Sunday, November 06, 2011

STT (SNG) Bankroll Strategy

The Internet seems to be flooded with cash bankroll strategies, ranging from 30 buyins and take a shot at the next level, to the more nitty, 100-200 buyin approach before moving up to ensure that you never go broke. If you have read my blog regularly over the last few years, you will know that I favour the latter approach, which is why 5 years ago I was 1 tabling $20 STTs and I am now still 9 tabling the 7s lol. You may laugh at this, but even after my failed mass tabling effort last year to get to supernova, I have still made a profit every year and I am still living off my initial £100 deposit into online poker way back in December 2003.

I guess my ultra nitty bankroll approach and the fact that like most people, I have had to dig into my roll to pay bills every now and then ,means that apart from the odd drunken $200NL cash session, I have not played higher than I have. Now that I have decided to stick with STTs for the next year or so at least, I hopefully intend to move up to at least the $30s on stars by the end of 2012.

I have therefore developed s bankroll strategy that if all being well will see me happily taking shots at the higher levels with the big boys and hopefully with the bigger fish too.

I do tend to tweak my plan every now and then but the basics will always stick the same and should you choose to follow something along the same, it can suit most levels and bankrolls.

The basics involve never keeping any more money online than you really need to, which  is a rule that I am sure more than a few Full Tilt players wish they had adhered too !! but thats another story. In my case I have a VirginOne account, which is absolutely perfect, as this account is my mortgage/current/savings account all into one, so basically if any of my bankroll is in here, I am effectively getting my mortgage rate in interest, which is currently 3.75%. The account also allows the ability to set up virtual savings areas which look logically seperated. In here I have setup two areas, one called "Poker Stars Bankroll" and one called "Poker Winnings" How I use these areas will be made clearer below.

At the moment, my active bankroll is approx £1300 and I do have to point out that even though I play in $$$ I ignore this and treat it as ££, which to be fair, does make it even more nittier than if my stars account was in $$ to, but thats just a personal way I do things. My Roll is currently split with approx £1050 on stars and £250 in my "Poker Stars Bankroll" savings area. I do also have approx £1300 in my "Poker Winnings" savings account.

While playing the $7s on stars, the maximum I keep online will be £1500. Once my stars account hits £1500 I will withdraw £500. This £500 will split 50/50 with £250 going into my "Poker Winnings" account and £250 into my "Poker Stars Bankroll" account, so in essence if I was starting from scratch and this was my first withdrawal when reaching £1500 for the first time. When I withdraw I would have £250 in the winnings area, £250 in my bankroll area and £1000 online, giving a total bankroll of £1250.

As I work full time, I don't really have to eat into the poker winnings area, but if you are a full time poker player, you could easily adapt the above so that the "Poker Winnings" area in essence becomes your "income"

In my case, I intend to leave the poker winnings area until December 31st and then split the winnings area as follows:-

25% = Payment off Mortgage
25% = Towards a new car (seperate savings account for this)
25% = Luxury Joint Item (something visual my wife and I can reward ourselves with)
10% = For my wife to spend as she pleases
10% = For me to spend how I please.
5%   = Miscellaneous (possibly looking at a seperate MTT bankroll for the few I play a year)

Splitting it the way I have above, seems like a good balance between getting the mortgage paid off early and actually seeing something at the end of the day for all of the hours that you put in, which at the end of the day is why we sometimes play 40 hours plus a week on top of a day job, it def isn't just for fun !!!

So thats the spending part of the strategy, the next part deals with moving up the levels. As you know I am very nitty, so if you follow my strategy below, you may feel very frustrated in playing a lot at the lower levels, but if you do decide to follow it, you should never go broke, unless your a mega fish that is !!!

I think the lowest bankroll you should be playing at for the stars $7s is £750 (or $750/€750) and move up as follows:-

At Bankroll of £750 - £1500, Play 100% - $7s.
At Bankroll of £1500 - £2000, Play 75% - $7s + 25% - $15s.
At Bankroll of £2000 - £2500, Play 50% - $7s + 50% - $15s.
At Bankroll of £2500 - £3000, Play 25% - $7s + 75% - $15s
At Bankroll of £3000 - £3750, Play 100% - $15s.
At Bankroll of £3750 - £4500, Play 75% - $15s + 25% - $30s.
At Bankroll of £4500 - £5250, Play 50% - $15s + 50% - $30s.
At Bankroll of £5250 - £6000, Play 25% - $15s + 75% - $30s.
At Bankroll of £6000+ Play 100% - $30s.

Thats really as far as I have looked ahead for now, with my nitty withdrawal plan, I am going to have ro run well and play a shit load of hands to be able to get to be playing 100% at the 30s by the end of 2012, but I think it could be a realistic aim.

One other adjustment that I might have to make if I am putting in a lot of volume is the online level where I withdraw at, so I might amend the max amount I keep online as follows:-

100% $7s, max in account = £1500.
100% $15s, max in account = £2000.
100% $30s, max in account = £3000.

The above should allow for any real bad runs of variance, obviously if you do hit a real real bad run, you have to drop down the level of the game you play when your bankroll hitsthe levels that you came up on, but hopefully as you will be moving up slowly you should be able to adapt better to the higher skill levels that you will probably meet.

So that is basically it, very nitty, but I think it is very effective. If you don't have an all in one mortgage account, I still recommend you open up a couple of online instant access savings account for your bankroll and winnings areas, in this day and age, you should be able to move money around in a matter of hours and if you plan ahead, you should always be able to get some money into the area you require to deposit into your Stars account should you need it.

I hope some people find this article, feel free to comment as appropriate.

Good luck at the tables, this is GothmanUK on stars, signing off for today.

After putting up a Kristen Hersh track last week, I came across I song that I love and had forgotten about:-

Throwing Muses - Bright Yellow Gun