Online Poker's Greatest Challenges Pt. 3: Boku87 Destroys SNGs for $100k

10 October 2014, Created By: Dirk Oetzmann
Online Poker's Greatest Challenges Pt. 3: Boku87 Destroys SNGs for $100k

In 2009, there was no one in Europe who played as many poker tables simultaneously as Germany's Thomas “boku87” Boekhoff.

He played up to 50 tables and devised an entirely new system for playing online poker.

To prove that his system worked – and to promote a book he had planned – Boekhoff decided to play two bankroll challenges in low-stakes Sit-and-Gos (SNGs).

Challenge 1: Turn $100 into $10k within 15 days playing SNGs w/ $16 max buy-in

Challenge 2: Turn $5 into $100,000 within 12 months

Record Holder: Thomas Boekhoff (GER)

Dates: Challenge 1 March 3-17 2009; Challenge 2 July 15 2009 - May 19 2010

Challenge 1

Boekhoff later recalled how he first thought off challenging himself:

“A friend of mine was visiting to watch me play 40 SNGs simultaneously. As it would have taken a long time to even start 40 SNGs at my usual limits, I was randomly registering for SNGs on different levels."

Thomas Boekhoff
"Playing low-stakes SNGs a little bit like stealing candy from children."

"Playing low-stakes SNGs was a little bit like stealing candy from children. It was very simple to exploit the other players on the bubble. That afternoon I won about $500 playing only low-level SNGs.”

After this session the then-21-year-old started checking his results on What he saw was that he had an ROI of 26% over 4,000 low limit SNGs. He decided to start a two-week challenge playing nothing but these.

He planned to start with a $100 bankroll and take 15 days to turn it into $10,000.

“Most people thought it would probably take me at least five days to get from $100 to $1000, but I was a lot more optimistic than that.”

It turned out not to be that easy.

“When I was playing break even over a stretch of 1,500 tournaments it was really getting to me as I calculated I'd reach my goal playing 5,000 SNGs at the most.

"During that phase, I really started to doubt myself. After 10 days I was ready to give up. My profits had fallen from $6,500 to $5,500.

"But then Day 11 brought the turnaround. I made $1,900 within one session.”

Eventually Boekhoff played an incredible 7,432 SNGs within 360 hours with a maximum buy-in of $16. He had won a little over $10,000.

Boku Challenge1

Challenge 2

Having successfully finished the challenge Boekhoff’s popularity grew quickly. He started a second challenge, and this time with a lot of railbirds following.

At one point Boekhoff had up to 71 SNGs running.

This time he tried to turn $5 into $100,000 within 12 months. Again, he played only SNGs.

After two weeks boku87 had already amassed almost $10,000 profit. After three months he was at $24,000. Then he started having technical issues and health problems.

He went into a downswing and dropped below $20,000. Then Boekhoff stopped to recover. For almost two months he laid the challenge to rest.

Then Boekhoff came back in full-swing mode. In February 2010 he had collected $37,000 in winnings and by early March he was already at $64,000.

He took another quick break in April. To speed up the challenge he transformed his VPP points into money. Soon after his bankroll had reached $80,000.

In May he raced to the finish line. He raised his “normal” number of 50 simultaneous SNGs up to a maximum of 71!

On May 19, just after 11 PM, Boekhoff stopped playing, cashed in another bonus for $4,000 and declared his challenge a success.

Boku Challenge2

Rules and Goals of the Challenges

Challenge 1

Boekhoff had 15 days to turn $100 starting money into $10,000. He would play only SNGs with a maximum buy-in of $16.

If Boekhoff had lost the bankroll completely the challenge was lost. Rakeback and bonuses did not count towards the profit.

A webcam was installed to follow his progress.

Challenge 2

Boekhoff had 12 months to turn $5 into $100,000 playing only SNGs. In this challenge Boekhoff was allowed to use cash bonuses and add the rakeback to his winnings.

There were no rules concerning the maximum or minimum buy-in for the tournaments.


Challenge 1

  • Length: 15 days
  • SNGs played: 7,432
  • Hands played: 381,804
  • Profit after 1,000 SNGs: $1,171
  • Profit after 5,000 SNGs: $5,613

Challenge 2

  • Length: 10 months
  • SNGs played: 44,103
  • Profit after 25,000 SNGs: $52,733
  • Overall profit: +$100,000

Check out the video to see what it looks like to play 51 tables simultaneously:

More of Online Poker's Greatest Challenges


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