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Is Bankroll Management the
Most Important Skill to have in Poker?
To get to the top in the poker world, players need to have a well-rounded skillset that encompasses all manner of things, from mathematical ability to the perception of psychological cues. Perhaps one of the most overlooked attributes to have, though, is a strong understanding of bankroll management. Professional players who have started with virtually nothing have hit the big time by carefully planning how to use the money they have available to them at a certain time. Before getting into any form of poker, it is crucial to have a clear strategy in this regard.

You may be wondering what bankroll management is exactly. When you play poker, you should have a budget set aside which is completely separate from your monthly living expenses. It should be an amount that you can afford and which won’t leave you struggling for the rest of the month if you take it away from your budget. This sum of money is your bankroll, and you need to consider how you are going to use it wisely. If you use all your bankroll before the end of the month, you need to wait until you get paid and then start again.

For the purposes of this article, let’s say that you are starting off with a £100 bankroll. You need to consider how you can use that money most efficiently and give yourself the best chance of making it grow. It’s important to stress that this should be a gradual process. There’s no point blowing your whole bankroll on one or two tournament buy-ins, because if you lose then you are left with nothing. If you invest lower sums of money into tournaments and then lose, you will still have a hefty chunk of your bankroll left to invest. A general rule of thumb is that your bankroll should give you one hundred buy-ins. So with a stack of £100 you want to be paying in to £1 tournaments. These games are easy to find. At Paddy Power, for instance, there is a wide range of games with varying buy-ins.
Some well-known players have shown how careful bankroll management can be lucrative. Doug Polk is one of the most famous online poker players, and is considered by some to be the best online player in the world. The American has a long-running YouTube channel which gives amateur players tips on how to improve their game. Polk challenged himself to turn $100 into $10,000, and documented the long and gruelling process. The 30-year-old demonstrated how it wasn’t easy to increase the bankroll, and it needed to be done extremely gradually. There are swings of luck that players can’t plan for as well, regardless of how skilful they are.

Before getting into the world of online poker, make sure you have a clear strategy when it comes to your bankroll. And remember, building it up is likely to be a long and gradual process.
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