This is probably one of the most important skills of a successful poker player: Having a solid bankroll management. Playing within your bankroll is massively important in beating a game in the long run. This means we have to make sure we can survive the dry spells when things just don’t go our way. I am sure you know what I am talking about…
My bankroll management
I base all my bankroll rules around my average buy in. As a very rough rule of thumb, I set myself a bankroll of minimum 500 times the average buy in. This rule is very conservative and allows me to play more or less worry free.
If you are trying to build a bankroll and moving up in limits I suggest some more aggressive bankroll management.
Bankroll builder rule
The lower the buy in and the smaller the field the less times the buy in you need. Let me just give you a table of bankrolls I have used in the past:
I suggest you reward yourself with taking shots in bigger buy in tournaments. My rule there is that any shot should not be more than 2% of your bankroll or in other words, you need 50 times that buy in. I also try to play fields that I actually have a realistic chance of getting top 3. My rule there is that I like fields around 1000 players.
I personally am not a big fan of selling action for bankroll management purposes, because you lose some EV. I especially don’t like it for live tournaments, because all the travel cost and time is not reimbursed. That comes out of your pocket.
I would however consider selling action to play events where I get additional benefits for playing the event. Assume I was invited to a televised game, I would almost certainly play because of potential sponsor offeres down the road, to increase website traffic and booster my image as poker player and person.
A great way to reduce variance is swapping with friends. A lot of players have swapping agreements with their friends where they swap a fixed percentage of every tournament both play in. It is also a good idea, to have swaps for final tables only or as soon as a certain amount is won. No point in chopping up mincashes.
I think it is good for several reasons: You reduce variance, its less of a hassle than selling action and the last important thing: It binds you and your friends closer.
I hope this bankroll management article is helpful. If you have a good system for your bankroll management, please share it in the comments below. Questions and comments are also welcomed.