Friday, Aug. 9, 2013

Building an Online Poker Bankroll by Playing Sit and Go Tournaments

You have reloaded several times at several different websites. Those $50 deposits sure start to add up when you have nothing to show for them. Ok, maybe you’ve had an occasional win, placed in a tourney, and won a couple sit and go tables. The truth is you are still among the vast majority of online poker players that lose money. Read on then, as you are about to discover how to actually build a bankroll from small beginnings.

I speak of what I know. I have been through all of the above again and again! However, using sit and go single table tournaments (STT), I have moved into the smaller percentage of players that actually win money. This involves game selection, emotional control, and specific odds strategy, and bankroll management.

STT’s have a maximum risk involved and good starting odds for you to place 1st, 2nd or 3rd making them a great venue to acquire solid poker skills. Your $50 reload can go a long way at the $5 STT’s. This is where you MUST start. Party Poker and Paradise Poker are the best choices and have worked VERY well for me. Even with the 20% entry fee, the level of competition allows you to get away with an error here and there while still progressing. As well, the blind structure allows you to be patient and wait for your opportunities, while the numerous fools at your table knock each other out. And trust me, at this level, they show up for every game.

I am sure you’ve heard the axiom, “Tight is Right”, but if you have no control over your emotions, it’s difficult to follow up on that strategy. The key to mastering your emotions at the table is to think long term. No one hand is in itself defining. Nor even a game, nor a day, not even a week. An empirical poker calculator can go a long way in helping you do this. You will inevitably run into losing streaks, but making consistently correct, odds calculated moves with your given hand rank, you will progress. So when you are at a game critical intersect, envisioning your long term success, will give you the power to fold - if you must.

I recommend starting with no more than $50. And limit yourself to one deposit a month if you fail. No matter what the reload bonus is. Once you deposit, give it extra cash value by attaching a reasonable goal to it. Such as, “In one month, I will turn this $50 into $250. Or, I will double my bankroll in one week or less. Once achieved, set another goal. This practice in itself will contribute more to your poker skill set than ANYTHING else you will ever do. When that $50 is your life line from being cut off from poker, you will value it.

After reaching some success, stepping up a level should come with patience. But restrict yourself from playing more than 10% of your account. 5% is even better. When I have rebuilt a bankroll, I didn’t move to the $10 STT’s until I had $125 in the account. That means if I don’t place, my loss is limited to less than 10% of my bankroll. You should probably try to play closer to the 5%. The losses, and 4th place finishes will hurt less that way.

While progressing, you should also be tracking your win rate. You need to place in 30% of your games (or higher) to start adding to your bankroll. Poker prophecy is a good program to monitor such, or better still, make a sit and go spreadsheet for your own records.

Marty Smith is editor of and