The topic of building an online poker bankroll for the first time is one that brings a lot of anxiety and confusion for many potential players. In this article, I will provide basic advice on getting started, using my poker bankroll as the spring board, and staying positive.
The most important rule for any venture towards becoming a pro is to start small and build your way up. If you put too much money at risk in the wrong buy in or tournament format, you will never learn from your mistakes. In order to help you with this, I recommend starting at a level you can afford and playing sit and go tournaments or multi-table tournaments until you at least have a sizable bankroll to play in them.
Often, this is where a lot of the mentality comes into place. Most players get to a level where they think they can beat every opponent on every street. Unfortunately, taking an opponent to your “house” for an all-in move and then executing it successfully doesn’t mean a lot if you haven’t been practicing it enough or taking advantage of the advanced tournament strategy guidelines. Unless you can at least approach the tactics employed in a sit and go tournament in terms of location, hand selection, and blind levels, chances are most of your plays will be Boxing for Roses. This is not to say they will all be foolish, foolish, but just that a lot of the “textbook” tactics will not cut it when it comes to online poker.
Unlike the live poker world, online poker has a quick and easy profitibility flow, especially when you can accumulate a healthy bankroll after playing a game or two. While luck certainly plays a contributing role in every poker game, utilizing the odd or even blind strategy in an attempt to grind out a profit will certainly help you to add to your bankroll. Methods such as these allow you to save chips for more profitable moves, either as a result of your opponents folding, your placing more small-medium valued hands, or simply keeping in mind that you will always need a back-up bankroll.
What really separates the stars when it comes to online poker is the wide range of bankrolls. For a reasonably active player, having a couple hundred in play is normal, and typically an increase of a couple of hundred at max. For a player who is typically tight and seeking a lot of steady and light controlled play, having a couple hundred in play is much more favourable, and will allow for players with a wide range of minimum/maximum stack sizes to call you light or medium valued hands while attempting to get lucky on their good hands. Any stack size under 10 BB’s allows you to call a small to medium raise, while a stack of 10 BB’s or 11 allows you to call a medium/large raise.
There are a number of reasons to choose playing online poker to try to build or pad your bankroll. For a player who is relatively tight and seeking a lot of low/middle hands, it allows for easy addition of blinds by simply folding. For a player who is looking for some variety in their games, online poker offers more by way of playing with a variety of hands. While a player may be able to reference a poker guide, learning to play poker online will still require some trial and error to enhance your hand reading skills. The best way to improve as an online poker player is to play free games until you can find yourself winning with the best of them.