Updated In June, 2013 - The Pokerstars VIP program is a great way to supplement your poker winnings. The more hands you play, the more Frequent Player Points you earn. The more FPPs you earn, the more cash bonuses you can redeem. Thus your FPP earning potential is directly tied to your hourly hand rate. No matter what your bankroll level, you want to maximize two things: first, the number of hands you see per hour, and second, the average rake per pot you see. Let's break down how you can calculate your optimal FPP earning level by bankroll range. This guide will teach you the fastest way to earn Pokerstars FPP's and VPP's in 2013. I have added some links below that will help you get the most out of the VIP program at Poker Stars in 2013.
Many argue that at this bankroll level, Sit & Gos are without question the way to go. This is based on the idea that low stakes Sit & Gos are a low-risk proposition; many players get paid out, and the competition is pretty bad. If you're not yet confident that you can beat the cash games consistently, it's probably a good idea to grind $1+.10 Sit & Go tournaments. After all, if you go broke, it doesn't matter how many FPPs you've earned!
For each $1+.10 SnG you play, you'll earn ($0.10 x 5.5) = 0.55 VPPs. If you can manage 8 SnGs per hour, you will earn 4.4 VPPs per hour. Since you're at low stakes, you're probably a Bronze Star player. This means each VPP you earn is equal to one FPP. So you'll earn 4.4 FPPs per hour.
If you move up in stakes, you'll start earning more FPPs. Keep in mind that when grinding Sit & Gos, you should have 40 buy-ins for whatever level you're playing in your bankroll. With $250, you can safely play $5.00+.50 SnGs. With $500, you can safely play the $10.00+1 SnGs. Half the point of grinding low-stakes SnGs is to avoid going broke, so play within your bankroll.
If you can increase the number of games you play per hour, that will help your FPP acquisition rate. There are players out there who can 24-table 9-player SnGs; this is certainly one of the fastest and most realistic ways to amass FPPs at these stakes, if you can pull it off.
At this bankroll level, you're basically focused on making cash. FPPs start flowing more quickly when you have the bankroll to play cash games.
With a bankroll of less than $500, earning FPPs playing cash games is very hard. However once you hit the magic $500, it becomes much easier. A bigger bankroll means you're prepared to play bigger stakes, produce more rake, and thus earn more FPPs.
The rake rate at Pokerstars is higher for fixed limit poker games than for no limit games. This is bad in terms of raw cash winrate. But since you're looking to grind FPPs, it's great. More rake equals more VPPs and FPPs--it's that simple. Since you'll be earning FPPs much faster at the limit tables, your hourly rate will increase significantly regardless of the increased rake.
With a $501 to $1000 bankroll, you're ready to play $1/2 limit and lower. The principles of bankroll management for limit games state that you should have between 300 and 500 big bets for the stakes you're playing. If you ever fall below 300, move down a level. There's no shame in playing $.50/1 for a while while you rebuild your roll. After all, you'll still be earning FPPs to make up for the lower winrate.
The quickest route to FPP riches with a $1000+ bankroll is still fixed limit poker. Yes, it's a grind. No, it's not glitz and glamour like No Limit. But don't blame me, blame the rake. If you're looking to make Supernova or Supernova Elite, there's no faster way to do so than by multi-tabling limit Holdem.
Your aim at this level should be to multi-table as many games as you possibly can. This might involve dropping stakes, which sounds bad. But it's actually worth it.
Playing a tighter game across 20 tables of lower stakes will net you a higher hourly rate than playing 4 tables of higher stakes, especially in terms of FPP accumulation. Think about it: while you aren't maximizing every little opportunity you get to make a good bet, you're increasing the number of bets you make per hour significantly. Your net wagers increase, which means you're generating more rake, which means you're generating more FPPs.
Mass multi-tabling certainly isn't a great way to improve the minute details of your game, but it's an extremely effective way to earn Pokerstars FPPs. And that's a good trade-off once you get to the higher levels of Pokerstars' VIP program. The Supernova and Supernova Elite bonuses will significantly boost your income.