Flash News
  • How much to to… It's very important to keep track of how much you tip. Depending how big of a winner you are in the game your tokes will…
  • 10 Good Times to… What does it means to float? The term floating in poker refers to calling a bet on the flop or turn with plans to take…
  • Poker Stereotypes Stereotypes often times hold some truth. The same is true in poker. Poker is a game of imperfect information. I try to use these stereotypes…
  • Some Basic Poker Math I do not claim to be an expert at poker math. The math aspect of my game is the absolutely worst part of my game.…
  • Mental game. What is the mental game?The mental game is many things. To sum it up it's how you handle all the non technical aspects of poker,…
  • Poker and Taxes Disclaimer: I am not an accountant or tax professional. All information I provide is my opinion based on my own research and experience. For the…
  • What To Do With… Managing your money and investing away from the table is important. How you handle and invest your money away from the table can have a…
  • Negatives of Dating a… Last week we discussed the positives of dating a professional poker player. If you are a first time reader be sure to check it out.…
  • The Pros of Dating… The Pros of Dating a Poker Player. Like most things in life, there are both positives and negatives when it comes to dating a professional…
  • Goal Setting vs Themes Setting and updating personal goals has been a huge part of my success. I find it helpful to use white boards as well as apps on…
  • Life Balance and Poker The profitable player who’s a guppy at life! Burnt out, depressed, over eating and poor diet habits, relationship/marital problems, lack of exercise, no goals, poor…
  • Positive Variance Last week we discussed negative variance, this week we will discuss positive variance. There is no such thing as luck in poker, only positive or…
  • Negative Variance What is variance? Variance is the downswings and upswings involved with playing poker. Variance is the difference between how much money you expect to win on…
  • Bankroll Management $16.67 balloons… I am often asked, “How much money is needed to begin playing poker professionally?”, “What is an adequate bankroll?" Poor bankroll management is the number…
  • Life Before Poker For as long as I can remember, I have always been a very competitive person. Growing up I participated in many different sports: basketball, football,…
  • Warm up and Cool… I first stumbled across the concept of warming up and cooling down in the book The Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler. Having a…
  • Technical concepts. The most important technical concept I have learned and used to much success is bet fold and raise fold. This is a concept that is…
  • Physical tells & betting…  I recently played a hand at 2-5 NL where physical tells, betting patterns and meta game played a factor into my decision. This decision led to me…
  • Exercise and Nutrition Exercise and nutrition both play a key role in your short-term and long-term success in poker. At my heaviest I weighed about 194 pounds, now…
  •  Cash Versus Tournaments People always seem to assume I play tournaments for a living when I tell them I play poker professionally. "When will I see you on…
  • Moving Up Stakes   As a professional player the ability to play in bigger games with higher stakes while sustaining a high win rate is the equivalent to…
  • What it Means to… "I'm a poker player. You just play poker" To me, a professional poker player is someone who earns a living playing poker as his or…
  • ThePokerProneur To all those whom I have never met on the felt or through everyday life, my name is James Ross. This is the first entry in what…
Facebook Twitter Google Plus Instagram YouTube Pinterest
Bankroll Management

Bankroll Management $16.67 balloons to $250,000+

I am often asked, “How much money is needed to begin playing poker professionally?”, “What is an adequate bankroll?” Poor bankroll management is the number one reason on my top ten reasons players fail to excel.

 

I started my bank roll with just $16.67. I was fortunate enough to be able to play online at .01/.02 cent tables buying in for just one dollar. I followed Chris Ferguson’s bankroll management strategy and still do to this day; it allowed me to successfully grow my bankroll.

 

I will never buy into a cash game or a Sit & Go with more than 5% of my total bankroll (the exception being I’m allowed to buy into any game with a buy-in of $2.50 or less). I won’t buy into a multi-table tournament for more than 2% of my total bankroll and I’m allowed to buy into any multi-table tournament that costs $1 .If at any time during a No-Limit cash game session the money on the table represents more than 10% of my total bankroll, I must leave the game when the blinds reach me.

 

Using this strict strategy I built my original bankroll up to $35,000 over just 4 months of playing online in the summer of 2007. After paying off $25,000 of credit card debt I maintained my bankroll at $10,000 and cashed out anything over that amount. Assuming you are a winning player and have access to online poker, all you need is $20 to build up a bankroll. If you are like most people, playing in brick and mortar casinos or home games, $1,500 would be the very minimum, risking $50-$100 at a time while exercising the rules above.

 

These rules and requirements for bankroll management assume that you have a job or another source of income to pay your bills. It also assumes you are a winning player. The fact is that most people are not winning players, 90%- 95% of players lose in the long run so it is important you be honest with yourself.  There are several factors to consider when choosing what bankroll works for you.

 

Everyone’s situation is different. Here are some important factors to consider: your win rate, monthly expenses, style of play and the stakes, your lifestyle, are you playing professionally or semi professionally and do you have another source of income. Additionally, do you possess the emotional stability necessary to deal with the ups and downs of poker? I believe you can’t start making a living playing poker until you have reached $2-$5 live no limit games, or multi-tabling online at the $.25-.$50 and/or .$50-$1 levels. When I played online I sat in $.50-$1, $1-$2 and $2-$4 no limit. I consistently played 12- 24 tables at one time. This may sound overwhelming to a beginner, but like anything else, it takes time to build up the skill and ability to play multiple tables at the same time.

 

This is not something you can just begin doing overnight. Being a more aggressive player than most of my counterparts, I require a larger bankroll. I am currently playing $2/$5 NL with a bankroll that is a little over $35,000 you don’t necessarily need to have 50-100 buy-ins when you sit at a table, I am comfortable with 50. I buy in for the max which is usually 100 big blinds, sometimes more depending on the casino. I have never had more than a 10 buy-in down swing at any limit playing live poker and nothing more than a 25 buy-in down swing playing online. Also note that if you have a high win rate or are a more conservative player your bankroll requirements can be much less, as little as half as mine. However, I wouldn’t recommend less than 25 buy-ins, if you have a much more aggressive style you will probably require more.

 

Next week we will discuss variance and how it can make or break your poker career.

 

 

Photo by 401(K) 2013 dollars photo