When Ultimate Poker Bankroll was created, we put up our Free, 100, and 500 dollar bankroll guides first. The entire site was built around helping people build their bankrolls as quickly as possble as they learned to play poker.

But what we didn’t think about was the question of how people could maintain their bankrolls once they were built. You might have a bankroll of 2000 on Cake Poker, but how do you keep from losing that? The most obvious rules are the 300 BB rule for limit, and the 20 Buy in minimum for No Limit. Swings in limit poker can go up to 300 big bets based on just variance, and 20 buy ins is the minimum you need to safely avoid busting playing No Limit. But what about beyond these general, well known rules?

1. Don’t move up in limits too quickly. When this site was created it was possible to go from a bankroll of 100 dollars to 1,000 dollars in less than a month. With the recession in the bonus market this isn’t the case anymore, but players can still use bonuses to improve their bankroll much faster their they improve their play. You might have 300 BBs for 1/2 or even 2/4 limit before you have learned to crush .5/1 limit hold ’em. Or You might have the bankroll for NL 100 while you are still playing NL 25. It is really tempting to move up, but you need to constantly self-evaluate. Unless you honestly feel you are beating the game and cannot learn anymore from that level, do not move up while you are a new player!

This applies double to moving up for the wrong reasons. Remember, you always want to play the worst players possible. Don’t move up in limits to avoid suck outs and bad play so you can beat people who “play right.” That just means you aren’t thinking about poker correctly.

2. Be humble. If things are going poorly for you make sure you blame yourself first. The easiest thing in poker is to blame a poor run on the variance fairy. In 2006 I spent two months in a break even streak. I played more hands than I had ever played before, my Poker Tracker stats looked OK, but I couldn’t make a dime. I kept saying VARIANCE! VARIANCE! VARIIAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNCE! to anyone who would listen. And then I realized “You know… maybe I’m not ready to be 8 tabling 3/6 Limit… especially when I don’t have the right monitor…” Basically, I was playing way too many tables for my concentration level and while it didn’t set off any major signs of trouble in Poker Tracker, it was hurting my play just enough that I couldn’t beat the rake… thankfully I had Rakeback! Looking for excuses other than your own play only extends down swings by giving you reasons not to plug leaks, and for a new player it is especially deadly. When you start out it is all too common to blame an inability to protect vunerable hands on suck outs and variance when in fact a subtle problem with your play might in fact be incorrect.

Find a poker forum you trust so that you can find others to evaluate your play as well, or friends you can email or instant message.

3. Use the proper tools properly. Some players will tell you that relying too much on Poker Tracker and HUDs will ruin your ability to make real reads. This is silly. Yes, over reliance on a HUD or on Poker Tracker stats is a bad thing. For a new player you should not take your Poker Tracker stats seriously until you have logged at least 10,000 hands. And once you have logged a substantial number of hands (even 10,000 is just a drop in the bucket) Poker Tracker cannot tell you how to fix your game, it can only indicate where specific leaks may be. You should not play to change your Poker Tracker stats so that you match the ideal PT print out for full ring NL, or short handed limit.

But with this said, these are important tools. HUDs can give you useful information to form reads that intuition and a good attention span cannot. But that does not mean you should fore go taking notes. Use every tool at your disposal, notes, HUDs, etc so that you have all of the information at your disposal. Notes on a site such as Cellsino Poker are especially important because of the small player base. The smaller the player base, the more you see the same players. Thus, notes become more important. On a site like Pokerstars where you’ll rarely see the same players, the value of notes go down.

This is just the first update of this guide with some general thoughts on bankroll management for new players, in the next few days I’ll try to flush this out with more concrete steps that can be taken.

Cool Hand Poker Microgaming 100% to $350 10
Golden Tiger Poker Microgaming 50% to $200 9.8
PayNoRake Poker Tiger Gaming 100% Rakeback 9.2
True Poker True Network 100% to $200 8.6
Red Cherry Poker Everleaf 300% to $500 8.5