The stunning and jaw dropping fall of Phil Ivey should serve as a powerful lesson to aspiring poker pros who think that they can just go on winning forever without any consequences.
Ivey is a ten time bracelet winner that has blown over two million dollars in losses at online poker so far this year. He is now four bracelets behind Phil Hellmuth as a result.
Ivey had the dishonor of being name the second biggest gambling degenerate at a popular online poker website and is known for always having to play for the highest stakes possible.
Much like what was the case with Tiger Woods, Ivey may be in the process of destroying himself with a combination of hubris and the intoxication of instant success.
For aspiring poker pros that are looking for a guide to success, the fall of Ivey would make for a great study of what not to do when successful.
A big challenge for gamblers is not how to handle losing but instead how to handle success. There are too many examples of poker players that could not handle success and let it go to their heads. Their play would become more reckless to the point where the odds and fundamentals would start to be ignored. These players would essentially be guilty of reading their own headlines and thinking that they were not subject to the same mathematical laws of the odds that the rest of the poker world has to deal with.
It is often said that pride comes before the fall. Poker, like golf, is a game of humility. At least that is the case for the consistently successful.