Building Your Online Poker Bankroll from Nothing

Debi

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This is our discussion for Week 1 of the CardsChat Forum Challenge. Even if you are not participating in the challenge - feel free to join in on the discussion!

We would all love to avoid making deposits - the ultimate dream of most beginner and intermediate poker players is to build a bankroll from nothing. We have an article on this topic here:

Building Your Bankroll From Scratch

Read the article and let's discuss it here!

CardsChat Forum Challenge
 
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oakthyago

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Its really a dream to start a backroll only paying freeroll. imho this is not impossible but its is very hard and require from the beginner a big amount of time. Fighting big field with few cash return.

Indeed I believe that a small first deposit is the better solution. If you start really small keep in mind that theoretically you can only spend 1-2% of your bankroll in a single tournament or buy-in you are in a good path.

finally, i conclude saying, in my opinion of course, that is not possible to play cash game with at least a started backroll of 50-100$ because of the buy in rule that I cited before.


The best way to start a bankroll with freeroll is becoming a Cardschat Freeroll Member and playing everyday.
 
Debi

Debi

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Its really a dream to start a backroll only paying freeroll. imho this is not impossible but its is very hard and require from the beginner a big amount of time. Fighting big field with few cash return.

Indeed I believe that a small first deposit is the better solution. If you start really small keep in mind that theoretically you can only spend 1-2% of your bankroll in a single tournament or buy-in you are in a good path.

finally, i conclude saying, in my opinion of course, that is not possible to play cash game with at least a started backroll of 50-100$ because of the buy in rule that I cited before.


The best way to start a bankroll with freeroll is becoming a Cardschat Freeroll Member and playing everyday.

Good tip! :D
 
bmw13

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it's possible to build a bankroll with freerolls ... but when you will start to play with money its something else ...you have to be really prepared for the downswing.
I think the 1% playing a day from your bankroll it is the safety play. Good luck!
 
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20-40 buy-ins is fine for cash games and possibly SNGs, but I’d recommend being a little stricter with BRM and making it a minimum 30+ buy-ins if you’re building from nothing. At least at the initial build of the BR as it allows you some wiggle room if things go south. Once you’ve built up move up to 5nl or 10nl, you can reduce BRM to 20 BIs minimum as you’ll have enough cushion to drop in stakes if you need, while making it easier to move up.

I completely disagree with 5% being good BRM for MTTs. The bigger the field, the more variance, and the stricter the BRM for MTTs should be. While not impossible to do well, having 20 x $5 buy-ins is nothing. It’s a great BR to take stabs at buy-in MTTs, but even then, I think strict BRM is still important. With a $100 BR, I think playing up to $1 MTTs is good. I’d throw in some .25 and .50 games with huge GTD prize pools as well.

Just as important as MTT BRM is the selection. Not all MTTs are the same as each site has different late registration, prize pools, and pay outs. If you are building from nothing, being able to get into the money (and deeper) is what’s going to build that BR. Having to go through 1 hour vs 3 hours late registration could be the difference in that happening. Also, playing a field of 2K+ for a payout of 10 players vs 50 players is very different.

Other than CC freerolls, I personally like the GTD FRs on BetOnline/SportsBetting as a) there is no late registration and b) it has decent payouts. Their $200 and $300 GTD FR pays out 40-50 players, IIRC.

They are RB/A GTD FRs, but for the lower end games, the RB/A is very small with a great return on investment. An example is the $25 GTD FR with .10 RB/A. 1st earns $5.75 for a potential .20 buy-in, which is pretty decent for a smallish BR.

I made a small guide on how to take advantage of their huge add-on while skipping the early stages of the game. Skipping early stages isn’t necessary, but I just prefer to. When building my BR on SB, this helped out as I was only using the minimal add-on, in this example in a $25 GTD game, I was only spending .10 instead of a potential .20+. Fields were smaller and easier to get through. And I made more $/hour. As a bonus, it helped me more on my mid to late stage game.

OSMB Guide
 
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spottedflyer

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this is really helpful, thanks. i do have one question dough - if you do build a bankroll from scratch and withdraw your funds through, say paypal, can u get a FD bonus? :)
 
freeringo

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I have averaged over $1000 each year, over the past 3 years, playing just CC freerolls and special events. Each year the prizes keep getting bigger and I can only play USA friendly sites. CC forum gives away a ton of money.
 
mtl mile end

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I have some experience in building a roll from nothing, so please take the following as my opinion:

Freerolls
These are great. But they seem to be fewer and farther between these days. If you can find a good freeroll, it is a "no risk" form of bankroll building. Invest your time and get rewarded with experience and maybe some money. I'm in canada, for years, pokerstars would throw heaps of "Regional" freerolls and other benefits at Canadians. Those days are long gone, but watch out for any site that seems to be courting you - by Nationality or any other way. party poker has a deal with my local Cardroom (Playground Poker Club) that results in lots of promos with overlays to win prizes that manifest themselves at Playground (tourney buy ins, cash, etc)

Try Something New
Fun, but don't expect immediate success. As long as it's free, go for it.

Private Freerolls and Magazines
As this is the twenty first century, I have not touched a magazine in years (except when some special person subscribed me to a bunch without my knowledge or consent). Private freerolls (like CardsChat Freerolls) are GOLD. In exchange for your input on this forum, you get a chance to win money, for nothing, frequently. It could not be more obvious or straightforward how good this is.


Building Blocks of Online Poker Rolls
1. Micro-Stakes Cash Games
Once you have a small BR, these can help, but I have not found a lot of success here. I prefer taking chips from tournament donks than from cash player donks. Reward is not worth the risk (for me). Tournaments are "fixed risk", cash games are more "open ended" risk.

2. Small Buy-in Sngs/Tournaments with GTD Cash
Also good. PokerStars (and probably others) has 50/50 Sngs. Ten players sit, last five get paid buy in (less rake) plus a percentage of the other half of buy ins (less rake) depending on chip count. Low risk, with relatively low reward, but you're trying to build bank from nothing, not win a million dollars ASAP. Small buy ins with low risk/high chance of cash are the name of the game. Party Poker has "Cent Rolls". You pay a penny and could level up to thousands of dollars in prizes in six levels or so. Not such a great chance of rewards, but they only cost a penny and might keep you motivated - your "lottery ticket" of bank building

3. Earn A Great Welcome Bonus
Since I have signed up for three new poker sites through CC, I have been "reaping the benefits" of the rewards at 888 Poker. Bet Online and Sports Betting have no rewards for people who merely sign up and don't deposit. I think the benefits of depositing a nominal amount (like 10USD) would far outweigh the free sign up benefits - but that's not what we're trying to do here!

4. Learning Sensible Bankroll Management
Yup. This is essential - back to small (no) risk and high chance of (potentially small) reward.

If Jesus Can Do It…
I have not yet walked on water, but I have built up about $275 on Stars (although $90 or so came from my Full Tilt account to which I did deposit). I have $12 on 888 Poker thanks to a CC Freeroll, and just won $40 last night on a Party Poker "cent roll" (which could have been $150 if the chip leader wasn't so aggressive).

All this to say, CC Freerolls are certainly my best bet. If you have better alternatives, I will be watching for them, ready to join in.
 
Edu1

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I never made a deposit in online poker, and I did not know this story of Chris Ferguson, it will inspire me to create a big bankroll
I will follow these topic tips and create a great bankroll
 
Mortis

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6bb1f9fafab997f1e57dec10a71578dc.jpg
 
zviko

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I've learned that poker takes an IMMENSE amount of patience to learn and win. I used to have very bad bankroll management, im doing alot better now, thanks for the tips.
 
Alucard

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I suggest to all the people who are starting their poker journey to start by playing freerolls & build a BR from that insane grinding.
Winning a freeroll or even cashing a considerable amount in one is never easy & it takes a tons of hard work & effort specially as a beginner. But most importantly it teaches you a lot of things both poker related & as well as could be related to real life as well.

First & foremost you'd begin to appreciate money no matter how small it is. And would start to treat your pennies as you would your dollars. And also you'll be improving & working alot on your game that'll help you to proceed further to the higher stakes with much ease & practice.
I can say this without a doubt having done this my self.
One thing I'd advice you to do is that pick the odd ones out. The freerolls which have higher rewards in comparison to the number of players.
The best & the closes examples are the cardschat freerolls where you can earn & learn so much from. But do not expect for it to be an easy ride cause most are not your typical fish but very experienced sharks including myself. :cool:
 
PuletJelek

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As a beginner in poker I have to learn a lot, One day I get $ 1 from ACR freeroll. Then I play cash games and my money goes up to $ 7 in a few days. I forgot why I was angry, I played very badly and spent my money then, and I have nothing. Yesterday I got $ 0.55 from ACR freeroll. Then I play cash games today. Now, I have about $ 3. Well it's not a huge amount, hopefully I was lucky enough to add another win in the cash game and freeroll while waiting for me to be allowed into the Cardschat freeroll tournament. Sorry for telling a sad story.. Lol :D
 
Marcwantstowin

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I believe that to make a bankroll from nothing is quite difficult to do. As has been said before Chris "Jesus" Ferguson did it. I remember reading his rules, and tried it myself, although it was a long time ago. He did it from $0 - $10K, and I think the only difference between him and I was "He could play poker", and I didn't have a clue what I was doing, any picture looked good to me. :rofl: Since his achievement was so good, I have read that others have tried it, some succeeding, some (most) definitely not !

I think the best advice I can give is, to take advantage of the "First Deposit" offers that are available, there are a lot of good ones, and some not so good ones. Once you have done that...........take some advice, from members of CC. There are a lot of great players here, most of which, will offer advice if you ask for it. If you look through the forum, especially in the "Poker Strategy Area" you will find loads of advice. There is the Cash Games Area and the Tournament Poker Area areas, whichever you prefer.

Cardschat offers plenty of "free money", and if you take advantage of some of their promotions you will be able to take part, and possibly win some of it. The Cardschat freerolls are the best in the world, and given you follow a simple set of conditions you can have lots of fun, learn more about your game, and get to make some online pals too.

My last comment on "Building your online bankroll from nothing" is that to do it without depositing is very difficult, but if you insist on doing that, use Cardschat as a tool, for gaining advice, improving your game and I wish you the best of luck. Finally, let me/ us know if you manage to get to that magic $10K figure.
 
Mortis

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I'm flying bacl home from Vegas today. When I get home, I'll look more into this.

I have never deposited and only play on ACR/BCP these days. I have a bankroll of under $10 on there from freerolls.
 
Dejange

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I am the one who never made a deposit from my own money. And it is really difficult to make a reasonable bankroll from freerols, yep. After my first year playing a poker, mainly freerols and then small buy in MTT's, I was touched by a god's luck and won 102 USD on FT with my last 2 cents (won a sat, and then cashed in the main event). However, the harder task is to build on the gained BR, so I was zeroed shortly after that.

Winning some small amounts from freerols is always difficult to resist to invest them immediately in some cash game or attractive tournament (especially when TCOOP are held). So, basically it is not working for me that kind of rule: win freeroll money - put in action at the earliest convenience :D

This year I started to accumulate those freerol winnings, and I also have improved my play a lot. Only from CardsChat events I won this year about 150 USD, and recently reach 90 USD bankroll. Playing mainly 0,10 - 0,50 USD Sit'n Goes and some Spin'n Goes to increase it. And that will remain the same limits, until I get further improvement in my play.

Auh, I forgot also the section for staking other CC members - it could give you further profits, but sometimes you could loose as well :)

To assume my opinion, yes - it is possible to build BR from freerols, the hard question is how to use it further :cool:
 
zam220

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To make a bankroll from scratch-you need patience,this is a very complicated and long way .Holds the best private freerolls Cardschat, CardsChat events this year, I won about $ 120, but this method is suitable for those who have the patience, I don't have it, so I can only advise you to make your first Deposit. On your first Deposit, the poker room always give good bonuses
 
BentleyBoy

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A great strategy article and one which I am sure has found a way into many CardsChat members hearts and minds. The dream of many poker players is to get that magical from zero to Hero status, and as we can see it certainly is possible. However, the one component that I don't believe that this article covers is the facility or availability of TIME to seek to achieve this dream. Lots of players who want to play for no deposit have jobs and other commitments which get in the way of playing poker. However, you don't necessarily have to become a HERO to make money from poker, you can just focus on what is available...and the article does give plenty of really good advice, including shopping around for available freerolls, particularly from membership sites. There are plenty of them, and of CardsChat is up there at number one giving away heaps of cash every day in return for your contributions to the site. Just take a look at Freeringo's results from CardsChat freerolls https://www.cardschat.com/forum/lea...ker-bankroll-nothing-351887/post-3962497.html. That is a brilliant story if ever I saw one...all thanks to CardsChat.

Good luck everyone!

BB
 
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D

D0M1NAT3

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I love your guys' posts thus far. I feel like I can relate to some and love the advice on bankroll strategy. Personally I'm a freeroll fallout been playing poker online for years on and off for long extents of time mostly freerolling to build rolls.. I've had long lows and good highs but one thing I never did right was bankroll management, I was always chasing money and if I did have some management it was way out of an acceptable range for my bankroll which leaves me here with years of online poker experience without anything to show for it except a few small cashouts over the years... I don't know if you guys have this problem but the advice I'm taking from this thread is TO ALWAYS FOLLOW A STRICT BRM and I have to stress the fact that the only way to be successful at freerolling and poker long term is having good bankroll management. or you can join me in the loser circle, but hopefully I won't be here much longer :D
 
migesan

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I think I'm on CC for this :)
while it was possible to cross the visa card I did it, I always worked for $ 20, but now I can not make someone smart, so I canceled all the poker transfers in our country
Two years ago, I had a good opportunity to build an account with over $ 1,000 and stay there, but instead of myself, I listened to friends to raise money.
I was $ 30 and played SnG 1.5 and 3.5 $, 18 (turbo), and got to some $ 60, and decided to play one tournament of 3.3 where I was successful and took 4th place (445 $)
so I played for a week with SnG, after I decided to increase the stakes on SnG and play $ 8 (180, turbo) and took the 1st place ($ 398)
I had close to $ 1,000 and my friend called me to pick up a new one, so I've been waiting for the right card to fix myself :)
there is certainly the possibility that with the help of the CC you will get a good deal and make a lot of money.
 
woohoo sue

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Thanks for the article CC. I plan on returning and making a chart of the suggested structures for buy-ins to the various games based on BR size.

I would add to your article about joining other forums for their freerolls to " look at the private games tabs on on the sites you already play at..join those forums....US players are so limited to where we can play."

My curiosity was peaked at the tip of coupons in magazines....this is my next project for sure!

I was in a BR challenge some years back...The forum gave a 25 dollar seed to a player. We were asked to double the seed and return the 25 bank or go bust. We had to make a post of when and what we would play and on game time post hands and results... I met the challenge and gave back the bank. I was able to play on the balance for some time using the tips of BRM but in time went back to my old ways of "doing what i want" and lost it. I think I'm one of those that can follow rules if I'm watched over/doing it for others. Not sure what that says about me but I will use "recording my progress" if I try to grow a BR again.

I too agree the freerolls are a means to a BR but should never be the way to grow one. What I got from the article is that you should do them till you get 20 dollars and then spend your time doing 50 cent tourneys and .01/.02 tables till your BR gets big enough for the next plateau(which like I said earlier I need to make a chart for the info there). Once the BR gets to $20 I would just do CC/other low field or major guarantee freerolls mixed with buy-ins till the BR fell below 15 bucks again(try hard not to let this happen).

On a side note.This should not keep you from looking and joining others forums, because this will open up more low field freerolls for you. I've been involved with quite a few forums over the past 11 years and currently, You are not going to find a more generous, active or creative forum than what you have right here at CardsChat.

Ok I think I may be sufficiently motivated to get serious about Bank Roll Management again. Read this article and get motivated too!
 
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mafsparta

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I have a friend who started a backroll (over 2500$ today) only paying freeroll. So I know for sure that this is not impossible but its is very hard and require from the beginner a big amount of time (it tooks over 2years for my friend).
I believe that a small first deposit is the better solution.

The best way to start a bankroll with freeroll is becoming member in poker site (like poker stars) and Cardschat Freeroll Member at the same time and playing everyday.
 
whiskers77

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Thank you CC for this very nice and inspiring article.
But also in my opinion the suggestion to play with 5% in a MTT is a far too aggressive bankroll management. I think even for a SNG it would be too much.
I was playing long time with relative conservative bankroll management SNGs with buy ins of only 1-2%.

I think it is absolutely possible to build up a bankroll from zero. It just takes time, discipline and patients.
At my beginning of playing poker I was unfortunately depositing without knowing much about the game. And of course I wasted money.
Then I took some break from poker until I found a room where they offered at this time some SNG giveaways with the possibility to win some cents, beside the usual freeroll MTTs. I managed it there also with strict brm to build up a bankroll of about 150$.
I practiced a lot of playing there. After knowing, that I am able to play in a plus, I decided to deposit again also in other rooms to clear some bonusses there.
In my opinion it makes sense to do deposits for such reasons, but only when you know what are you doing.

According to my bankroll, that I have meanwhile, I should play with higher buy-ins. But I also think, you need to feel well on the level, that you are playing. It is nice to have a goal at poker like Fergueson had, but at the same time you also put some pressure on yourself. Maybe I also should put a goal for me, it could make it interesting, but on the other side I am not a professional player and I have time. Need to think about it...
=^..^=
 
vinnie

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I would not recommend the fast fold games for new players and those starting to build a bankroll. For the same level, the play tends to be tougher and your edge will be less than at the normal tables. Less of an edge means more variance, which means higher risk of ruin. They are a great way to get in a lot of hands, but you should be able to beat the regular tables at that level, for a good amount, before you jump right into the fast fold.

Tournaments
I'm not a tournament guy, not really. I made plenty of money from freerolls and sit and gos, but I just don't like them as much as cash for bankroll building. Some days, you might sit down and find that you just aren't playing your A-game. If you bought into a tournament, you just need to suck it up and play because you have committed that money. At a cash table, you just sit out and walk away. The only problem is that cash is a tougher environment to excel at, because it is deep-stack poker (compared to tournament poker). Still, I would steer people to playing cash before tournaments.

Welcome Bonuses
These are great, but they don't go along with the micros or baby bankrolls. Usually, to get a bonus, you need to deposit a certain amount and then you need to clear it within a short time frame. To clear the bonus, you will have to play higher than your actual deposit amount should normally allow. I have adopted pretty liberal bankroll requirements to try and max out my benefits on the bonuses, but I have never cleared the entire thing. At my normal, stricter, bankroll limitations, I would never come close.

Bankroll
If you have less than 20-40 buy-ins for the lowest game on a poker site, you are outside the concerns of bankroll. Your risk of ruin is uncontrollable due to the inability to move down to rebuild. As your bankroll grows, you will get more an more concerned about protecting it and avoiding severe swings that cause you to drop more than one level. That means stepping down when you get below a cut-off point for the level you are at.

20-40 is a sane default for NLHE micro limits. Closer to 40 if you play 6-max, and nearer to 20 if you play full ring. With Omaha, 40-60 is probably a better idea. And, when you move up, preserving your ability to play at the same level through downswings and the decrease in your skill gap between the other players means even more. I have read some people recommending 75+ buy-ins for short-handed Omaha games, and I think they make good points.

Bankroll story time: My bankroll is strictly separate from my normal accounts. So far as to have a different bank from my normal bank where I keep my poker funds. That was for two reasons: keeping it apart from living money and back in the bad days you never knew if a cash-out check was going to be good or not and end up freezing your account until it got sorted out.

My wife, eventually, discovered that I had a different bank with several thousand dollars in that account. This was not a happy conversation. Due to many issues hitting all at once (burst water heater, car transmission failing, smashed window from a failed break-in) our emergency fund was drained completely. We discovered our doggie had cancer, and needed surgery. We had no money. Except, I decided to make a huge exception to my normal rules and pulled a couple grand out of the poker money to pay for it. At which point my wife pointed out that six months earlier she needed a medical procedure and we saved up for it for two months before doing it because we didn't have the money! We didn't have the money for her to see a doctor, but I found money for the dog!

Men, don't repeat the mistakes that I have made. But, do keep your funds apart from other funds.
 
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ph_il

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Starting from $0 on SportsBetting to try and build a BR from nothing. I transferred my full BR from poker to sportsbook, which I'll just hold there until I'm ready to cash-out.

I also reset my stats on SS for Nov. 2, when I started this challenge to rebuild a BR. 2nd MTT in and I took 3rd for a cool $14. So, not a bad start to the challenge.
 
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