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  • 22
  • Apr
  • 9:57

Hall of Fame

Posted in Blog

On the 12th I reached a very important milestone in my career: 5 Million VPPs at PokerStars!

vpps17-04-2014

What does this mean?

To put things in perspective, I got as many VPPs as the VPPs required to reach the prestigious Supernova Elite status 5x!

supernova-elite_1355921417

Apart from all the money that I got during the years in the form of VIP Stellar Rewards, VIP Cash Bonus, VIP Cash Milestones, VIP Tournaments, etc that allowed me to have very stable finances, I will also get:

Hall of Fame Induction, including a short bio and photo on the page.

Hall of Fame Induction

5.000.000 Icon on the PokerStars software and direct support from PokerStars  senior staff via phone.

acoimbra5mvpps

An exclusive Slyde watch that will be given to me at an official live event.

SLYDE Sport Black & White - EPT 10 High Roler Winner

I want to thank everyone that has been following me in my path and I hope sincerely that this post will motivate you to go further and be sucessfull on the Poker world!

Keep in mind that when I had as many VPPs as you did I wanted more! :)

Thanks

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  • 08
  • Apr
  • 21:21

March Review

Posted in Blog

march_review

Media

During March I got featured in some Portuguese newspapers/magazines, national news and went to a TV Show!

IMG_0955

I also participated in the Ronaldo promotion for Portuguese players and got the “Charity Award” from a newspaper.

IMG_0803

 

It was a great month media-wise and I got the chance to explain my perspective about this game we all love to a wider audience and hopefully improve the society’s overall impression of Poker.

On the other hand interviews, TV shows, etc take a lot of time, so whenever you compare my Poker performances to other pros, please have that into account! :P

Tournaments

In my previous January and February reviews I ended up talking about the tournaments I played since they had a big impact on my monthly results and March won’t be different!

mtts_marco_list

 

The biggest scores were a 18th place finish on the Sunday 6-max (+$1426) and a final table on the Big $162 (+$3592)

big162_ft

 

I ended up playing these tournaments because I forgot to un-register after winning a satellite and they went very well!

mtts_marco

 

Obviously I’m being quite lucky in tournaments this year!

Three months in a row with positive results playing just a bunch of tournaments per month is not sustainable on the long run and sooner or later I will have some months with moderate losses at this format.

For the sake of consistency I will keep including the tournament results on my monthly reviews until the end of the year.

Hypers

sngs_marco

 

At the hypers I got once again close to 10k sit-n-gos in March, but with a week off in Greece and all the time I spent on media related stuff I didn’t get there.

That said, the results were amazing, finishing with a profit of $9692 and an additional $9121 from VIP Stellar Rewards, VIP Cash Bonus and Milestone Cash Credit.

Graph:

sngsmarco_graph

As you can see in the graph, I got a big downswing at the end of the month, but obviously I can’t complain!

VPPs

I forgot to take a print-screen from my VPPs at the end of March, so this is the one from the beginning of April:

vpps_marco

 

During March I accumulated 74548 VPPs, which is more or a less what I got in February.

During April and May I’m going to “work my ass off” and put an insane volume to make it up for the lack of VPPs during the first quarter of the year.

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  • 31
  • Mar
  • 12:35

Lisbon Half-Marathon

Posted in Blog

As you might know by now, one of my goals for 2014 is to run a Marathon!

Honestly I’m not very good at running and until 2014 the biggest race I attended was a 10KM in 2011, so you can guess how much I have to work on my running skills this year!

Whenever I want to figure out how to do something, I usually ask google and for this task I “googled” “How to run a marathon” in Portuguese. I found a page with multiple training plans and I chose to do the “novice” one. I was supposed to run 4x/week, but with all the media work that I got in the first quarter of the year, I ended up only running 3x/week during most weeks.

Work has priority over my hobbies!

Team Online Mikhail “innerspy Shalamov” has been into running for a while as you can see from his video:


He saw that I was into running too and recommend readingDaniel’s RUNNING Formula

The book is very good!

Before running my first Marathon I thought that it would make sense to run a Half-Marathon or two, so I started by the Lisbon one in March!

My goal was to run all the way and not stop or walk. Regarding speed I was planning to stay at 9-10KM/h, since it’s the speed that I managed to be consistent while training.

I will leave you my data from Runkeeper app:

1966274_602943949794578_1708012871_o

While training, the biggest race I’ve done was a 16KM one, so moving up to 21KM wasn’t easy at all!

Things didn’t start very well at the race, since there were a lot of people walking on the bridge and there was barely enough space to run among them, so the first Kilometers were a true obstacle race!

After the bridge things got better and I finally could run without having to worry about the walking crowd!

At this point my main concern was to run within my fitness limits in order to complete the race, so I ran at my comfortable speed and saw a lot of people passing through me at higher speeds.

When I reached Kilometer #16 I was still feeling very well! I think that the race rush plus the constant hydration thanks to the waters that the organization was giving every 2KMs was good enough to help me beat my previous personal distance record.

During the next 4KMs I was still feeling good and at this time I was the one passing through people that started by running really fast and couldn’t keep the speed so they had to walk to finish!

The last Kilometer was the hardest part since I was already feeling extremely tired and my feet/legs were screaming “STOP STOP”, but…, no way I was giving up when I was missing less than 5% of the race…

IMG_0810

(Me and my sister after the race)

I don’t know when I will run another half-marathon, but I will take a look at the Lisbon schedule and see which one fits my work schedule the best.

Training-wise I need to work on a lot of different aspects and I will start focusing more on my speed!

Also… I really enjoy running!

Sometimes I listen to people talking about going out and all, but they very often end up in shopping malls, stores, etc. I find that kind of “going out” very boring and I find going out to run in the park so much better! Really, feeling the trees, the wind on my face, sometimes the rain, etc, that’s just magical! I’ve been feeling much more alive and even though I run a few times under the rain this year I didn’t get sick so far!

Last year on the other hand with my challenge and massive sessions I spent a lot of time indoors, I got sick some times and I really missed this connection with nature that I get when I run!

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  • 26
  • Mar
  • 10:15

February Review

Posted in Blog

acoimbra_february

During February I had some interviews for Portuguese mainstream media about my challenge and my charity, so I ended up getting a bit late on my blog posts.

That said, I got some free time now and I will tell you about how February went for me!

Tournaments

During February my work efforts were mostly on improving at the hypers to get as good as possible before Abril, since April-May are the months with the highest work volume at the hypers.

That said, I ended up playing some MTTs… I played the Supernova+ freeroll, some TCOOP tournaments and some tournaments where I failed to un-register after winning a satellite. Usually I wouldn’t mention these tournaments on the monthly review since the volume was very small, but since the results were significant for the month (+$3857) I will talk a bit about them.

The first relevant score was at the Sunday 6-max, that I played after winning a satellite and forgetting to unregister. 

I usually finish my session as late as midnight and I ended up playing this tournament until 5am!
So, it was a big stretch schedule-wise and it affected my schedule during the next few days, but the $2902 compensates for all that!

The second relevant score was at the quarterly Supernova+ VIP freroll and I finished 9th for $2800.

$2800 on a freeroll is a great result for sure, but I got quite unlucky on the last part of the tournament and missed the $4500 18th prize on an interesting kind of bad-beat…

On the last hand of the tournament (for me) there were 3 tables left and I had the 3 tables open on my screen to follow all the action, since a single elimination would mean more $1700 for my bankroll. I know that many tournament pros don’t care about pay jumps and focus only on accumulating chips, but I feel that knowing what happens at the other tables lets me make better decisions on my table and if I have a relatively marginal spot to risk my tournament life while there is a good chance of being able to move a pay spot by just folding and waiting, I will skip those marginal spots and take the free equity.

Those extra pay jumps really add-up after a year!

Anyway…, we were playing hand by hand (special SNE freeroll feature with 19 players left) and I had a middle pair (77 or 88). On another table some player moved all-in before me with a smaller stack, so I took the +EV spot and move all-in with around 15BBs too since if two players get eliminated when the tournament is on hand-by-hand mode, the one with more chips at the beginning of the hand is the one getting the extra pay-jump.

I got called by QQ and the other player with a medium pair as well got called by JJ.

I should lose around 80% of the times in this spot, but I should get the extra pay jump 96% of the times!
This happens because when I lose I still have the 80-20 on the other table working for me, so missing that extra pay-jump was like losing a $1700 pot on a runner-runner flush!

Hypers

At the hypers it was the first month of the year where I played the full month and I managed to play 8644 sit-n-gos with a profit of $1388.

I spent $13K on rake, which means that I got back through Stellar Rewards, Cash Bonuses and Milestones something like $8.8K

If you add the tournaments profits, hypers profits and VIP Club benefits, you can see that it was an excellent month for me!

Regarding VPPs I finished the month with 73K, which is below Supernova Elite pace.

The two factors that contributed to finish below pace are the time I spent studying and working on my game and my table selection, since I avoided games with 5 regular players.

VPPs are obviously important and I’m going to work hard to make Supernova Elite this year, but I prefer to get my VPPs at a smaller rate and having to play more hours to accomplish the VPP goal, than to take a hit on my hourly rate and get worse yearly results.

Content

I haven’t started writing my book yet, but I have been reading about how to write/publish books to be as prepared as possible when I start. I think that I will only start writing it on the beginning of the second semester of 2014 whenever I feel more comfortable at the hypers and the traffic slows down.

 

PS: I’m missing the links in this article because I’m writing from Greece and they have the pokerstars.com links blocked. I’m planning to fix this once I get back home, but if you don’t know what something means in the meanwhile, don’t hesitate to search on google!

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I wrote an article about how to study Poker and it was published on PokerStarsblog!

Original Article

Introduction

Some decades ago, people would just play poker, think about hands on their own, and maybe read one of the few poker books that were available at the time. They could only play a few hands per month, and it would take a lot of time to learn the fundamentals.

Nowadays it’s a lot easier to learn how to play and improve at poker, so while things might be a lot worse for the lazy ones since the games got a bit tougher, they are definitely better for the people that are eager to work hard and improve.

Are you eager to work hard and improve your game, but you don’t know exactly what to do? Than this article is for you.

Reasons to Study

Poker is a game of mistakes where your goal is to make fewer mistakes than your opponent, or at least less costly mistakes. To make fewer mistakes you will need to spend some time studying, and this is a process that never ends because most of your opponents are working on their game as well and trying to make fewer mistakes. Whoever studies less or less efficiently will be the one losing the battle of mistakes.

If you just keep playing, you will most likely end up doing the same things over and over, creating a lot of repetitiveness, and most likely get stuck in stakes or have to move down eventually. While if you study, you will keep learning new things and keep the game fresh and new for yourself.

If you find yourself wondering during a downswing if you are playing bad or it’s just negative variance, that probably means that you need to study. By getting solid data/reasoning to support your plays, you will be more sure about them and you will find yourself more focused on improving your game and less focused on the daily swings.

To be honest , starting to study sometimes can be like going out to run on a rainy day. I rarely feel like leaving the house, but once I do it’s awesome.

Since you will need different studying methods as you move forward on your poker career, I will divide the article in two parts to keep things organized and try to share with you what I learned in my years as a professional Poker player:

Today, I’ll address low-stakes. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about studying for mid-stakes.

Studying for Low-Stakes Players

When you start there are a few options to learn and I think that it really depends on what fits best your personal style.

When I’m learning a new format, I personally like to read a book about a game, play a bit on my own to try out some concepts and then try to review some hands that I struggle with while playing. Then when I feel like I got all the concepts from the book, I like to move to videos that tend to be a bit more advanced.

I try to spend around 50% of my time studying and 50% playing, but if I don’t feel like playing, I will spend a bigger share of my poker time Studying.

But that’s me and you will need to find out what works better for you.

You probably need at least two of the following four methods to really optimize the learning process:

• Reading Books
• Watching Strategy Videos
• Participating in Forums
• Discussing hands with Friends

Reading Books

Reading a good Book can speed up the learning process a lot.

Back when I started playing Fixed-Limit cash games were very popular, and I still remember reading my first poker book (“Internet Texas Hold’em: Winning Strategies for Full-ring and Short-handed Games” by Mathew Hilger). I learned a lot from it, and I started showing a consistent profit right after.

Nowadays fixed-limit games are not as popular as they used to be, and I strongly recommend starting with a Texas Hold’em No Limit game, so I will give you my personal suggestions for books depending on which format you choose:

• Cash Games: “Small Stakes No-Limit Hold’em” by Ed Miller, Matt Flynn and Sunny Mehta
• Tournaments: “Secrets of Sit’n'Gos” by Phil Shaw

Both books are very well organized and really give you a good structure to start learning either game.

andre_coimbra_books.jpg

Watching Strategy Videos

Videos are my next option, since most people tend to retain information better when they watch a video than when they read a book.

One thing that I must warn you is that I’m not telling you to watch live tournaments videos or live cash games. While there is certain value in these videos, new players will probably get more confused from watching this kind of videos than not, and by trying to use a high-stakes play in the wrong context they will just fail miserably and become the type of player that says:

“I don’t like to play low stakes. People never fold! If I had more money, I’m sure I would beat the higher stakes. To win at poker you need money!”

While there Is some truth in these sentences, these players fail to understand that to win at poker you always need to adjust to the games you are playing, and if at low stakes people are clueless and their biggest mistake is to stack-off too light, then you should just try to get into that kind of spot as often as possible with a stronger hand and build your bankroll like that.

So, what kind of videos should you watch after all?

1. Explanations of theoretical concepts
2. A good player playing low-stakes and explaining his/her thought process

You want to watch videos from players that can beat higher stakes, then the ones you are playing and are good at explaining their thought process. These videos will allow you to learn the fundamentals in a very structured way, and very often you can leave a comment on the video page asking for questions creating a very interactive form of learning.

While some sites with videos require you to pay, for beginners you will find a lot of great content on PokerSchoolOnline and my YouTube page for free.

Participating in Forums

Studying poker by reading books or watching videos can be kind of a lonely road.

Participating in forums on the other hand can add a social component to studying and make it more interesting, while everyone involved improves together.

Keep in mind though that forums work by giving and receiving.

You should feel free to post hands and ask questions about the stuff you are studying. You should read the feedback you get very carefully but not take anything people say for granted. Listen to everyone and think about what people say, but in the end you will need to use your own brain to decide what makes sense or not. I guess that this is also true for book and videos, but since you are learning from a professional, it’s less of a concern. Also follow threads that interest you and if you can help someone, just do it.

There are a lot of poker forums available online, and once again while some are paid, you can use PokerSchoolOnline forum for free, as well as the 2+2 forum, which is the most popular.

Discussing hands with friends

If you have friends that are interested in the same games and stakes, you can discuss hands with them. Nowadays with Boomplayer it’s super easy to boom a hand, share it on Twitter/Facebook or Skype and ask your friends their thoughts. I guess that it’s similar to forums, but you get to choose who sees your hand, while the forums I mentioned are open communities.

You need to choose very carefully who you listen to, because there is more bad advice going around than good advice, and if you have a friend that is successful at higher stakes, ask him/her as much as possible since that will probably be a very good source of advice.

Balancing Playing with Studying

Most people playing low-stakes are not playing poker full-time and with a very limited amount of time to dedicate to poker, a common question is: “How many hours per week should I study?”

I think that at this point you want to study at least as many hours as you play, because you don’t have to worry about paying your bills from poker, so there is no pressure on you to grind.

On the other hand, you want to try out what you are learning and see it working, so there is a need to find a fine balance and not just over-study.

I would suggest studying between 50% and 75% of your poker time and playing between 25% and 50% of your poker time.

Tomorrow I’ll discuss studying at mid-stakes. Now, get to work.”

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  • 05
  • Feb
  • 12:41

January Review

Posted in Blog

January is in the books and it’s time to do the first month review of the year!

The beginning of the working year for me was at the PCA, where I played the main event for the first time and I’m very thankful to PokerStars for sponsoring me in such a great event!

Honestly the PCA experience was much much better than my previous WSOP main event experience! Overall the PCA is a tournament with more quality, a better schedule and a better venue where you have plenty of room to walk around.

I ended up losing on the 2nd day of the event while I was at the TV table :(

I talked about what I was thinking during that hand on my facebook page:

After talking with some players about the hand and thinking about it a bit more, I think that the right play is to check/call the turn and check/fold the river on either an Ace or a King.

I made a big mistake and in tournaments a single mistake puts you out of the tournament very often!

After that, there were some Team Online meetings. Also, I was interviewed by  Sarah Grant:

Then I had some free time and I took some photos to share a bit of the Bahamas experience with my followers:

(We went to see the Dolphins this year and you can see how good looking they are!)

(Also played some basketball with other members of Team Online)

(I went to the stand-up comedy show with Katerina, Kathleen and Tyler)

(Team Online photo at the PCA Party!)

I would also like to share a video with the Fireworks that PokerStars offered to their players during the Party to mark the start of the season:

Online

I came back to Lisbon on the 14th and I didn’t spend much time resting, since I have some big goals for this year!

I played some tournaments during the month and I got a great result on the 19th!

I ended up winning a bit more than the winner (Stefan Jedlicka) because we made a deal when we got heads-up and I had more chips at that point.

Unfortunately during the rest of the month I didn’t manage to get any deep runs in tournaments and I lost a decent part of what I won on the $82. Never the less it was a great start of the year for someone that only plays a tournament from time to time nowadays!

On the other hand, getting back to the hypers wasn’t easy at all!

I haven’t played them for more than 18 months, the $74s were full of regulars and if I really want to make Supernova Elite this year I have to become a winner again very very quickly…

I started by playing only a few hours per day and spending most of my time reviewing my games and Katerina‘s games on ICMIZER.

Very quickly I realized that a lot of my game plan from 2010/2011 wasn’t going to work in 2014. The players nowadays play much better than 2-3 years ago and the leaks are more subtle most of the times.

The bright side was that I had a very open mind about how to play and I searched for the best play for the most common situations and how to adjust my ranges when the variables change.

I ended up losing $814, but if you take into consideration the 68% return on rake that I get for going for Supernova Elite I still finished up $2191.6

If you add that amount to the money I made playing tournaments, it ended up being an excellent month, specially taking into account that I could only play online half of the month and I spend most of that time studying!

I got 27.4K VPPs

I think that it’s important to mention that until I reach 1 Million VPPs this year, I have to get a minimum of 50k VPPs/month to maintain the status and I can only fail that threshold two months!

Unfortunately I already missed that minimum VPP requirement in January, so I only have 1 bullet left…

On the bright side, if I managed to get 27.4k VPPs in a month where I could only play online for two weeks it and I spend most of the time studying, then the chances of making 50k+ VPPs/month look good!

February

My plan for the hypers for February is this:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: Study 2 hours, play 2 hours and get 1-2K VPPs/day.

Saturday: Study 2 hours, play 6 hours, get 5-6K VPPs.

Sunday: Play 8-12 hours, get 10K VPPs.

Maybe the title of my February article for PokerStarsBlog will be “5 tips to make Supernova Elite as a part-time job”…

Or maybe by playing all those hours during the weekend, it doesn’t qualify as a part-time job after all…, but now seriously, the main reason for managing my time like that apart from grinding I have other goals this year! I want to spend 16+ hours per week working on my book, at least 4 hours working on free content for my followers and I also want to have some time to work out and take care of my health.

It’s really hard to manage everything and sometimes things just don’t go as I plan, so it’s perfectly normal that once or twice per month I have to take an extra day off my regular schedule to rest or just to do stuff related to my sponsorship.

It’s just the way things are and it’s going to be a pretty tough year for me with lots of work ahead, but I think that as long as I’m focused and working hard it’s fine and I hope that it’s enough! :)

I wish a great February to everyone that follows me!

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  • 31
  • Jan
  • 13:37

$100K Vlog Bloopers

Posted in Blog

Some times I do silly faces while recording my Vlogs, don’t miss them!

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I recently wrote an article for PokerStarsBlog with 5 reasons to play the TCOOP series:

“Before leaving the PCA I wrote a blog post about my plans for 2014, and even though I was planning to play some tournaments, it would just be just a small part of schedule. My plan was to focus mostly on writing a book where I will share what I learned last year during my $100k challenge and playing some sit-n-gos to grind a steady income.

Then I started looking at the TCOOP schedule and I realized that I had to postpone everything to February and play as many TCOOP events as possible!

Am I just crazy? I get the impression that most people think so, specially the PokerStars Bloggers, but…I will give you 5 reasons why the TCOOP series is awesome!

#1: Easier to fit a schedule

All tournaments are turbo or hyper-turbo, so I’m expecting them to take somewhere between 3 and 5 hours.

This means that if a tournament starts at 8pm, even if I do well It won’t affect my schedule on the day after.

I think that this is extremely important for everyone that has a day time job, likes to do some physical exercise in the morning, or just morning people in general.

And, you know what? I love to run in the morning.

#2: Less endurance required

Usually during the big series, tournaments have very slow structures and can take many many hours, sometimes even multiple days.

Let’s be honest: it’s pretty hard to be able to play our best for such a long period of time and one single mistake can destroy many hours of hard work, make us feel miserable, etc.

Has that happened to you? It happened to me multiple times for sure.

But TCOOP tournaments are different. They don’t take as long, so we will be able to play our best without requiring some sick endurance skills.

Andre Coimbra_Main Event_Day 1B_2014 PCA_Giron_8JG8665.jpg

#3: More action, less waiting

The first levels of the tournaments are usually boring for many players.

Seriously, if people really wanted to play really deep for a while, they would be playing cash-games. On TV they mostly show the late stages of the tournaments where the action ends pre-flop a lot of times, and this is because that’s where a lot of the excitement of tournaments is.

TCOOP is all about that excitement. We get that kind of action a lot and really quickly, just the way we like it.

#4: Big prize pools

PokerStars is guaranteeing $15M for the full series!

There are 50 events, all with great guarantees and even though most are NL Hold-em there will be some of the less popular formats as well

The big star is probably going to be the $700 Main Event though, since it’s going to give at least $300K for the first place. Yes, we can actually win $300K in like five hours of poker!

This is insane? Think about it: enough money to buy a new house in five hours, and you won’t miss your morning jogging!

#5: Satellites

You don’t have $700 to buy-in into the main event? No problem!

There will be plenty of satellites at the PokerStars lobby starting from 100 FPPs or $1. And, this is not just for the Main Events. There will be plenty of satellites for every event, including deadline satellites that will have a ton of seats guaranteed and sit-n-go satellites that will run at the times that are convenient for you!

Conclusion

I guess that you already know why I can’t miss this series.

I think that being more convenient for the recreational players is a huge huge deal, because we will get players that wouldn’t play a normal speed tournament on a Monday, but might play a turbo that won’t affect their schedule.

Satellites also get a lot of recreational players that wouldn’t be able to afford some of the higher buy-in tournaments playing them. PokerStars does an awesome awesome job when it comes to satellites.

All in all, I think that this series is much more friendly for the recreational players than the other series and that makes the experience better for everyone in my opinion, since the games get softer for everyone and winning with some big all-in is fun for sure.

You just can’t miss all this great action!”

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  • 18
  • Jan
  • 15:42

2014 Goals

Posted in Blog

It’s a new year, so it’s time to talk about my goals!

Most of my goals for this year are things that I think I can do, but that will still require some time and dedication.

Content

If you followed my challenge last year, you know that I spent quite a bit of time sharing what I learnt with my followers through hand analysis, strategy videos and even free coaching!

To be honest, the best part of the challenge was the great feedback I got from my followers and finding out that my challenge/content had a positive impact on other people’s lives!

I want to keep sharing what I learnt last year in a more structured way and actually write a book to help anyone that might want to adventure into the tournaments world.

I’m planning to dedicate about 20 hours per week to my book during the months with less traffic at the hypers and I expect to have it ready by the end of the year.

Apart from the book, there were some video requests that I ended up not fulfilling during the challenge. Stuff like how to use holdem manager or how to manage a bankroll. In 2014 I want to dedicate some time producing those videos and it’s also possible that I produce some low stakes tournaments/sit-n-gos videos.

VPPs and VIP status

Last year before I started my challenge I asked PokerStars to drop my VIP status from Supernova Elite to BronzeStar so that I could share with my followers the best way to take advantage of each VIP level.
Apart from regularly commenting  through my blog on my experiences as I moved up from one VIP status to the next one, I ended up writing a small guide that was published on PokerStarsBlog and at the PCA magazine.
(Click on either image to see it big)


Since I asked them to drop my VIP status to promote the VIP system and help people understanding it and take advantage of it, PokerStars thought that it was fair to give it back to me in 2014!
As you can see, I’m missing less than 250K VPPs to reach 5 Million VPPs lifetime!


The players that reach that milestone, join a restrict area of the Hall of Fame and receive a super cool exclusive PokerStars-branded Slyde watch


Slyde Watch
I want to reach 5M VPPs lifetime by the end of April and achieve Supernova Elite (+- $124.400 cash) until the end of the year.


Regarding what I will play this year, you can read the post I wrote about the subject in this blog!


Fitness and Lifestyle


Last year was very tough and when the sessions started getting longer, I stopped running. Towards the end of the challenge I stopped my work outs as well, getting around 4 extra Kilos (8.8 pounds).


This year I will prioritize my health and fitness, try to stay as healthy as possible and do regular exercise without ignoring the importance of resting!


When it comes to goals, I want to run a marathon towards the end of the year and reach 14% of body fat (I have 28% now).
Goals for 2014
  1. - Keep producing free strategy videos
  2. - Write a weekly blog post
  3. - Write a book about tournaments
  4. - Reach Supernova Elite for the 5th time in my career
  5. - Reach 5M VPPs Lifetime
  6. - Run a Marathon
  7. - Reach 14% of body mass
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  • 12
  • Jan
  • 17:02

What am I playing in 2014?

Posted in Blog

During the last few months I often got asked what I was going to play this year. Even though it was a subject that I spent quite a lot of time thinking about, I didn’t want to take any decisions until the end of 2013 because each option had its own advantages.

Tournaments (MTTs)

I think that they are very interesting from a competitive point of view and they represent a great intellectual challenge with all the different kinds of complex situations you get during a tournament.

It is also the format that is better from a marketing perspective, since tournament players get so much exposure. Being a sponsored player, that exposure is obviously valuable to me.

I also really enjoyed working with Carlos “Poeira4” Branco in the last two months of the year. We reviewed some hands together and railed each other during deep runs. That would be another reason to keep playing tournaments, since I enjoyed the work environment.

On the other hand, I think that it’s the worst option when it comes to life style, since the big online tournaments start late in the afternoon in Portugal and they require me to stay many hours in front of the screen with just a 5 minutes break every hour. Also, it’s hard to plan ahead since I never really know when each session will end.

From a financial perspective it’s possible to make a ton of money playing tournaments! PokerStars does such a great job promoting their tournaments! With their satellite system you actually get to play against players that would never have that amount of money in front of them at a Poker table without winning a satellite. For me this is the main financial advantage of tournaments comparing to sit-n-gos or cash-games!

Sit-n-gos

I still feel pretty comfortable when it comes to my sit-n-go game and fellow Team Onliner Jorj95 thinks that I can still beat the mid-stakes hypers, so that’s an option.

By playing sit-n-gos I can play shorter sessions and have more control over my schedule than by playing tournaments. When it comes to the schedule of the hyper-turbo satellites it’s also better for the Portuguese, because the sats usually end when the big online tournament start, so instead of starting my session late in the afternoon, I’ll be finishing around that time!

I think that I can get a lot of consistency on a yearly basis playing sngs as long as I don’t play the highest stakes that only run for some months.

The negative side is that it’s worse marketing-wise, since good tournament results generate way more news and buzz and my grow/progression potential is a lot more limited.

Cash Games

The idea of learning cash-games is very appealing since the game seems to be very interesting and deep.

Like sit-n-gos I can play shorter sessions and like tournaments there is a lot of grow/progression potential!

One downside is that it is also worse than tournaments marketing-wise, but never the less better than sit-n-gos. A bigger downside is the learning time, since I would have to start from scratch and it would take me some time until I got to the point where I could make some serious money.

What am I going to play after all?

2013 was an extremely difficult year where I sacrificed a lot when it comes to life quality to go through my challenge until the very end and even though it was an experience with many positive points, I finished the year without any profit (as expected) and extremely tired.

Life quality was the decisive factor to NOT continue playing tournaments full time.

During the last two months of 2013 I played at an office with some of the best Portuguese players and I spent quite a bit of time talking with André “Sira Al Aziz” Santos about learning Pot Limit Omaha in 2014. If you asked me in November what I would play, I would tell you that even though I wasn’t sure, I was seriously thinking about learning cash games. I really liked the idea of learning a game with such a big growth potential and to keep working with some very smart players.

However, with all the projects I have in mind for 2014 (writing a book, produce some content, etc) I wasn’t going to be able to dedicate enough time to cash-games in order to make any kind of serious money while learning the game.

Something that I learnt in 2013 was that it’s easy to talk about the long-term and take long-term (years) decisions when we are winning money and see our bank account growing, etc. But, after two years during which my bank account didn’t grow, I prefer to take the decision that will make me more money in 2014, which is to go back to sit-n-gos (hypers).

This doesn’t mean that I won’t be playing tournaments! I’m planning to play a bunch of TCOOPs this month, some Sunday majors and eventually some SCOOPs and WCOOPs, specially the ones with a faster structure! It won’t just be my main game.

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High Stakes Hypers

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MAGIC: The Gathering World Champion 2009

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