One of my poker related goals this year was to start a blog.  I have been kicking around many ideas for topics but that never seemed to result in any action.  Recently a blog post by @Supp3rMario on his Zero to Hero challenge coalesced with some thoughts I have been having recently around the question, Could someone actually build a bankroll from nothing on PokerStars? 

I will admit this thinking was driven by some practical considerations on my part.  Real life issues led me to withdrawing too much of my bankroll leaving myself with not enough to play with, cue an inevitable  downswing, some bad decisions, and playing with scared money and the result is my balance has bounced down to $0 on more than one occasion this year, most recently in mid July.  I was determined not to redeposit.  Now I had some FPP’s and Silverstar VIP benefits to keep the action going and a Step 4 ticket worth $215.  But it did make me start thinking about the question could it be done from nothing?  Happily, my bankroll is back to a comfortable healthy state thanks cashing in a recent Sunday Million that I bought in to using that Step 4 ticket I had been sitting on.  A new stress free mind set has been having seemingly good results on my play and that balance has been inching up ever since

The question still remains could it be done from nothing as if someone created a new account so had no VIP benefits, no FPP’s, and not making a deposit.  So I have decided to give it a try based on that scenario, something I am calling my Zero to Five Hundy Challenge.  Throughout this challenge, I will make maximum use of the PSO Skill Leagues and other PSO benefits and promotions to build a bankroll.  I will add in cash games and other tournaments once I have started to build up some money.  Games that I think I have a high probability of being +EV and I will explain my choices as I go.

For the purposes of this challenge, I will a keep track of a separate virtual balance of $, VPP’s and FPP’s and tickets and only enter games and accumulate prizes that would go along with that virtual account balances.  For example, initially I would have 0 VPP’s so I would only qualify for the lower prize ladder for the PSO Open League.  Therefore, if I finish high enough to earn a prize at the end of the month I will only credit my virtual balance with the lower amount even though in real life I have the VPP’s for the higher prize.  Also for next month, at least I will be qualified for the Premier League so I will have to keep track of my progress and points in the Open League since I will not show up on the leaderboard.

I will start a forum post in the Challenges & Battleground section with all the rules for the challenge and to track my progress.  In addition, I will make periodic blog posts to summarize results plus possible other topics that come up.  The challenge will start October 1st, 2015. It will be completed when I reach $500 or I give up after going busto and having to start over too many times   I suspect that I will go from zero to zero at least once since in the beginning I will have to take some shots that will not follow any normal bankroll management rules.  It will be my goal to introduce such rules as my virtual balance allows.  I am not setting a time limit on this challenge as this will be an addition to my normal grind and I do not want to devote so much time that it severely affects my normal play.

To begin I will start out playing two freeroll games:
1. The PSO Open League; and
2. The Astronomer Freerolls.

Once I have accumulated some cash I will make the decisions on what real money games I will add.  Once I am generating VPP’s I will add other games that would be appropriate to my virtual VIP benefits and available FPP’s.

If you are interested in following along, welcome aboard and enjoy the ride.