Well, that's it folks, I finally made it! After pretty much nonstop grinding starting right after getting back from the Bahamas on January 14th, I have finally reached SNE for 2011! This is very reminiscent of the feeling I used to get shortly after finishing a huge exam or project back in college - I would characterize it as "subdued elation." I'm not going crazy in jubilation or anything like that, but I am tremendously happy that I was able to accomplish this. I've definitely been more excited about some other poker achievements in the past, such as after MTT wins or my deep run in the WSOP ME in 2009, mostly because I ran so hot in those. However, I believe this is my most impressive poker achievement so far and I am most proud of this. It's been 59 days in the making (including 9 Saturdays, in reference to the picture below), so I've had much time to let this sink in. Still Feels Awesome!
The crazy part of this entire endeavor, as I've said before, is that I really had no intention of getting 1M points anywhere close to this soon. Sure, after I got back from the PCA and started the normal January grind, I had thoughts about getting SNE by March 17, but I didn't make it my mission. After a short ski trip in mid-February, where I was at 560,415 VPPs, a fellow by the name of Isildur1 started to creep up behind me with his 5k heads-up craziness. I realized at this point that I had a serious competitor, and breaking the old record of March 18 might not be good enough. In addition, I didn't even know at this time that "poker_in_pb," whose VPP count is hidden from the list in the SNE thread on Two Plus Two, was ahead of me all along! He must have been getting 18-20k VPP every day, including those PCA days I missed. I only passed him around Feb 18th when I got over 700k VPPs. With these two people in my rear-view mirror, along with a "f*** it, I'm just gonna get it by the end of this damn short month" mentality, I decided to really gun it right after getting back from skiing. In hindsight, I definitely should have skipped PCA and my skiing trip so that I could maintain a more reasonable pace (16,949 VPP per day), instead of the ~20,000 I had to average.
Now that I've finished with this mega grind as I call it, I will most definitely relish many things I took for granted in the past. I will relish not having to play every single game that goes off. I will relish not having to play as soon as I wake up pretty much and not ending until after normal people's dinnertimes. I will relish not having to constantly maintain 25+ tables, and sometimes accidentally creeping into the 40s. The most tables I was in during my session one time was something like 47, which is simply way too much for me to handle (considering probably close to 1/3 of them were 6mans and I was heads up or on the bubble in several!) I will relish taking days off and not thinking about my VPP pace or "Gee, I need to get in a double session today to get to 30k VPP!" And finally, perhaps the most important one to me, I will relish not having 10-15k upswings and downswings literally EVERY session. It's enough to make most people and sometimes even me go a bit berserk.
That last point was the most traumatic and stressful aspect of what I had to go through, particularly for the last 400k VPPs aka 2 weeks. No matter how bad you think the variance can be, it can always go at least one more level above your head. Never before had I played 300+ SNGs in a day and close to 500. That amount of volume is equivalent to probably 3 or 4 of my "old" sessions, which were already pretty long sessions in themselves. I went through the ups and downs of that many sessions in just one, and as such, I also went through the variance of multiple sessions every day. I did not know it was possible to just flat out lose 80-90% of games for hundreds of games, but I sure found out haha. Prior to this mega grind, I always thought -10k days were immeasurably brutal, but with these new sessions I was putting in, I was losing more than that every day (and going on a few upswings of course). I had to learn to suck it up and just keep focused on playing well. Keeping myself on an even keel is something I pride myself on being able to do well, and I sincerely believe I was able to do that through even the toughest of days.
I made this whole record attempt as a test for myself, just to see if I could do it and handle all of its most miserable and trying hardships. Of course I knew the attention that it would garner, and I am very very appreciative of ALL of you who comment on my posts and post kind words on the SNE thread. I wanted to show all of you, but myself first and foremost, that it IS possible to grind through the nastiest of the nasty. Believe me, some parts of my grind were downright carnal in their brutality. The 30+ tabling high stakes part combined with almost no game selection is a true recipe for disaster. The edges are so small in most games, so when I played hundreds of them in a day, there was a statistically high likelihood of variance either up or down many many buy-ins, but most likely down due to the rake.
Here are some interesting stats from my SNE run according to my spreadsheet:
SNGs played: 14,183, Avg ROI: 0%
# of days played: 50 out of 59 (84.75%)
# of days >25,000 VPP: 13
# of days >10,000 VPP: 48
VPPs in Jan (including 50k WSOP bonus): 398,682
VPPs in Feb: 602,086
VPP Milestones achieved in February: 6
Lowest VPP session: 7,326 on Jan 1st (lol lazy)
Highest VPP session: 35,167 on Feb 18th
VPPs in last 15 days: 425,954 (28,397/day)
Top 3 profit days: +12,732, +9,880, +8,444
Top 3 loss days: -17,511, -12,860, -9,414
Left-mouse clicks in 2011: 1,172,167
I will make some follow-up posts in the days to come. Just wanted to put this main one out there for now. I'll be happy to answer any questions you have, just post them in the comments and I'll get to them in future posts. As for now, I'm going to take at least tomorrow off, get some errands done and just RELAX! It's been a fun ride! But don't tune out yet, I'll be grinding a lot all year and will be blogging as I go. Again I appreciate everyone who has been supportive in the SNE thread, in this blog, and even at my tables; you guys are all the best!
(I was sweating that green bar hardcore lemme tell ya)
Overdue (but brief!) update...
1 month ago