Sofia Lovgren: Spin it up at the cash tables

888poker pro Sofia Lovgren is here to answer all of your poker problems

Cash machine

I’m from Hungary and started playing online poker five months ago – on 888poker like you! I started to build my bankroll playing freerolls but I tend to get up to about $5-$10 and then go crazy and lose it all. At the moment I have a healthy $140 in my account as I came second in a $500 Snap tournament. What is your advice for building it up from here? I prefer to play MTTs but I find my concentration goes after two to three hours.

I started out just like you building a bankroll from a freeroll win almost seven years ago now. However, I have always believed that cash games are the best way of building a bankroll since there’s less variance than in tournaments.

Here is a guide I would use for building a bankroll with cash games.

  • $120 and above: NL $0.03/$0.06
  • $200 and above: NL $0.05/$0.10
  • $400 and above: NL $0.10/$0.20
  • $1,000 and above: NL $0.25/$0.50
  • $2,000 and above: NL $0.50/$1.00
  • $5,000 and above: NL $1/$2
  • $10,000 and above: NL $2/$4
  • $30,000 and above: NL $5/$10

In general you shouldn’t play with less than 20 buy-ins at any level. If you run bad you should step down a level until you have 20 buy-ins again.

The bankroll management you need varies a lot from player to player though, depending on playing style and game format. A loose heads-up player will need a much deeper bankroll than a tight player who plays full ring games.

As soon as you feel comfortable and you’re winning you can take shots at the next level. Good luck building and let me know how you get on.


I think everybody agrees that physical activity is important to combat the sedentary lifestyle of a poker player, but what about combining the two? How about playing poker on a tablet while riding a stationary bike at the gym? Or do you think the exertion and adrenaline from playing poker would send my heart rate through the roof?
Christoph Weber

Haha! That’s a really funny (and great!) suggestion. I’ve never seen anyone bring their iPad into the gym and play poker while exercising! I think it could work in the earlier stages of a tournament as long as you’re not too exhausted, which would probably influence your decisions negatively.

It would definitely make this rather boring part of the gym session much funnier though! I’m going to have to try this as soon as possible!

Conquer the world

One of my poker resolutions for 2015 is to satellite into a big live tournament and hopefully win a huge sum of cash! Are there any tournaments in particular that you’d recommend me trying to qualify for? What buy-in satellites should I play and what sort of budget should I put aside to qualify with?
Dave Pollard

That’s a great New Year’s resolution! The tournament you should try and qualify for depends on your bankroll. If you have a healthy bankroll I would definitely suggest trying to qualify for the biggest of them all, the WSOP Main Event! If you have a smaller bankroll you could play the satellites for the WSOP side events. There are some amazing packages to be won which give you your tournament buy-in, hotel and travel expenses.

There are two reasons I think you should try to qualify for the WSOP events. First of all they offer great value with the huge fields and all the recreational players taking shots. Secondly, it’s a dream for all poker players to play in Vegas during the WSOP and possibly win a bracelet. Last year 888poker took 150 players out and besides the poker we had player parties, watersports and other fun activities. I’m sure you’ll have a really great time if you’re lucky enough to qualify.

If you just want to play a live tourney more as a fun experience, but still get the opportunity to win some money, I would suggest trying to qualify for an 888live event. They are located in amazing places with fun activities!

Last week I went to 888live in Seefeld in Austria where we combined playing poker with some awesome skiing. Next up is 888live in Marbella in April – which is poker and golf combined! You don’t need a big bankroll to qualify for the tournaments and they’re usually really soft fields. Hopefully I’ll see you at the next one.

You’ve been punked

I’m an enthusiastic female player and I’ve been inspired by players like you and Victoria Coren. I have one big problem with my game though – although you might not be able to help with this one! I’ve got a bloke who doesn’t like poker! Is there anything I can do to get him into the game? Should I even bother? All he seems to want to do is watch football all the time and I can’t even get him interested in PokerPlayer magazine. On the one occasion I got him to play online he didn’t do very well and it seemed to put him off the game for good.
Charlie Beck

Well Charlie, this is actually very easy but you’ll need to be a bit dishonest. Organise a home game and set him up. Invite three or four friends and make sure that you all collaborate to make him win. Then you just have to tell him how impressed you are and that he is a natural born talent. This will make him extremely interested in poker, trust me!

Ask Sofia & Win!

If you’ve got a question about poker strategy, a hand you played, or you just want to know what Sofia’s favourite holiday read is, email us now! If your question gets printed you’ll WIN a pack of playing cards!

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