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Rags to Riches, starting a bankroll from scratch!

Landlord79 I don’t know how much longer is going to run their $2/cardroom review bonus, but I posted several reviews and got them to send $12 to my Full Tilt Poker account.

That account was empty for over a year and just by coincidence Full Tilt sent me a $50 bonus offer around the same time. Well, without any money in my account, earning that bonus would be impossible.


I have set myself a goal. I want to turn this $12 of gift from and $50 of possible bonus money from Full Tilt into a working bankroll. Making it to $100 is my immediate goal, then, we’ll figure it out from there, as I will have many more options. I also promised that I would keep them posted on their investment as a way to give back to their awesome site.

I sought some advice from the 2+2 forum on what my best course of action would be and it was unanimous that playing the micro-SNGs was the safest way to build a bankroll with the least amount of variance.

On April the 19th, my regular home game was cancelled and I signed onto Full Tilt to start this journey.

My cards ran very, very goot. I won some spots I shouldn't have and places that I should have won actually held up. When I lost, I had the chips to sustain through it. There is very little real poker played here, mostly, I am just playing my cards and pushing with any 2 decent cards when I get to 10 big blinds or less. These players are so easily trapped that it is ridiculous. Check-raising doesn’t get much accomplished as they are so loose-passive at this level, but suckers-must-call bets are the genuine article.

My first night of roll building was in the books:

1 @ $1.25 Turbo SNG -$1.25
9 @ $2.25 Turbo SNG +$21.15

Net +$19.90 for the night 92.55% ROI

Once again, special thanks to, your money has made a good start.

Day 2 will either be tonight or during the day tomorrow, I’ll post as soon as I can.


Anonymous says

This is a great little exercise. I really look forward to reading your blogs and finding out how it goes. Chris Ferguson did a similar thing. He started with very little money and his goal was to run it up to $20k. He had very specific parameters in terms of what kinds of buy games he could and could not play. I believe he never bought into a game that was more than 1/10th or so of his bankroll. Anyway, very cool. Keep us posted.


Landlord79 says

I downloaded Gametime+ and took a night to acclaimate myself to it. I played a full ring cash game at $10/NL then added a table once I got used to reading the numbers. I don't see how I could play poker without this!! Before it was like I was just guessing!!

Anyway, as for the bankroll building process, I didn't get a lot accomplished last night other than earning some of my bonus money from FT, but remember that I was experimenting w/ the new software.

I made $6.15 over 3.5 hours of play.
If I would have laid down my flush when the board paired this one time, I would have had a much better session.

Some stats from PT:
328 total hands
9.37 BB/100 Hands
VP$P 25.30%
W$SD% 61.11%
PFR% 10.06%
Flop AF 4.43
Turn AF 10.00
River AF 3.00
Total AF 5.4

Can anyone give me an opinion on what these stats say to you, and how you would adjust your play to a player with similar stats?


Landlord79 says

I played again for almost 3 hours this morning. Posted a $2.70 gain 3 tabling the $10/NL games and got my first $5 of bonus moved to my account from FT. I was up much more than that earlier then made a bad play, got AA beaten by K-10 and made some bad bluffs. I was down $10 or so then caught some hands just before I was getting off to put me into the positive. Bankroll stands at $45.75.


Landlord79 says

I got to play for about 40 min Sat night before my wife got to me. She doesn't understand this whole bankroll building process. Anyway, I netted $15.60 from $10/NL and got another $5 of bonus from FTP. Total roll is up to $61.35. That's 10.98 BB/100 Hands for $10/NL, The LUCK BOX is on, see below:

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (9 handed)

BB ($12)
UTG ($4.90)
UTG+1 ($15.25)
Hero ($10.40)
MP2 ($3.30)
MP3 ($25.25)
CO ($8)
Button ($9.60)
SB ($3.50)

Preflop: Hero is MP1 with Qh, Qs.
UTG calls $0.10, 1 fold, Hero raises to $0.55, 5 folds, BB calls $0.45, UTG folds.

Flop: ($1.25) 6d, 3h, 7c (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $1, BB calls $1.

Turn: ($3.25) 8s (2 players)
BB bets $2.1, Hero calls $2.10.

River: ($7.45) Qc (2 players)
BB bets $4.4, Hero calls $4.40.

Final Pot: $16.25

Villain shows KK for one pair

Does this delayed ck-raise on the turn scare anyone and is it a folding situation? Am I just a nit for not raising the river?


Landlord79 says

I played a total of about 1 hour at $10/NL (2 tabling) and was down ($2.30). My only real lose was my K-10 vs the SB's AA. He reraised me pf and I though he was toting an underpair on the flop so I raised his lead bet with my top pair. Waa-waa! Bad news was, I played the hand like an absolute donk and didn't hit the miracle suckout on the end!!! In my defense, I did do the raising when I lost vs calling all my chips in w/ a loser.

Roll stands at $59.05. Still not that bad considered time played since I started on Thursday night.


Landlord79 says

I played for an hour and a half tonight and lost $1.85. There were no big hands to speak of, I was rather card dry. I was doing pretty well stealing blinds and the such until a LAG repopped me pf. The table started calling me and reraising me more after that so I had to change gears.

My stats over 1212 hands are 24.26/9.74/4.41 which I feel is pretty aggro.


I played a 2nd session after the wife went to bed. I lost $10.70 in 170 min. Lost w/ AQs vs 33 all in pf vs a short-stack, then lost w/ top and bottom pair vs top 2. I did get $5 of my FTP bonus out.

Updated stats over 1512 hands are 24.4/9.92/4.19, things just went bad on this session. I'm at 1.52 BB/100 Hand.


Landlord79 says

Tonight, I had a good session going and wasn't going to be online too much longer, then tragedy struck.

I had gotten lucky when JJ>KK and K-10>A-7 on an A,10,x flop. He should learn to bet more to protect his hand. I also made a good call w/ 3-3 unimproved on the river. I induced the guy to bluff on the river with his over-cards and he did to give me a small win. I ran 20.7/9.5/3.8 which looks to be a little tighter than last time. I also quit stealing blinds from the button and the cut-off unless I have a very tight player in them, this cut down on a lot of leaking chips.

My biggest losing hands after 1900 hands are KQs, AQo, 22 and AJo in that order. Most of the losses for these hands are tied up into one big loss, but they are the big losers right now. All of my low pocket pairs except 3s are in the negative at this point, I think that I am set mining too much and not hitting any sets. I did lay down 66 tonight out of MP1 because the pfr was on my immediate right and I read in TOP that this position situation cuts down on your implied odds, so I elected to lay it down since low PPs are dependent on implied odds.

If someone could help me out with BVB situations, I really think this is where I might have some leaks. The big loss w/ AQo mentioned above came when I raised the limpers out of the SB w/ AQo and got reraised by the BB. The guy wsan't too tight so I repopped him and he pushed it all in. I was pot committed to his short stack and called. He turned over the AA.

Back to the bankroll building, I was up about $12 then this hand showed up:
I have 50 hands on villain at 17.6/3.92/4

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (8 handed) Hand History Converter Tool from (Format: 2+2 Forums)

Button ($4.40)
SB ($11.90)
Hero ($15.15)
UTG ($10)
UTG+1 ($1.75)
MP1 ($3.95)
MP2 ($4.70)
CO ($14.25)

Preflop: Hero is BB with K, A.
UTG checks, UTG+1 calls $0.10, 1 fold, MP2 calls $0.10, CO raises to $0.3, 1 fold, SB calls $0.25, Hero raises to $1.6, UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, MP2 folds, CO folds, SB calls $1.20.

Flop: ($3.70) 3, A, 6 (2 players) 2 hearts on the flop
SB checks, Hero bets $2.5, SB raises to $5, Hero calls $2.50.

Turn: ($13.70) 5 (2 players)
SB bets $5.4 (All-In), Hero calls $5.40.

River: ($24.50) 2 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: $24.50
Villain shows 66 for a set of 6s

The guy min ck/raises me on the flop. I don't see me getting away from this very often because of the flop reraise, but I guess that I should have.

I got $5 more out of my FTP bonus account and hung onto a $0.90 gain despite this hand. The role is holding at $57.40. Any opinions are welcome.


Mr_Taterhead says

Enjoy your blog, keep it up!!!



EdmondDantes says

LL79! I'm liking the blog and want to chime in.

First, on the hand above where you hit the set of Qs, I'd be leery of raising that river, too. He limp/called pre-flop, flat called the flop but apparently LOVED the turn. That looked like a set or straight to me. I'd have just called the river but made a note on the villain on the behavior/betting pattern. That's a fairly trappy (and risky!) play in low stakes NL for villain.

Second, on the PT stats. It's a little hard to tell until you get 50,000+ hands in the database, and my comments would vary depending on whether you're playing mostly sit-n-gos or ring and whether or not that ring play is full-handed or 6-max. On the face of it, your turn aggression looks a bit high. By firing the second bullet on the turn, you're def putting your opponents to the test, but you're also building bigs pots if you're wrong. Post your most recent stats and the game you're playing and I'll give you more sage advice!

Third, the problem hands. AJ, AT, KQ, KJ, KT, Ax...ugh. I find I have to be REALLY careful with them because they can get stupid expensive. I'll regularly fold the off-suit ones to an EP or MP raise, definitely drop them out of position and, if I am in a hand with them, play them very carefully. If you're going to play one to a raise, remind yourself OUT LOUD not to commit much to the hand unless you hit it hard (two pair or better), but remember, your odds of flopping two pair or trips are pretty long (50 to 1 and 70 to 1, roughly). And the pushing AQo to a re-raise from the blinds is a move you need to avoid. Very few guys will play back hard out of the blinds unless you've been beating on them. That re-raise from a weak position usually means something. At best with AQo you're a coin flip there; at worst, as you found out, you're buried. Just call, see the flop and evaluate.

As for the small pairs, these are real money makers when played to a raise, but you have to always ask yourself "Can I make 7x my money here?" which is a function of 1) the stack sizes of the players in the pot and 2) their willingness to stack off with things like top pairs and over pairs. Like every other hand, these are position dependent--I'd rather be calling on the button with 66 than limp/calling with it utg.

Last thing. In the AK hand, what were the turn and river cards? It didn't really matter since you were getting it in regardless but still. As for the play, it's tough at that level--that could easily be AJ-AQ, but let's look at it closer.

CO raises (could be anything) and SB calls...hmmm. Not JJ+ or AK. Probably a weak A, small pair or some sort of connector. That said, people WAY overplay/overdefend their blinds, could be something random like K9o.

You repop 5x. The CO says "See ya!" but the SB calls again. At this point, I'd be REALLY wary of his holding.

Flop comes A high two hearts, you bet out and the SB min-raises you. Alarm bells should be going off now. I guess he could have AJ-AQ and be trying to figure out where he is, but with that PF action and flop min-raise, I'd be thinking set or two pair. As it was, given the stack sizes, I'd have stacked off, too, but you should def make a note how he played the hand. One thing I've found, though. Folding to re-raises is rarely a horrible play. Think about it, re-raising is hard unless you've got a powerful hand; how many guys at that level just repop to put you to the test? A lot fewer than are comfortable re-raising with the nuts, that's for sure.

Anyway, just some thoughts.

Keep digging,



Landlord79 says

Thanks Billy and especially Edmond for your review of my play and posts so far.

Mostly, I'm not 2 barrelling most hands unless I have a good piece of it. I actually thought that I was a little tight in this area. I have started working checking behind into my plays and it has worked rather well. I will focus on the turn more and see what I can develope, but thanks for bringing it to the front so that I can focus on it.

With small pairs I try to not put 10% of my chips in or more when calling a pfr. I also check the stack size of the raiser and any callers to be sure that their stacks are comparable. The presence of many callers also creates a better opportunity for them in my mind. The position of the pfr also factors into my decision as I stated about about laying down the 6s pf because the raiser was on my immediate right. I think I have just been running dry after those first sessions. Maybe I can hit a few sets and turn things around.

I really didn't give that guy much credit with that min ck-raise, it's such a donkey move, but I did catch myself doing it when I flopped the joint after repopping a guy who was blind stealing from the cut-off. I repopped w/ 9-7o and the flop fell 5,6,8 rainbow and I stacked the guy when he got aggressive with his set of 6s. (This isn't standard play, just some mixing it up.) He hazed me pretty bad, but I knew the risk I was taking before hand.

Back to the AK hand, I actually got caught playing just my cards and not paying attention to his stack size. I have notice when I get into a fast-paced, quick-decision mode, I start to make a lot of mistakes.


Landlord79 says

The stats posted are all Ring game at $10/NL. Mostly the tables stay pretty full.


Anonymous says

Landlord79, great posts and I'm enjoying reading your progress. However, one section... each time you want to post new session info you really should create a new blog entry. People look at the blog page and see new entries are able to read and comment on them. On the other hand, when you post a comment to your initial blog entry it is very hard to find it unless you had previous posted a comment and decide to go back and look. This is a blog, not a forum, so while the comments are a great way for people to ask questions and give feedback, any new entry should be its own blog. Make sense?

Two hands to comment on: Don't like how you played the AQo. Once the BB reraised you I would consider folding unless you've seen him make moves, or just call and see what happens. On the AK hand, at these stakes you need to play it the way you did.


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