Friday, April 10, 2015

Top 5 tips for moving up the Micro Millions leader board

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 is always a lot of fun...100 events, all different formats of poker, massive fields and huge prize pools-what's not to get excited about? Oh yeah, and then there's the tournament leader board where the winner of the series scores 6 months' worth of Sunday Million tickets! Given that the buy-ins for the tournaments in the MicroMillions are just what the name implies (micro) and the half a year supply of $215 tickets is just the opposite, there's a lot of incentive to try and finish at the top of the leader board, and there is an equal opportunity to do so even for the smallest grinders out there.
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!

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