Friday, September 17, 2004


Poker Bankroll Considerations

I've been thinking about bankroll and what limits I should be playing lately. I've also been thinking about keeping better records of my win rate, etc. So I've looked in a couple of my poker books, and I've done some searching on some poker forums, and read some articles on some websites I like, and this is more or less what I've determined about my poker bankroll.

As far as ring play goes, for my poker bankroll to be large enough to avoid what they call "risk of ruin", I need between 300 and 500 BB's, depending on who you ask. A standard win rate for ring games in holdem is 1 or 2 BB's. I really would prefer to not have to make any more deposits in any more poker rooms, so adding up my bankrolls at the different rooms gives me the following total:

Party Poker $236.02
Pokerstars $ 4.20
Ultimate Bet $ 86.00
Interpoker $173.25
Grand Bay $ 40.00
Total $539.47
Ultimate Bet

So for ring play, I have enough bankroll to cover a $0.50/$1.00 holdem game, and if I play well and get fairly lucky, maybe even a $1.00/$2.00 game. If I stick with the lower of those two limits, I should be able to generate an earn rate of $2/hour. In theory, if I earn that win rate, in 230 hours of play I should be able to move up to $1/$2 games and double my earn rate.

I've also done some studying on SnG bankroll requirements. Again, depending on who you ask, you need between 25 and 100 buy-in's to avoid risk of ruin. So I'm sufficiently bankrolled for the $20 + $2 SnG level, if I play really well and am really aggressive with the bankroll requirements. From what I've read online, win rate for these SnG's should be about 30% to 50% of the buy-in, and most SnG's take a little over an hour. So my earn rate for SnG's should be between $6 and $12 per hour.

Those numbers are based on an ITM % of between 30% and 40%. My ITM percentage for SnG's has fluctuated between 30% and 40% for a while now, so I feel pretty confident I can maintain this. My guess is that after about 23 hours or so of play I can move up to $30 + $3 level at the SnG's.

So my plan is to stay focused on the SnG's for now, because my earn rate for that is definitely higher. Interesting thing that I've been reading about SnG's too. Some folks think that the skill level at the $10/$20/$30 level is approximately the same, and then goes up significantly at $50/$100/$200. Other folks are of the opinion that the people playing at the $200 level are generally playing a lot worse than the people at the lower levels, with the exception of a professional or two at the table who is usually pretty easy to spot.

My bankroll's at such a level that I can't play a higher buy-in tournament right now realistically, but I have played in one or two in the past, and there was some pretty bad play going on.

The best observation I've ever seen about bankroll reqirements by the way was from Steve Badger on a discussion board somewhere. He said that if you're a losing player, your bankroll requirements are infinite.

Ultimate Bet

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