Matthias Eibinger is one of the most respected and successful MTT regulars. At the beginning of his career, he played the most expensive SNGs, in which he also became one of the strongest. Eibinger talked about the reasons for such a radical change in discipline and how he managed to become one of the best in a new field in a video for the PokerCode channel.
On the way to the top, Mattias was not afraid to experiment, not only with the game, but also with his own body. One of his videos is called "I slept like a caveman to grind 20 hours a day".
Hello everyone, today I will tell you about my experiments with polyphasic sleep. This happened in 2015, but let's look a little earlier so that you better understand why I decided to do this in the first place.
In those years, all the strongest played at PokerStars, where there was a VIP program with different levels. The most coveted was called Supernova Elite, which promised generous rewards, the highest rakeback and many other bonuses.
The first time I earned this status in 2013, and also got it in 2014, but I was disappointed because I scored fewer points than I expected. It was then that thoughts about polyphasic sleep appeared in my head. I set myself the goal of becoming Supernova Elite in 2015 in two months. In 2014 it took me 10 or 11 months, and in 2013 I was grinding until the very end of the year, and every day.
I thought about how I can allocate the maximum number of hours for grinding. And I heard about polyphasic sleep. What is it? Everyone is familiar with monophasic sleep, this is when we sleep 8 hours a night, and the rest of the time we are awake. In polyphasic sleep, we divide our sleep into several small segments. In theory, this makes your work more efficient. For myself, I chose the most extreme option, when the whole day is divided into segments of 4 hours, of which you are awake for 3:40 and sleep for 20 minutes. It is easy to calculate that for the whole day you get 120 minutes of sleep. I immediately realized that such an approach would be too harsh, but ideally, I wanted to strive for this. To begin with, I could afford to spend 3-4 hours a day on sleep, but no more, otherwise I would have to say goodbye to the dream of becoming an SNE in two months.
I also realized that I can't do it on my own. It is unlikely that I will be able to wake up in 20 minutes if I am very tired. I could probably do it 1-2 times, but it would be unrealistic to maintain such a regime at a distance. For the experiment to have any chance of success, I needed ideal conditions. To do this, I invited two friends who also played poker to my house. We made a detailed schedule of my sleep and watched carefully so that one of them could always wake me up.
We started on January 1, 2015, but problems immediately began. In the early days, I was full of energy and simply could not fall asleep, there was no question of any 20-minute stretches. As a result, the first 30 hours I did not sleep at all. But during this time fatigue accumulated, and I was finally able to fall asleep. Obviously, my body wasn't ready for a 20-minute sleep yet, and I woke up completely broken, without energy, and couldn't concentrate on poker at all. The fact is that the usual 8-hour sleep is divided into several phases, one of which is called the “ REM phase”.". This is a very important part, which is just responsible for the rest of the body and brain. And I didn’t even reach this phase for 20 minutes. At the beginning of the experiment, I was insanely tired, my friends woke me up almost by force, and then I fell asleep right at the computer. The first three days were by far the hardest. But then suddenly everything changed – I slept for 20 minutes, woke up easily, got out of bed quite fresh and rested. The body quickly adapted and moved to a new stage, when in 20 minutes I began to receive enough energy. I read online that it usually takes 10 days to get to this stage. And it took me less than a week, which surprised me a lot. On the 4th day I felt satisfactory, and on the 5th and 6th the progress was simply amazing. My productivity has reached a new level.
Naturally, there were also disadvantages. I had to be at home all the time in the company of two friends. What about ordinary life? That had to be forgotten. Imagine that you have a family dinner planned for Sunday, it will be quite problematic to combine it with a 20-minute sleep. And you can’t skip a single segment, because this will completely destroy the entire cycle. I had to lock myself up at home like in a crypt.
It all ended banally. For two weeks everything went well, I scored a great move and was even ahead of schedule. But gradually my friends and I lost our vigilance. Once I was left at home alone, I did not hear the alarm clock, and slept for 6 hours. This is where it all ended.
Of course, I tried to restore the mode. But four hours later, I just couldn't sleep because I was too well rested. I continued to grind and tried to sleep after another four hours. Again, nothing happened. After playing 20 hours in a row, I realized that I had to cancel everything. I was no longer ready to start from scratch.
The experiment failed. What have I achieved? During these two weeks I managed to play such a distance, which I had spent 4 months a year before. By the end of January, I had easily made 40% SNE. In order to get SNE in two months, I had to say goodbye, but I was still satisfied because I tried something new. And I scored the treasured 1,000,000 VPP by the end of March.
I still occasionally practice polyphasic sleep. Naturally, not in such an extreme mode. Sometimes I play all night, and during the day I have some business, and I manage to sleep for only three hours. In that case, I sleep another three hours after dinner. My body no longer needs 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, I can break it into several segments. I can sleep 5 hours at night, and during the day I take a nap for 20 minutes or an hour. This is enough to get in shape. I heard that in some countries in Asia, large companies have special sleeping rooms in their offices so that employees can relax during the day. I can't vouch for the accuracy of this information, but I was told about it.
If someone wants to repeat something like this, I want to warn you that it is incredibly difficult. You definitely can’t do it alone, and you will have to forget about socialization for a while. This is the main problem. For me, family and friends are very important, so I originally planned to limit myself to two months and understood that this was only a short experiment. For me it was a useful and interesting experience, I love to challenge myself. Yes, I failed, but I was still satisfied.