Bankroll Management: Do You Practice It?

detroitdad

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My wife isn't a poker enthusiast. She doesn't like the risk that is associated with poker. Four to five years ago I started a bankroll. Simple, all my winnings go into it. All my losses come out of it. This includes poker supplies (minus the table), chips, cards, ect....

The vast majority of my games played are low stakes. $40-$60 dollar tourneys once a month and .25/.50 cash games with a $60-$100 buy in. On a rare occasion we will play for a little more.

My bankroll started at 20 bucks. I took it to 3k and back down to 500 pretty damn quickly. I wasn't practicing proper management. I would play a 1/2 game, take 500 with me and only have 1500 in the bankroll.

I had a decent run over about 1.5 years and took it from 800 to 6k (won two tourney's that paid 1k each, one was a 119 charity tourney, one was a 9 player League Championship game). I did have a rough June and lost about 1k total in 4 different sessions.

Bankroll sits at 5500 right now. Anything over 5200 is getting earmarked for my Sunset chip set. I want to just say fuck it, dip into my BR to purchase the set as soon as J5 comes up with the design. That isn't proper damn BR Management.

This thread is kind of to go over my BR history roller coaster while at the same time hoping you guys talk me down from taking 20% out and buying more chips right now (I know I know, wrong place to ask for help).

Do you use a Bankroll? What is your BR management discipline?
 

slisk250

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I'm going to start keeping a spreadsheet this year when I get back to Saudi. I play mostly small stakes. The fish come to these games. The big money games in Dhahran are just that - 125 initial buy in with rebuys to the biggest stack. There was a 10,000 dollar pot a few months ago. No friggin way I'm increasing to this level even though I believe I have enough game to beat these guys. They get completely shitfaced so you stay tight and wait for the nuts. Im going to put 1000 riyals in the account and see if I can pay for a custom set this year.
 

Shaggy

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A reasonable rule of thumb for ring games and a winning player is 10 buyins. That's 1k. Let's say you double that because you are conservative. That's 2k. Buy your chips.

It is common for me to skim the top off my bankroll to buy chips... but then I buy low... play with for a year and then resell. This usually nets me enough to cover ebay fees. Its like I am leasing various sets for free.

Buying a custom set is a little different... you are never going to sell it (hopefully), so the money is gone... but if it doesn't prevent you from playing, skimming off the bankroll aint so bad. You planning to play more of that 1/2? Then keep some more back.
 

jbutler

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unless gambling generates a significant - primary or secondary - source of income, bankroll management is unnecessary and in some cases actually unwise. the only reason for bankroll management is to lessen or minimize a players risk of ruin. if your income is generated outside of gambling, your risk of ruin is not at all associated with the results of your gambling and therefore the type of gambling you choose to engage in should not be based on what a "bankroll" will permit.

that said, your case sounds different to the extent that your spouse disfavors gambling and therefore you have contrived to give the appearance that you will not lose family money by earmarking money for use in gambling. i don't know what happens if you blow through that money. if at that point you would never be "allowed" to play poker again, i guess you should play pretty small to ensure you have enough depth to weather the swings.
 

Ben

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My BR management sucks, but not in the way you think. Yes, household and poker funds are separate, BUT on a general day-to-day, week-to-week basis I really don't need a huge bankroll sitting around. Having several grand sitting in a drawer when I'm paying interest on loans etc. really grinds my gears - so if the 'roll has gotten inflated for whatever reason I tend to take a big chunk of it and pay something off. Usually this is fine and makes me feel better, but can create a bit of a problem when a big game or meetup that I want to play in rolls around - especially with not playing as much lately in "normal" games as I had been. I actually took a few hundo out of the bank to take to WCB - which is a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands that have gone IN from the 'roll over the past couple of years, but still, that hurt.

$5200 to play in $.25/.50 games and $60 tourneys? Pffft. Buy those CPCs, son. :D
 

10centguitar

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BR management is a funny thing.

I always play within my bankroll, unless there are fish at the table.

I know guys who play with all their money to make rent some months. Then deal if they go busto.

Since you have a full-time gig for living and family expenses, what you do with you poker money doesn't really matter.
However you might have to play less to afford the things you want.

You have plenty BR to play up to 1/2 and maybe taking a shot at 2/5 when there is a good game if you aren't spending any. What is more important to you?
To have sufficient funds to play or to have a new set?

Paying for expensive poker crap with your BR is not wise IMO if you are trying to keep your roll intact.




But if you are looking for justifications to buy a chip set, just buy it and rebuild playing cash games.
 

grandgnu

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Butler hit the nail on the head. If you aren't playing poker as a primary or secondary source of income, then bankroll management is pretty much unnecessary, provided you can reload from your day job to play more poker.

I mostly play mixed limit cash games, so the rule of thumb (provided you want to play for a living) is to have 3-6 months of living expenses socked aside separate from your bankroll, and then a roll that represents 200-300 x the BB of the game you play. So for instance, playing a 10/20 limit game you'd want a roll that is between $4,000 - $6,000 to be able to weather the swings without worrying too much about risk of ruin.
 

Mental Nomad

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I agree that, generally speaking, most of us don't need bankrolls or bankroll management. But that assumes that we're playing at stakes low enough, compared to our incomes, that we can readily replace any money lost. That is, "we can afford to lose it all."

If you're playing at stakes that are higher than that, you may want a bankroll... even if you can afford to lose a buy-in or two, every now and then you'll take a beating several times in a row. Can your finances survive the worser part of variance? If not, using a bankroll can protect the rest of your cash flow from the vagaries of poker. In the OP circumstance, the spouse is more sensitive to the variance, and the bankroll mitigates that.

Also, a bankroll can force you to know whether you're a winner or not... a lot of people delude themselves about how they're doing, and not having a bankroll makes it easier to do that. But if you keep the bankroll separate from spending money, it becomes obvious whether it's growing, or you're making deposits. For this reason, I prefer my players not have bankrolls :)

And again, the OP's spouse may be more sensitive to the idea that someone can be losing when they think they're winning, and again, the bankroll allays that fear.

It can be a useful tool for people trying to track themselves, but when playing at "stakes you can afford," it's probably unnecessary.

A pro, on the other hand, is never playing at stakes they can "afford..." they have no other income. They must manage the bankroll, because losing it means going out of business!

Personally, I have no bankroll... my bankroll consists of saving up small bills during the week so I can buy in with them so that the box has change for everyone cashing out!
 
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detroitdad

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unless gambling generates a significant - primary or secondary - source of income, bankroll management is unnecessary and in some cases actually unwise. the only reason for bankroll management is to lessen or minimize a players risk of ruin. if your income is generated outside of gambling, your risk of ruin is not at all associated with the results of your gambling and therefore the type of gambling you choose to engage in should not be based on what a "bankroll" will permit.

that said, your case sounds different to the extent that your spouse disfavors gambling and therefore you have contrived to give the appearance that you will not lose family money by earmarking money for use in gambling. i don't know what happens if you blow through that money. if at that point you would never be "allowed" to play poker again, i guess you should play pretty small to ensure you have enough depth to weather the swings.


I completely agree. This is a hobby I picked up about 18 years into our marriage. My wife wasn't thrilled with it then. However, when I established a BR and only played out of that she didn't care. After I won the first tourney a few years back that paid out 1k she asked where we were going to celebrate? I said where ever you want, but its n ot coming out of my winnings. I put it straight into the BR, lol.

FWIW, I've offered to give her my entire BR, and all my future winnings. The deal is she can't question how much I take to poker night. She declined, and prefers it this way.
 

detroitdad

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And again, the OP's spouse may be more sensitive to the idea that someone can be losing when they think they're winning, and again, the bankroll allays that fear.

She is all about low risk. She knows that I'm a long term winning player (at this level anyways). She still would prefer that work money goes into food/housing, ect.......I can respect that.

If my bankroll were to be completely depleted at the stakes that I'm playing, then I probably should just quit altogether, lol. I wouldn't I would just have to limit my play and poker expenses.
 

detroitdad

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I just can't quit the damn Chip Designer tool....................I'm starting to feel like I'm cheating on my wife
 

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Buy the chips now, put them to good use. You earned it, Sir. Enjoy!

Bankroll management isn't for "for fun" poker players, it is for people who either lives off their gambling winnings or someone who wants to play at stakes so high they dwarf household income. Note that loss management applies to "for fun" players in a huge way.

My bankroll? I keep my "going to play cards" money in my dad's old money clip. If I lose, I replace it when I get home out of spending money. If I win, I put the winnings in spending money after giving a small cut to my wife. I win more than I lose. Works for me, but then I never play higher than 2/5.

DrStrange
 

bergs

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I've been down $4K after 40 hours of poker at Bounty Battle 5 and Bounty Battle 4, and both times bought in with my last $2500 in my "poker bankroll" for the big final night $1/1 uncapped game.

I got the money from my wallet to the bank and got my chips....I thought I managed just fine, thanks.
 

Trihonda

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I'm in your camp... I have a wife who doesn't appreciate poker like I do, and I have to play exclusively with poker money.

Since accruing a decent BR, I find I play more comfortably, since my BR can withstand variance. It ha also allows me to recover mentally more quickly from bad losses, since it is a perceived lesser amount of my total BR. It also allows me to play bigger stakes, and be more comfortable with those variances as well. I have a BR that makes me very comfortable in risking $200-300 Buyins for 1/2 or 3/6 games. If I had a BR of only $1000, then I'd be forced to lower my stakes if I had a few losing sessions.

I,don't have a specific BR strategy, other than to play within my means.
 

brianb1091

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I'm not going to help you because I'd make the case that you have earned the CPC chips and they will provide you a lifetime of enjoyment and you can use them to host more games in order to bring the BR back up. I can also respect the discipline you have demonstrated thus far with your BR. Like I said not much help :)
 

p5woody

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Apparently I am the only losing poker player on this site. Well, really more break even. I play low stakes and I average about $120 profit/year. Of course if you subtract the cost of gas I am sure I am losing money. I started keeping track back in 2009. So I have no bankroll to manage :)
 

RowdyRawhide

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Apparently I am the only losing poker player on this site. Well, really more break even. I play low stakes and I average about $120 profit/year. Of course if you subtract the cost of gas I am sure I am losing money. I started keeping track back in 2009. So I have no bankroll to manage :)


Your not alone.......just the first to publicly admit it
 

Chicken Rob

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Apparently I am the only losing poker player on this site. Well, really more break even. I play low stakes and I average about $120 profit/year. Of course if you subtract the cost of gas I am sure I am losing money. I started keeping track back in 2009. So I have no bankroll to manage :)

I am a well documented break even specialist.

I was a pretty good winning short handed limit player back in the day. Find me a good 6-max 10/20 or higher game today though? Not enough limit fish any more.

Of course, I have stopped playing casino poker, so I only play in games with skilled players or micro stakes, so it is hard to grind out a real win rate.
 

jbutler

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Apparently I am the only losing poker player on this site. Well, really more break even. I play low stakes and I average about $120 profit/year. Of course if you subtract the cost of gas I am sure I am losing money. I started keeping track back in 2009. So I have no bankroll to manage :)

i had my first losing year last year and am stuck right now for this year, too, so i'm with you woody. i'm confident i'll be in the black by january, but i was confident of the same thing back in august of 2014, so you never know.
 

ssanel54

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As others have stated, Bankroll management is not your issue, but rather poker budget. I generally keep about 500-1000 in cash which I use to play cards. If I need more, I get money out of the bank, and if I win, I usually will deposit some into the bank. Inevitably this also becomes the home ATM, when my wife needs cash for something.

It sounds like you have plenty of money in your budget for your set of customs. I will also add that there is nothing more gratifying than booking a nice winning session with a set that you just bought.

When I feel like I am spending too much on poker, or poker related items, I will often take a break from some of the other non essentials in my life - like start brewing my own coffee instead of hitting dunkins or starbucks 1-2 times a day. Or don't order takeout. Its amazing how quickly those things add up to real money.
 

Chicken Rob

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i had my first losing year last year and am stuck right now for this year, too, so i'm with you woody. i'm confident i'll be in the black by january, but i was confident of the same thing back in august of 2014, so you never know.

I had my first losing year in 2013, and last year was another loss. Total loss across both years combined was <1000. The game is about the long run, and for me, with my very few sessions, I will never hit the long run, I just make sure I can afford the variance.
 

k9dr

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I keep a totally separate poker bankroll. I used to just keep cash at home, but when it got above 2 digits to the left of the comma I decided to open a poker bank account. I pay for all my chips and poker related expenses out of this bankroll. It feels good that I earned all my chips playing poker.
 
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