3 3,000,011 VPP record broken on PokerStars...

28 October 2010

The record for the most VPPs raked in a calendar year has been broken by "needbeer", which is the 2+2 forum alias of 31-year old poker pro Kevin Thurman, who resides in Dallas, Texas. He plays on PokerStars under the screenname "WizardofAhhs", and yesterday he surpassed the previous record of 3,000,011 VPPs set by George "Jorj95" Lind III. He has now amassed 3,001,297 VPPs in 2010, and has a little over 2 months to even further surpass the previous record.

Kevin "needbeer" Thurman
He has done this playing NLHE 6-max cash games, with a majority of hands played at the $1/2, $2/4, $3/6 and $5/10 stakes. Having accumulated over 3,000,000 VPPs in these games means he has paid an incredible $545,000+ in rake in the year 2010. Thanks to the PokerStars VIP club this means he has earned nearly $400,000 for the year so far in rakeback alone:

  • $240,000 worth of FPPs
  • $123,800 in VPP milestone bonuses
  • Approx. $30,000 in tournament entries

Having attained Supernova Elite status in 2009, Kevin set the goal to earn an unprecedented 4 million VPPs in 2010 at the beginning of the year. Recently he rated his chances of reaching this target as the equivalent of "holding QQ vs AKs all-in preflop". Whether he reaches this target or not, what he has managed so far is still a remarkable achievement, and no-one can argue that he holds the title for the most amount of poker played in one year, having played approximately 4.5 million hands so far in 2010, with more to come.  Speaking of his achievement needbeer says that:
"through tons of hard work, planning, adversity, and sacrifice I was able to accomplish this feat. What brings me the greatest sense of pride is that I was able to stay dedicated through everything... be it poor health or running bad at the tables. I just kept pushing on no matter the cost with the mindset that I'd come out on top in the end."
What makes this achievement even more remarkable is that he has managed to do this whilst suffering from Lyme disease, and undergoing chemotherapy to treat it. Kevin has described his illness as "a long, painful, and at times very depressing road, but I think I can handle it by holding on to hope for better days". Perhaps his determination to fight his illness has replicated itself in his determination at the poker tables.

needbeer's VIP status on 27/10/2010
Upon posting a screenshot of his recent milestone, Kevin inadvertently (or not, who knows!) revealed that he has 9.3 million FPPs stored in his account. This is enough FPPs to redeem:
Porsche Cayman S

  • 3 Porsche Cayman S's
  • 10 PCA Packages
  • 36 $4000 bonuses (ie. $144,000)
  • 66 Plasma HDTVs (60 inch)
  • 160 iPads
  • 2447 Gourmet Cookie Baskets
  • 11,625 copies of Marcel Luske's album "More Than Just a Game"

Earlier in the year Kevin gave us an insight into what his typical day consists of. He uses the first hour of the day to shower, eat breakfast, check e-mails and browse the poker forums. He then has a "warm-up" poker session lasting between 1-2 hours where he tends to play his lowest stake. After some light exercise and another, larger meal (brunch?) he hits the tables for between 4-6 hours,
Kevin & his girlfriend
playing approximately 10k hands in this time period. An hour break, allowing him to have dinner with his girlfriend, is followed by a short stint reviewing his play from the previous session. Another 3-4 hour session at the tables proceeds, before allowing himself 8 to 10 hours break from the tables through the medium of sleep!

Each working day approximately consists of:
  • 10 hours played
  • 20,000 hands played
  • 14,000 VPPs earned

He tends to take a day off once a fortnight, but says his longest stretch of working this year was a massive 45-days straight without a day off. Perhaps at the turn of the year he will allow himself some much deserved time off, which will allow him time to consume all the aforementioned cookie baskets he will presumably be redeeming!

Congratulations to Kevin on reaching 3 million VPPs, and good luck at the tables for the rest of the year, as well as in your fight against Lyme disease. If you are interested in following Kevin's progress, check out his blog here.

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