Bankroll Management

December 3, 2009 |
 

Before I begin articles on poker strategy, I would like to discuss the importance of bankroll management. More often than not players who play online poker will play at levels that are outside their current bankroll. Due to variance (the ups and downs of poker swings), bad beats, or even bad play, players who do play outside their bankroll will find themselves constantly depositing funds into their account. This trend could be considered as ‘compulsive gambling’ and it’s a path no one wants to travel down. The solution is bankroll management and I will show you some numbers that will help you have smarter table selections.

When considering what table to sit at, you obviously must choose what kind of game you are going to play. Are you going to play a multi-table tournament, a sit & go, or a cash game? Let’s start with the multi-table tournaments. When sitting down to play a multi-tournament, a player should have around 100 entries in their bankroll. This means that if I wanted to play a $10 multi-table tournament, I should have around $1,000 in my bankroll. Yes, it may seem like you aren’t risking much if you are playing a $10 tournament when you have a $1,000 to play with. That being said, the fact of the matter is you will not win or even cash in every tournament you enter. It just won’t happen. Almost every tournament has at least 500 players registered, and when you take variance into consideration; this is where having 100 entries becomes a huge factor in bankroll management.

Next I want to discuss Sit & Go tournaments which can be found on any online poker room. A sit & go is a one table tournament which can range anywhere from 2 players to 10 players. A player should have ’45 entries’ when they decide to play a sit & go tournament. Let’s keep it simple again and do the math. If you want to partake in a $10 sit & go, you should have $450 in your bankroll (obviously right?). You don’t need as many ’buy-ins’, ’entries’ due to the fact that there is less variance in a one table tournament. This is the case, because you don’t need to go through a large field of 500 participants, but merely a small field of 2-10 players. Thus making your odds of making the cash a lot more feasible.

 

Now I want to discuss a part of the game that I am not all to familiar with; the cash game. When sitting down to play cash games there are multiple things to consider. First a player should look at the players at the table to decide whether or not if that table is a solid fit for them. Next a player should only play at levels that they comfortable at, and blinds that fall into their bankroll. You know the old saying, “If you can’t stand the heat, turn it down a notch” ( yeah so I tweaked it). This holds true for cash games. If you are uncomfortable at the level, meaning you can’t play your best because you play nervous, then it’s best to lower the limits. I believe a player should have deep bankroll when sitting down to play cash games. If a player is playing at the $.50/$1 level then I believe they should have a bankroll of $4,000. You may see other numbers when you search on the internet, but when it comes to no-limit a player can lose his whole stack one hand. Make sure you and your bankroll can handle the levels you are playing at.

I hope these are numbers that everyone will take into consideration when they sit down to play poker. It’s no secret how Chris Ferguson brought his roll from $0 to a whopping $10,000. Ferguson stuck to bankroll management to prove a point to the rest of the poker world, and he did so successfully. This is why I cannot stress bankroll management enough. I hope reading this article was worthwhile, and good luck at the tables everybody!

Craig Fleck

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