Bankroll Management

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Bankroll management is a concept that many poker players overlook when honing their skills on the virtual felt. With the ease of single-click deposits and a wide range of stakes to choose from, losing your bankroll is a lot easier than you might think. In fact, it is more common that you may think. Think about this scenario, you have been playing for a short period of time on your favorite site. All of a sudden, you are catching cards, and are on an amazing run. You quickly double or triple your bankroll in a few sessions. Your confidence runs high, so you decide to play higher stakes. Maybe you catch some cards, win a few impossible showdowns, but soon your luck changes. Since you are playing higher stakes than you can afford, your stack is soon reduced to a few useless pennies. What you SHOULD have done was follow general bankroll rules. In short, you should never risk more than 5% of your poker bankroll in any given session. Say you have a bankroll of $1000 to play with. Following these rules, you should not play sit-and-goes for more than $50, nor buy in ring games for more than $50. For multi-table tournaments, you should not risk more than 2.5% of your bankroll. This is because MTTs have a lower ROI than SNGs or ring games. When you feel you can mathematically jump levels, do so! Same goes for if you go on a bad run and have to revert to smaller stakes. As an added guideline, it is important to keep track of how much you win and lose in each session, including juice. There are some programs that will do this for you, but a simple Excel file will do, or even a trusty pad and pen. For better self-analysis, be sure to keep track of the date and type of game you played. When you pay extra attention to your bankroll, you will be more disciplined on what you do with your hard earned money. Another important tip is to recognize patterns in your own play. If you find yourself tilting after a couple of buy-ins lost, quit for the day! Bankroll discipline is just as important as staying disciplined in a big hand.