One of the biggest reasons why a poker player goes broke is because of poor bankroll management. Practicing bankroll management is an inevitable task every poker player should go through. Sound bankroll management would usually involve recognizing the amount of money you currently have in your bankroll and that should always be the dictating factor for the stakes you should play for.
The most important rule is to never play for money than you can afford to lose. You should realize it’s always possible to lose a hand even if you play perfectly. Especially if you’re going through a downswing, you should never risk an amount of money that can land you into financial trouble. You should also never put your entire bankroll on a table.
Your bankroll is the primary controlling factor in the type of game you will play. If you decide before sitting on a table, that this is the amount you can lose then that will work well for you in the longer run. Setting limits should be your first priority before beginning a game. Remember, the main purpose of having a bankroll will be defeated otherwise, as it is supposed to act as a cushion for the times you lose.
It is always better to have goals in mind. Poker players usually fall into three categories, and all three of them have different expectations and goals. There are recreational players who just play for fun and generate income from other sources. Serious players are profitable players but they don’t only depend on poker as a source of income. Then there are professional players who bank on poker as the only source of income. They just cannot afford to lose their bankroll as they would end up losing all their income. Know your type and always keep your goals in mind.
Lastly, remember the golden rule that your poker bankroll should always be used to fund your poker games. Never pay your other bills off your poker bankroll as this could severely impact your bankroll management.