Your ability to face bets, to pay the buy-in of tournaments and practically the whole of your career as a poker player depends on your bankroll. It is a concept that refers to the amount of money you have to play poker, hence its importance. It should not be confused with the term “stack”, which refers to the amount of chips we have in possession at a given moment of the game.
We can say that our stack comes out of our bankroll, but our stack is not our entire bankroll. Having it always under control is essential to be able to make the right decisions and to be able to continue playing and training ourselves to raise the level of our game.
Bankroll management: why it is important
Surely in your day-to-day life you keep track of everything because you know that many aspects of your life, if not all, depend on your accounts. Well, in poker this is the same. Everything surrounding your poker career depends on your bankroll and how you manage it, so you must learn to manage it.
The critical moment when this becomes of paramount importance is when you make the transition from play money poker to real money poker. Because, even if you have practiced a lot, poker when you play with real money changes completely.
Even if you are an expert player trained more than enough with play money, you will end up getting nervous playing with real money, so the sooner you take the leap, the sooner you will start to get used to it.
It is right at that moment, when you start playing with real money, when it is essential to get involved in working on a bankroll management method. Make it a point to remember that this is independent of the amount you play.
No matter how little money you put in your first games, you must start managing your bankroll. Not doing so means starting with your bankroll out of control, which can hurt you when you want to increase the stakes of your games.
The basis of any poker bankroll management method is based on differentiating two items of your total amount of money: the funds destined to play poker, which will form your bankroll, and the money you will use in your daily life.
These two items should be treated as independent of each other, as they should not be mixed at any time. If this happens, you can find yourself in serious trouble not only to play poker, but also to be able to live a normal life and assume the expenses of your daily life.
Knowing how to manage your bankroll is achieved by sifting through the games you can access and those you can’t. It all depends on the buy-ins you can afford and the volume of bets you can place.
Everything will depend on the buy-ins you can assume and the volume of bets you can make. Therefore, you will have to be careful when entering the game at a table. Look at the blinds and do the math. If you don’t get the numbers, there is no interpretation or trickery possible: it can’t be. You will have to play at lower volume tables.
A common practice among players is to apply a “golden rule” which is that, both in cash games and tournaments, you should never assume more than 10% of your bankroll. The limit is there to guarantee your continuity and economic stability.
The jump from one table to another must be gradual. Starting to play with real money changes things. Following the 10% rule, it is advisable to start with the lower cost tables and move up as you gain experience and assimilate the sensations of betting with real money.
Poker and ambition go hand in hand, but if it is not gradual, you run the risk of having your career cut short by an avoidable and absurd mistake. It is important that your path in online poker is marked by solid steps. Managing your bankroll has to be the foundation on which you get all your achievements and you don’t learn to make a good bankroll management by entering the most expensive tables.
Risks of mismanaging your bankroll in your career
There is a lesser evil and a critical evil of mismanaging your bankroll. The lesser evil is that your continuity as a poker player is compromised. That is, you have to stop playing poker because you cannot allocate more money to the games, so your progression and promotion, as well as your experience, are left on standby, waiting to be able to continue at some point.
The critical evil of poor bankroll management is that you find yourself in serious financial trouble because you have made a bad use not only of your bankroll, but also of your money reserved for your day to day. That money should not be used to play poker, and if you do, you can find yourself in a tricky situation from which it is difficult to get out in the short term.
The risks of mismanaging your bankroll are much greater than it seems at first. We are not only talking about your continuity and progression as a poker player, but also about your personal economy. If it is compromised, you should stop playing poker and start recalculating your income and expenditure forecasts to maintain the stability of your personal accounts.