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Spartan Bankroll Challenge- Memorable Journey

Posted by Martin Gangte on 2015-09-26 at 12:00 AM

I sat back on my chair feeling a bit nauseas, my eyes still glued to the last-hand-replay. To be honest, this wasn’t the first time I had this feeling. The feel of the empty felt in front of you may perhaps be worse than the time your opponent spikes a one outer on you. I looked up at my cashier window which now showed a pitiful single digit confirming the last nail on the coffin. As a seasoned poker player, I have left the habit of being frustrated and accusing the game to be rigged when such situation happens. Rather, you know exactly when everything went downhill.

When this bankroll challenge started, it was extremely exciting for me- the first mistake. I would open 2-3 tables of 6NL and 10NL and literally grinded over hours trying to hit the required number of hands. It wasn’t long when I had completed the target number of hands with a decent profit of over 10K. All was well. With a bankroll of over 35K, and without the worry of completing hands, I felt it was time to go for big win- the second mistake. As I moved up the stakes to the highest limit allowed as per the rules of the challenge, it was a total different ball game. The skill level of players at this stakes was at a much higher level. Most of the players had the ideal playing style, ‘tight and aggressive’. There was less limping and flops were no longer cheap. It was a treat to witness some world class bluffs and world class plays at such a nominal stakes as compared to the poker world. Occasionally, a weak or an inexperienced player would sit on the table, it didn’t take much time for the strong players to figure this out and wipe these ‘weak’ players while the latter would try a highly optimistic bluff or an irrational crying call. Though this may sound cliché, but the well-known poker saying ‘if you can’t figure out who the fish is, probably you are that fish’ can’t be far from the truth. As for me, there were many occasions during my games where I knew I was outmatched by the other players but I wanted to beat the game nevertheless- my third and final mistake. Within 2 days, I busted with no hopes of return.

During this short week, my respect for poker increased and my love for poker double-fold. Poker is such a complicated game; to play it to perfection-one has to be in equilibrium at all times. You get too excited; you make a lot of mistakes with loose calls and bluffs. You get too intimidated; you lose a lot of value and opportunities. It is a game like none other.

Though my journey in this challenge has ended, I had a wonderful experience. I met a lot of good and passionate poker players like myself. To name a few, I’ve played with ‘Jayferro’, ‘Godfather’, ‘Uncle’ and ‘boronyx’. They were really good. They quickly adapted to the game and changed their style when the game would shift from loose to tight. And most importantly, it was nice knowing that all of us were starting with same resources and targets like those reality-cooking shows on TV where only the best would survive while the weaker or less fortunate competitors had to bid their bitter goodbye to the competition.

I wish all the best to the remaining challengers and may the best man or woman wins. We’ve heard a lot of advice from winning poker players so here’s a small advice from the other side, If you feel the players are a lot stronger than you at a table, you don’t have to beat them today:).You have a lot of time to study your game and theirs and come back for the win.
And lastly, Mr. ‘Emperor’ (whoever you are), if you’re reading this, you’re one helluva poker player and I liked the way we discussed and analyse the hands we both played against each other like those Chess players at their post game conferences. If more players could do this, it is so much better than those arguments and accusing the other of being ‘luckier’ which is so common all over the tables around the world.

Perhaps many would disagree with things I wrote in this article, but these are entirely my personal views and my learning from this journey. Peace out!

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Martin Gangte

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