I scraped the data from the Bank page, plugged it into Google Spreadsheets, and generated a graph.
And some analysis:
- My initial account creation. I took my starting free chips, and played small stakes ring games, for about two months. Steadily building my bankroll, I thought I was a good player right away. My banroll grew to somewhere under 200,000, when I had a particularly bad day, and went completely bust. It’s difficult to remember back that far, but I know I had the expectation that as I won games, my chip stack should grow at an accelerating rate. I think a few days to a week after moving from Low to Medium stakes was when I lost several buy-ins and re-buys at a ring game table, and burned through a few months worth of winnings. Disgusted and disheartened, I didn’t want to start over, and wasn’t sure I wanted to.
- I continued to log in to the site daily, collecting bonus chips, but not playing, for nearly two years. During this time, my bankroll slowly regenerated at a rate of about 2500 chips/day, for the most part, although I would miss a day pretty frequently and have to build the daily bonus back up from 500. For the first few months of this, I considered playing each time I logged in, but didn’t have the heart to, because I didn’t have any confidence that I could win chips. I wasn’t sure if I would ever feel like trying to play again, or when that might be, but since it took half a second and didn’t hurt anything to collect the bonus chips, I accumulated them. Eventually I had gathered about 1.2M in daily bonus chips.
- At a company picnic, we had a professional poker dealer for part of the entertainment. I sat down and played a bit, and was having fun with no-value chips, winning a few hands before getting beat by a Straight on a hand where I had two pair and no clue. After the picnic, I decided to start playing again and got back into RPP. This time, instead of playing Ring Games, I tried playing SNG tournaments. For the next three months, I was playing 4-6 9-seat SNG games/day, typically placing in the money about 1 in 3, typically 3rd or 2nd place, just barely breaking even on a good day, and slowly losing chips on most days. I lost more than I won overall, and continued to until I had burned through about half of my bankroll.
- By the end of September, I had learned enough to turn it around, and started winning more than I lost, and brought my bankroll back up. The Green trend line shows where I would have been if I had simply continued to collect the Daily Bonus chips. You can see that I made up ground more quickly than I had lost, and by the end of October, I had briefly touched that trend line, catching up to where I would have been if I wasn’t playing and just collected bonus chips. I improved my game through studying my play, using these forums, and by playing a lot of 3-Max games, which is where I started to figure out how to do well in short-handed situations with a high blind-to-stack ratio, which is crucial to being able to finish a SNG profitably. I was doing well in 3-Max, winning a bit better than 1-in-3, sometimes considerably better, but continued to learn and grow stronger, which contributed to a higher win rate in the 9-seat format. Overall, I continued to struggle, though, and through early December I was oscillating, but breaking about even overall for the period of Oct-Nov. Winning some weeks, then having a bad day and losing a few hundred thousand chips in a day or two, then adjusting my game, fixing a hole, and rebuilding. Often my rebuilding was through playing Ring Games for an hour, until I doubled my 125K buy-in to 250K, then switching back to tournament format games, where I would continue to struggle. Over this period, my bankroll grew at about the pace of the Daily Bonus trendline, but my performance was still below where I would have been if I wasn’t playing. By about January, I had improved my game enough that I was no longer losing chips playing SNG games, and no longer needed to play Ring to rebuild when I wasn’t winning enough tournaments.
- Finally, by early March my chip winnings exceeded the Daily Bonus trendline, and by this time I had switched over to focus entirely on SNG and MTT play. The sudden vertical leaps mostly represent either a MTT first-place finish, or weekly Astral League Leaderboard bonus chips won. So overall, I’m gradually winning over the course of a week, then hitting a windfall through a big MTT payday, or the leaderboard awards. Sometimes I’m able to put together a 2-3 day period where I win most of my games, and other times I’ll go through a downturn for a day or two. I’m still going through this, having just corrected a few problems that I had worked myself into with my game over this past week. It’s hard to know, but I feel at this point that I may have turned the corner again, and am going to play more consistently from here on.
- I had a very hot April, winning about 2-3M chips over a period of 3 weeks, through a combination of MTT wins and Astral SNG League bonuses on top of chips won through winning SNG tournaments. Most of my SNG money finishes were 1st place wins. In late April, I went on vacation and wasn’t able to play much, but came back in May, and resumed winning at a strong pace, before struggling a bit over the last two weeks.
Where I will go from here, I’m not sure. For the past month, I’ve been playing mostly SNG, with nearly no MTT play during this time. I’d like to get back into MTT play, and see if I can increase my mastery the format, and improve my win rate. Once I’m winning consistently (by which, I mean, taking in chips in more than 50% of my games played, I guess. I’m also contemplating jumping from Medium to High stakes, and getting into the 50,000 buy-in SNG games. If I can win at the same rate there, my bankroll growth will accelerate.