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Rake My Rake

Bankroll Management

Dec 30, 2009 00:00 AM

1st installment of the Fundamentals of Online Poker

Bankroll Management


Bankroll Management, Bankroll Management, Bankroll Management, I can’t say it enough – BANKROLL MANAGEMENT.  Whether you are starting with $50 or $50,000, bankroll management is THE KEY to any successful poker player.  You will lose, it is statistically impossible not to.  However, poker is not a short term game.  It is long term, never measure your loses/wins on a daily or even weekly basis.

How do you manage your bankroll?

Simple answer, don’t over extend yourself.  I like to have 20-30 buy-ins for cash games and Sit & Go’s (SNG), and at least 50 buy-ins for multi-table tourneys.  For example, lets say you are starting with $100.  I would never buy-in to a cash game for more than $5, the variance is too great in poker to risk more.  I know you won’t get much reward for playing this small, but you also shouldn’t go broke.  Build your bankroll slowly over time, this allows you to see more hands and get better! Otherwise you are just gambling.  Your bankroll simply can’t support buying in for $50 and getting outdrawn.  Think about the percentages…you get dealt AA and call an all-in then someone behind also goes all-in. With two others seeing the flop, you can easily be down to under a 60% favorite, do you really want to risk 50% of your roll on a 60% chance? 

As a side note, I hate minimum buy-ins.  Buy-in for the full amount allowed at the limit your bankroll can support.  What are you doing with 20BB?  You are waiting for a monster and hoping to not get outdrawn.  That is NOT playing poker, that is gambling. 

With multi-tables, I like to have more buy-ins than cash games simply because there are more people to beat and your chance of winning is much smaller.  I have played a specific multi-table tournament every day for three months now.  I have cashed in over half of them and have broken just over even for all this effort, the real profit isn’t until you get in the top 20 or even the top ten, and vs. 3-4K people how often is that going to happen?  Give yourself a lot of wiggle room for these games.  These have the highest profit margin, but they have that for a reason.  They can be a massive boost to your bankroll and bump you up a couple limits overnight, which is VERY attractive.  I'll let you know when I finally win that thing!