I started recording my profitability using a new Excel spreadsheet on May 29th and saw all my results plummet last week. It did not matter if I was playing a cash ring game, a “sit and go” game, or a tourney, I was starting to get very bad results. Because of that, I was starting to wonder about my poker skills or lack of them. I knew that any poker player can run into a stretch of losing games and that is why it is so important to practice bankroll management.
In poker, bankroll management is a method of allocating your resources so that you do not go broke. As an example, let’s say that you have a $1,000 bankroll. The formula that I use allows me to divide my bankroll by 500 to determine what size limit game I should play in or by 2,000 to determine what size “no limit” game I should play. Doing this allows me to play in a $1.00/$2.00 limit game or a .25/.50 no limit game. I could also play in any tourney for no more than 2% of my bankroll or no more than $20.00 per tourney. If I am a good to very good player, these guidelines should help prevent me from going broke during my poker career. Your mileage may vary. If you are a very good or great player, you might be able to play in higher levels without fear of going broke. Again, these are just guidelines.
If my bankroll goes under this amount, then I need to either add more money to the bankroll or drop down a level in the games I play until my winnings increase. The bankroll should only be used for poker and poker related expenses. Most importantly, you need to track your results so that you can see where you are going. These records are needed during tax time so that you can declare your net winnings and pay your appropriate taxes.
Getting back to the results, my last 7 games were profitable and I am slowly climbing out of the pit that I sank into. I expect to be in the black and on track by the end of this week based on the amount of time I have spent playing and the amounts I am winning per session.
Do you measure your results? Do you use money management techniques playing poker? Do you play mostly for recreation and the results are not as important?