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I am a casual poker player that likes to spend my free time reading on poker strategies, memorizing some statistics and learning the math.

Recently, i have been booking consistent wins in house games that i go to half with friends half with fresh faces.

I wanted to increase my rate of learning so i started playing some online pokers to gain more experience as house games are rather limited. On online poker, I have been down down down.

So my question is, how should i manage my cash flow in my quest of wanted to improve in poker? Currently i am probably about even from when i started. But i want to learn some methods to control my bankroll as i am still a undergrad.

Regards Beeman

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An experienced winning player could opt to chose an aggressive bankroll management style. An advantage of this is you can wager a higher percentage of your bankroll and thus hopefully winning fast and moving up to higher stakes quickly. The disadvantage is you can lose a lot quickly too and you'd have to move down again or deposit more money into your account. But this is usually a bad sign, because winning players should try to deposit only once and manage their BR properly.

A safer route is to wager a very low percentage of your bankroll. A very important thing, especially for new players, is just to have fun. Try to have fun even if you only make $0.50 an hour. It is much better than playing higher, against tougher opponents, getting frustrated about the huge swings and perhaps even losing long term. Gamble responsibly and it will probably never keep you up at night after a huge losing session. Playing lower also avoids tilt more.

I am just going to give some rough numbers here for both cash games and tournaments, as it was not clear for me if you meant both or the one or the other.

So for an aggressive style you need around 20-40 buy-ins for cash games and 50-100 for tournaments. For a safer style you need 100-200 buy-ins for cash games and 100-1000 buy-ins for tournaments. I would recommend the safer style. For 100-200 buy-ins cash you need to deposit $200-$1000 depending on the lowest stakes that are available. For some this might be a lot, but if you watch some videos, join a training group, buy some training/tracking software, basically invest some money into getting better, the fast majority should be fine beating the lowest stakes. It can hardly be the worst decision you make in your life, but it can turn out to be a great one. For tournaments you probably need to deposit around $500. Then mostly try to play the tournaments where you have 500-1000 buy-ins and then maybe on saturday or sunday or whenever you feel really good you can play one or two tournaments where you only have 100-300 buy-ins complemented by some lower, usual buy-ins.

Usually live you play for a lot more money. Try not to do the same online, it is a totally different environment. When playing online don't think about winning money, but think about winning big blinds or buy-ins. Good luck.

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I am also an undergrad and I have been playing in my free time as well.

The most important thing to realize about bankroll management is that you will most likely not win when you start playing. Always keep the long term in mind, and focus on improving your game rather than short-term results.

When you first start playing, don't deposit money that you can't afford to lose. Also, choose the lowest stakes possible and stay there until you start winning. Study those books, study the mistakes that you make and how you can avoid making them in the future, study your opponents mistakes and ask yourself "why was this a mistake, how could they have played it better?", when you win a hand or make a good move think about if you could have possibly played it better, and it possible use tracking software to find leaks and areas of improvement in your play.

Its all about learning, having fun, and becoming a better player.

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I think it matters;

  1. Age
  2. A goal as a poker player (Full time, Part Time, Professional, Seasonal etc.)
  3. Your Own Gut feeling

If you are young (under 27), I think it's okay to play beyond your bankroll allowance. At the same time, If you are playing poker as a full time, as a professional, You will be tied to the bankroll management cap of each session (max 3% of your total poker bankroll per session) and try to grind it up.

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  • Risking 3% of your bankroll as a pro is simply absurd advice. It's way too much gamble. Point 1 and 3 have nothing to do with bankroll management. You're correct about point 2 however. – Jonast92 Mar 21 '19 at 12:52
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As someone that used to spend a lot of time/money gambling online, I would strongly suggest that you stop doing it. Online gambling is alike a black hole. Only the strongest of players are able to be profitable online, this comes from my experience, as well as knowing quite a few people who would do the same. At the end of the day, we were all down, no exceptions.

Small house games, or casino poker room (on weekends). Why weekends? Because you will have a lot of guys who are out partying with their buddies, or girlfriends and just want to have some fun. Most of them will lose. I am by no means a very strong player, I have my weaknesses too, but from experience I know that these types of games are where you can be profitable, if you have the right game plan.

What's the game plan: Don't limp too much, fold bad hands and try to start off the hand with some kind of a raise pre-flop if you have decent cards. Don't get tempted too much to play with crappier cards, even if they hit sometimes and you folded the big blind. Try to play more hands in position, less out of position unless the cards are good. Nothing complicated. If you are not getting cards, sit and wait until something comes your way.

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  • 1
    kind of confused about the first paragraph. He is asking about bankroll management, doesn't seem like he has a gambling problem. – Clarko Mar 19 '19 at 7:00
  • i assume it's a partial answer to an observation I made about his statement when it comes to playing online poker. Thanks for pointing it out though! Maybe he does have a gambling problem, did you consider that? – Koosh Mar 19 '19 at 16:37
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    he could, but nothing in the question suggests that to me. I guess it depends on what he is spending and how much he is down. – Clarko Mar 19 '19 at 21:15

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