That's $16 in Honduran Lempiras on the table

Righting Wrongs and Battling Back – Bankroll Challenge Day 6

Day 5 of Doug Polk’s 10k Bankroll challenge saw Doug multi-tabling freerolls and NL2 tables, eventually reaching a challenge peak of $129.

One of those freerolls was the WSOP.com Upswing Poker $500 freeroll, which Doug min cashed for $5. First place was taken by DakotaCohoon, who won $135 and a free Upswing Poker Lab. These freerolls will be happening throughout the challenge on WSOP.com, so keep an ear out for the password!

Righting some wrongs

Day 6 started with a couple announcements. It turns out that after yesterday’s story, the chat banded together and tweeted @TexDolly, Doyle Brunson’s Twitter account, and got him to ‘unblock’ Doug Polk on Twitter. 

Neither Doyle or Doug could remember the reason the block occured. Probably a mistake.

Establishing New Bankroll Rules

Doug thanked his audience and continued with the second announcement. After yesterday’s bankroll peak of $129, Doug has enough padding to move up to $0.02/$0.04! Hopefully it goes a bit better than last time.

He started the day with two NL2 tables and one NL4 table.

doug polk bankroll challenge

Starting up the session

By the end of the first hour Doug was four tabling again, playing a $1 tournament, two NL2 tables and one aggressive NL4 Table. Doug was on the wrong side of his first relatively large pot of the night, watching $9.54 drag over to a loose aggressive player with the handle AndrewC.

Twitter Strategy Q&A

As always, Doug Polk took some time out of the Twitch stream to answer some of your questions on Twitter. Here are some of the highlights:


Summary of Doug’s answer: The first thing to do is to differentiate between the regular and recreational players. It’s helpful even if you have nothing else on them. Even if they are bad regs, it’s always better to have more recreational on the table than regs. Tagging them as such is a good way to know who is likely to be strong and who is likely to be weak. It’s also very important for table selection, as it allows you to choose the table with 5 recreational players instead of the one with 5 regs.

As far as taking down notes on specific hands, normally in the low stakes it’s not that important, especially on the sites with large player pools. There are so many people playing that it’s unlikely that noting how they behaved in certain hands will come back to help you.

At higher stakes, where the play pool is much smaller, however, it’s important to get notes on how the regulars play certain hands. It’s much more helpful there than in lower stakes.

upswing lab


Summary of Doug’s Answer: In these situations, players tend to over adjust. You want to make only a few small adjustments. First of all, you need to bluff less, you need to play tight preflop and set up larger sizes. When people hear larger size they think that means ‘‘only value’’ but that just isn’t the case.

If you are playing against call station then mainly don’t bluff, but try to work in a couple to get one through them. Just to keep him on the game and so that he would continue to call your value bets. If you never bluff, then you are at a disadvantage because you can only win when you have it.

You need to adjust by playing a little tighter preflop, bet larger and not bluff as much but don’t over-adjust and go to an extreme either.


Summary of Doug’s Answer: Normally it’s ok to play cash games with only a 30 buy-in bankroll if you think you have a good edge. But in general, if you are moving up in stakes, 40 to 50 buy ins is much more advisable. This is especially if you play for a living. This way you have some time to adjust to the new games and if it goes really bad then you can move back down.

For $5/$10 specifically, 100k is a huge bankroll and 50k is obviously a fifty buy in bankroll. With $50k, buy in for about $1k to $1.5k. Why? Because people play with far deeper stacks and a lot of the times pots can get pretty big. So $1k buy in is good, as you move up to 100k you can play around with $1.5k or 1.75k up to a 2k.

It’s a good spot to be conservative so not to put yourself in tough bankroll spots.

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.

Breaking the Rules (and Paying for it)

During the action, Doug wondered out loud about the names for different hands. Someone in the chat told him that sevens are referred to as ‘walking sticks’, something that he still can’t believe.

Katie, Doug’s girlfriend who pops in and out of the stream, suggested ‘axes’ instead. Poker tradition aside, ‘axes’ seems like a much better name?

pocket sevens bankroll challenge

After two hours of playing the same four tables, a $3 tournament caught Doug’s eye.

He had 42 buy ins for this tournament. Not totally advisable, but not completely irresponsible bankroll management either.

‘‘Here is the question’’, he told the stream, ‘‘is it better to play something you are not completely rolled up for but you know you have a big edge in or something you are completely rolled up for but you don’t have as big of an edge?’’

After thinking out loud for about five minutes, he talked himself into registering and changed the name of the Twitch stream to ‘’Taking a huge shot!’’.

He also decided to play a $1 tournament and a $100 freeroll instead of the two NL2 cash games he had been playing. After debating it with the stream, he decided not to try and sell some action.

Three and a half hours into the stream, the bankroll was now down to $117. It has certainly seen worse days, but it’s not going in the direction Doug hoped.

tournament break bankroll challenge

Two hours later, Doug busted the $3 out of the money, but took the chip lead into the final table of two small $1 tournaments. He would need a strong finish in these tournaments or a good showing in cash games to do anything more than break even on the day.

The Painful Grind Back to Profit

Half an hour later, he had entered heads up in one of the $1 tournaments for $16.

That's $16 in Honduran Lempiras on the table

For the final hand of the $1 tournament, Doug shipped all-in with QQ into his opponent’s AJs. An ace fell on the flop and Doug took second.

An hour before the end of the stream, the bankroll was almost even for the day with a $126. Doug decided to finish up the stream with an hour of NL4 tables, being done with tournaments for the day.

Little by little, Doug managed to work the bankroll up to $136 for a total profit of $7 on the day.

bankroll challenge day 6 graph

Get updates all challenge long here!

(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!)new lab banner

Latin American Poker and Film blogger. When I'm not playing Stud 8, I'm complaining that not many people play Stud 8.

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