28 Oct 12
Top Ten Poker Challenges Part 2
We return with our countdown of some of the most infamous poker challenges in the modern era.
5. Boku87 turns $5 into $100,000
The low stakes Sit & Go player had already previously completed a challenge to turn $100 into $10,000 in 15 days, but in 2010 he excelled himself.
Starting in July 2009, he embarked on a challenge to turn $5 on PokerStars into $100,000 in just 12 months. His first attempt saw him bust his $5 bankroll, but the second attempt saw him get there with two months to spare.
He started by grinding $0.02/$0.04 Fixed-Limit and $0.10 Sit & Go tournaments. In the end, 50% of his profit came from the table and the other 50% came from Frequent Player Points, milestone bonuses and promotions like Battle of the Planets.
4. Chiren80 plays 1 million hands in a month
In 2011, however, he became immortalised in online poker history by challenging himself to play 1 million hands in one month, and being at least breakeven by the end of it.
That's exactly what he did. After 31 days and 422 hours of play, Chiren80 had reached 1,000,175 hands played and a profit of $2,186.52. Not a bad return for a $0.01/$0.02 player (but not such a great $5.18 per hour).
3. The Jesus Challenge
Ferguson famously started with $0 on Full Tilt Poker and successfully spun it up to $10,000 after starting at freerolls.
The key to the challenge, Ferguson stated, was exercising good bankroll management throughout and being able to drop back down as well as up in stakes. Many people took on the challenge themselves following his example, following the same system he used.
This consisted of never sitting down with more than 5% of your bankroll (or between 0.5% and 2% for tournaments), and leaving the cash tables once your winnings made up 10% of your current bankroll.
2. The bracelet bet
With the influx of $1,000 and $1,500 events at the World Series of Poker, a lot of the nosebleed stars grew bored of playing in the WSOP.
That was until the bracelet bets reignited their interest in the series. Most of the top high stakes stars have ongoing bracelet bets, including Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey.
In almost all these instances, the money won for the bet would represent a much bigger prize than the first place prize money for most smaller bracelet events.
Phil Ivey famously booked seven-figure bets with players like Howard Lederer and in 2010, Tom Dwan narrowly missed out on breaking Las Vegas and having what would have been his "biggest winning day ever" when he came second in a WSOP event.
1. The durrrr challengeSpeaking of Tom Dwan, he is also well known for having one of the most famous, long-running challenges in all of poker.
In 2009, Dwan issued a challenge to "anyone but Phil Galfond" that he could beat them over 50,000 hands at heads-up No-Limit and/or Omaha at stakes of $200/$400 or higher. He even gave them great odds; if he won he got $500,000, if they won he gave them $1,500,000.
This caused a buzz in the poker community with speculation over who would face Dwan first. Eventually, the first challenger was unveiled as Patrik Antonius and Daniel 'Junglemandan' Cates emerged as the second challenger.
Unfortunately, the challenges were not as exciting to watch as most had hoped. One big reason was Black Friday putting them both on hold, and we still haven't seen the full 50,000 hands played out on either challenge.
To date, 19,335 hands have been played against Cates, with Dwan down $1,251,059; 39,436 hands have been played with Antonius, this time with Dwan up $2,059,719.50.
By Barry Carter l Barry Carter on Twitter
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