Good Poker Bankroll Management
It doesn’t matter how good you are or what games you’re playing, solid bankroll management is a must for any and all serious poker players. It’s a universal truth that is attested to by those amazing poker players you hear of that end in up debt. Look at Stu Ungar as one of the most famous examples. In terms of raw talent he was arguably the best ever poker player but lacked proper bankroll management skills.
In this article, we will explore some important aspects of bankroll management and what you can do to ensure you don’t go bust.
One of the most common reasons a poker player will go broke is exercising poor bankroll management skills. Many a strong, technical poker player will play the wrong stakes and with too few buy-ins and scratch their head after they lose their bankroll. This can be mitigated if a player sets strict rules like implementing a stop loss that prevents them losing lots in any given session.
Proper poker bankroll management is understanding that the size of your bankroll dictates the games and stakes you should be playing. Perhaps you think you can beat a high stakes private game, but if it costs you your entire bankroll to sit in that game, clearly you shouldn’t. The reason is simple, poker has a large element of luck in the short term. Variance isn’t something that can be negotiated with or eliminated. By exercising poor bankroll management and playing with an insufficient number of buy ins, you are putting your bankroll at stake every time you play.
How Many Buy Ins?
There’s differing opinions on the number of buy-ins required for cash games and tournaments. It’s widely accepted amongst professionals that games involving higher chance require more buy ins e.g. playing turbo sit-n-go’s are very high variance due to the fact that blinds go up quickly and you are playing more all in before the flop poker.
The table below can be used as a guide for the minimum number of buy-ins you should have for different formats of No Limit Texas Holdem.
Game Format Minimum Buy InsNo Limit Texas Holdem6 Max Cash Game 50 No Limit Texas Holdem Full Ring Cash Game 50 No Limit Texas Holdem 9 Player Sit-N-Go60 No Limit Texas Holdem 180 Player Sit-N-Go100 No Limit Texas Holdem Turbo Multi-Table Tournament (MTT)200 No Limit Texas Holdem Regular Multi-Table Tournament (MTT)100
If you find yourself going broke alot and you’re playing with less than 50 buy ins in your bankroll, you need to think about moving down to a level that your bankroll can afford.
Poker Money & Personal Money
Another aspect of poker bankroll management is the ability to separate poker money from personal money. We all love withdrawing and using the money we win on luxuries and that’s great but not if it means restricting your ability to move up stakes or worse, move down.
Why not implement a rule where you cash out 10% or 20% of winnings at the end of the month? This is something other forms of gambling recommend too as sports betting sites offer free betting tips suggesting punters withdraw a specific percentage at regular intervals.
Sound bankroll management allows you to play your A game regularly without pressure. You’re recognising that you are focused on the long term. It also means knowing the right time to move up and down stakes and finding the right level for you. There are players playing higher stakes than they should be and players too scared to move up. Recognising your skill level and reconciling this with your bankroll and the appropriate stakes is a skill in itself. Feel free to contact us if you want a consultation on this. We offer 30 minutes consultation for free.
Poker bankroll management is a key element to being a long-term winning player. The importance of being sensible with your bankroll can’t be overstated. It mixes common sense with budgeting skills and self-awareness. Assess your poker bankroll management today and ensure you are properly equipped next time you play.
If you enjoyed this article perhaps you’d like to read our article on poker excel spreadsheets?
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Featured Photo by Mathieu Turle @nbmat.