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Bankroll Management

Now we come to the single most important part of the game, outside of learning to play in general. Bankroll management is the backbone of your poker business, without proper bankroll management you will go broke over and over, this is a guarantee. You absolutely MUST learn how to manage and grow your bankroll; otherwise you will have to constantly dip into your checking and/or savings accounts to fund your poker playing. This is a recipe for disaster and can cost you far more than just money; it can cost you relationships, your job, your family, literally everything. I can't stress enough the importance of bankroll management.

There are many ways to approach bankroll management, some more advanced than others. In this example we will assume that you are starting with a modest amount but want to build it in order to move up in limits. I'm not going to lead directly into a chart here breaking down what limit and what size bankroll you should start with. I will instead start with several disciplines required to properly build and manage your bankroll (the foundation to success in poker). I truly feel that this is the single most important part of the game. Unless you're running your poker career like a publicly traded company and plan on offering shares to generate cash every time you go broke (don't laugh, many pros do exactly this!), you will have to learn the art of building a bankroll. It's critical that you practice these principals as your begin your poker career.

The 5 disciplines required for Bankroll Management 1. You must break up your playing into sessions.

You have to have a goal and/or a time limit to your sessions. You must set two parameters here and adhere to them religiously. The rule here is simple, once you hit the threshold of one or both of the parameters, you take a break. You don't have to STOP for the day or the week but you do need to take a BREAK. Take time out to go watch TV, jog, eat a snack, and talk on the phone, anything to get your mind refreshed. You will hear from MANY other players that this idea is crazy, that you never stop playing while you're up. I disagree 100% as there are many factors to consider while you're winning. Some of these include where you are in the process of building your bankroll (the primary factor at this point), your fatigue level, hunger, and many other factors. The biggest thing to avoid this early in the stages of building your bankroll is losing your profits and I'll explain this in detail later.

The first parameter that you want to set is time, for online play a two hour session time is adequate. You will play roughly 120-150 hands of poker at a 6-handed table (I highly recommend playing 6 handed tables at micro no-limit hold-em tables, see chapter X). More often than not, you will find that you hit your winning threshold LONG before your time threshold is reached. The biggest reason for this is that at lower limits in online poker, the players are so loose and so bad, that you will rack up winnings at a very brisk pace.

The second parameter is a winning threshold, meaning you set your parameter as a multiplier of your buy in. A great multiplier to start with is X2 (i.e., you buy in for $50.00 and double up to $100.00), this way you can mitigate your risk. In other words, you may double up on your first hand and thus, you've reached your parameter. Now, this doesn't mean that you quit and close up shop but you do want to leave that table. If the site allows it (some don't), you want to re-buy at that same table for your original $50.00. Why do this' Simple, you are BUILDING A BANKROLL and you don't want to risk profits at this point. You want to re-invest your capital at this point; there will be plenty of opportunity later to risk your profits as you move up in limits. Again, at this point (even if this concept goes against your gambling spirit) you must not play with your profits until you reach your goal to move to the next level of play.

A big success factor here is your discipline and how well you adhere to these concepts that I'm presenting to you here. Common sense will play a big role as well and if I have to explain common sense to you at this point, you'd better quit now while you're ahead! You'll see that I repeat this sentiment many times in this book but its importance can't be underscored enough. 2. Don't play at work

You may be wondering why this is number 2 on my list. Honestly, it probably belongs in the top spot but since not EVERYONE in the world has to work to earn a living (you may be retired, congrats!) I'll let it slide in at number 2. Since online poker is accessible almost anywhere, a degree of restraint has to employed to ensure you're playing in the optimum environment to ensure big wins. Work is simply NOT the place for this for a variety of legal, ethical, and moral reasons.

Your employer hired to perform a job and I'm pretty sure it isn't poker. This may not be what you want to hear from me but it plays a big role in many aspects of your game. There may be serious legal ramifications of playing poker and gambling while working depending on national law, state and local laws, as well as your employment agreement that you may have signed. The bottom line here is that you are at work, you are being paid by your employer. Your first loyalty while 'on the clock' is to execute your job functions.

Some other things to consider are distractions, if you're playing a big hand and your boss walks by you may be forced to fold the hand immediately. You may have to logout or even turn off your computer! If you're constantly 'under the gun' thinking that a boss or supervisor may walk by and interrupt your poker playing time, you're probably better off not playing at all. In fact, you're definitely better off not playing if that's the case. Co-workers are another thing to consider. If they are coming into your office or cubicle to ask questions do you really want them to walk up and see you playing poker' In some cases it may as well be pornography, either way it will get you in hot water with the boss if caught doing it.

You may get away with playing online poker for a few days or weeks but guess what' You're not in the clear yet! Employers can monitor firewall logs, which track your internet use and if see that you've downloaded or visited certain gambling related sites you may be called in to see the boss. Again, it's best to use good judgment and keep the poker playing to personal time at home. In the long run, you will come out way ahead personally and professional by being able to separate the two (work vs. poker). 3. Don't play when you're upset or angry

Let's face it, things happen in life that may affect your ability to make good judgment calls. Sometimes things happen long before you sit down to play poker, other times they may occur AT THE TABLE (bad beats, someone trash talking, etc). Either way you must know when to take a break or simply walk away for the evening or perhaps, not play to start with on a particular day.

Making good reads on people and being able to objectively look at a given situation is critical when playing winning poker. If you can't handle someone talking a little smack or if you blame the winning player when you take a bad beat, you need to take a break. If you're playing No Limit poker, this can't be stressed enough because the very next hand that you misplay due to being upset can be the hand that BREAKS YOU. There is a very good book out called the Tao of Poker, by Larry Phillips (click here to learn how to get this book at no charge). I highly recommend this book as it will also play a big role in your long-term success. 4. Never play over your head.

In the second paragraph of this article, I wrote that I won't print charts and formulas for determining what limits you should play but common sense should prevail on this topic. If you have a $500.00 bankroll to start with, does it make sense to play a 5/10 Limit game' You have only 50 Big Bets (BB), which is a common indicator people use to gauge their bankroll vs. the game they want to play. If you're in just one or two heated rounds of betting where the bets are raised and reraised (capped), you've now risked a full ' of your bankroll on ONE hand of poker. If you take the bad beat or miss your draw, you've depleted your roll by a FOURTH. Obviously it makes no sense to risk so much of your bankroll in one sitting. It will NEVER pay off in the long run to do this and you'll find yourself going back to the checking account (savings, credit card, whatever) to fund your next poker outing.

You're much better off playing low limits and a solid game to maintain your bankroll. If you have $500.00, go straight to a $50.00 No-Limit maximum buy-in table. If you like limit, go play 1.00/2.00 poker. You have a full 10 buy ins for your NL game, and can handle 250 BB's in your limit game. This way you can survive the swings and build your bankroll to the next level to move up in limits. 5. Take advantage of DEPOSIT BONUSES

I saved this tidbit for last because without solid bankroll management and play, you won't survive long enough to accumulate these bonuses. However, with good bankroll management and patience, you can really accelerate the speed at which your bankroll grows. Deposit bonuses are offered by most online poker rooms and can range from small sums such as an additional $10.00 to your account to larger percentages such as 100% of your initial deposit! These bonuses (for the most part) have play through requirements and this is where your patience and skill will play a role. The play through requirements will vary but typically are paid in increments based on the number of raked hands that you play. A typical example of a deposit bonus looks something like this:

Deposit $100.00 and get $20.00 (20%) as a bonus.

Play 100 raked hands to release the bonus to your account (takes about 1.5 hours at a single 1.00/2.00 limit table).

If you follow this advice and use the deposit bonuses to accelerate your earnings, you can easily double or triple the size of your bankroll in a short period of time. Don't forget; use this chapter as a guide during your play and you will soon see your bankroll increase dramatically in size!

This article was written by the creators of All credit for this article is given to that Articles

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