# Your main aim in poker is – winning cash!

## All you need to know about cash games, calculating your ROI & “Stopper Bets”

### Poker question #1

Dear 888 Poker,
I read a lot about gauging how you’re doing when it comes to poker’s main aim, winning cash, but is there a simple guide which allows players to keep an eye on their financial progress?

Phil, Guildford

Hey Phil,
Shrewd poker players measure their performance by considering what is known as their “return on investment”, a phrase familiar to accountants and City types, which you will often see referred to as ROI. Calculating your poker ROI is very straight forward.

To do so, you should divide your total profits by the aggregate cost of your entry fees and convert it into a percentage.
For instance, imagine you play in a \$30+\$3 S&G: the aggregate entry cost is \$33. Imagine you win the first prize of \$135. Your net profit is \$102 (\$135 - \$33). Dividing this figure by 33 and multiplying by 100 gives you your percentage return which in this case is an impressive 309%.

Imagine you play 20 S&G’s for \$23 each, your total buy-in is \$460. Now let’s assume you’re in the money in half of them and your total amount of prize money is \$620, in which case your net profit is \$160. If we divide this figure by \$460, your ROI is an impressive 34.7%, significantly greater than you would get at your high street bank - or most other places, come to think of it.

A decent ROI for S&G’s is between 20% and 50%, although don’t forget that as your buy-in increases, so the quality of your opponents improves. Nevertheless, achieving 20% of \$148 is significantly better than 50% of \$25; in other words, there’s no need to stay at the lower levels just to achieve a higher ROI.

The Poker Guru

### Poker question #2

Dear 888 Poker,
I’m told that using a ‘stopper bet’ is an ideal strategy for cash game players when they’re first to act on the river, but could you explain whether it should be used primarily to reduce losses or to catch a bluff?

Tony, Norwich

Hi Tony,
You may occasionally hear a stopper bet referred to as a ‘blocker bet’; its purpose is twofold. First, it can minimise your losses, but it can also be an excellent ploy to prevent you getting bluffed out of a hand.

It should be noted that a blocker bet’s impact depends almost exclusively upon your table image. If you’re perceived to be a solid player, it will often be interpreted as a value bet and, provided you use it sparingly, will usually result in either a no-raise response or even a fold.

Of course, your blocker bet can end up being called and you can lose, but even then, you’re gleaning more value from it than had you let your opponent dominate the betting.

In addition, if you’re determined to avoid being bluffed out of a pot, the blocker bet is considered to provide a significant level of protection because it’s perceived as showing both a degree of strength and a serious commitment to the cash currently in the pot.

The Poker Guru