What is Rakeback?

Introduction to Rakeback

Firstly, let’s look at rake. You know how the gambling sites make their money right? The rake is charged on pots in cash games or on top of a buy in an MTT. Every pot or tournament played by an individual contributes to the site’s revenue in the form of rake. You play a $10 tournament and they will probably charge $1, win a cash game pot and they will take a percentage too. Rakeback is kickback from the website to you as an incentive to play more. It is essentially commission paid back to the player.There are two main forms.

Contributed Rakeback

The player’s rakeback is proportional to the pots they are involved in. For instance, if you are involved in a pot that is $25 and the rake is $2, you will receive a percent of this back in form of contributed rakeback. The percentage is dependent on the agreement but often around 25% so you will receive $0.50 for that pot.

Dealt Rakeback

This is where the rakeback from a pot is split evenly by those on the table. For instance, a pot of $25 on a 9 handed table, the rake of $2 with 25% agreement is split between the players, entitling you to approx. $0.22c. This scheme is more beneficial for the tighter player as it rewards you whether or not you are directly involved in the pot.

Who is Rakeback for?

Anyone can sign up. It is of most value to those who play regularly and play a lot of volume. It can turn a break even player into a winning one, and a losing player into a break even one with sufficient volume. It also makes a winner, a much bigger winner. In short, it is free money and every poker player should be involved in a scheme.  There are millions of players playing that are turning down free money.

What is rakeback?

Do You Play Turbo SNGs?

You absolutely need to get on a rakeback scheme. There are lots of sites out there that offer good deals. Turbo SNGs are notorious for high rake, signing up to a rakeback deal will mitigate this and help your ROI. It’s also worth pointing out that there are players around the world that are playing thousands of turbo sngs on rakeback deals. They don’t need to play high or even medium stakes due to the currency conversion.

Conclusion

Now you know, sign up for it. It’s an essential to any and all poker players. Whether you are playing recreationally or professionally, you want to make money from poker and rakeback is way of contributing to this, for free.

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Is Freeroll Poker the Best Way to Learn?

Introduction to Freeroll Poker

A freeroll is a poker tournament at no cost to the player. It usually has a guaranteed prize pool, rewarding the final table with varying amounts. They are often recommended to beginners as a cheap way of learning to play poker. This article will look at the validity of that claim and whether freerolls are actually a good way of learning poker.

Are They Really “Free”?

Whilst it doesn’t cost you cash to play a freeroll. You do have to invest your time to enter them. On the one hand, you don’t lose any money if you bust out but on the other you can play hours for very little gain. Time is one of the most important things we have and one must ask, is playing this tournament worth the time? Freerolls typically have hundreds if not thousands of entrants and navigating your way through that for a few dollars is not very appealing is it?

free
Photo by William White

What are You Actually Learning?

It should not come as a surprise that most of the entrants to a freeroll are either beginners playing poorly or micro stakes players playing wildly (and poorly). Therefore, it stands to reason, you are unlikely to get the legitimate experience of a “real” tournament. You will quickly find that freerolls become all-in fests. Not much actual poker goes on and you can forget about ever trying to do a bluff. Any mildly sophisticated poker strategy you have learnt is wasted in a freeroll.

How Much Can You Win?

Prizes vary between the major sites, there are some that will pay $100 for a win but keep in mind this is 1st place with thousands of entrants. You are more likely to cash for $3 for 5 hours work. The truth is there is not much money to be won from freeroll poker. There are some more lucrative weekly and monthly freerolls that are offered to players who build up enough loyalty points, however, this involves playing for actual cash to be eligible.

Conclusion

Freerolls are not ideal for someone interested in earning or learning quickly. It is perfect if you don’t know the rules and have lots of time. Move all in, embrace the madness and learn the basics at the same time. If you actually want to learn and play well, you need to get experience playing for money. There are lots of micro stakes cash games and tournaments available online. You can invest as little as $25 starting out and it is plenty to play with and gain experience. Please remember to exercise good bankroll management and gamble responsibly too.

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ITM Poker Ratio for Tournaments

What is “ITM”?

An abbreviation of “In The Money”, ITM is a term used in tournament poker to quantify the rate at which a poker player will make the money/cash in a tournament.

Benefits of ITM

Keeping tabs on your ITM poker rate means you are exercising good record keeping and on top of your cash rate. It also means you can prudently forecast how many tournaments you will cash in next month based on the number you enter.  It shows you are serious about your tournament poker, keen to monitor and track your performance.

Restrictions of ITM

Calculating your ITM is great, but it is not an indication of how profitable you are. After all, you might cash most of the time but never make it past the 1st or 2nd level after cashing. This would mean you have a poor hourly and poor ROI. Tracking your ROI is far more beneficial than looking at your ITM. I recommend using both methods if you are a serious tournament poker player looking to improve.

How Do I Calculate ITM?

Very simple formula:
# Cashes/ # MTTS entered Multiplied by 100 = ITM Rate as %
E.G 10 cashes / 90 MTTs entered x 100 = 11% ITM Rate

What is a Good ITM Rate?

I think setting a target of 20-22% is challenging but realistic enough to shoot for. If you are consistently getting above this than you are doing very well. Most MTT experts accept 15 – 20% as a decent cash rate.  If you are recording significantly less than this, than you need to look at the MTTS you play and the strategy you employ.  

ITM Poker
20% is considered a strong ITM rate by professionals

How Can I Improve my ITM rate?

Picking the right moments to move your chips and a survival attitude will improve your cash rate. Our poker training video membership is almost exclusively based on tournaments. You can watch tournaments played by an expert who has hundreds of thousands in online earnings, including a Sunday Million final table. You can become a member today for £49.99. Click below to pay for 12 months membership, that does not auto-renew. Once payment has been made, you will be sent your personal login details by email (within 24 hours).

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Caution

Having a good ITM poker rate is awesome but it’s important to remember that the goal when playing tournaments is to make as much money as possible. If you are adopting a nitty style that eeks you into the money a lot of the time but rarely a deep run or final table, then you need to rethink your strategy. Tournaments will always reward those who finish in the highest places. To achieve this, you have to take calculated risks, steal the blinds and build a decent stack. You need to be the player taking advantage of those that are trying to survive the next level of pay and not the one that is scared to bubble or not cash. We’re here to make money not double our buy in.

If you enjoyed this article, perhaps you’d like to read our Texas Hold’em Questions Excel Dashboard article? Do you have a dashboard yet? We produce monthly reporting to help you keep track of your winning, make more informed decisions and earn more money from poker.

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Poker ROI – Are You Tracking Yours?

What was your ROI for tournaments last month? If you don’t know and don’t track, how do you know how you are doing? How are you monitoring your performance? 

What is Poker ROI?

ROI is the abbreviation for Return on Investment, the term used all over the world, particularly for investment and business purposes but also amongst serious tournament poker players. It is a way to track results and understand how you are performing. It can also be used to judge whether a particular game or format is appropriate for you, whether it’s even worth playing.

How is Poker ROI Calculated?

Working out your return on investment is very easy. All you have to do is divide your overall profits/earnings by the amount you spent and multiply by 100 to give you the %.  Please note that profits mean the amount above the buy in e.g. if you buy in for $100 and cash for $125, then your earnings or profit are $25.

ROI Formula

Example:

ROI Example


Poker ROI

What ROI Should I Expect?

I don’t think there’s a universal target for poker ROI but obviously the higher, the better. Think of it this way, for each $1 you invest, how much do you hope to make from it? 30 cents, 40 cents? I think the key is to monitor and improve your ROI over time. It’s worth noting, that you need data and a decent sample size to draw interpret ROI. A sample size of 10 tournaments and a 500% ROI is unlikely to be sustainable. Data doesn’t lie and you need a decent amount before you can brag about having a massive ROI. 

How Should I Track ROI?

The best way to track tournament ROI is to record your results every time you play. I recommend recording it on an excel file, a column for date, spend and earnings. This can easily be converted to graphs or charts over time. The important thing is to make a habit of recording your results every time. After all, the information will only be as good as the data that is entered, so be honest and accurate and it will reveal amazing insights over time.

Conclusion

Tracking and monitoring performance is an important part of being a serious, winning poker player can’t be overlooked. You need to treat your time, effort and tournament playing as an investment and what you can expect to yield from it. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing poker in Bulgaria, USA or South Africa, its only by tracking your ROI, will you understand how you are performing, whether you are playing the right games and if it is time to move up stakes. You will also know how much money you can realistically make in the long run.

If you have any questions about poker ROI or advice on how to implement, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help.


Poker Bankroll Management

Going Broke

One of the most common reasons a poker player will go broke is exercising poor bankroll management skills. Many a strong, technical poker player will play the wrong stakes and with too few buy-ins and scratch their head after they lose their bankroll.

Size Matters

Proper poker bankroll management is understanding that the size of your bankroll dictates the games and stakes you should be playing. You may very well be able to beat a high stakes private game, but if it costs you your entire bankroll to sit in that game, clearly you shouldn’t. The reason is simple, poker has a large element of luck in the short term. By exercising poor bankroll management and playing with an insufficient number of buy ins, you are putting your bankroll at stake every time you play.

How Many Buy Ins?

There’s differing opinions on the number of buy-ins required for cash games and tournaments. It’s widely accepted amongst professionals that games involving higher chance require more buy ins e.g. playing turbo sit-n-go’s are very high variance due to the fact that blinds go up quickly and you are playing more all in before the flop poker.

The table below can be used as a guide for the minimum number of buy-ins you should have for different formats of No Limit Texas Holdem.

Game Format Minimum Buy Ins
No Limit Texas Holdem6 Max Cash Game 50
No Limit Texas Holdem Full Ring Cash Game 50
No Limit Texas Holdem 9 Player Sit-N-Go60
No Limit Texas Holdem 180 Player Sit-N-Go100
No Limit Texas Holdem Turbo Multi-Table Tournament (MTT)200
No Limit Texas Holdem Regular Multi-Table Tournament (MTT)100

If you often find yourself going broke and you’re playing with less than 50 buy ins in your bankroll, you need to think about moving down to a level that your bankroll can afford.

bankroll management
Photo by Mathieu Turle @nbmat

Poker Money & Personal Money

Another aspect of poker bankroll management is the ability to separate poker money from personal money. We all love withdrawing and using the money we win on luxuries and that’s great but not if it means restricting your ability to move up stakes or worse, move down. Why not implement a rule where you cash out 10% or 20% of winnings at the end of the month? Sound bankroll management means you are able to play you’re A game regularly without pressure. It is recognising that you are focused on the long term. It also means knowing the right time to move up and down stakes and finding the right level for you. There are players playing higher stakes than they should be and players too scared to move up. Recognising your skill level and reconciling this with your bankroll and the appropriate stakes is a skill in itself. Feel free to contact us if you want a consultation on this.

Conclusion

Poker bankroll management is a key element to being a long-term winning player. It’s importance can’t be understated. It mixes common sense with budgeting skills and self-awareness. Assess your poker bankroll management today and ensure you are properly equipped next time you play.

If you enjoyed this article perhaps you’d like to read our article poker excel spreadsheets?