Racing to Supernova Elite in Italy
I have been playing a lot on PokerStars.it so far this year, where the games are good and the traffic is good as well. I actually have a goal this year of being the first to make Supernova Elite on PokerStars.it, and so it has been fun for me to pursue this challenge so far in 2013.
I'm pretty confident about making my goal, although there are a lot of live tournaments happening as well that I want to play, so that might make things a little harder. Our race to Supernova Elite will be over at some point during the first part of the year, though.
For those who don't know, Supernova Elite is the highest status you can get in PokerStars' VIP program. It requires earning 1,000,000 VPPs (VIP Player Points) within a calendar year, although as I say it probably won't take but a few months for the first one of us to get there. As I write this, I'm about 80% of the way there.
I am playing mostly heads-up sit-n-gos (€250 buy-in), some no-limit hold'em cash games (€2/€4, €3/€6, and €5/€10), and a little pot-limit Omaha (€5/€10). I'll probably be sticking with those games until I reach Supernova Elite, at which point I'll move over to the six-handed tables and add some other games. The heads-up sit-n-gos represent the fastest way to accumulate VPPs, so that's why I'm staying mostly with those for now.
I multi-table, too, of course, with nine tables usually being the most I'll play at once. That can be very stressful, though, because you have to concentrate on so many things happening at once. A lot of regulars play in these games, too, which can make them tougher as well. I keep all of the tables on a single screen, which is better than dividing them over a couple of screens and having to move my head back and forth.
The truth is, when playing so many games at once you end up making a lot more math-based decisions and not so many player-based decisions, but I'm comfortable with that. I also think playing that way helps you learn the math and appreciate its importance to poker even more.
Another reason why I'm happy to be focusing mostly on online play right now is that I think it will help me improve in live tournaments. Just the fact that I am putting in a lot of volume and playing a lot of hands is helping me think about the game. When I look back, this is how I started playing poker, really -- playing online, that is -- so I think it will be helpful to me once I move back over to the live games.
That said, I'm not just playing online 24 hours a day. I've been going to the gym as well and working out, because keeping physically fit is important not just health-wise but it also helps you relax and get away from the computer now and then!
Dario Minieri is a member of Team PokerStars Pro