Managing Your Poker Bankroll Part 2 Of 3

So you've got your clammy paws on a decent 'roll and you're just itching to click that buy in button for big 100/200 Limit game on Full Tilt. "Dude, 5 large is a lot of cash and look at these fish playing at this level! I can crush this game as long as these morons don't suck out on me."

Famous Last Words

Spoken like a true fish, the fictional comment above unfortunately is repeated countless times each and every day at poker rooms around the world. Ever heard of the old saying, "If you can't spot the sucker in the room, it's you"? Well, heading your happy ass over to a game with your entire bankroll at stake is just about as negative ev as it gets son. Seriously, you're going to sit down at a game where 25 BB's constitute your ENTIRE BANKROLL? Donk down! Call the paramedics!

Your Mental Game Is Just As Critical As Your Physical

It's tough after you take down a big win in the 50K guarantee or crush a few 2/4 NLHE tables to not want to take your winnings and play a bigger game. Beware of this temptress however, because she's a royal bitch that's lying in wait to rob your of your bankroll. Here's a better idea, take some of your winnings and go hit up Ebay or head down to the local bar and treat your buddies to a round of beer to celebrate. The last thing you want to do here is put your bankroll (or a large portion of it) at risk. The best TG's are able to temper big wins just as well as they can control emotions after a big loss. A key component of being able to handle these swings without losing control is ensuring your playing within the confines of your bankroll. You have the formula from the first installment in this series, so now you must ensure that you're careful before stepping up in limits. The same math applies, so calculate accordingly.

Forget The Math - Move Me Up To The Big Cheese

Ok, cowboy. Let's talk about the other parts of your game that you should assess before moving to the next level. For this example let's assume that you're playing 4/8 Limit Hold'em and your win rate is 3BB per hour (3BB/hr). You've been grinding this game out for a total of 767 hours according to Poker Office and you feel confident that you're ready to move to 5/10. Your total bankroll has grown to $7,533.00 so you have a total of 753 BB's. So the math jives here as you have more than the recommended minimum BB's to play at this level.

If you feel that your game is ready to move up and your bankroll can support it, then by all means do so. What's important here is that you understand the importance of moving BACK DOWN if you're getting hammered at this new level. Before you sit down at the new limit you must have a defined threshold that when triggered, will be your cue to move back to the old game and continue to grind and tweak your poker strategy. In other words if the minimum 600BB's to play 4/8 = $4,800.00 then once you drop to this level it's time to walk away from 5/10. In fact, I'd recommend that you meet this number halfway and drop back to 4/8 at the $5,400.00 point. It's always wise to build a buffer (even over the minimum) when moving to a new level.

Common Theme - Protect Your Bankroll

I'll beat this horse until there's nothing left to beat but a bony carcass. It's better to be safe than sorry in this situation. Remember, this is your full time job now because you made the decision to be a True Grinder. You must take all steps necessary to protect your bankroll because it's what allows you to continue playing. Would you bet use your car as a buy-in to a poker game? Unless you have another vehicle in the garage that's not a very good idea. So use this same logic as you take your game to the next level and manage your poker bankroll in the process.

In our final installment we're going to talk about how TG's grow their bankroll and carve out little rewards for themselves like a new watch, plasma, or a night out at the local Gentlemen's Club.