Whodey's Building your Bankroll Guide
This guide was created while I was playing at FT. It could probably apply to most sites but I like FT's ring game play and their large array of tournaments, only matched IMO by PokerStars
. This guide is probably aimed more towards new/intermediate players but there might be a point here or there that could help anyone out.
While I don't consider myself an amazing player, after gutting it out on the tables for awhile and taking some rough hits, I've finally been able to come out winning steadily for the past month. Experience plays a key factor in this but there are a lot of concepts that, if learned how to use, can help out big time down the road. Position, the free card, semi-bluffing, and check-raising are huge concepts, to name a few, that need to be grasped before expecting a consistent winning percentage. I will tackle these concepts briefly but I would suggest purchasing either The Theory of Poker
or Hold 'em for Advanced Players
, both written by David Sklansky. They both give a ton of examples so you can hammer down the concepts and really improve your play no matter what your level. Greg Raymer and a number of highly touted professionals agree by saying they wouldn't be where they are today without those poker novels.
Just deposit whatever you are looking to start off at. I think my most recent deposit was $50 and I'm up to $350 in the past week and a half. I've done this a couple times on Full Tilt and I really don't think you need to have superb skill to build up your BR in some of the low limit ring games.
Where to Play
Be mindful of the stats that Full Tilt offers on their ring games. They will show you the average of people playing on the flop, pot size, and how many hands are being played per hour. Ideally, I would prefer to see all of these percentages fairly high. In my opinion, I would give the most notice to pot size and average # of players on the flop. The higher these two percentages for you, the better your odds of taking down some big pots when it means the most.
For tournaments, I would suggest at the beginning stages to stick to fairly low sit n' go's and maybe the occasional low buy-in Multi-Table Tournament. Keep it to the basics before you start playing stakes that exceed your bankroll. Playing a $24 entry for a 14k tournament is going to pose a lot of problems. You just aren't getting good odds unless you are very skilled and know you can consistently make it in the money. On FT and many other popular sites, most of the high cash tournaments and the guaranteed tournies will usually have entrant pools exceed 1,000 or 500 on the bigger entries. Stick to the low-limits so you can build up your bankroll before hitting these tournaments
Remember, you want to immerse yourself in some of these tournament situations. Try entering "The Ferguson" or a 2 + .20 tourney. The Ferguson is a $500 guaranteed $1 entry tournament that can give you some early MTT experience.
How to Play
Now that we've figured out what we are playing, lets figure out what we are going to do at the table. Depending on your deposit (assuming it's low), we should aim for the .10/.25 or the .25/.50 tables. Remember what I stated earlier about looking for higher percentages in the two more important categories. We want this to be high because it means the play at the table is most likely more loose and lots of people are sticking around for the flop/calling way too often. For this strategy to work, you are going to have to play pretty conservative and keep a Tight Aggressive persona. Basically, keep your hands pretty limited and play from position. If you are first or second to act, hand like J9, Q9, Kx, Ax, etc. are probably going to be poor plays on an average table. Obviously, you are playing at your own discretion here but these hands will hurt you in the long run. You are going to get outkicked in bigger pots or you'll be wasting blind money by playing hands you shouldn't be involved in.
Besides playing position, start getting a grasp of people you are playing with. Watch out for some important signs. If you see someone overusing continuation bets, there's a good chance you can call in late position. If he checks off the turn, there's a very good chance you called him out on his minor bluff. There are way too many players at the smaller limit tables who will make very weak bets to try and win over the pot. These players are usually more timid and ready to fold if you can pick out the times when they are playing with garbage.
I'll expand further on this in the next couple of days when I have more time, but I'll end with some tips
- Position, position, position. Don't play mediocre hands when you are near first or second position. You might see your mediocre hand hit a great flop every once in, but the ends don't justify the means in this case. You can waste a lot of money playing sloppy.
- Pay attention to your opponents. The faster you pick out the fish, the faster you can make really easy money.
- Mix up your game play. Play ring games a fair amount but throw in MTT's and SNG's in there every once in awhile so you can improve your area of play. You'll see a lot of different styles of play in both areas and it will
- Be patient, a lot of times it'll take awhile to find good sitatutions to play those high pocket pairs. I've taken down countless numbers of blinds with AA, KK, QQ because of a stronger pre-flop raise. It might seem like you could hustle more money out of the situation, but you'll also get screwed out of some huge pots when someone catches something with much inferior starting hands. That can take a huge chunk out of your bankroll or take you out of a tournament when you can't afford to go out.
As I said earlier, I'll add a lot more/refine the actual play style part of this guide in the next couple of days. I've been really busy but I think I could add a lot more. Remember, I'm just doing this to help as many people out as possible. Any input is appreciated though as I would love to refine it.