The one area poker players who went broke messed up

If you are a poker enthusiast, you are familiar with the many stories of players who won fortunes at the tables only to be declared bankrupt, broke or in serious debt later. Reports of poker players who went broke are a common feature in the news around the world. But, why are these stories of riches to rags are so prevalent in poker?

Why poker players go broke

You would be forgiven for assuming all the players you watch at "High Stakes Poker'' or the World Series of Poker on television (with mountains of chips in front of them) are millionaires living the ultimate poker dream. The sad reality, however, is that a good number of those players are broke or in huge debts.

Erick Lindgren's debt, for example, was so massive that it hit the news across the world despite the fact that he is perceived as one of the biggest winners in poker. Many today still wonder how you can be inundated by debts after winning a fortune at the tables. Gavin Griffin, a Triple Crown winner, also went back to grinding lower stakes games after losing his bankroll and household-names like Phil Ivey who earn seven-figure totals each year from playing poker have been rumoured to have gone broke at some point.

Des Wilson, a poker expert and author of two books on the game reveals that the majority of pro players privately admit that they have bad runs. He says, "If you're sitting having a drink with them, most of them will acknowledge that at some point they have gone broke and had to borrow money. But a hell of a lot is not seen by anyone apart from the top players.''

Wilson, however, advices us not to feel too sorry for poker players who went broke. He says most are highly skilled but their main undoing is a lack discipline. "What they tend to be bad at is either money management or other forms of gambling, so they lose all the money they have won at poker at the craps table or betting on sports.

It is almost inevitable you’ll go broke if you play poker

The one BIG reason poker players who ever went broke found themselves in that predicament is a lack of discipline. These players spent their fortune lavishly, invested badly, needlessly give it away and ultimately failed at planning for the future.

Nolan Dalla, a former sports gambler, semi-professional poker player and now media director of the World Series of Poker adds that nobody should be surprised if the top players lose everything. “It is almost inevitable that if you play poker for many years, then variance will catch up with you,'' says Dalla.

“The scale of players being backed to play is now much bigger than it ever used to be. But you also have to think that poker economy is only so big, and it does not have enough money in it to sustain the number of players who aspire to be professionals.''

Without a doubt we can all learn a few critical lessons by observing the events leading up to poker players going broke.

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