Lindgren, Loans, and a Little Advice

Hey Guys,

Hope you’re all doing well.

I just became aware of the huge thread on 2+2 about Erick Lindgren.  I don’t have much to say about it, as I don’t know enough to give any kind of real opinion.  I was very disappointed reading through the thread.  Erick has been extremely kind, personable, and cool to me in our somewhat limited interactions.  I’ve always liked him a lot.  As far as loans, I once loaned him a small sum of money on FTP and he paid me back promptly.  That’s the extent of what I “know” about Erick.

I also know and trust some of the people speaking out against him, and have to assume that most of the accusations are true.

I don’t have anything else to say on the specific situation, but it does bring up some ideas that I’d like to talk about.  If anything I say below seems like I might be talking about Erick again, it’s only coincidence.

1) Some Advice for My Fellow Online Players

Let’s be honest with ourselves:  The online generation is comprised in large part of people who fall somewhere on the scale of your run-of-the-mill introvert to completely socially inept.

We are intelligent.  We have the desire or at least the ability to play and study countless hours on our computer, alone in our room (most people can’t handle a job/life like that).   If we became full time pros before finishing college, we are lacking in life experience.  Those of you who are 21 will often have less life experience than your peers, and wayyyyyyyy less than the 30-50 year olds in the poker world.

(This doesn’t all apply to everyone in the online poker community, but there are some who I think it’ll be very helpful to)

When you come to Vegas for your first WSOP, it’s intimidating. All of these players, even the ones you’ve never seen or heard of, seem to know everyone (especially in the mid-high cash games). They all know how things work at the tables, in casinos, etc. You’re nervous you’ll make a mistake of some kind, whether it’s at the table or just some kind of social faux pas (never seen that word spelled before… I had to look it up).

Your discomfort and the complete comfort of everyone else (as well as the very apparent everyone knows everyone situation) gives the illusion of established reputations and trustworthy people. Surely if this guy knows and is friendly with everyone, he’s a long standing and trustworthy member of the community, right? (obviously, no… not right)

Don’t get me wrong; there are a ton of super stand-up guys in the poker world, but there are also plenty who will angle shoot, lie, and steal. Be careful.

There’s sometimes a guy who seems really nice and cool, and he’s making you feel welcome in a place you felt like an outsider. Usually, this is just what it seems- a nice guy. However, a guy being friendly has nothing to do with a guy being trustworthy and ethical. As a matter of fact, almost every shady person I’ve met is extremely charming. They have to be in order to fool and take advantage of people like you.

If you know that you’re someone who’s uncomfortable socially, and you feel especially uncomfortable in your first live poker experiences, keep in mind that you’ll WANT to trust people who are nice to you, and you’ll want them to like you too. This could lead to you being more willing than you’d think you’d be to lend someone money. You may not want to seem like a dick when someone asks to borrow an amount that you can clearly afford. You’ll want to fit in.

I think a lot of people in our demographic have a hard time admitting weaknesses like this. They’re extremely smart, and that’s something they take a lot of pride in, so it’s important to them that they believe they’ll make good decisions in every situation. Be honest with yourself. You’re not good at everything. You have faults and insecurities that impair your ability to make decisions.

There are times when loaning money to people is a good decision. It can either be profitable for you immediately (if they’re going to continue to play with you, and poorly), profitable for you in the future (when they return the favor if you’re in need), or just a plain old nice thing to do.

You just need to be careful. Young players with a lot of money and no experience in the live poker scene are the biggest marks in the poker world.

Almost everyone I know has been burned at least once, myself included. Hopefully some of you can learn from this rather than from that kind of experience.

When betting with or lending money to someone new, the most important thing to do is ask around about them.  The poker community is a small one.  You should know someone who knows someone who can give you some info.

If you’re so unconnected that you don’t know enough people to ask around, ask yourself, “Why is this ‘established’ person coming to ME for a loan?”

The answer usually is that they either already owe money to everyone else they know, or that those people all know not to loan him money.

When I started to play higher stakes games, a TV pro who I sometimes played with (and who I genuinely like) got my contact info and asked for small loans from time to time.  He was often much slower than he said he’d be, but he paid me back each and every time.  In hindsight, I should have realized that he should have been asking his huge circle of poker friends for money, not some online kid who he didn’t know.  I think he was borrowing from more than just me, and I believe that had he run worse, I could have easily not been paid.  It’s hard to imagine that a pro you’ve seen on TV might be broke, or might be untrustworthy (not talking about this specific person), but it’s a very real possibility.

There are a few handfuls of people in poker who’ve shared with me their financial status at some time or another, and others who I’ve heard about their financials second hand.  Every single one of them had less money than the public thinks.  I’ve never known someone to have significantly more than their perceived bankroll.  Keep that in mind.

Once, playing a WSOP tourney a few years back, I played with a slightly well-known live player.  I didn’t know who he was at the time, but he clearly knew everyone and was very comfortable at the table.  He seemed to play very confidently and well.  We were friendly at the table… he was very personable and charming.

I ran into him in the Rio hallway later that week.  He said he’d found out more about who I was… didn’t realize I was such a big deal.  He told me about a weird spot he was in (I forget the details), and asked if I’d be interested in staking him for the remainder of that year’s series.  At the time, I heavily considered it.  I had no one to ask who knew anything about him.  He seemed to be well known and liked, and he played well, from my one day of observation.

I ended up declining, but I really shouldn’t have even considered it.  If he was so good and so trustworthy and connected, why would he be in a situation to ask me for help?  Surely, some of his many friends would be willing to stake him, right?  There had to be a reason.

I’ve interacted with this person many times since, and he’s always been kind and cool to talk to.  That said, I believe now that had I followed through and staked him, I would’ve gotten a bad deal and/or have risked not getting paid.

Just like you ask yourself why someone played a hand the way they did before making a river decision, you need to ask yourself why someone is asking for or offering you something.

This applies not only to loans, but to business deals: whether it’s staking related, an investment opportunity, or some other business venture.  There are plenty of business deals that can be mutually beneficial, but keep in mind that everyone will be primarily looking out for their own best interests.  If you don’t know someone well enough to fully trust them, and you don’t know the business well enough to have a very clear understanding of the value, you should proceed with extreme caution (if at all).

I don’t want to scare young guys into not trusting anyone, or thinking that everyone is out to get them.  That’s not the case at all.

I just want the new crop of online phenoms to be prepared.  Be skeptical.  Ask questions.  Remember that even though it feels like you do, you don’t know a lot of things yet.  I promise.

 

2) Poker and Debts

It seems that some people think money being owed is a sign of something wrong, and that debts that last longer than a couple of weeks are the result of someone irresponsible or shady.  This just isn’t the way it works in the poker world.  Debts are standard.

Money being owed back and forth is almost unavoidable.  Maybe “unavoidable” is technically the wrong word for it, as you can decide never to let yourself owe or be owed money, but it would be very impractical to do so if you’re a higher stakes pro.

It’s not easy to have huge sums of money everywhere that you might play (FTP, Stars, Bellagio, random casinos for WPT/EPT, etc).  Sometimes you run out of money on Stars, and borrow from a friend who has a lot.  Sometimes you lose $500k in a live game, and don’t have any more money in Vegas, so you borrow from someone who does.   Of course, you return the favor when your friend is in need.  You both are better off because of the relationship than if neither of you lent money.

There are times when you’ll bet with someone, and as a result, one of you will owe the other money.  There are also times when you may take 25% of someone’s action in a bigger game.  Again, someone owes someone.

In my opinion, there are three different kinds of debts, and they should be handled differently.  This means that you absolutely need to know what type of debt it’s going to be before you get involved.

Money They Have:

This is when someone owes you money (for whatever reason) that they have elsewhere.  If they can’t pay you back the way you paid them, they have a backup way to get it to you.   Either they’re short on money online, but have plenty in cash, or the reverse.

I’d further divide this into two categories:

-Relationships where money goes back and forth all the time

With friends you know well, where trust is 100% and money is owed in each direction all the time, it’s very normal to not have a payback plan, or to discuss when the money will be returned.  You have outstanding debts all the time, as it’s just easier than constantly settling up.

At this moment, I owe probably three people money (one of them a large amount), and three to five people owe me money.  I think I owe slightly more than I am owed, but that’s not really relevant.  None of us are worried.  If any of us urgently needed to collect because we were short on cash, the other would do everything they could to settle up immediately.

I have had some friends who are very slow to pay back; even at times I’ve needed the money.  This is different than just not having a payback plan.  I’ve never feared with these people that they didn’t intend to pay, but I tend to be less likely to loan them money as a result, just due to the risk of major inconvenience.

I’ve also had friends who end up never having money to lend me, and asking to borrow all the time.

In either of these cases, you shouldn’t feel guilty denying your friend a loan.  It’s just not a fair relationship to you.  That said, I still do feel guilty at the thought of saying no when I have plenty to loan out.  It’s human nature.

-Relationships where debt is rare or new

I have almost never borrowed from someone who wasn’t a close friend.  It’s happened occasionally, and other times I’ve made bets with people, so it’s happened that I’ve owed acquaintances money.

If I ever owe to a non-close friend, I payback as quickly as possible.  If I may be unable to payback right away, I’ll let them know beforehand.  Ex: “I’ll pay you back after today if I still have it.  If I lose this, I’ll wire you the money by next week.”

A looser version would be: “Mind if I hold onto this till I run it up?  If you ever need it back quickly, just let me know and I’ll figure it out right away.”

I think that expectations of payment should be very clear cut.

Money They Don’t Have:

When someone is borrowing money that isn’t just for short term convenience, it becomes a whole other situation.  If someone borrows $100k, and they have a current net worth of $15k, they are asking for a much larger favor (Especially if they have no side income).

If they lose your $100k, they may not be able to pay back for a long time.  They may never be able to pay you back if they stay broke; especially if they go on to borrow from five other people and end up in huge debt.

Obviously, the person lending understands the high risk nature of a loan like this.  I’ve sometimes heard of people offering or requesting interest on these higher risk loans.  I think it’s pretty reasonable to do so.

I had a situation almost like this once, a few years back.  Due to a combination of unforeseen expenses and a bad run, I found myself too short on BR to continue playing nosebleeds.

As I was deciding what to do, a good friend (very good friend, as you’ll see) offered to loan me $1m indefinitely with no interest.  I insisted that I’d pay interest if I took it, and thanked him for the offer.  I ended up declining and playing smaller to rebuild, but I will always remember how generous my friend was willing to be when I was in a tight spot.

This loan would have been kind of like the above, but I did have money tied up in other places.  Had I lost the $1m and more, I could have liquidated and paid him back.  I personally will never borrow an amount of money greater than my net worth, unless perhaps I had a very reliable stream of income that would quickly cover it.  I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to borrow more than you can afford to pay back at the moment (as long as they’re aware), but I personally am not comfortable with it.

 

What to Take Away

The main point I want to convey from all of the above, other than just to explain some things to people unfamiliar with the world of high stakes loans, is that you need to know what you are getting into.  I believe it’s the duty of the person borrowing money to volunteer when and how they plan on paying back, and if they are borrowing money because they don’t have enough HERE or if they don’t have the money anywhere.

If you’re considering loaning, you should ask for this info if they don’t volunteer it (unless it’s with one of your long standing money-loaning relationship friends)

The ethics of how quickly to pay back may be slightly blurry, and everyone may have different opinions on that, but it’s clearly unethical and shady to lead someone to believe you have plenty of money elsewhere to payback a loan when that’s untrue.  Which brings me to my next thought…

 

3) Ethics and Calling People Out:

It came up in the 2+2 thread that there were people who wanted to publicly out someone for not paying his debts, but didn’t.  This usually happens either because the person who’d be doing the outing feels it’s not their business to call the person out publicly, or because they think it would hurt their chances of getting paid.

The latter, unfortunately, is a very good reason not to out someone.  I’d never ever blame somebody for putting their chances of getting paid back above some indeterminate amount of help they’d be giving the general public by calling the person out.

As far as it not being their business, I believe it depends.  If someone is doing something that you consider clearly crossing a line into unethical, I think they surrender their right to privacy when it comes to that issue.  Sure, it’s not my business to tell everyone that this person is broke.  But if that same person is borrowing money left and right from unsuspecting victims, all the while making it seem like he has the money to pay everyone back tenfold, I think I can say something.

This doesn’t only apply to loans.  If someone is cheating, or running some other kind of scam, people should know.

There are other factors to consider, though.  Do I want this person that I’ll be seeing and dealing with often to hate me?  Do I fear retaliation of some kind?  When it comes down to it, there are many reasons to NOT speak up when someone is out of line.  It’s an unfortunate truth.

What sucks about this is, without people speaking out, it’s very hard to truly know who to trust.  For instance, everything I’ve heard and seen would lead me to believe that people like Patrik Antonius and Daniel Negreanu are 100% trustworthy.  But if you came to me and said that one of them wants to borrow $500k for a couple weeks, asking if I could vouch… I mean, I don’t really realllllly know.  I’ve never had close financial dealings with them, and I barely know them personally away from the tables.  I’m very confident that they’re both stand-up guys, but how can I really tell you I’m positive?

I felt the same way about Chris Ferguson, who some people now blame for his part (whatever that may have been) in the FTP scandal.  I’ve even spent a little bit of time with Chris away from the tables, and he was an extremely kind, generous, awesome dude.   I hope that it comes out eventually that he did nothing wrong (other than perhaps not knowing as much as he could have), but I obviously can’t truly know his character from a few surface interactions.

I’ve actually been tempted to speak up a few times in defense of some of the people under public attack, but I’ve held myself back, realizing that I don’t truly know enough to make statements that are anything more than half-educated opinions.   Maybe I’ll say more on this another time.

The truth is, I’ve been shocked too many times now by finding out someone I thought I could trust wasn’t trustworthy.  I’ve learned to never be sure until I’m truly sure.

Another problem with everyone keeping quiet is that the person being unethical may not even realize they’re doing something wrong.  Sure, they’ll know that some people disagree with what they’re doing, but they often still believe they’re in the right.

From some things I’ve read, and my own experiences, almost everyone considers themselves a good person.  It’s a pretty basic human need to look at yourself in the mirror and think, “I’m ethical.  I do the right thing.”

I think there are very few people who believe that something is scummy or wrong and do it anyways.  They just come up with justifications for themselves.

“Some people do the same thing and get away with it.  I’m at a disadvantage if I don’t”  Yes, but if 95% of people aren’t doing it, you’re gaining an unethical advantage against them.

“He wronged me first, so I can be unethical in retaliation.”    But what if you’re wrong about him wronging you, or what if it’s a misunderstanding?  It is just your opinion, after all.  Now you’re just being plain unethical and doing things you know are wrong.

“Yeah, I know it’s not ideal that I don’t pay people back for as long as possible, but I’m gonna pay eventually.  I’m not stealing.”  Really, dude?

Because of this, I think that what we should do, if we can’t bring ourselves to publicly out someone, is to tell the person himself how we view their actions.  After writing that, it sounds very elementary school guidance counselor, but let me try to explain.

For example, there are still people today who publicly defend multiaccounting.  They think there’s nothing wrong with it, and it’s part of the game.

But let’s say someone they respect says to them, “Hey, I think multiaccounting is clearly cheating.  You’re in the wrong here, and it’s not close.”

What if three people they respect tell them the same thing?  Now the person might start to question his beliefs.  Maybe he changes his view of what’s crossing the line and what isn’t.

Maybe you get to hear the person out, and they explain their view, telling you why they think they aren’t in the wrong.  Depending on how you feel about it, you can argue with them, agree with them, or realize you now consider them a scummy person and don’t want to be their friend.

Maybe this does nothing, and I am just being an idealistic elementary school guidance counselor, but I truly believe that people don’t try to cheat and steal, for the most part- at least in their heads.  If we let them go on thinking that what they’re doing is acceptable, they’ll definitely never change their ways.

Even if we convince someone he’s being scummy and he doesn’t change anything, at least now he looks in the mirror and sees a scumbag.

Take care, guys.

-Phil

58 Replies to “Lindgren, Loans, and a Little Advice”

  1. Phil, please write a book.

    The more people that approach issues with a clear and proper perspective, the better.

    Your posts are always quite refreshing in the current declining poker subculture.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Having had some life experience, I think anyone who loans money without even so much as 1 paragraph document outlining the terms of repayment gets what they deserve. It is not that hard to simply send an email and get a response frankly. I would say at $1k maybe $5k or more if you are not asking for something in writing, you are being extremely naive. Your threshold may vary.

    1. Absolutely agree. It goes back to the start of the story with your comments about not wanting to look stupid or be perceived as uncool. While it may seem uncool to have the arrangement in writing it’s smart and good business to do so. Follow the experts. If banks, who make billions loaning money, get it writing – then shouldn’t little ole me and you do the same?

  3. As an aside, my guess is Tom Dwan was your generous friend.
    Poker is your business. People in business constantly have accounts receivable and accounts payable. That is the only way to look at allowing someone to be indebt to you. Everything should be documented, with a timeline for repayment and interest charges included.
    If I were to lend a friend some money, and he or she was a true friend, I would not expect the money back and be happy if it were returned interest free.
    Don’t get caught lending to friendly strangers.
    Sounds to me like the old poker community needs some basic accounting education.
    I own a small business and constantly have to remind myself when meeting friendly clients or vendors that
    “Business is Business”.

  4. someone is slow repaying on a loan, thoughts on them paying a vig? ballpark what % you think could be fair over a few months?

  5. Hi Phil,

    First off, I hope you were successful in finding a lwayer for your rental issue in Vancouver.

    Secondly, there are many older (+40) poker players that play more casually or socially, yet we want tobe part of the community. Some of us, like me have been somewhat content with our poker success and are probably more focused on our families and/or business objectives.

    My question is this:

    How should an individual such as myself approach financially successful poker players that may be looking for honest and solid business opportunities that would provide the player with a very nice ROI?

    As a business person, I also understand that 90% of all potential investors will not even open the door to me and other entrepreneurs. However all we ever want is the chance to present the opportunity and allow the potential investor to complete diligence and review the Business Plan to see if it is a model that would be of interest.

    I do not want anyone to think that my project is the a gold mine, because it isn’t. But with the right investment, there is very nice money to be made. I also think that a lot of young players today are not even looking at the future and how to invest or safeguard their monies, which from an elder, is a very big mistake.

    Anyways, it would be nice to get your thoughts on this.

    Tx!

  6. @Dan

    I think that if you are content to loan someone you trust a specific amount of money over say 3 month without vig, then I would do this.

    Loan it out at 5% per month where the interest is due each 30th day following. If they pay the principal borrowed within the 3 months, you return the vig or deduct the vig collected from the principal borrowed.

    If they take longer than the 3 months agreed, then make it clear that you will charge 5% per month, which will include the 1st 3 months and every month thereafter.

  7. great post phil. you have to continue this blog and atleast post once a week. hate reading blogs with pros that say there up this amount this week and playing this tournament. you are a class act and despite being up huge money this week instead you post a blog about proper ethics that can really be helpful for those trying to make it in the business of poker. thank you for the information and bringing more to the light then most others.

  8. Debt in the poker community is definitely pretty shady IMO. From personal experience I would say..dont do it.

    If its money they have somewhere, the question I have for them is how liquidable is it? If you have it in cash somewhere else and want to swap for online. Do the transaction simultaneously.

    If you still want throw money around, then the question is why?
    If its a way to earn more money (interest), then it is some sort of investment you are making. Make a judgement call whether the person is trustworthy or not and do expect the deal to fall through some % of the time, it variances.

    If you are just doing it to be nice. Well, there are a lot of other ways to be nice. I wont suggest lending money to someone just to be nice unless:
    1. You can do a direct swap. No harm done here.
    2. The person is a personal friend that you know and trust for a very long time. Personally, this would be the friends I grew up with not friends I make at the poker table.
    3. The sum is insignificant to you. Thus you get an opportunity to make good connections while not risking much.

    Just my 2-cents.

  9. everything here is really good advice but ive got to clear one thing up…THERE ARE MANY MANY PEOPLE IN THE POKER WORLD WHO DO WANT TO STEAL AND KNOW THEY ARENT GOOD PEOPLE.

    Im not sure what the exact psycho babble term is, sociopath maybe? but these animals are attracted to gambling and gamblers and actively look to steal everyone they meet blind.

    The online boom and all the naive kids with money that came out of it fed a whole new generation of these parasites. With the recent poker crash these people have become very desperate. remember one thing, if you had a personal rule to never loan money to anyone you wouldnt be making a very big mistake at worst and no mistake at all at best… its pretty much a free roll.

  10. If Patrik owned somebody 100k and he didn’t have the liquid to pay them back immediately he could just take a picture of his face.

  11. If I had all the money I loaned in the 70’s it would pay my rent for a year. Borrowing to gamble is a real gamble for the lender.

  12. Excellent post Phil with a lot of good advice.
    The UB and FTP fiascos and now the tarnished image of many of the TV poker stars has put a blight on the poker world…every week seems to bring a new scam/degen story. A lot of people will no longer be putting these guys on pedestals.

  13. Never lend any money out to anyone in any circumstances unless you are unequivocally ready to accept not getting it back, and if you lend money to a close “friend” ask yourself if you a willing to lose this friendship if you don’t get it back. In informal circumstances there are never any guarantees and to even think that in past circumstances XXX paid me back (its a lock) perpetual borrowers will eventually not pay back; poker players or just plan ol’ folks.

  14. Reading the 2+2 thread I get the sense that Lindgren was/is always overextended. Everyday people do this all the time. For some people it catches up,they renege on debts,go bankrupt,whatever. Courts have a way of dealing with this and at the end of the day ypu are not really a bad person so much as just foolish.

    I think E-Dog is dealing with this and he is now on survival mode. As in,shelter,food,family comes first and you are just doing what you can. Its a different survival than most because poker/gambling is all he knows. So,its the only reasonable way he gets out. We saw this with Mizrachi last year,huge IRS debt. Basically I can’t say I look down on E-Dog in this spot because I get it,desperation is what it is.His spigot that he relied on is now off and in short anybody who is owed anything is fucked until he scores. And even then some may still be screwed. That doesn’t make him a bad person,just not a good risk.

  15. hey phil,

    in your next blog could you touch on the subject of stakes at the high live cash games. i know that in the early 2000’s they were playing 1k/2k or 2k/4k blinds. these days in bobbys room the stakes are 600/1200.
    WHY DO YOU THINK THEY HAVE GONE DRASTICALLY DOWN LIKE THAT? IS THERE ANY “BIG” GAMES STILL IN THE US? DO YOU THINK THE STAKES WILL EVER RISE AGAIN?

    regards

    victor

  16. Carl Pion. Were you a loan shark at one time. 5%/month. Which arm do you break first when someone doesn’t pay you back.lol.

  17. Just wanna mention what a great blog this is for players starting out playing live,and i am one of them.I am making a transition from online to live.Thanks Phil.I hope this helps other players as i know it will help me.I can say i am not one to have loans and nor do i wanna go in debt.In the matter of giving loans i have found in the past its not a good idea.I have had a bad experience in that regards.I wouldnt give a loan to a family member yet alone a stranger.Kind regards Johnny ACES Cabral

  18. This is a great blog, I have played online poker and been been more in the live seen for years and years. I had a strict policy to never lend or borrow money, one day a semi well known pro came to me for some cash, I knew him kinda, he played higher than me and I knew how much money I was making, so he had to be able to pay me back, we set terms quickly, the terms were not met not even close. But I had a semi well known person, seen him on tv, and some one that I looked up to. There is more to the story but not very relevant… He did pay me back in full, with a “penalty” he called it, I gave it back and told him not to ask me again. This was some one I looked up to, I wanted to play poker like him and have some success, after that he is just another poker pro I would much rather be who I am and broke than be him and have all the money in the world.

    All that being said, for most of us especially first coming into the poker community this is a problem. I don’t play nose bleeds, not even close there is no amount of money online or in my bank account or in my box that can’t be replaced quickly if needed. I understand the need to have trust in the people in our community, but having trust in them to pay on a side bet is way different than being exposed to a sour debt. I think most anyone would lend you (Phil) money if you asked, I know if you asked me I would give it up… But if you do the right thing after I would never know.

  19. Man, great advice, any pro or semi-pro should carry this post around with them, memorize it just as they would pot odds, implied odds, it should be part of poker player’s toolbox.

    Anytime you are approached by someone offering an investment opportunity that’s not poker related, red flags should start flying.

    If someone’s offering you a great opportunity in investing in a company making widgets (I hate that term but whatever), the first question to ask the person making the pitch is: “If this is such a great opportunity, then any bank, or venture capital firm that has worked with other widget makers would be happy to invest, so why are you coming to me?”

    I’ve seen this scenario come up many times and that’s always the first question I ask. Money’s loose in poker, so beware of any seemingly great business opportunities.

    I’m sure there are some deals that have worked out but caveat emptor.

    Alex

  20. Phil,
    Your words are always wise.
    I belong to a “poker community” here in my city in brazil – and it’s quite big – and I often hear stories about loans, debts and unpaid cash game buy ins. Debts are normal as you said, though I have a difficulty seeing it this way. I have a rule: i never lend money to players, whatsoever. And I also bring my stop-loss money to the cash game sessions. Thanks for Keeping up the good words. Alexandre Campos

  21. normaly im really not commenting or a fanboy,
    buuut

    ure one of those persons i liked immediately, thinking that this guy still seems so friendly, calm and ” near to reality”.
    and obv ure prooving my thoughts with every sentence.

    u still care about other people, even younger people and try to help them by giving good advices / tell how to avoid mistakes and propably the most important, sharing personal things and experiences, so others can learn.

    putting so much time in this besides poker, just my respect for that.

    btw i would realy love a 3rd person video ( seeing u playing, while talking etc ) like u asked in one of u r vid blogs.

    ps; peggle is the best game ever besides poker, just saw the picture of u playing it, lawlz.

    hope to see u soon at the table .
    gl phil.

  22. Nice story phil

    Is in human nature to cheat. Thats why we have such a big brain. Charmant guys are very often scumbags, thats why they are charmant, to bind and blind other ppl and take advantage of them. All of us had to lie and cheat some times, may just be to protect our own integrity. But some (many in poker)have lead blinding other ppl to perfection. They are the mask-guys and its pretty hard to look behind their surfaces. It takes a lot of effort and planing to create a believable story.
    You mentioned that these guys dont realize theyre doing something “wrong”. I think they know exactly what they do and in fact its not “bad” in the sense of “good” and “evil”. The question is whether it is a winning strategy in the long term.
    Letz say this Grenlind is broke. He starts loaning money from others but runs bad on and on. Why would he pay back his debts when he is done anyway?? I mean how do you Internet Millionaires want punish him when he doesnt pay you back?
    2+2 threads ?? ^^ 😉 You said it urself you have no social life or contacts nor any kind of lobby. This Lindgren can run with 2 millions $ loaned, live wherever he wants and noone would point a finger at him.
    Maybe he could get some money from some live-casino-gangster. But i bet he woudnt steal from those.
    In the end even one of ur best poker buddys could run with ur money….. and this little advantage of having more money available on different places isnt worth the risk in my opinion. But i dont know these high takes circles mb u would get punishd by not be invited to some games, if you wouldnt offer this little cash service to some “trustfull” poker-buddys.

    Anyway congratulations to your come back on stars. In some posting it sounded as you were done^^.
    WOW what a run one million in march. I never run this good on stars except after i made some big deposits^^^!!!

    GL

  23. @Keith

    I wish I was a loan shark? I would make a killing of all the slow paying degens that take advantage of good hearted people who help them out.

    If these people who want to borrow had solid credit, they could easily borrow from a bank at 10% per year. But as we all know, most of them can’t borrow from banks because they play poker for a living.

    Ask any person in the 2+2 forum that is now owed money from another player for more than a year if they think 5% per month is CRAZY? I think it is, but once i begin to see no way of ever getting anything
    back, the 5% per month no longer sounds that crazy.

    And also remember that the 5% was only kicking in on the 4th month or 30 days after the debt
    was due.

    Blisteringfx

    1. An even better translation of faux pas (foʊˈpɑːz) is “misstep” or “false step”
      As it means a violation of accepted social norms (for example, standard customs or etiquette rules). But varies widely from culture to culture, and what is considered good manners in one culture can be considered a faux pas in another.

  24. All of what is written definitely sounds like pure logic, and can not be argued about.

    The main problem with cheaters and scammers, as you mentioned in the beginning of the *blog*, who come from the poker community, is that they are smart and fully-aware beings, who understand perfectly how and why people behave and re-act, and take advantage of our “image” as trustful and logical beings who like to feel they are “helping” to someone like them.

    thus being said, I fully agree that the ones who are being scammed from the poker community should blame only themselves.

  25. Great Article. Really well written.

    There was enough real life content to give us an insight into your world without giving away too many personal details and without trashing anyone else. Nicely done.

    PS. just finished watching re-runs of High Stakes Poker Season 7. Man you owned that game.

  26. Well written Phil, I’m a great admirer of your game and persona and therefor always interested in your opinions. I recognize your good friend as possibly Tom Dwan, because he already demonstrated in the FTP scandal that he was a standup guy.
    How’s he doing in poker btw ? Does he play online?
    Your remarks about Ferguson surprised me somewhat, from my opinion he’s a guy who is only interested in filling his own pockets even after FTP collapsed. I’m sure it’s true what you experienced with him, but that the two faced issue you were talking about in your article.
    Very interested what your extended thoughts are on the FTP business.
    Thanks for your writings on this blog. Wish you much of luck and wisdom in the game

  27. Phil, you are so adorable and cuddly! Please tell me you are gay! I think you are one of the sweetest guys around and your brilliance and kindness only make you more attractive.

  28. just stopped buy to congrat you on getting up on your feet again. must have been tuff but graphic now starts to look awesome again!

  29. Hey Phil,
    I noticed you haven’t been writing as frequently lately. I hope this means you’re happy and doing well back in Vancouver. I know that the times when I feel worst as the ones I feel like writing the most, so I hope the silence is a good sign!

  30. Hey phil, i dont know if u read these but ive heard you ask before, what kinda stuff would be good to see? and i was thinking maybe a video on trying to assess an opponents range and when its good to call when it looks like your behind, just an idea to mull over…

  31. Two of my most memorable moments of playing Aussie Millions involved loans amongst players. Erick Lindgren owed Nordberg some Money (not sure if loan or Nordberg had piece of EL in 100k buyin) and Erick handed Nordberg a couple of chips of a color I am not familiar and a stack of green bills (Aussie 100s) and Nordberg looked at thickness of stack and said loos right.

    The other was story that Erik Seidel had borrowed $140k from John Juanda and two weeks later neither could remember if it had been repaid. Their solution was to split difference by repaying $70k

  32. omfg…phil galfond…a new yorker; so good they named him twice..:)

    i know what you mean phil….i feel for ya…

    anyway,can’t be that bad..his married the girl of his dreams..erica;
    so alls well ends well…as they say…

    ..and they live happily ever after..!!

    the E-dog is down in the dumps in poker;but he got the best dog in town…lol..

    way to go E-dog…watta double whammy…

    cya @the tables guys….

  33. This FX guy is a scam, right?

    If I ever wanted to scam someone, I would write this:

    My question is this:

    How should an individual such as myself approach financially successful poker players that may be looking for honest and solid business opportunities that would provide the player with a very nice ROI?

    As a business person, I also understand that 90% of all potential investors will not even open the door to me and other entrepreneurs. However all we ever want is the chance to present the opportunity and allow the potential investor to complete diligence and review the Business Plan to see if it is a model that would be of interest.

    I do not want anyone to think that my project is the a gold mine, because it isn’t. But with the right investment, there is very nice money to be made. I also think that a lot of young players today are not even looking at the future and how to invest or safeguard their monies, which from an elder, is a very big mistake.

    Anyways, it would be nice to get your thoughts on this.

    ^^^^^^

    If I ever wanted to scam someone, I would write this:

  34. Which city is the best in the world for good food, good women and that you can play husngs? I’m sorry to say I live in America. Will definitely read the whole thing when I get some sleep but what I am impressed with is your detailed knowledge of social interaction/psychology

    I went to my first world series last year just to play cash. Staying at the rio was a big mistake. You can’t eat anything it all sucks.

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