Poker Bankroll Management Tips For 2021
It is one thing to know the buy-in amount that you need to move up, yet another one to actually understand bankroll management strategy and how to implement it in real-life situations.
We will talk about the actual buy-in levels based on your game, but firstly, you need to understand essential rules for managing money in poker.
1. Keep poker bankroll separated from everyday cash
Even if it does not look crucial – it is. It will help you to stay more focused and calm even when things are not going your way.
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If you can keep money dedicated to poker apart from your daily balance, you will be one step ahead already. Knowing that you do not need to win to pay the bills, will give you all the time that you need and you can concentrate on what is vital – making the right decisions.
Moreover, it will influence your life quality in general – you will be feeling better and have more confidence in yourself even on awful times when you are running bad, and that is what separates winners from the rest!
2. Do not withdraw money from your bankroll
It will help you build your bankroll without wasting money on unimportant things. In addition to this, you will be able to move up stakes much quicker as well.
Having an option to do that will enable you to improve your game and learn much faster than you would otherwise.
Moreover, you will be able to implement new strategies in your game at a much better pace because you will have more money to make that extra play. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to keep all your money in your poker bankroll – do that!
If you need that money to cover living expenses, you will have to withdraw some. However, even if this is the case, do not take it too far and do not cash out more than you need.
To be honest, you should have some strict rules about this and know in advance how much you need and plan accordingly. No matter which way you go, try to keep as much money as possible in your poker bankroll to move up the stakes!
3. Be Willing To Take Aggressive Shots When Needed
When you have these first two rules in place, you can move forward and see how your willingness to take risks will influence your poker bankroll management.
I want to say that there is no golden rule for this one. You should build a strategy based on your poker goals. Thus, if your goal is to learn as fast as possible and to move up stakes, you can be implementing a very aggressive bankroll management strategy.
However, if you are just looking to build a steady income from the games that you already play, your approach will be quite contrary.
If this is the case, you should be taking a very conservative approach to your poker bankroll management to prevent yourself from getting broke, in case you keep running poorly for an extended period.
Nonetheless, the most important factor here is your ability to reload if you accidentally lose all your money. If you have a fixed amount for poker and will not be able to add any more money if bad luck hits you, then do not take aggressive shots. But as we said, if you are looking to improve your game and have the option of reloading, you can play with fewer by-ins.
It is my strategy, and I do think that it gives a better opportunity to learn and even adds more excitement to the games. However, before implementing it, make sure you can handle the swings.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Drop Down In Stakes To Regain Your Confidence
Sometimes, you’ll want to drop to lower stakes even if your bankroll allows you to play higher. I know this may sound counterintuitive, and like you’re losing out on your hourly, but it’s still something to consider in some circumstances.
As I’ve said countless times before, poker comes with its many challenges. A streak of bad variance (or bad luck, if you will) can shake your confidence. This, in turn, can lead to you playing sub-optimally without even noticing it.
Say you moved to NL200 a couple of months ago and are now on a bad streak and stuck 15 buy-ins.
Perhaps you still have a bankroll to continue playing at NL200 comfortably, but do you have the confidence? The level of competition is higher than before, and you might start to question your play when being on the wrong side of the variance.
In these situations, dropping down to your previous stakes and playing there for a while can be a good thing. You won’t feel as much pressure in terms of money, and you’ll be able to regain some of your confidence.
While you might be leaving some cash on the table in theory, you want to play your best game and if spending some time at lower stakes is what it takes to get you there, just do it.
5. Save Money On Non-Poker Expenses When Playing
This tip relates primarily to live players. If you’re someone who regularly travels to play tournaments or hunt for good cash games, you don’t want to be spending too much money on non-poker things.
This will make a dent in your ROI or hourly, sometimes to the point where it just doesn’t make sense.
What I’m trying to say is that you need to budget your expenses when you travel. Travel and accommodation are real expenses that you can’t go around, but you can do your best to lessen the blow.
In one of his interviews, Berry Greenstein, one of the game’s best, hinted that, with all his live tournament winnings, he wasn’t even sure if he made money over the years when he accounts for all the additional expenses.
So, you need to plan ahead and make sure the trip you’re taking makes financial sense if you’re a professional player. Staying in a 5-star hotel and traveling first class has its perks for sure, but if you aren’t playing high stakes, you probably can’t afford it if you want to make your poker trip profitable.