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A man putting coins in a jar while making calculations.

If you ask poker experts what the most important thing is to learn before turning pro, you might expect them to mention different poker strategies. However, what really matters when you want to turn the game into a profession is effective bankroll management.

Poker pro Nik Airball Arcot learned this important rule the hard way, as he lost almost a million dollars in a single week of poker games a few weeks ago. Losing more money than you can afford can potentially wipe out all your savings and knock you out of the race altogether.

What exactly happened to Arcot? And what can it teach you about managing your bankroll as you play poker?

How Nik Arcot Lost Almost $1,000,000 in a Week

American poker player Nikhil Arcot, also known as Nik Airball, doesn't have a lot of live earnings under his belt. According to online sources, he participated in two major tournaments in the past couple of years, winning $22,952 in the process. However, Arcot has participated in many cash games throughout his career, winning about $1.1 million while participating in games like the Hustler Casino Live Stream.

But even though Arcot is still not as successful as Daniel Negreanu or poker pros of his caliber, he made a name for himself at the poker tables…and it's not a very positive one. Presenting himself as the 'King of LA' and frequently trash-talking his opponents, Nik Airball has become a rather notorious player.

Sometimes, his foul language and intimidation attempts get the work done, but this time around, Airball's tough façade wasn't enough to get him a win. While playing in a high-stakes game in Southern California, Nik Airball lost $759,200 in one game. The major loss occurred in two steps, as the Arcot tried to bluff two times without success.

Even after losing most of his stack after the first failed bluff, Arcot decided to keep up with the same strategy, saying: I've bluffed all night. I have to have it one time", which is obviously the worst possible thing you can do when you're tilting in poker.

But apparently, Arcot hasn't learned his lesson, as he returned to another Live event a few days later, losing even more cash, bringing his total losses that week to $929,250.

Managing Your Bankroll is Crucial

You'd think that an experienced player like Arcot, who has big wins under his belt, would have understood the importance of protecting his stack at all costs. However, the 28-year-old player didn't see the signs telling him to quit while he was still ahead, which resulted in his catastrophic losses.

Seeing the money you've worked so hard to win over the course of months of hard work is disheartening, and there is no knowing how this will affect his future in the poker industry.

But while Arcot's future is unclear, you can learn from his mistakes and make sure that your poker career doesn't go up in flames in a matter of minutes. Here is how you can manage your bankroll effectively so even astronomical losses won't bankrupt you:

  1. Always keep your poker funds separate from your other funds. That way, if you do hit a tilt and lose a lot of money, you will still be able to pay your bills and have food on your table. Not worrying about whether you will have the funds for your basic needs will take the pressure off your shoulders, thus allowing you to make smart and calculated choices without worry.
  2. Use your poker winnings to build your bankroll. Instead of infusing your poker funds with the cash you've earned while working hard, use the money you've won while playing poker to fund your next games. Slowly but surely, you will be able to grow your poker fund and make bigger and bolder bets.
  3. Lower the stakes if your funds are dwindling. Preserve your bankroll as much as possible by making smaller and less frequent bets if the funds you've allocated for betting have decreased drastically. Don't take unnecessary risks that might burn all your poker savings in one sitting.

Are You Ready to Play Poker Responsibly?

While poker might seem like a game of risks and intrigue, if you want to stay in the game in the long run, you must be careful and manage your bankroll effectively. Are you ready for this challenge?