I recently hit a Pocket Fives Triple Crown and Matthew Pitt of Pokernews was kind enough to run an article for their UK website http://uk.pokernews.com/news/2014/08/dr-darren-gives-his-bankroll-an-injection-triple-crown-14731.htm

The article is finely edited piece that came after I answered a bunch of questions Matthew posed. Rather than see the unwanted ramblings go to waste I thought I would post them here. Here is part 1, part 2 to follow later in the week.

Q. You recently hit a Triple Crown, something that people believe is reserved for online poker’s elite players. What were the events you won to get this?
First up was Micro Series Event 26 on Pokerstars.fr Their Micro Series was running at the same time as MicroMillions on the main site. Event 26 was the first reversed mixed max tournament they’ve run. So we played 10 levels of 4 handed, then 10 levels of 6 handed and the rest full ring.
That was Thursday 24th July, the next day I shipped the Friday Challenge on 888poker. It was that victory that got me thinking about the triple crown. I was heads up with Joao Mathias, currently ranked first in Brazil on pocketfives. He has three triple crowns. I remember saying after Friday that it was typical in the MTT world where you’re never happy unless you win, that they have something which means you aren’t completely satisfied even if you win two!
So I’ve won two MTTs in two days, both qualify for triple crown (different sites, 100 players+, over $10k in prizepool, it seemed rude not to go for the third leg over the next five days.
The next day I find myself on a final table of another Micro Series event on Pokerstars.fr, it wouldn’t have counted as I already had a win on that site, but I finished in fourth and that reminded me that I wasn’t going to win an MTT every day.
Onto Sunday and although I was feeling realistic that a triple crown was a longshot and not worth getting preoccupied with, I made sure I added a few extra MTTs that would qualify just in case another bink occurred.

Q. When the third “prong” was in sight, how did that feel? Were you nervous, excited or both?
Amongst the tables I had up on the Sunday were a 20euro MTT on Winamax and a $5r on Party Poker. Both were new to me and picked out because they qualified for the triple crown. It was when I was around 9th with 100 left in both that I started thinking I had a chance. The one on Winamax was probably the best chance as it had a better structure and I was chipping up well with three tables left. Then I essentially punted off a decent stack with 23 left versus a villain with kings and I thought my chance at a triple crown had gone. Had to forget about that and try and get something going in the Party MTT even though was short with a couple of tables left. Key hand there was 6 handed where I caught a bluff with bottom pair with four to a straight on the board. That gave me the chip lead and the first real belief that it was going to happen. Fast forward to heads up and I have the chip advantage versus a seemingly weak player. But it seemed like my insane run good had gone as my opponent doubled up 4 or 5 times. Fortunately each time he let me regain the lead without too much resistance and I did finally win a 70/30. Because it was a struggle heads up the main feeling was relief. A few friends had been railing, so it was great moment of course.

Q. The cash boost must be great for your bankroll. Are you re-investing your winnings in poker, treating yourself or others, paying a backer that sort of thing?
In previous years I’ve been a bit quick to withdraw and spend money when I’ve got a decent score. This year one of my goals was to start with a $7k roll for MTTs set myself some bankroll management rules and grind it up. The triple crown took me over $20k, so its all staying in the roll for online MTTs. I’ll sell some pieces if there’s something out of the ordinary going on like the WCOOP Challenge Series this week, but the Triple Crown came towards the end of MicroMillions so in general I was playing overrolled and no need to pay a backer. The best thing about the cash boost is that it takes my average buy in up to the point where if I want to add in the Sunday Million regularly I can. 

Q. When and how did you discover this crazy game? When and why did you start playing tournaments?
My story sounds like any old fish. I was betting on sports and was vaguely aware of poker. Then I saw poker on TV and thought it looked like fun, for me it was John Juanda winning WSOP Europe. For a while the sports betting was funding the poker habit and then after a steep learning curve I found that the poker was funding the betting habit. 6max sit and goes was where I started making some money, but I was always playing a few MTTs as well. I liked the idea of making some big money and would often play satellites to try and get into something bigger. In early 2011 I binked an MTT and since then its been mainly MTTs.

Q. How often do you play during the week and what does a typical session look like for you?
I’ll play 3 or 4 nights a week. A Sunday can look like around 30 MTTs across 6 sites and 15 tabling at its busiest. Other nights might just be a couple of sites, fewer tables with some cash on the side.

Q. Do you ever plan to try and make it as a pro or is this just a hobby that pays well?
I don’t think I’d ever want to have to play or have to rely on making money from MTTs with the swings involved. A long session is also draining, days off from poker are good. That said it feels like its more than a hobby at this stage given the amount of studying and that it does indeed pay well.