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Texas Holdem - Building your bankroll...

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HOLD 'EM or FOLD 'Em                        February 3, 2006

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Hello Poker Players, 

Today's article is a must read for anyone who plays online
poker. And by the way, if you do find me... I use Party Poker. 
Here is a link to sign up if you're not already. You'll get 
$1000 worth of play money and/or an extra 20% on your buy in. 
Here's a link to come play with me, I should be online playing
this weekend. Join me at Hold'em

My player name is: austin9172

Ante Up,   
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

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The sad fact is that 90% of online poker players lose money 
in the long run. This is due to several things, primarily 
the rake. But as a poker player, there is nothing you can 
do about the rake, it will always be there. You need to 
focus on the things that you can control. New poker players 
often make errors in how they ration their bankroll. I 
certainly did when I began playing.

I remember a while back when I began playing poker online, 
I only had a $200 bankroll to begin with. If I lost it, I 
decided that I would not give poker a shot again for a year. 
I had worked my bankroll up to around $390 after a week of 
playing low stakes sit and go tournaments, and I decided 
to play some 2-4 limit Hold-em. I figured the amount of 
money I had was sufficient to play at these stakes. After 
dropping $100 in an hour, I was thinking differently.

For limit Hold-em, a sufficient bankroll is at least 300 
Big Bets. (A Big Bet is the amount of money wagered on 
fourth and fifth street when the betting limits double. 
So for 2-4 Hold-em, you should have a MINIMUM bankroll 
of $1200.) After having some of the experiences that I 
have had, I would advocate actually have 500 Big Bets at 
your disposal so you never have to worry during your 
bad days.

Continued below...


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I was lucky enough to quit playing the 2-4 limit and 
return to my low stakes Sit and Go Tournaments before 
any serious harm was done, but many people are not this 
lucky. I was talking to my friend the other day who 
attends Colorado University. He was venting about how 
he could not win consistently playing 1-2 limit on Party 
Poker. When I asked him what his bankroll was, he told 
me it was $200. I told him what I will tell anyone who 
is under funded to play at the limits they are playing 
at; you need to find a way to build your bankroll before 
you play there. Obviously this is easier said than done, 
so let’s go over how a bankroll should be built.


$200 or less...
You should really be playing stakes around $.5-1.00 limit 
or playing $5 Sit and Go Tournaments (SNG's). Beware that 
some $5 SNG's have an absurd $1 entry fee, which equates 
to a 20% rake. This is why I like beginning player to have 
enough money to play $10 SNG's, which in my opinion requires 
a bankroll of around $400. You should never open an online 
account with less than $150. With less than that, you don’t 
have a sufficient amount to encounter some bad beats and 
have enough money to avoid going bust.

Now you have a healthy starting bankroll. Consider playing 
some $.5-1.00 games to feel out the competition. If you 
don’t have any problems there, as soon as you have $1000 
in your bankroll, go ahead and move up toe $1-2 limit, the 
competition will not really be much better. $10 SNG's are 
also a good option for getting some experience without 
risking the bankroll and making some gradual, consistent 

$1000 or more...
Congratulations! You have a healthy starting bankroll. You 
should experiment with $.5-1.00 or $10 SNG's for the first 
week or so just to feel the competition out. If you feel 
confident, go ahead and jump up to the $1-2 Limit or the 
$20 SNG's.

***If you are a no-limit player who would rather play cash 
games than SNG's, here are my suggested guidelines. You 
should buy into a game with around 100 times the big blind. 
Your bankroll should consist of at least 20 buy-ins of 100 
big blinds. So if you want to play $.10-.25 No-Limit your 
bankroll should be around $500.***

These guidelines are pretty conservative. However you will 
learn quickly that is always better to be conservative when 
dealing with your bankroll, because once it is lost it's 
gone forever. I have only made 1 deposit at Party Poker and 
I never intend to have to make another one. Remember to 
always be patient; Rome wasn’t built in a day. When I started 
playing online poker, I was thrilled to grind out $10/ hour, 
which was what I was pulling down bussing tables at my job. 

Continued below...

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I had some frustrating experiences, but within 5 months I 
was making over $100/ hour playing online poker. (Needless 
to say I left my job) That is a good amount of money for 
anyone, let alone someone who has yet to finish college. 
Don’t expect things to develop over night, because then 
you will be setting yourself up to fail. However if you are 
patient and build your bankroll consistently, it will allow 
you to gradually move of up in stakes and increase your 
earnings just as I did. Remember that almost nobody wins 
huge amounts of money when they begin playing. Poker guru 
Howard Lederer admits it actually took him two years to beat 
the low limit games before he could move up.

The best advice I can ever give you is don't over extend 
yourself. Play well, and when you have more than enough to 
move up, move up. By playing only games that are within 
your limits, you give yourself a much better chance of 
being a winning poker player. Next week I will look into 
strategies that will make you a consistent winner at low 
stakes Sit and Go Tournaments. 


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Fold'em Blog: http://blog.gophercentral.com/poker.html

End of HOLD'EM or FOLD'EM...
Copyright 2006 by GopherCentral All rights reserved.   

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