Effective risk management can be a life skill. The world is full of dangers (and opportunities). Navigating through (and capitalising on) these requires an assessment of both the likeliehood and the scale of each. The impact and chance of most are so insignificant, that they don't warrant anything more than following our instinctual actions. Others however deserve substantial consideration. Let's agree for now that Impact * Likeliehood = Residual Risk (opportunity).
Bankroll Management for me up to now has been based around minimising Risk of Ruin (RoR). That has dictated that I play micro stakes, starting literally at 1c/2c until I was a consistent winner, then moving up. I started with $25. I could have invested $1000 at that time. I'm glad I didn't. I would have lost. I struggle to beat $1/$2 NLHE after 3 years, I had no chance back then.
Any game with a -ve EV represents a 100% RoR over a sufficient sample size. That means, mathematically you're guaranteed to lose. The only way to win are to stop playing after your initial lucky run or become +EV, a true and consistent winner. Your results over 10,000 hands are just that, a result. Only an analysis of hands played could guarantee that your actions were indeed +EV over such a small sample size.
It would appear that I am a very marginal winner and it feels like I know more each week, which can't be bad. My results are certainly improving and I am more focused on making the right play as opposed to short term bankroll swings. That's probably a good thing ... so long as I keep a realistic eye on RoR.
There is a positive side to Bankroll Mgmt though in terms of funding stepping up. To date, I've chosen to prove to my family that the time investment in poker was paying off by withdrawing cheques periodically. Time away from family is a big investment to compensate for so I need to win bigger to justify this. I was at a run rate of $1000 per qtr. I then stepped up and wasn't able to do this anymore as I went back to being a very marginal winner/loser with no RoR.
Before starting the blog, I found that I was playing better poker, playing higher stakes and probably better players, knew more about the game but made less money and enjoyed the grind less. So much for winning, eh?
I was spending less time on table selection and I was playing Noble poker who had withdrawn the rake that they used to pay me because of an iPoker enforcement around rampant rakeback. I liked iPoker and had PokerOffice stats on all my opponents.
I used Party and other iPoker skins to claim on the 2+2 book bonus (contact me if you'd like more info) which was the best move ever. I got better at the game. BTW, if you haven't read all 5 Harrington Books, go check out the offer and do so as soon as possible.
Since the blog, a few guys have stopped by and encouraged me. They've also through their blogs reminded me of the opportunity to chase bonuses. Something I've held off from because I was more focused on winning than having my credit card out there and risk greater RoR through Identity Theft, or similar.
The personal guidance that I've been provided with is first rate and nothing has been asked for in return. My eyes have been opened to opportunities that I was quite frankly missing. Tips on how to structure my records. The best tip was the simple one of opening a Neteller Account (again feel free to contact me for guidance).
Goals ... my one starting the blog was simple (see previous entry). I'd like to be able to make a rewarding career out of playing poker professionally. I'm just working out how to achieve this. (Aside, rewarding is not just making a healthy profit, a subject for another day.)
So will Bonus Chasing improve or hinder my progress to a better player? Here are my thoughts, I'd appreciate your feedback:
- I can significantly reduce my RoR as my performance without rakeback can be marginal;
- If my bankroll grows I can play better opponents quicker within my bankroll criteria;
- I'm incented to put in volume and hence determine my true winrate at various levels;
- experiential learning at volume supports my study; and
- there's nothing really to lose by it.
One last thought to leave you with. It appears that the best bonus program at present is William Hill which I have jsut signed up for. It's not the most elegant site and I've experience low player volume when it suits me to play as I like Full Ring. Last night, I had a 2 hour session 4-tabling NL50, NL100, PLO, PLO/8 at once. This is something I would never have considered before.
It was mentally stimulating and I had two lucky hands which helped me finish the evening a winner on all 4 tables for a total addition of a few hundred bucks. One of the good beat stories will be summarised in as a comment as it isn't my reason for this post.
Finally, thanks so much to the Blindman and Bort in particular for all your guidance. It has made a massive difference to my outlook for the future. Cheers!
3 weeks ago