Marginalpoker

Playing the margin, making the rake

There are clear reasons as to why you need to have a larger bankroll whenever you play NLHE Ring Games. At the lower levels of play then the standard is weaker for obvious reasons but as a rule then a better standard of play usually means players who are more aggressive in nature. This means that you have to push marginal edges to make your money as players will not pay you off in hugely –EV situations post flop as often as they do in lower stakes games.
Having a bigger bankroll and a bankroll that is more than adequate for your level allows you to do two things. It firstly allows you to ride variance the way that you should ride it. If you have ten buy ins then not only are you under bankrolled but each loss of a buy in represents a far greater percentage to your bankroll. If you only have $1000 playing NL100 then not only is your bankroll not big enough but losing $100 is a huge 10% of your bankroll.
This happens irrespective of how well you play poker. If you flop the nuts with pocket tens on a 10-9-4 rainbow board and someone gets all in with you holding Q-J and the turn and river cards are 2s-Kh then you are going to lose your entire buy in. These sorts of events can happen in very quick succession and is all part of the variance within the game. However if you are playing with 100 buy ins instead of 10 buy ins then your loss is not 10% of your bankroll but an almost insignificant 1%.
In both instances you have lost the same $100 but one loss represents 10% of your roll while the other is a mere 1%. Another factor that needs to be considered is that a much larger bankroll allows you to play a more aggressive style because each buy in is such a small percentage. Let us look at an example, it has been folded to the button in a $2-$4 game and you call from the big blind.
The flop comes Q-6-2 rainbow and in this example then the hands are almost irrelevant. You have the J-10 and check the flop with each of you having $400 stacks at the outset. The pot on the flop was $26 and your opponent bets $16 and you check-raise to $50. Your opponent three bets to $200 but can he really have a big hand here? If they have nothing and merely think that you have nothing then a four bet shove will be profitable. However if they have a big hand then why are they three betting?
If they have a hand and think that you are bluffing then they would surely check and let you bet again being first to speak. It doesn’t make much sense to three bet a bluffing hand out of the pot. Also if they do have a very big hand then it is also in their interests for the money to go into the pot in increments so they end up with all of your stack anyway.