So it's the start of a new week and a new month so I've decided to set myself my first challenge! I've sort of been messing around with different things on Pokerstars, played all the different variations of NL Hold'em including Full Ring, 6-max and Heads-Up STTs, MTTs and cash games, never really setting myself any real goals or focusing and studying one subject or one aspect of my play that much. My bankroll has been all over the place, mainly cos I lose focus and play in games that I shouldn't have been so it's about time I keep a tight control on it.

The idea of setting myself this challenge and blogging about it came about in a weird way. I was messing around in some deep, ante cash games last week at 25NL and 10NL as was low on bankroll and slightly frustrated. Managed to play reasonably well and eventually called it a day and looked at my bankroll to see how well I had done and amazingly sort of managed to fall on a perfect bankroll of $299.99. I thought that this was an ideal bankroll to start a challenge which was always my idea at some point and since away from poker I was also starting my "get fit" routine it works out pretty well that I can do this poker challenge to get into a routine.

So... the challenge i've set myself is a bankroll challenge. I took a look at all the various hands and variations of the game that I had played on Pokerstars and had gathered through Pokertracker and the games that I was doing best at it, both in terms of overall profit and and profit per hour, was Heads-Up SNGs, mainly playing at the $7 and $15 level, but sometimes "creatively" playing $30, $60 and even $100 buy-in SNGs...

So the basic plan is to grind these HU SNGs starting at the $15 level for now (20 buy-ins) and seeing how I do. If I drop down to 15 buy-ins i'll move down a level to the $7 buy-ins (hopefully I won't have to go any lower than that...) and move back up to $15 once I re-gain my 20 buy-ins. If I make it up to 40 buy-ins i'll move up to $30 games (with 20 buy-ins) and will move back down to $15 if I ever go below 15 buy-ins at that level and so on and so forth. The plan is to try and make it to the $60 games within 3 weeks and grind those for a while, maybe throwing in more than 2 tables at a time (which is probably the limit I could play right now at any level) and build up some $$$!

The reason that I'm setting myself a 3-week period is that that's when I travel back to the UK to begin University again and the plan is to be at the $60 level so that I can grind a couple of those when I have the time so that I can earn a little $ on the side to help pay for some of the luxuries that hurt my student loans such as nights out, clothes & gadgets and especially GOOD FOOD!

So this is how its going to work on a day to day basis:

--- 09:00 - 11:00 --- I'm going to leave myself a couple of hours in the morning to exercise my brain a little bit by going over hands from the previous day and working on identifying and correcting any leaks or mistakes in my game and will throw in some strategy videos, mainly from PSO's very own HoRRoR77.

--- 11:00 - 13:00 --- First grind of the day will be a 2 hour session of non-stop SNGs, mainly single tabling to start and then progressing to 2 tabling after the first couple of days once I get back into the groove of things, and always regular speed tables as the slower structure allows for deeper stacks and slower play which I feel suits me the best.

--- 13:00 - 14:30 --- Break for Lunch and part of my "get fit" regime as well as a cool down and mental focus for whats next...

--- 14:30 - 18:30 --- A 4 hour session! Some of you may laugh at how pathetic I look when the biggest session I do is only 4 hours rather than say a proper grinder's 8-16 hour session, but I find that I have had problems concentrating for long hours at a time doing one thing so this is a bit of a big deal for me and hopefully I'll be able to power through it. If it looks like my average win frequency dramatically decreases towards the end of the session I may cut it down into two 2-hour sessions instead with a 30 break in between.

The evenings are a cool down session for me, spend some time in the gym, have dinner, spend some time with the family or catch up with a couple friends online or if i'm really still in the poker mood i'll review my sessions from that day and pop in a few more strategy videos.

Now! Where does the blog come in you might say? Well i'm going to try and keep a close eye on my challenge and keep you guys up to date on how i'm progressing (hopefully twice a week, but don't hold me to that, once a week minimum though). I'll put up my bankroll/progression chart, my bankroll at the time, some interesting hands that I played and possibly some "what would you do" scenarios that hopefully benefit both you to improve your game and me as well as I am learning all the time.

So hopefully see you all at the tables, please by all means follow and chat whilst I'm there and let me know what your feedback is on this challenge. I look forward to hearing from the PSO community. Good luck at the tables!