January 2009
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Marathon Man

I’ve been needing a reliable way to get up in the morning, as various combinations of three alarm clocks placed strategically around the bedroom just wasn’t working as effectively as it should.  You can only blame jet lag for about a week, after that I wasn’t even fooling myself.

I may have found an answer: pre-register for an online poker tournament before going to bed.

I bought in to a tourney starting at 8:20am, set an alarm for fifteen minutes before and it turned out to be totally unnecessary.  I was bizarrely wide awake just before it started ringing.

How does this work then?  The prospect of knowing that if I oversleep I’ll struggle to get going before lunch and then be playing catchup all day hasn’t been enough to get me going before 10am so far this month.  But the thought at the back of my mind that I might not be able to play every single hand in a $20 poker game if I’m not up on time apparently does the trick.

So why put myself through this ordeal, and on a Sunday morning too?

Quite a while ago I looked at the Empire Poker VIP Club and thought it looked like a good deal for tournament players, providing you can play quite a few tournaments all in one sitting.  Their points are awarded one per dollar of entry fees, plus a bonus amount equal to the square of the number of tournaments you play in a day.

So if you play one $10+$1 tournament, you get 1 base point and 1 bonus point.  If you play ten of the same, you get 10 base points but 100 bonus points.  It gets to the point where the value of the tournaments doesn’t matter, it’s all about the volume.  It can be quite a significant bonus if you’re prepared to concentrate your play to the extreme.

Compare this to cash game players, who are awarded points equal to the square root of the number of hands they play each day.  So you get 1 point for your first hand, then it takes 3 more hands for the next point, then 5 more, 7 more, 9 more and so on.  Seems like a funny way to reward loyalty to me if the more you play the harder it is to get something back.

Anyway, this seemed like a great way to reach the top tier of the loyalty program, and the attraction of that was a $100 monthly deposit bonus with no play requirement.  $1200 a year just for moving your money around?  Yes please!

So having a marathon day every now and again to help achieve this status was once part of my master plan.  It seems I just forgot about the plan as the last time I did this was almost a year ago.  The end is in sight now though, so you never know…

I’m hoping to play 40 tournaments today.  Results will follow, unless I can find a way to graph it and then a graph will follow

10:30 – There’s no better display of awesome poker skill than to take down a stupidly fast tournament.  Officially I have the 1st place in a $30+$3 turbo after we agreed a chip count deal.  I walked away with $432.89, which is enough to cover my buyins until at least 3pm.

10:55 – Runner up in a satellite.  4th place pays $7.60.  It cost $11.

12:15 – 3rd in a 30-player $20 limit tournament for $120.  Would have been at least 2nd if not for a miracle comeback by a player with 0.2BBs.  LOL donkaments, etc.

12:30 – Scraped 3rd in a $22 shootout after making an awesome call with Q2 and sucking out on ace-rag, giving me $24.16 in the bank and entry into the next round.  Claire just brought me pizza, she is awesome obv.

13:00 – Choked in round 2 of the shootout.  Still, 4 cashes from 9 results (and 3 games still in progress, 1 final table 3 from money) for +$298 is running pretty good.

13:20 – Bubble boy 🙁

15:45 – Scraped into money in a $44 tournament with 10 paid, then made it to 8th place for $144.

18:30 – Won $177.75 for 15th place in a $30 rebuy tournament.  I didn’t rebuy or add-on.

18:40 – 42nd when 40 get paid.  Basically bubbled again.

19:40 – 9th place got me $83.20 in a $22 tourney.  That would be $366.60 up on the day if I stopped now.  But I’ve only played 29…!

21:15 – 15th in a 331 man turbo for $33.10

21:20 – A bottom level cash in a $33 tournament for $54.60.  Currently up $371.30 with 2 games still running.

21:40 – Down to playing only one table for the first time since I started, over 13 hours ago.  My brain hurts a bit.

23:25 – I am heads up at the end of a $22 Omaha Hi/Lo tournament with 68 runners.  Not bad for someone who hasn’t really got a clue how to play that game.  He has a 9:1 chip lead so I figure I’m almost certainly getting 2nd place for $272.

02:05 – Got to round three of a $22 shootout, winning $43.31 and $46.20.  One more tournament (number 40) is still running, and I’m going to play it like I want to go to bed.  Because I do.  I’ve been playing online poker for nearly 18 hours.  So assume it’s all over.

This will have earned me 1,668 VIP points, which is worth $33 in real money (equivalent to almost 50% rakeback – I paid $68 in fees today) and puts me just 1,118 points away from the Royal Flush Club – so it won’t have to be quite such a marathon next time.  33 tournaments should do it..!

(Note: To earn 1,668 VIP points in a day playing ring games would have needed me to play nearly 2.8 million hands).

Not a bad result at all really: 11 cashes from 40 is pretty phenominal (and obviously unmaintainable) and $601.81 is a very nice chunk of profit.  Sometimes I do run good.

03:45 – What do you get if you cross woohoo with zzzzz?  I cashed in the last tournament for $88 but there’s no way I’m going to be awake at 8am again…