Most people think that the excitement provoked by poker comes from the possibility of earning thousands, millions of dollars. Although that is enough to thrill players, the combination of big wins with the possibility of total loss is what makes poker what it is. The latter may knock on your door sooner or later, like the unfortunate cases of poker players who went broke.

The reasons behind those stories do not differ much. Some players may have started to think themselves invincible. As demonstrated in the summaries below, that is never the truth.

Histories of Poker Players Who Went Broke

Yes, there are several champions and rich poker players out there. Like in anything else in which people can excel, from casino games to sports, they have something in common: discipline, luck, and more discipline. However, everybody knows perfectly well all the success stories. It is time to reveal how poker players went broke – and how to avoid it.

Brad Booth: Broke and Owing Money

Brad Booth used to be a Canadian pro player – yes, not every poker player that went broke recovers from it – who made millions during his career. Nonetheless, problems started when he was in the Ultimate Bet Cheating Scandal, losing $2 million as informed by Wikipedia.

That amount would not be enough to make a millionaire poker player go bankrupt, but that was not everything. Reportedly, he lost around $4.2 million playing poker, which clearly meant he started to miss something in terms of skills.

The situation was clearly bad, as the same source indicates not only that he admitted owing money to poker players but also that he went missing for a while.

Why Did He Go Broke?

Brad Booth was unlucky to be part of a cheating scandal, but also seemed to have trouble with bankroll management. After standard poker combinations, that should be the first thing a poker player learns.

Gavin Griffin

Gavin Griffin owns some important and impressive titles, among which is the youngest person to win the World Series of Poker bracelet at the age of 22, according to this source. He was also the first player to win the Triple Crown, and those alone are part of a fantastic career.

However, gambling became both a career and an addiction, and that is a huge problem to bankroll management. In an interview for Poker Listings, he stated that the loss of $5 million assumed by the public was not accurate, without correcting it. In any case, he also says that he still lives a stable life, despite the losses.

Why Did He Go Broke?

Temporarily broke, Gavin Graffin lost control of his bankroll due to addiction. Poker is a game of skill and highly addictive, which is an additional challenge to players. Nowadays, he claims to live a comfortable life and keep playing low-limit poker.

Gus Hansen

Gus Hansen, or “The Great Dane”, collects wins in the World Poker Tour and excels in live poker. However, he seems to like challenges and not to learn from his defeats, as he lost nearly $20 million in online poker, according to PokerNews.

He appears to be still trying to recover from all those failed attempts. Clearly, he lacked control and did not know the time to stop with the high stakes.

Why Did He Go Broke?

Big surprise: lack of bankroll management has led Gus Hansen to acquire a huge negative balance in online poker.

How To Avoid Going Broke in Poker?

Poker is a game of skill and, similar to any other type of gambling, requires proper bankroll management. It is necessary to know when to stop, how to overcome losses, and when to change strategies or poker games. All three examples in this article on poker players who went broke repeated an act of either greed or addiction: they missed having control.

Therefore, the lesson is clear: plan your bankroll management, no matter how good you are, and stick to it. There are going to be bad days, and that is better than going bankrupt.