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By Nick “The Cloud” Cantwell

Current bankroll: $0

After a profitable first week I was full of hope and looking forward to pushing my bankroll upward some more – little did I know that three days later my bankroll would be busted.

The week didn’t get off to a great start, as I quickly found myself back to square one on $25, but the following day I managed to increase that back up to $32. However I didn’t foresee what was coming on the third day – now known as Busto Day!

Having $32 meant I was playing with six full buy-ins, which was a high-risk strategy but, in my opinion, playing with full buy-ins is the only way to play cash no-limit hold’em. And here is the story of how each of those buy-ins disappeared.

The day got off to a good start. I was holding 8-8, and called a small pre-flop raise, and then got the perfect flop – A-8-3. The original raiser bet the pot, so I am hoping he has an ace, so I come over the top with a re-raise, and he puts me all-in. I insta-call – and my hopes that he has an ace are realised – unfortunately he has two of the blighters.

Down to $26 now.

This time I hit an ace flush on the river in a multi-way pot, holding A-4 suited, when the flop is checked around and so is the turn. Unfortunately one of my opponents is slow-playing two pairs (very slow) and hits his full house when I hit my nut flush.


A-A! Yes, a chance to get some back. There are three of us at a very aggressive table. I raise ten times the big blind (sounds a lot, but doesn’t seem to discourage any action at all) and have one caller. The flop is a very dangerous 10-J-Q (rainbow), and my opponent (big blind) bets half the pot – which to me is saying that he is on a draw, or he has hit a part of the flop. I go over the top all-in, thinking that if he is on a draw he will fold, but I am wrong, as he calls with king six and hits a nine on the turn. I’m not happy now.


Whilst all this is going on I am four-tabling, and almost instantly on another table I hit A-A again, and I raise ten times the big blind again and get one caller – and the flop has two queens on it. This is a toughie, and my opponent is the first to act, and he bets the pot – if I re-raise I am virtually pot-committed anyway, so I go all-in – my opponent is very loose, and I don’t believe he has the queen, seeing as there are only two left, and he has taken a stab at every pot – but he is holding K-Q.

I am now down to $11 and the situation is critical.

I am now playing no-risk poker, and am only playing one table – and see an 8-9-10 flop whilst holding J-Q – and this flop is getting a lot of action. I go over the top all-in, and have one caller, who is holding J-7 – a beaten straight. Unfortunately a queen on the river splits the pot – but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Down to $9.

I have lost most of my bank in the previous 45 minutes, but my mind is now completely frazzled, and the $9 disappears a little too quickly.

The fact that I was playing full bankrolls did leave me open to going bust, but it was a gamble I decided to take.

So that ends my challenge, and I pass the mantel onto the next PartyPoker Bankroll Challenger.

Good luck.


The Cloud: Busto! 



  1. Sounds like you didn’t catch too many breaks Mr Cloud and you need some luck to build up a head of steam in these type of challenges.

  2. I feel that NL hold em with a limited stack can cause me to worry about keeping cash rather that raising, re raising etc,. Would tournanents be a better option?

  3. Hi GUY –

    So long as you are playing within your bankroll you should not worry so much about “keeping your stack” – in other words you can play your natural game without feeling intimidated. If you lose a cash game buy-in it should not hurt you if you only put a limited amount of your roll on the table.

    I know it’s difficult if you have a low roll, but try and stick to this if you can hopefully start building up.

    If you find you are a better tournament player (MTT or sit and go) then of course you can play them too – but again, stick to your roll!

    Good luck

    Simon Young