When New Year's was upon us, my bankroll was 0.04 and there was a lot of talk via posts and blogs about making goals. So, like everyone else, I made mine too. Well today, July 22, was the date I marked for myself to complete another step towards my overall year end “Money in the Bank” goal.

Goal Time

$20   Jan31 Completed

$50   Mar21 Completed (in overtime)

$200  Jul22 Completed???

$500  Oct15

$1k    Dec31

Attempting to quadruple my bank in 3 months when it took almost 3 months to get to the Mar21 level may seem far stretched, but I had a plan. It was assembled and running within days after meeting the Mar21 goal. The plan was simple, it was staking. Both backing others and being staked with a cut for myself. It sounded reasonable and my confidence was high in leaving the micro stakes tournament realm and getting into the low stake games so that I could make the gains and goals I set for myself without jeopardizing losing my entire bank in a few unlucky hands in the few low stake buy-in games I could afford.

With the plan in operation, I quickly achieved Chrome Star status. A VIP status level still enjoyed today as I have been able to maintain this level since late March. But this is where the conundrum begins to present itself. Because to maintain Chrome Star you have to earn 100 VPP’s within the calendar month and to earn those VPP’s you have to spend $200 or more depending on games played and VPP’s given in those games.

First consideration is the backing of others I did and what exactly I earned in staking these other players. Overall, that’s actually a loss of almost $200. I found out that Mr. Variance does not discriminate. As revolting it is, I was actually not saddened by this discovery and started taking the bad beats less personally as they occurred to me in my own games.

Then there are the finishing results in my own games to reflect on. If you graph forward progress, it would most likely look like a raggedy and jagged mountain side starting at a low point in the beginning and ending somewhere higher at the end. I think you would agree that if your end point is higher than your start, profit is made no matter the ups and downs occurred in between. But my graph tells the tale differently. It’s more like a pulse, albeit an irregular type, that you see on a heart monitor. A spike up followed by a dip. A dip followed by a spike. Dip-dip-spike, spike-spike-dip, and so on. No matter the sequence, I always tend to find myself back at or near the base line.

But that can’t be right, can it? I mean because I’m still down almost $200 in those I’ve staked but I still have money is my PS account. And although my bank is not at the $200 mark I would have liked to have had by this time, I must have made that $150 to make my goal. Given that no deposit has been made, I’ve maintained Chrome Star for nearly 4 months now, and I am still able to play even after sustaining a loss larger than my bank,… forward progress must have been made.

So, did I make the $150 needed to reach my goal? Yes.

But, do I have the $200 in my bank? No.

Final Decision: It’s a draw. (I’m a fan of baseball and in baseball the tie goes to the runner.)

Ok, so it’s a controversial completion for my goal on the Jul22 date. More dramatic this way, don’t you think? If I actually continued with this mentality, then the 4 months of Chrome Star (a $800 value) and still have money in my account even with sustaining a $200 loss in staking others would let me complete my Oct15 dated goal as well. However, that card has been played and this bridge is now burned. So for the next goal, my PS balance must be at $500 before Oct15 or else it’s a fail.

Obviously, the point of contention is me being staked. While this greatly reduces my own losses when a cash is not made, winnings received when good runs are made are paid out to backers at nearly the same frequency. This has an equalizing effect and can explain the multiple inconsistencies of the previously mentioned maintaining of VIP level, near flat line graph progression, and ability to cover staking losses while still having a bankroll.

However, I had no final table appearances in the last 3 months. With a single better decision here, winning a coin flip there, there may be still a bracelet out there with my name on it. I think this is realistic because even with being partially staked at the game buy-in levels I’m currently playing, with a single solid run to (and/or within) a final table I would achieve my goal. Even with only a cut of the profits, due to the payouts being so significant at that point this is perfectly plausible. And I honestly believe I have skill and capability to do this.

I think… therefore, I will.