November 5, 2020
Poker is a game of skills, it involves a lot of strategies, but also a fairly big portion of luck. That is why it has become such a popular game.
If you play poker long enough, you will inevitably face a nasty downside at some point, getting many bad beats in a short period of time while playing, being beaten by a hand that has almost no chances to win against your hands.
How will you be able to handle this kind of period which is inevitable to happen at some point to every player who plays a lot of pokers?
Lots of players do well with their bankroll management until this kind of period happens to them. Being something they never faced before, it’s emotionally harder to handle.
Bankroll management, or the art of managing your play money to not run out of it, is a key factor. Here is why: 90% of players will perform at their best when playing in their comfort zone or put another way when they are playing with money they can
afford to lose. In such a case, a bad run will likely not hamper their mood.
No matter who you are, it is easier to make a big decision, to call or bluff for example, when you do not need to think about your bankroll in the middle of a hand.
Imagine you are playing a game size where you have a lot of cushions, let’s say, the equivalent of 200 buy-ins in your bankroll.
If you know you are a winning player in this game, and you drop 30 to 40 buy-ins getting caught by nasty set-up hands and bad beats. You should be able to take it with a sense of humor since you know you will bounce back, and the luck will even out.
You only lost 15 to 20% of your bankroll, and you are still in the safe zone, having enough money left to keep playing this game size. You are confident that you are not putting your bankroll in jeopardy, and you can focus on playing using your best abilities.
Now, imagine your bankroll was only the equivalent of 50 buy-ins for this particular game format (which, unfortunately, lots of players do), and you lost 25 to 30 buy-ins, which represent a non-negligible part of your bankroll (50 to 60%). In such a situation, you will either need to start selling actions to lower your own risk, getting a portion of your buy-ins paid by other players (that will get a portion of any winnings in
exchange). Or, to or step down to a lower game size where you will be able to handle the variance.
It is not those bad beats and unlucky hands that are shaking you up. It is the money that is usually the driving factor. All of us would like to win back as fast as possible after losing, which, in a lot of cases, leads to poor bankroll management decisions,
poor game selection, and ultimately, poor decisions when playing.
Taking a small break and coming back later with a fresh and energetic mind is always better. Listen to yourself, you are the only one able to determine when that break is needed. Make playing the most enjoyable for you and avoid burnouts.