2019 is over, bring it on 2020!

2019 is over, bring it on 2020!

Hi everyone!

2019 is over and it’s time to look back over the past year, go through all that happened and see how did all my goals for 2019 go?!??

The past year looking back has been a very busy one. Kicking off 2019 saw myself and Nick doing a video course for PokerStars School for Spin & Go players. Click here if you want to check it out.

Thanks in part to that and how our Power Up streams and community had been going we were contacted to see if the OP Team would be interested in representing PokerStars as Team Pro Online ambassadors and streamers. We were also given the task of creating content for the school. This was a great leap for all of us as once Nick and I hit our Power Up challenge goals we both found it hard to continue creating content around the game.

It’s not that Nick or I fell out of love for the game, more that we both felt like we had done all that was interesting for our audience to watch and didn’t see much areas for growth. Then we found out about the Power Up championship and we really went full throttle on it. Nick created a great leader board page, Eva made sure all the news was given as soon as we got any wind of it and I got in the lab to try and win the Power Up championship crown for myself.

The whole championship event was epic. The primary challenges really got people in the mood for power up even those who had previously never given it any love. The leader board phase was very tough and I felt like overall on second look may not have been what was needed in a championship. That said I did come in second place for the highest limit leader board (something that no one will be able to take away from me and something that I will constantly remind SebastianGrind and Mooncactus about till my last breath 🙂

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The finale was amazing! I felt like Nick and Strag did an amazing job on reporting the event. It really felt like a legitimate e-sport. I didn’t do that well overall but felt very proud to get to the final 9 of the event. Even though Power Up has now been taken down I am sure that there is room for poker crossovers or poker in general in the e-sport scene In the future. It is my hope OP-Poker will be able to support or create such an opportunity in the years to come.

A month or so later we all went to Namur for the first LexLive event that really blew and opened our minds as to how much of an impact having a community on Twitch can have. We made a bunch of lasting friendships and from that experience and I think I can safely say that all 3 of us would one day love to create a similar such event for our community. Maybe a little less donkaments and more Hypers, new games and mixed games though 😉

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Out of that event we became partners with a new payment app MuchBetter. We really connected with their ideas on how to create a service that poker players can transfer withdraw and deposit funds through the internet with a fair fee system. Thanks to that partnership we were able to host a number of homegames culminating in a summer series event that gave away over $40k in prizes. It was around this time that our quickly growing weekly homegame really got started. I think for the OP-Poker community this homegame has really brought the connection between our audience together. I’m really proud particularly of Eva for creating that and even though I have very little responsibility around it I felt it worth mentioning. 

We then had another LexLive event this time very close to us in London, however this one was different as a lot of the community had now watched our stream and knew us from Twitch. It did feel odd having people that knew you but not knowing them back. Can’t say it’s something I’m used to yet but it will only happen in these niche events so I don’t need to think about it much.

Again another great event even if a didn’t get a single tournament cash over 12 different tournaments.

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From LexLive to now I’ve also been creating a Low Stakes Spin & Go course to sell on our website. It’s really exciting to be selling our first piece of content. We all felt like it was about time that we created something of significant value to our community and wanted to challenge the price point that a lot of the active poker sites charge at. I’m super excited to hear feedback on our first product and if people like it then in 2020 we will be sure to expand the offerings even if it took me many hundreds of hours to create.

But enough of what happened month by month, let’s get to the real question:

How did my 2019 goals go:

The first goal for 2019 was one of health:

Achieve goal weight of 65kg+ 15% or less body fat.

  • Current weight: 57kg 

  • Bodyfat %: unknown

At the end of 2019 I am currently weighing at 62.5kg

Bodyfat %: unknown

So I didn’t hit my goal but there was a significant improvement on last year. At early October I was really looking on pace to hit the goal but over the next 2 months I got ill and lost a lot of weight back. I’m really glad that I’m going in the right direction again though and think I will continue to try and finish this goal into 2020. 

Twitch: Hit 10k followers

At the end of 2019 our OP-poker channel has over 9800 followers. In my eyes whilst not technically hitting 10k I’m calling this a win. I think that the consistency of streams is really what helped us reach this one. There was no crazy viral moments, just a solid growth all throughout the year. Very happy with it!

YouTube: Reach 2k subscribers

End result : 2.2k subscribers

If I didn’t have this goal in the back of my mind I’m not sure we would have pulled it off. Very happy that although the YouTube was not in any way our main project we kept creating content that people liked and got the growth that we were looking for. 

Bankroll: hit $30k

End result: $7400

So this is easily the biggest fail for my 2019 goals. What’s to blame here? I really think it was almost entirely down to a change of direction early on in the year. Getting the full on ambassadors role with PokerStars and creating content for the StarsSchool really changed the direction of my focus from the grind to content creation, education and most importantly entertainment. I don’t have any real regrets to be honest, I played about 1 quarter of the amount I thought I would have played in the year timeframe so in terms of hands played the trajectory was in the right direction. But I do not question whether I have worked hard enough in this time. I’m definitely going to continue towards that $30k goal but going to relax the time requirement on it. It will happen but creating entertaining and educational content is my main focus going into 2020.

So what are my goals for 2020? 

In no particular order:

Health Goal for 2020:

65kg+, 15% or less bodyfat and to be able to do 5 sets of 5 pullups, 5 sets of 5 dips and 5 sets of 20 ass to grass squats.

At the time of writing I think I can do 1 or 2 pullups I cant do a single dip and I can do about 5 sets of 10 squats. So it will be quite a bit of effort to get to this point but well within reason I think.

Personal Social media:

Make a twitter account, get 1k followers

Had a lot of people say to me that my visibility outside of OP-Poker isn’t particularly great. They don’t know who I am until they are already involved. I think I should be doing a much better job on that front and consider a platform like Twitter to be one that I am interested in sharing my personal identity and views on. I don’t have an account yet so I have no idea if setting a goal for 1000 followers is a good idea but I will go for it and if I’m doing particularly poorly expect some retweet giveaways in november/ december of next year 😉

(At the time this blog post was published James has already created a Twitter account, you can follow him HERE.)

OP-Premium

Sell 100 Low Stakes Spin & Go courses

First off I want to see if this is an area worth exploring more fully. I’ve created what I really and truly believe is a good course, the next question is if it is an area really worth putting time into. Regarding this I think the first aim before going any further would be to get 100 sales of our Low Stakes Spin and Go course. If we can do that by the end of next year then expect more high end concentrate content in the future, if not then we will concentrate on more broad free content with more of an emphasis on entertainment.

Twitch 

Stream 1000+ hours in 2020.

Last year I did around 600 hours of streaming all together. This year I’m going to try and add another 400 hours to that number. Whether that means multiple sessions throughout the day or just longer sessions in general I haven’t yet decided. I think it’s clear to me that my focus for 2020 should be on streaming, entertaining and educating our audience.

Poker

Become an Endboss

I want to be flexible and reactionary to the new opportunities that arise and so this year my goal is to become an end boss in whatever new games are introduced in 2020 on PokerStars. I want to really show what OP-Poker was built around. The idea of fast adaptation to new innovative game types and what better way to do that than to be the most winningest player in whatever game that may be. Fingers crossed that will mean more mid and high stakes poker on the OP-Poker channel in 2020!

See you at the tables and on stream!

Other OP-team blogs:

Nicholas “Lost_Gambit” Walsh: Bankroll challenge! $30 -> $1000

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