Day 10 of Doug Polk’s Bankroll Challenge was a lesson in stoicism and a demonstration of a good poker mindset.
Right after the biggest upswing this challenge has seen, Doug started to run bad. His strong hands would not hold to the turn and flips were not going his way. It was nothing short of brutal.
Despite the statistical torture happening on the Twitch stream, Doug remained focused on his task and kept the right mindset.
What separates the Doug Polks of the world from the average player who is stuck in the micros is not the bankroll, the luck or even the hair. That’s just superficial.
It’s the way they approach the game. Doug sees it as one big session, and it doesn’t matter that he is running bad now, as long as he is playing well, he will be rewarded eventually. It’s like he said to his audience, once they showed concern for the bankroll challenge:
‘‘An Upswing is right around the corner.’’
Learning From Swings
Doug saluted the audience, being his usual joyful self. His face had no trace of the bad session he endured just the day before.
As usual, he started the day informing the audience of his strategy moving forward. After he had time to think, he decided to quit playing cash games for the challenge and focus on tournaments and, to a lesser extent, SnGs.
“In micro stakes, who you are really fighting is the rake’’, he said, ‘‘We are going to play game types that really minimize the amount of money we’re paying in rake. and when you look at all the game types… the single worst one [for beating the rake] is cash ’’
After going through his own records, Doug noticed that he had won the least amount of money in cash. He also calculated that he had paid somewhere around $100 to $150 just in cash game rake.
He also noted that his experience in the micro stakes cash games had been reg heavy. A lot of WSOP regs see this challenge as an opportunity to play with Doug paying a miniscule fraction of the usual prize.
For Doug, it’s a bankroll challenge. For the regs, it’s an all you can Doug buffet for a specially discounted rate of $10 (at NL10).
With this in mind, he made the decision to dedicate the micro stakes portion of the bankroll challenge to tournaments, with the EV being much higher.
Just before jumping into the action, Doug officially announced that the Bankroll challenge was going to be put on hold in September, to give way to the WCOOP Twitch streams.
The Bankroll challenge grind will return in October, with a short break that will allow Doug to play and commentate on the Punta Cana Poker Classic, a WPN sponsored event.
He also decided to try something new and use copyrighted music for the stream at lower volume.
Normally Twitch mutes stream sections that contain copyrighted music, but Doug hoped that by lowering the volume, he will be able to fool the bots. It did not work, however, and sections of the stream were muted in the VOD. Now we know.
Jumping Right Back Into The Action
Jumping into the action, Doug reg’ed into plenty of tournaments, ranging from $3-$10. He decided to join a $5 sit and go to get the action going, taking it down forty five minutes later. ‘‘How did that not happen one time yesterday!?’’ He asked to the heavens getting nothing but silence in return.
The action continued with Doug playing three of the previously registered MTTs, adding a couple of SnGs along the way after busting out some of them.
The session was in the green for the day when the time to take a short break to make room for the Twitter strategy Q&A.
Twitter Strategy Q&A
After skipping this segment for the past three sessions, Doug Polk took some time of the Twitch stream to answer some of your questions on Twitter. Here are some of the highlights:
@dougpolkpoker how do we approach MTT situations from the SB w/ 20-40BB? how do we adapt to passive tables w/ limpers and 3bet callers?
— Coleman (@CJ1517) 24 de agosto de 2016
Summary of Doug’s answer: The small blind is the most difficult position to play in all of poker. There are so many things that could go down in the position, so there is no one correct answer for every single situation.
However, at passive tables, you want to bet larger preflop and bluff less. Don’t take this to the extreme and never bluff, however. It just means to bet bigger and do a little less bluffing. Just because it’s the micros doesn’t mean you can’t still play some poker.
@DougPolkPoker When playing micro stakes I get a lot of limping going on. What is the best way to take advantage of that?
— Graham Northrup (@TheoremOfPappus) 24 de agosto de 2016
Summary of Doug’s answer: The rake is extremely high in the micro stakes, so what you do is that you play tight and raise bigger. If you get lots of folds, that actually ends up being better for your bottom line as those pots aren’t raked. That’s 5% of equity on the pot that you won’t lose. So don’t be afraid to blast them and really charge them to call preflop.
Always remember to send in your questions as soon as the Q&A segment is announced for the best chance at getting your question answered.
They Build You Up Only to Tear You Back Down
Two hours into the stream, the session was proving to be a profitable one. Having won a couple more sit and goes, the bankroll now stood at $447.
As soon as the tournament tables started to pop up, however, he left the SNGs behind and focused on four tabling tournaments. The guarantees this time ranged from a $100 to $2000.
By the fourth hour mark, however, the run bad was starting to show it’s ugly mug again.
Doug had busted out of every tournament except one, a $10 tournament with a $2K guarantee. No final tables so far.
Even though he was doing well in this single tournament, the Twitch chat and a Twitter poll convinced him to add more tables, so he decided to join in a few $5 and $10 sit and goes.
The audience’s entertainment was an obvious factor in the decision to four table $5 to $10 sit and goes. The $10 tournament was moving very slowly and Doug himself was visibly bored.
While doing the poll, he questioned those who voted ‘single table’, wondering why would anyone want to watch a single table stream.
After 4 bustouts however, the decision to add tables took a chunk of the bankroll.
The session ended in a fitting manner, as Doug bubbled the $10 tournament. In the outro, Doug reflected that he would have to move down on stakes for the next session. The bankroll now stood at $348.
(Serious about improving your poker game? Check out the Upswing Lab! Doug Polk and Ryan Fee collaborated on this A to Z poker training course and the great reviews keep rolling in!)
Latin American Poker and Film blogger. When I’m not playing Stud 8, I’m complaining that not many people play Stud 8.