, and the added fun today of a 10:00. There’s also a webinar every Wednesday that I try to tune into. Grab some chips and a Diet Coke and go check it out. 2:15 pm: Still no damn plumber, but I’ll let M worry about that when he’s home tomorrow. My garden flags arrived, so that’s good. Hoping to get out and put the pumpkin one out before it gets dark, but the way today is going, that might not actually happen. However, I realize I never put dinner in the crockpot. Luckily, it only takes 3-4 hours on high, so I take care of that. It’s Tuscan Chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. By 2:30, I’m back at my desk with another Diet Coke and hard at it. Nightmares of rescheduling meetings, missing documents, etc. 6:45 pm: Still at my desk! OK, I took some time to send an email to the parish webmaster about the survey, update this, and read the R29 money diary of the day. But overall, I’ve been working with no apparent end in sight – I could easily be here all night, but I won’t be because (a) I’m falling asleep at my desk and (b) I have a 7:30 Religious Ed teachers meeting. Hopefully I won’t fall asleep during that. Make a list of things for my boss and I to review tomorrow and finish prepping dinner. 7:15 pm: Dinner was delicious – we had the chicken with rice for M and cauliflower rice for me, sautéed broccoli, and a basic salad (bagged spring mix, cherry tomatoes, cucumber). Now off to Zoom! 11:45 pm: The Yankees game is still on, but I’m showered, my clothes are set out for tomorrow, and I’m fading. Turn off the light and hope for a win. Daily Total: $0.00 (bet you didn’t see that coming!) Thursday, October 1 5:45 am: You know it…ugh. Get up, coffee, very quick scroll through the Yankees score/e-mail/social media. Get dressed in a black v-neck sweater, black and gray plaid skirt, and black jacket (not the same one I wore the other day). Am grateful the skirt fits – I gained some weight and am trying to resist buying clothes. Make sure I have the right shoes in my bag – I’m wearing high-heeled gray suede Mary Janes today. 8:15 am: At my desk and ready to go – I remembered to bring 2 hard-boiled eggs today, which I eat with coffee while looking through emails. 12:30 pm: Call after call after call, but I have a half-hour to eat. Run to the fancy buffet place that just re-opened for 2 meatballs, brussels sprouts, broccoli, salad, and the inevitable Diet Coke ($15.75). Manage to eat before my 1:00 pm call – go me! 3:30 pm: Leave to go to a job site and pick something up that has to be shipped to Italy. Something that's almost as tall as me, but thankfully not heavy. Taxi down there because I’m in a hurry and I can get reimbursed ($14.04, including tip), expensed. 4:00 pm: I get a cab to the Fed Ex office – thankfully the first one I see is a minivan, so I fit in just fine ($12.74, including tip), expensed. 5:30 pm: Well, that was harder than it needed to be – the Fed Ex office I went to didn’t have a box that would fit the item, so they suggested another Fed Ex office about 6 blocks away, so I had to walk through midtown Manhattan carrying an object almost as tall as me (it's 5' long and I'm 5'3" tall) while dodging oblivious people. Thankfully, the other office had my box, and they were super-sweet and helpful, but it took them forever to get it done. Bought the box and bubble wrap, which will be expensed (I brought the Fed Ex label, but I don’t remember the account number) ($43.54). Get a nice early train home, though! 6:45 pm: Wow, we’re eating when I’m usually getting the train! Cheeseburgers, tots (tater for J, cauliflower for me), green beans, and vinegar coleslaw with the end of the shredded cabbage. Get the kitchen cleaned and the dishwasher run and settle in to watch the Jets – I’m not holding out much hope, but you never know! 11:30 pm: I’ve showered, set out clothes for me and M (he’s seeing customers tomorrow), I prepped for Youth Group, which I’m leading because he’ll be working, and the Jets are winning, so I decide it’s time to sleep. Up to Book 5 of the Chancey series. I find series usually go downhill after about the third or fourth book, but I’m not sure what I feel like reading, so here we are. OH, at some point M must have gone to the convenience store, because there are vape cartridges on the table ($36). Daily Total: $122.07; $70.32 expensed Friday, October 02, 2020 6:00 am: Wake up, grab coffee, find out the Jets lost after all, do the morning e-mail/social media scroll. Leaving early to deal with that work errand has left me with a ton of stuff to do, so I get dressed (long-sleeved v-neck gray t-shirt, white tank because the v-neck is halfway to my belly button, dark wash skinny jeans), put out the trash, peel two hard-boiled eggs, and head to my desk. 12:30 pm: As always, call after call after call. Plus a bit of aggravation when my boss asks me at 10:30 for an agenda for the 11:00 call, which I sent him at about 7:30, and which he returns at 10:59 with the formatting looking like nothing on earth. Yay whee! And a project was mentioned that he forgot to tell me I’d do. So in case I thought I’d have nothing to do (that never happens on Fridays), that’s not happening. Anyway, between calls, I run downstairs for the lunch of champions – a Hot Pocket and a Diet Coke. Just that kind of day. 6:15 pm: Realize I have to run Youth Group at 7 and I haven’t even done my haimakeup. Get that done, heat up some frozen cauliflower rice/broccoli/cheese combination and add some leftover chicken. With a green salad on the side, surprisingly yummy. 8:15 pm: I am not a good youth leader…couldn’t get anyone talking about the subject of the day, which I thought would be a good one. I did make them laugh a few times, so that’s something. M is going to have some expenses because he went to see customers today, but I don’t know what they are and his company will reimburse him, so I’m just leaving them out. Daily Total: $0.00 This is the Week That Was: Food + Drink: $326.06 Fun / Entertainment: $108 (if people can put drugs in as entertainment, I’m putting our nicotine in) Home + Health: $61.94 Clothes + Beauty: $165.64 Transport: $638.03 (some of it will be expensed) Other: $234.47 Lastly, reflect on your diary! How do you feel about your spending? Was this a normal week for you? Has this inspired you to make changes or has it given you a “wow I’m doing pretty good” confidence boost? Is there anything you’re actively working on? No need to answer any or all these questions but just use this space to write any thoughts you have! This was a fairly normal week except for the car breaking and needing to be registered – we're saving some now that we WFH more because M will not bring food from home, but I used to bring breakfast and lunch at least four days a week. I know we should make changes, but I also know we don’t want to – honestly, if you looked at the way I lived 15 years ago, I’ve made a lot of changes already. We’re working on the credit cards – I’ve gotten rid of several already (paid off, not just moved balances around) and we don’t use them at all anymore (I can honestly say I don’t remember the last thing I charged). The bad news is that M’s car is on its last legs, and so I see car payments in our future. Hopefully, he’ll get something used – we have my car when we want to look good going somewhere (mine isn’t super-fancy, it just wasn’t hit by a bus and full of stuff for his job). OH, and the plumber still hasn’t shown up! But that will be for next week’s expenses.
The Year is 2006. Online poker is thriving. Partypoker has the highest traffic of any poker site but Pokerstars are gaining new players quickly with aggressive marketing strategies. Lots of poker sites are investing heavily into marketing and one key place to channel their advertising budget is TV. New innovations, improved graphics and increasing funding meant that poker TV is at an all-time peak of popularity. 40% of the the 2006 WSOP Main Event’s attendance is from online sites and poker sites are offering large amounts of cash for players on TV to wear an advertising patch. According to Dan Goldman’s blog, Pokerstars spent over $730,000 on WSOP players’ gift bags. The WSOP is seeing more TV time and this year the $50k HORSE event is added to the TV schedule alongside the WSOP main event. This year’s $50k WSOP HORSE final table saw some huge names including Chip Reese, Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and Doyle Brunson.
The Path of a New Player
In Finland, Mikael Paisting is watching the 2006 WSOP on TV. He enjoys watching poker broadcasts and is fascinated by the game. It’s a very common story for players to catch an interest by watching poker TV and sign up with to one of the many poker sites available. He chooses to deposit on Partypoker. Mikael is a committed learner and player. He reads several poker books from well-known authors such as Dan Harrington and David Sklansky. He also watches many training videos. Like many players starting in online poker he begins at the microstakes cash tables. Microstakes are a rite of passage for many online poker players. The limits range from 2nl to 10nl, so the standard buy in is $2-10. Some will play microstakes for weeks, months or even years improving their game and increasing their bankroll so they can move up to small stakes, 25nl and above. Some players see the microstakes as a job and play as many tables as they can to eke out a living wage. Some players have never played microstakes and skip it entirely for higher stakes. Mikael starts to play and doesn’t do well, this is normal for many beginners, even those who study. However, over the next few weeks Mikael continues to lose. Months go by and Mikael still hasn’t turned a profit. He discovers problems with tilt and often takes his frustration out in the chat box. An example of his rage:
Paisting:THAT IS NOT NORMAL OMG!! JUST UNBELIEVABLE
Mikael doesn’t play 10nl very often and spends the majority of him time playing 2nl and 5nl. He continues to multitable cash games on Partypoker but he just can’t win. He starts to lose big, thousands of dollars, mostly at 2nl which is known as the softest cash game on the internet.
Mikael continues to play long sessions over the next five years, he claims to play 5-7 days a week for 4-8 hours a day. By 2011 he had played 2 and a half million hands while playing 6 to 9 cash tables at one time. Mikael is still mostly playing 2nl and is down a colossal amount: $7000. Mikael has been suffering from major tilt problems and has a very wild and noticeable style of playing microstakes. He starts to get noticed on 2+2, a very popular poker forum. A player posts a link to his PTR graph, a site which tracks online cash games. They are shocked at his losses over so many hands:
yegor: wow such a massive fail he played 2.5m hands at 2nl and 5nl and he's losing Donkey111: I remember him from my 2NL days. often goes on some massive tilt sessions and spews like 20 BI in 500 hands by shoving any 2 cards preflop.
He even gets hate from his PTR account where he is ridiculed on his profile comments, he also replies:
VELAir26: Spend your time with family, friends or other hobbies instead Paisting: im fine with this you stupid idiot
Mikael continues to play his reckless and tilting style over the years. By 2014, he has been playing for 8 years and is down five figures at microstakes; he starts to look for excuses for how much he has lost. He posts a thread on 2+2 detailing how he feels that he wins at the start of the month and then inevitably starts to lose. He asks how he can take legal action against Partypoker. His fellow posters tease him:
5thStreethog: Did the thought ever cross your mind that it might be possible that the reason you cant beat NL2 in over a million hands might be because you arent very good at poker?
An Attempt at Redemption
2019 comes and MikaelPaisting has been playing microstakes for 13 years, and steadily losing a lot of money. He got a new computer in late 2018 and has been grinding away on it. Mikael is getting mentioned more on 2+2 and he is well known on the tables of Partypoker as he drops stack after stack. Many players on Partypoker furiously try to get on his tables to call his tilt shoves; when Mikael is present other player’s stacks can get as high as $100 at 2nl as he shoves buy in after buy in to button steals. Some were said to be using seating scripts to instantly be placed on a table with Paisting. At this point he is feeling very low. But despite years of losing money and insane tilting he is determined to improve. Mikael is aware of his losses and has a fierce desire to make back the money he has lost since he’s started tracking on his new PC. He decides get help and he looks to 2+2, the very same forum that had mocked him over the last decade. He logs in as Paisting, his last name. He starts a new thread, types out a post and chooses a title: 'Biggest loser in online poker history wants to grind $16k'. He posts this thread in the sub-forum Poker Goals & Challenges, a place where players post their goals and try to update their thread with their progress. He posts graphs of his losses from his database on his PC. He starts the thread by posting some shocking graphs of $8700 lost at 2nl, $6000 lost at 5nl and $800 lost at 10nl. At 2nl he had an incredible rate of -170BB each 100 hands. The final graph of his microstakes losses posted show $15,000 lost over 365,000 hands. An average loss of $75 a day. The 2+2 poker community are stunned by the graphs:
HorseofHell: I'm actually shocked it's possible to lose this much at 2nl Mahsjdj: This can't be real can it?
Mikael posts about the hard work he’s put into poker and mentions that has watched videos, read many instructional books and is honest with his astounding losses:
Paisting: I've lost literally all my money including all my life savings to online poker. I want to try one last time to win those money back and little bit of extra. That's why $16k. What I need is support and guiding.
The community react to his plan to grind all the money back at microstakes:
Fodersneso: This is really disturbing. Why on earth would you try to grind this all back? Losing at this rate is traumatizing. You're going to grind out 3000 BIs @nl5 now or what's the plan? Really curious how you think you can turn this pile of insanity around...
The community show disbelief and doubt that his story is real but several posters claim that what he says is true. He has been active in Finnish forums for more than 10 years and players starts to share hand histories and stories about his playstyle. He posts about his regret of picking the game up:
Paisting: Never had a winning week in 13 years. If it were possible to go back ten years I would say to myself "Do not never play single one hand!"
He then goes on to tell 2+2 posters a disturbing source of his funds for his staggering 2nl losses:
Paisting: I've taken huge amount of fast loans.
He sheds a little light into his personal life:
Paisting: My age and relationships has nothing to do with this. But not working, no kids or wife and middle aged. What I have is time to play. I get a little unemployment benefit that goes straight to the rent. My eating costs are very little because I'm only eating one meal per day. There are times when I must take more fast loans if need of clothes, unexpected bills, sickness etc. That's why getting back those $16k is so important to me. No disability, never played anything else than poker or lottery when pots are bigger, maybe 5 times in year. Playing poker does not give me any excitement or I'm not cheering won pots.
Posters try to give him strategy advice, they try to persuade him time and time again that shoving 100+ blinds to a minsteal isn’t a good idea. Some others question his sanity and tell him to quit:
FazendeiroBH: Not trolling, I´m actually serious here. You lost an absurd amount of money playing the easiest stake in the world (nl2). You keep losing doing the same faulty strategy. No book ever said you should jam 100 bb preflop rfi. It´s quite obvious there is something wrong with you and your brain, and the more you delay seeking professional care for your mental problems, the worst it´s gonna be for you.
Paitsing updates his thread with highlight hands from his cash sessions. He seems to cherry pick hands to post and will only post hands where he loses all ins as a 70-95% favourite. He delusion leads him to blame the site, his luck and the other micro grinders. He often writes about specific players and gives his opinion on how badly they play. He often quotes their HUD stats and wide calling ranges while ignoring that they are probably adjusting heavily to his own playstyle. Some time passes and he discloses that he has lost almost $500 at 2nl since starting the thread three weeks ago. He updates his followers with the first monthly graph of the thread from his 2nl play in April 2019. He plays for 90 hours in April and his average daily loss is $50, 25 buy ins each day. 2+2 players start to analyse the graph. They notice that there are several breakeven spots where he may be playing reasonable poker but also huge 150 buy in downswings, some drops in the graph are so steep that he is losing about a buy in every 5 hands for periods of hundreds of hands. He says:
Paitsing: Only trying to get my money back from guys who are playing nl2 forever and never moving up. When I started poker long time ago I tought it's exciting to read watch videos if it gives me more money. After 2 years figured out it's just sitting on computer like in work and if I'm someday +-0 never ever playing this stupid game. This is like war.
The thread goes on like this for almost a year. The thread repeats itself over and over. He will post a few selective bad beats, ignore good advice and berate his microstakes tablemates. A fellow microstakes grinder makes his first appearance in the thread: 6betpot. 6Betpot would play at Paisting's tables and often win many buy ins, 6Betpot would go on to post highly contrasting hand histories to the bad beats that Paisting posts, he would also reveal Paisting’s preflop 3 bet is around 30%. Some players would criticize 6Betpot for predatory behavior but 6Betpot would maintain that he would try to persuade Paisting to stop playing in a spewy manner. Someone asks to see the hands and 6Betpot posts some, here is one:
888 Poker - $0.02 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players BTN: 250.5 BB SB (Paisting): 425.5 BB BB: 101.5 BB UTG: 100 BB MP: 106.5 BB CO: 84.5 BB Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) BTN has AdQs fold, fold, fold, BTN raises to 2 BB, Paisting raises to 425.5 BB and is all-in, fold, BTN calls 248.5 BB and is all-in Flop: (502 BB, 2 players) Kh4s4c Turn: (502 BB, 2 players) 3h River: (502 BB, 2 players) Jc BTN shows AdQs (One Pair, Fours)
Paisting wins 471 BB< Later in the thread Paisting would reveal his line of thinking during hands like these; a poster asked why he though 3 betting hands like J5 was a good idea. Paisting replies:
Paisting: If you don't want them to run over you, you must do something. Blind play is very important and you can't let them run over you. When 80+ habit stealer gets shoves straight to his face he must learn at some point that I'm not giving blinds.
Many tried to reason with him and show him clearly why this was wrong, he not only refuted their strategy but would argue against them, often citing his opponent’s HUD stats. Later on in the thread Mikael posts horrifying news. He explains that he didn’t transfer hands from his old computer to his new computer. The graphs he posted at the start of the thread only showed the tip of the iceberg. He reveals that $16k loss from the graphs was from just 7 months of play!:
Paisting: That 16k is in 209 days and in about 1 year as you can see from the first post. Big part of my losings has left to hard drive of my old crashed computer. That's past and I don't wanna think about it anymore. Main goal is this database I have here in my computer. But yes what I have been repeating many times, moving to 888 poker has sky rocketed my losses although I can play only 6 tables compared to party's 9 tables.
Posters speculate that his lifetime microstakes losses probably amount to six figures:
SpinMeRightRound: I mean if he's lost $20k in the last year, and he's been doing this for more than 10 years, he may have lost $200k or more.
In late 2019, Paisting claims that there was a ring of players were colluding against him. He goes on to say that the new site he plays on, 888, were asking for hand histories from certain players. He showed emails of his communications and posted that 8 players had had their account frozen. He also shows screenshots that his account is temporarily frozen during the investigation. Posters speculated:
CrunchyBlack: Pretty sure they think you're chip dumping lmao .isolated: They think you're chip dumping to him. Funniest. Thing. Ever. The irony here is nearly palpable.
2020: The Struggle Continues
At the end of the year Paisting posts his 2019 graphs. He says that he hasn’t had a winning week yet and he’s still committed to making back 2019’s losses. His graphs show down 12k from 320k hands of 2nl in 2019. In January 2020 he continues to post regularly and makes comments about him hunting down players worse than him:
Paisting: When you hunt really bad player (yes enzet there are plenty of worst player than me on 888 look those hand histories really carefully) hours and hours and wait good hand just to site let them to suck out it is affecting your game really badly.
He posts about his continuing struggle to win back the $16k:
Paisting: I have years dedicated for this project and anything back from that amount is winning to me. At this point it’s impossible to make any profit because of horrible suckouts.
He also posts about the high interest loans he’s taken out:
Paisting: I have huge amounts of loans that are basically all taken for poker. I don't eat much and all my other costs are very low. And because of those loans I must get back so much money that is possible and these suck outs must stop.
February 2020 arrives and he posts his January chart, the worst posted yet. He takes a gigantic loss of $1,550 at an eye-watering rate of 210bb/100 hands. Often when he posts monthly graphs he would highlight that he ran a few buy ins below EV when he would be down hundreds of buy ins for the month. The months pass and the cycle continues. Paisting posts the usual bad beats, posters berate him and try to give him advice and Paisting resists their efforts. Here is one of many similar hands posted in February:
March comes and the regular monthly graph is posted. The uploaded graph shows is he down $1900 or 950 buy ins for last month. Mikael refutes that he is a gambling addict:
Paisting: 888 has given many 10 dollar bonuses to me play slots. I have never played them and in fact my account has 20 dollars freeplay bonus to play their slots. I will not use those money now or in future. So that's gambling addict to you.
April and May roll by and the monthly graphs are posted. He played fewer hands than normal, 43,000. But is down $1,250, all at 2nl. In June he posts the usual monthly graph with -$1900 and it’s the lowest win rate he’s posted before, a colossal -335b/100hands, the graph has some alarmingly steep downswings with one section where he loses $500 in 1000 hands. That’s a loss of one buy in every 4 hands. Getting these monthly updates shows how quickly he loses money at 2nl and collaborates with earlier estimations that he is likely down more than $100k at microstakes over the past 14 years. Approximations indicate that Mikael has paid over $20k in rake to poker sites over the years.
The End, for Now
Mikael is still playing microstakes to this day. His poker story isn’t over yet but so far it is a sad one. My previous two Tales from 2+2 stories had mostly happy endings but not this one. This story is like a car falling down a cliff and it hasn’t hit the bottom yet. Let this story be a lesson that poker isn’t for everyone. Players with addiction or mental issues should reconsider if the game is best for their lives. Serious poker players should consider bankroll management and how tilt affects their winrate if they do choose to play. Seek help if you think you or others need it. Original thread (Still active)
Milestone REACHED!!! Down from 400 to 350 in 9 months!
TLDR: Back in December I learned there can be enormous consequences to my lifestyle, started to decrease calories intake, built up new social group, months later I was working out regularly. Then I lose my job and most of social group in a week, was devestated, backslid, but my newly formed habits still held somewhat firm and even after a month of neglecting my health I hadn't gained any new weight, just slowed my weight loss. Never give up you beautiful Redditors! Long post, but a story I bet many of you can appreciate or relate to. ... December 2019: I started to take my weight loss 'seriously' which mostly meant I'd stop ordering deep dish pizza's at 10 pm after already downing a 6 pack of beer on a weekday. I wasn't weighing myself then, but I did know I was around 400 lbs from a recent doctor's visit about 2 months prior (and if anything I gained weight in those 2 months). Why'd I start losing weight? well, there had been a lot of thing's I'd already 'lost' to obesity; sitting comfortably in the stands at sporting events, going to plays/movies comfortably, some chairs I had to stop sitting on, roller coasters, most sports, hiking with friends....so what tipped the scale finally? What did it? My neighbor's ultra rare disease and her alcoholism. Nothing against this woman, she was honestly a total sweetheart, she once got me a 6 pack of my favorite beer for helping her back in the apartment building one night when she was blackout. But one day we run into each other while I'm out at the dumpster having a smoke, she's in a sling so I ask what happened. Apparently, she went out to the bars and blacked out, came home and fell down the stairs breaking her arm and pinching a bunch of nerves. Due to a previously unknown/untested disease she has, her arm will never fully heal, for the rest of her life she will be unable to write with that hand, her dominant hand. This. Terrified. Me. I was already killing myself through obesity, but I figured "it's not permanent, just a phase" .... but now if my drinking and weight cause a broken limb, maybe I'll suddenly have this permanent, life changing disability and I'll 100% be at fault of. January: So less drinking, still drinking, still smoking (only when drinking, but still bad), but a lot less than before. Weight gets a bit better, but I'm still anxious about working out in public and I was too broke (at the time) for a regular gym membership, so no real working out, just more dog walking. February: I see Covid popping up in China and fringe articles talking about it's quick spread and how contagious it is, I decide there is no way I'm quarantine-ing alone. I move back with the folks and my brother, who's in town from LA as their office closed down due to covid about 2 weeks after I moved back home. Now I'm not ordering $60 deep dish meals at 10 pm because my brother sleeps 10 ft from me with only a curtain seperating us, and my shame at binge eating outweighs my need to binge eat. So less calories, this is the first time I start noticing my breathing becoming easier and my joints in less pain. March: I start playing Dungeons and Dragons for the first time in my life, and it turns out I'm actually really good at running games, like people are SHOCKED it's my first time doing it. I build a new social network online and have regular games/social events with this new group, mood increased, binge eating goes WAY down. Still drinking, but never on game nights, so that's (at least) 3 days a week I no longer drink. April: Intervention time, Mom is angry I'm antisocial and in my room all day. Completely fair point and I'm not mad at her about it, I explain how my new social group works and where it exists online, she sort of gets it but not really. So I ask, what can I do to make her happy? because we are in lockdown so it's not like I can go out and make friends. She asks me to bike. So I bike. Maybe 2x a week max, but I'm biking. May: Biking is no longer painful! I got a better seat, bike lights, I'm stretching daily so my limbs don't hurt, oh yea, and my limbs no longer hurt, fucking awesome! My hands stop hurting too, which means I can go back to writing stories and do more work on the computer without pain, fantastic! I buy a scale, May 1st I'm at 376 lbs. Games are going great, working remote, saving money, getting out of debt, life is sweet! Not only this, but I start to plan out my future for the first time in 4 years, I now have a plan to create an online community/entertainment conglomorate to propel me to a future career in entertainment post quarantine! I just need to keep making cash while working in my free time! June: OH FUCK I LOST MY JOB! OH FUCK MY GAMES ARE ENDING BECAUSE QUARANTINE IS LIFTING! WHAT JOBS DO I EVEN APPLY FOR?!? I kept biking, occasionally, but I'm still slow, also I'm drinking more than before, like almost as bad as it was before December 2020. Last measured weight was the day I lost my job, at 359 lbs. July: okay, calm yourself, apply to some jobs, do some writing, some video making, some D&D occasionally, but I just can't bring myself to run games, I just lost everything so quickly I feel like a piece of garbage, I'm worthless, I can't even bring myself to apply for a new job :( I keep biking, eat out less because no income, but ugh, not in the best place. Too ashamed to weigh myself. August: Total mental breakdown first week of the month when I'm denied a job at trader joes. a grocery store. I was an IT data analyst before covid, now I'm not qualified for this job???? Fall into depression. Working out barely helps, but it helps a bit. Regularly logging weight, but missed goal weight in July so I must be failing right? Weigh myself for the first time in 2 weeks...358 lbs...I'm not backsliding?...?????? Wait....this is working????? Now today, I've been under 350 lbs for the last 3 days, so I'm no longer fluctuating on the low side, I've officially reached my weight goal of 350! I'm still looking for work, but I've got enough $ to make it through September, with my renewed energy I'm sure I'll get back into a healthy schedule/swing of things! Never give up guys. You may feel like your failing for months at a time, if you keep up the workouts, keep up calorie control, keep up even one or two aspects of your weight loss journey, you won't backslide nearly as badly as previous attempts. I'm down 50 lbs and I'm not stopping. May of this year I could barely bike 3.8 miles at a pace of 6 min miles, today I just completed 9 mile bike ride with an average mile pace of 4:36. And I can run up stairs without getting winded! It's the small stuff I'm learning to celebrate, love yourself, you will get over your hump, just keep fighting, because it's up to you to make tomorrow a better day than today!
The morning alarm woke up Ghen. With an annoyed sigh, he stretched out his arm and silenced the foul-sounding chirps. Slowly sitting up in bed, he let out a deep yawn and got to his feet. Running a couple of chitinous fingers along his antennae to stimulate them to life, he made his bed and then went to his closet. Today was a work day, so he needed his suit. Once the pants were on, he stretched out his wings so that he could button up the shirt, then relaxing them once all the buttons were secured. Dressing for the day was done, now for the morning meal. Entering his kitchen, he took out the chilled leftovers of the evening meal last night and popped it into the radiator, first defrosting and then slightly cooking it. During that process, he also fished out a ceramic cup and placed it in his brewer, serving himself some synthesized caffeine. His idle thought led him to being amused that, when eaten directly off a plant, it has a concentration that could kill him three times over. But after going through some refinement and roasting, all it does is make him hyper. Once the meal was put together, his plate of heated leftovers and a cup of almost-piping-hot cup of Xia's, he took his time to enjoy it. His communicator vibrated. When he looked, he found it was from his boss. "Hello?" Ghen answered. "Ghen, the meeting's been moved up to a few minutes from now." His boss, Xkik, announced. "Apparently higher up has something important they want to say. We have a terminal ready for you, I'll message the login details." "Wha-, what's so important?" Ghen asked in bewilderment. "Did a water line rupture or something?" "No, nothing like that." Xkik replied with a slight chuckle. "It's actually about the rumors we've been hearing. That human corporation wanting to acquire us? That's what they're talking about." Ghen could feel everything inside his thorax drop to the floor. "That must mean it's true then, right? Did we get sold off by the Queen to this company then?" "Show up to the meeting and you'll get your answer." Xkik said simply. When he finished, Ghen got the notification on his communicator. There's the login details, allowing him to remotely attend the meeting. "They're about to start, hurry up." Once Xkik disconnected, Ghen worked fast to login and set up the remote viewing. Once everything was done, his screen started transmitting the meeting room. It was already packed. And off by the main board, he saw his answer. There was a human, resting against the wall on his two legs. Standing right in the center of everyone's view was the coordinator, Tizx, watching the clock periodically. As soon as the meeting's start time was reached, the coordinator began. "Alright everyone. I realize that this was rather short notice, so I want to say how appreciative I am that you made it. Now then, let's just get right to it. For some time now, many of you have been hearing rumors that a human corporation has been interested in us. Why? We never really knew. We're just an organization responsible for finding, extracting and providing water to the colony here all under the direction of the Queen herself. Well, as of now, I have the answer for you. Why don't I let Ryan say that?" Stepping back, Tizx motioned for the human, Ryan, to take over. With a nod, Ryan practically bounced over and then took the position. "Good morning to you all. I hope my Zazk is passable, heh. Anyways, the answer to those rumors, is yes. Terran Galactic Company is indeed interested in you all. Which now leads to me. I'm here to announce that, effective yesterday evening, this water company is now a subsidiary of Terran Galactic Company, under the name of Zilia Water Delivery." Many other sub-coordinators broke into hushed conversation, no doubt speaking their thoughts with each other about this move. Ghen could only wonder if this was even a good thing. What will the humans do? Will he still have his job? Will he have to learn how to deal with the ruthless humans? "Now, I am well aware this is quite the...uh, change." Ryan continued. "That's why I'm happy to inform you that, no, nothing negative or detrimental will happen to you. You just have new people to answer to. Operations will continue as normal, everybody here will still keep their jobs. The only real change any of you will personally experience is that Coordinator Tizx here will now report to someone else. On behalf of the Terran Galactic Company, we are extremely excited and are looking forward to working with you all. Thank you for your time." A week later. At least Ryan wasn't lying. After the initial shock wore off, things went back as they normally did. There were no terminations, no reductions in annual pay or anything. Nothing really changed. At least until this new meeting was called. Ghen was at the worksite this time, so he took his seat and watched as, once again, Ryan led the meeting. "Hello again, everyone!" He said cheerfully, his Zazk noticeably improved. "I hope I didn't end up looking like a liar, right? Everything's still normal, all that?" All the zazk in the room confirmed, providing comments to their pleasant surprise as well as lingering thoughts. "Awesome! Awesome." Ryan said jubilantly, his fleshy mouth revealing his bone-white teeth. "Now then, you're probably wondering why I'm here again, right? Well, I got another fantastic piece of news for you all! Two, actually. I'll start with the first: Zilia Water Delivery has just completed its IPO. The company is now publicly traded!" Ghen and the others voiced their confusion, having no idea what in the name of the Queen Ryan was talking about. What was Ryan talking about? What's an IPO? And why exactly is being publicly traded such a significant thing? "Oh, you guys don't know any of that?" Ryan asked in surprised confusion. After everybody confirmed, he let out a quick huff as he began his explanation. "Well, to begin, IPO is short for Initial Public Offering. Basically what that means is that, before today, Zilia was privately held. Only certain individuals could buy and sell shares here. But now that we're public? Literally anyone can buy and sell shares in the company, hence us being publicly traded." "Uh, what's a share?" Ghen asked, still completely lost. "Oh, boy..." Ryan muttered under his breath before returning to his peppy image. "To simply put it, a share is short for having a share of ownership in a company. When you buy a share, you're buying a piece of ownership, and when you sell, you're selling that amount." "So wait...if someone buys a share, they're a co-owner then?" One of the other team coordinators asked. "If they get enough, yeah." Ryan nodded. "You need a lot though, and that really depends on the company. If I had to give an answer though? I'd say usually you need to have a lot more shares than a lot of people combined to be officially a co-owner, but we call that being a majority shareholder." "And how do we do that?" Ghen asked, now growing curious but still not understanding why such a concept exists. "Simple. Buy shares." Ryan said simply. "And that leads into the second piece of awesome news. Zilia's corporate has a product in mind, a premium-package of water delivery. Instead of the usual water that you pump out, filter and ensure its potable before delivery, with the premium package, not only will you get that, but you'll also get all of the required nutrients and vitamins the zazk body requires! And they feel you guys have the best expertise and understanding to pull it off! So, here's what we're offering as a good-faith bonus: A 25% increase to your annual salary as well as being given stock options." Ghen wasn't sure about the second part, but the salary definitely got his attention, as well as everyone else's. Although his job was considered to have a good pay, Ghen isn't going to say no to a higher salary. In fact, he's been focusing his work on getting a promotion so he can come home with even more credits in pocket. "What do you mean by stock options?" Ghen asked after some time. Ryan let out that smile again, the one that revealed his teeth. "If you choose to transfer over to the new group, you'll be provided 50,000 shares in Zilia itself. Why's that awesome? Let me walk you through it. Right now, our last closing price per share was 3.02 credits. And if you have 50,000 shares during that time, you're sitting on 151,000 credits, if you cash it out immediately." "And why shouldn't we?" One of the coordinators demanded in an ambiguous tone. "Because the price per share changes a lot." Ryan explained promptly. "When we got done with the IPO? It closed at 2.73 a share. Right now? My money's on the closing price being 2.99 a share. However, we are extremely confident in this premium package being successful. If it does? Well, my bet is that the share price will skyrocket to 3.12 a share. If you hold those shares and the price gets to what my bet was? You'll instead get 156,000 credits. Just by holding onto them, you just made an additional 5,000 credits!" "And what if we have more shares?" Ghen questioned, now getting excited at the prospect of free money. "Even more money!" Ryan laughed a bit. "And don't forget about dividends, but that's for another time. The premium group is gearing up right now, we just need the workforce. If any of you wants in, I'll be back tomorrow with all the forms needed to make it official. Take the day and tonight to think it over, yeah?" Everything else melted into a blur. Ghen was practically on autopilot that whole day. Was this the secret to the humans' incredibly massive economy? How so many of them have amassed so much money out of nowhere? All you had to do was just buy this share out of a company and you get more money without even working? As soon as he got home, Ghen knew what he was going to do during the night. After feverishly looking through the galnet, now having the human race connected to it, he looked and gathered up as many books that were translated into zazk as he could find, all talking about the human economic system. The last time he undertook such an intensive study was during his primary education phase. And during his search, he even found forums on the galnet that were completely dedicated to the human's economy. All of them talking about strategies on what company, or stock, to pick. How to analyze a company's performance to determine if it was worth the money, or it had potential to grow over time. And that was when he discovered the humans found another method to the extremely simple buying and selling process. There were humans and some other immigrated aliens who made five times what Ghen could receive over a simple month just by watching the share prices during trading hours, and then buying and selling them at the proper times. Ghen's mind was just absolutely flabbergasted. He thought it was just some strange concept only aliens could make, but no, not with the humans. They've practically made their economy into an art or a science. No, not even their economy. Everything. If humans can see a way to make money off of it, they'll do it. And if there isn't, they'll look for a way. Healthcare was monetized. Galnet services, transportation, shopping at the store, they even made all of their utilities into profit-oriented companies. And it was there that Ghen paused, the realization slamming into him. Everything was monetized. Which means, if you don't have the money for it, you're not getting it. Right? Are the humans truly that ruthless? So obsessed with making money? To the point that they're willing to deprive their own people of the absolute necessities if it's a source of credits? Ghen let out a scoff. There's no way. Nobody is that cruel and callous. He's never been to the United Nations. He can't rely on what a bunch of random people on the galnet says. He decided that from here on out, he'll only go as far as saying that humans are a little obsessed with credits, nothing more. ... There he was. Ryan, sitting in the office provided to him. And there was a rather large line leading to him. Looks like word got around. Although, the line wasn't as large as he expected it to be. Maybe the others thought it was just a ruse? That there's no such thing as making free money by spending it on such a made-up concept? Ghen only knows that, if it is a ruse, it's an extremely elaborate one, where all of the humans are in on it. And he believes that's just extremely ridiculous. At the end, if he's unsure, he'll just take the transfer for the very real increase in his very real salary. And although he spent a very good chunk of the night reading up on how humans do things, he's still going to play it smart. He'll leave his 50,000 shares alone and see where it goes from there. "Good morning sir." Ryan greeted warmly once Ghen took his seat. "Now, name please?" "Ghen." He answered, barely keeping his nerves down. "Alright...and what's your position at this location?" Ryan questioned after scribbling on his form. "I monitor the pumping stations near the extraction sites." Ghen explained, staying on point. "To be more specific, I check to see if they're in need of maintenance, as well as reading the flow rate that's determined by the calculators installed there. If there's too little for what's needed, I pump out more. And if there's too much, I pull it back a little." "Nice...and how long have you been doing it for?" Ryan complimented with a nod. "As of tomorrow, ten years." Ghen replied, voice quickly changing to minor awe once he realized that fact. "Excellent. Do you have anyone in mind you'd like to replace you here?" Ryan questioned after another scribble. "If you don't have anyone, you're free to say so." Ghen took a moment to think it over. A bunch of names went through his mind, but one stuck with him. "Tilik. He's just been accepted here, but he's learned quickly. Very attentive and he always catches something subtle. I think he'll do really well in my position, even better actually." "Tilik, really?" Ryan questioned with a little shock, going through his completed forms. Ghen felt a short sense of panic in him. Did something happen, or was Tilik actually transferring? His answer didn't take long to reveal itself. "Right, Tilik was actually one of the first people to want to transfer here. He's actually requested to be part of the testing teams specifically. Do you have a second choice?" "Um...no, actually." Ghen replied, feeling a little ashamed. "Tilik was my only choice, to be honest." "Hey, don't worry." Ryan said assuringly with his hands raised. "Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, there's just nobody up to snuff, right? 'Kay, so, last question. Is there anything specific you'd like to do when given the transfer?" "If you need someone monitoring new pumps, I'd be happy to do that." Ghen stated. "So basically same job but with better payoff, am I right?" Ryan grinned. "I hear you. Sometimes, we're just not paid enough for what we're doing. I know I think that sometimes. Uh, our secret, yeah?" "Yeah, our secret." Ghen nodded, thinking it'd be better to have friendly relations with the human, just in case. "Awesome. Back on topic, that's it." Ryan announced, placing the form on his pile. "We'll give you a call when you're accepted." "Oh, uh, that's it?" Ghen questioned with a shrug in shocked surprise. "What, expecting a question like, why do you want to transfer?" Ryan chuckled a bit as he leaned in his seat. "You can bullshit all you want, but we both know the answer. Sweet money and stock options. Not saying that's a bad answer of course, just that it's pretty obvious." "I suppose it is." Ghen commented, realizing the point. "Also, you mentioned this...dividend? Is that for Zilia shares?" Ryan laughed a little bit before nodding. "Yep, announced before I came here. About 0.43 per share. Want to know why that's awesome? Instead of waiting for the proper price to cash out your shares, now? The company pays you for each share you hold." "A...Are you serious?" Ghen demanded, flabbergasted. Ryan nodded with his now-trademark grin. "Dead serious. If you get the transfer, and get those 50,000 shares? A little head math...right, if you hold onto those, in addition to your salary, you'll now annually be paid 21,500 credits, if you keep it at 50,000 shares. Only you can decide to sell or buy shares." Ghen just stood there silent and motionless, no idea of whether to believe it or not, to which Ryan just laughed. Once he walked out of the room, he managed to snap back to reality. Again, just focus on the very real pay-raise. He'll deal with the other parts later. After he returned to his spot, he spotted Tizx approaching by his desk. The coordinator seems to be as casual as always. "I saw you in that line a bit ago, Ghen." He said as he leaned on the desk. "Guess you're really taking that human's word?" "I mean, I don't know about all this share business or what not." Ghen began with a shrug, his tone sounding a little defensive. "But I mean, having a bigger salary? Course I'm going for it when I can. And if all this magic credits turn out to be real? You realize we can live like the royal servants, right? Get the best cars, the nicest food and all that?" "I'd be very careful, Ghen." Tizx warned in a sudden shift in tone. "Don't trust those humans. The way they just...obsess over money? Come up with more and more insane ways of getting credits? I don't know, it just makes my wings twitch." "You think this is a bad idea?" Ghen asked with a little surprise at the change-in-demeanor. "I think you should be careful, with the humans, and with what you're saying." Tizx replied, straightening his posture. "I wouldn't put it past those Earthmen to backstab you if it gets them a few more credits. And we all know how the royal servants get if any of us lowly commoners start thinking we can break into their circle." "I hear you, I'll be on my guard, promise." Ghen stated with a nod. With a confirming nod of his own, Tizx returned back to his duty, walking past Ghen's desk. Several weeks later. Everything became so much better. Ghen got the transfer. He didn't need to relocate to a new residence either. And after he was walked through into learning how to manage his stock account, and seeing that new form of payment in his hands, he already felt as though he made the best decision. But it was only when he decided to take those shares more seriously that he became privy to what he was given. After receiving the dividend payment, and actually seeing it was real, valid credits after transferring it to his main bank account, all he could describe was the most powerful high he ever felt. While his first thoughts were to buy himself a royalty-class car, some nicer furnishings for his home, or even a better home entirely, he ended up going the smarter route. After going back to his stock account, he discovered that Zilia's shares rose to about 3.22 credits in price. Knowing that this was the easiest money he could ever make, he took all of his dividend earnings and bought more shares in Zilia, bringing him to owning 56,891. And from his new regional coordinator, a human named Dylan, tomorrow is the grand release of the premium package. For just a monthly rate of 14.99 credits, the tap water will now include a sizeable portion of all nutrients and vitamins required in the zazk physiology. Still, Ghen has to admit. He's not entirely sure why anybody would want such a thing, if they'd even go for it. But, as long as he's practically swimming in easy credits, he won't pay much attention to it. And just like when he was intensively studying the basics of how the human economy worked, he barely got any sleep. His mind was constantly thinking about the things he would buy. Or rather, what other stocks to put his credits into. Even now he can still hardly believe it. Just spend your money on some, make-believe thing and, if you wait long enough and picked the right stock, you'll get more than you spent back? His mind even wandered onto what human colonies, or even their homeworld, Earth, was like. If everybody was making so much money, what kind of things would they offer? What kind of ridiculous service or product or item can you get? He's even debating on joining some forum and just asking around. Explain how he's new to how humans do things and was wondering what he should expect if he's successful. By the time he felt like he can go to sleep, the binary-stars of the system were rising from the horizon. After getting out of his bed and changing to clean clothes, his mind returned onto what-ifs. What if he bought better clothes? He's had his eye on that human brand of luxury clothes, Tessuti di Venezia, that's been all the rage amongst the royal servants. Or maybe he can go on vacation and just check out Earth for real? It was a short ride to his workplace from his home. After getting stuff his stuff and preparing to walk through the doors, he heard the roar of a car grow louder. When he looked, he saw the sleekest and quite possibly the coolest looking car he's ever seen. Each time the engine revved it would startle him, both from how harsh it sounded as well as just how intense it sounded. And after it parked, he saw the doors pop out and then slide along the body back. And there, he saw Tilik, the seat literally turning and extending out a bit before he got off. As soon as he saw Ghen staring, he struck a rather prideful pose after putting on his lab coat and then sauntered over to Ghen. "What do you think?" Tilik said, without any doubt inviting praise or compliments. "D...Did you actually buy that?" Ghen asked, unable to tear his eyes away from the car. "You're Queens-damn right I did!" Tilik laughed happily. "Thing takes off like a starship, has temperature-controlled seating, all-in-one center console, barely any bouncing on rough roads. Hoof, best decision I've ever made!" "How much did that thing cost?" Ghen asked after letting out an incredulous laugh. "Five million credits." Tilik replied, earning an absolutely shocked stare from Ghen. "And thanks to the incredible salary I have, in addition to all these shares and dividends, I'll pay back the credits I borrowed in no time!" Ghen needed a few moments before he could speak again. "All I've been doing is buying more shares." Tilik laughed and then patted the now-envious monitor's back. "Smart man. I got a little carried away, yeah, but not anymore. Any spending credits I got, going right back to investing. That's what it's called right, investing?" "Yeah, it is." Ghen nodded, feeling a fire light up in his thorax. "And also? Today's the day that the premium water thing is being released. Here's hoping it starts out well, right?" "Oh it will, trust me." Tilik chuckled as they both began making their way inside the workplace. "Lots of research, lots of study. By the Queen, so much of it...it'll make your head spin." And after hearing that, Ghen had a moment of realization. "Hey, Tilik? How did you get such a nice position anyways? Weren't you just studying under me before the humans came along?" Tilik let out a sigh after opening the door. "I'll be honest, I never wanted your job. Not because it's boring or terrible, just...I didn't suffer so many sleepless nights in the science academy just to be a glorified button pusher. This is what I've always wanted. Doing science, solving problems rather than just applying the solution, you know?" "Wait, you got an academic certificate?" Ghen questioned, completely floored. "How did you end up beneath me then? I should've been answering to you!" "Simple." Tilik gave a heavier sigh. "A royal servant was asking for the same job I was. Take a guess at who got it." "Ouch. Good thing the humans came along when they did, yeah?" Ghen was taken aback. He never heard anything about a servant taking a job at his place. "Looks like you're proving yourself to be well suited." "By the Queen, of course I am." Tilik nodded. "Like I said, I nearly broke my wings through so many nights, got certified top of my class, all just to get pushed to the dirt because someone who was born into a particular family wanted the same thing I did? I know I'm smarter than any of those empty-skull servants back in the Center. I know that, whatever, uh...corporate? Yeah, whatever corporate wants out of science, I will xeek give it to them." "Well, let me know how things go in the lab." Ghen said, admiring his drive as they neared the main office floor. "Because this is where the button pusher needs to go." Tilik let out a laugh as he nodded. "Hey, how about we meet up at Queen's Fine Eatery tonight. I'll pay, yeah?" Ghen, at first, wanted to admonish him for choosing such an outrageously expensive place to go. But he quickly realized that, he truly is good for it, thanks to the humans. "Well, hey, if you're paying for it." ... It was a fantastic opening. After being told what news sites to keep in mind for stocks, he first heard it from Dylan, and then got more detail on Business Today. There was such a massive demand right from the start that Zilia needs to increase extraction just to meet it. But what really got his attention was the effect it had. Zilia Water Delivery's share price just blasted off. After seemingly holding steady at about 3.15, by the time he got home and logged onto his account, it already reached 7.04 a share. The calculator on his account told him that he got a value-gain of 54.26%. Never in his entire life had he felt such...joy. With all of the shares he currently has? He's sitting at 400,512.64 credits. He knows that it is woefully pathetic compared to what the royal servants have just in their pockets, but the fact that he has such money, just by owning some intangible concept? Why even work at Zilia? Why doesn't he just sit at home, figure out what companies to invest in and make his money that way? What's even the point in working a real job, getting a pathetic pay when you can just take the money you have, determine where to spend it, and get triple back? All just sitting on your wings at home, researching? He was so wrapped up in his excited high that he completely forgot he was going to meet Tilik at Queen's. After quickly and haphazardly putting on his nicer clothes, he got to the place only a few minutes late. Tilik was there by the guide, no doubt having been waiting for him. As soon as he strode up, Tilik's wings stiffned out some. No doubt he must've seen the numbers as well. "I can see your wings, Ghen." Tilik began with an excited chuckle. "Made some serious credits?" Ghen let out an incredulous scoff, struggling to find the words for a moment. "Incredible. All I'm going to say." "Likewise." Tilik chortled some before nodding to the table guide. "All here. Table please?" "Right this way, sir." The guide said politely. It was a short walk, travelling between round tables. The vast majority were populated by zazk, but Ghen was surprised at seeing a few humans here as well. No doubt corporate workers checking out the local food. He did spot them having bowls filled with some kind of mass. Some were brown, others white with what looks to be black specks on them. They arrived at their table. A rather nice one, affording a view out the windows into the busy colony streets. Once Tilik and Ghen settled in, the guide handed out the menus. "May I suggest our rather popular option for tonight?" The guide began. "Human ice-cream. Ingredients sourced from Earth itself. Very cold, but incredibly sweet, and coming in many flavors. The most popular amongst us is called vanilla-bean. The vanilla itself soaks in the cream for much of the process, and then the innards sprinkled on top of it near the end. Rumor has it that the Queen herself has demanded personal shipments of such a treat straight from the home of vanilla, an island on Earth named Madagascar." Ghen didn't even spare a single thought. "Vanilla bean ice cream then, please." "Same." Tilik seconded when the guide glanced to him. With a slight bow, the guide proceeded to ferry their orders to the kitchen. Thankfully it was just a short wait before the guide returned, carrying a large plate containing bowls of ice cream. Ghen could feel the saliva on his mandibles as the bowl was placed before them. He could just feel the cold air around that glistening mass of sugary goodness. The white snow decorated with the black dots of vanilla bean. Once the guide left them, Tilik and Ghen both dived in at the same time. As soon as the ice cream entered his mouth, touched his tongue, he exploded in incomprehensible bliss. The sweetness, the smooth and creamy mass, even the taste of vanilla he wasn't sure about was just absolutely delightful. It was so overwhelming that his entire body limped, slumping in his seat as he was forced to ride on the surging tide of joy and happiness sweeping over him. Tilik was no different. He too was taken completely by the effects of the ice cream, his wings fluttering some against the seat. Ghen could hear some noise. It was the humans they passed by. They were chuckling, grinning, and glancing over at them discreetly. Unlike the two zazk, the humans seemingly just enjoyed the ice cream as if it was just another nice dessert to them. Or perhaps they couldn't allow themselves to succumb to the high? And as soon as the wave of indescribable bliss and happiness subsided, Ghen knew. He just knew. This was the life. He wanted this. The ice cream was just the beginning. So many things denied because he didn't have the credits, or worse, not the blood. Because he was just a drone in the great Collective, even if he had the credits, he wasn't allowed because of what caste he was born in. That fire that sparked in him when he saw Tilik's new car? It exploded into a raging firestorm. And when looking into Tilik's eyes, Ghen could see the same. He was on the same page as Ghen was. Both of them were sold. They have the credits. And the humans? If you can pay for it, they'll never discriminate. All they cared about is if you have the money. And by the Queen, Ghen and Tilik will endeavor to amass as much credits as physically possible. The rest of the night faded into a blur. A blur that evokes only one thing. Bliss. It was only when he walked through the door of his pathetic hut that Ghen's mind snapped back to focus. His mandibles felt sticky. And he felt a weight in his stomach. How much ice cream did he eat? Whatever it was, he ate such volume that the lower-section of his throax extended and rounded out, visible even under his shirt. He felt something odd in his pocket. It was a receipt. 43,000 credits for ten bowls of vanilla bean ice cream. Was that ten bowls for both of them? Or individually? Ghen didn't care. He's good for it. Returning back to his calculator, he acted upon the decision that he had made at that eatery. He's acquiring as many books about investing and stock trading as he could find, frequent and study all the discussions and arguments presented by other like-minded individuals such as he, all to ensure he can live the good life. And he had a very good feeling Tilik was doing the exact same thing. Well, first, the gurgling in his stomach, as well as the feeling of something rising demanded his attention. Looks like he'll need to take the night off to let his stomach get back to normal. Three Years Later. Ghen looked out beyond the horizon, seeing the colony that he grew up in. On the far side was where his old house was. With only a simple robe on, made from the finest silk from Earth's nation-state of China, he relaxed in his seat. It was a long road. Stockpiling credits from pre-existing investments and from subsequent pays, he and Tilik made it. From having only half a million in assets and cash, now transformed to over eight-hundred million. And now, his call contracts on American Interstellar? They've just announced a breakthrough in their next generation of warp drives, reducing the speed coefficient even further, resulting in far faster travel. And with that, their stock price climbed sharply. Another hundred million credits in the bank. Soon, very soon, he and Tilik are about to become the galaxy's first zazk billionares. But that's not enough. There are many humans who are billionares. Only those he can count on one hand are considered trillionares. He's going to break into that circle. He and Tilik. Looking beyond the colony, he saw the abandoned building of the workplace he transferred to when the humans arrived. Turns out, the reason for such a high demand was that the humans also slipped in sugar to the tap water. As soon as that broke, many influential royal servants demanded investigations and outright banning of Terran Galactic Company's influence over the former government division. Zilia's stock price plummeted. But thanks to an advance tip from his human coordinator, Dylan, he and Tilik made a put contract. And that's where they struck gold, as the human saying goes. Dylan warned that if they were citizens of the United Nations, they'd be investigated and convicted for insider trading. But, since they weren't, and the Collective were only just introduced to capitalism, there's no risk at all. Now the colony is going through a withdrawal phase, Zilia has been dissolved and reformed back as a government division and are currently at work re-establishing the standard, plain water delivery. "Well, shit." Tilik muttered as he walked up to Ghen's side, taking well to human speech. "Looks like you win. American Interstellar's announcement really was a good thing. There goes a million credits. Ah well, the Royal Shipyards will make it back for me soon." "Oh? Did they just go corporate?" Ghen asked curiously, glancing to Tilik. "Hell yeah they did." Tilik chuckled, sitting down. "Queen and her retard servants fought it hard, but Royal Shipyards is now officially a human-style corporation. And, to a surprise to all the xenophobes in the galaxy, they're already being offered contracts for ship production. That'll raise the stock price pretty good." "What's that human word...?" Ghen muttered, already having a reply in mind. "Dick? Yeah, calls or suck my dick, Tilik." Tilik roared in laughter. "Already made them. Forty credits a share by this day next month." "I have half a mind to go thirty." Ghen chuckled. "Either way, until then, I heard from Dylan that he knows a guy who knows several prime human women who happen to be into zazk." "You're interested in women?" Tilik said as his wings fluttered. "With how often you tell me to suck you off, I'd have thought differently." "Oh, I always thought it was you who was into men." Ghen responded dryly. "Just wanted to be a good friend, you know? Considering how you never seem to make it past, Hey sweet thing, I'm rich you know." "Oh, go fuck yourself." Tilik countered with a little laugh. After he stopped, wings stiffened, he looked to Ghen. "So, know any royal servants we can put the squeeze on for more revenue streams?" "I got just the one." Ghen nodded, sitting up. "Fzik. He's been fighting to control the ice cream trade. Worried it's a corrupting influence. Got done talking with the human CEO of Nestle earlier. If we clear the way, he'll know how to squeeze a little more gains in stock price when he makes the announcement." Tilik's wings stiffened even more, signaling his approval. "Alright, time to throw some credits around, yeah?" AN: Sorry for the period of no updates. College is starting up, lots of stuff to clear and work out. Not sure why but I just got a bug up my butt about incorporating money and the stock market into a short. Here it is. Sorry if it seems abrupt, character limit fast approaching. Let me know how you guys think about it!
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