In this post I'll post some hands from the session and compare Negreanu's bankroll management to Chris Ferguson's Challenge as well as some other more conservative bankroll management strategies.
Kind of a cooler but goes to show even the pros can have a hard time playing AQ out of position and get themselves in trouble with top pair/top kicker.
This session didn't go too well. When I caught the action he was already down around $20 but managed to double up with this hand.
Negreanu's small ball approach to poker usually serves him well, especially combined with his table talk playing live, but I'm not very confident that he'll have the same success Chris Ferguson had.
It's not that Negreanu plays worse than Ferguson. They both are so beyond me I couldn't even begin to compare them. The difference comes down to the bankroll management they are employing for their challenges. Ferguson took a more conservative approach.
Others have made the same observations and don't give Negreanu a positive expectation for this challenge. This isn't breaking news but I wanted to weigh in since I'm doing my own bankroll building exercise.
Negreanu started his first level with only 2 buy-ins. Ferguson didn't do much better but when you're starting with so little there's nothing you can do.
Problem is Negreanu's moving up whenever he has 500 BB's for the next level. He moved up to $0.02/$0.05 with only 2.5 buy-ins. Did well and then moved up to $0.05/$0.10 with 5 buy-ins. Then when he had 5 buy-ins for the $0.10/$0.25 games he moved up again. He's updated his challenge rules and will be a little less aggressive at some of the higher limits, which he has yet to reach.
With Negreanu's style I would expect that he has bigger swings in cash games. He appears to be very loose and even really good LAGs should expect higher variance than TAGs. Having 25% of your bankroll on the line probably isn't a good idea, no matter how god-like you play poker.
What Would Jesus Do?Part of Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson's bankroll strategy was to never buy into any cash game for more than 5% of his bankroll once it got to a reasonable level. That would mean having at least 20 buy-ins.
Ferguson would also leave the table when the chips in front of him represented 10% of his total bankroll. Negreanu recently decided to leave a table after he doubles his chip stack.
So following Ferguson's bankroll management strategy, Negreanu should have left the game after winning that big pot, but really never should have been playing that game to begin with.
Maybe playing such low stakes isn't as exciting and he wants to try and move up faster, but I think he's being just a little too aggressive for his style of play. I don't play much on Full Tilt but if the many comments online are to be believed, Negreanu is also up against a tougher field than Ferguson, even at these micro stakes.
He's good enough to do this, but I think he's going to have to avoid getting unlucky, which is not likely. I think he'd have a better shot of succeeding if he moved up when he had at least 15 or 10 buyins.
The following table compares Negreanu's approach vs Ferguson's vs using 15 or 10 buyin's.
|Buy-In||KidPoker||Jesus||15 BIs||10 BIs|
* would be ideal but Ferguson started with nothing.
For normal players you'd want to give yourself more buy-ins when you move up as the competition is tougher. Ferguson's bankroll management practices were pretty tight to begin with and this probably wasn't necessary. Negreanu has decided to implement this approach when he reaches higher limits which might save him if he ever gets there.
I'm taking an even more conservative approach in my Cash Game Challenge because I know I'm nowhere near the level of these two poker greats.
Negreanu is an amazing live tournament player and I believe good in live cash games but that success hasn't translated to online poker. The things that give him an edge in live play just aren't available online and he just hasn't figured out what adjustments he needs to make.
He also seems to underestimate the level of competition at the micro stakes. In his forum he made the following comment.
They aren't sophisticated enough to trap me for maximum value, no matter how they approach the hand.I hope he has changed his opinion since he made that statement considering he was up to almost $250 at one point and he seemed to have trapped himself tonight.
One thing Negreanu has going for him is that players line up to play with him and are eager to get into pots with him. I recognized one of the players on the table today as an ultra nit that hardly played any hands but today, he got involved in a lot of pots that Negreanu was in. One of the other players seated at the table made the same observation.
He doesn't need to worry about good table selection. His presence creates the type of table that most players spend a long time waiting in line for. People were raising and 3 betting a full ring game like it was 6-max and there was almost always a flop. At the $.05/$.10 and above full ring games it's not unusual to go a half orbit without a flop because everyone folds around to the BB or to the one person that raised.
I hope he succeeds but if he does a good portion of his success will be due to luck and not skill. I think it's a real shame because this is a great opportunity for him to really learn to play online poker and become the kind of triple threat (tournament, cash, online) that some other top pros are. Being one of the most recognizable PokerStars Pros it would be cool if he was actually a decent online player as well.
My advice would be to tighten up his bankroll management practices, take advantage of his ability to learn and adapt. He knows a lot of top online pros (through personal relationships and PokerVT) and enough hand histories at these levels to really work on improving his online game.