1. The top 5% of online players in terms of ability, are not the top 5% players in terms of total cashouts. In fact, the biggest losers playing today are some of the best players, playing one limit too high, or without bankroll discipline. My goal with the following post is to help you become part of the latter group, the winners.

    This post does not take bonus whoring into account, but I recommend using that technique in conjunction with this one.

    It's for the sng players, and there are many of us, that have a hard time identifying what level they should be playing at to maximize their profits. A mistake that many players have is not paying themselves along the way while trying to accumulate a bankroll for their desired level of play.

    I recommend first that you identify first whether or not you can beat the $5 sng games. Over time, this should become apparent to you. If you cannot, playing sngs as a source of income is really ludicrous.

    Anyone with a bankroll of $300 or lower, in my opinion, should be playing $5.50-$6.50 sngs. This is well above previously stated bankroll requirements written by Fox and others on this site. The reason for this is that the requirements set forth by Fox and others assume you are always beating the game, where in fact, many players go through phases of poor play that make them losers in the short term. For instance, a player with a 30% roi can fall into a slump of playing bad hands, overvaluing hands, and doing things that are getting themselves in trouble, making them short-term losing players.

    Once you have attained $300 or more, a move up to $10-12 sngs is justified, until your bankroll is at $1,000. Should you drop below $300, your first move is to drop down levels. At this point, it's time to pay yourself back. Now that you have completely eliminated the risk of ruin, you want to take funds from POKER and put them into LIFE. So the strategy is to "tax" yourself 10% of GROSS winnings from here, forward, to be earmarked for withdrawal, and withdraw the funds immediately as soon as you reach the site's minimum withdrawal requirement. This will ensure that you don't have the temptation to put this money back into your poker bankroll when you hit a skid. You will begin to feel better as you pay yourself, and play prime poker, hoping to add to your withdrawal total. You will be playing with a purpose.

    The other thing that this accomplishes is that it becomes harder to get to $1,000 this way. When you get to $1,000, you can begin to play $22-27 sngs. In order to even get to $1,000, you will have to have about a 20% roi at the $10-12 level to beat the rake, the "tax", and have money above that. If you can beat the $10-12 games at 20%, you are ready for the next level. Also by waiting until you are at $1,000 to move up, you are ensuring a big enough sample size at your current level that you aren't being affected in your judgment due to short-term good variance. I think moving beyond this level requires about a $2500 bankroll. I'll stop here because this post is intended for the low-limit grinder.

    Continue to "tax" yourself 10% , and set high bankroll requirements until you don't feel you can beat the next level up. When this happens, simply start "taxing" yourself 50% instead, and become a better student of the game, reading a lot, and getting new ideas, maybe signing up for an online poker school, until you feel ready to conquer the world again.

    Put a stop-loss on yourself of 6 buyins/day at your current level, or stop playing at the first sign of frustration. You don't ever want to damage your hard work by playing outside you bankroll, or chasing losses.

    If you follow these strategies, you will never feel too much pressure to win a game, you will have a constant, small income coming in, and you will feel better about yourself, allowing yourself to play to the best of your ability.

    After all, the way we keep score isn't the level we play at, it's the number of dollars coming in.

    Best of luck,

    Jennifear
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  2. Very good solid advice, though I'm nmore conservative than this. Only thing I disagree with is the implication that you should wait until you can't beat a level before you start to seriously study the game.
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  3. Thanks for the great reply.

    I don't feel that there is ever a time where studying the game isn't profitable, so I agree with you. I should have clarified this better.
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  4. Move to the head of the class.

    While you were discussing SnGs and low limits, the principles are very applicable to other areas.
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  5. nice post.
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  6. Very good article. If you're a winning player PAY YOURSELF ... regularly.
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  7. I've never been a big fan of SNG's, but I will give this a try just to test it out.

    If it works, I owe you oral.
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  8. Also, if you're playing well within your br you can afford to take some time familiarising yourself with various moves you've learnt from your studying.

    What do you think about moving up in stages, Jennifear? For example, I deposited $200 to dtart with, donked a win in a 180 $4.40 and withdrew my initial but in. I'm now at $900 having played the $6.50s and lower mainly. Once I got to $750 I started to play 1 in 4 $11s and $12s. When/if I get to $1,000 I'll make it 50/50. $1,250 and I'll switch exclusively.
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  9. Nice post. Definitely something to consider. My bankroll is currently in the 350-400 range and I primarily play 5.50 SnG's. I have been wondering when I should jump to the $11's. I was thinking I should be closer to 450-500.
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  10. Your risk of ruin is very low if you take on the $5 sngs with $300. However, I definately recommend staying within a comfort zone. The strategy works the same if you choose different br numbers :)
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  11. Or just take 26 bucks and finish in the top 2 and BAM you have a decent starting BR. =P

    Good article jenn.
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  12. This plan WORKS. Let me say Jennifear is quite near the vicinity of BRILLIANT (and outstandingly hot too, what more can you ask for?)

    She has helped me a TON and started me on this plan every since I broke $350, anytime my br is above $350 I tax myself 10%. My br is currently at around $420 and I have cashout out almsot $90. It's cool to think of it like that, if not yes my br would be over $500, BUT I've already paid myself back almsot $100 for the losses I incurred before I really buckled down and read and took the game seriously as a possible small side-income later in life...

    SO, let me say, for anyone interested in this theory, it REALLY is a good plan...

    Thanks again Jenn
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  13. Excellent post, Jennifear, especially for those looking to go through the first round of bankroll building. Cashing out, so you can reap the benefits of your successes rather than just playing higher, is a VERY good thing indeed.

    One thing I'd like to point out is how important it is to track your results to the best of your ability. There's a lot of good tools, spreadsheets, etc., that will allow you to predict future results based on your past play. Use those predictors to adjust bankroll expectations. As an example, if you've built a bankroll up to $1500, and you know that you've got an expected ROI of 24% at the 10+1 level...if you cash out $1200 for whatever, and leave $300 behind, you should feel far more comfortable getting right back into the 10+1s and staying there even if you drop $50 or so in the first bunch you play.

    Once you've built a bankroll, ALWAYS have the confidence to know that you can do it again.
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  14. Thanks for your reply graps. I enjoy your articles and think they add a ton to the community. I also feel your record-keeping advice is well-warranted, and a great addition to my post. Appreciate it.
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  15. Very good post Jen, well thought out. Just enough action to keep people from getting bored in the grind, but still enough discipline to keep from blowing it all playing too high.
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  16. a very good site I use to track results, one that seems to get VERY little publicity on here is www.checkyourbets.com...
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  17. That is a great point, Graps. Once you have a big sample and a proven high ROI at a level, you can comfortably play with a short bankroll - and it's kind of a fun challenge. I sometimes like to drop $70 or $100 onto a site I don't usually play and try to build a roll for that site playing the $10s, since I have established results at that level. It's a fun challenge, and a nice change of pace. Instead of playing one $35 at a time, three $10 tables (playing more LAG than usual) is like a vacation. It's a good way to get workable bankrolls on multiple sites to take advantage of various MTTs.
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  18. I used to use checkyourbets, but Pokertracker is just so much more convenient. If you're really broke and still have a very small bankroll, checkyourbets is a decent alternative, only problem being is in CYB you can easily delete sessions, and the temptation to just say "Oh well that time I got sucked out on I shouldn't count that" is very dangerous.
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  19. 2 things:

    1) if you're tracking your results for a purpose, but delete sessions you don't "want" to count, then you might as well not bother tracking your results LOL...have the discipline to TRACK them for the purpose of ACCURACY....

    2) Something I'd like to just pull the reigns in on a bit...graps and epic are VERY successful players, but jenn's plan allows you to be DOUBLE BANKROLLED at lower limits. I STRONGLY advise AGAINST playing short-bankrolled if you are a low-limit grinder working your way up...I hear ya epic and graps, but a lot of ppl reading or learning from jenn's post should definitely NOT try playing on a short-br for the "challenge" of it...but I hear what you're sayin and I am sure that works for the two of you :)
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  20. You're exactly right, jdro, which is why I said that you need to have some very stable numbers behind you before trying it. I've gone through a half-dozen or so bankroll-building cycles, so I'm very confident that if I leave $1000 behind after a withdrawal (as an example), I can jump right into 30+3 or even 50+5 SNGs, because I know my typical variance swings and ROI for each of those levels.

    Funny you mention the "playing short on one site" exercise, epicatc. That's exactly what I'm doing now on Stars. I'd never particularly played there, but after a couple of money transfers, I took $500 or so and started playing 50+5 SNGs, just to see what happened. After my first 50 SNGs, I've got a -10% ROI. LOL. Either fuck variance, or fuck Lee Jones (not sure which yet, there's definitely a different style of play there than the 50+5s on FTP or Bodog, so I've got some adjusting to do).
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  21. Playing with a slightly shorter roll is okay, but many people using this system might use this as an "excuse" to play higher than they should.

    If you are going to play with a shorter roll on occasion, PLEASE do not fall into this trap.
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  22. Im definitely not suggesting that anyone just working their way up try to play above their bankroll. What Im suggesting is that once you hit a milestone, say $1000, instead of moving up limits, you can take a small chunk (say $100) as seed money and try to grow it into a viable bankroll on another site. It's a nice challenge, and it only puts 10% of your overall bankroll into play (and not all at once). That way you're not really playing above your overall bankroll, but "taking a shot" at the same time. If you're successful, you'll end up with a whole second bankroll. I think it's positive for an up-and-comer to get out of their comfort zone a bit by expanding to multiple sites, and this way you can seed that second site BR by building it up from not much by playing the same levels you would normally play on your full BR on your primary site. It's vital to be able to conceive of your overall bankroll as pieces that can be moved around, but still maintaining OVERALL bankroll management for the whole amount, even when its scattered.
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  23. last night I was plus .90 after 21 1.10 turbo sngs that would be .09 set aside to be withdrawn. Anyone know what the minimum withdraw is for UB? lol
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  24. This is a theory I agree with, because I feel you should treat your bankroll, no matter how many sites it's on, as ONE total bankroll number. This suggestion fights boredom, and we all know that boredom is an enemy of good play.
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  25. ah very true epic, I am doing that now on UB, but with $60 and I am plying $10+1 on UB because like Jenn said, my br is ONE whole number, not individual #s for each site.
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  26. Just realized, I haven't even played enough SNG's to find out if I can beat them.

    How many 5 dollars should I play before I am aware of whether I am able to win at them or not?

    Keep in mind as far as I know, I'm at least marginally terrible at them.
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  27. I think that 100 should give you an indication.

    The math answer:

    You are most likely a winner if:

    AFTER THIS MANY SNGs |||| YOU HAVE THIS ROI

    100 30%+
    200 20%+
    500 10%+
    1000 5%+
    5000 2%+
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  28. The hardcore statistics guys usually call for a number over 1000 (there have been a few threads on this topic in the past) for accurate predictors. I usually feel comfortable after 200-300 that I'm getting some reasonable numbers to go off of.
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  29. To get your true ROI, you'll need somewhere between 1k and 10k games. To get a ballpark figure (prob. +/- 5%) about 300 games should do.
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  30. Lots of poepl say you need to play x000s of games to get within a reasonable approximation ofyour true ROI.

    I'm sure that's right, but if you've played 150+ you should know whether you're beating them or not, even if you don't know how well you're beating them.
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