Normally the word "leak" refers to errors players make in their poker games. The more opportunities one has to make mistakes, the worse the leaks can be.
If a player never folded top pair on the flop for any amount, then that would be an incredibly expensive leak. If a player always moved in when they flopped a royal flush, it might be a little costly, but there are very few opportunities to make this mistake.
Many poker players have terrible leaks in their lives outside of the poker world. That's partially why sometimes a player who would never be perceived by the general public as being strapped for cash is in fact insolvent.
Ignoring any strategy-specific poker leaks, one of the biggest leaks you see is gambling. Many players have problems with gambling of all sorts. Whether it be prop bets, sports bets or table games, some players just need to be in action no matter what.
Walking around the Rio, you hear stories nearly every day about the thousand- (tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands) dollar bets that occur.
It's not enough to put down a bet at the sportsbook on their favorite team; they need to walk around to their other sports-betting friends and negotiate numbers. There were rumors about Phil Ivey blowing $500,000 on the NBA Finals. That's a hefty chunk of change!
Most people in the poker community can point out individuals at the felt and be like, "Oh, he loves to play craps; she loves blackjack; he's addicted to horses." The list goes on and on.
Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to a first-time gambler is that they pull up to a table, play, have fun and win. It can work out well for the casino however - they may have just created a customer for life.
The first thing some players want to do when they win money at poker is head directly to the pit. This is usually a very costly idea, best avoided at any cost.
Other players may not have any gambling problems at all, but they like to party. From thousand-dollar bottles of booze to large bags of powder with the words "Made in Colombia" stamped on them, it's a costly habit.
Some players have personalities that prevent them from ever slowing down. They work hard and they play hard. While on the road it's easy for them to go out all night, every night. Their life is a never-ending party and they pay the toll.
Besides paying through the nose for all the party favors, their health and poker games suffer. Many a life has been ruined by drugs and alcohol, in the poker world just as in any other walk of life. We will never know how Stu Ungar would have stacked up to today's poker players because he was plagued by this very problem.
Other players love to spend money. Just spending money can sometimes be the fastest way to squander it. $400 pairs of jeans, $8,000 watches, $150,000 cars - there are luxury items for every budget. It can be really easy to let spending get out of control.
Some of the younger players who are running hot may believe the steady supply of money will be endless. They have no plans for the future and probably wouldn't even know how to go about planning for it if they wanted to.
It's a well-known fact that many players have no respect for money whatsoever. To them it's easy come, easy go.
The smartest poker players, though, take money out of their bankroll when they can afford to and sink that money into business investments outside of the poker world. Many of the guys and girls who've been around for a long time have money working for them in a variety of ways.
So before you go out and burn through that bankroll, take a step back and think about it for a second.