Living Small

by Lou on July 23, 2005

Earlier today I received email from a poker player who wrote:

I want to start seriously building my bankroll up. Right now I haveabout a grand in there. I have heard that saving half of what you win isa good strategy, but I have also heard just saving 10%. Do you have anyideas on what size games I should be playing. And what is the best way to increase the size of the bankroll. Thanks for your advice.

Well, it’s a good question although he really didn’t provide enough information in his question. For instance, I don’t know if he’s planning to live off his poker winnings or whether he can supplement his poker bankroll with income earned at his job.

In any event, these are hard questions to answer. If our writer does have a job he can always take some of his salary and contribute it to a poker bankroll. But if he’s attempting to live and play off a $1,000 bankroll he’s got a tough task ahead of him.

To play off a bankroll and make a career out of poker, andy player should probably have about 300-400 big bets — and 600 would be better yet — so for a $10-$20 player, which is about the minimum stakes that allow someone to support himself or herself as a professional poker player, that means $6,000-$8,000, never mind whatever money is needed to live on. Even with a 300 to 400 big bet banrkoll, without some money saved to cover living expenses, depleting playing capital to pay living expenses, particularly at the start of one’s professional poker-playing career, is stressful and difficult. But someone who is playing and working at a job can tap into discretionary income to build a bankroll, and this player can get started on much less.

Taking ten percent of everything earned and paying yourself first is a great strategy for life as well as poker. But very few people do that. I’ve always tried to live below my means so that I could save for poker, for retirement, and for any other unexpected events that came my way. But I don’t know many others who have done that. However, most every book I’ve ever read on financial planning advises that paying yourself first is the way to go, and that if this were to be done from an early age, it will mitigate most financial problems encountered during the course of a lifetime.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: