Tadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis
Bankroll management is one of the most fundamental concepts in poker. You will have many problems in poker, just like in real life, without learning to manage your money.
Over the years, I have found how important it is to keep your poker bankroll separate from the money you need to pay your bills. In other words, your “poker bankroll” is the money you set aside for poker only, and should not come out of the money set aside for living expenses or funds you need for other things.This is the only way to maintain your peace of mind. Knowing that you do not need to win to pay the bills will give you the time you need to concentrate on making the right decisions while playing. You will have more confidence in yourself even during times when you are running bad, or facing a big downswing, because even if you lose, your life doesn’t fall apart. You can easily come back to play the next day, which is what separates the winners from the rest!
Keeping it all for poker
However, if you are playing poker professionally and it is your primary source of income, you work it the other way. You decide how much money you need to cover your living costs and only withdraw that amount from your poker bankroll. In other words, you should keep the bulk of your money for poker.
This way you will be able to move up stakes quicker and win even more. Moreover, having extra money will help you with improving your game as well, because you will not only be able to play higher stakes but invest some of that in learning, coaching or even getting poker software that can help.
Bankroll based on your skill
You skill level compared to your competition’s is the most important factor to consider. If you are crushing the game and have a huge edge over your opponents, you can play with very aggressive bankroll management only having few buy-ins. Therefore, when an extremely weak player joins the game, you can easily justify playing higher stakes than your regular ones without having the required amount of buy-ins in the first place.
However, if you are barely beating the games, you will need a huge bankroll to outlive swings that will eventually happen. So do not make the mistake of taking this lightly, because everyone encounters downswings at one point or another in their careers so you better be ready.
Different strategies for different games
Obviously, every game requires different bankroll management strategy. If you are playing MTTs, you will need more buy-ins compared to paying single table tournaments or cash games, so you need to choose wisely. It is especially important for MTTs, where the requirements can be very different based on the size of the tournaments you play. Naturally, if you are playing MTT with 100 entries, you will need much fewer buy-ins compared to someone who is playing games with 1000 players and more.
To learn more about strategies for different games you can read the full article about poker bankroll management and choose what best suits your needs.
Summing it up
As you see, there are many things you need to take in consideration, and there is no one answer fits all. Therefore, try to build your strategy based on your poker goals, your skill level, and games that you choose to play to reach the best results and protect yourself from going broke.