How much does a professional poker player earn?

Poker players' earnings

The idea to become a real poker pro sounds pretty attractive. We all believe that we have the required abilities and are able to succeed. But at the same time, we realize that just a small percentage of people manage to be winning players and make good money by playing poker.

Those who dream of becoming professionals in poker, ask themselves the same question: “How much does a professional poker player earn?”. Is it possible to make poker the only source of income? Will this be enough for a life of luxury? The poker world has an answer to all questions: "It depends on the circumstances."

The truth is that only 1% of all poker players could become real professionals and make money playing poker. But even these players occasionally have serious downstreaks and it may even reach ruin.

So how much do professional poker players actually earn? It depends more on how many sources of income they have. Previously, players focused on tournaments (before the poker boom), but then they began to notice that the variance is too large in tournaments and therefore it’s difficult to rely on a stable income.

Obviously, there are players like Daniel Negreanu and Chris Moorman who constantly show great winning results in poker. But this, unfortunately, does not apply to all players. Therefore, many poker professionals play both tournaments and cash games to maximize their profit. They mainly focus on the cash game (as on the main way of making money, main discipline), and they also sometimes participate in tournaments to try to win big money.

Also, poker professionals try not to limit themselves to one poker format. Formerly, almost all players were restricted to the ability to play Texas Hold'em. Now, players are learning other card games like Stud, Omaha, Badugi to have an advantage and make good money there.

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Expenses in poker player’s life

Before thinking about professional poker players’ earnings, it is necessary to clearly understand that this occupation involves large expenses. For example, let’s take a tournament player. What are his main expenses?

  • buy-ins for tournaments
  • travel expenses
  • hotel
  • nutrition
  • tips
  • entertainment expenses
  • other gambling hobbies (bets for money, sports betting, casino)

Of course, the situation changes if you play online rather than offline. But you can't run away from expenses (for buy-ins, accommodation, food, Internet).

You must not also forget about taxes. Of course, maybe you are a lucky guy to live in a country where there is no tax on poker winnings (for example, in the UK). But most poker players have to give a piece of their winnings to the state.

How to increase revenues

In order to afford the necessary expenses, it is better to ensure that poker game isn't your only way of income. Previously, poker professionals made money mainly due to sponsorship contracts. Now, the sources of income are becoming wider. Coaching takes first place. Some poker players do not just recruit students, but also open their own training sites.

Many professionals start to be engaged in business. Some play on the stock exchange, others invest in real estate. You need to be able to survive in the modern world.

We all know the famous phrase that poker is a difficult path towards easy money. This statement was truthful 20 years ago, and it is still true. And in the modern world, poker has become even more difficult - it became a very difficult task to make money with the help of poker.

In order to become a professional poker player, you need to get serious about this task. You need to be able to use various sources of income, manage your expenses the right way, constantly search for new profitable options of earnings. To be a poker professional is a real job, and you have to do everything to maximize your profit.

So how much does a poker professional earn? It depends on his game skills and seriousness of intentions. You need to have a clear plan and the ability to follow it. Then poker can really guarantee you easy money and luxury life.

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I’ve been working in the Cardmates team since 2018. Started playing poker the same way most people usually do – socially, with friends and fellow students. I adored those exciting poker nights but never thought my life would be connected with this game, even tangentially.
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