Home Strategy How to protect yourself from going broke

How to protect yourself from going broke


Today we are going to talk a little bit about how to protect oneself from going broke. Whether you are a pro poker player or you only think so is not important. PokerGround will try to explain to you how losing all your poker funds can bring you down and change your attitude. Once you know how shitty it feels we'll try to give you some advice on how to avoid such a situation. First of all let's take a look at what it means when we are bankrupt as a poker player:

Poker bankrupcy – is a state in which a poker player is confronted with the sad news about his account / cashier window / wallet being empty. It also means he has to face the prospect of different inconveniences such as telling about it his spouse or mafia bosses from which the lost money was borrowed.

Our piggy thinks that…

I think that the above definition is quite accurate and it describes how a poker player feels when he loses all. Why do people go broke so often and why are they afraid of it so much? Are poker players selfish sobs caring only about money? I don't want to answer this question, oink oink, but one thing is certain: we need money to play, because this is our tool. We simply need it to work. It's not our computer, neither the table nor chips. They are just additional things we use. It's money (in different forms) that is really needed for poker players if they want to work. If we don't have it, we simpy can't continue working.

Looking for a way to avoid bankrupcy I have read many poker books and many of them treat this subject very lightly. I very often hear about the rule saying you need 20-25 buy-ins to safely move up, to higher stakes. Of course this can be a kind of a thumb rule, but it won't work for everyone, especially since it's not unlikely to lose 10 BI in one hour. It's very likely, isnt't it? yeah we were all there. Two books caught my attention and I would like to hereby quote what I found in them and what made them unique from my point of view. Below you'll find a text about bankroll management rules for cash players. Good luck.

Conservative as an American diet


Muffins compliment apples just perfect

First approach is that presented by LeatherAss. To be honest with you his nickname stirs my imagination and I don't know what to think of it, but his opinions and advice offer insight. He plays high stakes and coaches so let's listen to what he has to say. LeatherAss is known as one of the best grinders who plays online and does it successfully for many years now. So what does he say about BRM – bankroll management?

The first by by Dusty Leatherass Schmidt is a very personal one and it mostly revolves around his life. As a young man he worked for his father who was quite conservative when it came to the number of products kept in his warehouses. Very often Dusty's father lost a big opportunity because he didn't have enough products to sell. He didn't understand that having enough supplies is crucial. If a client appeared suddenly, he would lose him. Time in business is all that counts.

Dusty treats poker in the same way. You probably saw a fish who loses and moves up in stakes. That's how they think, they try to recover the losses. This is exactly the type of “client” who comes suddenly and wants to buy a lot. That is why LeatherAss says we should always have more than we need for our standard stakes. It is directly connected with his rule of having 100 Buy-Inów. This number may seem gargantuic but here's an interesting fact: Dusty has never moved to higher stakes without 100 buy-ins and what is significant he has never once had a losing month. Perhaps he is right then, no? He also writes about his many friends who deposited let's say 500$ and after three months they had 10 000$. Being at high stakes they spent about 8000$ (no problem) and during the first downswing they lost 2000$ more. It's true that theoretically they won 9500$, but what of it if they were broke? In conclusions Dusty says that statistically no business brings profit in the first five years of its running (perhaps in the US :P). hence the advice: if you want to move up to stakes that will let you earn a living, accumulate money. You need a lot. bankrupcy is just round the corner.

Aggressive as a Techno Viking



That's the way I roll!

A completely different approach to managing your capital describes Tri Ngyuen in a very good book titled ” The Poker Blueprint “. To tell the truth it also makes a lot of sense, which is why I want to write what this grinder proposes. He believes that we should have 30 buy-ins for the stakes we wish to play at. As you can see this is one third of the number proposed by the Dusty – the difference is that Dusty plays at 24 tables simoultaneously, perhaps even more. What is the main reason for the difference? There are actually two.

Stagnation. This is probably the worst thing that could happen to us. Weary of continuous play at the same stakes, with the same regulars we feel like we hit a wall. Every downswing brings us down and we feel like we stopped developing our game. Looking at poker client makes us wanna puke.

Variance. We know this reason even too well. Sometimes no matter what you do you won't earn a thing. Who likes to break even for months put your hand up!

The author has a pretty cool idea to prevent such negative aspects of playing for too long in such monotonous environment. He says that every time you lose 5 buy-ins you should move down and recover the money there. You should do it even if you lose those 5BI to a fish in 15 minutes. We have to nicely move to lower stakes. Difficult, is it not? This allows us to play in a dynamic environment and most importantly we have a sense of control. We feel we can change stakes in a relatively short period of time. This can encourage you to study the game and develop your skills! We must be ready to play NL50 on Monday, NL200 on Wednesday and NL25 on Friday.

And what is the best strategy according to me? (Oh man my own theory!)

My theory will be called ” The more you get into it, the more complicated it becomes.” Let me explain. Both authors are right and it would be the best to take a little from both of the theories. If I were to start playing poker today my plan would be based on the following bankroll management rules:

  • etc.           x
  • NL 100  24BI           
  • NL 50    22BI
  • NL 25    20BI
  • NL 10    17BI
  • NL 5      15BI
  • NL 2    

If the number of BIs corresponds to my stakes –  I play. If I lose 5BI I go down. If I have x BIs I go back.

Why does it makes sense in my opinion ? We risk the most at the lowest stakes where we will make more errors but at the same time it'll be easier to recover our money. The higher the stakes, the more difficult the issue becomes, look :

If we have $ 1,100 ( 22BI on NL50 ) and we lose exactly five BI – $ 250 we have to get back 10BI at NL25$. Two good sessions and we have our funds back. Progression in BI number required for the next stakes means that although the whole thing is dynamic, the bankroll is rising in proportion to the stakes 🙂

I am very interested in your opinions, so please comment.






based on ” Treat your poker like a business ” and ” The Poker Blueprint ” – respectively Schmidt and Nguyen

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