Successful Poker Players Know How to Utilize their Cash. Those who play poker to win are in the game for the long run. In order to stay in the mix, poker players must utilize sound money management skills.
If you play poker and are looking to make a huge amount of money quickly, then you’re in the wrong game. The most successful players, such as Phil Ivey, Annie Duke, Daniel Negreanu and others, have become the best of the best slowly. They’ve won and lost and understand how to manage their money successfully, eventually learning to invest small percentages into each game.
Although poker is a game, it is also a business and the money you use must been seen as an investment. When you play poker always approach it as you would any other business and that means using sound money management skills.
Your Poker Bankroll
Your bankroll is your power. The size of your bank will determine what types of games you can play—high, medium or low stakes. In cash games, the amount of money you bring to the table instantly puts you in a position of strength or weakness. But the size of your bankroll does not make you a good poker player. Money may talk at the poker table but if you can’t back it up with strong play, you’ll be taking a walk away from the green felt quickly.
The key to utilizing your bankroll, whether it’s $100, $1,000 or $10,000, is knowing how to use your funds properly when you play poker. This involves having a long view of the game and your involvement in it. Thus, when you play poker you always want to be in games that you can afford. If you stress out your bankroll by investing half of it in a game, you’re setting yourself up, at some point or another, for disaster. In order to keep their bankroll sound, many poker players use the 5% rule.
The 5% Rule
The 5% rules dictates that you enter cash games or tournaments using no more than 5% of your bankroll. It’s important to note that you don’t have to use 5% of your bank every time. The idea is you are to use no more than 5%.
Of course, when you play poker and follow this rule it helps to have a sizeable bank. It’s simple mathematics that 5% of $100 gives you $5.00 with which to play, while a roll of $1,000 will allow you to use $50.00 in one cash game or tournament.
Many players grow restless with the 5% rule. There is a poker money management technique that allows you to vary the rule, using more than 5% on one game and then compensating by using less in other games. This allows you to play poker at different cash and tournament levels. Usually this technique is used over the course of three to five games.
If you have a grubstake of $500.00, then 5% would be $25.00. Let’s say there’s a tournament with a $30.00 buy-in. If you buy-in, you’d be doing so using 6% of your cash. In the next two games, you would spend 4% each time. The average wagered over three games would be 4.66%. The second game would cost 18.80 and the third $18.05. The total spent, would be $66.85.
If you used the 5% rule on each of the three games, the total amount would be $71.31. This poker money management variation of the 5% rule allows players to spend a little more at times and make up for it by using smaller percentages later. The example used assumes that you lost all of the games. Of course, there’s a decent chance that you can end up in the money in any or all of these games, thus making your bankroll larger and increasing the amounts you may wager.
Riding Out the Losing Streak
If you play poker for any amount of time, you’re bound to run into a losing streak. A losing streak can happen over a series or hands, games, days or weeks. In order to ride out a losing streak, players must use smart poker money management techniques. The basic thing to do is to conserve the cash you have left and play to your strength.
If you are in a game, that means playing strong hole cards and capitalizing on their strength. You need to be very attentive, looking for your opportunity and seizing it when you see it.
If your losing streak encompasses many games or stretches out for days, then the best money management you can practice is to not bet at all. In other words take a break from the green felt table or play in free games only. Sometimes you simply need to get your bearings, reevaluate your game and then get back into your groove.
Money Management is Key in Poker
If you intend to play poker over a long period of time, you’ll need to practice sound money management. Poker players who do so have a much better chance of staying in the game and over the course of time making money consistently. Play a disciplined game and it will pay off.