Generally, how well you play poker is not the only thing that determines how much money you will make in a given session or how long it will take you to become a winner.
How good other players are at managing their bankroll plays just as big of a role in how much they win over time.
The following guidelines will help you get the most bang for your buck in terms of how much money you can bank while limiting how much you lose when things don’t work out.
Funnily enough, how to manage your bankroll has more to do with how well you play than how mechanically skilled you are and how often you win.
So how is managing your bankroll so different to how well you play?
Well, for starters, how often you win can be affected by how much money you have in front of you. Practically everyone knows this, but the important thing with managing your bankroll is not how much you bring to the table at once; it’s how much money gets recycled back into your stack over time.
Here are a few steps you can take to help how well you manage your bankroll, or how long it will take you to become a winner:
Step 1 – Start With A Decent Bankroll
You should never expect to be able to make it big at the micro-stakes without having a healthy bankroll, unless there’s something very wrong with how you play.
Step 2 – Have A Plan For Redistributing Your Bankroll Over Time
In the long run, how much money you can make during a session or how long it will take to become a winner is not simply dependent upon how well you play; how quickly and frequently your poker bankroll is recycled back into your stack is also an important factor.
Step 3 – Maintain A Mental Bankroll, Not A Physical One
For many reasons it’s wise to keep how much money you have in front of you separate from how well you manage your bankroll over time. Before the session starts or during a break, go through how much money you want to have in front of you at various stages during the session.
What amount should be in front of you if there is a multi-table tournament, how much for cash games and how much for SNGs? Set up how much money you need to garner more than 20% of the chips in play when entering a MTT, how much for cash games and how much for SNGs.
Step 4 – Use A System And Maintain A Notebook
When setting up how much money you want to have in front of you, use a system so you don’t lose track of how much money is at each stage or how long it has been there. You might want to use a mental calculation like how many hours or how many hands you think it will take to get back there.
For example, how much money would I need in front of me after 6 hours if I sit down with 600 dollars and from that 600 we are going to be playing cash games for the next 8 hours? Most people are not very good at calculating how much money they need now or how long it will take them to get back there, so create a system for yourself.
A notebook is also very useful for how well you manage your bankroll over time; write how much money you have in front of you after each session and how long it took for you to get there. This gets you in the habit of how well you managed your poker bankroll, how long it will take you to become a winner and how much money to plan accordingly.