Building a Bankroll by AVP Resident Pro Benton Blakeman
Building a solid working bankroll is one of the most important aspects in poker. While some of us play for recreation and some of us play professionally, money is the one constant that each of us need to stay in action at the poker table. If you have a nine to five job and support your bankroll from that money then this article isn't exactly meant for you. The point of todays article is about how to grow your bankroll while also minimizing your risk of losing it.
We've all heard the saying about "Don't play over your bankroll," and "Taking shots is a sure way to go broke." While these are true in a vacuum I don't believe they are necessarily words to live by. I think the style that I utilize and have become accustomed to is both very profitable and low risk.
A general rule of thumb when playing live poker is to have 25 buy ins plus six months living expenses saved up when playing a specific limit. That is a good rule but is also very vague. Lets say you're playing $1-$2 no limit with a $300 buy in. By this rule you'd need $7500 as a bankroll plus living expenses on the side. Now there's a $2-$5 no limit game with a $1000 max buy in which you plan on moving up to when your bankroll is there, but based on this rule you'd need $25,000 plus six months expenses to be properly rolled. So, do you grind $1-$2 until your bankroll is $25,000? If not, when should you try the $2-$5 game and wouldn't trying it be breaking that cardinal rule of "Don't play over your bankroll?"
In my opinion the best route is somewhere in between. If this were me, I'd play $1-$2 until I have about 50 buy ins ($15,000) and then if I am beating the game consistently I'd "take a shot" at the $2-$5. Unlike most shot takers who risk a large percentage of or their whole bankroll on one shot, I prefer to set aside "shot money." In this case, I would take $5000 from my bankroll, leaving myself $10,000 plus my living expenses and play $2-$5 with the $5000. Using this method only one of two things can happen. Either I am successful and turn a profit playing $2-$5, ultimately winning enough money to be correctly bankrolled to stay at that limit, or I lose the $5000 and go back to playing $1-$2 no limit with my remaining $10,000 bankroll, which is still more than the $7500 that I started with. Notice that neither of these results put me in jeopardy of being out of action or having to drop down lower than I was originally playing. Also note that my "shot money" wasn't just a buy in. It was five buy ins which give me a little room for error and adjustment to the new limit. As with anything, the newer higher limit game will be full of different players making more advanced plays and will take some getting used to, so be sure that you are prepared for it by having more than one bullet for the game. Ultimately, I feel this is the key to making this method successful.
No matter what method of bankroll building that you choose there will always be ups and downs. Just be sure that you have left yourself enough cushion money so that when the down side hits you have enough to rebuild on, and preferably can do so at your original stakes.
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