Sports & Gaming

Bankroll Management

Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 11:18 min

Learn the importance of good bankroll management, how to pick the right stakes, prepare for losing streaks, and keep yourself in the game for the long run.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Prepare for Variance • The 20 Buy-In Rule • Risk of Ruin • Know When to Move Up or Down in Stakes • Establish a Metric for Tracking Win Rates • Use Cash Games as Your Anchor


So whatever your bankroll is, like your life bankroll of how much money you actually have, that's not your poker bankroll, right? Because you know, you can't lose all that playing poker and then still pay your bills. So it's important, I think, and it's something that I certainly did early on was to track how much money I need for my monthly nut, what my expenses look like. And one of the ways that I found to increase my bankroll was to lower my expenses and you know, spend less money. Because with poker, you know, there's only so much you can make at specific games. There's only so many hours in a day that you can play. So one of the best ways to do that is, again, to monitor your expenses and lower them. But always also you have to prepare for like potentially like months or two months, three month periods where you make no money at all. You know, you're going to go through periods where when you're an 80% favorite, the 20% is going to come in. Well, it's supposed to come in 20% of the time, right? But over a short span of time, it could happen three times in a row, four times in a row. That's variance in a nutshell. And if you can't fade that, your trajectory as a professional poker player is likely not going to work out. Because everyone goes through bad runs. You're not the first person that lost with pocket aces three times in a row. Happens to all of us. It affects your confidence. Obviously, affects your bankroll. But most importantly, I mean, it can affect your life if you're not prepared for it. So I remember growing up, you know, I'd go to the Mirage, I'd go to Bellagio and I always wanted to play in these big, juicy games where they were playing for hundreds of thousands of dollars. There was one problem-- I didn't have hundreds of thousands of dollars. So despite the fact that I looked at the players and I thought, you know what, my game is good enough to beat these guys, well I have $30,000 to my name, OK. And the limits they were playing were $1,500/$3,000. So that gave me 10 bets, 10 blinds, right. Now it's a pretty dumb decision to sit down, no matter how good you are, in a game like that. Because that's just poor bankroll management. Now don't try this at home. I did do this when I was very young and this is a lesson I learned that I hope that you guys won't have to learn yourself. But it's very, very important to understand the math behind the game in that no matter how good you are, there will be deviation in terms of luck, which plays a significant role. And if you don't have enough resources to fade those streaks of good and bad luck, no matter how good you are, you will go broke. So when I sat down in that game with $30,000, despite me even thinking I was the best player in the game, the chances of me going broke if I continue to play, probably 95%. Because at some point I'm going to go on a little streak where things don't turn out. So it's very important when you choose a limit for what you want...

About the Instructor

Put yourself across the felt from Daniel Negreanu, the biggest live tournament poker winner of all time. The six-time World Series of Poker champion teaches poker strategy, advanced theory, and practice through hand-reviews of his winning games. Learn how to sharpen your mental game through demos on reading opponents and spotting tells. Join Daniel at the table to increase your win rate, grow your ROI, and get your game “in the money.”

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Daniel Negreanu

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