Sound familiar? An abbreviated quote from arguably the most popular poker film of all time and probably the reason for the poker boom and busto of countless players across the globe. If there’s a single historical moment that led to the explosion of America’s favorite past time it was the opening liner of the film Rounders. “Listen, here’s the thing. If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker. Guys around here will tell ya, you play for a living, it’s like any other job. You don’t gamble, you grind it out. Your goal is to win one big bet an hour, that’s it. Get your money in when you have the best of it. Protect it when you don’t. Don’t give anything away. That’s how I paid my way through half of law school. A true grinder. You see, I learned how to win a little at a time. But finally I’ve learned this: if you’re too careful, your whole life can become a fuckin’ grind.”
The bottomline is the bottomline. Usually it’s done out of friendship, past favours, backer sees potential or knows the horse is a strong player who can convert it to winnings! There’s usually some sort of mutually beneficial arrangement; profit sharing being the primary reason. There’s also buying action where it consists of a short term deal for one tournament or series of tournaments where a player sells some of his action at a mark-up. Mark-up being the cost to the backer to buy the players action and varies depending on the skill level of player and their expected return of investment in the tournament. Many if not all current poker pros are staking another fellow player or have been staked in the past at one point in time or another. The list is long. There are also many unsavory characters in the poker world with the likes of David “Chino” Rheem where the term “chino” was coined to those who are welchers. If you’ve been “chinoed” you just got scammed. After winning the Epic poker league title for $1,000,000 he was forced to pay back his bad debts as part of the etiquette agreement. Up til then he had a sordid history on welching on bets and deals. Interestingly even he was able to turn it around, recently winning the 2013 WPT Championship event for $1,150,297 beating out the next player on our list. The latest to fall into this category is shockingly a well known poker player, Eric Lindgren. While he may not openly be known as a welcher he got stuck millions not in poker, but playing fantasy sports. Winning a wsop bracelet, millions with 25 cashes, huge sponsorship deal with Full Tilt, then everything came crashing down on Black Friday. With his sponsorship gone, mounting debt in sports wagers, long stretch without cashing in a big tournament, the writing was on the wall. After being aired out by Haralabos Voulgaris on the 2+2 forums Eric Lindgren opened up about his staggering sports betting losses in Bluff Magazine. For more on that story read the Fantasy Sports blog with the Bluff article link. It’s a fascinating read. Shows it can happen to anyone including famous poker pros. Now, he’s most likely being staked in games. Sports betting might not be his forte, but he certainly has a proven track record in poker. As mentioned above Lindgren came in second against David “Chino” Rheem netting $650,275 in the 2013 WPT $25,000 main event. Even players who are down and out will win eventually. All they need is confidence and a backer who believes in them. Pick your horses carefully and you’ll ride the money train! This leads to the final part.
“I want the public to realize: Don’t judge unless you really understand or you know. Erick’s a great guy. Yeah he’s had his ups and downs, but who hasn’t? Who hasn’t made mistakes?” said Rheem. “He’s just trying to make better with his life doing what he’s very good at doing.”
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