Affiliate Bankroll

Let’s talk about two of my favorite things – poker, and selling sugar pills to fat ladies between the ages of 18 and 45.

This is going to be a 2-part series, and I will most likely publish the second half later today.

It’s time to discuss some theory. If you haven’t noticed, 96% of affiliate marketing blogs you read only talk about success as an individual accomplishment. Like “I made 5 figures doing this!” or “Hey, Look at my giant Photoshopped check!”

What you need to understand is that individual successes come and go, and having some staying power in affiliate marketing (or any online marketing for that matter) requires knowing how to navigate the long road ahead, and how to manage your bankroll.

That said, theory is theory and anything I write from this point on can be taken as complete bullshit.

Shoemoney actually wrote a post that compares Hold ‘em to online marketing, which is worth the read. But the comparisons are vague and provide no value to the average reader. This series will hopefully change that.

First, let’s define poker bankroll.

Poker Bankroll

If you have any experience playing poker, especially professionally, you more than likely have heard the term “bankroll.” Bankroll, by definition in terms of poker, refers to the total amount of money you have available for your poker ventures – whether it’s for cash games, tournaments, or both. It is not the amount of money you have in an individual game (although it can be defined as such, but not for this article)

Professional poker players understand the concept of bankroll and will tell any newbie that they need to learn about managing it if they want to make a career out of poker.

If you deposit $200 into PokerStars, and this is all you think you will ever deposit for online poker, then this is your bankroll. If you are a professional poker player and been playing the game a long time, chances are your bankroll is several hundred thousands or several millions of dollars.

The point of bankroll is to reduce risk of catastrophic failure (inability to play any more poker) but at the same time allow you to make more money.

Catastrophic failure – You play Hold ‘em with friends every night, you can’t get enough World Series of Poker on TV, and you play online a few hours a day. You love poker. So you take all your winnings from friends, online poker, and some pennies from the couch, and you signup for a $5,000 buy-in tournament in Vegas. All your money is on the line.

You bust out first. Fuck! You’ve lost it all. You have no more money for poker, let alone the utility bills.

When you’ve busted in poker you do one of two things. Stop playing forever (the obvious choice most people will take) or rebuild. The problem with rebuilding from ground zero is that is going to take a long time.

If you knew how to manage bankroll, this would have never happened. You would have never risked 100% of your poker money on one single game.

Make More Money – The rich get richer. The bigger your bankroll, the more opportunity available for you to make even more money.

Managing you bankroll wisely allows you to make more money. Let’s say you have $20K for your poker ventures. Using your bankroll wisely means you never drop more than $500 (example only – I don’t know the official bankroll guidelines for poker players) on a cash game or tournament.

Why? Because if you bust you still have money to play. Come back the next day or week when you’re not on tilt. The bills can still be paid.

Playing more means that eventually, if you are any good, you are making more. And if you are making more, the opportunities for bigger cashes open up. You can play bigger tournaments and bigger cash games. This is why you see some people cry their eyes out when they lose the World Series (because they’ve invested everything) or some people (professionals) who call it just another day in the office. The $10,000 buy-in means nothing to them.

That’s a basic run-down of the importance of poker bankroll. So how does poker bankroll compare to your affiliate bankroll?


One Lump Sum vs Monthly RevenuePoker bankroll generally means one amount of money – the money in your bank account.

For the sake of this series, affiliate bankroll will refer to monthly profit because that is how most of us track our earnings.

Scalability – A poker player is only one person. This person can only represent himself when he sites down at the casino. To be fair, you can play multiple tables with online poker, but you’re eventually maxing out at 4-8 tables.

Online marketing allows unlimited scalability. You can keep growing your business single-handedly, outsource, or do whatever you can to scale your revenue to something worth bragging about.


Opportunity – Both poker and online marketing allow more opportunities when your bankroll gets bigger. When you have a huge bankroll in poker, the million dollar cash games you hear about are something you can actually play.

As you generate more revenue with online marketing, opportunities open up. And that is pretty much what I am going to try and outline in the next post.

Luck – She is a harsh mistress. One day luck gives you a promotion, the next day you get a flat tire, a ticket, and you find out your wife has been cheating on you with Shoemoney.

Bad luck happens in both poker and online marketing, and it’s something you just have to deal with. But of course, do not let it define any of your actions. It just happens. Keep fuckin’ hustling.

Ups and Downs – If you pay attention to anything in this article, know that both poker and affiliate marketing have ups and down. There will be months when you lose your ass in poker, or even have a whole year of bad beats. But the professionals come back year and after year.

And it’s just as true in affiliate marketing. You can be on top of the world for months on end, but one day your top offer can die, Google can slap you, or the FTC raids your door and seizes your computers and assets.

Next Post – Working Your Affiliate Bankroll >