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Tips from the pros

We want to make you better and help you on your poker journey, so we've asked some of our top pros and good friends 1 question: "What is the most important thing to become a successful poker player?"
Surely enough most of them gave the same answer: Bankroll Management!


Bankroll Management

What is Bankroll Management (BRM)?

It means reducing the chance to lose your entire bankroll.
This is the difference between the players that disappear, and players that stick around.
Even if you're not a very good player, it's only fair to at least give yourself a chance to learn the game.
Give yourself the time to learn the game, by not going broke every time you have a bad day.

Of course you need to know what you're doing and acquire skills to beat the game at some level, but beside that the most important thing in professional poker is "Bankroll Management"!
It is key, but so often underrated!

LetΒ΄s start off by saying no poker player in the world can play forever without losing.
And it's not because they have to sleep at one point, but because it's statistically impossible to keep winning.
So how do people end up in the black(+) after playing poker full time for an entire month or a year?

Russian Roulette

Would you take an even bet for all your money to throw 2 dice, where you lose ONLY if you throw 1-1?
35 to 1 that you will win and double all your money right? Good odds!
Let's say you win. Would you take that bet again for all your money, including the money you just won?
Would you take that bet 100 times in a row? How about 1000 times?
Some of you might, but most of you would agree that this is too much of a risk. After all it's all your money!
You'll throw 1-1 eventually and lose EVERYTHING.

Translation to Poker

For example you're name is Phil Ivey, world class player, but for some reason you now only have €10 left.
You decide to play a cash game with that money and sit down at a 10NL table.
You win and now have €25. You leave that table and sit down at a 25NL with that money.
You win again and now you have €50! You leave and sit down at a 50NL table with that money.
You win again and now you have €100! You leave and sit down at a 100NL table with that money.
This repeats itself till you have €100.000.
You get dealt KK, flop comes KKA.
You go all in, your opponent (€100.000 stack) goes all in as well, he shows AA. Perfect!
He has only 1 out and you are now 95,5% favourite.
Surely you'll win and double up right?
Disaster! He hits his 1 outer, and you lose ALL your money!

It's rare that you lose in that situation, but winning in poker never comes without (small) risks.
There is always a slight chance you could lose. And if you keep repeating those chances long enough, you will lose eventually just like the 1000 rolls from the dice bet.
If it's for your entire bankroll, maybe it's just not worth the risk.



So how do Pros do it?

All pros are different and they usually have their own version of Bankroll Management, but it always revolves around not playing for your entire bankroll. And keeping clear of situations where that strategy may be compromised

What's important when choosing a BRM?

There are so many things to consider but here is a small list of things:
- How many tables do you play simultaneously?
- How big are the swings with your particular style of play?
- How well can you cope with having to go down a stake (blind level)?
- How often do you play Cash Games versus how often you play Tournaments/Sit n Go's?
- How much money do you need to have behind to feel comfortable at a particular stake?
- Do you tilt easily?
- How well can you deal with being tilt?
- etc.

Before advising on it, here are two extremes of Bankroll Management strategies:
This is the Boku87 challenge, where he challenged himself to turn $5 into a staggering $100.000!
Boku87 $5 to $100.000 challenge
As soon as he could, he maintained a 70-80 Buy Ins minimum Bankroll Management. This meant that despite the occasional downswing (some of them where huge chunks out of his bankroll) he could keep playing, climb back and further, and eventually reach his goal within 12 months time!

Here is the perhaps more famous challenge of Chris Ferguson turning $0 into $10.000 with a bit of a different approach regarding the cash games he played. Chris Ferguson $0 to $10.000 challenge
Chris Ferguson also had a couple of rules he forced himself to follow but in this case chose for a 20BI minimum bankroll for cash games and Sit n Go's

...And this is really important...
Regardless of the BRM that suited them. They chose one, set ground rules and strictly followed these ground rules no matter what!

Your best bet on Bankroll Management

- So chose one BRM (set a minimum number of Buy Ins).
- Move up stakes ONLY when reaching double the initial number of Buy Ins.
- Move down when dropping below 80% of the initial number of Buy Ins.
- Stick to that strategy as much as you can.

BRM "Cash Games 1"
If you are an occasional player where 1 table at a time gives you all the excitement you need, you might be fine following a 10 BI BRM. Double up and run away from a table, only to repeat at another!

BRM "Cash Games 2"
If you play 2-3 tables simultaneously we recommend to choose a BRM of anything between 20 to 30 Buy Ins.

BRM "Cash Games 3"
If you are more serious about poker and play 4-10 tables at once, a BRM of anywhere between 30 to 50 Buy ins would suit you best.


Tournament are trickier, because there can be longer periods where you don't get in the money.
It depends on how big the field is.
It might also be unwise to move down immediately after not finishing in the money a couple of times.
All and all the swings are a lot bigger and therefore a bigger bankroll might be needed.
And although this comes from mostly cash game players, it's safe to say that a BRM of at least 50 Buy Ins is wise to maintain.
Moving down at half the initial number of Buy Ins would in most cases suffice.
And once again, it's important to stick with the plans and rules you make beforehand!

Good Luck

We from Rakeback Striker wish you all the best and hope this will help you on your poker journey and the goals you wish to achieve by playing the game you love so much!


What is rakeback?

Rakeback = Getting paid to play...


Online poker rooms charge fees for use of their tables, usually 5%.
Every time a hand is played, the poker room takes this 5% from the pot, this is called rake.
But because poker rooms want to attract more players to their tables, they are willing to offer great deals in the form of fees-discount, conveniently called rakeback.
And that's where we come in. Striking back!

5% Who cares? That's nothing... Why should I be interested?

Online poker is fast. Usually between 80-100 hands per hour, per table!
Hand after hand, pot after pot, the house charges and charges...

What does this mean for you?

Poker rooms take about $200 a month in rake from your typical poker player.
From the bit more enthusiastic player they take about $200-$1000 a month.
And for real devotees, semi-pros and pros this amount can get as high as $20.000!
Just think of all that money you could be getting back every month!