Building a Bankroll from SNGs

Plenty of online poker players are receiving a big percentage of their profits from SNGs. Whilst many people will tell you making money from SNGs is all about utilizing the appropriate SNG strategy; the following article will provide some useful tips and advice outside of strategy to making the most from SNGs.

What Rate of Return? (ROI)

Most players in SNG games analyze their ROI (rate of return) to see how good of profitable they are. ROI is calculated very simply, by taking your net profit, divided by the entry fee, then x100 to give yourself a percentage. For example, making $50 net profit from 10x$10SNGs = 50% return.

Although most players suggest you should be aiming for a 20%+ ROI in SNGs (with 50%+ ROI being extraordinary), the truth is this isn't really an accurate measure of how much "real" money you could be making. Earning a 20% ROI in $50 SNGs for example, will earn you more profit than a 40% ROI in $5 SNGs. This is because while you're earning a higher rate of return in $5 games, you're actually earning a lot more money in the $50 games because of the higher prizes they yield.

Finding the right ROI in SNGs then is not just about maximizing it to the full extent. You need to find a balance of a good ROI figure at the highest level you're comfortable with (and which matches your bankroll). Playing at a $5 SNG with a 50% ROI may be a great way to show off to your friends, but in reality you should be pushing up a gear to the next level if you want to continue increasing the amount of money you could be making.

SNG Bankroll Management

Most experienced SNG players suggest having a total bankroll to cover at least 30-50 buy-ins for the game (depending on the style of play and how aggressive/loose your are). A loose player should be at the higher end of that figure, where as a tight risky player can afford the lower end due to their lower variance style of game. A general level to suit most people however is 40 buy-ins although it really is dependant on skill level too. So many players prefer playing SNGs because many poker sites offer micro stakes SNGs. You could play $1 or $3 tourneys so it's only a tiny investment, and a small bankroll of $50 would be sufficient.

Importantly, if you have a big enough bankroll yet you're still playing at a lower level than you could, than technically speaking your under-optimizing that bankroll. Playing at a higher level will increase your returns (hence you are missing out on an opportunity). Alternatively, playing at a level outside of your bankroll level will expose you to variance and bad beats. You need a large enough bankroll to cover variance, which is why the 40 buy-in figure is set so high.

Multi-Table to Improve Your SNG Profits

Multi-tabling in SNGs is a crucial requisite of the world's best and most successful online poker players. The ability to multi-table is so important because it increases the number of games you can play in a certain period, which increases your efficiency, productivity, and overall rate of profit. For example, if you're making $10/hour playing one SNG, then economic theory suggests you can double your profits by multi-tabling and playing two tables at the same time. It doesn't usually work out like that since your win rate will suffer to a degree the more tables you play, but when all is said and done, it will help you to increase your profits in SNGs substantially.

Tips for Multi-tabling: I personally recommend only increasing the number of tables you play one at a time until you are comfortable with the number of tables. If you jump into the deep end and try multi-tabling say 4 SNGs straight from the get go, the chances are you won't be able to cope with the pressure immediately, your ROI will take a huge hit, and you'll be losing money, which is completely against what you set out to achieve. Although multi-tabling SNGs looks cool (and lets face it, it is!), making money at poker is not about ego, it's about winning money, and you should ease your way in and not just play 10 tables simultaneously because you've seen Tom Dwan do it.

This basically covers the nuts and bolts of building a bankroll with SNGs. It has to be said that although this article is dedicated to SNGs, really this advice is applicable to any format of the game.