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Goodbye NLHE, Hello PLO

by Kristen Bicknell |  Published: Jul 17, '12

2012 Update:
Where Have I Been? 
Hey readers, it's been a while and the amount of time I've been on the internet in the past month is probably a record low for me in the past 10 years. I went to Vegas for a week and played the WSOP ladies event, and a $1,500 event, but no luck for me. It was a last minute trip I decided to take with my friend Mona, who is quite the poker player her self, and asked me to go down and play the ladies event with her. She finished 14th by the way! Of course it's disappointing to get that close, but I'm very proud of her and she got a decent pay day plus great experience. 

Adam and I had decided not to go to Vegas this summer, probably because we had over did it the past few years. It ends up being a pretty expensive trip, and the live tournament grind can be quite draining, especially if you lack the motivation and excitement. I remember playing the WSOP ME last year, and actually sitting there on day 2, and wanting to be home. I had been in Vegas for too long, played too many tournaments, and my head just wasn't into the game.  That was a definite sign to me that I was not only burnt out from poker, but I'm probably not the type of person that can go down at the beginning of the series and feel good and fresh towards the end, over a month later.  It doesn't make sense to spend alot of money to force yourself to play, especially when we are perfectly happy staying at home grinding on-line. What usually ends up happening anyway- Adam can't keep himself away from the golf course (and is a bad influence on me and all our friends to skip events to go golfing instead), and I although I do enjoy the live poker grind, I also enjoy the live shopping, shows and restaurants. Luckily, I can say by not really participating this summer, I have taken a much needed mental break from poker and feel very fresh, and am looking very forward to trying to spike in the WSOP lottery next year. 

Speaking of Vegas, for fun here are some of my Vegas favourites...

Golf Course: Bears Best

Hotel: Venetian or Palazzo 

Restaurants: So many! I'll pick the first two that come to mind. Naked Fish's (off the strip), and Carnevino (in the Palazzo). 

Aside from my trip to Vegas, I've made a serious commitment to myself to make fitness a high priority in my life. For me, this means playing sports and exercising more. I'm a healthy eater as I'm fairly interested in nutrition so that's not an issue for me, but I love sports and thrive on physical activity and really let that part of my life take a back seat. I joined a softball team with Adam, Mona, and Qi (a hu sng player who is going for SNE this year), and although I'm not very good it's been a lot of fun. I'm starting tennis lessons soon and really hope to get into tennis seriously as it's a sport I've always been really interested in and enjoyed. I've also discovered Gatineau Park which isn't too far from me, and it is absolutely beautiful, with over 165km of hiking trails. This is a photo from one trail called 'Pink Lake'.

Lazy Days of July 
I've decided to use up my second (and last) month of being able to not make 50k vpps and still maintain SNE this month. I was planning on doing this in December, but a couple things changed my mind. For one thing, I don't have much to do in the winter in Ottawa as I tend to just hibernate inside, and I would just like to enjoy summer while it is here and I can go outside without having to strap on boots and a parka (to still be freezing). The other thing is that I needed a mental break and it feels like time to say goodbye to playing 100NLHE and 200NLHE so I definitely need some time to prepare for my next adventure. I've thought about a couple options and...

Hello PLO 
Well the poker landscape has been ever changing since Black Friday and I felt like it was finally time to change things as far as my own game goes. I'm going to attempt to switch from playing NLHE to PLO. From what I've played so far- four cards is definitely more fun than two.  I feel really excited about this.  It's pretty exciting learning a new game, and although at first it seems daunting, it takes me back to when I just couldn't get enough of NLHE. Your brain is like a sponge and there is so much to learn and discover. I'm taking the rest of the month to really work on the transition.  My game plan is as follows:
- 6 table 6 max 100PLO 
- 1 hour sessions at a time
- At least 1 hour a day of reviewing hands/ watching videos until Aug 1

Hopefully by August 1st I can increase to 9 tables (I don't plan on ever going above 12), and decrease my off the table work and increase my actually playing volume to get a healthy amount of vpps in for the month, as in August (and every month for the rest of 2012) I absolutely must meet my 50k vpp requirement to keep SNE status. I'm just trying to take it really slowly and put good work in now so I don't have major work to do with tons of bad habits down the road.

VPP Progress
300,000 vpps
Goal- 600,000 or 700,000

Anyway, hope you all are enjoying your summer!

Next Blog Post:
PLO progress and summer pics

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


Sam Rothstein
almost 10 years ago

god i wish online poker was legal in the US. I love taking PLO noobs money. I will so Brian Hastings your Isildur roll if I had half a chance.

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