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Bankroll (BR) Management

Posted by : support on Thursday, June 12, 2008 permalink
Contributed by Mike.

Here is a topic that I think everyone should be familiar with before even playing poker. Bankroll (BR) Management is the concept wherein one plays within their limits to combat or stave off the obvious downswings and statistical anomalies that happen when playing poker.

Now, alot of people go broke playing online poker and have to constantly redeposit, some as much as every week, because they do not practice good bankroll management. You can blame the donkey who called your 4x raise with J4o and flopped a full house or the chip leader who called your all-in of 10xBB and hit runner runner flush to bust your roll, but when its all said and done, these are the things you have to contend with when playing poker. People will get lucky and you will get unlucky. If you dont like that, go play chess. No bad beats there.

For beginning players, a good practice would be to follow the following:

Tournaments: 100x Buyin
SnG: 50x Buyin
Cash Game (short handed): 50xBuyin
Cash Game (9-10 handed): 30x Buyin

What does the above mean? If you plan to play the regular $1 tournament, filled to the brim with donks, you need at least $100 to play with. Variance is unbelievably high in tournaments and a bigger bankroll is needed. For most SnG or Sit and Goes, 50x is enough as ABC poker is enough to make a clean profit in these games, especially in the lower buyin ones.
For cash games that are short handed, also known as 6-max games, the variance can be very very high. You can double up your buyin in an hour or lose 2 buyins in 30 minutes. For full ring cash games, playing tight aggressive poker and avoiding trap cards like Ace-rag and the like will likely yield less variance. Buyin refers to the max buyin at a cash table, not the big blind. So when playing the 0.10/0.20 cent game, the max buyin is $20. So full ring, you need $600, and for short handed, you need $1000.

The buyins may seem high, but is taking into account the fact that you are not familiar and experienced with online play. As you get better and better, the BR you need will be less as your skills more than makes up for the variance.

The great thing about a nice bankroll is that you can make better decisions. You are never afraid thinking to yourself, oh my god, this is my last $10, I have to win all my SnG from now on. You end up playing scared, tight and passive. All these equate to a very bad session. So play within your means. If you dont have enough cash, be disciplined enough to save up, then begin. It will be very worth it in the end.

Good luck all and see you at the online felt!

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