By the end of 2015, I had to earn more VPPs in December than I had accumulated over the rest of the year! I worked very hard in 2015 but my time was spent spread out over a bunch of poker-related things and although my hours playing at the tables were there, a lot of my grinding was done at micro stakes for twitch purposes (and just in case you didn't know, VPPs can be hard to come by at 2nl ;)). My annual VPP target was 100,000-a number that I have exceeded many times since turning professional but last year took quite a different direction for me and I left myself with a lot of work to be done by years end.
The December grind was incredibly tough and comparable to when I achieved Supernova Elite back in 2010. I actually found the grind harder this time around and especially towards the end, had to endure sleepless nights and a lot of stress. I had to make all kinds of sacrifices to achieve Supernova, including turning down VIP seats to a Canucks game and pushing back my vacation flight by two days. Even with the additional time, getting Supernova came right down to the wire on December 31st and I finished around 4:30pm and basically just shut down my computer and hopped into a cab to the airport. My girlfriend was amazing throughout the whole month and even packed my suitcase for me and laid out clothes for me to change into to wear on the plane after I finished playing on the last day. I was literally waking up, playing for a couple of hours, showering and eating for about 30 minutes and then got right back to playing over the last bit of the grind. I did not go to bed. I think that I need to write lines like they used to make you do in school to prevent this from happening again...something like "I will not do this again,I will not do this again". My gf also had to sacrifice two days of vacation and endure the stress with me so I need to make it up to her big!
At the end of the day, I'm happy that I was able to achieve Supernova for the potential that it may bring in 2016, especially with the opportunity to remain with Team Online. 2015 was certainly disappointing financially for me but as I said, I made some decisions that I knew wouldn't make me a lot of money now but could pay dividends down the road one way or another. I'm feeling recharged from my vacation and eager to get to work...with that said, my plans for 2016 are outlined below and I think it's fair to say that it should be an interesting year.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2016, I'm excited about trying to tackle a different format of poker other than cash games-tournaments. I dabble in MTTs already but mostly just during COOPs and other special tournament series but for the rest of this year, I'd like to shift my focus away from cash games and primarily towards tournaments.
There are plenty of reasons for the move from cash games to MTTs. First, I view the transition as an interesting challenge and something new to try and succeed in. I've played cash games almost exclusively now for many years and in terms of stimulating my interest I think that MTTs will be much more exciting for me to play simply because they're something new and different. Second, I really want to put a lot of time into twitch this year and I think that MTTs lend themselves to be more interesting to watch for people than cash games. With tournaments, the action is always building and the deeper you get in a tournament the more exciting it becomes for everyone involved. On the other hand, there really isn't a beginning-middle-end when you're playing cash games and while there are some cool challenges that can be done in this area, I think that MTTs seem to have an easier time retaining interest. Finally, with the VIP reward changes now in place, there is a lot of incentive for me to move away from my traditional mass-tabling, high volume approach to cash games. Even without the changes, the current cash game environment seems to be pushing players towards playing for quality rather than quantity anyways. I will remain playing some cash games at a lower volume but with reduced tables, I'd assume my hourly rate would be a lot lower-to the point where experimenting with different poker formats likely makes some sense to see if I could increase it.
I've thought quite a lot about what I think is the best plan for me in terms of playing MTTs and also streaming them. There's a lot of things to consider, such as my starting bankroll, how many tournaments that I want to play per day, how best to spend my FPPs, what satellites might be good to play and then there's my streaming schedule to make as well.
When it comes to my MTT bankroll, I could really start as low or as high (within reason) as I wanted to. I have the funds to be bankrolled for the Sunday Majors but I'm not naive enough to think that's the best idea...just because you have the bankroll for certain stakes doesn't mean you're going to be a winning player in those games. On the other hand, I don't think that I want to start at the smallest micro stakes games either due to the time it could take to grow a meaningful bankroll. As a result, I think that I'm leaning towards starting on the more conservative side, with a bankroll around $1,500, which will allow me to play tournaments anywhere from $1-$15 as I'm planning on sticking to a 100 buy-in bankroll management system. Nothing's really set in stone and we'll see how steep the learning curve is for me to pick up MTTs-I did primarily build my bankroll from MTTs back in the day but I have a feeling that people may play a little differently than back then ;)
As for twitch, my main aim is just going to be for consistency-sticking to a streaming schedule that will be at the same time and day every week. I haven't made it yet (need to make my MTT schedule first) but right now I'm thinking about streaming 4 days a week, probably during the week and with additional streams for special occasions. I will probably do a mix of 3 days MTTs and 1 day cash games. For the cash game streams, I'll likely be doing my cash game challenge (or cash game ladder) like I did last year.
As for my financial goals for 2016...well, I really don't think I'm in a position to make any sort of accurate prediction of how things are going to go for me. Something that I've always wanted to do since I first started playing poker is to have a bankroll that's big enough to play all of the Sunday Majors, so let's aim for around $20,000-why not?
If you have any tips or advice for me when it comes to playing MTTs on anything, I'm all ears :) Stay tuned to my twitter (@frosty012) for my streaming schedule and you can watch the twitch channel here: http://www.twitch.tv/frosty_012
gl at the tables!
Thursday, August 13, 2015
If you’ve seen me playing at the micro-stakes at PokerStars lately, it’s not because I’m busto (well, not yet anyways!) but because I’m in the middle of doing a cash game challenge and am streaming part of the action on twitch! Depending on how things go at the tables, you may not see me at the micro-stakes for very long because the idea of the challenge is to start at the smallest stakes and finish at the higher end of the mid-stakes relatively quickly. Allow me to go into the full details of the challenge, explain why I’m doing it, how it’s gone in the early stages and why you might care enough to even try it for yourself.
The rules of the challenge are quite simple and straightforward: Starting at the lowest cash game level offered at PokerStars, 2nl, win 4 buy-ins of the next highest level (5nl) and move up! Once at 5nl, win 4 buy-ins of the next highest level (10nl) and move up again. Keep repeating the process of winning 4 buy-ins of the next highest level and moving up until reaching 1000nl. The buy-ins that have already been won carry forward and count towards the next level. There is no moving down levels at any point of the challenge…if you reach a certain level and then lose 1-3 buy-ins, you remain at that level until you either win the necessary 4-buyins of the next level or lose 4 buy-ins total of the current one. When you lose 4 buy-ins of the current level, the challenge is over (initially, if you lose 4 buy-ins at 2nl you may restart the challenge).
I’ll give you an example of a possible challenge scenario to help illustrate the rules if they aren’t crystal clear: I start at 2nl and win $20 (4 buy-ins of the next level-5nl) so I move up to 5nl. I win $20 more at 5nl, bringing my challenge total to $40 (4 buy-ins of the next level-10nl) so I move up to 10nl. I initially lose $30 at 10nl, bringing my challenge total down to $10 but I do not move down…I then win $52 remaining at 10nl and my total becomes $62, which is now enough to move up to 16nl. I continue this process until I reach 1000nl and the challenge is completed!
So, why did I decide to create this challenge for myself? I created the challenge for a few reasons: First, I think that it will be something fun to stream on twitch and it should really be an inclusive adventure for everyone. I got the idea for the challenge after doing my “Cash Game Ladder” streams, where the goal was to go from 2nl-200nl by moving up after winning only 1 buy-in of the next level. After doing the ladder successfully multiple times, I decided that it could be fun and entertaining to expand that concept and set my sights on a higher end point that could potentially bring much more rewards financially! Second, I personally want to use this challenge as a vehicle to play higher stakes than I’m normally accustomed to. My regular limit is 100nl and although I’ve played mid-stakes games in the past, I’d like to make more of an effort to include a higher percentage of mid-stakes tables in my game selection. Third, by successfully completing this challenge, maybe I can help motivate some other people that followed my journey to do their own challenge or put forth a greater effort to advance their poker career.
If you’re like me, you don’t exactly love risk. That might sound a bit strange coming from a poker player but I’ve always been someone that practices strict bankroll management and good monetary habits. As a result, my downswings are relatively small but my ceiling is also capped by the limits that I play. I’m excited by this challenge because although there will be a lot of variance that comes with a 4 buy-in stop-loss, the risk that comes along with it is very small as well and the rewards are potentially huge! Think about it, if you make it to say 100nl and then lose, you’ve invested your time but have lost $0 in terms of money…in that respect it’s low risk. On the other hand, if you make it to 1000nl (or whatever end point you’d be happy with) and instead of losing the 4 buy-ins, you end up staying on an upswing then you’ve just catapulted yourself through the limits and have now stuck at a level where you’re likely earning way more VPPs and overall money. It all sounds pretty good in theory at least but we’ll see if I’m still singing the same tune after I’ve had to restart 47 times :)
Speaking of restarting the challenge, I’ve already got my feet a bit wet in it and have some early progress reports. I ended up making it as high as 50nl before losing the 4 buy-ins at that level and had to restart so I’m currently at the bottom of the ladder again. If I remember correctly, I was down to my last buy-in at 25nl before making a solid comeback at that level and before that, everything below 25nl was fairly smooth sailing. I’ve learned quickly that the variance in this challenge is certainly going to be high but I’m not that discouraged by having to do a quick restart. It seems as though there’s going to be a lot of progress and regress throughout this challenge so I’ll need to be mentally prepared for it! I will be doing this challenge throughout August so once again, you can follow the action at http://www.twitch.tv/frosty_012 and we’ll see how it goes…
Gl at the tables!
Thursday, August 6, 2015
When you're an online poker player, it's not often that you find yourself in a situation that lends itself to formal attire (or pants, for that matter). But on this day Naoya, Ike, Alex, Greg and I were dressed to the nines - the occasion was that big.
We had arrived at the wedding of fellow Team Onliners Andre "Acoimbra" Coimbra and Katerina "Katerina289" Malasidou in style. Each of us had journeyed from all around the world to Sintra, Portugal, and it felt good to be reunited for a common cause.
The wedding was an amazing event and the festivities that unfolded after this photograph was taken will remain vivid - long term memories. However, before I get too far ahead of myself, let me go back and explain exactly how my journey unfolded, because it almost never happened in the first place.
Three months prior to my departure I received the official wedding invitation from Kat and Andre. I was honoured that the engaged couple would think of me as someone that they would like to have as a part of their special day, but given the geographical distance between us I was initially reluctant to go.Whenever you're travelling to another continent there are obviously a lot of travel costs involved as well as big time commitments. I was on the fence about going but as soon as I told my girlfriend the news, and saw her eyes light up at the opportunity to travel with me, I knew that I was going to Portugal.
My girlfriend and I travelled around The Algarve (stayed in Lagos), Lisbon, and Sintra over the course of our stay in Portugal. Each place we visited was fun and interesting in its own right, but our favorite destination was Lagos. It's hard to beat the stunning beaches and relaxed atmosphere of The Algarve.
To access some of the world-renowned beaches that we visited, you had to walk down some massive staircases because they were at the base of tall sandstone cliffs. I joked that if you weren't in beach shape when you first arrived, you would be once you got done with those stairs!
In Lagos we stayed in a quaint apartment complex that featured very large rooms, a kitchen and an oasis-like pool. The apartment was in-between the town of Lagos and the beaches, so it was ideal for us in terms of where we wanted to spend our time. It even came with free Wi-Fi and I was able to play the Team Online Freeroll from my iPad! I think I bubbled...
The next stop was in the city of Lisbon for a few nights. We'd been getting by fine with our minimal Portuguese vocabulary, but during our first breakfast in the city something was definitely lost in translation!
After we'd had some food I went back inside to order two pieces of watermelon. I pointed to the fruit inside the case and thought that I had successfully explained what I wanted to our server... it wasn't until she came out and dropped two massive watermelon displays on our table that I realised I might have not been as clear as I thought. Bon Appétit!
One cool experience that we had in Lisbon was tracking down a highly-rated cocktail bar that operated as if there was still prohibition in effect. For example, the entrance of the bar was subtle and you had to ring a doorbell to be let inside. Once you entered, you had to walk down some stairs and the bartenders were all dressed in old-fashioned attire and the place had a really exclusive vibe to it. My girlfriend and I actually met up with fellow Team Onliner DaWarsaw earlier that night and the three of us were able to enjoy some of the more creative cocktails. One of my drinks came covered by a glass of smoke and one that Greg ordered had a flame underneath it and came in a paper bag!
The last leg of our journey was to Sintra- the location of the wedding. The day had finally arrived and my girlfriend and I had accompanied Greg to the ceremony, where we were greeted by Andre and then reunited with Alex and Ike, as well as their significant others. Naoya and his wife were running late but ended up arriving just on time before the ceremony started!
The ceremony was very touching and although nobody spoke any English I didn't feel out of place. Two things that I thought were a really nice touch, including having a live choir for the music and tossing flower pedals to the bride and groom as they exited the church! It really did seem like a fairy tale.
Soon after the ceremony everyone migrated over to the reception venue (where the "Team Online Wedding Crashers" picture was taken). It was a little tricky to actually get to the garden for cocktails, especially for women in high heels, as everyone had to walk down a dirt trail carved into the side of a mountain...there were some tumbles but no serious injuries.
Drinks led to dinner and then dinner led to more drinks, dancing, and even more food later on (including soup randomly at 11pm, apparently that's a thing!). I tried my hand (feet?) at Greek dancing and didn't do too well, although most people looked like they were making it up on the fly just like me anyway.
I had a lot of great conversations throughout the night and learned a couple of new things about my teammates. Such as Alex is apparently a rock-paper-scissors strategist, but Ike not so much.
Some people were playing a "RPS" drinking game. Let's just say that I said goodbye to both Alex and Ike at the end of the night but I'm pretty sure only one of them remembers!
After a great experience in Portugal, I'm very thankful to Kat and Andre for the invite and for also showing us around Lisbon. Even with only a couple of days before their wedding, they still insisted on meeting up with my girlfriend and I...I think that says enough about them being truly great people and now they make one amazing couple.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Hey everyone, hope you're all enjoying the SCOOP :) I've cashed in 2/3 SCOOP-M events so far this series and I'll be giving away 10% of my action in SCOOP 23/24M to twitch subscribers. There will be a freeroll this Saturday-May 16th for all subscribers and the top 2 finishers will each win 5% of my biggest cash between the two SCOOP tournaments.
You can find full details of the tournament and how to sub @ http://www.twitch.tv/frosty_012. Thanks for the stream support and gl in the SCOOP!
You can find full details of the tournament and how to sub @ http://www.twitch.tv/frosty_012. Thanks for the stream support and gl in the SCOOP!
Monday, April 13, 2015
Hey everyone! Although it's already been made public on facebook and twitter for a few days now, I'm excited to finally be finished making my custom theme/deck and website and everything is now live at frosty012mods.com.
I've designed a custom theme and deck for functional grinding purposes and I focused on simplicity and maximum HUD space. There's an extensive list of features and details about the theme here and the deck here but the cliffs for each are as follows:
The essence of the Easy Theme is the simplistic and functional layout design, tailored for the avid multi-tabler. With minimal clutter, text and distractions I designed the Easy Theme to allow for maximum HUD space and intuitive seating in order to optimize grinding.
The “Easy” deck is designed to make grinding just that-easy. The relatively large font that’s used for the letters and numbers on the cards was designed to make it easier to see what matters the most across all table dimensions (the card values!). The 4-coloured card backs are meant to stand out in a way that makes interpreting the different suits fast at a glance, without being too overwhelming in brightness. The suit images below the card values are meant to be subtle and serve as a quick reminder as to what the colours on the card backs actually represent. The whole decks comes together in a simplistic way that is appealing to the eye but most importantly, ultra functional for online grinding at PokerStars.
Thanks to everyone for all of the interest in the theme and purchases made already. Let me know if you have any comments or questions, thanks!
Friday, April 10, 2015
In the aftermath of the Micro Millions, I decided to write an article with some tips on how to make a run at the player of the series leader board...I stuck to my own advice last series and had a great start over the first 3 days but unfortunately, it was brick city on day 4 and 5 so I decided to scale things back and end my leader board run :)
Top 5 tips for moving up the Micro Millions leader board
The MicroMillions series can be compatible with a wide range of goals that one may have-anywhere from playing a couple of big guaranteed weekend events to playing every event on the bleeping schedule, *cough* Acoimbra. This article is intended for the latter, for those that see the MicroMillions as a 100 Event, fun grind and embrace the challenge of winning the overall leader board. I'm not saying that you need to play all of the events to win the leader board but, of course, the more events that you play, the more opportunities that you will have to accumulate precious leaderboard points.
There are a lot of events to be played on each day of the series, and I would recommend coming up with a strategy from Day 1 as to how you plan to achieve your goals. Here are my top 5 tips to succeed at playing enough events to climb that leader board to the top!
1. Front-load your schedule
You only have so much time and energy. The 100 event schedule can seem daunting if you think about pacing yourself to play all of the events and you may become quickly overwhelmed, start missing more events than you intended to miss and become mentally and physically exhausted halfway through the series!
What I would recommend doing is front-loading your schedule, meaning that on the early days of the series, play as many events as you can depending on your leader board goals. At the start of the series, you're fully rested and motivated and won't be in any better position to play a maximum number of events. By front-loading your schedule, it becomes easier to take it day by day and direct your focus towards the events of a single day, rather than getting caught up with pacing yourself across the entire series. If the first few days go well, it will be easier to stay motivated and keep your foot on the gas pedal knowing you're right in the thick of the leader board race. If the next few days go poorly and your chances of that high leader board finish are no longer realistic, you can readjust your schedule at that point. For example, maybe you change your goals from a top 10 finish to a top 100 finish and dial back the number of events that you play over the remainder of the series in exchange for more sleep. You'll have a chance to get well rested again and who knows, maybe you'll end up with a couple of great finishes the following and can dive back into the grind at full speed again to close out the series!
2. Take advantage of late registration
You can typically late register for any event for 2 hours after it starts (with some exceptions being for rebuy and turbo tournaments, in which case late registration will be open for a shorter amount of time). Even if you late register 2 hours into an event, you typically start with a 20bb stack and have plenty of opportunity to succeed. Sure, it would be nice to play every event right from the start but it's just not going to be realistic if you want to play a lot of events. Use the late registration to nap, get groceries, grab a coffee, work out, get some fresh air and just make the leader board challenge all around more manageable for yourself.
3. Carve out a sleeping block for yourself each day
There are MicroMillions events happening around the clock and within a few hours of each other. What that generally means for you, the leader board grinder, is that sleep will be a rare commodity if you plan on doing well! The physical part of the grind is indeed real and it can be very easy to sleep through events here and there or slip away from playing your A-game when under fatigue. Fortunately, apart from taking advantage of late registration and napping when you can, there is usually an opportunity at the end of each day to carve out a nice sleeping block for yourself. The time between the last event of the day and the first event of the following day is usually about 4 hours apart (6 with late registration) and if you're lucky, the last event may even be a turbo! That last event is certainly one that I don't mind busting out of early because I know it will give me an opportunity to rest up for the next day :)
4. Calculate the leader board pay jumps
It's important to know how the leader board scoring works and even how to calculate when next "point jump" will be in a given tournament. You probably know that you get the minimum amount of points for cashing in an event but are you aware of when you'll get score the next 5? Think about it, you probably change the way you play and approach different spots around the money bubble and in the MicroMillions series, you're likely more stoked about cashing for the points than the money depending on your goals. In that sense, each tournament actually has numerous bubble spots where you'll have an opportunity to grab additional leaderboard points the further you go. However, I'm not saying that you need to nit it up and tailor your game around the point jumps. It will very likely be more beneficial to just play for the win and to try to build up a big stack to make a deep run but in certain situations (in close, short-stacked spots for example), it may be important to recognize how the leader board points are distributed. The point distribution is shown on the leader board page and all calculations require only simple math, by the way.
5. Focus on your own leader board run and not the competition
Personally, I like to have a general ballpark guess as to how many leader board points that I need to average on each day to finish in X place by the end of the series. It's nice to know what amount of points should put me in contention (based on past leader board results, which can be viewed on the Micro Millions page at Pokerstars.com) but aside from that, I don't dwell on this number or what's happening on the leader board day to day. Results are going to be very streaky...you could go an entire day without any cashes and then rattle off a few deep runs the next. Because of the nature of poker, I'd recommend only focusing on the things that you can control (such as playing well and sticking to your schedule and strategy). Similarly, I find that checking the leader board just puts more pressure on myself rather than adding motivation so I typically think it's a good idea to refrain from checking it regularly.
Alright, thanks a lot for reading. Good luck in your next Micro Millions leaderboard run!
Monday, March 16, 2015
The Micro Millions is back again starting on March 19th and once again, I've got your Main Event tickets! I'll be holding last longer competitions out of my facebook page for various events and the winner of each last longer will score themselves a free ticket to the $22 Main Event on March 29th.
Details of the last longer contests are as follows:
- There will be 5 last longer events spread out over the series.
- Registration for each last longer will take place on my facebook page: FACEBOOK
- Registration for each last longer will open approximately 1 day prior to the event
- To register, all you'll have to do is leave your Stars ID in the comments of the registration post
- The winner of each last longer will win a $22 Main Event ticket!
- *If I win any of the last longers, I'll run a free tournament from my Home Games and use the ticket(s) as a prize*
I'm always excited to play the Micro Millions series and to try and make a run at the leaderboard. The prizes for doing well on the leaderboard are as follows:
I ended up falling just outside of the top 100 at the end of the last series so hopefully I can improve on that this time around and have something tangible to show for my sacrifice of sleep :)
I'm personally extra excited for the series this time around though because with my twitch channel up and running, I'm going to be streaming the series around the clock and have daily updates on how the leaderboard adventure is going. Come on out and sweat me in the MTTs and maybe I can make a deep run or two and navigate my way through these massive fields!
You can tune into the live streams at TWITCH
gl at the tables!