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The mindset of a professional poker player: BBZ Staking’s ‘RazvyQQ’ on his recent success

The mindset of a professional poker player: BBZ Staking’s ‘RazvyQQ’ on his recent success

Do you have what it takes to be a professional poker player?

It’s a question every aspiring poker player has asked themself at one time or another. Playing poker for a living can be a stressful pursuit, but getting to play a game you love for a living while enjoying the freedoms that come with it is well worth it for those who achieve it.

So, what does it take?

According to Razvan “RazvyQQ” Belea–a 32-year-old pro from Romania who is staked by BBZ Staking–the answer is simple:

Hard work.

Today, Belea is a successful tournament player with $1.15 million in online cashes at the time of writing, according to PocketFives. He’s been on fire recently, first winning three online tournaments in one week, including the $22 Mini Sunday Million on PokerStars for $20,170 (August 16, 2021).

Then he took down an 888 live event for €50K and a package for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.

And now, Belea has recorded another huge score, finishing third in a $109 Phase event in the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) for $85,623.

“It feels great to win a major, but it feels better to see that hard work always pays off,” he says.

Things haven’t always been smooth sailing for Belea. He grew up in Târgu Jiu, Romania and discovered 5-card stud as a kid. He then played no limit hold’em freerolls for a year or two as he slowly began to build a bankroll.

“I basically played every stake to get to where I am today,” he says. “Back then I was mostly playing $1-10 sit & gos on Full Tilt just before Black Friday. I saw that grinding sit & gos could be profitable, especially in Romania where the average salary is quite small.”

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Belea then started to dabble in MTTs while working as a bartender. “I saw that I could make more money in poker than in my job,” he says. He decided to move to Bucharest six years ago when he began taking poker seriously.

“I definitely faced some challenges,” he says. “Particularly with my mother. Even up to a few years ago, she still didn’t really know what poker is or how it works. In Romania, poker is looked at like a gambling game where you can lose your house, etc. But now that she sees how I study the game and that I’m doing well, she supports me.”

Belea’s drive to study came from being staked. As he began to do well in MTTs he was offered staking by a friend of Jordan “bigbluffzinc” Drummond’s, and when that backer quit he joined BBZ Staking, turning down offers from other well-known stables.

“I just thought BBZ would be best for me,” he says. “The biggest benefit to being staked by BBZ is the great professional team I work with. BBZ’s coaching is the best in the world, in my opinion. When you have the best near you, you can become better much easier.”

“Mindset is one of the biggest and most important skills to being a professional.”

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Belea plays around five days a week and studies even more, as he’s also a coach for another stable. “I need to be prepared every day,” he says.

He’s also driven to study and hard work due to a downswing he endured. “That downswing helped me the most in my poker career,” he says. “Most players don’t understand this.”

The downswing inspired Belea to become a coach, forcing him to hit the books every day and get better as a player. “I studied the most during the downswing,” he says. “I learned the most things and I tried to focus on how I could improve myself. Mindset is one of the biggest and most important skills to being a professional and for staying in the zone when playing.”

With the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) underway, we asked Belea how he prepares for a big series.

“I meditate, study hard and take time off from playing,” he says. “I always plan my grind as good table selection is a crucial part of being a professional. I’m lucky to have the support of my future wife and dog, who help me a lot with my mindset.”

As for BBZ Staking, we asked Belea what he would say to any aspiring poker player hoping to apply for staking and make the leap to becoming a professional.

“Applying for staking is not for everyone”, he says. “But I think BBZ Poker is the best place to be if you love poker, you’re willing to learn and study a lot, and you want to become one of the best.”

Trust us, hard work pays off.

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