I’ve been playing poker for two years now but it was only after playing live poker consistently for six months I decided to make my first deposit on PokerStars. I made a $50 depo and I’m pleased to say I’ve never looked back. I began to grind the $4 180 player SnG’s and I loved them. They seemed to suit my style of play and I had some good results from the get go. I slowly build my roll up and after a couple of months I began to play to a couple of tables at the same time. I found playing an extra table simple and I was still just as profitable so by the start of 2009 I started to multi-table 4 tables. As my roll grew I began to add a few $10 and $20 180 player SnG‘s & some MTT’s into my sessions. Once I became more confident and I was satisfied that my roll could handle the variance I started to multi-table 6 tables and then eventually I moved up to 9 tables. I have tried to add more but I don’t think I can play any more optimally at the moment. The most tables I have played at any one time is 19 but to be honest it was so intense and I just think it was too much for me at this stage. The time I can commit to online is limited due to me working full time and having a family but I realise that I need to get as much volume in as possible to reduce my variance hence why I always try to add tables once I am comfortable enough with how many I am playing. I will continue to add tables for as long as possible so long as its profitable for me. Even with my job and family I was still able to put in 20-35 hours per week consistently for pretty much the entire year.
Looking back over the year my roll never really took any big jumps and I just slowly ground it up. I won a $20 180 for $1,080 and a couple of $10 180’s for $540 and picked up a few MTT cashes which helped keep me going in the right direction. When I was running well in the SnG’s I would reinvest some of my roll into the PokerStars MTT’s. That meant huge fields and a lot of variance likely to be expected but well worth it if your comfortably rolled as one big score can pay for your investment ten fold. My average MTT buyin would be about $10 but I would occasionally take shots at the bigger games and pay $50-$150 hoping to bink something nice. I also took a few shot at the Sunday Millions, often winning satellite seats and getting in cheap. I also played in 3 of the WCOOP events chasing the pipe dream including a $320 buy in event after I won a $8 satellite at the first attempt. So anyway, one year on and still no binkage and not even a final table in sight. Sigh. All said and done all the MTT’s have done have burned a hole in my tidy SnG profit. I don’t mind it to much though. Whilst poker is recreational to me and I’m not dependant on the income I make from the SnG’s and happy to invest little bits here and there trying to win something really meaningful.
I did also try my hand at a little bit of cash right at the start of 2009. I was grinding 4 tables at 50NL and 100NL but after a couple of weeks my roll hadn’t moved from when I started. After only a couple of weeks grinding cash I was a break even / small loss player. Looking back I probably played less than 1,000 hands, not exactly a decent sample size but hey ho. I was getting bored and missed the thrill of tournament poker so I went back to grinding and SnG’s. I had instant success which kind of helped justify my decision to move back over the grinding the SnG’s and I put the cash poker on the back burner for the rest of the year. I'm looking to give 50NL a decent sample size this year and try my hand again.
So I was back to the Sng's and making slow but steady progress for the year with the odd crack at the MTT's. Then in October 2009 myself and a few other members accepted a challenge on the NPF to see if we could run $500 up to $1,500 in one calendar month. I stuck to what I knew and multi-tabled the $4 180 man SnG’s. I cut out all of the MTT’s and cut my tables back to 4 at a time to exercise good BRM. I had to log my results and keep a daily dairy and I must admit it was tougher and a lot more pressure than I anticipated. You can read the full challenge and daily dairy on the NPF but in short I ended the month on $708 showing a profit of $208. Due to unforeseen circumstances I was not able to play the last 10 days of the challenge so I didn’t really get a chance to see if I would have got there but to be honest I was that far behind my target(s) it probably would have taken a serious heater to make it. I personally believe if I’d played the entire month I’d of finished just shy of $1,000. I guess I’ll never know but I loved the experienced and it definitely sharpened my game up a little. I’d like to give this or something similar another go in 2010. Watch this space for some fun online challenges between FTP members.
I finished off the year by keeping away from the MTT’s completely and exclusively grinding the SnG’s. I stuck to the 180 player fields and kept my buyins between $4 & $20. I’ve been happy with my progress and got a few top 3 cashes, the best of which was a 2nd in a $20 180 for $720 to keep my roll headed in the right direction.
So all told, in 18 months of online poker I’ve played 2102 SnG’s on PokerStars achieving a ROI of 52% and returning a tidy profit of $6,794.
As I've already mentioned i'm giving 50NL a real crack for the start of 2010. I'm not sure how I'll fair so I could well be back grinding the SnG's within a few months. I'll also be playing a lot more on Coral so hopefully the 50NL will be a bit softer.
Watch this space for my 2010 online game plan.
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