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Joe Ingram, aka ChicagoJoey, had already set a record in May 2009 for most hands played online within a month while making a profit. A total of 604,000 hands meant he had played a little over 20,000 hands every day. Even the toughest grinders online might take a week to play this amount of hands. But Ingram had his eyes on even more and aspired to be a record holder in three different disciplines: most hands played in a day, most hands played in a month and becoming Supernova Elite within 80 days. Record I: Most hands played in one month (604,000) Date: May 2009 Record II: Most hands played in a day (50,000) Date: December 2009 Record III: Reach Supernova Elite within 80 days Date: Oct 11, 2010 till December 31, 2010
In September 2007 an 18-year-old girl from Norway named Annette Obrestad hit the live poker stage with a bang. One day before her 19th birthday she won the inaugural WSOP Europe Main Event and £1m in prize money. That made her the youngest bracelet winner in the history of the WSOP. However, she had already caught the attention of the poker community two months earlier when she won a 180-player sit-and-go without looking at her hole cards. Challenge: Win a 180-player SnG without checking your cards Record Holder: Annette Obrestad (NOR) Date: July 2007
In 2009, there was no one in Europe who played as many poker tables simultaneously as Germany's Thomas “boku87” Boekhoff. He played up to 50 tables and devised an entirely new system for playing online poker. To prove that his system worked – and to promote a book he had planned – Boekhoff decided to play two bankroll challenges in low-stakes Sit-and-Gos (SNGs). Challenge 1: Turn $100 into $10k within 15 days playing SNGs w/ $16 max buy-in Challenge 2: Turn $5 into $100,000 within 12 months Record Holder: Thomas Boekhoff (GER) Dates: Challenge 1 March 3-17 2009; Challenge 2 July 15 2009 - May 19 2010
In 2006, when Chris Ferguson was still Jesus, he set out to make a fortune without using any of his own money. Ok, that came out wrong. The goal of Ferguson's famous online poker challenge was to make $10,000 by starting with $0 and playing according to strict bankroll management. The Mission: Turn $0 into $10,000 Record Holder: Chris "Jesus" Ferguson Dates: March 2006-September 2007
In 2009, France's Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier went after a world sit-and-go record during the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo. The goal: To play as many SnGs as possible within 60 minutes while remaining profitable. In the first part of a new series on the Greatest Online Poker Challenges attempted we'll break down ElkY's World Record and see how it made it into the record books. The Mission: Play maximum number of SnGs, make a profit Record Holder: Bertrand Grospellier (FRA) Date: April 28th, 2009
Thanks to another unfortunate biting incident, Uruguayan footballer Luis Suarez served as a representative for online poker for only a couple of weeks – a record low. His signing had a lot of potential but ended up an extremely short one as an ambassador for 888poker – or AteAteAtepoker, as the poker community humourosly referred to it briefly. Suarez's signing off has left a big gap in the market, though. With footballers like Ronaldo, Francesco Totti and Andrei Shevchenko showing how successful it can be the trend of football stars repping poker sites isn't going away soon. Question is, who else is suitable for the job? You’ll have to look carefully, operators, but don’t worry -- PokerListings Germany's Christian Henkel is here to help out.
If you follow high-stakes online poker you’re no doubt familiar with Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, Patrik Antonius and Phil Ivey. You may even know that Ivey’s new account on Full Tilt is “Polarizing” or that Antonius has returned to his old "FinddaGrind" alias. Over the last couple years, however, the next wave of online poker players has encroached upon the high-stakes scene. It can be hard for even the most devoted online poker fan to keep track of the new handles so here’s a quick guide to the latest movers and shakers from the last year. Some of these players are still unidentified so feel free to share your thoughts about who the accounts belong to in the comments below.
Last time I talked about earning money for a three-month trip to Malta. Because I wanted to give notice to my landlords at the end of the month, I had to make all the money necessary for the trip in March. The pressure was on. I’m not saying it’s Murphy’s Law or anything, but let’s just say that March did not go well.
Since making it a goal to play 30+ hours per week, I’ve found out how bad I have become at organizing my time. I’ve also realized that poker has never been my number one priority, even after I quit my job to go pro. I’m always talking about how I don’t play enough hours of poker, and a big reason for this is that I don’t make it a priority.
January was a mixed bag for me. If you’ve been reading my other blog, you’ll know that I’ve had a lot to deal with outside of poker. Someone very close to me is battling alcoholism and things took a turn for the worse late last year. For the last couple of months, I have basically been trying to make sure that she doesn’t die. Helping her out has been very time consuming, but the biggest impact on me has been the emotional stress. Even when I’ve had some spare hours to play poker, it’s sometimes been very difficult to focus. Emotional stability is extremely important when it comes to playing well and I certainly haven't had it these past two months. I took a lot of days off in December and January as a result.
I haven’t talked much about my experience with heads-up hyper turbos yet, so I figured I’d do that today. If you follow my Mental Game Blog, you’ll know that I’ m currently playing buy-ins between $100 and $300. I played mostly $60s and $100s for all of September, and then I added $200s at the start of October. I started registering for $300s just a few days ago and have only played a handful. Because bankroll wasn’t much of an issue for me, I was able to go from playing $30s to $300s between August and now. I often read people asking about the differences between buy-ins while moving up, so I thought I’d briefly share my thoughts about it.
This blog entry is going to be a pretty positive one since I’m happy to report that I'm still playing heads-up hypers. I haven't played a ton of games or won a ton of money, but I’ve learned a lot since the last time I wrote. I had several big leaks when I first started playing HU. Probably my biggest problem was calling the turn and then folding the river when I should have just folded the turn in the first place. It was so bad that my friend and I named it the "Courtney Leak".
So I changed games again. Last time I mentioned that PLO was a temporary solution while I tried to figure out my next move. I never really expected to play it long term (although a girl can dream). You might have already guessed that the main problem with PLO cash games as a long term solution is the variance involved. While I didn’t research the variance possibilities myself, my friend did a bit of scouting. We estimated that with my volume, I could easily run bad for an entire year. Losing money for a year? I’m gonna go ahead and say no thank you.
One thing I’ve learned about playing online poker for a living is that you have to be flexible because things are always changing. Always have a backup plan in case things don’t go as they should. Never put all your eggs in one basket. Black Friday showed that the state of online poker can change dramatically overnight. I saw many lives get turned upside down as a result, and I feel lucky that I didn’t have to experience the problems many American players faced.
I haven’t updated this blog in forever mainly because I haven’t been playing poker. A couple weeks into June, I had a standard downswing and found myself tilting a lot worse than usual. I decided that I needed to take a short break, and then a short break turned into two weeks and counting. I’ve spent the last two weeks relaxing, enjoying life, and doing things that I actually want to do. I think a lot of people view poker as a glamorous dream job, and people are often really impressed when they find out I play it for a living. The truth is, though, that it’s not glamorous for most of us. For most poker players it’s a grind. Don’t get me wrong. I feel very lucky to have the choice to stay home every day and play a card game at my computer. I love games. I love poker. It’s just that while there are plenty of upsides, there are also plenty of downsides.
Well I didn’t win $100k playing SCOOP! I’m definitely surprised since it seemed like a sure thing after that dream. I didn’t get to play as much SCOOP as I would have liked, mainly because most of the tournament start times were too early for me. To start playing poker by 8 am seems like such an unlikely accomplishment that I am almost considering relocating for WCOOP later this year. A couple things will have to come together to make it happen, but it doesn’t seem like a terrible idea.
I was glad when May started because a new month always seems like a fresh start. I played just over 1,200 SnGs in April and ended up losing the most money I’ve ever lost in a single month of playing poker. This seems strange considering I used to play MTTs and you would think that I would have had my biggest losses back then. It also seems strange because I moved to SnGs to avoid big downswings, and now I’ve lost more money than ever before!
Having the right HUD (heads up display) setup and exercising good table selection are two of the most fundamental keys to success in online poker regardless of the stakes.
So … about that “Running Hotter than the Sun” entry. I think I might have jinxed myself! It appears that $8k downswings at the stakes I’m playing are quite standard as I’m in the middle of another one. Unfortunately it means that I am losing quite a bit this month so far, as I’m currently running at around -2.5% ROI over ~1k games. I will probably only play a couple hundred more SnGs this month, so chances are pretty much zero that I’ll end up positive for the month.
When George W. Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act into law in 2006 he sent a message to online poker rooms: Stop offering online poker to the American market. Some, like Party Poker and 888.com’s Pacific Poker, decided to heed that warning and pull out of the US despite losing the majority of their customer base. Others like PokerStars, Full Tilt and UB/AP adopted a different interpretation of the new legislation and ramped up their US-facing marketing campaigns.
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