Failing In Money Management – How I Flushed My Life Down The Toilet

They say you should quit and leave at the top. Unfortunately most people never reach the highs they have set for themselves. Many don’t even come close. So even though I know that I am done with the game I still don’t want to leave in this worste case scenario I am in right now.

This is the situation however but I want to take one last chance. Six month starting tomorrow and it’s do or die. I want to make at least 50.000$ while spending the absolute minimum. No traveling, no daily restaurant visits, no fancy hotels, no heavy partying, no nothing. I set a spending limit of 1.000€ per month everything inlcuded. All bills have to be paid with that 1k. Obvly EPT Berlin is off the table, a Vegas flight for the WSOP is already booked but it’s a 95% certain I won’t be using it. If I achieve this goal I will be adding one more year in 2013 before I actually leave the game (as a job) for good. Couple of investments have been made so and I am looking in two more fields to get in when this last grind is over. I take a lot from this time afterall, besides having earned a lot of money I learned that one can make so much money and still be broke. I found out that many guys in Poker are broke and even though you would think they might just be bad players this is not the truth in most cases.

I met so many people including myself who suck at money management. I spent so much money on shit und useless things in my life and especially in the last 2-3 years it makes me sick to even think about it. I used to think I can make it all better when I have my major success at one point. But the truth is if I can’t manage to live my life carefree with 100.000$ income per year I won’t be able to do it with 1.000.000$ per year either. It’s amazing how many people fail at this simple lesson, because it’s sounds so easy and it should be. But even though I know all that for a while and think about a lot in a downswing I stop doing what I planned as soon as the money comes in. I become greedy, start looking for investments to get more and more money, trusting people I shouldn’t trust. Just because people made money staking me in the past led me to believe I have to get even by staking others and start earning money with them. Turns out there are many shady people and instead of getting even by this thinking I lost an additional 20.000$. I did change my life though since the first downfall in early 2011. But it wasn’t enough to spend less money in my freetime or for my monthly expenses. I should have started thinking more conservatively instead of starting to invest in people I couldn’t really trust. How good do you really know a person you see on Skype everyday? You really know him well enough to front him 5.000$ just because he chats with you everyday for a year? Overall I am out 60.000$ this year. For a majority of this I wasn’t really responsible. Downswings are part of the game for everybody, a blackout or disconnects can happen, especially in Gibraltar they are pretty common. But if I hadn’t staked bad players I didn’t really know I wouldn’t have struggeled for the last 6-8 weeks. Thinking like this: “Ok this guy owes me 2k, this guy owes me 5k, this guy owes me 3k and another one a couple of hundred. So I borrow 2.5k from another guy and pay him back when one of the other guys pay up…” This is no bankroll management whatsoever, because before I got the first Dollar back this money is gone. In most cases it really was gone at the end but that’s not the point. I should have changed my bankroll management instantly. I also misjudged people big time at some points during that debacle. When I still had about 30.000$ to work with about 2-3 months ago and one of my stakees contacted me with some weird story why he needs money fast I started thinking like this: “Maybe this guy is really just unlucky somehow and it can be fixed with an additional 500$ so he can be back on the grind to pay me back my former investment. If I don’t help him he uses the roll for the staking and I won’t get back my 2.000$. So maybe it’s worth giving him another 500 in order to get back 2.500$ + profit shares?” At this point I was already feeling bad about this particular guy but I tried to look at this situation the smart way. He had a decent OPR-Record and if he wouldn’t be suge a fuck up he might have been able to show profit. But the truth is I was already unhappy that I had staked him in the first place. Instead of telling him to go fuck himself and accept the loss of 2.000$ I looked at my Stars account and thought ok maybe it’s worth it. Would be bad to lose another 500 bucks but it’s not the end of the world and it could work out afterall. Needless to say it didn’t work out. Another 500$ down the drain.

So what’s the problem? What the fuck is my problem? Have I lost the respect for money? Was I so scared of my own downswings from the past that I thought it would really be a good investment to lower my own potential variance this way? Was I obsessed with getting even from the profits I shared with others? It’s probably a mix of all these things.

In the end everything turned against me. Almost nobody paid me back and nobody I had shares in ever showed profit. Maybe 10% of the people I had shared with. Even when I swapped people kept on cashing in the only two events I haven’t played that particular Sunday. Meanwhile I had to share close to 65% of my own big scores on some occasions. As the downswing continued more and more leaks appeared in my game. In the end even the easiest decisions made me wonder. And it’s not really a surprise. The bankroll kept getting smaller and smaller almost everyday I dropped another 1k or at least a couple of hundred. It was getting more and more certain I would not be getting most of my staking money back. Meanwhile I was planing to move into a new apartment and most of you know the story. Even the estate agent scammed me and my buddies. We still haven’t got the majority of our money back and lawyers are on the case. So I had no real home for a while, the internet connection was laggy, the downswing continued and I was still grinding for SNE. Also I had another sportsbetting investment lined up. To find out that there are bookies that don’t pay up or ban bettors if they win too much. Or at least they limit them to ridiculous amounts. Also I found out the NBA league pass is about 15 seconds behind. For live betting this is like a death penalty. The betting thing worked nice in 2010 but as the money got bigger the bookies kept creating problems. Cash Outs became huge problems and my favorite picker also started to take a turn for the worse. So this thing remains unsettled as well. Just another story in 2012 but again most of what happened is my fault. Especially my bad judgement in investments broke my neck in the end. If I had gotten the 20k back at the point it was promised I wouldn’t have struggled or borrowed anything, my bankroll management would’ve remained correct, which in order to keep SNE pace I adjusted way too late due to empty promisses.  Again – I should’ve known better. Instead I fucked up more money like in the above mentioned situation.

Even though it’s all my fault I still hope the scammers (and I expect some of them are still reading this blog) will rot in hell and a Gibraltar Judge rules that the Gibraltar electricity company has to pay me at least 10k$ back and put the estate agents wet finger in a socket.

That being said I want to start over. Even though this is my life and my bad judgement that lead to this mess I advise everybody in Poker or not and especially the younger guys out there to remember this: Do not stake people you can’t trust 100% to pay you back somehow at some point. 85% isn’t enough if you care about the money. Don’t forget what money is worth and that things are changing. Where money is to be made the competition always grows constantly. And make the money while you can. There are so many things that can change the world in one day and the people in the biz have no idea what hit them. For the Pokercommunity this occurrence was the Black Friday. But it can happen to anyone anywhere. The world changes fast and if you don’t act smart you will always be wondering what could’ve been if you had played your cards right back then.

Can’t believe I’m writing these words after making 250.000$ and working like crazy for it. The next big lesson for me is to be more happy with what I got. It’s kind of disgusting to feel unsatisfied after cashing 10.000$ for example. I am happy for about 2 hours and after that I am already thinking about how to get more. And in the end? What would I do with more money? Drink more alcohol? Watch more movies? Visit more concerts? Travel more – even though I hate flying and airports? Can I eat more than 3 times a day? Fuck no. I enjoy the food from my Mom and Grandma more then most of the restaurant food anyway. So in the end many of the best things in life are free. But if you are fucked up in the head it doesn’t help. I wanted too much too fast and in the end I had to work even harder to get by. Let that be a lesson to you. If I haven’t learned my lesson this final time I swear I am gonna hang myself the next time. The next time I am missing money it’s gonna be when the financial system collaps or the world crashes somehow. But if that happens I want to be able to tell myself I did the best I was capable of. I am 24 years old now – time to grow up!

Thanks for sticking with me. Hopefully from now on I have happier things to share with you guys. Take care and don’t just read it if you have the same or similiar problems. I knew all that before I wrote it down, but for the most part I didn’t do it anyway. Especially in Poker where money comes and goes fast you gotta be smarter than me to survive this game at the point it is at right now.


PS: I know this is a german song, but it really fits the situation better than anything else I can think of.


About rosenthal87

I'm a pokerplayer from Germany who started his career in the summer of 2009 with 200$ bankroll and no money in the bank, chasing the dream. Because of unsolved tax problems in Germany I'm moving to London in January 2011. With this Blog I'd like to stay in touch with friends & my poker buddies. I will be blogging in englisch and german as well. I will inform you about my day2day life, poker, my trips around the globe and whatever comes to my mind. Enjoy!
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