This year I set out to turn five dollars into five-thousand USD! and stream all of it. This is my recap where I explain why and how I did it.
Let’s start at the beginning: Why did I start the challenge?
- I am not a full time poker player. I am a bachelor student in the Netherlands. When I started the challenge, I still had just over a year to go. I am already studying close to seven years at that point it would have been out of the question to stop there. Also something important here is that I don’t play poker as an escape from studying / ‘’normal’’ career. I love what I study and also see a future in that field. Why do I play poker then? I am a former Magic The Gathering player. I played all over the world on Grand Prix from every country in Europe to Moscow. I really enjoy the strategic part of the game and seeing the progress in your own game when you study and put the work in. So with one year left of studying, I have my priority on finishing my study. Moreover, I also want to see if poker / streaming could be a real career move. So let’s do it both, but without the money stress of big swings. With this challenge the money doesn’t impact my personal wallet. I made sure that I had enough savings to make it until the end of my study and also quit my job (personal driver) four months into the challenge to be fully focused on my bachelor and the stream.
- My family hates money games / gambling / addictions etc. I think showing that you can grind it up from $5 to them is the only way to show that I am not just a degenerate. AND I would also love to show the Netherlands (or at least my friends / family) that it’s a skill game and that you can grind it up from basically nothing.
- I wanted to do something cool for the stream. I started thinking about streaming two years ago, but starting and just doing it was very difficult. When I finally started streaming, the ‘’BankrollBoom’’ took off and there were numerous of bankroll challenges on Twitch. It almost made me just stop the challenge and start just playing & streaming. When I asked it on stream one day, everyone said NO you finish what you start!
Why only 5$ and not $50 or $100?
- I wasn’t going to do the challenge playing Cashgames. AND NO! I don’t think that Cashgames aren’t beatable or bad. I personally just never liked them. Probably also because I don’t like zoom games and most Cashgames where ZOOM. If I want to show point two of ‘’Why did I start the challenge’’, I wanted to show that you can start with nothing. For a lot of people $100 is still a bit of money and so I wanted to start with $5 ‘’nothing’’. In sit&go’s there is less variance than huge field mtt’s and there will be a lot of final tables / heads-up’s that make the stream (even with micro buy-ins) a bit exciting.
- I was going to play an ABI of 30-40 buy-ins for sit&go’s and going broke with $5 isn’t that bad. NO this is NOT good bankroll management! But I wasn’t planning on playing 10-50ct sits for months. When the bankroll would reach a point where I was going to play mtt’s I would change this to good bankroll management.
And off we go!
The first day of the challenge was a losing day after hours of grinding 10ct 360mans and some 25ct 45mans. A shocking downswing of 61ct OMEGALUL. Luckily the upswing started on day two of the challenge where the bankroll got doubled! POGGERS for 5 days the bankroll didn’t move after this and stayed around $10. On day 8 the Bankroll made a move with a $20 cash in the 55ct 6-max hyper! This opened the door to only playing 50ct 45-90-180man turbo’s. The grind was on! The first month flew over and on the 2nd of March the bankroll started with $80.94 (almost 400 sit&go played! Including $1 45mans & $1.5 90manPKO)
New month New format!
After playing mostly sit&go’s it was time to play some $1.10 mtt’s mixed in the sit&go grind. The toughest morning schedule micro LUL was looking at me but we didn’t flinch! The $1.10 DEEP PAYOUTS! We grinded and grinded and there was the light! The first big field final table of the bankroll challenge! We finish in 3th place after a long three handed battle. This more than doubled the bankroll again to $174,49.
After grinding for multiple days without any movement in the bankroll I see that the mtt’s are almost feeling like a waste of time. 5k player fields in .55ct tournaments! How much variance do you want! Let’s go back to sit&go’s!
Don’t change a winning plan!
I start playing mostly $2.50 180mans (Turbo) and for every five of these played, I register an $5 90mans PSKO sit & go. The bankroll grows in two months of grinding this plan to $726 on the 16th of April. After reaching $500 bankroll I would select mtt’s that I wanted to mix in and played the BB5.50 some other every day. On the 16th of April we are back in the light! The big field mtt light turns on in the 5.50 Deepstack!
Let’s have a GGParty!
PokerStars announced at this time the new rake change for tournaments under $22 and we just had a good payday in the $5.50 Deepstack! Time to spread the money! We deducted $300 from stars and put $200 on PartyPoker and $100 on GGPoker. The next five days we grind the bankroll up and start again with sit&go’s. The PartyPoker bankroll doesn’t really move and stays the same for a while. However we almost double the $100 on GGPoker the first. After that the GGPoker bankroll remains the same for a while.
The first Heather!
It’s the 1th of May and the bankroll is $981 spread over three sites. This is about 3 month’s into the challenge. The MTT madness starts with the hot 7.5 where we get a 4th place finish for almost $350! Taking the bankroll over 1k for the first time!
On the 3th of May we grind again and this time the lights turn on in the 4.40 PSKO! No 3th-4th places this time but the Trophy! For $400!
But this was just the start! In the same month we hit a 2k bankroll! 2nd place in the $11 Deepstack, 5th place BB22, winning the Blue10 and winning the BH7.5 on PartyPoker! SCOOP is also in this period and we satellite into a $55 SCOOP and make top 100 for almost $200.
The $11 Turbo FIRE! But headsup NOOB?
Not only is May a SunLord month overall, also the morning Turbo $11 was on fire! With three second places within three weeks’ time! Together we are now well over $1k! The bankroll topped at this moment over $3.1K!
What goes up, must come down!
The first real downswing kicks in on PokerStars and it’s tough. The bankroll on Stars plummets from topping at $2150 all the way down again to $900!!! A small relief is that GGPoker made an upbeat at the end of June and made it look not all that bad! I move $150 from GGPoker to a 4th site PokerStars.ES.
A few streams later the bankroll hits a new low and falls from topping at 3.1k under 2k now!. The first downswing on GGPoker kicks in! Also PartyPoker is sort of break-even for forever. On stream I am pretty down and the hope of winning sinks further.
Snap out of it!
The bankroll on PokerStars and GGPoker plummets further and I am being way to down on stream to even stream! So it’s time for an Holiday! I don’t play poker for 2 weeks and enjoy the sun of Spain! Pictures on https://www.instagram.com/alfaasss_nl/
New Game plan!
Back from Holiday I decide to focus on Stars & Stars.es. The Jcarver platinumpass challenge started and therefor it’s important to stream mostly Stars as well. Plus I wanted to play less tables and less different tables.
We directly find some health back from our Holiday and it’s on PokerStars.es! We make final tables by the hour and turn our 300 euro’s into 900 euro’s! We make an 44% ROI over 184 tournaments in August / September.
Site by Site!
Now we have gained some confidence back, we try it again on GGPoker! And the heath is real! From 28 August till the 29th of September we turn $500 into $2566!
In the graph you can clearly see the upswing followed by a downswing and the real heath at the end!
When you run good you run good!
And when you run good, you run good everywhere! Stars makes up with some late heath! We take on a big field in the $11 open in the evening schedule and just come short on the Trophy with a second place for $660 and we miss out on the final table of the Hotter 22 but that’s still good for a score of over $600!
In the end we played 175k hands on PokerStars and around 25k on Stars.es making it a nice 200k Stars hands. 30k hands on PartyPoker (with in the end making no profit) and approx. 45k hands on GGPoker!
I will confess that I didn’t know if I was going to make the challenge within the time or even ever. I come from a Magic The Gathering and rolled into Live Poker background. I fooled around on Stars before the challenge and did the RYE course. (6-max hyper course first and later the Masterclass) I did have some nice online scores before the challenge, but my graph was a mess going up and down. Going from sit&go’s to mtts to cash to mtts to sits etc. This is also the reason I never found the balls to open up my .net SharkScope account. I basically ended up around 4k before the challenge and that is the money I use for expenses until I finish my bachelor + the money I won with playing Live. What I did know because of my Magic The Gathering background is that putting in the work and setting a goal to work to makes you work! And if you push hard enough almost anything is possible.
This article is about a student who decided to take on the challenge of turning five US dollars into five thousand in one year. This person starts the challenge by playing poker while studying and quitting their job at the end of the first month. They play 10-50 dollar sit&go’s mostly and only