Friday, January 19, 2007


As you may or may not be aware, there are some sites out there who withdraw $5 dollars from your account if you fail to log-in over a certain period of time. Whilst this shocking and inexplicable action would be enough to put you off online poker for life, there are some sites out there who feel a more ‘customer friendly’ approach is required.

Well, one of those sites is Ladbrokes and back in November, I received an email from their customer service informing me that $10 had been deposited into my account as a token of gesture and a potential way of drawing me back.

Delighted that not all cardrooms could be pooled into the same depressing category, I decided to take them up on their friendly offer and have a bit of fun with a $10 Sit and Go.

Unfortunately, on arriving at the table, I realised that their $10 didn’t quite stretch that far due to the $1 registration fee. So, stubbornly refusing to deposit the extra $10 (which I assume is how they reel you back in), I quietly made my way over to the $5 tables, eager to see if I could spin my 5 bucks up to an unprecedented $25.

Incredibly, 20 minutes later, I found myself the lone participant at the table and $25 the richer, making a total profit of $19.50. “Hmm,” I thought, “I wonder if I can spin it up even further?”

Next comp I finished 2nd for another $15, leaving $29 in my account. Enjoying myself and profiting at the same time, I played even more, and by the 10th STT, I’d won four (3 in a row at one point), come 2nd in two and hit 3rd in one for a combined profit of $85.

At this point, my venture onto the Ladbrokes micro stakes became a challenge, the $5 Challenge, and several questions starting running through my head. Can I make a nice profit out of STT’s? How many can I play before I go mad? How many can I play simultaneously? Can I create a bankroll from $5? Can one even make a living from just $5 STT’s? Well, I wasn’t sure, but I thought it’d be fun trying to find out.

I don’t have too much time on my hands due to working, updating and playing cash (which remains my main source of income), but whenever I can, I find a spare hour or two to bash out a few STT’s. As a result, I have completed 88 STT’s and won $171. Here are my results:

1st = 16
2nd = 11
3rd = 9
Top 3 finishes = 36
4th = 19
5th = 12
6th = 8
7th = 7
8th = 4
9th = 1
10th = 1

I’ve had to endure a lot of 4th placings, but that’s an unavoidable consequence of my style which involves waiting for my opponents to knock themselves out, before going on an all-out attack. As a result, I have more firsts than seconds and thirds, and very few 6th to 8th place finishes.

Whilst I confess to becoming exceedingly frustrated when I hit the bubble, I believe that the whole process is doing wonders for my discipline, which I can then carry over to the ring games. Although it’s only $5, the fact that I am treating it as a challenge makes me ultra-determined to win and admittedly furious inside when some muppet calls my all-in with his K-J or Pocket Deuces (which occurs more than you might think). However, I have grit my teeth and not bitten back once when before I may have been unable to fight my insatiable urge to comment in a slightly derogatory fashion.

The actual challenge is this. – Turn my $5 into a four figure sum by only playing $5 STT’s with a bankroll of $250 and under, $10 STT’s with $250-$500, $20 with $500-$750, and $30 with $750-$1,000.

At the moment, my playing strategy seems to be working as I edge closer and closer to that $250 mark. Although I started off just playing one at a time, I am now multitabling four STT's at once and achieving a result of some sort in one of them virtually every time. Whilst my strategy seems to be working thus far, I fear that once the stakes rise, the competition will not just strengthen, but force me to play with a little more flair and creativity.

I don’t wish to steal thetank’s thunder with his 4,000 STT’s. I don’t think I could ever exceed the popularity of that task, but I thought it would be interesting to share my little challenge with you guys. They might only be $5 STT’s, but it’s the challenge that is spurring me on and I am taking it surprisingly seriously.

Unlike thetank, I will only update my blog with my progress a few times, basically when (hopefully) I reach my respective targets. At the moment, everything is going swimmingly, but for some reason, I sense stormy weathers ahead and a real dry run that has been threatening to attack since I commenced. Therefore, I fear this may take a lot longer than I initially thought, but that is the nature of STT’s - according to many, they have the highest variance of any poker form.

Either way, I’m going to give it a crack and keep plugging away. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to succeed in this mini challenge by spinning it up to a grand, and even though they’re Ladbrokes’ smallest games, I’d be pretty chuffed if I succeeded.


At 4:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried this a couple of times and always moved up levels too quick or went and donked a load off on a cash game. Deffo discipline needed - good luck.

Oh, and I WILL get you a bottle of wine!

At 8:32 AM, Blogger snoopy1239 said...

I'm easy to please, pint of bitter will do me...

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At 12:05 PM, Blogger Alex Ward said...

guess its a good plan from a bankroll management point of view but wouldn't you rather spend the time you have playing poker making some real money and playing higher stakes?

the way i see it if i was to do it i would just be missing out, why not do the 'how large you can get your bankroll' challenge that myself and every other poker player is doing? :D

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Alex Ward said...

ohh yer and if you lose you always have the $5 challenge to fall back on hahaha

At 6:29 PM, Blogger snoopy1239 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger snoopy1239 said...

That's true, Alex, but I am doing it for a combination of discipline enhancement and pure enjoyment.

Sometimes I need a break from the higher stakes and stress that comes with cash games and playing these STTs offers something slightly different for me to do.


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