Another poker millionaire is broke, along with Gavin Smith and who knows how many others. I think it's time for a serious money management/bankroll management discussion on the show.
There are PokerStars MTT pros playing with 300 buy-ins (one said a year ago that he actually keeps 400 BI), but when you do the math for 10k buy-ins and beyond, obviously almost no one can be doing this. (And of course, PokerStars pros aren't flying all over the world to play in their tournaments.) If you throw in high roller events, to play a 25K with just 50 buy-ins you would need a bankroll of 1.25 million. With tournaments going off even higher than 25K, the bankroll management math obviously complete breaks down.
But there is an even bigger issue than whether individual players are properly bankrolled. Since so many of the touring pros aren't properly bankrolled, what you have is a bunch of players who don't have the money to play who are staking each other, selling pieces, or whatever term you want to use. This situation comes with several problems:
1. This is usually done with no legal contract. The only remedy to a situation going bad seems to be shaming someone on 2+2. If someone doesn't get what they are owed, there is no remedy, and poker has no structure to sanction players that improperly take money from other players, whether it's because of cheating, negligence, or poor money management.
2. The more common selling pieces becomes, the more likely it is that players A and B will be at the same table when one has a financial interest in the success of the other. In almost any other individual sport, for example, bicycling or track and field, it would be a major scandal if A was in direct competion with B while at the same time having a financial interest in B's success.
3. Since players without a proper bankroll are selling pieces to other players in the same situation, you have a bubble that could break at any time. Instead of doing what Gavin Smith did, and what proper bankroll management dictates (dropping down to a level that he can afford) Brad Booth is stuck with no money, but he still wants to play with the hope of cashing and at least partially paying his backers. How many other Brad Booths and Gavin Smiths are out there, playing at the highest levels while barely hanging on financially?
I call it a bubble, or since it's poker, you could call it a house of cards. Either way, I don't think that the current pro poker economy is sustainable, unless you want to watch heads-up matches between Guy Laliberte and Bill Gates.
I believe this is a worthy topic of discussion for your show.