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Bankroll from Scratch - SoCal $5/$5 Games

My goal is to build a bankroll of $10,000 from scratch; primarily playing the Commerce and Hollywood Park $300-$500 $5/$5 blind games.

I want to get better at applying what I know. So much of what I'm learning here makes sense when I have time to analyze it, but in actual play, I feel I act too quickly. As a result, I want to work on taking more time before making a decision, thinking about future betting rounds, correct bet sizing, and hand sharing on the forums for feedback. I'm really bad at recording my hands, but I'm getting better.

Once I have a 20 buy-in bankroll for the $5/$5, I want to continue to build it for safety, while also working toward playing the $5/$10 at Commerce with the $1,500 max buy-in.

I'm tracking my results with an app on my phone called Poker Agent. I find it too cumbersome to record the hands, even though that's a big part of what it does. So far, I'm just using it to keep track of my buy-ins and cash outs.

I typically play from 11:30 PM to 4:00 AM, Mon-Thur Nights.

I started on 10/18/16 with a $300 buy-in.

So far, I've played 22.7 hours and I've won $2,684. However, I spent some of my bankroll, and it's now only $900.

Updates to follow.










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Comments

  • MikeG Posts: 989Subscriber
    Assuming you have a job, this plan is fine, although I wouldn't move up to 5-10 with only $10k, although taking a 1 buy-in shot occasionally is probably fine.
    As you start to take more time in the actual hand, you'll find hand-recall to be easier. One option, if you don't want to be distracted at the table, is to go for a walk after your next UTG hand following something that you'd like to record. This could be anywhere from instantaneous to 20mins later. At this point, you should still be able to remember the key details of the hand. It'll allow you time to jot them down in your phone, stretch your legs, etc., before returning to the table. In a 4.5hr session, it's probably acceptable to do this about 2x a night.
  • ohsnapzbrah Posts: 632Subscriber
    I wouldn't waste money on something like that imo. All phones have like a memo app pre-installed. For my big hands or hands I want to go over or are noteworthy, i just jot them down in that. Something like...

    Me utg pfr aa 20, btn call. Loose passive rec. F aa3dxd. I b 25 c. T kd i b 45 c. R kx i x btn b 200 xrai 500 c mhig.

    Takes about 20 to 30 seconds to jot down and saves money. Good luck!
  • pokertime Posts: 2,180Subscriber
    GL! The more you play the more situations repeat themselves and you basically auto know what to do. Just track the hands you have no clue if you played it right and post those for help.

    You spent "some" of your bankroll. 2/3 is more than some. Your already off to a bad start if your doing that. The whole point of a bankroll is to get through the wall a variance everyone hits a couple times a year at least. Keep that money separate and don't spend it unless it's just some personal emergency. We've all done it so live and learn.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,085Subscriber
    zach

    with now less tha 2 buy ins you are ham strung an your risk of ruin is real. Thus playing the way that bart teaches might make you broke ..

    you have to play like a uber nit. maybe less than 10% of hands .. very very straightforward only because your risk of going broke is so high.

    not much here is going to teach you that

    Also spending so much of the bankroll you built, whats with that??? Are you using it for expenses? if So then you need to take that into consideration. Do you not have $$ saved for expenses? If not then I would seriously suggest you get some kind of part time job because you simply dont have enough money to play.

    not trying to be harsh.. just real. If you want to succeed you have to make a few changes..

    ww
  • CycleV Posts: 971Subscriber
    First up, congrats on the hot start. Hopefully you can keep it going!

    Second, I'm with ohsnap, in that you can record hands with shorthand pretty easy. I'll add that recording hands for review later and posting here, it's not optional, it's mandatory if you want to improve your game.

    Finally, I am certain 100% of us are behind what Hammah said about bankroll discipline. This isn't meant to be an insult, but I'm not sure that you fully understand what bankroll management (BRM) is. Lots of players (including me) didn't start with any kind of BRM, so you're not alone or totally off the plot, but it will benefit you to spend some time learning about BRM and the steps you'll need to go through before you can start spending some of your poker winnings.

    Welcome to the forum, and may the odds be ever in your favour.
  • MikeG Posts: 989Subscriber
    I'm not convinced that people with jobs need bankrolls much less "bankroll management". This is obviously atrocious if OP doesn't have job, but assuming he has a job, then I don't think it's particularly important.
  • pokertime Posts: 2,180Subscriber
    MikeG said:
    I'm not convinced that people with jobs need bankrolls much less "bankroll management". This is obviously atrocious if OP doesn't have job, but assuming he has a job, then I don't think it's particularly important.
    This is somewhat true but he says his whole goal is to build a bankroll so he shouldn't be burning through it in the OP no less. Unless he's making $80k plus at his day job with low living expense and can just reload poker with a paycheck. You should have a minimum 5 BI BR at hand as it's really easy to swing up and down so why stress about "I can't play until my next paycheck". Maybe he's playing low hours so it's not an issue.

    The DGAF thread on 2+2 is a good primer on this and better to learn from someone else's mistakes than your own. If you have to use a couple paychecks to get back in the game you may start racking up credit cards letting bills laps etc etc.
    by 1CycleV
  • MikeG Posts: 989Subscriber
    so why stress about "I can't play until my next paycheck".
    I'd refer this person to GA, not CLP.


    If you're not a pro, then I'd say you should just play whatever game has the highest expected value for you and is entertaining with money that you could afford to lose.
    The whole idea of a bankroll is to be able to stay in the game when you're on the wrong side of variance, because you need money to make money and you need to make money to pay your bills. But, if you have a job, then this is not an important concern. Worst case scenario, you don't play poker for a month or two. If you can't handle that, seek counsel from Gambler's Anonymous.
  • pokertime Posts: 2,180Subscriber
    MikeG said:
    so why stress about "I can't play until my next paycheck".
    I'd refer this person to GA, not CLP.


    If you're not a pro, then I'd say you should just play whatever game has the highest expected value for you and is entertaining with money that you could afford to lose.
    The whole idea of a bankroll is to be able to stay in the game when you're on the wrong side of variance, because you need money to make money and you need to make money to pay your bills. But, if you have a job, then this is not an important concern. Worst case scenario, you don't play poker for a month or two. If you can't handle that, seek counsel from Gambler's Anonymous.
    Fair enough but once again OP is saying he wants to build a bankroll and move up to 5/10 so I guess it comes down to his time line for that. If he wants to be playing 5-10 in the next 2 years he should stop spending, start saving and get the hours in. If it's his 5 year plan and he doesn't care if he doesn't play for 2 months here and there then by all means spend away and take your time.
  • ZachWaldman Posts: 65Subscriber
    Thanks for the feedback. I think I can address everything mentioned in one shot.

    1. I have a Note 5 with a stylus and have found recording hands that way to be much easier. I'm still using Poker Agent to record buy-ins, tips, etc.

    2. I'm a professional comedian and magician and make a nice six figure income. If you know anybody having a holiday party that needs entertainment, send them my way. :) If you ever want to visit the Magic Castle, let me know. So yeah, I play poker pretty much for fun, but that doesn't mean I don't care about winning. I posted here to accomplish a goal, to be part of the forum, and if I can pick up extra cash playing on the side, that'd be cool.

    3. I know you aren't supposed to spend your bankroll. I remember a Mike Caro article from years ago where he said there wasn't a difference between having a bankroll and taking repeated shots at a game when you have a buy-in, other than the amount of time it takes you to gain experience. When your bankroll gets bigger, then you need to protect it, but when it can be easily replaced, it's not a big deal to take shots. I'm paraphrasing, but I think you know what I mean. I just decided to attempt this goal and wasn't really worried about spending my winnings before. I want to improve my game and be part of the forum and decided it would be cool to see if I could run up my little bankroll, so I posted it as a goal. I can lose it all tomorrow and it wouldn't matter, I can just buy into the game again. However, I like the idea of being able to say I started with $300 and never went negative.

    I'm new to this forum and don't have a lot of NLHE hours, but I'm a winning limit player up to $15/$30. I started playing in 2000 when I first moved to L.A. I've lurked on 2+2 since 2000 as well. I used to play low limits on Paradise Poker, Party Poker, and of course Full Tilt, but I prefer playing live.

    Anyway, I understand how to play a super low variant game with my tiny bankroll until I build it back up.
  • workinghard Posts: 1,566Subscriber
    I'm a professional comedian and magician
    I spent some of my bankroll, and it's now only $900
    Sounds like the last magic performance didn't go according to plan and he had to buy more rabbits. Better luck with this bunch.
  • workinghard Posts: 1,566Subscriber
    Well i gotta say, if there is anything parents want to hear less than "I want to become a professional poker player", it's almost certainly "I want to be a perfessional comedian and magician". So, well done.
  • ZachWaldman Posts: 65Subscriber
    Funny, except I make a great living as an entertainer. Maybe take the time to get to know me before being a dick.

    Again, I wasn't really looking to build a bankroll at first. I had a few good nights and said on my podcast it would be fun to see how big I could run it up, so here I am, trying to become a better player, and seeing if I can keep going from the initial $300 buy-in I made.

    Silly me, I thought there would be less trolls here since it's a private community.

    I'm sorry I posted a goal in the goals section of the site.

    Thank you for welcoming me as a new member by being an incredible douche bag.




  • workinghard Posts: 1,566Subscriber
    Dude, i was joking. I know you do well. Sorry it came off wrong.
  • workinghard Posts: 1,566Subscriber
    And good luck.
  • workinghard Posts: 1,566Subscriber
    here, I'll provide some poker thoughts on your bankroll challenge. I think what is tricking up some of the commentors on your post is that you seem to have competing motiviations. You are simultaneously trying to limit yourself to a smaller bankroll than needed while also applying the strategies that you learn from CLP which tend to require more bankroll due to variance. Is it more imporant to you that you restrict yourself to your intial buy in as a fun "runitup" challenge or is it more important that you play the best poker you can even if that means allotting yourself more bankroll? What we want to avoid is a very possible situation where you will be faced with the choice of making a correct but higher variance poker move, such as a big bluff or a speculative hero call but if you're wrong, your challenge of running up your bankroll is over. Either way you want to go is up to you and I don't really care but I don't see how you can do both at once without getting very lucky.
  • ZachWaldman Posts: 65Subscriber
    Fine, but I'm new here. You don't know me. If we were friends, you could bust balls all day.

    I want to become a better player, plain and simple.

    When I read posts on here by people who want to go pro, most people discourage them.

    I think it's bullshit because I've seen the same thing happen when people say they want to work in the entertainment industry. The truth is, almost all of my friends work in entertainment, and we all have great lives. So, my message is if you want to become a pro poker player, ignore the naysayers.

    On the other hand, I come along and say I'm just here to become a better player because I already have a career, and I still get shit. See, there's no way of winning, somebody always has to be a dick online.

    I workout Mon-Thur nights in Downtown Los Angeles, which means I'm 10 minutes from Commerce. After I workout and take a shower, I feel great, and awake. I leave the gym by 11:15 PM and I love arriving at Commerce totally fresh and focused. I play until 4:00 AM or so, and then drive home before traffic.

    I'm a night owl by nature, and my gigs are at night, so it works out. Also, because I travel for gigs quite a lot, I get to check out card rooms all over the world.

    I'll give an update after my next session. I came down with a cold over the weekend so I don't know if I'll be back playing tomorrow night.
  • MikeG Posts: 989Subscriber
    A comedian without a sense of humor. I like it! lol. Seriously, it sounds like he touched a nerve, and we all have those, but it was pretty clearly just a joke and he's trying to help you out.

    I maintain what I've said this entire post: a bankroll doesn't matter for Zach. Bankrolls are so that you can withstand variance and make sure you always stay in the game, because in poker you need money to make money, so even small Risk of Ruin chance can be deadly.

    But, that's 100% not the case for someone with a job, particularly someone like Zach who makes six figures. He should just play in the game that 1. Is the most entertaining 2. Is at a level where he could afford to lose the money and 3. he has the best chance of making money. In LA, 300-500BI is probably a fairly good option

    So, my suggestion for you Zach, is to forget the idea of bankroll, forget the idea of running it up, and just decide which games you can afford to play, play those games, choose maybe 1 hand per session and start a thread about it, and use the experience to grow as a poker player.

    The only "bankroll" concept that is particularly important is making sure that it is a reasonable amount of your life budget. So, for example, most people don't have separate accounts to pay for Clothing or separate accounts to pay for Food or whatever (although some financial gurus suggest an 'envelope method' which is similar). But, in all of those cases, we wouldn't want clothes or food or entertainment or poker to become too much of our finances. Beyond that, though, I think bankroll is a fairly useless concept for someone in Zach's position.
  • ZachWaldman Posts: 65Subscriber
    I plan on posting hands, but I also mentioned that making money at this is still important to me. I like having a goal. Even if I don't need a bankroll per se, why not do it because it's fun for me, and I want to track how well I'm actually doing?
  • MikeG Posts: 989Subscriber
    I think that financial goals tend to be bad goals because they are out of your control. Much better to set quality of play goals, or hourly goals, or forum-post goals, etc. Those are things under your control.

    As an example:

    Suppose you make a bad bluff with 10% equity and happen to suck out and win and double up.
    Suppose in a parallel universe, you get it in with AA against KK but end up losing.

    If you set financial goals, you'll consider the first universe a success and the second universe a failure, when that's clearly not the case. In the long term, good play equals good financial results, but the 'long term' in live cash games can be an incredibly long period.
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