Having played poker for a good few years now and some of them professionally then I think that I am well placed to advise people on the aspects of playing a game like Texas Hold em poker for a living. Firstly I would advise against turning pro for several reasons. The first one is that you are sacrificing your day job. This may come with good side benefits like a company pension, maybe a company car, paid leave and other such bonuses. Poker on the other hand has non of these except the pressure to make money and play poker most days.

Because of this pressure then players look to move up or play more tables. But yet your day job acts as your financial buffer when you play poker. But yet people view players who do not play the game full-time as somehow being inferior to those that do. There is some truth to this but it all depends on where you are on the poker ladder. Let us say that you are a good winning poker player who makes $40/hour. If you played full-time then you may make $1600/week and $80,000/year.

Now then this may sound great and if your current job is only paying you $40,000/year then the tendency to tell your boss where to stick his job may be strong. But you will lose out on that $40k if you leave and so you will be $40k better off initially but without the pension, paid leave and other perks. You may say “fine” to this and take the plunge but you are taking a huge risk because the games may not always be good enough to provide you with a $40/hour income. You could keep on working full-time but play twenty hours a week playing poker and still make $40,000/year.

This gives you a nice safe $80k/year and in my experience you will stand a far greater chance of hitting that target because you will not be pressured. You will also be able to invest 100% of your poker profits as well because your normal income takes care of your day to day expenses. This would mean that you could amass $400,000 in savings over ten years which would then start to return you anywhere from between 5% and 10% of the total. So by year ten then you could be making anywhere from between $20k to $40k a year without having to play poker at all.

All of this would be produced from your poker playing and it is not difficult to see how 20-30 years of playing poker even on a part time basis would leave you very wealthy if you continued earning mediocre amounts and then investing the money. So it is clear that you do not have to play for huge amounts of money to make a lot of money playing poker but you do need to commit to a process and to be prepared to play poker doing the same thing for a long time.