You probably already know the Cash Game Leaderboards are incredible value, but ask James Alsop if you need a second opinion. The 30-year-old poker pro, who hails from Brighton, padded his bankroll with almost 150 buy-ins by taking down the $0.10/$0.25 leaderboard.
James first discovered poker when he was still at school and spent most breaks playing the game with friends. He instantly fell in love with it and knew as soon as he was 18-years-old he’d have to try playing online or in a casino.
“As soon as I was 18 I started playing online. Me and my friend would go round to each other’s house and grind for hours through the night. It was at a time when Poker After Dark was on TV so we would be there grinding and watching that, only dreaming of playing in those games (and still are dreaming!).”
The past three or four years have seen James take the game more seriously. A couple of large live tournament scores, including a career-best £35,000 for finishing sixth in the £1,100 WSOPC UK Main Event at Dusk Till Dawn, are the result of his hard work and dedication to poker.
“I started taking poker more seriously 3-4 years ago when I realised there was good money to be made. You can be your own boss, make up your own hours and have your own lifestyle, apart from when you’re grinding leaderboard of course! I’ve mainly focussed on tournaments in those four years and had my biggest score this time last year at Dusk Till Dawn where I had three cashes in one week for around £60,000.”
“I’ve since transitioned to playing cash games, mainly NL50 and NL100 late last year. I started paying for coaching in February this year which has done me wonders and helped win this leaderboard.”
For a winning player like James, the Cash Game Leaderboards make it possible to win plenty of buy-ins. James got his hands on 148 buy-ins through his play, cashback, and the $2,000 top prize.
“The promotion is insane! Where can you win, in my case, 80 buy-ins for the level you’re playing just for volume? I don’t think you can. I didn’t even know how good the cashback was. That in itself was worth another 48 buy-ins! Plus I made 20 buy-ins at the table. I’m not sure a player at this level could make 148 buy-ins.”
First Cash Game Session Sets The Tone
James decided to play $0.10/$0.25 instead of his usual stakes due to the fact he would be playing more tables than usual and for much longer hours. He knew he was going to win the leaderboard after his first session at the partypoker tables.
“As soon as I had done my first four-hour session on Monday morning I said to my Mrs (Shana is also a poker player) I have won this, I’m not letting anyone pass me. She knew when I said that she wasn’t getting any attention that week! She wished me good luck and said see you on Sunday evening!”
An epic grind began at 08:00 on Monday and finished at 01:30 the next day. James played six tables of fastforward all day long. Having earned 500 points, James knew the road ahead was a tough one.
He set his alarm earlier on the Tuesday and had specific break times. Now having more structure to his sessions, James worked out he was 15 hours worth of grinding ahead of second-place, gaining him a little more breathing room.
“I thought I could relax a little for the rest of the week, which I did, but it became squeaky bum time on Friday and Saturday when a player had earned 1,000 points and would overtake me if I didn’t play, but that wasn’t going to happen! I upped my volume, playing six tables of fastforward plus six regular tables on a second screen.”
Overall, James put in around 80 hours at the tables and MyGame shows him as playing 140,000 hands.
“It’s total insanity! I didn’t even play that throughout the whole of February!”
Using MyGame To Improve At Poker
What is the key to becoming a successful cash game player? James is definitely an advocate for putting in plenty of hours away from the tables.
“Study, study, and study. This has brought me on leaps and bounds. I hated the idea of going over hands probably four months ago but ever since I have I have just become better and better. Obviously, partypoker has no HUDS now, but they have MyGame. While looking through that, I saw it was a great model for learning and I’m sure it will get better the more feedback they receive.”
You may recall an article published on the partypoker blog recently by Juha, the head of our Game Integrity team. Juha explained some of the measures the team is taking to make the leaderboards a fair grind. James added his thoughts on that subject.
“For anyone saying there are bots and multi-accounting going on, while this may be true, partypoker is going their upmost to eradicate this. I had phone calls every day while 12-tabling making sure that it was me playing. I would be asked about specific hands, what hand number was on my screen, how many tables I had open etc. They are doing a great job when it comes to stopping people being a***holes and exploiting the system for monetary gain and for an unfair advantage. There may be a few occasions of it happening, but it won’t take long for them to be caught.”
Congratulations to James on his superb win and fantastic performance at the tables. There’s no doubt we’ll be seeing the name James Alsop again in future.
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