5 Ways to Quickly Build a $10000 Poker Bankroll

Do you want to quickly build a $10000 poker bankroll? I feel like this is sort of the real dividing line between serious poker players and amateurs.

Because once you build a $10000 poker bankroll you can finally start playing in some bigger games and make some real significant money in poker. 

However, you should know that building a $10000 poker bankroll is neither quick nor easy in most cases. The best strategy to build a big poker bankroll is usually the slow and steady approach.

I can still remember when I built my first $10,000 poker bankroll and what an accomplishment that was for me at the time.

This was also the point where I chose to quit my job and become a professional poker player because I was now making considerably more than I was at my job.

Anyways, in this article I am going to break it all down for you. Here are my top 5 ways to quickly build a $10000 poker bankroll.

1. Progressively Move Up the Micro Stakes Cash Games to Get a 10k Poker Bankroll

As I talk about all the time on this blog, I think progressively moving up through the micro stakes cash games is still one of the best ways to build a bankroll.

And if building a $10000 poker bankroll is your goal, then I would suggest depositing $100 dollars and starting at NL2, and simply moving up to the next limit each time you hit 30 buy-ins.

When I say NL2 by the way I am talking about the lowest stake cash game online, 1 cent / 2 cent blinds. And a "buy-in" refers to 100 big blinds.

So a buy-in for NL2 is $2. At the next stakes, NL5, it would be $5 and so on. And here is how much of a poker bankroll you need to have 30 buy-ins at each level of the micros.

  • NL2 - $60
  • NL5 - $150
  • NL10 - $300
  • NL25 - $750
  • NL50 - $1500
  • NL100 - $3000

With the right poker strategy, table selection and tilt control, you can steadily move up the stakes and build a $10000 bankroll by the time you are playing NL100.

After that you can move up to mid stakes games like NL200, NL400 and beyond where you can make some really significant money in online poker.

Now I will say, this typically won't be quick or easy. In fact, it might take a year or more for many people. But poker is the hardest in the beginning when you are still learning the basics.

Once you get past the micro stakes the money is a lot bigger and the impact of the rake is less pronounced. This is why it makes sense to set a goal of achieving a 10k poker bankroll.

If you want to get started with cash, I recently wrote a massive guide to beating NL2 cash games.

2. Win a Few Low Buy-in Poker Tournaments to Get a 10k Bankroll

Ok, so let's talk about a way to build a $10000 poker bankroll that truly is "quick and easy." And this is to go win a few low buy-in poker tournaments.

Now I know that this is easier said than done, but low stakes poker tournaments (both online and live) are still incredibly soft, with tons of very weak players.

And if you are able to successfully navigate through one of these large field multi-table tournaments, then you can often take down a 1st place prize of several thousand dollars.

I know that the famous $3 rebuy tournament for example on PokerStars typically awards a first place prize of close to $5000.

There is just no other way in poker to quickly build a large bankroll (at such a minimal risk, as low as $3), than to take down a large multi-table tournament like this.

Again, this is much easier said than done, and you do have to run incredibly well in order to make it happen, but this is an option for somebody who wants to quickly build a $10k poker bankroll.

Once again, I have also written the ultimate guide to beating micro stakes poker tournaments.

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3. Grind the Low Stakes Online Sit and Gos

Another way to build a $10000 poker bankroll is to start grinding the low stakes online sit and gos. Sit and gos are essentially like tournaments but with much less players, often as little as 6.

This allows you to cash in them much more often and quickly build up your poker bankroll. Most online poker sites these days offer low stakes sit and gos with a buy-in as low as $1.

So this makes the investment needed to play sit and gos very minimal. Also, just like with tournaments, the fields tend to be very soft in these games.

You will need to learn a basic mid and deep stack strategy for the early going which is honestly pretty much the exact same thing that I teach for cash games here on this blog and in all my poker books.

Once the blinds start to get shallower though, then you will need to study some basic push/fold ranges and understand basic ICM math as well.

However, I think that with a little bit of practice most beginners could be confidently beating the low buy-in sit and gos pretty quickly and building their bankroll.

4. Play Low Stakes Live Cash Games

Honestly, one of the easiest ways to quickly build a $10000 poker bankroll is to just play live. By this I mean in a casino or private invite only game.

This is where you are going to find some of the softest games on earth with the weakest players.

Sometimes you can also find uncapped games where the blinds are super low ($1/$2) yet the players all have hundreds of dollars in front of them.

Then you can just play a super tight style of play in these games, waiting for a strong hand, and you will often grind out a pretty good win-rate.

Build a $10000 Poker Bankroll

You can find good low stakes live cash games all over the United States, Canada, Europe and most of the rest of the world as well.

Even in Asia where I live there is plenty of good live cash game action in places like Macau, Manila, Seoul and even Auckland.

Basically if you want a good reliable way to quickly build your poker bankroll, low stakes live cash games are almost always guaranteed to have lots of bad players in them.

If you want more info on live cash game strategy check out Daniel Negreanu's poker training course.

He is one of the best live poker players of all-time and provides valuable insight into how to read players in low stakes games and beat them out of their money again and again.

5. Play Heads Up Sit and Gos

Probably one of the fastest ways to build a $10k poker bankroll is to play heads up sit and gos online.

Now I do need to mention though that these are very high variance, meaning that the swings can be very wild at times.

But often low stakes heads up games are full of weaker players just looking to gamble. If you can find one of two regular fish to play in these things, then you can quickly run up a bankroll.

Now heads up poker strategy is a lot more complex in general than for other formats like cash or tournaments because there is a lot more bluffing and psychology involved.

By the way, I discuss this in much more detail in my new Elite Poker University training. 

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But essentially you just need to start learning how to raise your button a lot, toss in a few light 3-bets when you are in the big blind, and then value bet wide post-flop with a few well timed bluffs as well.

The great thing about heads up poker is that it is also very easy to get someone on tilt.

In fact, one of the biggest reasons why heads up consistently has the highest profit potential of any form of poker is because a player who is losing will often try to "chase" it back when they are clearly frustrated and on tilt.

Or even worse, they will jump up to much higher stakes games in order to chase losses against a much stronger and cool headed opponent who is just waiting to smash them.

The bottom line is that playing heads up is a viable option if you are looking to quickly build a $10000 poker bankroll. Be prepared for the swings though!

Final Thoughts

So how can you quickly build a $10000 poker bankroll?

Well, I hope this article helped you realize that there really is no fast and easy way to do it, unless you want to take on a lot of risk (i.e. heads up).

Sure, you can get lucky and win a couple of low buy-in tournaments, but I think the smart money is still on grinding up your bankroll the slow and steady way through cash games like I discuss in Crushing the Microstakes.

Online sit and gos or live cash games are also a good option if you are looking for soft games and a way to quickly build your poker bankroll.

The bottom line though is that there really is no surefire way to quickly build a $10000 poker bankroll without getting pretty lucky in the process.

Your best bet is to learn how to play a solid strategy and consistently grind your way up through the lower stakes games. This is how I and most others built their first 10k poker bankroll.

Lastly, if you want to know how to start consistently making $1000+ per month in low stakes games, make sure you grab a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.


Let me know in the comments below how you built a $10000 poker bankroll.

Build a $10000 Poker Bankroll


  1. As soon as I saw this on your Instagram, the first thought I had was, “man I messaged him clearly at the right time”!

    I’m sure this article has been in the works for a while, reading this is an awesome guide for what I’m pursuing.

    I watched that Daniel Negreanu documentary the other week, about how he approached cash games as his day to day grind, and tournaments were his “dessert” which always resonated with me.

    Great read

    1. Hey Brandon,

      I wish I could say this article was in the works for weeks haha, but I just wrote it yesterday. Good talking to you on IG though, hope you are crushing it with your podcast and challenge!

  2. do a bankroll challenge. show us you can make 10k in 2019 grinding micro CGs.

    1. Haha, I wish I had the time to do something like that!

  3. Discipline,discipline.discipline.Especially in wild games.

    1. Definitely! Thanks as always for reading Jimmy.

  4. For building a bankroll online, I think, you need to focus on either cash games or SnGs. Tournaments are fun, and I actually enjoy them more than cash games, but they are unpractical for building a bankroll for multible reasons.

    If you are a part time player, you can only really play them in weekends, and that alone mean, it will take forever to get the bankroll growing. And also if you think, cash game variance is brutal, then just wait, until you try tournaments.

    To be properly bankrolled for large field tournaments, you need several houndred buyins, so you are not going to be turning over your bankroll at a very high frequenzy.

    I just finished an 8 hour tournament session on 888 poker, and even though these are relatively small fields, out of 13 tournaments, I only cashed in one, and that was even with some rebuys.

    That lone cash was a 6. place, and the final hand was me open jamming AQ 10 BB deep UTG, which is fairly standard, BTN calling off nearly his entire stack with AT, which is a bit less standard given the ICM situation, and him hitting his 10 on the river, which is 100% standard in tournaments on 888 poker.

    In fact this is mostly, what happened during the entire session, and why I failed to cash in the other 12. And there is just nothing, you can do about it other than having an enormous bankroll and the patience of a monk, when time after time some donkey call your QQ with K6 offsuit and spike a K on the river.

    I can even understand, why some people think, online poker is rigged. Because there are so many all-in preflop situations in tournaments, the amount of bad beats is just unreal, and its easy to get the feeling, that people, who get their chips in bad, win more often, than they should. Not saying, its actually the case, but often it surely feel that way.

    1. I agree that building a large bankroll the slow and steady way with cash games or sngs is ultimately the most likely to be successful.

      This is also going to provide you with the skills to actually be able to beat mid stakes or high stakes games once you get there.

  5. very nice article.. congrats my friend.. how much buy in you suggest for a live cash games? is lowwer than 40 BUYINS we play online?

    1. Thanks, glad this article helped you! I am not a live cash game expert by any means. But I think having 20 or 30 buyins minimum would be a good idea.

  6. I dont think there are any ways of building 10000 dollars bankroll quickly.you cant build 10k bankroll quikly at the microstakes its impossible.what do you mean quickly- like 1 year or maybe 2-3 years ? Maybe if you play 24-7 12hours a day, but you gonna be dead after 12 weeks

    1. I agree, and I mention this all the time on this blog and even in the post above several times.

      But I also know that a sizeable portion of my audience simply does not want to hear that being successful in poker takes a ton of time, effort and dedication.

      Instead, they want to know how to get rich playing poker the "fast and easy" way!

      So from time to time I write ridiculous articles like this one. And ironically they often end up becoming some of the most popular ones in the history of my website :)

    2. yep i understand that- people often dont want to hear the truth - poker is pretty brutal game- winning from online is probably the most hardest and borring way to make money - its not fun and it takes a lot of time and energy to even be a wiining reg at the microstakes - but i understand your point .

    3. i understand that people like to hear that, but sounds pretty unreal to me, couse i actually know how hard is to make 100$ :) if you play 50 nl and higher ofcourse you can make 10k for couple of months or if you win couple of big tournaments, but thats not happening like 95% of the time :)

  7. Do you have an strategy for micro tournaments? I'm not a cash player, because it really misses the pressure of the blinds. I like to play it tight early and later when the blinds are up a more aggresive style depending on the BB chips stack and the table/player. I also love the power of the bluff when the ante and blinds are at a decent level to stack a few chips with absolutely bad hands, bluff will depend on position and players in position. At micro people are mostly playing the cards and hardly never bluff, which makes up for easy reads. They tend to stick with patterns if they have a monster hand.

    Still I'm nowhere as good, decent to say the least. Haven't had a chance to play poker for a while due health issues, but now I'm back and wanna study it again. Still need to pack a decent micro profit then that profit I'll invest in study material. Just looking for them poker books to buy and read.

    1. Hi,

      Yes, I wrote a massive article on micro stakes poker tournament strategy which you can find here:


      My poker books are primarily written with cash games in mind but the strategy is pretty similar for low stakes tournaments, especially in the early blind levels.

  8. I would just play the tournaments haha. But then again, I did originally build a 10k roll the old fashioned way by grinding cash games as you suggest.

    1. Hey TJ,

      I agree, slow and steady is still the best way to go especially with cash games. It takes a lot of dedication, patience and hard work, but it can still be done by those who truly want it!