Phil Galfond confesses bad bankroll management nearly ‘ended his career’

TAGs: Phil Galfond

If one of the most successful poker players in the world is telling you about bad bankroll management, you listen. If that player is Phil Galfond and he’s referring to his own huge mistakes in the past, you should listen, take notes and follow his advice to the letter.

phil-galfond-confesses-bad-bankroll-management-nearly-ended-his-careerWhat’s fascinating about Galfond’s confession isn’t how open he is on the subject. For many years, Galfond has commanded a great relationship with players and fans alike based on his honesty and frank judgments about himself as much as the game itself.

He even built his own poker website, Run It Once, which featured training as it original USP but now includes a poker client upon which players are starting to play, just cash games for now, but tournaments will follow.

What is fascinating about Galfond’s remarks aren’t that he lost half his bankroll twice, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, but how he managed to arrest the slide and climb back up the mountain.

“I mentally reset, moved way down and slowly rebuilt.” Galfond says in his thread on Twitter. “Being willing to drop down and grind rather than chasing losses at the same or higher stakes likely saved my career.”

It’s a huge statement for a man whose career isn’t just aspirational to poker players but the stuff of legend. All of which begs the question – if the best can suffer from bad bankroll management, is it a process that every bettor, gambler or poker player will face at some time?

We’re hard-wired to understand bankroll management in virtually every casual game on the market now. A children’s game that ‘charges’ a number of gold coins to play each game risking virtual gold coins at various levels of ‘buy-in’ is essentially, a bankroll management game. Get better at the skill of the game, step up the level. Outreach yourself and you’ll lose your bankroll.

Phil Galfond has made a career that many believed was based on his innate ability to step up the levels. His confession that it was actually the opposite of that, the ability to deal with the mental impact of stepping back down the levels is the revelation many players of all levels can appreciate, and yet another reason to continue to look up to Phil Galfond.


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