Profitability of poker.

    • Quadzzzzzzz
      Quadzzzzzzz
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.10.2011 Posts: 151
      Recently i've been dwelling on a question and the future of online poker if you wanted to become a pro, or at least use it as a supplementary income.

      Now NL Cash games are getting harder these days, but obviously still beatable. Not to the extent of the past however. There's still money involved, but the margins are slimmer.

      So then I started thinking about MTT's - now its my understanding that these games are weaker in standard, due to the recreational players wanting to feel that MTT buzz. But then again, problem with MTTs is the amount of variance and lifestyle factors that playing MTTs on a daily basis would bring.

      SnGs? Well, they're full of grinders right playing their ICM game?

      And PLO - probably a way forward in the mid-high stakes but variance again. Thing is with most cash games you should consistently win and therefore gain reasonably stable income which may not be attained with MTT play?

      What are your thoughts on this? Either way I know poker is a hard way to make an easy living...
  • 33 replies
    • Th0m4sBC
      Th0m4sBC
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      Joined: 01.06.2006 Posts: 7,550
      Oh boy......poker gets screamed death like 6 times a year. In 2014 you will really really miss all the fish you had back in good old 2012. Live player, like Doyle Brunson say the golden times where over before online poker ever started to be 'the real deal'. Still it has been profitable.

      What is best for you is a question of style. Of course, there are other factors to consider: time for example. If you work 50 hours a week, traveling from/to work 2 hours a day....a flexible game like Cash Game, might fit more your requierments then MTTs
    • KozakFB
      KozakFB
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      Joined: 18.08.2011 Posts: 395
      IMO the stronger the game gets the better it gets.

      The game is still as profitable as ever imo, but only those who are disciplined and dedicated enough to keep one step ahead of the current level of play. Its always been like this, its just that in 04-06 period it was easier to keep ahead of the level of play.

      Its fun when the game is strong, more competitive.
    • jonnyjm
      jonnyjm
      Silver
      Joined: 24.03.2008 Posts: 447
      I've been thinking about similar things recently, but not quite the same.

      I have been a full ring grinder for years. It hasn't been so enjoyable since the whole full tilt problem mainly because it's a dying game since full tilt as ft had way the most fish/best games nitty games on pokerstars arn't fun.

      Thais left me wanting to find a new game to play but the problem i find is getting the game with a "Profit:Volume:Enjoyment:Varriance" ratio 'm happy with.

      6-max seems the most obvious choice, but this seems a very popular game these days, some might argue this means more fish, others might argue this means more regs/grinders. Volume can also be good. Variance is pretty brutal in this format which i also find abit off putting as it can really effect your volume and winrate if yo u don't have right mindset. Strangly i don't mind Heads Up, thats probably because is very enjoyable. Anyway problem wth 6-max when you reach NL50/NL100+ is you carn't really expect to make massive profits as there are alot of very solid players. So from this perspective this game doesnt seem like the right game.

      MTT S&G's Can and are pretty fun except variance is high which means you have to log high volume. This can be a problem as each MTT S&G last for a certain length of time, you carn't just leave when you want, this means either allocating large chunks of days to grinding these, it makes life management as a whole a very important skill to attain. The biggest issue with these however is there doesn't seem to be much traffic above the $15 level, so how the F**K are you meant to A) Earn solid money B) Get enough volume when games fill up super slow?

      PL0 i would never consider aprouching as a game i could reg/grind, way to sick! but very fun if you have spare money to spew/donk around with.

      This leads me to a conclusion that i think it's better treating poker as a fun hobby rather than a nice source of income (which is a sad thing to say seeing as i was making solid money before full tilt).

      This conclusion however doest help me decide what game to play!!! So any suggestions would help =)
    • DukeXIII
      DukeXIII
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      Joined: 09.12.2010 Posts: 173
      I have really got board listening all the time that poker getting harder, there are less fish, it s not as profitable as it was, or maybe will be extinguished the next years.

      Poker is not getting harder it s just getting evolved. Of course there are more educated players out there but compared to the amount of recreational players they will be always the minority so there will be always fishes. As far as the profitability is concerned have you ever heard any of the big players to even think about it? I mean they made money in the past and they still do. But why ?? Because they work. So simple.
      And about the future of poker. Poker = gambling for most of people and this is not going to change. NEVER . And gambling was always the biggest market in the world and I m not talking only about poker of course. Stock Market is another almost identical example just being presented with a different maybe more exquisite face. All these markets still exist not because of the 3% of the experts who make money (not gamblers) but from the rest 97% gamblers.

      My 2cents
    • DukeXIII
      DukeXIII
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      Joined: 09.12.2010 Posts: 173
      Originally posted by jonnyjm

      Anyway problem wth 6-max when you reach NL50/NL100+ is you carn't really expect to make massive profits as there are alot of very solid players. So from this perspective this game doesnt seem like the right game.


      Exactly this is what I was talking about. So you will have always players who are going to try find excuses and make generalizations to feel comfortable with themselves cause they don't have the guts to work and players who don't give a sh**t about what people say they work hard and make the money. Simple as that :)
    • Quadzzzzzzz
      Quadzzzzzzz
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      Joined: 24.10.2011 Posts: 151
      Originally posted by DukeXIII
      I have really got board listening all the time that poker getting harder, there are less fish, it s not as profitable as it was, or maybe will be extinguished the next years.
      It's hard to deny that the standard of regulars on every limit has increased immensely. I didn't say anything about the amount of fish, I still believe there are the same numbers of fish, but its a lot different now playing regulars as its harder to get decent edges against them - therefore more work needs to be put in to beat them! Then this begs the question is it worth the return for the effort you put in? This is purely from the perspective of someone that is trying to make some kind of living out of the games!
    • Wurble
      Wurble
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      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      As with anything in life you'll get out of poker what you put in... If you're prepared to put the time and effort in you can comfortably earn a 6 figure income playing almost any variant of poker but it's never been harder to do and it'll keep getting harder due to the general standard of play.

      As for the future, who knows? I can't see such a huge industry going down the pan without a fight though, the likes of Pokerstars, Party, IPoker, Ongame etc make so much money from online poker that they're not just going to let it die without a fight.
    • MatejM47
      MatejM47
      Black
      Joined: 21.01.2010 Posts: 1,193
      MTT's will probably always be the softest game format overall. Im not an mtt player and i find even the 200$ games fairly soft with 2-3 fish on the table. I really have no sample size in them but those games are definitly beatable. The problem with MTT's is that they start at different times so you spend 6 hours loading them and then another 10 hours playing so you can easily be up for a 16 hour session on a semi-regular basis.

      NL SH Yeah today's games are tougher then they were but by no means unbeatable. There's still a ton of fish if your table selecting well. You shouldn't have a problem finding decent tables at midstakes. If you can't find them on pokerstars move to a softer network. I know its nice playing at stars but their games are fairly tougher then on some smaller networks.
      You simply must have fish on the table because with the rake as high as it is and regs on nl100 and up mostly solid you won't be beating those games if you don't table select at all.

      PLO The variance really isn't as bad as some would have you bealive. Yeah if your going to play HU4RoLLz vs isildur then you open yourself up for some 100BI swings.
      But at PL50/100 where the games play fairly passive the variance isnt really that much high then in NL. As long as your not playing PLO1k where there's a ton of 3bet/4betting the varience really isn't that brutal. Generally i find the PLO games better with more fish and regs seems far less solid with way more leaks then in nl.

      Imo if you wan't to play poker for a living its definitly good to learn PLO as well since it gives you more options when it comes to table selecting. You have to realize that most of your profits comes from the fish and there's still plenty of fish to be had. As long as your table selecting well enough you shouldn't have a problem beating low to midstakes even if your not a poker genious.
    • suaveplayer
      suaveplayer
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      Joined: 08.08.2009 Posts: 109
      Originally posted by Wurble
      As with anything in life you'll get out of poker what you put in... If you're prepared to put the time and effort in you can comfortably earn a 6 figure income playing almost any variant of poker but it's never been harder to do and it'll keep getting harder due to the general standard of play.

      As for the future, who knows? I can't see such a huge industry going down the pan without a fight though, the likes of Pokerstars, Party, IPoker, Ongame etc make so much money from online poker that they're not just going to let it die without a fight.
      Not trying to be offensive mate, but, is making a 100K+ USD/year your current reality in poker?

      Sorry but, no, making 10K USD per month all year long is not easy. I´m experienced enough to know it is very possible but wouldnt go as far as saying you can "comfortably" make 6 figures.
    • fuzzyfish
      fuzzyfish
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.01.2010 Posts: 862
      Originally posted by DukeXIII
      I have really got board listening all the time that poker getting harder, there are less fish, it s not as profitable as it was, or maybe will be extinguished the next years.

      Poker is not getting harder it s just getting evolved. Of course there are more educated players out there but compared to the amount of recreational players they will be always the minority so there will be always fishes. As far as the profitability is concerned have you ever heard any of the big players to even think about it? I mean they made money in the past and they still do. But why ?? Because they work. So simple.
      And about the future of poker. Poker = gambling for most of people and this is not going to change. NEVER . And gambling was always the biggest market in the world and I m not talking only about poker of course. Stock Market is another almost identical example just being presented with a different maybe more exquisite face. All these markets still exist not because of the 3% of the experts who make money (not gamblers) but from the rest 97% gamblers.

      My 2cents
      Probably the dumbest post I've read in a while. It's so stupid I don't even... Well, you know what I mean.

      For others arguing that you "just have to be one step ahead". Easier said than done. Firstly, as staying ahead becomes harder, you need to put more and more time of study, analyze, coaching etc thus your overall winrate decreases and the amount of effort increases. Plus, you can't go on forever (unless you're the smartest player out there), eventually Peters princilpe will get you.

      The "stay ahead" argument is invalid. Similarly you can "stay ahead" by trading stocks and make tons of money, but it isn't that easy.
    • furculision
      furculision
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      Joined: 25.03.2011 Posts: 474
      Whatever happened to "poker is rigged" threads?
    • Quadzzzzzzz
      Quadzzzzzzz
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      Joined: 24.10.2011 Posts: 151
      Originally posted by furculision
      Whatever happened to "poker is rigged" threads?
      Haha sorry mate, I just wanted others views on this matter, its nice to see that people are as realistic as me when it comes making an income from poker!
    • CallumN
      CallumN
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      Joined: 04.01.2012 Posts: 1,141
      I agree with Sauve here,

      Making 100k a year is not easy. It is my goal this year but its not going to be that simple.

      You need to be crushing 200nl/decent solid winner at 400nl for this to be acheivable.

      That is no easy task!
    • DukeXIII
      DukeXIII
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      Joined: 09.12.2010 Posts: 173
      Originally posted by fuzzyfish

      Probably the dumbest post I've read in a while. It's so stupid I don't even... Well, you know what I mean.

      For others arguing that you "just have to be one step ahead". Easier said than done. Firstly, as staying ahead becomes harder, you need to put more and more time of study, analyze, coaching etc thus your overall winrate decreases and the amount of effort increases. Plus, you can't go on forever (unless you're the smartest player out there), eventually Peters princilpe will get you.

      The "stay ahead" argument is invalid. Similarly you can "stay ahead" by trading stocks and make tons of money, but it isn't that easy.
      I m not saying that being one step ahead is easy m8 :) .. or .. I m not saying that it is ThAT easy. But in everything you do in life you can always find an edge.
      Obviously it s very hard to do it if someone has the mental capacity you have which can very accurately estimated considering the reasoning behind your arguments (which doesn't exist at all but it s fun to read :D ) But even in this case someone shouldn't be discouraged at all.
      So I know it is very hard for you to find this edge and it makes you mad when someone is referring to this subject a bit lightly because he considers this much more possible to be done than you do, but don't be discouraged. Everything is possible if you will believe it. In your case think that MIRACLES ALWAYS HAPPEN in life :D !! If you want to discuss about this further please don't hesitate to contact me. I would really like to help :)
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Originally posted by suaveplayer
      Originally posted by Wurble
      As with anything in life you'll get out of poker what you put in... If you're prepared to put the time and effort in you can comfortably earn a 6 figure income playing almost any variant of poker but it's never been harder to do and it'll keep getting harder due to the general standard of play.

      As for the future, who knows? I can't see such a huge industry going down the pan without a fight though, the likes of Pokerstars, Party, IPoker, Ongame etc make so much money from online poker that they're not just going to let it die without a fight.
      Not trying to be offensive mate, but, is making a 100K+ USD/year your current reality in poker?

      Sorry but, no, making 10K USD per month all year long is not easy. I´m experienced enough to know it is very possible but wouldnt go as far as saying you can "comfortably" make 6 figures.
      No offense taken but you missed my point... I didn't say it was easy. I said that if you're prepared to put the work in it's possible and I know this because others are doing it. It's not my reality, I'm shit at poker.
    • MatejM47
      MatejM47
      Black
      Joined: 21.01.2010 Posts: 1,193
      Originally posted by CallumN
      I agree with Sauve here,

      Making 100k a year is not easy. It is my goal this year but its not going to be that simple.

      You need to be crushing 200nl/decent solid winner at 400nl for this to be acheivable.

      That is no easy task!
      Not really, if your an average 3bb winner on nl200 that can 9table and grind out 100k hands a month your making 6k from winnings and another 3k in rakeback so thats 9k and you only need 8.3k which puts you a little over 100k a year if you can maintain this winrate/volume over the whole year.

      No one claims its easy, its actually very hard. But then again its kinda hard to make 100k in other forms of jobs and business as well. Less then 5% of world population makes over a 100k a year so obviously it isnt easy else everyone would be making a 100k/yr.
    • furculision
      furculision
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      Joined: 25.03.2011 Posts: 474
      Originally posted by MatejM47


      No one claims its easy, its actually very hard. But then again its kinda hard to make 100k in other forms of jobs and business as well. Less then 5% of world population makes over a 100k a year so obviously it isnt easy else everyone would be making a 100k/yr.
      almost made me cry.bravo
    • suaveplayer
      suaveplayer
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      Joined: 08.08.2009 Posts: 109
      Yes, it is true that making 100k+ year is not easy in any job.

      But I noticed poker players tend to underestimate how hard it is to achieve that in poker.

      I used to be like that like 1 year ago. Now, I´d rather first make the 100k dollars/year, and, then, and only then think it is going to materialize.
    • Quadzzzzzzz
      Quadzzzzzzz
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.10.2011 Posts: 151
      Okay, but what about making about $30k a year? Probably near avg. income after tax?
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