Find Out How One YPC Player Turned a $50 Bankroll Into More Than $100,000

Craig Klinski/Jordan Kordosky - February 10, 2012

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Last year we were approached by Tom Crowley (tcrowley11), a poker player who got his poker career started with a $50 YourPokerCash bankroll. He wanted to share his story about his humble beginnings getting his feet wet at the Cake Poker $0.02/$0.04 cash games and how he eventually turned his $50 bankroll into tens of thousands of dollars.

Hi Thomas. Thanks for doing this. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your poker background.

TC: My name is Tom Crowley (Tcrowley) and I’m currently a senior at a small school in Greensboro NC named Guilford College. I am studying Accounting and have played soccer here for 4 years. I started playing poker about 2 years ago, originally at the $0.02/$0.04 cash game tables on Cake poker with a $50 YPC bankroll. After some early struggles, I started to learn the game and slowly moved up in stakes. After some big tournament scores and timely upswings, I continued to move up in stakes and now primarily play $5/$10 and $10/$20 cash games online.

How did you find out about the free bankrolls at YourPokerCash (YPC)? Why did you choose YPC?

TC: One of my friends that also plays poker pointed out YPC to me one day and said I should give it a try. It was perfect for me because I am fairly risk-averse and probably never would have risked my own money to learn how to play this game.

Tell us about your experience with YPC. How has joining the site benefited you?

TC: It’s been great. At first I was apprehensive about giving them my information, and didn’t understand why they would be giving me free money. However, I have had a great experience with YPC, as the site offered me an amazing opportunity to learn to play poker without ever having to risk my own money.

What do you like most about YPC?

TC: I like that it creates such a great opportunity for beginners to learn how to play poker. Whether it becomes a job or just a hobby, poker is a great game that has brought me a lot of enjoyment and has offered me some great opportunities.

Do you recommend the site to friends and family?

TC: I definitely recommend YPC to my friends and family. After people hear about my success they often want to give it a try for themselves. I always recommend YPC as a way for them to get started without having to risk their own hard earned money.

How important is bankroll management for poker players? Do you think it is more important for players starting with a free bankroll?

TC: Bankroll management is absolutely essential for any poker player. No matter how skilled a player is, anybody that doesn’t exercise good bankroll management will invariably go broke. This is a lesson that the majority of poker players learn the hard way, but if a player exercises good bankroll management from the time they receive their first free bankroll they will set themselves up for success.

Okay, now a little bit about your poker career. Do you have a preference between cash games or tournaments? Why?

TC: I prefer cash games but enjoy playing tournaments occasionally to change things up.. Deep stacked cash games are simply a higher skill form of poker that offers more flexibility in your play. In tournaments you are often stuck with between 10 and 20 big blinds, and they often come down to who can win a coin-flip late in a tournament.

You won the Bodog Sunday 100k for a first prize of $25,000. Can you tell us what it was like to win a prize that large?

TC: It was crazy. At that point, I had never played higher than $1/$2 and had only profited a couple thousand dollars. The $100k was also my first shot at a tournament that large, so it was unreal to be able to win on my first try. By the time I made it to the final table I was so nervous my hands were shaking. Fortunately, I ran well at the final table and was able to win despite playing against people with far more experience and success than I had at the time. It didn’t seem real to me for a couple days but it eventually sunk in. That was when I realized how much money could be won at this game and when I really started taking the game seriously.

Clearly you have had some big success playing online. Tell us a bit about your experience playing live games.

TC: Only recently did I start playing much live poker, but I’ve had some good experiences. I recently traveled to West Palm Beach and Atlantic City for some World Series of Poker Circuit events. I played about 7 events and cashed in 3 of them but no big scores. However, I really enjoyed the experience and plan to play more live poker in the future.

You've accomplished a lot so far. What are your poker goals going forward?

TC: I plan to just continue to work hard on my game, and continue to grow as a player and see where poker takes me. I have already surpassed all of the expectations I had for myself in poker, so I just feel very lucky to be where I am. Hopefully, I will be able to continue my success.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, Tom. In closing, what advice can you give to YPC players who want to emulate your success?

TC: My best advice is just to focus on learning as much as you can rather than on making the most money you can. As long as you are learning and growing as a player, the money will eventually come. Tons of people stunt their growth as a player by grinding 20 tables at a time at low stakes or by only playing in the softest games, but that’s not how you learn. You get better by occasionally playing in tough games and learning from the toughest players. There are so many great resources out there -- from books and forums to training videos and coaches. If you work hard and utilize these resources, there is no limit on where poker can take you.

Do you have a story you would like to share with YPC and other members? We'd love to hear from you!