Published on March 27th, 2008 3:23 am EST

poker king is waving his money stick - showing the list of reasons why some of your favorite online poker players might not be playing any moreYou followed them on an almost daily basis. Everytime they went deep in a tournament, you tried your best to make sure that you were on the rail. They seemingly had the world in the palm of their hand, winning tournament after tournament and living the life that you could only dream about. The life of a professional poker player.

Then one day they were gone. Never to be heard from again. How could it happen? How could a seemingly ultra-successful player suddenly disappear from the poker landscape, at best popping up now and again to play the occasional tournament? What happened?

We've spent the last month or so compiling a list. A list of players who enjoyed a great deal of success and then either just disappeared, never to be heard from again, or cut way back on their play. In each case we did our best to figure out exactly what happened to them and what they are doing now, through various different resources. Then we compiled a list of the top reasons why these players either disappeared or cut way back (we'll publish the list of players and what they are doing now in the near future). Here it is:

1. Busted. Not a surprise. The most common reason that a player will just disappear? They blew out their bankrolls. Without proper bankroll management, you can go from dominating to busted in a short period of time. Players bust for a wide variety of different reasons. They have a few big scores and then slowly leak away their earnings playing the daily rotation of high buy-in tournaments online. They make some bad backing decisions. They decide to try out the live circuit and blow through their bankrolls. They decide to try out cash games and blow through their bankrolls. They blow through their bankrolls due to lifestyle choices. Any number of reasons, or a combination of all of them.

2. Change of alias. Some well-known players will change their aliases for any number of reasons. Maybe they wanted rakeback. Maybe they wanted to fly under the radar. Maybe they were playing under their parents name due to being under-aged and have now created their own account. Maybe they signed a sponsorship deal and are now playing under a different name. There are many reasons why a person might change their alias, and many previously well-known players are simply playing under different names now.

3. Change of poker focus. Someone who did very well in multi-table tournaments suddenly disappears. Some players choose to focus on live poker after achieving some online success. Many players become frustrated with playing tournaments and decide to grind mid-level cash games instead. This happens quite a bit. Grinding the $10/$20 NLHE games on Pokerstars doesn't put you in the public spotlight quite like playing at the final table of the $215 rebuy on Sunday does, but many players prefer the cash games. For a strong player, the money is quite a bit more steady and they don't have to sit at their computers for eight hours straight.

4. They quit or cut back due to wanting to pursue something different. Many successful players played while attending college. Some finished their degrees and wanted to pursue a job in the "real world" (Jason "strassa2" Strasser took a job on Wall Street, etc). Some dropped out of college to play poker full-time and have since decided to re-enroll and focus just on college. Some simply lost interest in poker and decided to do something else with their lives, either completely dropping the game or only playing sporadically.

5. Banned. This applies to more players than you might think. A good number of players have been banned from different sites over the years for a variety of different infractions. "Imper1um" on Full Tilt Poker? Banned. "redsoxsox" on Pokerstars? Banned. The list goes on.

6. The miscellaneous, which includes: Moving to Vegas and focusing mainly on live tournaments and cash games. Traveling. Focusing on their poker-related business ventures. Etc. Etc.

Wondering why your favorite player disappeared? Chances are the reason is listed above.


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