Complete Poker Bankroll Strategy – Maintaining Your Bankroll (Part 5 of 5)

Once you’ve built your bankroll to a point where you cannot replace it, you must exercise money management skills. It’s at this point that many players get caught up in the idea of going ‘PRO’, and instead end up going broke!

When you’re online poker bankroll reaches the point that eclipses most savings accounts and retirement funds you need to start exercising great discipline and caution. Suppose your bankroll has grown from $500 to $10,000, and you’ve been playing with 20 buy-ins: There is a huge difference between dropping 5 buy-ins –$125 with a $500 bankroll-and dropping 5 buy-ins with a $10k bankroll –$2,500! When your bankroll reaches a point that heavy losses cannot be replaced so easily, and sting so much more, you need to be extra careful. If you’re going to be serious about poker, you’ll also have to be serious about money management .

Maintaining a bankroll is an exercise in caution, you never want to risk a large portion of your bankroll in any game, unlike your early attempts at building a bankroll, you don’t take ‘shots’ unless you have reached a conservative bankroll number -there is no more putting 10% of your entire poker bankroll on the table: EVER! In fact, it would be unwise to ever put more than 5% of your money in play at any time, and a better number to shoot for is around 2%.

When you were building your bankroll from scratch a big loss wasn’t much of an issue; if you managed to work your way up to $400 and dropped half of it, it wouldn’t be devastating: frustrating, but not devastating. On the other hand, if you now possess a $10k bankroll, and lost $5,000 it would be a very big deal! Losing half your bankroll at this point is devastating; not only in terms of the amount of money, but the time and effort you put in to win that money will wreak havoc on your mind-set.

On the flip side of the coin, you also do not want to play way over rolled. If you have a $50,000 roll and you play in a $100 game, the losses won’t sting enough, and most people will play less than optimally in that situation.

It’s at this point that you should set a floor, and a ceiling limit:

A floor is the amount of your bankroll you will lose before you drop in limits: If you have 50 buy-ins you may set a floor limit of 30 buy-ins, at this point, even though you still have a healthy bankroll, you may want to move down in limits. As I said, with a substantial poker bankroll the losses are more mentally draining.

A ceiling is a threshold you must pass in order to cash-out or move up in limits. So, if you like to maintain a 50 buy-in bankroll you may want set a ceiling of 55 buy-ins, so every-time your bankroll reaches 55 buy-ins you can cash-out or perhaps take a shot at the next limit.

Passive bankroll building:

There are other ways for poker players to work on their bankroll away from the poker tables, and sometimes these methods are critical to a poker player’s success: Such as, using tracking software, like Holdem manager, to pinpoint weaknesses in your game; or reading and learning from other poker players at online poker forums.

• Participating in online poker forums: By participating in, and not just reading, online poker forums you will be able to become a part of the conversation, which will help you work through the problems on your own, and not just follow someone else’s advice -which you may not fully understand.

• Holdem Manager: Tracking software is a must have for any serious online poker player. Utilizing Holdem Manager’s different features and functions, online poker players will be able to isolate leaks in their game, test out concepts and theories, and track their results using a variety of different filtering options. This is in addition to having your opponents’ results and statistics at your fingertips!

• Game and seat selection: An extremely overlooked area for most online poker players is game and seat selection. Don’t just sit in the first available seat you find, you should take the time to look at the other players in the game, especially if you are using Holdem Manager, which will allow you to quickly spot bad players. Additionally, if it’s possible you should choose a seat to the left of the bad players, which will help you isolate them when they enter pots.

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