Kristen “krissyb24” Bicknell is an ideal candidate for the first edition of Grind Station, a new series touring the setups of professional online players. She first achieved SuperNova Elite in 2010 and has maintained that status every year since.
Bicknell somehow found time this past summer to win a bracelet at the World Series of Poker, in the $1,000 Ladies Event, for $173,922. After polishing off SNE for 2013, she was kind enough to take time out for the Full Tilt Poker Blog, run through her amazingly simple setup, and talk about some of the keys to prolific grinding.
Can you describe your setup and what makes it ideal for grinding?
I have a 27″ iMac. The computer is upgraded to the max. This allows me to run Holdem Manager and Table Ninja without any problem, as well as keep lots of hand histories in my database.
I like to work in a clean and clutter free environment, which is why I’ve chosen the iMac. There is literally one cord that has to be plugged in.
How many hands a month do you play on average? How many hands a month can you play?
Typically I play about 200,000 hands a month. I have had a few months where I have played over 400,000 hands.
What makes fast-fold games like Rush Poker appealing for high volume?
Fast-fold games are the essence of convenience. You can start and close sessions in seconds. Sitting out for breaks and sitting back in is also very easy.
Another great aspect of fast-fold games like Rush Poker is that table selecting isn’t an issue. Also, instead of 24 tabling, I can play 8 tables and get about as many hands in per hour.
Was your ability to put in large volume a gradual accumulation or did you have some breakthroughs?
When I first heard of the SuperNova Elite program, I was so excited to try and achieve it, I jumped right in. Prior to that, I had a lot of experience putting in full days of MTT’s and SNG’s, so that helped when I became a high volume cash game player.
Ultimately, I fell in love with poker immediately and long sessions came naturally because of my interest in the game.
How important is nutrition, exercise, and getting away from the computer to your success?
It’s incredibly important to stay healthy. It is for everyone of course, but especially if you are going to be playing many hours of poker. I can’t stress how important I think nutrition is.
The link between brain performance and nutrition is huge. There are many fascinating studies and books about neuroscience that have sparked my interest.
Exercise and having other hobbies are very beneficial to keeping your mind fresh, and balancing the stressful effects, mentally and physically, of playing poker.
Caffeine of choice?
I am a big fan of caffeine.
These days, I start my day off with what is called ‘Bulletproof Coffee’. It is coffee blended with grass fed butter and MCT oil. These healthy fats promote brain function and performance.
I thought it sounded a little crazy at first, but since trying this, I can’t imagine not starting every session with a big cup.