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Kick-start Your Poker Career: How to Build a Poker Bankroll

4 minutes

Posted by: Ivan

Becoming a professional poker player might seem like a dream job for most, but some might think that pro players are where they are just because they’re inherently luckier than most people.

However, what most people, especially casual poker players, don’t understand is that there’s a reason why professionals achieve success and reach the levels that they are on.

And this reason is definitely not luck alone.

Poker is, without a doubt, a game of skill. In the same way that athletes make a living by playing at the highest level, professional poker players have careers because they’re among the best in the world.

Sure, some could have started out with more cash than others. But more often than not, players at the highest stakes grinded their way to the top and built their bankroll from the ground up.

This might seem impossible, but there are countless resources at hand to improve your skills as a player and a wide selection of platforms, from online casinos to crypto casinos, where you can play as much poker as you want.

But what does it take to build your bankroll and play with the best in the game?

Of course, developing your skills is essential, but there are many more things beyond technical skills that you should keep in mind if you want to build your bankroll and have a career as a poker player.

Set Aside a Definite Budget

Once you’ve decided to take poker seriously and embark on your journey towards becoming a professional, the first thing you should remember is to set aside a definite budget for poker.

It’s highly improbable for anyone to find success overnight in the game, especially if you don’t have that much capital, to begin with.

It should go without saying that you should only gamble with money that you can afford to lose. At the end of the day, even if poker is a skill game, luck remains an indispensable factor.

There’s also always the threat of having a bad run and needing to reload.

You should only deposit money that you won’t be needing for your daily expenses, as it will take time before you can rely on poker as your single source of income.

Play at the Right Stakes 

Unless you’re loaded, to begin with, you’re probably not going to be playing for hundreds of dollars per hand or spending thousands to buy into tournaments, and that’s completely fine.

That’s exactly the essence of why you should build your bankroll. If you can’t afford the stakes that you dream of playing in, build your bankroll until you can.

A good rule of thumb is to be bankrolled for at least 20 buy-ins if you’re playing cash games, or at least 100 buy-ins if for tournaments.

This will serve as your bankroll’s foundation, and this way, you have leeway for the inevitable bad runs that will come around.

Don’t Be Afraid to Move Down 

Having enough money in your bankroll to move up in stakes is an incredible feeling. You feel like nothing can go wrong and like it won’t take that long for you to move up again.

But the first few games of playing at higher stakes is usually where things take a bad turn.

Sometimes, you might not be skilled enough yet to hang around with the sharks at the higher stakes. Perhaps the high you get from moving up might impair your decision-making, or you might just get hit by a downswing at the worst possible time.

Regardless of the reason, if your bankroll goes below the minimum buy-ins for the stake you’re playing at, it’s imperative that you move down and build back up again.

Chasing losses and playing at stakes you can’t afford is a surefire way to squander your bankroll and potentially lose it all.

Get Your Hours In

As with any other field, poker rewards hard workers. This is especially important when you’re grinding it out in cash games.

The only way to build your bankroll is to put in the hours and play enough hands that your edge finally pays off.

Having a skill advantage won’t guarantee immediate success, but if you play thousands upon thousands of hands, your advantage will translate to gains in your bankroll.

Putting in the hours

What’s important is that you don’t lose sight of your goals. It will only be a matter of time until you make money as long as you’re playing the right way.

It’s also essential that you put in hours outside the tables to study and work on your game.

Know How to Deal with the Swings

Swings of the game are inevitable in poker. One of the things that separate successful poker players from those who fail is their mentality and resilience.

Downswings are inevitable for any poker player. Even the best players in the world experience them, but they’re the best because they know how to deal with it.

Experiencing a downswing should never affect the way you play. If you’re playing right, you should keep at it, and a downswing will correct itself in time.

The same goes for experiencing upswings. Remember that what goes up must come down, so don’t get careless with your money when you’re on a hot run!

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