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$50 Cash Game Challenge

Comments: 4
I've mainly been plaing sit-n-go's (SnGs) and multi-table tournaments (MTTs) but I want to focus more on my cash game play. Having been inspired reading how Chris Ferguson had turned $0 into $10,000 and that Tom Dwan (durrr) started with only a single deposit of $50 and now has won millions in online poker, I thought I would give myself a similar challenge.

My goal is to start out with an initial bankroll of $50 playing no-limit texas hold'em full ring (9 player) cash games and work my way through the limits. I'm hoping that I can move up a limit every 6 months or so.

It's really going to depend on how often I can fit in sessions as I'm playing other games as well for other challenges. A few hours a week shouldn't be to hard though.

Below I'll discuss the bankroll management strategy to help me get through this challenge.

In addition to being a decent poker player another key skill is good bankroll management. All players have losing streaks and it's important to keep enough money in your bankroll to weather the storm. This is where a lot of players fail.

I was sitting at a table earlier with another player that was complaining how online poker is rigged and how everyone always sucks out on him. I took a quick look at his stats and he was actually up hundreds of dollars and in a relatively short period of time had lost it all. He did what a lot of players did. He had a losing streak, went on tilt, then decided to try and win back his losses quickly by playing at a level 10x higher than the games he was used to playing and quickly went broke. From watching his play, he made a number of questionable moves and I wonder how he even had won so much to begin with, but the key to his downfall was chasing his losses and not adhering to good bankroll management practices.

My bankroll strategy is going to be similar to Chris Furgeson's suggestions in his $0-$10,000 challenge but slightly modified. I'm also going to be playing a little bit above my bankroll at first. With $50 I should really be playing the .01/.02 NLHE games but I find I do better at .05/.10 NLHE games so I'm going to start there. If my BR drops below $30 I'll either move down or add another $50. I have that $50 reserve in mind to keep me from playing scared. To start off with I'm also not always playing with a full buy-in.

The following table shows how I plan to move up in limits when my bankroll reaches certain milestones.

LimitWhen BR reaches

I'm keeping records in a spreadsheet and on the right sidebar of this blog will be a chart showing you how my bankroll is moving.

When at a table, if my current stack is close to double my original buy-in I leave when the blinds reach me and play really tight until then. Right now I also leave when the chips in front of me represent 20% or more of my bankroll but as my bankroll increases I'll drop it down to 15% then 10%.

I started this challenge before I created this site and I've had some ups and downs and I'm back down to just over my original starting BR. With the new year I'll be giving more focus to this challenge and hopefully keep progressing.

Some things I've noticed about my cash game play. I play very loose-aggressive (LAG). This would come as a big surprise to people that have seen me play in MTT's and SnGs where I play very tight-aggressive (TAG) and sometimes even bordering on tight-passive in some situations (probably more tight-cautious).

I mix up my game a bit going from LAG to TAG but I've found I do better playing LAG overall. Looking at my stats however I think I do need to tighten up just a little more preflop.

My goal is to try and move up a level every 6 months which would mean a $2,000 bankroll by the end of this year. At some point I may decide to one level is more profitable and just stick with it if I'm not having success moving up the ladder. We'll see how it goes.

If you want to do your own cash game challenge and display a bankroll chart on your blog, check out my Bankroll Management Spreadsheet.

4 Response to "$50 Cash Game Challenge"

MicroRoller Says....


For cash games I'm mainly playing one table at a time. Sometimes two but with this bankroll challenge I don't really have the roll yet to play much more than that comfortably.

The way I play, I really need to pay attention on how everyone on the table is playing.

Christopher Says....

Hello,I found out about your cash game challenge about 2 weeks ago and decided to start one myself with an initial bankroll of 200$.I grinded it out on 5c/10c tables and got it up to 250$,then I found your bankroll management chart and decided a more aggressive bankroll rule(10 buy ins at the stakes I play,plus 4% safety),so I am playing 15c/25c right now at Everest Poker,tracked 8 sessions and got my 250$ up to 372$+.So basically I would like to get some advice on cash game strategy and if this bankroll management is too aggressive.I also would like to post hands for you to see my style a little bit

Anonymous Says....

Hi chrisosag,

I got your email but haven't had a chance to reply to it yet.

If you have a good solid game and a high winrate with low variance you can play with fewer buy-ins to try and move up through the stakes faster.

As you move up you can go back into the bankroll rules and change the number of big blinds per level.

You may just be on a heater so adjust your bankroll requirements if things start to change and you experience greater variance.

As for strategy, that's hard to say. There are a lot of different winning strategies. Play what you feel is best for you and try to find ways to make your strategy stronger. Sorry to be so vague but I think that's the best advice.

There are a lot of good sites with micro limit cash game strategy for full ring and short handed games. Check out the forums on You can post hand histories there when you have questions about a hand.

Personally I don't think analyzing one hand is always useful. Everything that happened in that session up until that hand should influence your decisions and it's hard to convey that information when talking about just one hand.

Your best bet is to review your own sessions and try and find leaks. I'll have a post soon on how I do that for my games.

You can also start your own blog and post your hand histories where you got into tough spots. Contact me with the url and I'll try and stop in from time to time and see if I have anything to contribute on any of your hands.

I'm glad you found my spreadsheet useful. Sounds like you're off to a great start. Keep up the good work!

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