Over the years, a lot of players have set off to accomplish various poker challenges. Many of them failed all together, some succeeded. However, some of those who succeeded will always stand out and be remembered in the poker world due to the difficulty of the challenges they set for themselves. With that in mind, here are the Top 10 Greatest Completed Poker Challenges.
10. The Jesus Challenge: $0 to $10,000
Before Black Friday left his reputation in shatters along with the rest of the original Full Tilt crew, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was still thought of as a great poker player and in 2006, he proved it with a challenge that inspired a lot of poker players.
The goal was to reach a $10,000 bankroll starting from $0, which meant that Ferguson would have to grind freerolls at first. Investing 10 hours of play a week, Ferguson completed the challenge in 18 months. The hardest part, of course, was building at least some kind of a bankroll to be able to get away from freerolls and it took him nearly 9 months to make just $100.
9. Bok87: $100 to $10,000 in 15 Days
Thomas Boekhoff, better known as “Boku87” online, was one of the first grinders to make a name for himself thanks to his unbelievable challenges. His first major challenge sounded so preposterous that he managed to collect nearly $35,000 in wagers against him successfully completing it.
The challenge was to turn a $100 bankroll into $10,000 in just 15 days playing only sit & go’s with a maximum buy–in of $16. People who put up money against Boku87 started feeling nervous just days after the challenge began when Boku87 steamrolled his way through the games, quickly reaching a bankroll that allowed him to play $16 sit & go’s. Eventually, the challenge was completed in just 14 days.
8. Boku87: $5 into $100,000 in a Year
After completing his 15-day challenge, Boku87 had something even more impressive in store. In June of 2009, Boku87 set another challenge for himself, though this time people were less eager to wager against him, even though the challenge seemed far more difficult than the last one.
Boku87 was going to turn $5 into $100,000 in one year. To be fair, he did have to try it more than once, since his first attempt failed after he busted his initial $5 bankroll. However, his second try was successful and by March of 2010, after playing more than 45,000 sit & go’s, Boku87 had just over $100,000 in his account.
7. Allan Sheik: 75,000 Sit & Go’s in 30 days
Some professional online sit & go players may reach this amount of volume in a year, but in 2010, Brazilian pro, Allan Mello, challenged himself to play 75,000 hyper–turbo sit & go’s in one month while making a profit.
This would be a monumental challenge for anyone and most people believed that he would not be able to pull it off, especially considering that he had no previous record as a well–known volume grinder. To everyone’s surprise, Allan completed the challenge in exactly 30 days, sleeping only six hours per day and averaging 200 sit & go’s per hour. He also ended up with a profit of $3,894, which is even more impressive for such a serious endurance challenge.
6. Nanonoko: 23,493 hands in 8 hours
Soon after Joey Ingram set his record of 50,000 hands in one day, a new challenger emerged who set his sights on an even more spectacular performance. A member of Team PokerStars, Randy Lew, known as “Nanonoko,” has been one of the most feared online players and during the PCA, he decided to set a new record by playing as many hands as possible during eight hours while making a profit.
While the record was eventually set at 24,493 after eight hours, the profit shown was just $7.65. In fact, at one point, Randy was down $1,200 and it looked like the record was pretty far out of his reach. At that point he started playing NL1000 tables, which allowed him to recoup his losses and squeeze by with the tiny profit.
5. Joey Ingram: 50,000 Hands in One Day
In 2009, Joey Ingram, known as “Joeingram1” online, set his sights on a world record that would take some serious endurance to achieve. Joey had to play 50,000 hands at NL25 games and, as if that wasn’t enough, he also had to show a profit for the record to count.
The record was set in just 20 hours and 2 minutes, with 50,470 hands played and a profit of over $800. A nice addition to his winnings was another $30,000 in bets which Joey collected from people who did not believe that this could be done.
4. Chiren80: 1 Million Hands in One Month
In December of 2010, Belgian pro, Bachir Boumaaza, known as “Chiren80,” decided to challenge himself to one of the greatest endurance records the poker world has ever seen – playing at least 1M hands in one month. It is hardly imaginable that anyone would be able to pull off something like this at any decent stakes, so it came as no surprise that Chiren80 would be taking on the NL2 tables for this challenge.
Chiren80 completed the challenge in 31 days, playing an average of 18 hours per day. In the end, he showed a profit of $2,200, which is pretty amazing even for those kinds of stakes considering the constant pressure that was on him.
3. Alex Wice: Supernova in Less than 40 Hours
In the beginning of 2013, a monumental race was taking place between some of the best online players to see who could reach the coveted Supernova Elite status the fastest. The first milestone in that path – reaching Supernova, which put the players a tenth of the way to Supernova Elite. A nice addition to the challenge was provided by PokerStars in the form of a 100,000 FPP shopping spree and a commemoration in the 2013 PokerStars Collectible Card Deck for the winner.
Eventually, it was Alex “AWice” Wice who turned out to be the most relentless of them all, 50-tabling high stakes sit & go’s from the first minutes of the New Year and reaching Supernova status in just 39 hours and 25 minutes. Despite this amazing performance, however, he would not go on to become the first Supernova Elite of the year.
2. Ryan Bell: Supernova Elite in 54 days
While Alex Wice took an early lead in the 2013 race to Supernova Elite status, it was Ryan Bell, known online as “MouldyOnions,” who got there first. Just like Alex, Ryan played high stakes sit & go’s to achieve his goal and was crowned the most coveted VIP status in online poker in just 54 days.
For his amazing run, PokerStars provided Ryan with a Double Points day, which allowed him to pick a 24-hour period during which he would get double his usual amount of VPP and FPP points. This meant that for those 24-hours, he would not be paying any rake for playing, instead PokerStars would be paying him for every game he played.
1. Tomas Kubaliak: Supernova Elite from $150 in Eight Months
While making Supernova Elite in just 54 days is an impressive feat, it can be even more impressive if you start out with just $150. Granted, Tomas “masuronike” Kubaliak did not do it in anywhere close to 54 days, it took him about eight months. However, the enormous skill and endurance that a player must have to successfully complete such a challenge are simply incredible.
Tomas played an average of eight hours per day and made ~$40,000 profit during the course of the challenge. He started out at $3.50 sit & go’s and made his way to the $200+ games as his bankroll grew. From there on it was just a matter of endurance and time.