It’s no secret that the best poker players earn insane amounts of money, sometimes pulling in millions of dollars just for winning one tournament. However, not every poker player manages to reach that level of success, and many eventually have to give up and accept that being a professional poker player is not their career.
But what do professional poker players earn on average, and how much money have the big names in the game, such as Bryn Kenney and Daniel Negreanu, made over their careers? And what are the chances of becoming a professional poker player? You’ll find the answers to these questions—and more—if you read through this page about the salary poker players earn!
How much money does a professional poker player make?
Let’s get started and find out what makes a professional poker player.Remember, we’re not talking about the big names here, but the average professional poker player, who often plays at casino tables across the country and doesn’t appear on the glitzy poker TV shows.
The average really depends on the stake someone is playing for. One of the most popular bets among professional poker players is $2/$5, and those who play NLHE for these bets earn an average hourly wage of around $70, which is clearly quite high compared to the regular salary paid by most other courses nearby. There is an average hourly wage of $100 for those who play NLHE for stakes of $5 or $10.
As you can probably calculate, the higher the blinds, the higher the average wage for a poker player. However, you will also find that higher blinds also lead to higher risk. This means you can win more than the average for lower stakes, but it is also possible to lose more money. You must understand that there are always risks associated with being a professional poker player, and those who succeed in the profession use bankroll management as a way to minimise the risk of having all their money wiped out.
However, keep in mind that this is an average: some players will earn significantly more than the average, while others will earn significantly less—some will even lose money over the course of a year, rather than making it.If a player turns pro and then consistently loses the following year, it’s a good bet that poker may not be the right profession for him or her.
How do poker players’ salaries compare?
Let’s take a look at the salary of the average $2/$5 NLHE player, which is $70 per hour. Now let’s take the average length of the work week in the US, according to Statista, which is 34.6 hours. Multiply these together, and the average earnings of a poker player per week are $2,422. The median annual wage would be $125,944. How does this compare to other jobs in the US?
Well, according to the Economy Policy Institute, the median American wage is $19.33 per hour, which equates to $668.82 per week. This makes the average annual wage $34,778.64. Therefore, the average poker player earns significantly more than the average US citizen.
However, the numbers aren’t that impressive when the average poker salary is compared to the average salaries for other sports. The average English Premier League player earns $3,182,871 per year, while the average MLB player earns $3,890,000 per year. The average basketball player earns a whopping $7.7 million a year, while the average football player pulls in an annual salary of $860,000. As you can see, all of these salaries are significantly above the $125,944 average earned by poker players, plus they’re guaranteed; there’s no guarantee that a poker player will manage to match the average salary every year.
Do poker players keep everything they win?
This is a really good question, as most people think that poker players keep whatever they win, but this isn’t always true, especially at the highest stakes. This is because many players are employed by those who recognise their talent. For example, someone may pay 20% of a player’s buy-in for a tournament, but then they will demand that they receive 20% of whatever the player manages to win during the tournament. Cash game players can also wager, with others investing money in them for a portion of the money they earn.
Of course, staking doesn’t really happen in the lower echelons of the professional game, where most professionals ply their trade. Instead, the player pays the full amount of their tournament buy-in and only plays with their own money at cash games. This certainly makes playing more risky, but it also means they get to keep whatever money they manage to win.
Is it possible to make a living as a professional poker player?
Here’s the main question: Is it really possible to make a living as a professional poker player? However, the answer is not simple, because it is: maybe. You will find that the best poker players, as well as those willing to put in the most work, will make it as poker players, and some will even reach the higher levels of the game. However, most will not succeed in playing poker professionally, and after a while, they will have to get a job and then maybe play poker on the side as a semi-professional player.
So, what do you need to give yourself the best chance of making it as a professional player? Well, the first thing you need is a huge amount of determination. From the outside, it might seem that poker players spend only a small fraction of their time playing the game, flying in and out of glamorous venues to play high-stakes events. However, the truth is quite different, as most professional players simply spend their time in front of a computer playing multiple cash games at the same time. The reality is certainly not as glamorous as you might think.
You will also need to start with a decent bankroll. There are stories that some players started with nothing and made it to the top, but 99% of pro players will need to start with a bankroll of at least a few thousand dollars so they can afford to weather any downswings at the top. beginning of their careers. The more money you start with, the higher the stakes you can play at, and the higher the stakes, the more money you can win overall.
A professional poker player will also need tremendous resilience to succeed. If you choose to turn pro, expect a lot of criticism from those around you, who may be more risk-averse than you. You’ll also need resilience to get through the inevitable dry spells where you find yourself in a losing slump. This happens to even the best players; the secret is to minimise your losses and then maximise the money you make when things go well.
Which poker players have earned the most?
While most won’t be able to reach the heady heights of the top players, there’s nothing wrong with using them for some motivation. The player who has earned the most from tournaments is Bryn Kenney, who has won a whopping $56.4 million from tournaments alone. A huge percentage of this came from his second-place finish in the £1,050,000 NLHE tournament of the Triton Super High Roller Series London in 2018, when he bagged a prize of over $20.5 million. In fact, he earned more than the winner, thanks to a deal struck when he was leading.
Justin Bonomo is the world’s second-highest poker tournament earner, followed by Daniel Negreanu, who is arguably the most famous poker player in the world. Each player in the top 10 has earned over $30 million from tournaments. Each player in the top 100 earners has earned more than $9.5 million over their entire career.
However, it’s important to remember a few things when looking at poker players’ earnings. First, remember that these numbers are for tournaments only; cash games are not included. There are many players who specialise in cash games, and if their earnings were included, they would rank much higher on the list. Also, the list does not take into account the money players spend participating in tournaments.
You should also remember that, as discussed earlier, players don’t always keep all the money they win. This is because many are often staked by others, who then take a percentage of whatever they manage to win.
As with the top players in other sports, the best poker players will be able to earn a significant amount of money through other avenues as well. One is sponsorship deals, where the biggest players receive large sums of money from online poker sites to represent their brand. The value of these sponsorship deals varies depending on the individual; the more famous they are, the more they get paid. Other companies may also use poker players for advertising, especially if their product is linked to the poker industry.
Some poker players also make quite a bit of money from coaching. There are many who will pay dearly for the knowledge a top professional player can impart and see hiring a coach as an investment that will pay off when they start making consistent money playing poker.
You will also find that many poker players pay part of the tournament entry fee for another player, especially in larger buy-in tournaments. For example, someone can wager 10% of the buy-in for another player, and they will receive 10% of all winnings should the player make the money. Support the right person in the right tournament, and they could earn huge sums of money.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, almost all poker players today earn a significant portion of their income from playing online. While some of the major online tournaments are on the list of top earning poker players, the vast majority are not.If you want to become a top-level poker player, you have to get used to the idea that you will be doing much of your work behind a screen.
Is it worth becoming a professional poker player?
This is a question many have asked themselves, and the answer really depends on how good you are at the game. Over time, the strongest players have the best chance of winning money, but nothing is guaranteed.
Fortunately, that is different now than it was 30 years ago. Instead of having to pack everything in a suitcase and spend all your money to get to Las Vegas, online poker sites allow you to play poker professionally from the comfort of your own home. Many choose to keep their jobs and play semi-professional poker in their spare time. This gives them the best indication of whether they could make money if they quit their jobs and started playing poker full time.
So, if the high salary entices you to become a professional poker player, you should begin slowly online and work your way up from there.