Donnerstag, 15. März 2018

Time's up! (for now)

Since my time in Manila is coming to an end and my last post and the return of the blog was received with great interest (obviously) here we go again!

When I left Europe end of october my plan was to check out Manila until NYE and then move my shit to Bangkok most likely. It's mid march now and I'm still grinding Manila - so what happend?!
Actually it's quite easy, I really really like it here. If you like asian cities and you know where to live within Manila I don't think there are many better places when it comes to lifestyle (at least when it comes to my lifestyle). 3gyms, 3pools, countless restaurants and coffee shops - all within 5minute reach. Supermodern and nice, yet pricey flats, decent service, alot of green areas and parks and a variety of bars and nightclubs at your doorstep. This sums up where I'm currently residing in Bonifacio Global City. Manila so far isn't very famous around expats and the backpackers avoid it like the plague (thankfully) but if you are fairly flexible in choosing your residence I can only recommend you to check it out here for a month and see how you like it!
Weather is pretty seasonal which means that it was very rainy end of last year and got alot better with the start of this year. Temperatures are always same same though around 30degrees so unless you plan to spend alot of time in casinos there isn't any need to bring a longsleeve or a jacket.

For the most part i stayed in Manila BGC during the last 5 months with 2 short holidays visiting the islands:
I went with a group of spaniards to Boracay for NYE which was good but the weather was the nutworst I have seen here in all 5 months and if you are on an island and it's raining pretty much 24/7 it's just not optimal. Also mass tourism is getting the best of it so if you want a nice and clean beach experience there are probably better options than Boracay (my boy Duterte even thinks of shutting it down for a while to recover) but if you wanna go on a one week bender Boracay will be your place for sure ;)

good place, average weather

breaky at the pool

some light posing before departure

with the spanish maricons

wakey wakey eggs and bakey

our modest villa in Boracay

more posing

NYE dinner in my finest clothes

reunion with another Tim from Germany

NYE outfit no2

My 2nd holiday took me to El Nido or better said a small private island in front of El Nido called "Pangalusian Island" at the end of january. Was expensive as fuck and overall definitely very good but probably noteworthy that for the price I paid for those couple of days you would get a little more bang for your buck in a similar place in Thailand. Definitely would go again though! Nature is still intact here and given the high pricetag there won't be too many people you have to share the island with.
Had a pretty nice treehouse villa here and after spending two incredibly relaxing days on this island I went to another resort in El Nido Town. Already a huge difference because you go from nice and quiet to full on backpacking united. Arguably El Nido itself is still in much better condition than Boracay for instance but probably will go down the same road in future if they don't change some stuff. Was fairly interesting though to see small private eco-friendly island vs. main island where nobody gives a fuck...

bfast with a view

Pangalusian Island Resort Reception


Terrace/balcony of the villa

villa part 2

Laguna hopping

cheeky bathroom selfie

(almost) private beach


Only 2 short holidays in 5 months isn't too crazy but my aim was to travel alot before going back to Europe for summer so I didn't wanna overdo it.
In general Philippines have a near infinite amount of islands and alot of those are up and coming but not as overran by tourists already like Boracay or El Nido town so I recommend you to check them out but to some research beforehand to find something nice.

Gonna celebrate my 30th bday on the 27th of march and going on a 6 weeks travel tour around Asia which I will probably call the #fuckbackpacking tour. You can expect that hashtag to be trending at a certain point in future if my calculations are correct!
Schedule will look like this:
27.3-10.4: Bali
10.4-12.4: Kuala Lumpur
12.4-17.4: Bangkok for Songkran
17.4-18.4: KL part 2
18.4-22.4: Sihanoukville
22.4-23.4: Siem Reap for Ankor Wat
24.4-02.5: Seoul
02.5.-07.5: Shanghai
--- back to Vienna from Shanghai

If you are in one of the places I'm going to I'm always keen to meet up, have a coffee, night out or whatever so just let me know! I also might update abit more frequently especially from the places I haven't been before so maybe we get some traction on the good ol blog again!

Besides all this I worked quite abit over the last couple of months and things are going fairly well. My main pillars at the moment are still poker & crypto. I don't really grind much myself anymore but am more on the affiliating side of things (alot less swingy) and in regards to crypto I'm trying to get more and more involved with good ICOs. If you wanna have an invite to my announcement group just drop me a message.
Looking at Bitcoin & co. overall I already said that I expect it to go down to 8k or maybe even 5k when other people still talked about the moon and lambos. My stance on this hasn't changed, I expect 5k before we attempting any new highs. Take note that this is personal opinion and not financial advice!

Bitcoin - what I see


Why do I think we need 5k and we will go this direction? There was a massive breakout mid october 17 through 5k and this area was never tested again. Trading instruments almost always come back to those points and "test" them. After all I have seen from cryptos so far they behave in a similar way to traditional instruments (like stocks or indices) even though alot more exaggerated.
Also noteworthy that when Bitcoin is doing bad all other coins doing bad in general as well so if my 5k prediction is somewhat correct it would be advisable to be very cautious in regards to buying any other coin until BTC hits that 5k.

Plans for the rest of the year?
I'm quite sure now that my time in Vienna will come to an end very soon. Those 6 months in Asia were pretty much a test run for me to see if I want to move my shit back here and I can affirm that I want to! Probably will get rid of my flat as soon as I'm back in Vienna and then spend 3-4months in Malta where i just have better weather and more action compared to being located in Vienna. End of the year I most likely will return to Manila, get a nice flat and make this my main residence spending 70% of the year here and the rest in Europe during euro summer or possibly even somewhere else in Asia to not get too bored of being in one place all the time. If I go ahead with this plan I probably have to get rid of the car as well because it doesn't make too much sense keeping it for 3-4months/year but maybe I find a workaround for this, we'll see. (doing stuff which makes sense isn't always one of my strongsuits...) Over the next years I also consider getting involved in realestate and building my own Airbnb empire but this is probably a story for another day...

As usual, at the end of a post some more pictures. No graph today but I can assure you I'm doing ok. And if a bloke like me is doing ok you can/could do to! Just have to put in some work and run good when it counts ;)


PS: I'm always looking for highly motivated and reliable pokerplayers to stake for very soft NL & PLO games. Stakes will be mainly NL/PLO50 & NL/PLO100!

1tabling in Valkyrie 
2nd condo pool

some casual drinks in ShangriLa Makati

misbehaving at the Cove Opening with Steve Aoki 
bfast at my favorite spot

having a look at the other side of Manila, check out Smokeytours 
pool no3 all to myself

my favorite day with alot of noise! 
dinner with same gaming friends

view over Makati at night 
no pain no gain

interesting toilet in the sky 
China here i come

Tim+Tim= Tim²

Dienstag, 14. November 2017

Fasten your seatbelts, teh ruler's back! #manilaments

Sup boys and girls, guess who's back?!

After more than 2 years i decided to keep this precious blog alive - i hope all you beggars are happy now!

To my own suprise over those 2 years alot of people asked me what happend to this blog, alot of people of whom i have never heard of before which indicates there may have been a bigger readership than i was aware of.

Anyways, i don't wanna dwelve too much into the past and more focus on present and future but will still give a short overview of what happend and what lead me to the decision to put this blog on ice.

Shortly after my last post in 2015 i got banned on Pokerstars for 3 months period for buttoning (was it 3months im not even sure anymore) but it was certainly long enough that i couldn't just sit this one out.
So i got creative and was probably the first guy or one of the first guys playing SNAP on 888 with a HUD, this was working fine for a while until everybody got a HUD and games got worse again which lead me to going back to the cadillac of Poker which is and always will be No Limit Holdem 9max.
2015 was a pretty shitty year rungood wise and this didn't change much in 2016. This was also the first time in my life where i could see the end of the rainbow in sight. Yes, i was still making money, yes, i was still making more money than most other people BUT i certainly wasn't making anything close to what i made in my golden years or what i wanted to make and the big question was: for how much longer all this will work out...
So with seeing Poker coming to a possible end in a couple of years i started getting into Price Action Trading and focussed alot of my time into this endeavour. The problem with this was that my days became pretty much 12 hour days, 6 poker, 6 trading and there wasn't much time for anything else.
Unfortunately Trading for me never took really off because i definitely underestimated it's complexity. Everybody who gets into this has the mindset "well, im a smart guy, if i put x amount of time in i will see results by date y". Unfortunately you have to multiply Y by 5 to 10 to maybe get a realistic picture. Overall Trading is still my longterm plan (even though currently on Ice) but i'm quite sure if i want to do the transition i will need at least 2 years fulltime nothing else to maybe be able to get profitable there. After all i've seen though so far i'm convinced that almost all decent pokerplayers could be very decent traders given they put in enough time. It just will take alot more time then you would estimate/hope for... But yes, if it would be easy everybody would do it.

But enough of this. So i basically was on my way out of poker when the call of a old friend from my Bangkok days pulled me straight back into it. I cant recall what he said word by word but it was something along the lines: "dude, fucking go out buy 6 fucking ipads and dont fucking ask why" "why?" "because fucking china man, thats fucking why" and the rest is pretty much history.

So yeah, fast forward to today, im still in this fucking industry of poker which i love to hate and im already having my best year financially ever by a longshot but im very aware that this shit has a limited lifespan and i dont care how good you are, what stakes you play and how big your cock is, all this is true for you as well and you should prepare for day X and put some money on the side in the meanwhile ;)

But let the past be the past. Since a couple of people asked if i would blog abit about my time in Manila here we go:
After 2 fairly boring winters in Vienna i decided some time during 2017 that i wont bother with the cold again and move for a couple of months to my spiritual home which is and probably always will be Asia. How exactly i ended up in Manila isn't even superclear to me but now i'm here. I wanted something new and i wanted a big asian city so Bangkok was out from the getgo (even though i plan going abit to Bangkok beginning next year), Singapore unecessarily expensive, same for Hongkong, Jakarta probably abit too mental to really live there (even though i loved my weekend there back then), Kuala Lumpur too boring and the Japan and Korea stuff just too cold. Other options probably would've been bigger town in Nam or Cambodia but now i'm here - and i couldn't be more happy but more about that soon!

The original feedback i got from people about Manila was nothing to be ecstatic about: too dirty, its a shithole, its dangerours, yadayada. But since i like to paint my own picture of things i had to see for myself.

In the end as almost everywhere it comes down to 3 things: Location, Location and you guessed it, location. I did alot of research prior to going here and ended up with 2 options, either Makati or BGC. Both are fairly similar but BGC is certainly newer, more modern and cleaner so guess what i decided for. It's actually quite funny because this district is almost like another world. As strange as it sounds driving into here is like you arent really in Metro Manila anymore but in Singapore or a CBD in Sydney. But more later.

So my flight out of Europe was on 30th of october and the connection was horrible (2 stopovers) but since i was able to afford business it wasn't the end of the world:

Vienna waiting for departure
Cathay business

After 20 hours or so i arrived fairly exhausted at the airport and directly got scammed for 20x the normal fare of a taxi. FINALLY BACK HOME i thought with a smile on my face and it was a fairly decent hustle so the guy for sure deserved his money.

As with almost everywhere, where you go shortterm but not holiday shortterm, it is a massive headache to sort out a flat. Most landlords wont rent to you because they want 6 months+ and because of this you are mostly limited to hearsay and airbnbs. Viewing them prior isn't really an option either which means you have to book the good old cat in the sack so to speak. However i spent alot of time looking into those Airbnb flats and boy i ran good this time for once:

view from balcony

living room 
more living room


one of the best showers i had up to date

left tower is mine (not literally unfortunately)

other people use this place to cook i think

So as you can see the flat looks quite decent, was exactly as advertised on the pictures in Airbnb. Obviously all this comes w a pricetag especially renting monthly which costs me pretty much exactly 2k Euro/month. But i even looked for how much they asking if you rent them for good which is 2k usd as well. Probably will get it abit cheaper than that but i doubt it will be significantly cheaper.
However for that price you also get amenities which are fairly sick. The pool in those modern asian condos is generally always nice but the gym mostly consists of 2 steppers and one machine but not here. Over 2 floors you have pretty much anything you may need for a solid workout (unless you are a professional athlete in which case it may not be enough). But for a small kid like me it's just perfect. No more time wasting commuting to the gym, i just run up one flight of stairs and im ready to roll:

Lobby and entrance hall of the tower

So far i make heavy use of gym and pool and i hope this will stay like this and i may see some interesting results in a couple of weeks. Even did some doubledays and will try continue doing so as long as the body allows it.
As i mentioned the district i settled in is by far the newest which Manila has to offer. Unfortunately they are still heavily developing it which makes the view from the place quite mediocre:

balcony view
However given that my tower seems to be very good qualitywise you hear next to nothing from the construction and from what i've seen so far in BGC it's almost impossible to not end up next to some sort of construction site because they building literally everywhere.

Another big plus of the area is that it is very well planned out and mostly consists of high and midrises which means it's not very big and you can pretty much walk everywhere in in max 15minutes. It's most likely also the safest area in the entire Philippines with several security guards in front of each building there is even at night. I have to be honest apart from BGC and Makati i haven't seen much yet but there isn't any reason to really get out. Everything you could ask for in regards to daily life is here: clubs, restaurants, malls, parks, whatsoever but fear not i will try to travel to some other places as well during my stay here.
So far i planned to move on in january after 2 months but given how much i like it so far i could easily see me staying abit longer than originally planned. I can't really remember the last time i felt that good at a certain place. Everything is just perfect from a worklife balance, it's warm, the people are friendly - just really really good overall. I should note though if you come to Manila to save money you wont save too much money compared to most places in Europe if you decide for this area. It's by far the most expensive and everything will be on par with western prices, some things like taxis for instance alot cheaper but on rents and restaurants you wont be able to save much if any. You get a pretty decent value in return though.

Don't really wanna drag my blog comeback out for too long so i will close with one interesting observation i made so far in regards to employment. From what i've seen so far and what it feels like everybody who comes to Manila and wants to work is getting a job. I don't really know how they do it but it has some hilariousness especially if you lived in Malta for a couple of years. In general i would call it overstaffing of places.
You often have 20-25 waiters in midsized restaurants, you have 10-15 people working in a small phonestore, you have 10 sometimes armed guards at just one gate of my compound (there are probably 15gates total), you have 5 people running the reception at my tower and the most obscene one up to date is: my tower has 4 elevators and in each of those 4 there is 24/7 one person in who's sole job it is to remember what floor you live in and to press the button for you - complete insanity if you ask me but all this leads to a very high standard of service in the majority of places you go to.

That's it for now, i hope the guys who asked for teh comeback are happy now,

peaze and good luck to whoever is following my adventures!

almost forgot to add a ytd garph for teh fanboys: