Saturday, September 8, 2007

Bankroll management

Since the topic of bankroll management came up last night I thought I post about Full Tilt's Chris Ferguson Challenge. Jesus started an account with zip, zilch, nada. He then played in freerolls so he didn't have to post any money and placed high enough and often enough to build up a real money bankroll that he could play either tourneys or cash games with. He had passed the $10,000 (in real money!) barrier a while ago though he has dipped below that for now.

Of course he has skill and experience but he also credits his bankroll management as a reason he was able to generate so much money from nothing. His rules were as follows:
  • He never buys into a cash game or a Sit & Go with more than 5 percent of his total bankroll (there is an exception for the lowest limits: he is allowed to buy into any game with a buy-in of $2.50 or less).
  • He doesn’t buy into a multi-table tournament for more than 2 percent of his total bankroll, but he’s allowed to buy into any multi-table tournament that costs $1.
  • If at any time during a No-Limit or Pot-Limit cash-game session the money on the table represents more than 10 percent of his total bankroll, he must leave the game when the blinds reach him.
In his blog post about the challenge he remarks:

"Even today, people don't believe it's really me when I sit down at Full Tilt's small stakes games. They ask what I'm doing down here, and often tell me stories about how they turned $5 into $500 or $100 into $1,000. Usually, these stories end with the person telling me that they went broke. There's no surprise there. These folks tried to quickly build a bankroll by gambling. They'd play in a game that was beyond their bankroll and, if they happened to win, they'd move up to a higher limit and risk it all one more time. Inevitably, they'd lose a few big hands and go broke."

I think this is a brilliant campaign by Full Tilt and I applaud Jesus for having the patience and discipline to execute the challenge. Looks like he started in about Mach 2006 and you've got to figure over that year+ that he must have had so many times when he was down at micro-limits and shaking his head in disgust at the screen as he watched severe d0nkage. His perseverance is remarkable especially in light of the fact that he could probably whip out 10K in cash as easily as we could pull $100 out of our wallets. Congrats to Chris on his accomplishment and take from it what you will about bankroll management.


Ryan said...

Wow, what an awesome challenge for a pro to undertake. I wonder if he's going to write a book on it, or in some way leverage the experience into a more profitable endeavor.

Maybe I'll have to start playing online again with a $50 bankroll and his rules...

Sushi Cowboy said...

I read some more and uncovered a couple more nuggets of information.

* He had previously done something similar by turning a buck into 20k.

* He is donating all of his winnings from the challenge to charity.

I think it this exercise might be a way for Jesus to stay challenged. Even though Chris could probably find ten grand stuck between his sofa cushions, the scenario of having your back against the wall by not being able to reach back into your wallet (and having it blogged publicly) forces one to manage your roll correctly or else have to painfully start from scratch again.

Actually that would be an interesting challenge for all of us. If we each open a new account on Full Tilt (or whatever site) and see who could amass the biggest bankroll over a given period. I'd be interested...if only I had the time.

Marshall said...

Thats a damn good idea. We should all take a smallish buy in and see what we could make. I would put money on me being the first to bust. It would be good to see how different people's approaches to bankroll management panned out.

Who is interested?

Sushi Cowboy said...

I'm interested but only in a zero dollars in arrangement. I don't want to deal with the issue of putting money into an account.