Money management is very important to your long term poker game. Everyone has different amounts that they need to play the next limit up. One factor that determines this is your personal variance. What I mean by this is how often do you play and win and how often to you play and lose. Another question is; when you lose, do you tend to lose several days in a row? You also need to consider how much you lose on your losing days and how much you win on your winning days. Now for me I never bring more money than what I can win in one day at the same game. The reason for this is I never want to need to play two days to get back to where I once was. Notice I didn’t say get even. That’s because the day after you lose you are even, just even at a different level. If you find yourself trying to go get back your money you will lose more days in a row.
The reason for only bringing a smaller amount of money with me limits my long term variance. It also lowers the amount of money I need to play at a specific level. One thing I know about myself is that I don’t play well when I am losing. So the two things I try to do every day is, win my first hand I play so I start up money, and, quit when I am down more then what a quick rush will make me even. Quitting is one of the hardest and most profitable things I have had to learn. Especially when playing online. The pull to get even is so strong, its really tough. But its that pull that makes me play bad. The stronger the urge to get even the more it effects your game. Sometimes I still have that feeling the next day. If that’s the case I wont play then either, maybe take two days off. What ever it takes to clear my head.
Something else that I will do that I think everyone should do is constantly analyze your game. Am I playing good or bad. If I am playing bad am I losing because of it? If I notice that I am playing bad and try to change it but cant, I will go home. Something strange that I found has effected my play is if I win right when I sit down. If I win two hands in the bb and button with bad cards, I remember that all day. Then subconsciously I think later when I am in a cold streak that those cards won earlier. Maybe it’s a good idea to play them now. Just like any other game or sport, you can develop bad habits. Manage your money wisly, maybe reading a book is more profitable then trying to get back the small amount you are down.
Now most people want specific answers on how much money they need to play in a game. But because of all the variables that go into it, there really isn’t any set amount. All the standards that every book I have ever read always have a much larger bank roll then what I use. But that’s also because I have done just about everything I could to stop losses. Its really the big losses that effect your bank roll.
On the last post Ricky asked me my opinion on what I think he should play with his small bank roll. it’s a long post so you can read it if you llike. Now money management does not always mean playing lower if your bank roll is not substantial enough for higher poker games. Money management may also mean play higher. Now because I am use to all the plays and tricks of higher limit games, I don’t win in very small games. Many other people find this to be true as well. (that’s why I have always said that the best poker player is only the best poker player at the limit and game they play) If you don’t win in a game why would it be good money management to play? But at the same time, if you are in a game where you constantly think about your chips you cant play that way either. Now I can think of two times in my life when I was next to broke, once when I had $0 and borrowed some from a friend and once when I only had a few hundred to spare. Both times I sat in the highest game that I thought I could comfortably win. Usually when I do that I never try to win a lot of money. Usually I just try to win 50% of my bank roll. Then come back the next day and do the same. Once I have 3 days of small wins I have a lot more confidence, I am able to play much better. You cant rush poker. So be patient, the money will come if you play well.
Well that’s all the time I have for now, get back to me with any more questions.