The most important lesson to learn on the way to becoming a successful poker player is the rule of Poker bankroll management. Due to the nature of the game, there are going to be times where none of the moves you make work. Even the best situation can turn into the worst disaster on the River and you will go through periods when you simply lose hand after hand. Although these situations are inevitable you can minimise their impact by following a few basic rules when it comes to your bankroll.
Bankroll management at its simplest level is never playing with more than 5% of your money at the same time. The classic move for a fish is to buy in to a poker site for say $50 and then sit down at a no limit Hold ‘em table with a $1/$2 blind level and lose it all. After losing they would then say something along the lines of “yeah but I was up $100 at one point” (more on that way of thinking later).
The reason the above example is important is because it raises a number of factors. First of all get used to considering bankroll poker from the very beginning of your playing experience. This means that your buy in should be a number that you have calculated by deciding which stakes you would like to play at, then deciding how much money you will need in order that you don’t squander it straight away.
You calculate the amount of money you need to buy in to a poker table by multiplying the blinds by 100. If this number is higher than 5% of your total bankroll then you’re quite simply playing at the wrong stake level. So to buy in to the $1/$2 table you want to sit down with $200 and therefore will need $4,000 in your total bankroll poker. Otherwise you will have left yourself unprotected against a bad beat.
When you have mastered the self-discipline needed to practice proper management of bankroll, you will find that you are able to sustain yourself at the game for much longer periods of time. Think about your bankroll all the time, ultimately it’s the reason that we play.