MTT Bankroll Management

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Managing Your MTT Bankroll

Bankroll management means playing the correct tournament stakes and allowing yourself to play a high volume of games to reduce the variance.

You should only play MTTs with buy-in worth 1% of your total bankroll.  This places maximum utility on your money, while avoiding any unnecessary risks.  For example, if you want to play $5 tournaments then you need a total bankroll of $200. 

The exception to this rule is Re-buy tournaments which require you to commit at least 5 buy-ins for each game.  For example, a $5 re-buy event means you need a bankroll of at least $2,500.  For more information on re-buy tournment strategy read re-buy MTTs

What is MTT Variance?

Poker tournaments contain alot of variance.  What this means is that there is no guarantee of making a pay day, even if you play perfectly.  There are lots of “coinflip” situations you have to overcome.  For example, in the late stages I might shove all-in pre-flop with 55 and get called byKK, making me a marginal 52% favourite.  You have to constantly overcome odds like these and get lucky to make a decent pay day.

The long term effect is that you can go up to 20 tournaments in a row without a payday.  You can also bust out of a tournament in the first 5 minutes with the perfect hand.

One major element that will effect MTT variance is the size of the field.  The more people that enter a tournament the smaller chance of you reaching the final table.  More players equals more competition. 

The long term ROI and profits from low field and big tournaments will be exactly the same.  However, in the short term, there will be more variance in big events e.g. Stars Sunday Million with 7,000+ regular players.  Small events include around 100 – 500 entrants.

Conclusion on MTT Bankroll Management

The 40x tournament buy- in rule works as a standard-recreational MTT bankroll. It eliminates the risks of going broke by allowing you to play a large volume of games and making sure you can afford the stakes in the long run.

However many players won’t stick to this rule and ultimately it’s up to you to decide. If you’re a purely recreational poker player or want to risk more money in a single MTT for then that’s ok.  However, most experienced tournament players look at their ROI after hundreds if not thousands of games, and that’s where tournament bankroll management is important. 

By playing a high enough volume of MTTs, your ability will show up in the results.

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