One of the most important segments of poker is bankroll management (BRM), but are there situations where we can under certain preconditions, ignore the rule of bankroll management?
In this article we will talk about increasing the poker limits we are playing before we have an adequate bankroll to do it or in poker jargon “Shot-taking”.
The usual rule of bankroll for a cash game is that a player should have around 100 buy-ins for the limit he plays, and this is a pretty safe option that helps us deal with the huge downswings that can happen to us.
The downswings cannot be avoided, and they will come sooner or later. The factor we can influence is how long these downswings will last. Intensity of a downswing depends on our style of play and most of all on our winrate. Let me explain; in the cash game we measure our winrate in bb/100 (big blind versus 100 hands), or how much we win or lose big blinds in 100 hands on average. For this figure to be significant we need to have a large sample of the hands we observe. The larger the sample the closer we are to our true winrate.
This is one of graphs that has a fantastic winrate of 12.96 bb/100 on a total of 7255 hands, but in reality on a larger sample that winrate is probably not sustainable.
The two things that are essential for a winrate are rake and rakeback. Nowadays rake has become quite high (around 10 bb/100) depending on where we play, so it is very important for us to find the best possible rakeback deal and automatically increase our winrate.
But let’s get back to shot-taking and how all of this affects our decision when it’s the right time for it. Let's see what data analyst / poker player Patrick Howard says about shot-taking:
Patrick is actually talking about how with a good winrate we can attack higher limits much more aggressively provided we have the discipline to go back to the old limits, if we lose a couple of buy-ins.
Also, if we are a rakeback grinder and change winrate for volume, our chances of losing are drastically increased and we need a much bigger bankroll. And of course, we can never predict when downswing or upswing will come but I find it logical that, if we’re on dowswing, we don’t get into a shot-take.
If the Shot-taking is done properly and all the conditions are met, it can have a positive effect on our bankroll and speed up our journey to the High-stakes, also help us accumulate a larger amount in less time.
If we don't Shot-take we are missing the opportunity to make more money, so that's why it should be an essential thing in the career of any ambitious poker player.