Jan 222011

Another blog this year and I haven’t even played a hand on the LHE Tables in 2011 yet!

After coming back from the Bahamas I didn’t want to start playing straight away. I figured I would be tired after the first days back at work and I could have played small sessions but I rather take some more time away from the tables to do some other stuff before I start grinding again. The last week I’ve been updating my PokerTracker database, I’m a real geek when it comes to this. I’ve completed my database with all hands, tournaments and SnG’s since 2006 and have manually checked all tournaments to enter any rebuys/add-ons that were missing. I’ve played close to 3million hands and a little over 500 tournaments and SnG’s. I just like to be as complete as possible when I’m doing something so I really spent a lot of time on it. I’m currently creating a new PokerTracker database with only my 2010 hands since those will be more relevant for my HUD. Data from 2009 isn’t that relevant as most players have changed their game by now, maybe it would have been even better to only import the 2nd half of 2010 but I like to have big samples on people.

I’ve figured out my poker plan for 2011 as well. Currently I’m not planning to go for Supernova Elite again. I really would love to reach it again, but last year has showed me that leaving no time to work on your game can cost you a lot of money. I’ve not totally scrapped it of my list but currently I’ve planned to get roughly 750.000 VPPs this year. My standard week looks like this:
– Sunday Evening/Night: 7.500 VPPs
– Monday Evening/Night: 6.500 VPPs
– Tuesday Evening: 3.000 VPPs
For a total of 17.000 VPPs a week. This should take me about 20/22 hours and I will still continue to work 24 hours a week as well so it will be a packed schedule anyway even without going for Supernova Elite. Now if suddenly I’m a big winner in the game I can always move up and increase my play to still get SNE but I have no reasons to believe this is going to happen. This also needs to happen pretty early in the year as else I’m to far behind to still make a run for it. In case this dream scenario isn’t happening I will probably end up at 700.000 VPPs so I can give myself some more free time when things are not going as planned or when it’s beach weather.

I will continue to play $2/$4 till $5/$10 Full Ring Limit Hold’em but will also mix in some tournaments this year. I’ve made an excel sheet with a planning of the whole year and have made a fixed schedule of when to play tournaments. Every last Saturday of the month I will be playing the VIP freerolls and the $215 Weekly Fixed Limit Tournament. Every last Sunday of the month I will be playing the Sunday Warm-Up, Sunday Million and Turbo Takedown. I might add some smaller tournaments next to these as well but will most likely play those during the week when I just feel like playing around. On days I play tournaments I will most likely only play a couple of cashgames on the side since I’m very bad in mixing cashgames with tournaments. I will also make a selection of tournaments this year in which I want to participate during the SCOOP and WCOOP, which will be most likely a mix of LHE, NL, Razz or maybe even 8-game.

Tomorrow will be my first day back at the LHE tables and I feel a bit rusty. Normally it just takes a couple of hours to get used to the game again and I’m planning to continue with the changes I’ve made to my game late December which proved to be successful over a small sample. I’m hoping this change will help to be a winning player in the game again as this is also one of my main goals this year. I had very few negative comments on becoming a member of PokerStars Team: Online but those who commented pointed at my negative outcome at the tables. It’s something I’m not happy with either but it’s not really true that I’m only a rakeback pro. I’ve been a winner since 2006 and this year is my first losing year on the tables. My SNE chase of course has something to do with it but not as much as most people think. If I would have been a losing player without making SNE I would have lost way more and in case I would have dropped going for SNE there is no guarantee I would have been a winner in the game. I hope I can show people I can win money on the tables as well but if I’m only a winner after rakeback then it’s not that bad as most people say it is. If you are winning after rakeback you still beat the game, you are just not beating the rake. You are still better then the average player and you still profit from playing. Sure it doesn’t look that cool but you at least still make money from the game and most people can’t say that. Still I would really like to do better on the tables, not only to look goal but simply to make more money out of playing poker!

I’m not planning to suddenly show up at a lot of Live tournaments but I am planning to got to the Venlo Vip Days (Netherlands) where 4 tournaments are held from the 31st of March till the 3rd of April. I’ll probably play the first 3 tournaments which have a buy-in of €200, €300 and €1.000. Based on how my year and tournaments are going I still have to choose if I’m getting $10.000 cash, a WSOP Main Event Package or a EPT Grand Final Package as my second SNE reward. I would love to play another big tournament but I’ll postpone that decision till later in the year.

Next to poker I’m planning to hit the gym a lot as well, starting Monday. I’m feeling bloated lately and I have nobody else to blame but me. That’s also a big factor in deciding not to go for SNE again because if I would I know I wouldn’t have time enough to exercise. I’m planning to hit the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday like I did last year as well (only skipping less this year) and cycle on Monday or Tuesday afternoon, Thursday evening and Saturday or Sunday afternoon. This seems like a lot, but it’s okay if I miss 1 or 2 sessions once in a while and as long as I at least exercise 3 times a week I’m happy. We’ve signed up with 10 people to do the Amstel Gold Race in April so that is going to be great fun. I’m the only one that really cycles a lot and most don’t even have a suitable bike for the race so we definitely have to start training. We are only doing the 65km route but it still contains some ugly climbs. I cycled the 100km last year so I doubt I will get into trouble but I’m already excited to scream my mates to the top. I’ll try to take them with me as much as possible when training on the bike and most of them have already started working out again in the gym as well. We will probably all lose a couple of kilo’s and that’s a welcome bonus! It’s really good that we all have a goal which motivates us to exercise. It’s my mother’s wedding day at the 24th of June and I really want to look fit at the pictures, so next to exercising I also going to try to drink alcohol as little as possible and eat a lot more healthy for the coming months. I’m not totally quitting alcohol, which I’ve done multiple times in the past, but I want to minimize it to parties and birthdays only this time. 92 kilo’s is the goal for the 24th of June and I’m roughly 102 kilo’s now. I’ve promised myself that whenever I got above the 100 kilo mark (after being 135 kilos in 2007) I would always make sure my priority would be to lose weight again, so that’s definitely one of my main goals for the coming months!

I think that’s most of it about my goals and plans for 2011. I’ll continue with some random stuff which I’ve been doing or planning to do the coming weeks. I’ve been catching up with “The Big Game” which was recommended by a lot of people to watch. I’ve only watched week 1 so far but I’m planning to watch the rest of the episodes as well. I hardly ever watch poker on television but this is really a good format and funny to watch. You can check all episodes on http://www.pokerstars.tv but I’m sure most of you out there have already seen it so this shouldn’t be a shocker. Next to watching the big game I can’t wait for Season 2 of Spartacus that started this Friday. I so loved this series and I hope Season 2 is as good as Season 1 was. Next to Spartacus, V, Fringe and White Collar have already started again and I’m also waiting for new episodes of Entourage & True Blood. Not sure when they are all coming but there are plenty of series to watch this year. I got a huge list of stuff I still want to watch as well but I think I might get into problems if I start following even more series.

Coming Sunday I will most probably play the Prerelease of the new Magic The Gathering set: Mirrodin Besieged. I haven’t played Magic in almost a year now but I still love the game and I think it’s going to be good fun. It’s in Amsterdam so pretty close and I think we will go with the four of us so we are going to have fun anyways. I’m also still planning to play the StarCraft II campaign but for the moment I don’t really have more free time then I had last year since there is plenty to do but it’s still on my list 🙂 I just love playing games! That actually reminds me of the fact that this week I did play some Poker, I played 8-game on PokerStars Home Games. It’s not like I’m a trendsetter with playing 8-game as most pro’s are getting more into mixes games the last 2 years but I really love it. I’ve played Stud before, actually hardly played Omaha, never a Hi/Lo game and had never played 2-7 Triple Draw. My least favorite game in 8-game is Hold’em NL and I actually like all the others. I’ve always loved Razz, I like stud (not so much the Hi/Lo) and actually like both Omaha games. I’ve only played for 0,20/0,40 with friends and we had the standard type of fun where people were still thinking we are playing Razz while already switched to Stud. I also always get the feeling my cards are faced up after first playing Stud games and then switching to Omaha. It’s just good fun and it’s really good the sharks can’t join our games 😉 Next Sunday we also have our first Home Games Tournament scheduled and probably we’ll have some side action on the cash tables as well. I hope it doesn’t distract me to much as I really have to start grinding!

Next week I will also participate in the WBCOOP (World Blogger Championship of Online Poker) but unfortunately I can’t really play a lot of these tournaments as most are not really suitable for people from Europe. I’ve never played the WBCOOP but it’s a free series of tournaments for people who have an active blog so thought why not sign up? If you want more info you can go to http://www.pokerstars.com/blog_tournament/. Maybe I get to win some SCOOP tickets, I’m playing tournaments anyway next weekend so it fits right into my schedule.

The last thing I want to mention is that I’ve updated my blogroll on the right side. I’ve added all PokerStar Team: Online blogs, all the SNE blogs I could find and some other random poker and non-poker blogs. In case you want to be added feel free to leave  a comment. I’m not really the guy who’s going to do the “I add your link if you add mine” but feel free to add a link to my blog on your website. I will update the 2011 goal pages later this week.

I’m ready for 2011 and wish everybody the best on the tables!

 Posted by at 7:13 pm

  2 Responses to “Ready for 2011”

  1. Hi mate,

    Its Mark, we met at the PCA. I am the Scottish FPP qualifier 🙂

    Good luck with your goals this year, I hope it is a successful year for you with the fitness and the poker. I am doing something similar, although I only expect to receive about 200,000 FPP and my main goal is the fitness (or the belly haha).

    Hope you enjoyed the PCA. It was a great week and was nice to meet you aswell. Anyone who criticises you being a Pokerstars pro should come and meet you, I thought you were a really nice guy and being a professional playing in my opinion is not all about ROI. I hope you get another deal next year aswell, people like you deserve it.

    Speak to you later.


  2. Ey Mark,

    great that you leave a comment! Thx for the great words and hope we will meet again 🙂 If you can qualify for a couple of FPPs for the PCA you should be able to get your WSOP ticket as well 😉

    Good luck on the tables! 200.000 VPPs is still plenty of play and I hope you do well, also with the belly 😉


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