Doug Polk is back in the news once again, this time for completing his $100 to $10,000 bankroll challenge. The YouTube superstar turned the summer doldrums of poker and cryptocurrency into a daily stream on WSOP.com. Starting at the microstakes of ¢5/¢10 and $1 sit-n-gos, Polk completed his goal Wednesday night at $500NL following two years spent on the challenge across 58 playing days.
Polk decided on this challenge based on the results of a Twitter poll. In his introduction video to the challenge, Polk notes other famous bankroll journies from Joe Ingram and Jason Somerville. Polk also recalls his pre-Black Friday ambition of winning 400 buy-ins in a month play $25NL on PokerStars.
“This journey could happen to them,” Polk said as to why his followers are drawn to the starting price point.
The challenge also gave Polk a spotlight to put on his Twitch channel which he was building an audience for at the time.
Start of the journey
Polk started the task in the summer of 2016. Life took a few turns for him during that time.
On August 7, 2016, Polk logged on to WSOP.com under the username ‘MicroStakes‘ and started the climb from two zeroes to five.
Every session was streamed on Polk’s Twitch channel and lasted from an hour up to 12. Polk focused on low buy-in tournament and freerolls but also dabbled in cash games that stayed within the bankroll requirements.
By the end of August, Polk’s number crept up to $137 and he took a planned hiatus until November to resume.
The challenge continued intermittently up until April 2017. Polk’s bankroll grew to $1,657 by the time he signed off for the World Series of Poker.
A $3.6 million bracelet win and crypto explosion later, Polk’s time available to devote to the bankroll challenge became limited. Polk decided to eschew $100NL in favor of starting a YouTube channel focused on cryptocurrency. The new channel ran parallel to Polk’s poker-related hub and in the middle of becoming poker’s biggest modern media star, the bankroll challenge fell by the wayside.
Polk returned for six days in November to continue his Sisyphusian task. Nearly $300 in the red later, Polk waved the white flag up until May 2018. Polk played one session on May 4 and booked another small loss.
He then focused his energy on revealing billboards at the Rio and playing the occasional live tournament during the summer.
Back with vengeance
The seasonal doldrums and stagnancy of crypto charts led Polk to make his return to the online streets on July 28. Forty-four days in, Polk came back with the intention of running up the stale roll and completing his challenge before other obligations took over his life.
Between July 28 and Aug. 14, Polk missed only five days of streaming. He grew his bankroll to $3,320 and raised the stakes he played up to $100NL. A 10-hour session on August 14 in $100NL boosted his bankroll by over $1,000 and earned him a needed week off.
Polk looked to be on the verge of a major setback on July 29 (Day #45). A $320 tournament ticket into the Sunday Major busted and Polk misclicked his way into rebuying for $320 out of the bankroll. The $320 represented 25 percent of his bankroll at the time but he battled back through runs in smaller tournaments to escape the potential hole.
August 21 resulted in a $2 loss over an 11-hour grind and there were no signals to immediately indicate Polk would finish his challenge before Labor Day. Then August 22 happened.
Polk put together a spectacular run playing $200NL and then made the leap to $500NL. In the span of 11 hours, Polk made his way over $10,000 mark and officially completed the challenge. The total number of days Polk spent playing numbered at 58 with the hours in the multiple hundreds.
The $10,000 earned is a far cry from Polk’s hourly in his other business ventures but the entertainment provided along the way certifies his legend among the best in poker’s streaming echelon.