How Much Do Professional Live Poker Players Make?

Average Poker Players Yearly Income

Infographic highlighting what salary poker players makeThe average poker player, depending on what limit can make as little as $10,000 a year up to $1,000,000 or more per year. We’ve found that a semi-top tier live poker professional in Florida playing $5/10 NL deepstacked can make $100,000-$250,000 a year. Even playing at $2/5 NL you won’t see a drastic change as compared to $5/10 Hold’em. You would assume double the money, but with higher stakes comes better players. So assume you average $70 an hour at a live cash 2/5 game, you might only average $100 an hour at $5/10. These are real numbers from real pros in Florida.

But, it all depends on how much work you want to put in, which is one of the main similarities between poker and sports betting. The amount of work you put into making yourself a better poker player will determine how much success you have in your poker career. The monetary side of poker is a nice thing when all is said and done, but it isn’t something you should focus on. If you see yourself wanting to make $20,000 per month, you should set the goal to do so, but also if that becomes a frantic goal it can become very detrimental to your bankroll and a hindrance to your future in online poker.

Money is Just a Way to Keep Count

The reason you shouldn’t look at money so much as a poker player is because you will have the confidence to have success in the long run if you are good enough. Poker is a difficult game at times, yet very easy other times. Focus on your approach to the game. Good players know when they made the right decision, even when they lose the hand or bust out.

Event selection is important, but it requires a balance. Playing against legit competition makes a player better; iron sharpens iron. Selection is easier online than for live poker events, but the key is picking the right bet limits. Playing online, if you play low limit games over the course of a year, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to make $50,000 each year. Even at the lower stakes games, there is a lot of money to be made if you put in the hours and you maintain your hands per hour.

Strive to be the best in your poker career. Constant improvement is key. Keeping abreast of the trends in top-level live poker also is key. Event Daniel Negreanu talks about the difficulty keeping up with the next generation of poker pros – and their poker strategy. That’s the point. The best poker players must re-evaluate themselves constantly, which means going over their failures and successes. That takes an ability to assess oneself with a critical, objective eye — which is a hard skill to acquire.

Bankroll Management & Yearly Income

When you remove the idea of being just an average player, you will blossom into a good player – possibly a great player. Watching on television or seeing the large amounts players scoop for poker tournaments, such as the World Series of Poker, is going to be a dream of average players, but almost never a reality. It takes time like all great things, and to become a good to a great player you have to play the game and put in the hours.

Once you can effectively manage a poker bankroll this will determine how good you really will be. Managing a bankroll is the hardest part of poker for even the top tier players. Tons of players get bored or carried away, or also lose the drive that propelled them to the top.

Stay in the Drivers Seat, Don’t Get Complacent

Good players can make tons of money or lose tons of money, but it depends on their approach. If you play games beyond your bankroll or for a significant portion of your bankroll, you extend beyond your safe zone. No matter your resources, a person can always outspend their means. Even if you win a big tournament for six figures or more, the reality is you can still go broke if you play in games that are beyond your resources.

What makes the difference for the top tier poker pros is that they manage their bankroll while building a reputation. They get endorsement deals to play sponsored in big poker tournaments. That might sound like the goal, but you may never see big endorsement deals. You want to build and consistently improve your game.

Most good poker player’s yearly incomes should easily exceed $50,000. In fact, it should approach $100,000 or more. Whether you play poker tournaments, cash games, or sit and go’s, you’ll always be a favorite to win over the table or field of players. Once you know the correct moves mathematically and have a better feel for a poker game, you won’t have much trouble winning with more consistency. The biggest part of poker is to be consistent with plays, while adjusting to your table. If your poker table is aggressive, you play passive. If your poker table is passive, then you play aggressive. Good players understand that doing the opposite of what your opponents want is the best strategy.

How Much Do Professional Poker Players Make? 

High limit poker players endure serious swings throughout their lifetimes, whether it is from going broke or huge wins. Winning a big poker tournament is a life-changing moment, but so is a year playing consistently. Players like Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, and Phil Ivey are the biggest names playing poker today. These guys are the best cash game players in the world today, and all of them got there by working very hard.

So how much do professional poker players make? Top professional poker players can easily make over $5,000,000 per year playing poker. The reason is that they know the math, they’re feared, and they read situations exceptionally well.

If you think about becoming one of these players you’ll have to endure struggle, hard times, and trial-and-error periods. Find the game that best suits you. Hours and years go into making a poker pro. If you are just starting off, you can dream about making what they make, but it is harder to get there today than it was 3, 4 or even 5 years ago. The games are tougher, the players are better, and you need to win a big tournament to have a bankroll to work with.

Where Can I Play Poker Online?

You can check out our top recommended US online poker sites that we have ranked on our homepage. From BetOnline to Bovada, we have provided in-depth reviews for each US poker site that you will see ranked. Check out the best US poker sites here!


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