Bankroll Management [video]
While streaming my $200 to $10,000 poker challenge on twitch, the viewers asked for some advice on proper bankroll management. This was my quick and dirty breakdown of buy-in requirements based on risk tolerance.
To reiterate: a 20 buy-in roll is an absolute minimum that you should start with if you are going to take this seriously. In most cases, I would aim higher: from 30 to 50 buy-ins. For example, if you want to start out at $0.01/$0.02 (aka 2NL), then you should deposit at least $60.
Other Bankroll Considerations
Let’s talk about a few more important aspects of bankroll management that I didn’t cover in the video.
1. Bank-roll tilt
Letting your bank-roll dip to low can be another cause of tilt. As it gets lower and lower, you start to get this f*ck it mentality. You take bigger risks and your play deteriorates. Avoid this by dropping down in stakes when your roll gets too low.
2. Taking Shots
It also might be helpful to use two different levels when deciding which stakes to play. You start playing the higher level when your roll reaches an upper bound but if it drops to a lower bound then you stop. For example, you might start playing $25NL when your roll reaches 40 buy-ins for that level (or $1000) but if your roll drops to 30 buy-ins (or $750) then you stop. Taking a 10 buy-in spread approach like this approach gives you some room to operate, since it’s so easy to go up or down 3 or 4 or 5 buy-ins even if you’re playing really well.
3. Don’t Withdraw!
If you have aspirations to become a professional poker player then this is one of the best pieces of advice I can offer you. After you deposit, DON’T WITHDRAW ANYTHING until you’re winning at 100NL. Find a way to support yourself otherwise, and let the money grow. If you’re pulling money out here and there, then when you eventually hit a nasty down-swing it can be a disaster. This is especially true for your first major down-swing, where you may get used to a higher win-rate that is artificially inflated because you’ve been running well.
Another way to think about it is to imagine that you are trying to fill up a sink with an open drain. It’s pretty much impossible!
Want to learn more?
I go into greater depth with more examples and nice looking tables in my complete poker training series. In the series, we start out with a discussion on goal setting to make sure we’re headed in the right direction, as efficiently as possible. And then within this discussion, we establish what our plan of attack will be with our bankroll. This then determines what kind of games we can start choosing to play which is covered in the second video. Check out the video course if you haven’t already.
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