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!