Hey PokerSchoolers!


I am writing to you from a sweaty (non-air-conditioned) hotel room in Santiago, Chile, that is way too expensive for what I am getting. That's the risk you take when you book ahead of time. So I guess this is an example of planning ahead not being a great thing. It is much better to show up and inspect a variety of premises, in my experience.


But in poker, planning ahead can have a ton of value. Let's take my completion of SuperNova status this past year. On September 1st I had about 54,000 VPPs and a bankroll that wasn't in the best shape. I had four months to make SuperNova and I knew I had to make a plan right then and there and to stick with it!


The main points of my plan:


At the time I was playing just 25nl and VPPs are hard to come by when playing 25nl. One key for me became that I couldn't 'count' on playing higher in November/December, where I would rack up VPPs faster. This meant that if I wanted to keep pace I had to have an equal distribution of VPPs across the months, if not get ahead of pace.


46k VPPs in four months, that's 11.5k VPPs/month.


Again I didn't want to sweat it in December and have a huge hole to climb out of. This would surely negatively affect the quality of my play. So I got to work. Planning my individual days and weekends certainly helped a ton. I would make sure to set aside a large amount of hours for playing and to prioritize playing (not that I had too many better things to do at the time!)


It ended up being that I earned 13k/13k/10k/11k with a few extra hundred VPPs here and there.

This gave me time in November and December to earn some Full Tilt bonuses that were going to expire and generally not stress out huge about it. I did end up moving up to 50nl and 100nl, which certainly helped with VPP accrual. But putting in 125k hands in September sure set me up for success. It seemed far away then, I wondered if I could meet my goal and I remembered how I had missed SuperNova the year before. But when it came down to it I just did it instead of worrying. I woke up, I grinded a ton, and did that over and over again!

Planning ahead of course has a lot of value in a single hand. When you continuation bet as the initial raiser, you should know which turn cards you are going to keep betting on. When you check-call versus an aggressive player, you should have a plan that extends beyond that street, but all the way to the river.

I have managed to plan ahead where this blog is going though. I will be updating it on the 5th, 15th, and 25th every month now for the next little while. Expect cool hands, some travel nuggets, and updates on what I am doing missing out on Live Trainings. This will be much easier for me to continue to contribute to PSO since I won't always have steady internet connections on the road.

Looking forward to it 

Gareth