Treat poker like a business, because it is! To start a business you need capital. In poker, that’s your stake and the launch of your poker playing career. Your stake will most probably come from your own household budget. Be realistic as to what you can afford, and be disciplined. Play with zero profit in mind, this means you can comfortably absorb the cost of the game without upset or hardship if you don’t win.
Budgeting gives you peace of mind and helps improve your game by taking the financial pressure off.
Your winnings are your earnings, so by keeping a record, you can determine if you are in profit or loss. When analysed with your game statistics, a picture will begin to emerge as to your financial and win-rate status. Analysing your statistics will help to correct mistakes and improve your game, or reassure you that you’re playing well and are on the right trajectory for more success.
Playing within budget and with lower stakes, say with a 50.00 to 100.00 bankroll, is better in the long run. If you have a run of bad games, make sure you’re cushioned to cover these losses. If you start to fall behind in your win-rate, try playing in tournaments, or change your play. Investing in tracking will give you an insight as to where the problems are with your game, and help you to correct what you are doing wrong. It will help you assess your behaviour at the table, your hands and your game.
Your goal should be to add to your bankroll with every game, and from your profits, use the cash to get more knowledgeable and experienced. At the end, the more you put into your game the more you will get out.