Over the weekend, Doug Polk and UpSwingPoker.com announced “The $100 to $10,000 Challenge.” Polk is going to attempt taking some beer money and running it up to the equivalent of a Main Event buy-in.
Doug loves to talk about all things poker and invited us to speak with him about the challenge. I took the opportunity to learn more about the ongoing series of online sessions and why he chose to replicate a challenge that’s been successfully attempted in the past.
Why Is He Imitating Jesus?
This isn’t the first time that a pro has attempted to run up a bankroll from next to nothing. One of the most famous challenges from the past is the Chris Ferguson run to $10,000. He started out playing freerolls and eventually ran it up to $10k.
I asked Doug what made this different from Ferguson’s challenge and he told me that ” Chris Ferguson’s $0 – $10k challenge is long outdated. He started it pre-UIGEA in 2006, in significantly softer games. Chris also used a very aggressive, inadvisable 20 buy in rule for his bankroll. I would strongly advocate against that for the people looking to run up a bankroll in 2016.”
Writer’s Note: I’ll admit that I purposely asked Doug about the Ferguson challenge as a “loaded question” and I admire the professional way he answered the question when it would have been much easier (and more entertaining) to bash him.
Does This Type of Challenge Even Matter in the Modern Poker Climate?
In the new era of recreational poker where player rewards are non-existent for most mid and high stakes grinders, why would someone try to take on a challenge such as this. I asked the same of Polk and he told me, ” I took on this challenge because I want to prove that, even in today’s tough online poker ecosystem, a hopeful micro stakes grinder can still run up a bankroll. The days of the 2003 poker boom may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up and blame our failure on the system.”
I love this answer and fully support this challenge based on his reasoning. He is right. It is possible to run up a bankroll in online poker but the difference is that a player must rely on their ability rather than being a rakeback grinder. It takes hard work effort and Polk is trying to show that persistence pays off for those wanting to make a living at online poker.
Realistic Game Selection and Promotions for Nevada Players
Polk’s challenge will be held exclusively on WSOP.com NV. He also wanted us to tell Nevada grinders to “keep an eye out for the special promos I’ll be doing with the WSOP throughout the challenge.” All the more reason to check in often on Polk’s progress.
The rules of the challenge are simple. Doug told us that there are “No rules, it’s just going to be me grinding as if $100 was actually my bankroll. Oh except DON’T BUST!” Ya, that would be pretty brutal if he were to bust his own challenge.
In terms of formats played, he said, “I’ll be sticking to NL for most if not all of the challenge, especially early on when variance is something I want to avoid. I’m starting with $1 MTTs, $1 HUSNGs and freeroll tournaments.”
I personally like how Polk is starting out his challenge as it mimics the types of games that someone with a small bankroll would actually play. He isn’t trying to use his “superior skill” to run up a miniroll at limits that most amateurs would be complete fish at.
Day 1 Not So Epic – But That’s Good for Poker
Polk started his challenge on Sunday and so far, it’s not proving to be cakewalk some might expect. Polk finished the day dropping 17% of his roll. Yes, he lost a whopping $17. Not exactly an epic start to his challenge, but a realistic one. Honestly, I’m glad he didn’t start with an epic win as it doesn’t give unrealistic expectation to new or recreational players.
Walked away from my session feeling a bit bad then realized I lost $17 #GrindNation— gN Doug Polk (@DougPolkPoker) August 8, 2016
If you want to follow Polk’s exploits, you can do so daily. He told me that “There will absolutely be daily highlights on YouTube, as well as daily updates on UpswingPoker.com/10000-challenge.”