How I Grew My Bankroll by Enjoying Myself

When you’re getting started with poker, it’s inevitable you’ll ask someone the question “what’s the quickest way to build a bankroll?” I know I did. This same thing pops up on forums and message boards every single week, and you could put fill many volumes with opinions and theory on the matter.

The answer is quite simple, however, although it took me a while to realize it. This “dilemma” is really a search for something that doesn’t exist in poker, fast profits without putting in any hard work. The best response to the question is that you should strive to play the game you most enjoy. There are several reasons why this is truly the best way to build your bankroll.

The Benefits of Playing a Game You Enjoy

Major profits can be made in every form of poker, so long as you strive to play optimally and focus on long-term results. It’s funny how often players will choose a game they dislike just because some random forum threat told them it was the most profitable. Maybe it’ll win them a couple bets more on average over thousands of hands IF their play is sparkling, they don’t tilt even once and they constantly seek out the best tables. Not very likely, especially if their heart isn’t in it.

On the other hand, if you are playing a game you thoroughly enjoy, you’ll be much more inclined to read more strategy articles and think about hands away from the table, which will help you improve your play and help your bankroll tremendously.

This kind of focus on the profitability of particular games can also be dangerous because it puts you in a very results-oriented state of mind. Downswings are inevitable in poker, and you’ll start to say “Hey, I thought this game was supposed to be easy money!” Before you know it, you might be playing out of your bankroll to chase your losses or tilting away everything. Get it out of your head that certain games are the most profitable, and focus solely on making your play as good as it can be.

My Poker Evolution

Because of these reasons, I always played the games I most enjoyed when I was first starting out in online poker. For me, that was mostly cash games, both Limit and No Limit Holdem, with some Multi table tournaments sprinkled in. After I played for a few months, my preferences evolved a little. I had a long downswing in NL cash, and I really let it get to me for a while. I figured that my tilted frustrations directly cost me a few buy-ins before I realized what I was doing and took a break. At the same time, though, I was becoming fascinated by the mathematics and long-term expectation in limit poker.

I stopped playing NL for a while and focused exclusively on the game I was having a blast playing. As a result, I was motivated to put more energy into improving my play, and I cleaned up for the next couple of months, finally breaking the hump and growing my bankroll to a level I would consider significant.

Now I’m back to playing NL again, but at the time, I needed to stop because it was only hurting my growth, even though it’s usually considered the best way to build a bankroll.  In poker, having a genuine passion for what you’re doing really does wonders.

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