How Much Do Poker Players Make – Hard Truths?

How Much Do Poker Players Make – Hard Truths?

How Much Do Poker Players Make

In 2013, an accountant from Tennessee did the unthinkable. He turned $86 into $2,500,000 playing poker, raising the question of how much do poker players make. This impressive win reminds us of the essential question in the game: is three jacks or queens better in poker? Indeed, the rank of the hand played a significant role in his success.

That accountant was Chris Moneymaker, and he won the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event, having entered through a $86 satellite tournament. His victory echoed those of renowned players like Jonathan Little poker professional who has also made a name for himself in the industry. In doing so, Moneymaker revolutionized the poker world, inspiring a generation of players to chase glory in poker rooms across the globe, playing games like Casino Hold Em and Mississippi Stud Poker, which our Mississippi Stud Poker Guide can help you master.

If reading this is getting you a little itchy to transform your own $86 into $2,500,000, then read on as we delve into the reality of how much do professional poker players make.

How Much Do Poker Players Make: The Big Picture

Growing up and wanting to be a professional poker player is a little bit like aspiring to be a rockstar. It seems epic. But the reality is, it’s something of a mixed bag.

For every rockstar that is out doing that, there are dozens struggling to make rent, much like many who try to make their living playing games such as Jogo do Bicho online, a popular Brazilian lottery-like game.

Unfortunately, it’s no different being a professional poker player.

How Much Do Poker Players Make: The Nitty Gritty

Asking “how much do poker players make” is sort of like asking how long is a piece of string. It really depends.

However, looking at some of the data on poker players, we can start to paint a picture of the average earnings. The salary range of professional poker players in the USA sits between $19,910 and $187,200, with the median salary being $44,680—not too different from a rockstar, after all.

Strong online casino players in small stakes games, including online poker real money games, will make anywhere between $600 and $5000 per month, playing stakes of 50c/$1 and below. Decent live game players will bring in anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000 per month, playing stakes of $50 and under.

Then those who have the bankroll and the skill to play in high-stakes casino games consistently can expect to earn $100,000 and above per month, assuming they are good at what they do.

Clearly, there’s a decent range on how much can be earnt as a poker player—it really depends on the type of poker you’re playing and how good you are at it.

The Highlights Reel

However, just like Chris Moneymaker’s big win two decades ago, there are some exceptions to these averages. Looking at the All-Time Money List in poker, Justin Bonomo leads with $57,221,865 in live career earnings. There are 112 players who have made over $10 million in live tournament earnings and 2,306 who have bagged upwards of a million dollars playing live poker.

Every year, names are added to this list, as the WSOP Main Event, along with various other events like Casino Hold em, comes with a top prize of $10 million, and hundreds of other events are played each year for prize money well over $1 million. Add to this the plethora of cash game winnings, online takes, and sponsorship deals that come with poker, including popular variants like Casino Hold’em, and it’s evident that there’s some real money in playing professional poker for those at the top.

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