Building A Bankroll From Zero-The Chris Ferguson Challenge

Poker is a great equalizer. Anyone with the skills can be successful, man or woman, young or old, sedentary or athletic.

Some would argue that poker discriminates against those without a lot of money -- that without a big bankroll, you cannot be successful in poker. In 2006, Chris Ferguson set out to disprove this argument, by building up his bankroll from $0 by playing free texas holdem tournaments.

Chris “Jesus” Ferguson

In 2000, Chris Ferguson was the world champion of poker. He is one of the last name pros to win the event and is famous for his mathematical approach to the game. One of the things that he strongly believes is that you do not need a big bankroll to be successful in poker, as long as you are skilled, patient and disciplined.

The Chris Ferguson Challenge

In 2006, as a promotion with the site Full Tilt Poker, Chris Ferguson set out to prove his point. Starting with nothing, Ferguson played in freerolls until he could earn enough money to play in real money games.

He then played at micro stakes until he had a large enough bankroll to weather the variance of bigger games. If he went broke, he started over. Using this method, he amassed over $10,000 starting from nothing in sixteen months.

How Chris Did It

Ferguson gave himself very strict rules in order to succeed in this challenge. He made sure to only risk a small percentage of his bankroll for each cash game or tournament he played, no matter where his bankroll was. He would always quit a no limit or pot limit cash game if ten percent of his bankroll was on the table.

Can Anyone Succeed in this Challenge?

If you have the skills, you should be able to succeed in this challenge. However, you must also have the time.

It took Ferguson 16 months of play, playing for hours at time, to reach $10,000. This comes to $625 a month, which included seven months playing with a bankroll of less than $10.

Very few full time jobs pay less than $625 a month. It would be difficult to play the amount needed and still hold down a full time job.

Is it possible? Yes. Should you quit your job to try it? No.

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