Withdrawing money from your poker bankroll in a bid to improve your poker playing might seem counterintuitive. After all, the goal in poker is to build that bankroll, so why would you want to diminish it?
It all comes down to investing in yourself. If you put a cash withdrawal to good use, your bankroll will surpass its current state in no time.
What do we mean by invest in yourself? According to Forbes, investing in yourself means “believing that you’re capable of more than what you’re currently doing for your job” and “requires, at times, foregoing all other activities to invest in yourself and your business. Spend your time doing things in order to learn, grow and create value.”
In poker, that means withdrawing money from your bankroll not for travelling or partying, but for studying poker.
BBZ student “Barrebløff” decided to invest in himself a couple of years ago.
“I was lucky to win money in the early days, mainly because I was playing in really soft environments,” he tells us. The 30-year-old from Oslo, Norway, began playing live cash games five years ago before switching his focus to online tournaments.
“I only played micro-stakes tournaments for like $1-$3,” he says. “I didn’t have many tools to work with, but I put in a lot of volume to gain experience.”
Barrebløff–who, interestingly, was once one of the highest-rated FIFA players in Norway–decided he wanted to take the game more seriously. “I did a lot of different things to move up in stakes,” he says. “It’s not like one single magic pill you take, to be honest. Everything from preparation/study/mental game. I was just really curious and always wanted to improve.”
The gamechanger for Barrebløff was when he started joining Discord poker communities and discovered all of the study material that was available to poker players. “That’s when I realised I actually knew nothing about the game.”
Barrebløff remembers making a promise to himself that when he got his bankroll up to a certain amount, he would withdraw some of the funds and purchase a poker training course.
“I used the money I won to invest in things that could improve my game,” he says. “I think many people have a misinterpretation of what is expensive. For example, if you bought bitcoin for $10K, that’s much cheaper than paying $200 for a pizza. It’s the same with the poker courses and tools out there. People see a number like $99 and avoid spending it on a training course when in reality that money will come back really quickly through the knowledge you gain.”
All of Barrebløff’s hard work has come to fruition over the summer. After working and studying with BBZ Poker, he’s recently had the two biggest scores of his career: first, defeating a 6,406-entry field to win a $55 SCOOP-Afterparty event on PokerStars for $45,518, then finishing third (after a three-way deal) out of 1,923 entries in a $215 WCOOP Super Tuesday event for $38,927.
“I have a study group in Discord with some friends who made me aware of BBZ Poker,” he says. “It was a really easy decision to buy the ICM Pre-Flop Masterclass since my game needed a lot of improvements on final tables. It’s easy to be on autopilot by playing Chip EV ranges which will just cost you money when it really matters. Also, with BBZ Poker you get a community where you can meet like-minded people.”
On the WCOOP final table, Barrebløff recognised his past play in his opponents. “There were some spots where I saw them make mistakes and I told myself ‘I probably would have done that a year ago too’, but thankfully I have worked on my game.”
Barrebløff invested in himself and the results of his hard work give him faith that he’s heading towards more opportunities in poker. “I have really put in the work the last few years,” he says. “It’s tough to become really good at something if you’re only doing what the average player is doing. You need to separate yourself from the crowd in some way.”
The best way to do that is with BBZ Poker, according to Barrebløff. “I think it’s an easy decision that will pay back on your next final table!
“I find new leaks in my game and things to work on all the time,” he continues. “The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. I think I have come a long way, but the job is far from finished.”
Invest in yourself today. You won’t regret it.