Poker Money Management - Going Broke - Poker Bankrolls

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Money Management

A key to playing poker for a living is developing the skill of money management. There are tons of strong players out there who have the skill to play full time but lack the discipline to manage their bankroll properly.

Going Broke

It's been said that every poker player goes broke at some point in their career. Those who go on to play successfully for a lifetime have either gone broke and learned their lessons or they've had it drilled into them in some way how dangerous it is to play above your limit.

Poker Bankroll Considerations

How can you determine if you have enough money for a certain limit? If you're playing limit holdem you should measure your bankroll in terms of big bets.

For example, if you're playing $5-10 limit and have a bankroll of $1,000 you have a bankroll of 100 big bets (one thousand divided by the big bet of 10). I've personally experienced downswings of 300 big bets in the $30/60 game ($18,000).

In poker you will experience some significant swings of both good and bad luck. When things are running good you can't lose a hand and money flies into your pocket. But, any pro will tell you that you can't spend all your bankroll of when you run bad you'll be broke and have to look for a job. I recommend a bankroll of 500 big bets. If you can truly beat the game this should enable you to run terrible at the beginning of your session and still make a comeback.

Does this mean that you need to have $30,000 to play $30/60? Yes and no. I will admit that I personally started with $3,000 and was willing to go to about $9,000 if I needed to. I ran exceptionally well and was seriously under bankrolled. Quickly I built the bankroll and then I read a few articles about the bankroll needed to play the different limits. I was very fortunate that I didn't run bad from the start and I don't recommend going this route. However I think the example of how I got started is important because I think it shows that if you lose your bankroll and have a normal job taking an occasional chance in a bigger game is occasionally worth the risk.

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