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SNE 2011

by Kristen Bicknell |  Published: Dec 31, '11


I did it again! I was able to earn Supernova Elite status on PokerStars, like I set out to do in January 2011. Overall it was a decent year, though the last couple months were tough to say the least. But as life goes, 2011 did not go exactly as planned...

(Because I always get asked what exactly SNE is- here is a link incase your wondering too:

OK, where to start. I'm disappointed with myself this year as far as putting effort in my game away from actually playing. I spent way too many hours auto piloting and playing mindlessly. I also regret that I didn't push myself to play more 200NL, which is what I initially set out to grind all year but after a bad run I moved down to 100NL and just sort of got stuck there. If I had moved back up, I would have been able to play significantly less hours, and I most likely would have had a higher hourly rate too. Results aside, I actually feel like my cash game skills have improved and I do feel that my current 'A' game is much stronger than my 2010 'A' game, even though I have a long way to go to being the player I want to be. The real challenge is trying to consisitnely bring that 'A' game to the table every time I play. I feel that I know what to do, it's just a matter of actually doing it.

Plans for 2012
Up until a few days ago I knew my plan for 2012, but since PokerStars implemented their new rake system (I'll touch on this later on), I can't say anything for sure. My plan was to play 200NL and stay on (or preferbly ahead of) pace for a few months, and depending on how things were going, I wanted to shoot for either 1,000,000 or 1,250,000 VPPs. Now, I'm going to need a couple weeks to really figure out what my new average vpp per hand rate will be and re-evaluate from there, but I'm hoping that my goal of playing 200NL and hitting 1,000,000 will still be a reasonable option.

PokerStars 2012 Rake Changes
Previously to Jan.1 2012, PokerStars used the dealt method to reward vpps which means that each player who was dealt a hand would all recive an equal amount of vpps. Now, Stars is going to use the Weighted Contributed method which means you will only get a precent of vpps equal to what you have contributed to the pot. Therefore, in general- the tighter you play, the less vpps your going to collect compared to someone who plays much looser putting more money in the pot more frequently. This change has created quite an uproar in the poker world, and I've been following the situation as much as I can on these two threads on TwoPlusTwo:


My biggest issues regarding this change are:
- PokerStars had said they would announce the VIP changes on Dec.17th, than on the 18th come back to say it would be a few more days. Than, as we are all anxiously awaiting the news, we don't hear a word about it again until the 28th when they finally announce the bad news. Like come on. It would be one thing not to be on time with the information, to give us good news, but to make us sweat it out for bad news just sucks. In my opinion, I feel like the players deserve much more time than 4 days to hear about the changes good or bad, but especially bad.
- Apparently people are projecting that these changes are going to make SNE about 20% harder to achieve. I'm not a super smart mathematician to figure this stuff out, so I'm going off of what the '2+2 nerds' are saying (and I say that endearingly). Therefore your going to be making 20% less than before. 20% is a huge drop! 5%, fine. It sucks, but since it is basically a monopoly now, I can accept that. But 20%?! People typically don't chase SNE for 1 year since much of the value of earning SNE is being able to play with SNE status the following year. It only seems fair that if they want to go ahead with the weighted contribution method that they increase the fpp mulitpler from what it is now (5) to 5.5 or 6, or increase milestones or something to add some of the lost SNE value.

I haven't been participating in the two plus two conversations about this but I am certainly thankful for all the passionate people on there that are determined to try and get PokerStars to tweak the new system to be more fair with similar player rewards to previous years.

I decided not to go to PCA this year for a few reasons. For one thing, I want to focus on online in 2012 as much as I can, and I realized while playing the WSOP M.E in the summer, that over the past year or two, I wasn't really enjoying playing live tournaments. Also, travelling for tournaments ends up being expensive, not only in travel costs, but I loose out on valuable SNE grinding time and earnings.

Since I started playing poker it seems like all my vacations revolve around poker tournaments. Don't get me wrong, I always have a great time, but usually what makes them so fun is seeing friends, and the things we do outside of poker. So, for 2012 I wanted to do a poker free vacation. Instead of PCA, I've booked a 11 day Caribbean cruise in Febuary. I can't wait!
PCA was honestly one of my favourite poker vacations. The Atlantis is beautiful, they have a good tournament line up, the cash games were good, and I was their with a great group of poker friends. I just wasn't feeling it this year being so poker'ed out.

Happy New Year!
Well this has ended up being much longer than I had anticipated, and I need to get some sleep to get going on my 2012 grind tomorrow. I want to say congratulations to all the other SNE grinders out there, and thanks to all my twitter and blog buddies out there for participating. It is really nice, and important, to be as involved with other poker players as you can be, and I've 'virtually' met so many intelligent and kind people over the past year or so since I have started blogging and using Twitter.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! There is something powerful about the new start that a new year can bring, so I hope everyone is feeling motivated an excited about the year ahead. I've decided not to do any new years resolutions (pretty sure all of mine failed from last year, lol)... but I will try to be healthier, happier and work harder (though I seriously never want to play as many hands as I played in November and Decemeber again! (500k in December if your wondering).

I will be blogging much more this year, so stay tuned and chime in!

Kristen “krissyb24” Bicknell, is a professional poker player, known for achieving Supernova Elite Status on PokerStars. In 2013, she won the ladies event at the World Series of Poker, earning her first career bracelet. Kristen is also a part of the Ultimate Grinders team.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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