One way poker winners go broke (1-minute audio) default content graphic

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♠  Mike Caro  ♠

1-minute audio: Why poker winners go broke

TYPE  Poker     RUNNING TIME (minutes:seconds)  2:00 / Core 1:47

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Audio title: Why poker winners go broke

[Begin standard intro]

This is Mike Caro beaming
directly to you from

[End standard intro]

↓     ↓     ↓

I’ve seen it again and again, skillful players going broke. They didn’t lose their money. I’ll repeat it. These skillful poker players went broke, but they didn’t lose.

They spent their bankrolls. You start in a small game with $200. You’re lucky from the get go.

Finally, you’ve accumulated a $10,000 bankroll and you’re now playing bigger. Even so, you seldom win or lose more than $2,000 in a given session, so you’re feeling comfortable. In fact, you believe most of your $10,000 bankroll is unnecessary. So, you buy a new dishwasher or a television or jewelry or whatever. But you don’t spend all your bankroll, only half of it.

You return to the poker tables, but fortune fades. You lose $4,200 in two days. Then, on the third day, you try to nurse your remaining $800, but big hands bang into bigger hands and now you have no more bankroll. No ammunition. Nothing to play with.

You limp away. You’re on the rail, watching the games, and no one will stake you, because you’re perceived as a loser.

But, you’re a winner. You built $200 into $10,000, then spent $5,000, then lost $5,000. You should still have $5,000, but you don’t.

Remember, bad runs of cards are always just around the corner. Unless your bankroll grows huge, don’t spend it. Don’t spend any of it. Don’t do it.

This is the Mad Genius of Poker, Mike Caro, and that’s my secret today.

Bonus notes

The temptation to spend bankrolls is strong. When wins and losses are fairly stable, day to day, it’s human nature to believe this is the way things should be.

Even top pros underestimate how much a sustained bad run of cards can cost. So, some world-class players often go broke by spending their bankrolls. They’re winners, but it’s hard to represent themselves as successful without a bankroll.

Sure, most big-time players would go broke anyway, sometime in their careers. Often, there’s no disgrace in that. But don’t give the bad-luck gods a head start by draining your bankroll unnecessarily. — MC

Published by

Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.


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