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Help on Building a Poker Bankroll


Over the last couple months, as a Cake Poker affiliates, we've signed up quite a few players and I'd like to give out some pointers on how to build and maintain a sustainable bankroll and hopefully learn from some of my experience, mistakes, and success.

When I 1st started out I had no clue how difficult it was to judge how good of a player you are and what kinds of swings your bankroll will go through on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. It seems to me the great majority of players coming in hoping to make a bunch of money playing poker, think the best way to take their shot is to be the next "Moneymaker" and treating poker like a lottery ticket rather than grind there way up the ranks like about 95% of all the REAL long lasting pro's have done like Ivey, Chan, Doyle...... 

Donate as little as possible to Poker University - The one thing I did know was I wasn't good enough to jump into anything bigger than $2/4 limit cash games and $10-20 sit in goe's or multi table tourneys. Not necessarily because I couldn't afford more, but my skill level was just not there yet. So if I'm going to lose a little money at 1st while trying to get down the basics, I wanted to lose as little as possible while I'm basically paying my poker "Tuition".  So if you're fairly new to poker or online poker, start off playing small until you feel completely comfortable with the game and online site and you actually have a consistant winning record. Each game and online poker site take some time getting used to. I personally spend about a week feeling out a new game before I risk anything substantial.

Track your stats - Almost every good poker player knows exactly what games they are most succesful. Alot of players seem to have a hard time doing anything other than sitting down and playing. Let's be honest, the majority of people who take there shot at being the next wannabe poker pro end up losing money because they don't even want to take the time to think about how, what, or where they play. I am personally a stat freak and love to break down my numbers into every possible category to help me maximize my profitability. Now I know many players aren't looking to turn their favorite hobby into a full-time job, but you at least need to have an honest record on how you're doing.

Do your homework - These days there is so much information on the internet, poker books have tend to be discarded by some as something not worth the time or up to date with the way games are played today. I think this might be true in some cases at very high limit play, but for someone starting out they can give you alot of great advice for usually only $15-40. I figure if any book is able to help me win just 1 pot in my lifetime, then it was worth the purchase. There are also alot of good magazines out there which are good to pull out while doing nothing and killing time.

Find an online poker site that gets rakeback and take advantage of bonuses - Obviously I'm a bit partial to Cake Poker which gives one of the highest rakeback deals at 33% back on all fees and generated rake, but if you do play anywhere else make sure you don't sign up without getting rakeback. For many players that are close to break-even, rakeback can turn some slightly losing players into winners and winners into healthy winners. Many online pro active players get $1,000 to over $10,000 a month in just rakeback alone. I have a link for my rakeback deal at the bottom of the entry and as a link on the left side. As far as bonuses, many sites offer 1st deposit bonus matches.  Cake Poker, in fact, offers a 1st deposit match of 100% up to $600! Just be careful not to play outside your normal comfort zone to get a few extra dollars and in the process lose hundreds or thousands of dollars in the games themself. I recently had 2 major sites institute a limited amount of time to earn the bonus dollars you could be tempted to play way too big to earn a couple hundred dollars. Luckily, Cake Poker had never had a time limit, so be careful anywhere else. 

Avoid becoming a satelite junkie - Ideally I would say to never play a satelite you can't afford to buy directly into without it heavily affecting your bankroll. It really doesn't make sense if you haven't gotten good enough to build your bankroll and buy directly into a tournament which poses much tougher competition than you're normally used to. Many times I've found myself buying into multiple satelites and bubbling out and in the end I could have just bought straight in. Better yet I have no problem winning satelites only to consistently not cash in on that BIG tournament and in the end depleting my bankroll from all the satelites I played.

Impose strict limits on what % of bankroll you risk per game - Especially for newer players who don't understand the time it takes to build a bankroll and how easy it is to lose it all after a few bad games/weeks etc. It can be a bit different for each game but I would say for standard sit-n-goes which payout about 33% of players, I would only risk at most 1-3% of my bankroll or $10 of a $500 bankroll. In a multi table tourney which usually only pays 10% of players closer to 1% or $5-10 of a $500 bankroll. Cash games are a totally different animal. Just to sit down to a $2/4 limit game you need $100 and the swings can be very wide. I would say you would need at least $2,000-3000, so about 20X the buyin seems about right. This can be abit shocking for some players, but if you really are a good player you will move up through the ranks fairly quickly. This also leads to the topic of bad runs.

Don't multi table if you have yet to become a long term consistant winner - I might get some crap for this because like me, alot of players are a bit A.D.D. and waiting 3 seconds to analyze a hand is just way to long so we play 3-4 tables at a time. The problem with this idea is that the great majority of online players struggle with just being profitable while playing 1 game and for every additional game you play your winning % typically drops. So if you're barely a winning player 2 games might push you to barely even and 3 games at a time can make you a loser. Typically the only players who succeed at this have already broken down every game they've ever played and figure out an exact strategy so that decisions are made easier (not necessarily the best play) and they already have very good notes on how all the others opponents play at the table. Playing only 1 table (Or 2 max) leaves you enough time to really evaluate every hand and opponent to make the best possible plays and improves your game the fastest, enabling you to eventually move up to higher limits much easier.   

If you're running bad, regardless of luck, you need to make some changes - This is probably what ruins most poker bankrolls than anything else. Maybe your patience is wearing thin, you're getting tired, distracted by too many things (TV, phone, work, muti-tabling too many games), maybe your opponents are beating you with total junk or maybe you are just not skilled enough yet to play at the limits you are playing. No matter the reason whenever things are going bad dramatic changes need to be made and usually for me it's because I'm playing too aggressively or too many hands or both, taking too many big risks. So tightening up for me works. Maybe that's not everyone's problem, but most athlete's/competetors have some weakness they have to always be on top of. It can be very hard to move down in limits especially after being at a limit for a long time. I remember killing $100+ 6mans on Pokerstars for months until I got a little too confident and my competition started to catch up in skill and I eventually dropped down to $30 sng's for a few months until I found a couple other games and new sites (Cake Poker included) that proved more profitable.

There is much work to be done and there are many skills needed to become a winner in the long run at the tables, however, if you can follow the techniques and rules I just mentioned, you will be far ahead of your competition. I wish you all luck at the tables. If you have any questions or comments feel free to share.

Again, anyone looking to get a great rakeback deal saving at least 33% on all the fees and rake you pay to play. Please give Cake Poker a shot if you haven't already. You must use our signup code to get a rakeback account though! Please contact us if you have any questions or interest in signing up. Cake poker is a great site with active table at all limits and alot of loose players.

to join

1. download cakepoker.com here: Cake Poker
2. open a new real money account (you don't have to deposit to do this at this time) using FRAZ (all caps) in the SIGN UP CODE box...you don't put anything in the promotional code box

For new players, you will get 110% of what you deposit, up to $600 on your first deposit as well...thats free money !!


I can also help you if you have any problems making any deposits if you send me an email and you wish to transfer money from another site.

You can also download using the banner below....if you choose to join...shoot me an email to let me know you did and what your screen name is, so I can invite you to the free roll. For new players, I am always here to answer questions about the site or poker in general, so please ask.

You can email me at Donkeyherder2000@yahoo.com Cake Poker

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
(Anonymous)
Aug. 20th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
German Resources?
I'm not sure about German resources, however, most large bookstores carry some basic beginner books. I would recommend buying something that is relatively current (Not too old) and looks like a book that is not too statistical and will keep your interest long enought o finish the book. The more you play, the easier it is to read and understand the more complicated books. You can also usually find alot of information online if you just search out "texas holdem/poker". Gl, Donkeyherder
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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