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Going Bust

I don’t play a lot of poker but, oddly enough, Rounders is one of my favorite movies. If you haven’t seen it, Rounders centers around a young, highly skilled poker player, Mike McDermott. Mike, played by Matt Damon, struggles with bravado at the poker table and his pension for allowing old shady friends enter his life.

My favorite character in the movie is Joey Knish, a small role played by John Turturro. Knish serves as some what of a moral compass for young Mike. When things go bad, Mike turns to Knish for his unconventional guidance and wisdom. Knish and his conservative yet effective playing style, is frowned upon in poker’s cult society where an aggressive go for broke approach yields more respect.

While Knish’s lines in the movie seem to be read straight out of a poker’s cliche book, one line in particular sticks out. “It happens to everyone, from time to time, everyone goes bust. You’ll be back in the game before you know it.”

Although they are polar opposites and whether you align your personality with Knish or Mike, there is something to be learned from both.

Now I’ve gone bust a few times, personally and professionally, but I tell ya’, it’s getting a lot easier getting back in the game. Each time I get better at handling change, failure, rejection and any other curve ball life can throw at me. I wish there was some magic bullet or nugget of wisdom I could pass along, but all I can say is, live with your decisions and make the absolute best of them.

What I’ve learned is that life leaves you plenty of room for error as long as you are willing to dedicate yourself to a new direction. Don’t do it half-assed. Focus on what is important and eliminate the periphery. Going bust is easy, but getting back in the game requires a mental toughness that separates winners from losers. I think that’s why people admire Lance Armstrong, Josh Hamilton, and J.K. Rowling the way that they do.

I’m sure I’ll go bust again in the future and when the time comes, I’ll rely on what I’ve learned to get me back in the game. I’m interested to learn about what some of your techniques are to get back in the game. Leave comments or email me at

><(("> Kyle Freund

Kyle is a former ><((“> Team Member at Catch Your Limit, a management and marketing firm with offices in Tallahassee, Florida and Richmond, Virginia. To learn more, visit

Posted in Change.


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