Money Management in Online Poker

I have often seen many so called “experts? in poker say how money management isn’t the Holy Grail when it comes to making money. This is true because no amount of money management will make you a successful player if your game is weak or your opponents are too tough. However money management does certain things for your game above and beyond simply allowing you to play through bad runs. If you are playing for example NL100 full ring games then it is better to have a fixed bankroll than no fixed bankroll.

As an example then if you have a bankroll of twenty buy-ins for this level then this is $2000. So if you lose $100 then you are losing a fixed percentage of something which in this instance is 5% of a much larger figure. While this may seem trivial by comparison, it is actually very important. Some years ago I used what I termed to be a “no bankroll? approach. In short then my bankroll was infinite as I simply injected money from other avenues into my online poker. This allowed me to play without restraint because one of the primary reasons for failure in poker is playing on scared money.

However there is a flip side to that coin and that flip side is that when you cannot measure your buy-ins against something larger then it becomes easier to spew money. So I found that having a designated poker bankroll helped me to stop spewing money. I knew that if I was performing badly and my discipline was poor that every buy-in was losing 5% of my bankroll. This made me treat my bankroll with respect and it became every bit as important as my own blood.

So I know that $100 isn’t just $100 but actually 5% and losing too many of these will lead to me no longer being a successful winning player. To be a successful online poker player then you need to be a good money manager. You should treat your bankroll as if it were someone else’s money and as if you were working for some investment firm as a fund manager. This outlook and mind-set helped me tremendously when it came to focusing on what I had to do.


Carl Sampson is an online poker player and poker ambassador for 888poker

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