Poker World Filled With Unpaid Debts

Published on April 2nd, 2017 8:58 pm EST

The Poker King is telling it the way it is.  The topic is unpaid debts in the game of poker.The poker world (both online and live) is filled with unpaid debts and people who boldly continue to show their faces on a day-to-day basis, despite the fact that they owe significant sums of money to people.

The poker world has some fantastic and upstanding people in it, though it is also filled with people with borrow money with no intentions of ever paying back. Point out a top name in the poker world, and they almost certainly have people who owe them large sums of money that will never pay them back.

Borrowing money is a big part of the poker world - maybe you are a bit light on cash after having travelled to a tournament in Europe, or maybe you have busted the money that you brought to a cash game and need someone to float you some money. This is part of the poker world - practically everybody in the poker world, good or bad, has borrowed money at one time or another. There is absolutely nothing wrong with borrowing money - practically everybody in the poker world does it.

The problem is that there are people who borrow money with no intention of ever paying back, or people who borrow, lose the money and have no way to repay. There are people who borrow money, do well and then blow all of the money (both the money that they borrowed and the profits) in a pit game or at the sports book.

There are people who will sell more than 100% of themselves in a tournament in order to guarantee that they will walk out with money in their pocket (unless, of course, they end up cashing). There are people who are staked who never play the tournaments that they are staked in. There are people who are staked that do well and then never pay back their backers.

There are people who try to pull off more ridiculous scams, like using marked cards in home games or using people on the rail to signal what an opponent might hold in their hands.


The poker world seems to struggle with what to do when somebody is scammed.

If I go ahead and "out" the person on a forum like TwoPlusTwo, they say, the person who did the scamming will never pay me back. This is a hilarious angle that is taken by scammers - if you out me, they say, I'll never pay you.

The fact is that these people need to be outed. A scammer more than likely has no intention of ever paying you back, so a hard line must be taken on them in order to prevent future innocent people from being taken. A bad debt with a scammer is almost certainly going to be written off, so why not protect others from suffering the same fate?

Of course, there are people who have a momentary lapse of judgment and end up in a bad spot. In these types of cases, opening up a dialog and making payment arrangements is crucial. Going silent is absolutely the worst thing that a person can do. There have been some fairly big names that have gotten in over their heads in the past - some have disappeared, while others have dealt with their issues head on and have eventually repaid their debts. It took a while, but they paid back in full and salvaged their reputations.


If you find yourself in a situation where you have borrowed money that you can't pay back, you need to get onto a payment plan and keep the person (or people) that you owe fully up-to-date on the situation. A payment plan that you can stick to is key. If you are a degenerate, stepping away from poker is likely crucial. There have been some in the poker world who have owed money, gotten a "real" job and paid back the people that they owe money to.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been scammed and the scammer has gone radio silent, outing them is key. Warren Buffett said - "it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it". If someone has no intention of ever paying you back, putting a black mark on their reputation is key so that others can avoid the same fate as you.


In many ways, the poker world polices itself. When it comes to scammers, those who are owed money by people with no intention of paying back need to become more vocal, and those who owe money with no intention of paying back need to be ostracized from the community.