I’ve played the Thousandaire Maker tournament on Ignition Casino (and previously on Bovada) 48 times now. It runs most every night at 8:15pm Pacific.
It’s a Survivor-style tournament with a $75 buyin (and $7 fee), with a guarantee of five even $1K payouts. If the number of players meets the guarantee (67 players), another payout starts building up for sixth place (80 entries makes an even $6K in the pot, then another payout starts for seventh). No chops, only one min-cash (if any) and less than 10% of the field makes it to the money. But it’s a great value overall.
I’ve cashed in the Thousandaire Maker six times. If I was smart, it would be the only tournament I play, because when you cash it you’re typically making 1120% profit. So if you can beat the 7.5% cashing rate by 10% (effectively a 8.2% ITM), you are profitable. The tournament only lasts about 3 hours. By my records, I’ve spent 65 hours and ten minutes playing Thousandaire Makers since April of 2015 (coincidentally, spending almost $1 on buyins for every minute of play). And I’ve made about $2,000 in profit (a little over $31.50/hour). An average of 82 minutes per tournament.
So my ITM in Thousandaire Makers is 12.5% (based, admittedly on just 48 tournaments). That’s beating the average ITM for all players by 67% and an ROI of more than 50%.
Unfortunately, with just one Thousandaire Maker per day, a 30-day month would mean $2,460 in buyins, an average of $3,750 in cashes, and $1,290 in profit (about $15.4K per year). That might have been enticing in the not-too-distant past, but not these days. And not when you more or less need to give up every evening—or at least plan to be be busy between 8 and midnight.
I got into the Thursday night Thousandaire Maker just before the first hour was up, despite a promise to myself not to do late entries any more. I was under the gun with 3
Hand 2 T
Three of the players on our (full) table have more than double the starting stack of 2500 chips. Two are under 20bb, with the small blind down to 1250. UTG/(Player 44) folds 4
Hand 8 J
I opened to 400 and the blinds folded. CO/27 (the player I’d doubled up against) folded Q
Hand 10 T
Tens again! On hand ten! I open to 400 and everyone folds. Out of eight other players, there was only one over card, with CO/50 holding A
Hand 25 K
I open to 500 and everyone folds. The best hand I was against was Q
Hand 40 A
We’re playing eight-handed. HJ/44 on my left is the table leader with 10.8K, and CO/29 is 1K behind. The rest of us are between 3.5K and 6K. I open to 750 and the big stack 3-bets enough to put the short stack (BB/42) all in. BB shoves, and I 4-bet all in, which is called by HJ. It’s A
Hand 43 T
Just seven at the table. The big stack took a hit on the hand after the three-way chop, but he’s still in second place at the table with 8.6K. Four of us are in the sub-20bb ‘Danger Zone.’
UTG2/62 shoves and with tens for the third time in 43 hands, I call, with 29 chips behind. He turns A
Hand 49 A
I’ve been moved to a new table and I min-raise when action folds around. BB/25 has 5.7K and 3
Hand 55 A
Tens three times in less than 50 hands and now aces on the big blind? How lucky must I be? Everyone folds to me and.
Hand 58 6
What to do with a pocket pair less than tens? There are six players at the table, and I’m actually in the bottom half. Three of us are between 7K and 8K, and the others are 9.6K, 10.3K, and 12.3K. I open to 1000, and the only called is BB/72, another of the small stacks. I’m not exactly sure what he’s thinking here, putting in an extra tenth of his stack with 6
Hand 59 J
I raise to 1000 and BB/7 (the third of the short stacks) jams Q
Hand 60 T
I shove with just under 20bb and everyone folds. UTG/13 folded 9
Hand 62 A
Action folds to SB/13 and he raises to 820 with 3
Hand 68 A
I get a walk with the best hand.
Hand 71 K
I got disconnected a couple of times during this tournament. Pretty sure I’m raising and winning the hand here if I wasn’t. As it was, BB/7 got a walk with 8
Hand 72 7
Seriously. BB/26 had A
Hand 89 Q
Between the disconnect and bad cards, I’d been slipping into danger territory. This hand, action folded to SB/72 (the next-to-last player to register in the tournament but a player who’d chipped up to 29K) and he shows 2
Hand 91 7
Finally, some sevens I can play! We’re eight-handed. UTG2/26 folds A
Hand 92 J
UTG1/26 raises to 1.7K. I typically would play this hand against a raise but chose not to here. I fold. D/11 re-shoves for 11K. UTG1 calls and the smaller stack is at risk K
Hand 96 9
Seven players on the table and I’m one of the only two stacks under 10K. UTG1/42 has only 6K, BB/11 is at 12.7 before the hand begins, but everyone else is above $15.5K, with D/72 at nearly 25K. Action folds to him and he jams. I call with my pair and BB folds A
Hand 104 Q
The strategy a lot of late-entrants take (and sort of need to take given their initial short-stack status) is to shove repeatedly. This tends to take the ‘fun’ of poker out of the game for me, at least, which is why I try not to join a tournament in the later stages of registration. I can’t think it would be an effective strategy in cash games. Anyhoo…after losing a third of his stack to me eight hands earlier, then knocking out a player, player 72 is up to 27.6K and we are back in the same positions as our last run-in. He shoves, I call. He has 7
Hand 107 Q
Does that mean I will do nothing? No. I raise to 2400. Ten hands ago, BB/72 had a stack that would have gotten him handily into the money, now he’s one of three 15–17bb short stacks at the table. He has J
The final table starts on the next hand with four stacks under 20bb. That;s the same number of players that have to bust before we hit the full $1K packages. Only 3 players have more than 20K, and I have 20K more than the player in second place.
Hand 129 7
The player on my left took over the chip lead a few hands earlier when he won a race with jacks to eliminate the 9th place finisher. He’s got about 1K more than me. Two players are under 10bb, three others are between 10 and 16bb. The ideal strategy here is to let them cut each other out for the most part. However, I min-raise from UTG1 after the one other player with more than 20bb (31) folds. The chip leader has 4
Hand 144 A
So much has happened. That short stack from the last hand managed to get A
I could theoretically fold aces here is one of the other two big stacks shoved. I wouldn’t, but theoretically. As it happens, Everyone folds. Do my big blind aces stink?
Hand 145 5
D/31 min-raises here with T
Hand 148 6
The short stack (SB/7) has A
148 hands. Two hours and thirty minutes. +1120%ROI.