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扑克 Bankroll management (资金管理)

Bankroll management



Keeping your eyes on the prize





If you need to get motivated to pay attention to bankroll management then look at it like this – without a bankroll, you’re not playing any more poker. Manage it properly and, as your skills develop, you could soon be in a position where you’ll never have to top it up again. That’s free poker for life. Your bankroll is also your ultimate scoreboard. Poker is a game and the object of any game is to win. Golfers have handicaps, ball players have scoring averages – poker players have a bankroll.



  

What is a bankroll anyway?





It's money you set aside specifically for playing poker. It’s not the rent money. It’s not the next car payment. It's not even the beer money. It’s the poker money, and should always be an amount you can comfortably afford.



The goal in poker is to increase your bankroll by consistently winning at the tables. Do this and manage your bankroll well and you'll never have to call on outside funds again.



  

Does size matter?





The aim of bankroll management is to sustain your poker playing indefinitely – so your bankroll needs to be big enough to get you through tough times and back you up in the good. Mason Malmuth, a mathematician and respected poker author, says the ideal amount is 300 times the size of the biggest bet at your chosen level of play.



Three hundred times sounds like a lot, but experienced poker players all know – no matter how good you are – you’ll still hit long losing streaks. Look at it this way, if you were playing $5/$10 stakes with a $600 bankroll, one or two bad beats could wipe you out. Take the same bankroll to $1/$2 tables and you can still suffer a few bad beats, and more besides, without being taken out of action. Only have $60 to devote to poker? Look for stakes starting at 10¢ /20¢.



  

Mind games





If you play well and stick to a sound set of bankroll rules you shouldn’t go broke. Endless free poker for a one-off investment is reason enough to focus on this part of your game, but proper bankroll management doesn't just give you a strategic advantage – it also gives you a big psychological edge.



It might not make sense at first, but to be comfortable and confident at a poker table you can't be thinking about money. To understand this, just look at elite- level athletes. Jocks who face crunch situations thinking, ‘The game is on the line here’ or, ‘ It’s going to be bad if I screw this up’ usually do. Michael Jordan, on the other hand, was famous for consistently scoring in clutch situations with millions of dollars at stake and championships on the line. Ask him what he was thinking when he sunk those baskets and he’ll tell you, every time, “putting the ball in the net, nothing else, just doing what I needed to do to put the ball in the net”.



Poker puts you under a lot of pressure – that’s part of the fun of the game. Managing that pressure is crucial and you just can’t do it if you’re distracted by the fear of loosing money. Money you’re afraid to loose isn’t poker money. Sound thinking at a poker table means knowing the chips you're playing with aren't the same kind of cash you spend at the supermarket – they're tokens and their value relates solely to what is going on the table.





Where do we go from here?





As you play, your bankroll will rise and fall with your fortunes. You may find yourself moving up a playing limit as you accumulate cash – or dropping down to deal with a bad run. The eventual blind levels you settle at are a matter of personal decision. What stakes do you feel comfortable playing at?





The final word





Malmuth’s bankroll theory works. Tens of thousands of poker players can testify to that.



But the theory isn’t a blue print to making money on its own. Your success also depends on good, diligent play. And the only way to achieve that is through study, practice, and control.

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