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Runitup Challenge: 1k -> $100k in 2.5 months

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Runitup Challenge: 1k -> $100k in 2.5 months - Sat Jul 19, 2014, 09:40 AM
(#1)
GodlikeRoy's Avatar
Since: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Hey all! A few days ago I decided to start this challenge where I try to turn my $1k stars balance into a $100k BR by the end of September (about 2.5 months). I'll do it playing only PLO cash games, and using a very aggressive bankroll management.

Here is the most I made in my blog to begin things off:

It's been a while since I've done a poker challenge, and I can think of no better time than now to start another. My last one was my 100 hours in 7 days 'Poker Marathon Challenge' attempt from late last year.

So what makes now such a good time? Well, I am never more motivated than when I challenge myself and I always play my best poker when I am most motivated. And I feel like I need to be playing my best poker right now, and a lot of it.

The year so far has not been kind to me. My volume has been low, the quality of my play has been poor and my run-good has been non-existent. There are plenty of reasons why all that has happened but let's just say that here I am - after my last withdrawal and seemingly weeks without a winning day, my poker balance is sitting right around the $1k mark. I have no qualms with making a deposit and continuing to trudge through the days - but it might be fun to try and run it up. Enter this challenge! And what do we say to a challenge?..



Now conventional & prudent bankroll management suggest that I would probably need to play PLO $0.10/$0.25 or something. But we're not going to do that. First it's because the $1k I am using isn't my "bankroll", it's just what I have on Stars atm. Second is because i'm already taking a step down in stakes by starting at $0.50/$1 or $1/2 which is where I intend to start - I can still eek out a respectable winrate at those stakes that wouldn't hamper my long term goals too much. Lastly is because this challenge is intended to force me to play my very best poker - if I drop too low in stakes I might fall victim to the trap of not being able to take the games seriously. Likewise if I simply make a deposit and continue playing as I am atm I can easily be auto-piloting my bankroll away. Taking the time to take a step back, evaluate, set goals, clear my head, focus and attack the tables is the best thing I can do for myself and my poker game right now.

Speaking of my goals - what are they for this challenge? I'll set my end goal as having 100 buyins for 5/10, and the end date that I want that by as September 31st 30th (30 days hath september..god damn roy it's the first one!) That will allow me to comfortably play my regular tables and allow for taking shots and sitting in bigger games when I see fit. It's also something I think I have a reasonable shot at accomplishing. I'm also going to cheat a little and use my SNE rewards to help me along the way. I'm starting with a fresh bank of FPPs but the rewards will still help me trod along if things do start to go stale. Speaking of SNE - On top of my goal of 100 buy-ins, I also want to make about 350k VPPs throughout the challenge. This will put me on a good pace to hit my million by year's end and contribute about 30% to my 100 BI goal when all is cashed in.



If I fail (read: busto the account) I don't think I'll attempt it again - I'll just make a deposit and start back at higher stakes. I might start a separate challenge of some other sort for when that happens should I feel I need to motivate myself further but that's a bridge that hopefully won't need to be crossed cause my rambo run-it-up challenge can't fail.. can it? Of course it can. PLO is a game with crazy high variance. No matter how well I play or how high my winrate could be if I am playing my A game all the time and never faltering, there's still a legit chance things go pear shaped. That outcome may even be the favourite. But with good table and seat selection, proper tilt control and the focus required allowing me to play my best - I think I can eek out a significant winrate at the tables and with a smidgen (or truck load) of luck on my side, this might just work out nicely.

First and foremost though I have got to get my mental game sorted before I even attempt the challenge. Losing/breaking even at poker for an extended period will take it's toll on just about anyone, and I am certainly no exception. I've allowed myself to get distracted a lot lately and my focus has been split 100 different ways - this leads to poor poker. I haven't been adhering to a routine sleep schedule resulting in inadequate quality and quantity of sleep - this leads to poor poker. My diet started slipping, about 6 months ago, so it is well and truly slupped (new word, nailed it) by now - this leads to poor poker. I've been working out a bit, but it's been mostly 1 or 2 intense days a week with 5-6 sedentary days - leading to poorer poker. There's definite improvement to be made. I'll be working on all these things throughout the challenge.

I am going to get a coaching session with mental game coach Jared Tendler next week, and I am about to start a 7-day "mindfulness intensive" meditation program created by my friend and fellow poker player Yaniv "Sentin9" Ronen. I'll post a review on that when I am done; I have high hopes. I have finally downloaded and installed Poker Juice - what looks to be the next generation in poker training software - and will post a review of that too after I've had a good chance to play around with it. I'm going to commit to doing 10,000 steps a day to ensure I stay active and get out of the house. I'll meditate daily, eat right, and limit my caffeine to 1 coffee a day + green tea only.



On paper, I feel like I am doing everything right. Or I'm about to be at least. I'll try to keep the updates flowing, and initially I want to be updating on a daily basis. Wish me luck!

----------------------------------------

It's been almost a week since I started and things aren't going too great. I've been running pretty terribly, but have managed not to go bust yet which is a positive! Here is my graph for the first 6 days of play so far:



I'll post updates in this thread going forward but for my previous updates you can find them on my blog. I still have high hopes going forward - though this slow start is far from ideal.
 
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Sat Jul 19, 2014, 10:10 AM
(#2)
Profess Awe's Avatar
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,579
Really hope you get a #turnaround so we can follow this challenge.
Best of luck, look forward to all the reviews you mention
 
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Sat Jul 19, 2014, 10:28 AM
(#3)
TrustySam's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
BronzeStar
+1 to what Profess Awe said - GL GL!!
 
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Sat Jul 19, 2014, 10:37 AM
(#4)
royalraise85's Avatar
Since: Jul 2011
Posts: 26,022
(Community Coordinator)
Great stuff! Good luck with the challenge Roy!

Raiser


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Sat Jul 19, 2014, 01:04 PM
(#5)
Paddy Gar's Avatar
Since: Apr 2010
Posts: 439
Gl roy. You seem to be very motivated so go crush!


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Sat Jul 19, 2014, 01:51 PM
(#6)
rolo834's Avatar
Since: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,424
your preparation seems spot on and I can learn from this..mainly diet and exercise so thank you

but as you know the game is played on the felt and not off it so wishing you very best of luck
 
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Sat Jul 19, 2014, 02:21 PM
(#7)
Fadyen's Avatar
Since: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,917
Good luck with the challenge Roy! I really look forward to seeing how you get on as I can relate to some of what you're going through albeit at a fraction of the stakes. But I think many players, recreational and pro alike come up against the same problems, lack of motivation and slipping into bad habits etc. I've recently not been putting in much volume, let myself get out of shape and when I do play I auto-pilot all too often and I'm just not in the right mind set but I plan to make a change. I'm really busy with work until the start of August so I hope you're still grinding this challenge then so I can use it as inspiration for my own.



Tournament of Champions Winner 2013

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Sun Jul 20, 2014, 07:23 PM
(#8)
GodlikeRoy's Avatar
Since: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Thanks everyone! Things are only getting bleaker, but not for luck of motivation that's for sure.

---------------

Welp. Well we knew starting out that this could happen, and it looks like it's happening. On the surface it looks like the challenge is over and the BR is busto but lest we forget the glorious wonder of the FPPs - I'm not down and out yet! I've made enough to buy the $600 bonus from the VIP store for 40,000 FPPs. While it's not the best rate and I am losing a smidgen of money over holding out for the $1600 bonus @ 100k points, it's not that big of a deal to take in order to keep this challenge going. In other good news, I am coming up on my 300k VPP Milestone bonus which is going to be another $2.8k coming if I can make it there. I suppose that is my goal now - as well as just continuing to play as best I can at the tables. It's clear what we already knew, that this challenge is at the mercy of variance, but if I can mitigate it as much as possible then my odds of being successful only go up. It's also definitely cheating a bit to get such a big boost from the 300k milestone but who cares cheaters are winners amirite hashtag yolooooooo

This is also not where I hoped to be a week in. The slow start is really going to hamper my chances of making it to my final goal within the time frame, and I'm really going to need to take things up a notch. That means more volume, more tables, more focus, more more more. MOAR!! Bring it on I say.

 
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Sun Jul 20, 2014, 07:39 PM
(#9)
Paddy Gar's Avatar
Since: Apr 2010
Posts: 439
Think you're entitled to a bit of 'cheating' after that 8k stretch!


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Mon Jul 28, 2014, 05:14 PM
(#10)
rolo834's Avatar
Since: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,424
currently listening to you on podcast will checkout yourwebsite next

gl #youcanturnitaround
 
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Tue Jul 29, 2014, 06:53 AM
(#11)
GodlikeRoy's Avatar
Since: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Thanks! Have an update coming in a couple of hours - things have not been going too well =\ but the show must go on so I am modifying/continuing the challenge in a slightly different way
 
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Sat Aug 02, 2014, 07:23 AM
(#12)
GodlikeRoy's Avatar
Since: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Hey all. It’s definitely been longer than I would have liked since my last post/update, but things have been hectic. The challenge as I started it can definitely be considered failed since I busted my roll + any rakeback I made while grinding it up. I simply ran too bad and succumbed to the ****le bitch that is the variance of omaha cash games. It was fun and challenging and I definitely learned a lot during my time playing $0.50/$1 – both about how different the games are there compared to higher stakes and what I needed to do to get my game back on track. I’ve decided to keep the challenge going albeit with some modifications, and I went ahead and deposited a comfy BR so that I can play 1/2 – 2/5 with gusto. Obviously the “runitup” part of the challenge heavily relied on running up my small amount into a huge amount and a big part of it was me staring the god of death & variance square in the eyes every day as I finagled my way to high stakes. Alas, that god is also a ****le bitch and I want nothing to do with him any more. My end goal is still the same: 100 buyins at 5/10 + 350k VPPs by the end of September. It’s still a very uphill battle both in terms of the volume needed and level of play required to get there, and a sprinkle of rungood wouldn’t hurt things either.

So what did I learn from playing $0.50/1? Well the glaringly obvious thing to point out is that the games were a lot tighter. I’m afraid that isn’t doing it justice though. Imagine a table where it’s you + 5 people whose VPIPs add up to less than 80. Now we’re talking. Stealing become very profitable, and bottom set/middle set/2pair became trap hands. Almost nobody runs big bluffs – I definitely ‘spewed’ several buyins making call downs that seemed standard but after playing 20k hands it turns out the folds, that seem to me to be borderline insane, are actually what is standard (and rightly so). There’s good money to be made in these games if you’re savvy and patient. Savvy enough to steal from the nits and patient enough not to give to other nits. I had one huge, gigantic problem with the games though. It stopped me from putting in significant volume, it stopped me from playing my very best, and it stopped me from looking forward to playing each day: the games are BORING.

Boring. I guess I should say that they were boring to me. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t get into too many tough spots with interesting dynamics or if tighter games are just boring. Probably a bit of both. It’s also probably a bit that I wasn’t playing many opponents that I considered to be very good/tough. The thing about playing vs very good opponents is that it forces you to lift your game, to think about the game in ways you might not have and to always be on your toes playing your best because if you don’t and when you’re not.. the money will bleed away very, very quickly. I’m not saying I want to play in the toughest lineups there are, or even in particularly tough lineups. I’m all for a bit of game selection and avoiding people I know are significantly better than I am. But there’s a balance to be made – to find sufficiently tough opposition without sitting with ben86, odd_oddsen and mrsweets28. And for me I think that begins at the 1/2-2/5 level. A while ago I would have said it only began at 2/4+. There used to be a significant difference in skill between 1/2 and 2/4+. There still is a gap, but it’s a lot less than it used to be. I think this is because of the popularity of zoom and specifically the 2/5 zoom pool. It has created a scenario where there aren’t as many regular non-zoom tables running at 2/4 and 3/6 so the regs who prefer to play those types of tables are now found in the 1/2 regular table pool.

Since I have started grinding normalish stakes again I have new found vigor. I’m really excited to put in a lot of volume and I am confident that I am playing well enough for it to be sensible. That’s something I wouldn’t have been able to say before I started the challenge – so in some ways this whole thing has already been a success. I’ll still go for gold though and try and to salvage what I can from the original challenge by hitting my final goals. Here’s my graph to date, and some fun bonus progress bars that show you just how far behind I really am. It’s gonna take a small miracle to make my end goal, but hey you know what they say: reach for the stars, and something motivation something inspiration something something. Ya’ll can quote me on that.



 
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Sat Aug 02, 2014, 08:15 AM
(#13)
bhoylegend's Avatar
Since: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,261
Best of luck with the modified challenge.

I can't pretend to know a lot about PLO but I will still be watching with interest.
 
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Sat Aug 02, 2014, 08:34 AM
(#14)
ArtySmokesPS's Avatar
Since: Oct 2011
Posts: 7,346
Quote:
Originally Posted by GodlikeRoy View Post
I busted my roll
Wow! The variance must have been really brutal. You normally seem so laid back and calm, so this post came as quite a shock to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GodlikeRoy View Post
I had one huge, gigantic problem with the games though. It stopped me from putting in significant volume, it stopped me from playing my very best, and it stopped me from looking forward to playing each day: the games are BORING.
I'm sure a lot of readers can relate to that; even those of us that only put in a fraction of the volume that you do.
It seems like you've adjusted your mindset correctly though.
Thanks for your candour. Good luck with the next phase of the challenge!


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Sat Aug 02, 2014, 09:18 AM
(#15)
sparkes25's Avatar
Since: Feb 2013
Posts: 645
Plo is always going to have bigger swings as you will find yourself in 60/40% spots a lot and its rare
To get a big pot where you are crushing unless you flop nuts vs a new player with 2nd nuts.

I find plo8 has much lower swings tho as its a split pot game, but the rake can chip away at your stack
If your only winning half a pot each time. Always make sure you have a good chance of winning both pots!

Clearly in holdem it is common to get 80/20% spots with pair vs pair or ak vs aq ect
 
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Sat Aug 02, 2014, 09:43 AM
(#16)
GodlikeRoy's Avatar
Since: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhoylegend View Post
Best of luck with the modified challenge.

I can't pretend to know a lot about PLO but I will still be watching with interest.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtySmokesPS View Post
Wow! The variance must have been really brutal. You normally seem so laid back and calm, so this post came as quite a shock to me.

I'm sure a lot of readers can relate to that; even those of us that only put in a fraction of the volume that you do.
It seems like you've adjusted your mindset correctly though.
Thanks for your candour. Good luck with the next phase of the challenge!
Yeah the variance was particularly insane. It felt like I was running bad in all areas of the game - starting hands, flops, all in situations, etc etc. I was definitely starting to doubt my abilities during the toughest times. I feel a lot better now though and am trying to remain as steadfast as I can

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkes25 View Post
Plo is always going to have bigger swings as you will find yourself in 60/40% spots a lot and its rare
To get a big pot where you are crushing unless you flop nuts vs a new player with 2nd nuts.

I find plo8 has much lower swings tho as its a split pot game, but the rake can chip away at your stack
If your only winning half a pot each time. Always make sure you have a good chance of winning both pots!

Clearly in holdem it is common to get 80/20% spots with pair vs pair or ak vs aq ect
Yup the swings can be brutal that's for sure.. the upside though is that when you're running good you get the amazingness of feeling like you are literally the god of the poker world for a while haha.

I agree that the swings would be lower in a split pot game, though that is a bit counter-intuitive at first.
 
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Sat Aug 02, 2014, 11:47 AM
(#17)
rolo834's Avatar
Since: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,424
ive never played anyhtign other than NLHE

upon first reading i thought modifying the challenge is like failure but on reflection I think its just being clever and helpin gyouself suceed

good luck
 
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Thu Aug 07, 2014, 06:16 PM
(#18)
GodlikeRoy's Avatar
Since: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
I’m writing this update on my laptop while at the airport on my way to Brisbane. That unfortunately means no pretty (or not so pretty) graphs. Which is a bit of a shame because my graph over the last few days would be one of the more prettier ones for the challenge. Hmm, actually maybe I can mspaint something… hold on. Don’t go anywhere.

Okay, so this represents the last few of minutes of my life:



Time well spent Roy. Time well spent. I was so set on getting mspaint on here that I initially ignored the much easier option of finding an alternative, mac version to use. Which I eventually did find, and it’s called Paintbrush or as I call it, iMSpaint. A few minutes (or let’s be honest, about 32 seconds) in there and we have this oh-so fancy graphy looking doobywacker that more or less sums up my results since the last update:



The games have been great and I have been playing a good mix of 1/2, 2/4 and 2.5/5 with a little 3/6 sprinkled in. It’s currently Omaha Week on Pokerstars which is essentially a week with promotions targeted specifically at omaha variants. They’ve done a great job this year at making the promotions enticing to newcomers which will hopefully result in more PLO converts, as well as adding a couple of nice things for us regs – the most noticable and rewarding being the happy hours which reward 50% bonus VPPs/FPPs. I’ve been trying to maximise my play during those hours to take full advantage – although I went about it in a slightly different manner than most I think. A lot of people tend to jump on the maximum number of tables to crank out the VPPs resulting in some pretttttttttty robotic/autopilotty level 1 play on their behalves. So I decided to stick to fewer tables and focus more on exploiting the overzealous VPP hungry regs (aka me during 2013′s happy hours). So far so good.

The next week or so i’ll be playing from my laptop, so i’m gonna take the opportunity to work on my zoom game. It’s no surprise that the games are generally tougher there when compared to playing regular tables with a modicum of table selection (essentially zoom almost always has a higher reg:rec ratio). That said I have an inkling that a lot of the regs are making a lot of the same mistakes (especially at 1/2 zoom, but there’s some cross over to 2/5) which if exploited appropriately should result in a significant win rate boost. I don’t want to get into specifics about what I think the mistakes are (at least not right now) but suffice to say it has to do with the mentality a lot of players approach the games with.

Since moving back to normalish stakes last week I am definitely enjoying poker a hell of a lot more. The games are more fun and the spots are more interesting and I find myself thinking about the game a lot when i’m not at the tables – something that I had missed for a lot of the year. I’ve been watching runitonce vids and working my way through some poker theory, all the while discovering some cool new things about the game that I hadn’t thought of before. That’s one of the most amazing things about poker – you can play almost every day for 10 years and still find a million (literally) new things when you apply yourself to studying and getting better (and sometimes it just happens accidentally). Alright, there’s my flight call. Over and out! (or something less lame)
 
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Mon Aug 18, 2014, 03:21 AM
(#19)
GodlikeRoy's Avatar
Since: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Just got home from Brisbane and uploaded my hands to my desktop HEM. It was a good 10 days! Playing 1-4 tables of mostly zoom500 only was a decision i am v. happy with. I feel like I am playing better than I have all year, and that coinciding with some run good makes for a very happy roy.

 
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Mon Aug 18, 2014, 05:36 AM
(#20)
bhoylegend's Avatar
Since: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,261
Hand 2435ish seems to have been an interesting one, love those straight line upwards pots, sadly my graph shows decidedly more in the downward direction.

Glad to see things have taken an upward swing for you!
 

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