Palladium Elite is one of the biggest loyalty tiers in online poker and literally worth thousands to anyone who gets there. But it’s not easy, you have to earn 40,000 PartyPoints a quarter to maintain it, which is a big ask of any poker player.
As a mental game coach for poker players I have unique insight into why players quit and why others are successful. I have successfully coached numerous online players who specifically had the goal of hitting milestone achievements like Palladium Elite.
The obvious skill that’s needed to make Palladium Elite is the ability to grind a ton of poker. What may not be obvious is how exactly you acquire that skill if you don’t already have it. Grinding large amounts of quality volume is a skill, yet players too often think it should be easy to do. They will start of really motivated and put in a lot of volume, but quickly hit a brick wall.
The biggest mistake players make is play too much too soon and this cause burnout. Making Palladium Elite is not a sprint it’s a marathon. Most players are not going to get there in the first month, but how they pace themselves can cause them to fail by this time. A majority of the players going for Palladium Elite need the whole quarter to get it. This means you need to earn a little more than 14000 PartyPoints a month, every month.
A huge increase in capacity
Commonly, players who average around 5000 points a month, think it’ll be easy to jump up to 14,000 (or more) in the first month. If you think about it logically, that’s nearly a 300% increase. Meaning you’re going to have to massively increase your hours, your tables, your stakes, or all three. It’s a huge increase in capacity. An increase that can be made, but the only way you can make this increase hold up is to build it steadily.
Mental capacity works in much the same way as physical capacity. You wouldn’t expect to be able to double your maximum bench press or the distance of your longest run overnight, so you shouldn’t expect to do the same thing with your online volume either.
Instead, you gradually increase the weight, build in periods of rest, so you can build up to the point where you can lift double your maximum bench press easily. This strategy is exactly what you should do trying to get to Palladium Elite.
What I get my clients to do is to steadily increase their capacity, so they eventually can start averaging more than the required 14,000 in a month. The main difference with my method is that you won’t burn out. You might miss out on Palladium Elite in the first month or two, but you will build up to being able to maintaining it consistently thereafter.
So instead of trying to jump from 5,000 to 14,000, they might go for 7,000 in month one, 10,000 in month two, and 14,000 by month three (which get them to Palladium Elite by month five). Even though you’re “behind” in the first few months you’re really building the mental muscle that’s required to grind this kind of volume for the rest of the year and beyond.
One of the most important things to being able to build the mental muscle increase your grinding ability is rest. One of the other reasons so many players burn out early on the quest for Palladium Elite is not factoring in proper breaks. A lot of people think you need to have no life to get to Palladium Elite, but that’s not the case. Rest is critical because it’s during that time when the brain neurons grow to support the increase in grinding ability.
Give your brain the ability to recover
This is much like how muscles actually grow when you’re resting, not when you’re working out. In the gym, bench pressing or running tells the body what you want it to be able to do. When you rest, the body grows to support your demands. The brain works the same way. With adequate rest, you’re able to play more, longer, at a higher level, and across more tables.
Proper rest means taking a day off per week. Although during stretches of time you can go without rest and be fine, if you push yourself too long without rest, your hurt your brains ability to keep growing. I recommend taking one day off per week and 5-6 days off per month. Ideally, you’ll also have a couple times throughout the year where you take off 3-7 days in a row.
Another way you can rest properly is by putting poker out of your mind after you’re done playing. Once a session is over and after you’ve done any evaluation, you need to stop thinking about poker. That way you don’t keep grinding on poker well after you’re done grinding. If you keep grinding on poker, you don’t give your brain the ability to recover and you waste energy.
Many more players who try to make Palladium Elite will fail rather than succeed. You’re far more likely to succeed if you follow the advice in this article and avoid burn-out. Missing out on a few months in the beginning will be well worth the sacrifice when you are reaping the benefits of Palladium Elite every month thereafter.
Jared Tendler is poker’s leading expert in the mental game. He coaches some of the rising stars and over a 170 other pros from around the world. To learn more, go to www.jaredtendlerpoker.com. Jared’s new book “The Mental Game of Poker,” is now available at www.mentalgameofpoker.com.