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Spending to fuel addictions can lead to insolvency

While many of our Michigan readers now know the damage that the sluggish economy has had on people's finances, it's important to think about the other reasons that people may have to seek bankruptcy protection. Many times it can be self inflicted due to poor spending habits. One of the many ways that people can waste their money is to fuel an addiction.

One professional poker player, who netted approximately $8.5 million in tournament winnings during his career, has had to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because another gambling addiction got out of control. It could be a similar situation to what many people in Michigan have had to face.

The man let his prowess at the poker table and his mastery of the odds cloud his judgment with other gambling endeavors, and he ran up more than $10 million in debts because of a sports gambling addiction. Many people know how unpredictable gambling on live sports can be; anything can happen.

In addition to his bankruptcy filing, the man also spent two weeks in a residential rehabilitation program in an effort to kick his bad habits. He said he is ready to get back to professional poker, which hopefully he treats like the job that it is. If he can keep his gambling to just poker playing, then he may be able to get back to making money.

This is a good lesson for everyone. Out-of-control spending, whether it be because of an addiction or some other reason, can quickly cause your finances to spin out of control. Filing for bankruptcy protection may be a necessity.

Source:, "Erick Lindgren Battling Gambling Addiction And Bankruptcy," M. Rhodes, Jan. 9, 2013

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