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Bankroll management is more than just stop-loss limits.

You know the situation: The question is, which bankroll management for hyper-turbo SNGs is suitable? Don’t panic, I won’t ramble on about highly complicated formulas concerning variance and standard deviation. No, I want to give you a strategy which makes it possible for you to always play in your comfort-zone. Whether you have a brutal downswing or upswing, you can still focus 100% on your game without worrying about whether you are under- or overrolled. One thing in advance: there won’t be any absolutely exact lower-boundary or upper-boundary buy-in limitations. I don’t think much of them. Everyone is different. So, I will just present buy-in ranges for moving up or down within the limits. My goal is to teach you how to judge yourself, especially your mindset, so that you yourself can decide when to move up and when to move down.

Which bankroll management type are you?

First of all, before you sit down at the tables, you should know, which type of player you are. If you are not 100% clear about this, you do not belong at these tables. Do you shy at a risk? Are you a conservative player? Or do you revel in risky play? To discover that, it is ok to look at your own playing past. Are you a person who quickly fills with self-doubt, who can’t play at his best under pressure, or too quickly questions everything? Then you should follow a conservative BRM.
If you react well under pressure or you have a high and healthy level of self-confidence, then you can adopt a more aggressive BRM. Take your time to discover which type of player you are. Reflect on yourself!
But be careful: a high level of self-confidence does NOT mean you should play a very aggressive BRM without checks or controls.

Businessman with hand at chin, open case with money drawn on concrete wall behind, question marks over his head. Concept of making money.
Should I rather risk more or play conservatively?

Let’s have a look at that in practice

Bankroll management

What does that mean for me in practice?

It makes sense, especially in the $3.50 SNGs, to employ an aggressive BRM, because the rake in the $1 SNGs is relatively high. Your goal should be to leave the $1 SNGs behind you as quick as you can.
The point of the $30 buy-ins should be: build your bankroll.
As you can see, the rake in the $60 games is just as high as in the $30 games. Your goal should be to reach the $100 games ASAP. BUT, the difference in player skill from the $30 to the $60 games is relatively large. There are a lot of old high-stakes regulars at the $60 tables, who, when there is not much traffic, try to replenish their session with 60$ games. Small win-rates and big swings are inevitable. Be ready for them.
Due to the higher player skill level, the moving-down range should be a bit higher than on the $30 or $15 tables. Especially at the $100 und $60 tables, the player edges are smaller so that a small mistake can often make all the difference. Therefore it is advisable, to move down earlier, to analyze a lot, to get rid of leaks, then mount a new attack.

You have to be aware of how much risk you can carry.

What should you take notice of during a downswing? When should you move down?

An important aspect is of course your self-confidence. When you reach a point where your self-confidence is gone, you question everything, you feel unsure and continually make mistakes which you would normally not make, you should stop playing immediately. Allow yourself a break. Calmly review the problem spots, ask a poker-buddy to check your game and move down in the limits. After a few days you can come back to the game.
The principle rule is: no self-confidence, no poker!
Imagine the following scene: You are playing the $7 games and you catch a brutal downswing. Your bankroll has shrunk to $650, but you are normally able, even in difficult circumstances, to play your A-game, so you start a more aggressive BRM.
Your game is still solid. You review everything, but you don’t find many bad mistakes, so you are still confident. It would, naturally, be fatal to move down now. You would be stealing your own potential. You should therefore stay at the $7 tables and set your absolute stop-loss limit at $600. But, especially during downswings, you need to be constantly aware of your performance. Check yourself. Be aware of your mental condition.
From one day to another, negative thoughts can take over and you can lose your self-confidence. As soon as you notice that, move down, even if your bankroll is still at $650! Your mental condition decides which limits you play. Be 100% honest with yourself. Don’t play high limits just to be cool or while you might otherwise feel deflated. Leave your ego aside. A move down is no shame. I have moved down countless times. It is not a step backwards. It will help you in the future. Another milestone in your development.

Lost your confidence? Move down and replenish your strength!

A valuable hint to end with

Do you keep looking at your cashier or your Pokertracker graph to see how much money you have won or lost? That often means that the money is more important to you than it should be. From the first day, get used to not looking at the graph during and after a session. After a session, you can relax and switch off. In the beginning it is difficult to resist the temptation, but it is worthwhile to resist this desire. After a short time you will see that you can focus 100% on your game and after the session you will be able to concentrate completely on other things.


Every time you move down in the limits you have a chance to develop and grow. Look at it in a positive way. Remember: The rule „no self-confidence no poker“ is from today rule Number One. At the $1 tables you should have an aggressive BRM because of the high rake. Never set hard limits, just ranges in which you can estimate your likelihood of beating the current limit. Don’t steal your own potential by moving down too soon. Forget your ego. Moving down in the limits is no shame. Even if you play a limit with 500 buy-ins and you just keep losing, your self-confidence is gone, it is better to move down in the limits.


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