Exclusive Beata “WildHungarian” Jambrik Interview
Only two years into her career, Beata “WildHungarian” Jambrik is already making waves through the poker community. The feisty female player started her poker career on a winning streak and is set to rise to new heights as a partypoker sponsored pro. It looks like the sky’s the limit for the 28 year old Budapest native.
Earlier this week I managed to persuade Beata to give me half an hour to find out a little more about what makes her tick. As a new face on the scene there isn’t a lot known about her yet. Let’s hear what she had to say.
BankRollBoosters: Hey. How are you doing?
Beata Jambrik: Good! And how are you?
BB: Great! Thanks for agreeing to do this for us.
BJ: Thanks for choosing me!
BB: So to start with tell me how your poker journey began.
BJ: It started when I started playing professionally in January 2015 with 6 Max Hypers, because my boyfriend at the time was the best at this kind of game in two different years. All of our friends were poker players, and they were really good. I don’t know if you know some of them?
BB: Your fellow partypoker pro Patrick Leonard?
BJ: Yes. We’re all in one big group of poker playing friends. Through my ex-boyfriend I got to know Patrick and all the other guys like “MonsterDong,” who’s so fun and crazy. There’s also “ISwipeRight” and a lot of other people. I love those guys.
And so I was thinking that other people would pay so much for them to teach about poker, so I should get them to teach me, and then we started. Once I got the idea into my head I really wanted to know if I could make it or not, because I have an economics degree, and studied accounting and finance. I thought if I can do that, then I can definitely at least study poker, right? I can give it a shot. So I tried it.
Before January 2015, in November and December I tried to study a lot of expressions in English because English is not my first language, and that wasn’t easy. A lot of times I didn’t even know what is what. It wasn’t easy, but thanks to help from Patrick and the other guys on the partypoker team I’m getting there
At those times I went to America, so it wasn’t like a very active study, but we started the grinding in January, and in March I started streaming as a challenge. I thought I will stream five times per week in March and it just stayed.
BB: What made you turn to streaming while you were still learning how to play? I don’t understand why anybody would want to take on two things like that at the same time.
BJ: First of all it was winter, and once you are trying to do this whole poker lifestyle thing in winter when it’s not nice outside, and you wake up late and see no sunlight it can be a little bit depressing. I was playing with such small stakes, and I felt down after the first two months.
In 6 Max Hypers you’re not winning that big a percent of the time, anyway. So I had to learn to be fine with it, and accept variance and all this stuff. Anyway, we were all at this group dinner for poker players talking about how everybody is running and I told them I feel down. So Patrick said “why don’t you make a challenge?”
I visited America in 2014, and I went a lot to a friend’s comic book shop. One of my friend from there after America asked “why don’t you stream poker online?” So I’m like, okay! Why not?
BB: Is it really true that you were profitable from the very beginning?
BB: How do you feel about trying to start from scratch in today’s poker world?
BJ: It was not easy, because you don’t make a nice income or anything; you just know that this was a profitable month, but how profitable, you know? So it wasn’t easy but I thought I would give one year to it, and I want to see if I can make a living from it, and it worked luckily.
I think it was easier to be profitable because my ex-boyfriend was so good in these games, and he already had a lot of experience. I also studied a lot and marked a lot of hands. When I wasn’t sure about a situation I calculated it out.
BB: Last week I was watching a Kevin Martin interview with Joey Ingram and he made the point that he wasn’t a professional poker player, he was a professional streamer; one that just happens to play poker. Do you think that view applies to you? Is the streaming what you’re all about now, compared to just the poker?
BJ: That’s interesting. I do the poker mainly with the streaming and I really like the streaming part because it makes it more social; it’s not easy if you’re always at home and don’t see many people. It’s nice to interact with people.
I do study a lot, and without the streaming I would still be profitable. It’s kind of hard to tell.
BB: So is poker where your real ambition lies?
BJ: Yes. I go and practice once a week in live games. I’d like to play more live for sure. This week I’m going to start and study MTTs.
BB: I’m amazed that being good friends with Patrick you’re not already playing a lot of MTTs live or online.
BJ: I used to be part of a Hungarian team where they taught me all different games, and I was just grinding those. I never really had time to put big volume in for MTTs. It’s new that I can now think about what I would like to play in the future. I will stream the MTTs when I get more into it.
Luckily the 6 Max Hypers are similar to the final table for the MTTs, and I know about bubble spots. Obviously there is still a lot more to go into, but I know how to study it. I have the mind set for trying to get better.
BB: What about the crazy variance?
BJ: I know! It’s so tough. It must be so spirit killing.
BB: What has been the toughest challenge so far?
BJ: Hmm, I’ve never really thought about this. You know it can be really difficult when you get some hate in the streaming; some comments, or whatever. But you just get used to it really.
BB: Do you get a lot of hate in the chat box when streaming?
BJ: Maybe not so much hate, but a lot of immature guys writing stupid stuff. But it can be fun because I started to collect some of the funny and ridiculous comments, and I plan to read them out on Youtube at some point.
But you know it’s a very positive thing to get every different kind of feedback; even if you have haters that means you’re doing something that makes them think about you.
BB: They’re jealous more than anything else, I’m sure.
BJ: People don’t know what your situation really is, so I don’t see the point of internet jealousy or hate or any bad stuff. It’s really far from me. We all have our own battles and I think we should concentrate inside instead on others. That’s how you get stronger and get to a point where things are actually working out well for you.
BB: Great! What about the PartyPoker signing. How has that changed your life? Was that a big surprise?
BJ: Yeah. It was my goal deep inside with streaming to eventually get to a level where I can be sponsored. When I heard about partypoker I knew and everybody knows that they want the right thing, and I’m more than happy to be with the right people and stand with what partypoker wants to achieve. Also, the people are so nice there., I feel really lucky, and I’m very happy. I know I’m at the right place.
For example I went to Punta Cana and didn’t know anyone, only Patrick, but I made so many new friends, and they’re all so nice; I can’t believe it! It’s a great place and it has changed my life in the best way.
Also, I was very afraid of flying alone which I had to do sometimes, and as a person it really made me stronger, and more brave. It’s just the best thing!
BB: That sounds awesome!
You tweeted something about your yoga hobby yesterday. Tell me a little about that and how that might help your poker.
BJ: There’s a great yoga place near to where you stayed in Budapest where this Indian yoga teacher gives amazing lessons. So I go there twice a week for one and a half hours, and it’s similar to like a meditation. Not because it’s so chilled, but because you’re always concentrating on trying to keep the position, to hold it correctly.
After yoga I always play so good.
BB: This is what I expected. If you don’t practice any yoga is it really noticeable when you play poker?
BJ: Yes. I think before sessions it’s important to focus on how you feel, and how your mind feels. If you want to play or not. Because a lot of times if you feel like you don’t really want to play for some reason, maybe your body is not comfortable or something, the session will probably not be that great.
Yoga helps to strengthen the deep muscles so your body feels much better making it much easier to grind. You feel much more chilled; I think it’s amazing.
I wrote up some challenges and goals on my wall here. Some positions like the scorpion that I would like to be able to do.
If I could choose only one activity to do for the rest of my life, it would definitely be yoga. There are so many different types, such as power yoga. I prefer the more active yoga which is very difficult.
I think everyone in the world should do yoga. Their health would be much better and they would live longer.
BB: I’ll consider it….
What about long term goals for your career? Where is all this leading now. Are you going to be the next MTT queen?
I would imagine now you’re signed to PartyPoker you’re going to be playing a lot more live than before.
BJ: Yeah. I definitely would like to play more live. Recently I played in Rozvadov at the charity event headed by Boris Becker. I don’t know if you heard about that.
BB: The charity event for children?
BJ: Yeah. It was so great. I go to this live practice once a week, so I was confident about the game, and knew what I was doing. Obviously I know about the ranges because this was a Sit and Go Hero live game. But it’s still live, and if you’re just an online player it’s not super easy to change to live, because there’s not something which can tell you how many blinds you have, or even the application beeping to say “it’s your turn” and you can then see who did what. So it’s different but I got used to it, and really enjoyed it.
Boris Becker was in Rozvadov as well. I also got the chance to stream with Boris, which you can see on the partypoker Twitch channel.
The whole PartyPoker event raised 15,000 Euros for the children’s charity which was really good. The casino was also very nice.
This was a PartyPoker live event, and I hope to be able to play more of them. We already discussed some events which I will join in April, and I can’t wait.
With the launch of partypoker LIVE I’ll also have the chance to play more live, with the next one coming up in April. You can check out more about partypoker LIVE over on the website. It’s gonna be great!
BB: Do you ever get to do any poker work with Patrick?
BJ: We don’t do stuff like that but if I sent him a question on Skype about a hand he would answer. But I don’t get coaching from him. I study with one person for these Sit and Go Hero games, but only this one. For MTTs I will study with a different person.
BB: That’s unlucky about not working with Patrick.
BJ: I try to give my friends some rest! Trying to just be friends.
BB: I know what you mean having friends who play high stakes; you start to feel guilty about badgering them.
BJ: Yes! He’s helpful and everything, I just try not to take advantage, you know.
BB: Okay. To finish with is there anything interesting on the horizon that you want to tell us? Anything interesting at all that people might want to hear about?
BJ: In March I will start this new challenge where I will work out four times per week, cook at home and eat healthy, then see the good results and have a nice schedule.
BB: I can see you like harmony in your life.
BJ: Yeah. I like to think things through properly, and with poker you can plan your days. I think it’s important to try and be this healthy version of yourself for poker. When you are grinding you should feel when you get tired and don’t concentrate that good anymore. A lot of times when I’m streaming I plan to stream for so long but I realise I can’t pay attention anymore, or at least as well, so I’m like guys I guess I have to go because it’s just that time you know.
Another thing from when I started with poker; one reason why I was profitable from the start was learning about the mental game from the beginning. I was lucky enough to live with two very successful poker players, and they caught my mental mistakes for poker really fast, they showed me the right way of thinking right ahead, and they explained how not to tilt and just accept variance. One morning I woke up and this friend who had tilt issues himself was smashing up his keyboard across the living room even though he is the most chilled guy I know.
So I think poker as a career choice helped me to improve a lot as a person. And now with partypoker it’s teaching me even more, and that’s what I’m searching for, so I’m very satisfied.
2016 was the most challenging year of my life, but hard work always pays off, and I’m very proud where I am now and I feel I found the perfect place to be at, and it’s partypoker.
You can check out more about Beata over on her partypoker web page.
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