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Bankroll Management and Goal Setting

One of the biggest things that you will have to deal with in poker is not tells, it is not getting into the right cash game and it is not playing the right tournament. One of the biggest things that you will have to deal with is your bankroll. If you don’t have a bankroll then you can’t play poker -simple as that. Any poker player that is going to play for profit knows that they need to keep money set aside from the money they need to survive on a day to day basis. This money is called your bankroll. You cannot, I repeat cannot start to use the money you have set aside for the rent or groceries to fund your next trip to the casino. That is the fast track to getting evicted. Never gamble with money that you cannot afford to lose. This is why having a bankroll is so important.

The normal size bankroll to play in a low limit game such as a $2 – $4 limit game would be 300 times the big blind. In this case that would be $1200. This will afford you the ability to take some swings and an occasional losing session and still have you playing optimally, without the worry of where the rent is going to come from. Eventually you will find that you are getting better and would like to move up to a bigger game. This is where setting goals comes in to play. Let’s say that your next goal is to play in the $5 – $10 limit game. Going by the 300 times the big blind rule, you would have to build your bankroll to $3,000. Once you get there you can start to set goals to move up to the next limit. And so on and so forth.

There will be occasional times when you will get a run of bad cards and I am not talking about one session. It may be a few days or a few weeks, where you might get some really bad beats or find yourself getting dealt garbage 95% of the time. If you find yourself in situations where your bankroll starts to get smaller, then you will have to move down a limit and build your bankroll back up. And you know what? There is nothing wrong with that. Not only will it build up your bankroll, but more than likely it will build up your confidence as well. Managing your bankroll correctly and setting attainable goals will help make you not only a better poker player, but a profitable one as well.


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