How Much Can You Make as a Professional Poker Player at Live Events

By August 4, 2023Guest Post

Poker is a fascinating game and certainly one of the most viable ways to turn your hobby into a way to earn millions of pounds. The question remains, however, what the chances of this happening are? Well, it’s really individual as one person may perform much better in a game of poker than the next. 

Some players are consistently better than others, even at the highest tier – just think of Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, and they are ongoing beef which, frankly, has begun to look a little one sided by one. The question remains, though – how much can a professional poker player earn at live events? Let’s take a closer look.

Who Is a Professional Poker Player?

Before we look into the numbers, let’s first establish what a professional poker player is. The term has been used a little laxly and thrown around to mean just about anyone who has won six figures from playing the game, which is a fairly decent way to use it to be fair. 

A poker professional is someone who is generating a substantial income of annual basis from playing the game of poker. These people would usually travel around the world to participate in various live events, and maybe even continue to play at websites that are great for online poker in order to stay sharp and focused when they are not at the green felt.

Professionals have turned the game into their own bread and butter. There are many examples of such individuals. Ivey an Negreanu are two of those, followed by other self-made talents (sort of) such as Maria Konnikova. Konnikova is a very interesting example of what the world professional poker player means.

Although she is an academic, Konnikova’s research into poker have allowed her to amass a respectable sum playing live tournaments, and she has been doing well online as well, bringing her total amount won neck-and-neck with the majority of players.

So, How Much Can You Actually Make?

The feedback on the actual numbers is a little biased and tends to be somewhat sensational. Research is not really there, and most sources tend to phrase their information as “it would shock you how much the average poker player earns.” The fact is the money a poker player earns a month, annualized, can be really decent, up to £35,000 or more a month, but there are many players who also struggle. 

Then again, there are those who barely crack £1,000. You may argue it depends on the seasonability of events, and availability of big competitions but these numbers are taken over a year. As such, some players are barely cracking it, but then again – they are not really called professional. When we talk about the pros, the United Kingdom has plenty of top guns in the game, including Stephen Chidwick who has won approximately £46 million from playing the game.

He is the nation’s most successful player. The first 100 players on the Handemob’s list are all millionaires from playing the game, but of course not all of them are active or call themselves professionals. The vast majority of UK players, though, cannot really lay claim to the title, as there are more than 30,000 poker players who have won live events playing the game and only about 1,500 of them have earned more than £100,000 from the game.  As such, pinning the exact numbers won from playing poker gets a little easier, but it also show you that playing live events will really not bring you that much in the way of financial stability and cash unless you are smart about it. 

How to Become a Poker Pro Yourself

If, knowing what you do now, still fascinates you to pursue a career in poker, then you may be willing to study how you can get better. That is why we mentioned Maria Konnikova earlier. Konnikova is a very good example of how a person can approach the game of poker critically and grow in it. 

Smart as she is, she has also been trained by some of the best players in poker, who have quickly given her pointers about the do’s and don’ts and you are far less likely to have the world’s elite training you, so take the next lines with a grain of salt.

Essentially, if you want to improve your poker game – whether you play online or offline – you will need to follow the same basic pieces of advice that allow you to stay competitive and bring your best game to the fore. 

Players who pursue a professional career in poker need to approach it cautiously. As already pointed out, financial stability through playing poker is a feasible prospect, but one that is not always readily available. Getting your game to a level where you are competitive is neither easy, nor something you can accomplish quickly.

You need to play consistently well for years and not give up when things are difficult. You also need to make poker and your forging into a professional player as stress free as possible. Do not quit your job because you want to be a poker pro. First, make sure that poker is bringing you some semblance of financial stability before you make any further commitment.

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