Interestingly enough, I've never invested one dime of my own money in this online gambling bit. I got my initial stakes 2 years ago ($20 each at Absolute and Poker Stars
) via their end of the week Sunday freeroll finals, grinded that up to $300 or so within 3 months (the days when winning $5 was a great day seem so long ago), then took advantage of a free bankroll offer from Party Poker
early in 2005, and haven't looked back since.
My bankroll management is simple: At the end of the end of the month, any money I have over $1,000 is "swept" into my bank account - this way, I have locked up some profits and/or bonuses earned. This also has the effect of limiting what stakes I can play, unfortunately, but this is just a measure of self-discipline so I don't blow a lot of hard work in one bad stretch.
Sadly, I had to change the way I made money playing poker because of all the sites shit-canning the U.S. players out of their sites - I can think of at least $400-$500 per month in bonus-whoring income I am currently losing out on. However, this change has also forced me to change my playing habits - and moving up a level or 2 in SnGs and cash games while keeping the same (or better) win rates has almost made up the loss of bonus income.
Not to brag here, but after December I fully expect to pass the $10K mark in total withdrawls back to my bank account - not bad for such a small monetary investment!