How Much Money Can You Make Playing Poker?

Posted: 2016-12-07 21:56 By: Casinocradle.com

Learn How to Improve Your Poker Profits

We get a lot of questions about poker and one of the most popular from inexperienced players is: "Can you make money playing poker?" The simple answer is, in general, "yes", but that's too much of a simplistic way of looking at the situation. Because poker is a game of individuals and ever changing dynamics it's more appropriate to ask: "Can I make money playing poker?" and, "Can I make money in the current poker climate?" Answering these question is a little more complicated and worthy of some discussion. Indeed, before you can ascertain the amount of money you can make playing poker, it's important to assess whether or not you have the necessary skill set to actually turn a profit at all.

With this in mind we've outlined a few important points you need to consider if you want to achieve a realistic win rate at the tables:
How Much does the Average Grinder Earn?

In reality this is an impossible question to answer but if we look at things pragmatically we can begin to form some kind of general guidelines. The first thing to note is that the amount and rate at which players earn money will vary drastically depending on whether they are playing tournaments or cash games.

From afar it is often assumed that poker's top tournament players are raking in unbelievable sums of money each year. The reason for this is that poker news outlets generally focus on a festival's big winners and they don't often take into account the money they've spent on buy-ins throughout the year. Since net profits are the result of winnings minus buy-ins the actual amount of money a tournament player makes is actually a lot less than many would assume.
Learning from Daniel Negreanu

To illustrate this point let's take Daniel Negreanu as an example. In 2013 he had one of his most successful years to date and during the latter half of the year he posted a statistical breakdown of his actual results.

Playing a total of 51 tournaments, Daniel managed to accrue a $944,126 profit with a standard deviation of $166,300 per tournament. However, while this net result is certainly impressive, things get more interesting when you consider that out of his 51 tournaments he only cashed in 11. This means that had he not managed two outright wins (in the WSOP APAC and WSOP High Roller) he would likely be in minus figures.

Indeed, in total Daniel spent $898,080 on tournament buy-ins and at one point he went on a 12 game losing streak. Thus, while it can often pay to be a tournament player, the reality is that unless you can manage a significant win during the year you'll often find that turning a profit is tough; even if you're one of the top MTT players in the world.
Choosing the Grind over Glory

In contrast to tournament players, cash game grinders can often make a more consistent amount of money, but they will often fail to achieve the kind of scores associated with deep MTT runs. Which format you choose will be a matter of personal preference and skill, but an adept ring game player can generally expect to earn around 5 big blinds per 100 hands online.

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