Can this poker pro turn $1,000 into $100k in just two months playing online?

After accepting a drunken prop bet to turn $ 1k into $ 100k online in just two months, John Tabatabai is grinding away at all hours

Lights flicker before my eyes, my hand claws across my mouse, I’m not sure if it’s night or day. I remember eating some time yesterday and my riverside apartment looks more like a wartime bunker than a bachelor pad. With catheter firmly secured so as not to waste any time, and music blasting from the speakers, I find myself in the middle of a mammoth online grind courtesy of a prop bet that will see me engage in a farcical amount of table hours over the next two months.

Alas, it’s my own fault. You see, while I was in Portugal at a recent Betfair event, I made an alcohol-fuelled bet with some friends that I could turn $1,000 into $ 100,000 in two months of online play. Realising afterwards that I may be tempted to just pay up to avoid the sick grind required to complete such a bet, I stupidly posted the details of the wager on the Betfair forum to ensure that the shame of not trying would be made public.

And so it began… I started out grinding at $ 50 no-limit Hold’em, swiftly moving up to $ 100nl. Three weeks on and I’ve reached a $14,000 bankroll and the end of the $ 200nl games. My plan now is to take shots at $ 500 ($ 2/$ 5) no-limit, with the intention of dropping down if I incur any big losses.

Although this is a tough challenge there are a lot of things I can take out of it, perhaps the most important being that I’m forced to adapt to games over a relatively short period of time – an increasingly important factor in winning online poker.


CardRunners pro Taylor ‘Green Plastic’ Caby has addressed the ability to adapt as an integral factor in sustained improvement and profitability in poker, particularly in an era where the average skillset and mathematical ability is far more sophisticated than it was even four years ago. It’s surprisingly tough to go from mid and high stakes no-limit Hold’em games to low-limit affairs, and it’s not surprising that high-rollers who have gone bust find it difficult to rebuild from scratch again.

While the lower games are easily exploitable they are in no way a walkover for the average player and I’ve been impressed with some of the play I’ve seen over the last couple of weeks. At every level I’ve witnessed a significant increase in quality and I’ve had to adapt swiftly to the changes.

The challenge has been met at the tables with warmth and abuse in equal measure. Many players have been surprisingly interested in my progress
and have been very supportive, while others have not been so kind. Mind you, with the long hours (50 table hours a day, seven days a week) I’ve even become a bit snappy myself, and have had to take time out to remind myself that there is a world beyond the walls of my flat.

On the plus side, the constant analysis of my game has allowed me to make some important adjustments, and I’ve already noticed that my mistakes are decreasing sharply with time.

Bankroll management

Right from the start I’ve been on track to win the challenge, but a few hours before writing this column I dropped four buy-ins at $ 500nl and have decided to drop back to $ 200nl until I’ve recovered the loss. Still, I’m hopeful that by the time I write this article next month I’ll be very close to reaching my target and will have my head held high.

If you can’t wait until next month to find out how I’m doing, you can follow my progress on the Betfair forums, or by watching and playing me
online. I look forward to seeing you all at the tables – donations and fishy stack-offs will be greatly appreciated!

Why not try a copy of PokerPlayer magazine HERE if you enjoyed this article but want more

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