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PokerStars Bonuses Clear Instantly Plus Earn VPPs Faster at Microstakes

PokerStars announced that starting on October 1st there will be some new changes to the VIP program. Some pretty great changes in my opinion!

First, VIP Reward Bonuses will now be available in your account instantly. In the past if you purchased a $50 VIP Reward Bonus for 4,500 FPP you'd have to clear that bonus by earning 350 VPPs (7 times the dollar amount) before that amount was added to your account.

Tomorrow, when you purchase a VIP Reward Bonus from the PokerStars VIP Store, the amount will be instantly credited to your account.

I really like this change except I recently purchased a bonus that I'm still working on clearing. Damn my impatience! Update: Thanks to a tweet from @fpppro I found out you could email PokerStars support and request a refund for VIP Reward Bonuses that haven't cleared and then purchase a new VIP Reward Bonus that clears instantly. Sweet!

Micro stakes players will also be earning VPPs faster at NL and PL ring games up to $0.05/$0.10.

This is an extension of the MicroMania promotion they held in July where micro stakes NL and PL games earned 10 VPPs for each $1 collected in rake. What came as a surprise to me was that the 10x multiplier didn't end in July. They continued to run the promotion without making a fuss over it.

I was trying to track my cash game VPP earn rate and I thought something seemed off. Now I know why.

The normal VPP multiplier is 6x for tables with 8 or more seats and 5.5x for tables with 7 or fewer seats.

The new VPP multiplier at each stake are at follows:

$0.01/$0.02: 12x
$0.02/$0.05: 10x
$0.05/$0.10: 8x

6-max players will realize the biggest gain going from 5.5x to either 12x, 10x or 8x depending on the stakes. Heads-up players are unfortunately left out since the smallest heads up tables are $0.10/0.25 which have been excluded from this new change even though they were part of MicroMania.

Still, these are very good changes, especially not having to clear VIP Reward Bonuses!

DoN SnG Challenge Update 12

It's been a while since my last post and update. I've been busy with a few other projects and haven't had as much time. I have been playing my challenges but haven't had time to update my blog.

I really wanted to splurge and play one of the $200 WCOOP events but I just couldn't find the time. :(

Since my last update my Double or Nothing Sit N' Go challenge bankroll is up over $1,000 to $2,584. I'm currently playing the $10 DoNs. My winrate since the last update was only 55.6% giving me a little better than a 3% ROI.

Not a spectacular winrate but it's mainly due to one big downswing.

I started out this update playing the $5.40 DoNs even though my bankroll rules allowed me to play the $10.80 DoNs. There were a couple of reasons why I decided to stick with the $5 DoNs.

First, I just got used to playing a large number of tables and was having fun and showing good results doing so and I didn't want to stop.

The other reason (and this is longer than I wanted but I can't stop talking about new toys)  was I needed to replace the TV in my office and decided to use my FPPs to get a new TV from the PokerStars' VIP store. Sticking with the $5 DoNs I was able to generate FPPs faster since moving to the $10 DoNs would mean I would have to play fewer tables.

I had planned to restrict my FPPs to only cash bonuses but just couldn't resist. I'm the type of person that usually goes nuts looking at specs and comparing models before I make any purchasing decision. I hate wasting money and more importantly I hate getting something and then realizing for only a little bit more I could have gotten something better.

The downside is that I start out looking for something that costs let's say $300 and then realize for $50 bucks more I can get something better, and then for only another $25 I can get something even better. Eventually I say screw it if I'm going to spend $200 above my initial $300 budget why not just get the top of the line model!

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I didn't have time to do that and just blindly bought the 26" 720p Samsung HDTV that PokerStars lists on their store. It was the right size and I could do without 1080p in my office. I'm happy with it. The picture quality is good and it has some nice features. My favorite is that it comes with a USB port and I can connect an external drive to play videos from my computer. seems to be the company that fulfills electronics orders for PokerStars's VIP Store. The TV was listed for $480 when I ordered it for 32,000 FPPs. If I chose to purchase bonuses with those FPPs I would have only been able to get less than $400 worth so it seemed like a good deal. Amazon put it on sale shortly after I ordered it and it would have been a toss-up. Check out Amazon's current price for the Samsung LN26C450 26-Inch 720p 60 Hz LCD HDTV

Overall I was very happy with the process and service and would buy from again but instead of purchasing something directly from the VIP Store I'll go about it a different way. I noticed that in the VIP Store you can purchase $200 gift certifcates for OneCall and that would allow me to be more selective about what item I purchase.

OK, back to DoNs...

After I earned the FPPs I needed for the TV I finally moved up to the $10 DoNs. I started playing one and then two tables at a time and things were going well. Very well actually.

Since I continued with the $5 DoNs longer than I should have my bankroll could actually support playing more than 2 tables at a time and I quickly moved to about as many as I was playing at the $5 level. That's when the downswing hit and it was a pretty big one. I never hit the point where my bankroll rules told me to move down so I kept at it trying to find my bearings.

Moving up quickly probably wouldn't have been such a big problem but a few weeks went by where I didn't have time to play any poker and I guess I forgot how? I should have eased myself back into it.

At the $10 level players generally make fewer mistakes than they did at the $5 level and I found I needed to focus more to keep myself from making mistakes myself. I dropped back down to 2 tables at a time to pay closer attention and make some adjustments to my game.

I slowly worked my way up to 5 tables at a time and I'm playing them pretty much tiled (with a slight overlap) so I can pay attention to the action easier.

I created a custom layout with 5 tables arranged as shown in the image to the right. There's a little bit of overlap but I can still see what's going on.

More important than seeing what's going on, this layout helps me remember the players. This is helpful when there's a player I'm picking up a read on but I don't have enough hands against them for the HUD stats to be reliable.

I'm not good with remembering names or avatars but I'm good at remembering something like the player in the upper right table in seat 1 raises loose and calls shoves light. Playing with my tables stacked doesn't allow me to remember players in that way.

My next step is to play 6 tables. I have a layout where I moved the center table up and added a 6th one just under it. After that 8 tables with a bigger overlap and then I'll see if I can go back to stacking tables.

The challenge is going much slower than I initially thought it would but as long as that chart keeps moving up I guess I can't complain. :)

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