Poker Bankroll Management

I just read about Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and his 0 to 10,000 quest. For those who don’t know, Chris is a pro player, endorsed by Full Tilt. He went on a quest to turn a $0 bankroll into $10K and recently achieved it.

To accomplish this, he played in freerolls to make startup cash, then played tourneys and cash games to build his bankroll.

That is super cool and he proves that a good player can turn nothing into alot. But, whats even cooler is what i read on his bankroll management. Most of us can play the game, but to be profitable bankroll management is ESSENTIAL. Here are his guidelines (from

– He never buys into a cash game or a Sit & Go with more than 5 percent of his total bankroll (there is an exception for the lowest limits: he is allowed to buy into any game with a buy-in of $2.50 or less).
– He doesn’t buy into a multi-table tournament for more than 2 percent of his total bankroll, but he’s allowed to buy into any multi-table tournament that costs $1.
– If at any time during a No-Limit or Pot-Limit cash-game session the money on the table represents more than 10 percent of his total bankroll, he must leave the game when the blinds reach him.

These guidelines may seem restrictive to some of us, but seeing what Chris accomplished using them is truly amazing. Im wondering his buy in for cash games…seeing that if his total on the table reaches more than 10% of his bankroll he would leave, i’d assume his buy in would be 5% of total bankroll. So if you have 200 bucks, buying in for 10 bucks and cashing out at 20 is probably the move.

Borrowing from Chris, my new philosophy on cash games is if i ever get up more than 50% of my buy in, i leave. So if i buy in for 40 bucks and get up to 60, i leave, bank the 20, and play elsewhere…unless i have the table pinned, but even then i may leave and come back. Too often, especially online, you catch a great hand only to get outdrawn…i find that people online will chase ANYTHING…case in point:

I was just playing, had A9s in early position, reasonably passive table so i call. The only other caller is the BB. Flop comes Ac Jh 8h. I bet pot, call. Turn is 6c. I bet pot again, call. River 3c. Check to me, i check (why did i check here? Ask me, or Antonio Esfandari – see my last post). BB shows Q10c, for a flush. So, he called pot with inside strt draw, and back door flush (4-6 outs…about 1 in 11). Called pot again with flush draw and inside strt (about 13 outs…1 in 4 to hit). So, he put about 20 bucks into the pot with at best a 1 in 4.

My point is, even if you’re catching and crushing, you can always get sucked out by some calling station and lose some cash. Note to self, leave when you’re up.

Cashing out ahead,

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