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Best way to manage my bankroll now

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  • Best way to manage my bankroll now

    I have been working with a very kind fellow Pstars player who has been staking me and whilst that may or may not continue, seperate from that I want to talk about my Bankroll.

    First a bit of history - when i joined Pokerstars a few years ago, I had no idea how to play poker well. I had no idea about TAG style, how to play well and generally only really understood what most beginners do, the basic what-beats-what and how to read the board. The concept of position was known to me but i really didn't understand things like continuation bets, making sure to bet at a pot strong not only to increase the value of it but to throw any speculative hands off getting involved.

    Anyways, i ended up spending a few $ at first, i then lost (obviously) and threw more and more, kept going into Headsup games to try and cover my losses and whilst I won a few, i had no concept of why and to me i was convinced that it was skill/ability when really i was just on the luck end of the Headsup chances.

    I of course ended up putting more money in that i got out and wound up with a $500 or so down from my credit card.

    It made me feel sick to my stomach and i stuck my exclusion in the client and walked away accepting that i sucked at Poker and should never try it again.

    I tried again 10 months or so ago and tried using freerolls and free welcome bonuses and not risk RL cash, but in reality that was just as poor since i had the same skillset as before.

    Come up until recently, I played a poker app on my iPhone and i felt i was quite good and better than i had played before. I decided to deposit $10, which vanished in a sea of $1 and $2 games. I then left it a week or so, still with the Poker Bug and deposited another $10, it went just as quickly.

    After that I noticed the PSO advert within the client and i began taking the course. I realized that although i had a concept of how to play, the tactics were far beyond anything I was actually using and it made me completely change how i play.

    After spending a lot of time studying courses here and articles elsewhere, i decided to try freerolling with the various small-win freerolls including the PSO Open League.

    I did OK, not fantastic but after practice i got better and better. I really felt an improvement and instead of coming in 3000 and 2000 in a 10k field, i was placing within the 1000 and sometimes within the first 500.

    I then began working with a pokerstar player who staked me in 20 x 25c 45 man SnG's. They didnt go so well but after taking onboard his advise and improving, they are going much better.

    Then, my best tournament win so far to date, the Depositors Freeroll where i placed 4th out of 19k actual, 24k with considering rebuys. Netted myself $103 and am now a bit stuck as to what to do.

    In theory, if i follow the instructional videos and articles, i should limit myself to 20x buyins for variance. That means playing $5 games.

    The question is - is this the right move?

    I am getting used to the 25c 45 mans so far but i am also considering that i place well in the PSO open (2925 rank now and improving all the time), came 4th in a quite large field event (even being a freeroll it still counts i reckon).. so i am stuck as to if i am ready to start playing $5-buy-in 45 man games?

    Should i perhaps stay with the 25c games? its much less risk and i am well covered in terms of bankroll but with the time spent (a good 1-2 hours per game, running only 2 at a time as not to split my focus), i cant see myself improving my bankroll by much when i win compared to higher limit games.

    Perhaps I should split the difference and try $1 buy in 45 mans?

    I would really appreciate some advise because the last thing I want to do is throw money away because i increased my level too quickly or without considering as much information and advice as I could.

    I appreciate your help.

  • #2
    Hi baud2death! I'm more on the conservative side and I use the 100 buy-in rule for any MTT or SNG that I would play. I only want to play a given level of game if I have at least 100 buy-ins in my bankroll. The reason for this is that inevitably everyone is going to go thru a bad streak called a variance run. I can be making the best decisions and still lose time after time. I've seen these streaks last for months (just had a 3 month streak of it over the summer). When I hit a bad streak like that, by making sure that I have a proper bankroll for the games that I'm playing, I can ensure that I will still have a bankroll to play with after a bad streak. Hope this helps.umbup: John (JWK24)

    6 Time Bracelet Winner


    • #3
      Originally posted by JWK24 View Post
      Hi baud2death! I'm more on the conservative side and I use the 100 buy-in rule for any MTT or SNG that I would play. I only want to play a given level of game if I have at least 100 buy-ins in my bankroll. The reason for this is that inevitably everyone is going to go thru a bad streak called a variance run. I can be making the best decisions and still lose time after time. I've seen these streaks last for months (just had a 3 month streak of it over the summer). When I hit a bad streak like that, by making sure that I have a proper bankroll for the games that I'm playing, I can ensure that I will still have a bankroll to play with after a bad streak. Hope this helps.umbup: John (JWK24)
      Thank you.. your suggestion seems wise as having a 15 game bad streak and then finding your Bankroll is stuck at 25% of its beginning value before the run, thats harsh.. i can see what you are saying However the same 15 game run on the 100-game variance concept you use gives you 75 games before you get to this position and chances are any better than average player should not see these kinds of dips. I think i might take this consideration on board.. and perhaps with this i want to consider $1 games. With that and a 100$ bankroll, i could not only safeguard my bankroll but also make sure that my skill level vs buy-in level doesn't become skewed to my disadvantage Aside from the obvious ratio of buyin:bankroll, are there any other considerations i should make when thinking about what games to play? Are they are any checklists or questions i should ask/answer before going up to higher limits or managing my bankroll? : NOTE : I prefer not to play Turbo games, i think they work against the TAG style of gameplay and become a game of bingo at certain points rather than the hands.


      • #4
        Turbos are worse and I've seen plenty of stretches 20-30 games deep for a variance run before in the standard blind structure games that I play.

        John (JWK24)

        6 Time Bracelet Winner


        • #5
          Gday baud First of all, well done with the deep run in depositor freeroll!! Pretty impressive from such a massive field. I would definitely say no to the $5 sngs. That sort of bankroll management would be for an experienced compotent player who knows they can beat the games. Like JWK I am conservative with my bankroll, I also use minimum 100BI for mtts, but a little less for the sngs. I think that something important before moving up is that you are beating the current level games. If you are not beating the games, it doesn't matter what level you play you will eventually lose it all; you say that you have deposited money and lost it all, so I assume that your goal now is to use your $100 score to make the losses back (without depositing again). For you I would say stick to the 25c games for a little bit, until you have more experience and are confident that you are beating the games (something to help with this is picking up where other people made bad plays, and how you would have played it better if you had that hand). Once you feel you can beat the 25c games, give the next limit a try.Something else I would recommend is not to skip limits (don't go from say 25c games to $3.50, there will be a significant skill level jump in the opponents, if you play and move through each level the skill jumps will be smaller and also you will make the slight adjustments better and improve your game more and more). You say there you like turbos better, so once you move up from 25c there are 50c, $1 and $1.50 turbos all available, which would be ideal to play and beat each limit. If you keep your balance above $100, the "bankroll management" part of your grind through the stakes is not really important because you have over 100 buy ins until you get to the $1.50 level; by then you will find through the highs and lows that you probably want more than 50 buy ins for turbo games as you get to higher stakes. The road to make the $500 back won't be easy (unless you bink a big score in an mtt) playing sngs, but it is definitely do-able if you work hard!! (speaking from personal experience ) Sorry it is so long to read (I personally don't like reading long posts, lol) but I hope it helps you out umbup: Edit: soomething else I should add, sticking with the 25c games while you have such a big bankroll is going to make your grind back up to $500 much much slower, but you will have basically no chance of busting your roll (which applied more to me because I am a bankroll nit Eventually you can merge back onto a more normal brm which will speed up the winnings. Good luck umbup:
          Last edited by Barbzz; Thu Nov 15, 2012, 02:29 AM.


          • #6
            Hi Baud, I think BR management is a personal thing, like the 2 above posters I am quite conservative with my BR, simply because I don't like losing my money. If I lose a stack (I play cash) I want to have enough in my roll so that it doesn't make me flinch if I get it in bad or get sucked out on. This helps me keep a clear head and not tilt which is vital no matter what stakes you play. I agree with Barb that you should make sure you are beating your current level before you move up. Andrew Seidman says, in 'Easy Game', that learning and improving at poker should be a players main proity and winning money should be a nice benifit. Once you have a feel that you are consistently beating the game then move up to the next level and do the same. Best of luck Oliver umbup: Also congrats on the deopsiter freeroll cash
            Last edited by Croyd93; Thu Nov 15, 2012, 05:06 AM.
            Follow me on: Twitter


            • #7
              Thanks all

              I like the 100:1 ratio, it feels solid and i can really get on board with that type of wince:steady ratio as well

              I decided with $100 i was going to do $1 45 mans.
              I have found the fields to be a lot easier to deal with so far than 25c. In 25c there are a LOT of people making bad calls, extremely loose and basically playing it like its Zynga Poker or something.

              Whilst that would sometimes seem a good thing, it really affects your variance because

              They are putting each other to All-in moves on nothing, so quite often and the loose players are doubling up a lot more than they should which gives them over-confidence and when they are constantly at you with nothing, you get a hand to call them and they suck out.

              The worse thing is because when the table is 50% loose aggressive players, you want to take one out with your strong made pocket JJs but when you are taking half of them on because they are too fish to fold A6o to a strong re-raise, you get a 3-4 way pot and a less chance of a) Getting the opponents off the hand since the pot (if called) will be getting quite full b) Less chance of dominating against so many hands

              That plus various other fish tactics that put you being dominated by weaker hands sheerly because your tactics don't give you the room to challenge them as much as they challenge you.

              Obviously this tactic means that they rarely get past the 2 tables but they can knock you out all the same.

              With the $1 45 mans, it seems a lot better class of player overall and more over a less all-in type of game yet still people going in betting middle pair too much or weak kickers so you can still get paid off.

              Only played a few so i dont know yet but its feeling a lot less like a HYPER-TURBO in these $1 over the 25c ones and you can dominate with your strong hands a lot more because when you have TPTK, they believe you rather than the 25c games when they bet their 32s, you with AK and board is K 2 6, they continue calling you with your v.strong bet thinking their 2 is in the lead, turn comes 7, you drive the price up and they still call, river comes a 2 or a 3 and they take you for the rest of your chips.

              In a game where you can tell your opponent "I have the best cards" and they dont believe you, you might as well be holding AA for all its worth since they are in it forever

              In a 25c game there is no point betting anything at a scare card that you don't have because even if they dont have it themselves, they will not even be focused on that.

              Of course people are still going to come in with marginal hands because that is their range, they know that the top range is the TAG style and they want to flop something weaker that they will get action to them with but are still dominating, ie like the guy above, 23 they could come in on but if they dont see 2 pair, a set or a flush - they are out.

              We shall see, im so far 0/2 in the first $1 ones but i chipped up early with some good plays and played a bit looser because of it and ended up on my arse before the 3rd table, lesson learned, reign in the Ego and the $1 tables should be just the ticket.


              • #8
                Just tried a sample of $1ish games

                I have to say that my play was a bit erratic today, will hold my hand up and say "Didnt play good poker" (bluffing when i shouldnt, raising a bluff with nothing and folding etc)

                That being said after 10 games (mixed with .55 to $1.50 games, a couple of G'teed large field, a knockout and an 18 man, but most $1 40 mans) I managed to cash 5th in the 45 man and 2nd in the 18 man. So overall i am running at $1.49 profit over 10 games, not fantastic I know, only a 1.49% improvement in my Bankroll at .15% improvement per game!

                That being said, since i said "I played poop" i rate my results a little higher and think that if i stop playing so eager and firing up 6 games at a time, a simple 2 game run at a time should be enough and with that i should find my niche

                I must say the 6 seat 18 mans are nice. It seems like a good mix of action, you are often up against 1 maybe 2 people rather than 3 or 4 so its easier to dominate. Not 100% sure but 18 man could be a good fit.

                I think i am going to schedule a 20 set run mixing 10 18man and 10 20man into the mix at the $1 range.

                What do you think?


                • #9
                  Hey Baud,

                  Congrats on your win. I don't wish to sound critical but often a big win allows our ego to alter the perception of our abilities. It is very easy to end up with a false sense of safety and run the risk of actually going bust.

                  I think you have been given some really sound advice here and it would be foolhardy to move up to the $1 games until you can beat the 25cent games comfortably. Rome was not built in a day. You also have the opportunity while being staked/coached by Marvin to grow your game and move up the levels without any risk to your bankroll at all. That is by far the most sensible route to take.

                  If you really want to take some shots split your bankroll. Put say $20 aside for the $1 SnGs, if you lose it then accept that you are not ready yet. Maybe put another $20 aside for cash games and $20 for small buy in MTTs using the same criteria: you lose the roll you are out. That leaves you $40 that you cannot touch and continue your staking with Marvin on the 25 cent games until he thinks you are ready to move up.

                  The last thing any of us want to see is someone going bust but there is no harm taking some shots to see if you can grow your roll but if those shots don't work you have to accept the reality and work to improve your game.

                  Good luck in whatever you decide in any case.


                  Last edited by topthecat; Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:04 PM.


                  • #10
                    Your advice is appreciated and makes good sense

                    I dont play cash (for me its too easy to rebuy and overbuy if you know what i mean) and for the same reason i dont play headsup

                    I will stick with MTT and your advice makes good sense

                    After all with a $100 BR, doing the 25c games, i have 400x chances to work on my game whilst also getting cashed at the same time (of course!)

                    What I might do is as you suggest, put 10% of my BR aside to play higher limit games but in a way that doesnt hurt me.

                    I think the following makes good sense.

                    Play 25c 45 mans with my $100 BR until i can see a 10% (in this $10) profit. Once i can see that, i can then decide to move up and play 10 x $1 games. If in those 10 games i lose either down to luck, bad playing or poor skill, i can drop back down to the 25c ones and all i have really risked here is the prize money i won from before.

                    By doing this i think its good mental work since in my head i am not thinking "I just wasted $10 on these SnG, im poop" but instead i can think "I just lost $10, but hey it was free money i got from the 25c games, and i learned that perhaps i am not ready for the $1 limit yet"

                    As i said before, i think the $1 games have a more stable grade of player rather than the 25c games which are VERY loose. I think however this is a good thing because if i play the 25c with this level of loose play, i can tighten up my game and condition myself to play my game and not theirs, dominate from the pre-flop and flop as well as playing at my opp rather than calling his better hand.

                    Good advice, going to leave the $1 for the moment until i can cash a $10 profit and from there perhaps give it a try.


                    • #11
                      some good advice here for ya so far. I will just tell you what has been working for me lately. I put a post-it on my screen that says "be patient dumb ass" lol it keeps me from taking some of the silly risks I was taking too early in my SNGs and my bottom line has shown me my lil post-it has definetely helped. just my 2¢ umbup: best of luck, and decisions to you man, MT
                      May the tinfoil protect you. MT



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