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  • September 28, 2020

Poker strategy: Building Your Poker Bankroll

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The fact is that most poker players lose money. With the exception of certain home games and promotions, beating the rake is a necessary part of winning in poker. It is also a very important aspect of how to build a bankroll in online poker as well as live. In the purest sense of the term, a poker bankroll is the amount that a winning player has to devote solely to poker.
The bankroll requirements for players depend primarily on four key components. We’ll look at these with a short introduction to each crucial aspect one must consider in arriving at their ideal bankroll.
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Stakes
Obviously, playing higher-stakes will require a larger bankroll than grinding lower stakes of the same game type. However, this effect is not always linear, as the possible variance in moving from 50NL to 200NL may be such that the player required more than four times the bankroll from his days of grinding 50NL.
Rate of Winning
For tournament players, this figure refers to the player’s return on investment (ROI) that he can expect from the tournaments he currently plays. For cash games, this figure is the player’s win rate in big blinds per 100 hands played. Regardless of whether one is a tournament or cash game player, a large sample size of hands is necessary to accurately assess the rate of winning. Many people overestimate this number based on running unsustainably well over too small of a sample of hands. For those that are unsure as to the accuracy of their win rate, it is suggested that they proceed with caution and research.
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Comfort Level
This key aspect is primarily influenced by two key components: life roll (or the person’s other available cash and income streams) and the mental composure of the player. Mental composure refers to the individual tendencies of the player that will often converge with optimal bankroll management decisions unique to each individual. Some players may feel that having a bankroll that is three times the suggested standard bankroll for their situation enables them to play better poker. Others may conclude that having an overly-large bankroll contributes to them playing sloppy poker. If having a larger than normal bankroll helps a player to perform with better clarity, then this can be a component that almost supersedes the other guidelines in terms of arriving at an ideal bankroll figure.
Game Type
In general, playing tournaments as opposed to cash will be higher variance and require a larger bankroll even at similar stakes. Lower variance game types will require lower bankrolls as compared to their faster-paced counter parts. Extremely high variance formats, such a super-turbo tournaments will require you to have a higher bankroll (in terms of number of buy-ins).
The first step to building a poker bankroll is understanding the fundamental aspects that contribute to having a solid initial number of buy-ins. Once all factors are considered in arriving at a healthy amount for the stakes one currently plays, then the person can address the many factors that contribute to building a bankroll for higher-stakes games in the future.
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