4 Reasons 'Retired' Players Return to Poker
Why do these players come back? Do they just miss the game, or is there another reason these players return?
Below are a few ideas why we think "retired" players return to poker.
1. They Lack Skills for a Regular Job
This applies less to older pros that walk away from the game as it does to some of the younger pros.
Following the Poker Boom many young players entered into the game having dropped out of college or not going at all.
A good number of these players wind up leaving the game and try to make it in the "real world." Unfortunately, many of these same players find out that they lack the skills to get a decent job and some come back to the poker world to give it another try.
This is one reason that many older poker pros recommend that you have something to fall back on outside of the game. They know that poker is a losing proposition for many and those that lose need a backup plan.
2. They Got a Backer
Poker players that leave the game because they are busto or are unable to grow their bankroll will commonly try again once they secure a backer.
Players that have some type of track record will be able to find someone to take a chance on them.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a backer is someone that will put up the money for someone to play poker in return for a percentage of his or her winnings. Commonly this is half of the winnings minus the amount of money put up by the backer.
For example, if a backer put up $500 for a tournament and the player won $5,000, the backer would get $3,000 (half of the winnings and $500 stake) and the player would get $2,000.
Depending on the player's track record and how desperate he is he could be forced to take a backing situation where he accepts a smaller percentage in order to play.
Some tournament players have been known to accept an 80-20 deal (80% going to the backer) in order to play poker.
Players that come back to the game with a backer will not always share that fact because some will find it demeaning.
3. They Get Coaching and Return
On occasion you get players that hit a bad patch in poker, can't win but does not want to give up on the dream.
What happens in this case is that they walk away for a time from the game but with a plan to make a comeback.
These players will then enlist the help of a poker coach or mentor to help them work on their overall game. We don't mean someone signing up for a poker-training site, but rather working one-on-one or in a group environment to improve their games.
Those that return after a period of coaching will often return with a completely different approach and may even switch what they play. For example, a full-ring game player may switch to six-max or even heads-up play.
A tournament player may move over to cash-game poker for a while in order to build his roll and to continue developing his tournament skills. Another common occurrence is a tournament player drops down to lower buy-in events to build a roll and work on his abilities.
Players that step away and work on their game have a much higher chance of success when they return than those that chose different paths. They recognize that there was a problem, work on it and come back better than ever.
This doesn't guarantee that a player will win upon his return to the game, but this approach has definitely proven to be among the more successful.
4. They Miss the Game
This is the most common reason players say they return to the game after a hiatus. They claim that they miss the competition, the social interaction or other aspects of playing the game at the professional level.
For some this is a legitimate reason, especially those that left the game after a period where they performed well. These players tend to leave to pursue other endeavors but realize that their love for the game is still there, so they return.
Of course, there are many others that use this as a mere smokescreen and are much more likely came back due to one of the other reasons on this list.