Doug Polk returns to prove the poker dream is still alive with his Bankroll Challenge to turn $100 to $10,000.
The poker world has seen a lot since this bankroll challenge started: scams being exposed, angle shooters being accused, and hashbrown kings rising and falling while pigeons fly by ignored. The challenge, however, remains.
Doug hasn’t been playing much poker these days, but he’s has returned to prove all the naysayers wrong and to accomplish the last thing in his poker to-do list, his bankroll challenge.
Doug began this bankroll challenge back in 2016 on WSOP.com. It has had 40 sessions since, last we left it, the tally was at $1054.68, plus some tournament tickets. The bankroll had multiplied by ten with a little under $9000 to go.
We’ve seen Doug going through many trials. Now-famous battles with players from all over Nevada going down in stakes to take a shot at him.
The reg action got too boring as he was giving people a huge discount for a chance of playing against him. And the bankroll challenge streams became increasingly infrequent as time went by, leading many to believe he had abandoned it.
They were wrong, obviously; he logged in to WSOP.com and opened Twitch once again for a bankroll challenge session to remember.
“If you are one of the video game fans who has been viewing my streams lately, today we’re going to play some poker. If you are one of the 99% of you who are poker fans, we’re going to have some fun today!”
To get a real micro stakes experience, Doug focused on tournaments. That way he could play against real micro stakes players and hopefully speed up the challenge.
The new bankroll strategy is to play in every low stakes tournament he can find, starting with $3 No limit Hold’em Deep stack, with a $600 guarantee.
While readjusting to the flow of commentating on his actions while playing, he took the time to check out the tickets on his account.
He had a few Sit and Go tickets, no real interest in those, a $5 heads-up ticket, could come in handy, but the real show stopper was the $320 ticket he had for no clear reason.
Despite this recent development, Doug wasn’t feeling too excited to go back to poker.
“I know a lot of you guys want to see me play poker, but I’ve just felt kind of burnout lately… You know, it’s tough when everybody knows you for one thing but you don’t want to do it anymore. Maybe that will change, I hope it changes, but it might not. I’m sorry, I don’t want to let anybody down but I also have to do what makes sense to me.”
The chat gave him much love and support, much more so than what Doug was apparently expecting.
Doug used the tournament tickets, starting with the $5 heads-up sit and go and a $7 No limit hold em deep stack with $5000 guarantee.
As the stream continued, Doug’s mood lightened up from what he described as “angry and passive aggressive” to his usual joking self. This was in great part thanks to the chat, they kept joking around with him and goading him to respond. Poker really is at its most fun when it’s a pleasant social experience.
Despite his improving mood, he was not optimistic. After three hours of streaming, the bankroll was at $980. His luck, however, was about to change.
Around this time, he entered a $10 tournament and mentioned that he had $20,000 on Dustin Poirier for that night’s UFC: Calgary. Those two small details paid off a few hours later at the seven-hour mark when… well you can watch for yourself:
Yeap, Doug took down that $10 tournament for $333, adding to the bankroll, and Poirier defeated Eddie Alvarez in the second round. As a bonus, his heads-up opponent’s screen name was “DougPolkSux”. It was a great day on the stream, and a great welcome back to Twitch poker.
He finished one last tournament in 8th place, adding a few dollars more to the bankroll. After seven and a half hours of playing, Doug called it a night. It was a great day for the resurrected challenge, at the end of the stream the bankroll was at $1334.
The next day, Doug opened the stream by hyping the $320 ticket. It’s the highest stakes the challenge has ever seen. Feeling too rich for the $1 tournaments, he registered into $10 tournaments instead, and into a Sunday freeroll, which gave the stream a good start.
Variance is ridiculous in those freerolls, however, and ended up in a $10 knockout tournament after busting out. All of this kept the audience entertained until the $320 started, where he was welcomed by limping opponents and a beautiful flop.
Beautiful, even if he couldn’t get much value out of it, his opponent just checked-fold. They’re just too good at these stakes (not really)! It wasn’t all bad though; he doubled up on a knockout, just a table over.
The action continued until around 2 hours into the stream when he busted out with a flush draw versus Ace-Queen.
Normally that would be the end and a very anticlimactic one at that, but Doug distracted himself speaking to the chat, and clicked the rebuy option by accident.
So that tiny little mistake placed $320 from the bankroll challenge at risk. We were taking a shot (whether or not we wanted to)!
Luckily, he was running great, which the best-case scenario when you misclick for 1/4 of your bankroll. But this is poker, and upswings are not forever.
Seeing that the stakes have never been this high, every hand lost hurt a little more than it usually does. “This is so much of our EV!” Doug would repeat, “the Bankroll Challenge is on the line!” And this time, it actually was.
And that wasn’t just for the audience either, he knew busting out of this tournament would mean a setback. This high stakes player was legitimately sweating these $320.
By the four-hour mark, he was heads-up in the $10 knockout tournament but bleeding chips in the $320. He had 11 knockouts to his name so this would lessen the blow to the bankroll. His heads-up opponent, however, was too tight to make it a pleasant experience.
He eventually took it down, of course. The final knockout plus the first place price meant that the bankroll was at around $1100. Ensuring it would be a profitable weekend if not necessarily a session.
The Bankroll would not fully recover from that $320 misclick, however, as Doug busted out a little over 5 hours into the stream with Ace-King.
Brutal. But at least he final tabled his remaining $5 tournament though!
He finished his last tournament of the night in 4th place. Despite the misclick, the bankroll was down only $110, so not that bad all things considered. The bankroll was at 1223.59.
Latin American Poker and Film blogger. When I’m not playing Stud 8, I’m complaining that not many people play Stud 8.