Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bankroll Management 101

Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex, you thought of nothing else if you didn't have it and thought of other things if you did. – James Baldwin.

Mr. Angelo calls it “partitioning”. Your poker bankroll is really just a sub-set of your entire bankroll. In fact, the entire distinction exists primarily only in your mind (it may also have a physical partition if you keep your poker bankroll in a poker wallet). If you can learn to partition better than others, you will be more adept at protecting your poker bankroll, and you will gain an edge.

Too many players injure their poker bankroll by not partitioning well. They spend poker money on beer, fuel, food, etc. They then, lament the inevitable episode of variance that leaves them low or out of poker money.
Food, beer, fuel, etc. are things one needs anyway and one is going to buy anyway – with or without poker money. Therefore, make sure to buy these out of your “regular” bankroll. If you must buy them from poker money, replace that poker money with regular money so that the beer, etc. ends up on the right account.

Be diligent about adding money won at poker to your poker bankroll.
Don’t squander those winnings like a drunken sailor on his first shore leave.
What if you go through an extended period of losing? You will regret having squandered those winnings. Those winnings are your tools for playing and winning more. After completing a job, would you discard the perfectly good tools that enabled you to do the job? Would you trade them for food, fuel, beer, or whatever? Don’t trade your poker bankroll (i.e. your tools) for them either.

As a poker player with a family, I think it is even more essential to keep your poker bankroll separate from your family bankroll. If I used family money to play, I would be more worried about losing and would not be able to bring my “A” game. Playing with money one is afraid to lose is playing with “scared money” and good players will notice this and take advantage of you. With a separate poker bankroll, I can play my best game and not worry about a potential loss affecting my family. Don’t get me wrong. I do not want to lose any money at all but I also know that it is certain to occur sooner or later. Be prepared by saving your winnings. That way when you suffer the occasional loss, your bankroll survives and you are able to keep playing. More importantly, your family is not affected by the loss. I went through an extended period of involuntary unemployment not long ago. However, since I maintain a separate poker bankroll, I was able to play poker the entire time with no negative impact to the family.

Playing winning poker is a long term prospect. If you treat your poker bankroll as a long term investment and “partition” well, it will grow and you will gain another edge in the long term game.

1 comment:

Admin said...

Ha cool post - I liked it.I hope you have not stopped writing in your blog. I will keep an eye on it.

Me-Im very interested in bankroll management. I tried bankroll project inspired by Chris Ferguson. I started with $10 and topped in $1500 before I lost most of my bankroll. In retrospect I believe the downswing was due to a too low commitment to the project. I have since then opened my own site, pokerbrb.com (poker bankroll building) where I am in process of building a community for poker players who want to build a bankroll.

I wrote a blog myself about my process and found this to be a really good tool to maintain the commitment to the project, but I really missed the community element of forums. Most of the posts I submitted to other forums were lost in the masses so my mission now is to develop a good environment for players pursuing bankroll building by gathering these blogs in a forum dedicated to bankroll building... Which might have interest to you.

How would you feel about posting a thread in our forum about your process? I have contacted a long list of blogs with same content as yours.

About our forum:
The forum is a banner free site, www.pokerbrb.com/forum.
As you can see there is not much activity. At the moment we have two users posting about their own bankroll process, but not much traffic otherwise. We are of course working on getting more traffic.

Hope to hear from you

Best regards
Michael P.