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Daniel Negreanu Tip of the Week

Broke Again?

Playing poker for a living can be a very unstable profession. Unexpected things happen all the time that can cut into your playing bankroll, leaving you shorter than you'd like - anything from an untimely losing streak to car repairs. You shouldn't be ashamed of an untimely losing streak. Again, you aren't the first person it's happened to, and you surely won't be the last. So, what can you do to protect yourself from going broke? It's simple, yet not so simple.

When I see a pro who regularly plays, say, $30-$60 playing $15-$30, I don't look at him negatively. In fact, I'm proud of him! Swallowing your pride in order to make the right decisions can be very difficult if your ego is your decision-maker. Rather than the pro risking going broke in a $30-$60 game, he gives up a little bit of profit until he has a comfortable enough bankroll to return to that limit.
Of course, while he's sitting in that $15-$30 game, he's bound to hear, "Why are you playing $15-$30" about 100 times. He has more than a few ways to answer that question. "I'm kinda tired today" ... "I'm leaving soon" ... "Been runnin' bad, trying to build my confidence" ... "This game is really good" … yada, yada, yada. Then, of course, there's the truth: "I just can't afford it right now."

Whichever way you choose to answer this question is irrelevant - it's really nobody's business but yours. If you feel more comfortable with an excuse, go ahead and be creative! The bottom line is that you'll be smarter than the others who are playing $30-$60 with their last remaining rack. They're hoping they'll have a lucky day and won't go broke.

Now, I was lucky that the players in my game were very understanding, but that won't always be the case for you. There are many people out there who are just waiting for you to fail so that they can laugh at you. Try not to pay too much attention to them; they obviously have some serious "issues" if they are obsessed with your results. Just keep your head up and work hard, and before you know it, you'll be back in the game you belong in. Oh, and don't be that guy who makes fun of other people's misfortunes. You may think that it could never happen to you, but that is just naive.

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