I've just tallied up the total I've lost overall on PKR with the side games (Casino Hold'em and Deal or No Deal). It is more than I originally thought.
In total, I gambled away 285.99 USD on those games. The question I am asking myself now, is why was I chasing my losses and why couldn't I stop? The simple answer is I have a gambling problem. Can I overcome that and play poker successfully?
New PKR Bankroll Management Rules
I have adapted my PKR BRM so that I should avoid going broke. The new rules are as follows:
- Must have at least $100 to play NL4.
- Must have at least $250 to play NL25.
- Must have at least $55 to play $1 SNGs.
- Must have at least $165 to play $3 SNGs.
- Must have at least $200 to play $4 Phase 1 SNGs.
- Must have at least $275 to play $5 SNGs.
- Must have at least $500 to play NL20.
- Must have at least $550 to play $10 SNGs.
I have also created a cash-out policy for myself, so that I can reward myself for good play in real life, and minimize the risk of blowing my bankroll on irresponsible gambling.
- When my bankroll reaches $200 I withdraw $50.
- When my bankroll reaches $300 I withdraw $100.
- When my bankroll reaches $400 I withdraw $150.
- When my bankroll is over $500 I will withdraw 2% per fortnight.
This policy means that it will take longer to move up limits, however cashing out will not wipe out my progression (at each cash-out point my bankroll will be $50 more than at the previous cash-out). It also means that after the $400 withdrawal I would have earned money from playing poker on PKR having cashed out more than deposited. My current bankroll stands at $126.97 and my current bankroll building target is $150.
I've printed out a "Seriously. It's only a game!" Responsible Gambling Poster [PDF] and stuck it above my monitor. Not only is it always in my peripheral vision, but it's somewhere I look when I have a screen break.
I have also considered a way that should prevent me from gambling with my poker bankroll. PKR have a separate bankroll for their casino game than their poker game. When I have an impulse to gamble, I could fire up PKR Casino and have a little fritter.
Perhaps using play money may be sufficient enough to satisfy the urge. If not, I can have a gambling balance and somewhere to go to gamble, that is completely separate from my poker bankroll.
Poker Break Revisited
Although I am officially on a poker break, I have registered for the Pokerstrategy Titan Freeroll for today.
This is what I am going to do this week. The only poker games I am going to play are freerolls and points tournaments. Generally they last 1-4 hours, I won't be spending money, and they are so infrequent that I will be playing considerably less poker than previously.
I have evaluated the reasons for me wasting my bankroll on gambling, and have the belief that these adjustments will help me in the long run. If separation, reminders, rules, and results don't prevent me from repeating my bankroll burning, poker probably isn't for me.