On April 28, well-known online Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) player Marcelo “urubu111” Freire embarked upon an interesting challenge in the four-hole-card poker game. He attempted to play 500,000 hands of PLO within 45 days on PokerStars while maintaining a profit. However, he called it quits only a couple of weeks later after suffering losses.
Background of the Challenge
Marcelo, a Brazilian, has a reputation within the online poker community of being a risk-taking, bold and venturesome player, and this stunt was no exception to his general demeanor. Not content simply to challenge his own abilities and endurance, he booked $30,000 to win $60,000 in bets against opponents who believed that he would fail. Even after “urubu111” stopped accepting more bets, eager fans wagered significant sums among each other on the result.
What Went Wrong
Marcelo duly started the challenge but quickly suffered losses totaling about $18,000. At that point, he offered to buy out of his bets for a fractional payment, but nobody was interested. He thus continued the challenge, but started to suffer from tilt – that is, his negative results affected his mindset and contributed to poor decision-making.
Observers, of whom there were many, reported that Freire was four-betting every hand on some tables. He also challenged some of the people who had bet against him to heads-up duels, where he lost a considerable sum. He even agreed to go all-in blind on two hands for $10,000 each, a practice known as “flipping.” He lost both flips.
These ill-conceived actions caused Marcelo’s results to become even worse. On May 11, he conceded defeat and posted his final results. Excluding his ego-driven flips and one-on-one matches, which did not count towards the challenge, he lost $21,977.18 over the course of 144,196 hands played.