Part three of this guide will focus on having a contingency plan should your Supernova Elite goals go awry. Hope for the best but plan for the worst. While I hope that all of you aiming for Supernova Elite experience the thrill of seeing your VPP balance hit 7 figures it would be unwise for anyone to attempt SNE without a backup plan. What happens if after 4 months you can’t keep up the pace? What happens if you downswing and need to drop in stakes so much that you can no longer generate enough VPPs to get there? What if Stars changes the game you play in the middle of the year? What if, what if, what if?
Everyone’s Plan B will obviously vary from one another and your personal plan B should be tailored to your specific situation. That being said there are some general guidelines and ideas I have that you can use when preparing your backup plan.
When you set out to get those million VPPs you should already know the stakes you’re going to do it at, the hours and days you’ll need to play, the time you’ll take off, how your money will be dispersed through bonuses and wins throughout the year and basically everything there is you can possibly know. This is great. You can be as prepared as you can possibly imagine for Supernova Elite and through absolutely no misdoings of your own have a metaphorical cyclone blow clean through your plan. By this I mean PokerStars could add or remove the game type you play, alter the buy-in rules that you are used to or, hell, simply scrap their SNE program entirely. While I think the latter is highly unlikely the former changes can, have and will continue to occur.
Two recent examples that come to mind are the removal of Double or Nothing Sit & Gos this year and (more specifically to the PLO readers of this blog) the changing of buy-in rules. Anyone who had hoped to accomplish SNE by playing a 20bb stack hit-and-running the PLO games in 2011 would have been met with a swift kick in the gut when they woke up to find out the minimum buy-in was now 30bbs and the rathole timer had been increased to two hours. So what do you do when this situation comes up? When everything you had planned for – your livelihood for the year – crumbles down around you? You can do one of two things:
1) Post on the forums. E-mail Stars. Complain. Kick up a fuss and get into flame wars with people who have opposing views to you. You can start a petition or even go as far as to participate or facilitate a mass “sitting out strike” on the tables. What is this going to do? Absolutely jack all except waste precious grinding time and make your overall life just a little more miserable.
2) Relax and not worry as you can fall back to your plan B. What is your plan B? That depends and it will vary from person to person but I can tell you one thing for sure – you will have one. If you read this post, you will have a plan B. Right?
It could be as simple as knowing that you’re going to be okay because you’ve been okay for years playing another game. Perhaps your main game is 6 tables of deepstack PLO and you’re able to beat the games at a solid winrate but you’ve decided to chase SNE playing shallow stack PLO over 24 tables. If all of a sudden the option to play shallow or 24 tables disappears you can now revert back to playing fewer tables with deeper stacks and know that you’ll be just fine financially. You might not be able to make SNE, you might not make quite as much money as you had planned for, but you’ll be alright.
You might not be as lucky as the person in the example I just posted above. Perhaps you haven’t been able to beat deepstack PLO yet and are only breaking even when you play and are relying on the rakeback/bonuses from SNE to be the bulk of your income. If something happens that prevents you from playing your normal 24 tables of shallow PLO then you are stumped – you can’t fall back on another form of poker and you can see the bills piling up. What do you do?
Well, basically, to prevent this you must make sure that you CAN fall back on another form of poker. Before you attempt SNE make sure that you can beat another game at a winrate that will sustain your lifestyle one way or another. I don’t care if you have to mass multi table small stakes MTTs or if you have to play heads-up stud SNGs. Just make sure that you can beat a game before you’re forced into the situation where you have to.
Your plan B doesn’t necessarily have to be another form of poker. For most of you it probably will be, but there are some people who, if they can’t accomplish SNE, may well choose to pursue another path in life. You might re-enroll in university. You might go back to working in whatever field you worked in before poker came into your life. Regardless of what you do end up doing, you should know beforehand what your plan B is and make enough preparations that should that unfortunate day occur when your SNE dreams dissipate you are ready for the next step to take. If you’re not prepared you can end up losing valuable time and making a mistake at what could be a very important junction in your life / career.
All in all having a plan B is your back-up plan should everything else fall to pieces. Hopefully none of you ever have to rely on it but if you do you will be thankful for having one in place. It could be the difference between having to give up your SNE goals because Stars removed the type of SNGs that you play and still being able to make it by playing full ring cash games. Good luck!