While earning one million VIP Player Points (VPPs) on PokerStars in a calendar year might seem like a daunting task for most players, it’s become rather routine for PokerStars Team Pro Online member George "Jorj95" Lind. In 2008, Lind reached Supernova Elite status on March 18th, which is still the quickest anybody has ever accomplished the feat. He also finished the year with three million VPPs, another PokerStars record that remains intact. Given his history, it should come as no surprise that Lind once again achieved Supernova Elite status this year in under three months, doing so on March 30th. Despite Lind's consistency, it requires such an incredible effort to join the Supernova Elite club that you can’t help but be amazed.
To give you an idea of how difficult it is to reach supernova Elite so fast, Lind estimates that he played 650 hours, 80,000 sit and gos, and 836,402 hands. That averages out to almost 50 hours of poker per week, the majority of that time spent on mind-numbing hyper-turbo sit and gos. The question then becomes, is it really worth the sacrifice that inevitably comes with playing such a high volume of poker?
To find the answer, let’s look at what Lind receives for his many hours of work at the tables. For starters, Supernova Elite members earn five FPPs for every VPP earned. As you hit various VIP milestones, you can purchase special cash credits for 50,000 FPPs each. These Milestones include $10,000 bonuses at 1.25 million, 1.5 million, and 1.75 million; a $20,000 reward at 2 million; three more $10,000 credits at 2.25 million, 2.5 million, and 2.75 million; and another $20,000 payout at 3 million VPPs. All told, that’s an extra $100,000 in cash on top of what you actually win at the tables.
Supernova Elite members also get free entries into exclusive weekly, monthly, and quarterly freerolls that have hefty guarantees of $30,000, $100,000, and $1 million. Finally, Lind and his fellow Supernovas are given a free entry to the WCOOP Main Event and any two packages to play in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, WSOP Main Event, EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final, and APPT Sydney.
The extra perks of Supernova Elite status seem more than worth the time, but are they really what drives Lind? Apparently, he works on a much smaller scale. In his PokerStars Blog, Lind writes, “I don't really know the reason that I get so motivated by accomplishments like this, but whatever the reason is, I'm glad it exists. While playing poker online is normally pretty fun, doing it every day can become a bit of a grind if you don't find ways to motivate yourself. I tend to set lots of little goals for myself just to get myself to put in more hours, such as trying to play a certain number of SNGs in a day, or trying to get a certain number of VPPs in a week or month.”
Many poker players could learn from Lind, even if they aren’t aiming for Supernova Elite. Rather than setting monetary goals, which are often unattainable in the short-term due to the fickle nature of variance, Lind says he sets goals that he can reach as long as he puts forth the effort. Whether it’s a certain number of sit and gos in a day, week, or month, Lind believes that “as long as you meet your other goals and are putting in a sufficient number of hours and are playing good poker, the money will come on its own in the long run.”
So, what does the rest of 2010 hold for Lind? “I'm on pace for 4 million VPPs for the year”, he writes in the same blog, “But I have no idea whether I'll be able to maintain the pace I've set for the first 3 months of the year, or whether I'll even want to keep playing as much as I have been.” A break from poker certainly seems in order for Lind, but before long, you’re likely to see him back at the tables grinding out whatever goal he’s set for himself. After all, there’s still $100,000 out there with his name on it.