Its your money, your hard earned and its
sitting there waiting for you to use it as your weapon of choice at the poker
table, now just how much artillery do you need? Or more importantly how much
should you use. Now the answer may seem
simple, take it all, the biggest gun always wins the fight, right? Wrong, so
very wrong. What happens if your big
stack, your weapon at the poker table misses or is aimed inaccurately and when
you need to fire another shot your magazine is empty? Putting all your bankroll in play at any one
time will more often then not lead to extended spells from the table, no
bankroll means no play. So what is the
correct method with relation to poker bankroll management?
Treating poker seriously is more than what
play occurs at the table, whether to check/raise or laying down a ace high
flush draw only comes after you have paid special attention to your
bankroll. Your bankroll should be treated
with care, abuse it and there is no game, treat it right and along with solid
play your are on the path to poker success.
Many pros use a variation of a few simple rules, now each players
bankroll is different, whether yours is a small limited amount that you have
scraped together or it may be rather limitless, the same rules should
apply. You may feel like it is too
restrictive to start with but determination to see the bigger picture will
enable you to reap the rewards of your dedication sooner rather than
later. So the rules, they are as I said
rather simple, the difficulty is in adhering to them because it is your
bankroll that dictates which level game you can play.
1. Never play in a ring game (cash game) or
sit n go with more than 5% of your total bankroll. Now this may seem rather hard to adhere to
but it is pivotal, I can’t stress this enough.
So if your poker bankroll is $100, you are only ever allowed to put $5
in play at he start of a ring game or the sit n go buy-in must not be greater
than $5 including rake.eg: $5 + 50 cents means no play!!
2. Never enter a multi table tournament with
more than 2% of your poker
bankroll. So following along the same
rules as with Rule 1, if a multi table tournament is $1+10cents then your good
to go, but as with this example and a $100 bankroll, a $2+20cents tournament is
off limits, as least for now.
3. if during a ring game (cash game) the
chips in front of you equal 10% of that bankroll that you started with, its
time to walk away having played the your last hand from the button. Why you
say? I started with $1 and turned it into $10 and am in charge and stealing
pots and ruling the table, why leave now?
Well the answer is simple really.
Poker success in about the journey, the road to success is a difficult
one and surely you will never consider yourself a poker pro if you can only
smash the micro stakes games online. By
starting and grinding your way up limits, your experience and talent will
increase and you will never put your entire bankroll at risk. By following the same rules from the low
limits thru to the serious money levels you will have conditioned yourself to
think about the bigger picture, never the gamble.
These rule serve to protect you from a run
of terrible beats and dead cards, things that are out of your control. Imagine you once again start with your $100,
and you ignore the rules and sit down at the $1/2 table with $50 (50% of your
bankroll), you hold your own and get up to $80, you think wow, I’m really good
at this, I’m in control, its all good and then you see it, the hand of all
hands, pocket aces. Your heart rate
increases and you see the dollar signs, you raise pre flop 3x and get three
callers, $21 in the pot and the flop comes J K K, you lead out for $10,
suddenly another players raises to $40 and the other re-raises to $120, now
your committed, you hold aces right, you call, surely the aces are still good,
right? You’re all in and watch the hand unfold, a queen on the turn and 5 on
the river. Your excited, the aces have
to win surely, the opponents cards are shown and with one player holding A-10
and the other K-Q, your out, broke, felted, whatever you call it your game is
over. Now this may seem bad luck, maybe
it is but its poker, these things are happening all over the world while your
read this. Straight away half your bankroll is gone and you put the other $50
on the table, you have to win it back right?
Sure, why not, you were wining until you got unlucky. This story is told by all the losing players
the world over, its just bad luck now isn’t it? Actually its bad bankroll
management, bad luck and dead cards can seem to last forever, the steps
outlined are set up to weather the ups and downs, never allowing you to put
your total bankroll at risk over a bad run of luck or cards.
Now if your determined and stick to theses
rules and your bankroll grows to $500, then all of a sudden the games get
bigger and wins can get bigger, but with that the loses can get more painful
too, so with this you must continue to adjust the games at which you play until
you find yourself regularly wining and are at a happy level. You may find that your doing ok at the $5/10
no limit but your bankroll will allow you to play $10/20 however you keep
losing, well stay at the $5/10 and develop your play, learn more, read more and
keep working at it, the game is always about learning and soon you will be a
regular at the $10/20.
Side Note: With relation to Rule 1 – I would
never advise to buy in at a ring game table with less than the maximum
allowable amount. Why turn up at a table
and automatically be a short stack, if the maximum buy-in is more than the 5%
allowed? Don’t by in, choose a lower limit game.