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Old 06-16-2012, 09:35 PM   #1
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This is a question I always wanted to know the answer to. Yes this is a very long post so don't read it if you don't like reading very long paragraphs.


First off let me say this. I had played online poker professionally for a bit less than 2 years but I didn't make that much money compared to most online pros. And of course after black friday, well no more income. I had played mid stakes sngs.


I always hear about poker players going broke etc. I know most people in other professions with a lot of money go broke because they are not smart with their money. Such as athletes spending all their money on cars and other stuff and gambling it away. Or people who have money that lost it in bad investments and of course gambling at the casino or betting sports and then losing their homes because of it.


Well for professional poker players, majority of them are skilled... otherwise they aren't considered professionals if thats their sole income. Now I have read lot about poker players and how they started such as oh i deposited $50 or $100 and lost it then deposited again a few times and then started winning and never looked back. But these people aren't broke as they always could put in a few hundred more dollars to build. Or only making $50 deposit and then never had to deposit again. I read about how Daniel Negreanu started and how he played limit holdem in vegas when he first started out and then went broke so many times and needed a stake to get back in the game and thats when he won a tournament for 100k and then things went well for him after that.


I know there are many people that go broke playing tournaments because its pretty much close to impossible to play tournaments only as a living. But then you always hear about those cash game players that go broke. This is what confuses me a bit. When people say they are broke... do they mean they have no more bankroll only for poker? Meaning they still have money in the bank but say its in a CD or in another investment and the money is locked up? Because when i hear that a poker player is broke... the first thing that comes to my mind is he lost all his bankroll money and probably needs to sell his house if he has one or can't even pay his rent. Am i right or wrong here?


Also, I'm curious but would I be right to assume most live poker pros don't pay taxes until they even built a decent bankroll? When i played online, i filed my taxes late because at first I didn't know you had to pay it because I heard it wasn't reported but when i read that if thats your only income, then yes you had to so i did it because that was my only income. But the thing about me was during this time that i played... i didn't have a losing year. But again... my play for being professional was very short time. I'm just thinking hey if a guy say made a great amount of money playing poker say $100,000 every year for like 5-6 years and then loses like $200,000 the following 2 years.... isn't this guy going to be broke since after you pay your 30-33% in taxes... then he's now breakeven since losses from previous years can't be carried back?

The thing about me was i was always a huge bankroll nit when i played my online mid stakes sngs so the chance of someone like me busting my account was going to be very hard. I was also a very solid player and i usually have at least 200x the buy in my account even though i probably never needed more than 100x.


You hear about guys like JRB being broke. My question is... how in the world is he broke when he lives in a nice apartment in las vegas. I saw a video of him on youtube that showed his place. Also... he has that site that tracks his bankroll every time he plays. What confuses me so much is since he has tons of swings... how in the world does he do his taxes? He seems to be the type of guy that might have a great winning week and then next year lose all of it back and then after taxes... he's actually down money if like his wins were late in the year and his huge losses come say in january of the following year. Isn't this a huge killer?


A guy that I think would never go broke is someone who wins consistently year after year. The first person that comes to my mind would be nanonoko since he plays mid stakes cash games and plays a lot of tables and have like the best bb/hr ever. Yes i know he moved up and play high stakes but if someone like him whose the best mid stakes online cash game multitabler... the chance of him going broke would be near impossible unless he goes crazy and play 25/50NL against tough competition. Would i be right or wrong here?


I mean, i heard ivey and daniel mention they went broke many times. The thing i'm wondering is when ivey and daniel were getting their feet wet playing live... would it be correct to assume they didn't pay any taxes since their roll was not much? And thus once they built a huge roll to play at least 2/5Nl... then thats when they start paying?


What do you guys say is the average amount of times poker players go broke?


Would i be correct to assume that if one goes broke when they are much younger... its not big deal since their bankroll was probably never that big to begin with? I mean, when daniel talked about him going broke when he first arrived in vegas... surely he probably didn't have more than $10000 max to his name right?


Am i wrong with saying that if you ever go broke playing poker, then that should never happen?

I would like to know which poker pros have never went broke before. Off the top of my mind, i would think its nanonoko, annette15, tom dwan.


As far as those live pros... would it be correct to assume all of them have went broke before?


But I really want to know about those live pros who play 20/40 limit minimum and 2/5NL minimum because the majority of poker pros are cash game players.

Last edited by Professionalpoker; 06-16-2012 at 09:49 PM. Reason: merge 3 posts. Has anyone ever told you, you are long winded?
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:47 PM   #2
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Re: What is the average amount of times poker players go broke?

I've busted my stars account approximately 1762 times, but I'm not a good sample size.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:53 PM   #3
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Re: What is the average amount of times poker players go broke?

HI ProfessionalPoker. ONly reason i didn't want to type all that in 1 post was it would look so long so i divided it into 2-3 posts to make it easier to read.


there is a light- busting you stars account and reloading it so many times doesn't count as broke if you have more money to deposit from your bank account. Unless of course you go and sell your car or house... then thats a different story and thats what i mean here.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #4
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Re: What is the average amount of times poker players go broke?

http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levi...s/WSOP2011.pdf

Depends on your definition of "poker player", but Levitt study suggests ~3.5
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:18 PM   #5
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I went busto once a week for a couple of years.
By the way pay your taxes.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:24 PM   #6
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Re: What is the average amount of times poker players go broke?

Most successful people I know in poker either haven't gone broke or went broke due to outside circumstances. With that said why did you need a damn essay to ask an obvious question. If players are going broke then clearly they don't have BRM and I don't respect them
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:30 PM   #7
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Re: What is the average amount of times poker players go broke?

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Originally Posted by kidcharisma1 View Post
I went busto once a week for a couple of years.
By the way pay your taxes.

If you went busto once a week but could reload more money... then you aren't a pro nor broke. Like to me... broke means at the minimum, you have no more gambling bankroll and.


I paid my taxes when i was an online pro. I play a bit live now but just 1/2NL and after my expenses such as travel cost, I'm down money.


And to the person that says depending on what i mean as poker player... I mean someone who makes their sole income from it as their living.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:31 PM   #8
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Re: What is the average amount of times poker players go broke?

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Originally Posted by Michaellawre View Post
Most successful people I know in poker either haven't gone broke or went broke due to outside circumstances. With that said why did you need a damn essay to ask an obvious question. If players are going broke then clearly they don't have BRM and I don't respect them

Because when i first think broke... I'm thinking what does it mean to be broke. Like no bankroll and no place to live or just no bankroll.
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:07 PM   #9
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Re: What is the average amount of times poker players go broke?

A few thoughts here.

First, if your definition of going broke is "out of money and have no money to reload" the answer is , for the vast majority, either "never" or "once." DUCY?

Second, I personally think non-professional players take the idea of never seeing that $0.00 in their poker account way too seriously. I know guys that will whine about grinding the micros while they have $30 in their accounts, when they're making a grand a week at their day jobs.

There's no shame in going to the felt and reloading your stars account, or adding more too it from outside sources. BRM is a tool to keep you in the game, and saying "Yeah, I deposited $50 and never lost it all!" doesn't make you a better poker payer. In fact, you probably lost a lot of money and opportunities by spending three years grinding it up at cheeseburger stakes when you could have just skipped a few nights of heavy drinking and hit the "deposit" button instead.

That said, I just don't think you're going to find any good answers for an average. I know some guys who are always on the brink of busto and are looking for a stake or a freeroll at least once a month. I know other guys who have played consistently for years without ever being at risk of going broke. It has to do more with planning and discipline than anything else, which varies extremely from player to player.
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:17 PM   #10
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Re: What is the average amount of times poker players go broke?

Cash and tournament are 2 different animals. I like Sit N' Go's, personally. Only place I've ever found that had live Sit N' Go's was the Mirage.

I think to be a professional, you have to be a good cash player. Very few people are good at both cash and tournaments. And as any tournament player knows, you can go 3 months without a big cash ... it doesn't lend itself well to people that need their BR to pay the bills.

I was in the red last year, and where I look and see where the big losses were, they were cash games, but I'm a profitable tournament player. It's 2 different games, and if you don't understand that ... stick to whichever you do better at.
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:58 PM   #11
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Re: What is the average amount of times poker players go broke?

Actually, there are many professions where people generally go broke. Like insurance agents, dentists, and quite a few others. You mention athletes, but that is really not a profession.

As far as I am concerned, any endeavor where a majority of the people go broke quite often is not a real profession. The few that never go broke can consider themselves fortunate, but playing poker is not a real profession, in the true sense of the word, just like calling someone Doctor if they have an advanced education degree does not make them a Doctor.

The term Poker "Pro" is almost an oxymoron, since a vast majority of those who call themselves that have bad credit and no real family life. That doesn't mean that attempting to play poker for a living is immoral, but it just means that it is not a true profession.

That is why people start threads on here asking questions like how should they explain to people they meet what they do for a living....lol. Then you get a lot of twisted responses in the thread, as people try to fit a square peg into a round hole.

A true profession is one in which, when someone asks what you do, you answer honestly and quickly, because that is what you are, and it is honorable, and you don't lose money doing it.
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:58 PM   #12
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Re: What is the average amount of times poker players go broke?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vetiver View Post
http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/WSOP2011.pdf

Depends on your definition of "poker player", but Levitt study suggests ~3.5
fixed your link, but yeah thats the study i was referring to as well
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:06 AM   #13
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Re: What is the average amount of times poker players go broke?

I have been broke so many times i learned its not that bad.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:19 AM   #14
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Re: What is the average amount of times poker players go broke?

i've gone broke 4 times, but one of them was when my backer, guy laliberte, left me. we had a 50/50 split
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:36 AM   #15
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Re: What is the average amount of times poker players go broke?

it all depends on your definition of "poker pro".

If you refer to ppl who call them that way, the answer is *a lot* - this include all those live donkaments "pro" who play for 5% or less of themselves and routinely have 5-6 figs scores in .... mark up with no money to their name ; all those cash gamers who are in reality gambling junkies ; poker "celebs" (jen tilly,....) ; guys who feed their gambling addiction and losses by sponsorship deals and the like.

Truth is, you have to either be really really really good at live MTT's or completely dumb to rely on playing the tournament circuit for a living. Go to Noah SD poker blog and read "life of an MTT grinder by the numbers" and you'll understand what i mean.

*Real* pros are for the most majority unknown ppl who grind a lot, don't brag about their winnings cause in the end it is bad for their business, don't give a **** about celebrity and what not, play with their own money in game they can afford, following strict BRM. Those go broke *very very very* rarely, and when they do, it's not from playing poker but because of "life accidents" (divorce, black friday, illness,....).

2c

Last edited by jij452; 06-17-2012 at 12:43 AM.
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