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Three Factors Which Helped abarone68 to Outreach $1,000,000 Profit in MTTs

Three Factors Which Helped abarone68 to Outreach $1,000,000 Profit in MTTs

Approaching the end of March, the famous professional poker player Aaron «abarone68» Barone announced breaking through $1M of profit in online tournaments.

In the thread on his X (former Twitter) profile, @abarone68, Aaron shared not only his best results but factors of his success as well. 

Details of Aaron’s Amazing Results in MTT

According to the statistics that Aaron published on X, since April 1st, 2018 to March 27th, 2024 his profit in MTTs was:

  • Tracked before 2023 — $792,826;
  • Untracked in 2023 — $92,043;
  • Untracked rakeback etc. in 2023 — $31,464;
  • Untracked from January to March 2024 — $73,760;
  • Untracked rakeback from January to March 2024 — $15,735.

His graph on SharkScope for this period looks like this:

Aaron Barone graph from SharkScope for period from April 2018 to March 2024
Aaron Barone Graph From SharkScope for the Period From April 2018 to March 2024

Reflecting on his successes, Aaron noted the following:

Given the volatility of multi-table tournaments because of their large fields and top heavy payout structures, even successful grinders can have wonky looking graphs.  Often looks something like: Bink a big score, lose a bunch back, bink another score, lose some more back, etc.  In addition to being a somewhat miserable experience, it's quite common for the binks to account for the bulk of one's profits.  In some cases, the binks eclipse the total profit itself.  But I don't think it has to be this way.”

He also highlighted his Top 5 scores:

Poker RoomTournamentAaron’s PlacementPayout
PokerStars$530 Bounty Builder HR3rd$31,714
GGPokerHo Chi Minh City Cup2nd$31,961
GGPoker$1,050 GGMasters HT6th$35,626
GGPoker$525 Bounty Hunters HR1st$41,876
PokerStars$530 8-Max Bounty Builder3rd$59,957

Aaron emphasized that none of his individual scores represents more than 6% of total profit:

“It's an incredibly small percentage and I believe speaks to other factors that have helped me succeed in this game, including volume, game selection, and edge.”

We will describe each factor from the first person as Aaron tweeted them in detail below.

#1 Volume

Before I moved to MTTs, I played SNGs.  And from 2010-2015, I played appropriately 242,000 of them.  Early on, I figured out that how much real money I made at the game came down to a simple math problem.

Profit = $/per game x games played

It's more difficult to accurately determine your win-rate in MTTs, but I've continued to follow the SNG mindset - if I want to make more $ at this game, I need to put in more volume.  We can only control so much in this game, but how often we play is certainly one of them.

#2 Game Selection

In my mind, game selection refers to both buy-in and format.

My ABI is $110 and I'm often asked 'Why don't you play higher?'  It's not because I don't think I could beat the games.  But I ask myself, how much do I want to push those edges?  How much variance do I want to potentially deal with? 

Your edges will be the thinnest at the top of your buy-in range, and to be quite honest, there are many incredible end bosses looming in the higher stakes.  Got check-raised out of my shoes by Patrick Leonard the other day , just got owned, and got to spend some more time in the lab.  Doesn't mean I won't flick in a few of the higher stuff, but I'm a lot more careful when it comes to which games to play.  For me, simply 'beating' the game isn't enough.  Have to consider the potential variance/risk of ruin.  


1% in a $1000 = $10

10% in a $109 = $10

If it's possible to make the same amount of money per game and play lower, I'd much rather play lower.  Less risk, same potential reward.  Seems like a no-brainer to me, but people seem to get caught up in hunting big scores, glory, and e-high fives from other regs stumbling down the same bumpy road.  

Re: Format, approximately 75% of my MTTs are PKOs (Progressive Knockouts).  I know a lot of people hate this format and believe there's more variance associated with it, but I'm on the opposite side of the fence.  When played optimally, PKOs have less variance than non PKOs.  Earning money in non PKOs requires you to outlast 70%-80% of the field, which means you'll have to survive more all-in confrontations.  In PKOs, you can turn a profit at any time in the tournament, regardless of how many players are left, simply by KO'ing the right player.

#3 Edge

There was a time where my parents came to visit me in Vancouver and asked about my plans for the day.  When I told them I had to study some poker spots, they were visibly confused:  "You've been playing poker for so long, don't you know enough already?"  

Sadly, no.  I'll never know "enough."  Optimal gameplay is constantly evolving, poker strategies that were once standard quickly become obsolete and eventually scoffed at.  You need to continue working on your game because someone else out there certainly is.  That doesn't necessarily mean memorizing seven different postflop bet sizes along with their exact frequencies across a bajillion different board textures.   

Along with volume and game selection, your edge is the final 'controllable.'  Aside from a few 'Rainman' types, the best players in the world are very often the hardest workers.  If you want that level of success, emulate their level of dedication.  People obsess about solver inputs and outputs, yet fail to realize the most important input of all: work ethic.  While the poker world is certainly not 'fair' and lesser players might bink more than you will, the more effort you put into poker, the more likely you'll succeed.  

So ask questions.  Mark hands you're unsure about.  Don't be too hard on yourself when you fuck up, because trust me, you will.  We all do.  Just give it your best shot and try to get a little bit better each day.  That's the approach I took to get to the $1M mark and will continue to use as I look to make the next million.

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