Top Ways to Blow Your Poker Bankroll
THE WEEKLY SHUFFLE, 2013-10-27, by TwoGunDid you hit a big win in a tournament? Perhaps you grinded your way to a decent-sized bankroll through cash games. Either way, you suddenly find yourself with significantly more money (at least poker money) than you used to have.
It's common in these situations for people to somehow just sluff it away. Learn some lessons from others and avoid these top ways to blow your poker bankroll (or if you're going to blow it, at least enjoy doing so!)
1. Staking others. Yes, sometimes you can make a profit staking others in poker tournaments. Most of the time, it's a losing proposition. People who are backed typically retain a much higher percentage than they deserve. Do you think it's profitable to have 80% of a person who is already paying 10% vig in a tournament? It means the person. The stakee would have to have a 40% ROI in the tournament. Most tournaments don't have a good enough structure for that to be profitable, and very few poker players are good enough to obtain that sort of ROI.
Some novice stakers often make the deal even better than this, reducing their chances that the deal could be profitable for them.
It's true sometimes staking can be profitable. Staking someone in the Main Event (which has great structure and a lot of bad players) can be profitable if you are staking someone with a proven track record and are getting a very good rate. But in general, staking is a bad idea. One of the greatest minds in poker is actually creating a business out of fading staking through The Bank of Timex.
2. Entering high buy-in tournaments. There's something to be said for taking a shot, but the variance in tournaments can be killer. If you start entering high buy-in ones, you can quickly see your bankroll evaporate. Taking a shot here and there may be worth it, especially if it's a tournament that is particularly fish (such as the Main Event), but doing too many too quickly can quickly eat away at any of your hard-earned profits.
3. Trading stock options. For some reason, some poker players think if they go play dice for a night, they would be acting like a bunch of degenerates. However, they think trading options is +EV for them and therefore okay.
Stock options, unlike standard stocks, are a negative sum game (like poker). With stocks, you can buy and hold and have a positive return over time since you are buying a share of a company. With options, you are basically making a bet with another person about the price of a stock in a short period of time. Since you also have to pay commissions and get hit with the spread differential in the buy/ask, it's a negative sum and not just zero sum game (just like poker is negative sum due to the rake).
However, unlike poker where you can play against casual players, with stock options you are generally trading against professionals. You are trading with hedge funds and others that have a lot more access to information than you. This is why trading options is generally a bad idea for poker players, especially those that had a recent bankroll boost and want to invest in other areas.
4. Women. There's lots of ways poker players blow money on women, and pretty much any male (especially the ones in their early 20's) are apt to blow money on women somehow after they have had a good run at the table. As Edward Norton said in Rounders, "In the poker game of life, women are the rake. They are the ****** rake."
The Weekly Shuffle is our Sunday column with our observations and commentary on the poker world. Have an idea for an article? Leave a suggestion on the feedback page.
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