Of Bankrolls and Bad Beats

Posted by admin | December 4, 2008 | Posted in: Poker Bankroll | Comments Off on Of Bankrolls and Bad Beats

Of Bankrolls and Bad Beats

“The greater the pride, the farther the fall.”  These wise words came from Darth Tyranus in Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.  While he was clearly referring to Anakin Skywalker, the principle of the late Sith Lord’s statement may also apply to poker games as well.

After all, how many times have poker players thought they had a really strong hand, only to suffer from a bad beat?  The combined loss to your bankroll and the psychological effect of losing tend to add up.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to manage your bankroll and soften the impact of bad beats if or when they occur.

Size Matters Part 2

Chances are that if you have a pretty big bankroll, occasional losses will not affect you as much, however disappointing they may be.  It’s when you risk a significant portion of your bankroll and then experience a bad beat that the problems occur.

One solution is to play within your means.  It’s extremely tempting to pull out all the stops when you’re doing well, thinking that you can do no wrong.  And then, when you least expect it, wham!, the bad beat hits you squarely in the face due to carelessness.

In a previous article, I mentioned that it’s a good rule of thumb to play a poker game wherein no more than ten percent of your bankroll is at risk.  This mitigates the negative effects of bad beats when they occur.  You’ll less likely go on tilt as a result.

The Balancing Act

In general, go for balance.  While a higher bankroll will definitely leave you with more room for error, the optimal amount is one that will still tide you over in the case of loss, while still giving you incentive enough to win.  This lies a bit on the subjective side and varies from player to player.  It may take some time to find this happy medium, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t exactly arrive at it right away.

Another good strategy is to keep a separate bankroll entirely for your poker games, preferably one that amounts to less than your net worth.  Obviously, losses are more likely to cause you to go on tilt if your bankrolls for both poker and your living expenses are one and the same.  This puts too much pressure on the player to win, and with that kind of pressure, you’re practically asking to be on tilt.  Compartmentalize things and bad beats won’t affect you as much.

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