Grinding the Micro Stakes
By Jay Lovinger Page 2 How many people actually make a living -- even a modest one -- playing poker?
What percentage of "serious" players show a profit -- even a minuscule one -- for their careers?
You'd think a guy that would be moi would ask himself those two questions before he embarked on a year-long odyssey as a "high-stakes poker pro.
The only somewhat scholarly attempt to answer the second question that I've heard about is a piece by Nolan Dalla that appeared in Card Player magazine back in 1995, long before i play online poker for a living big breakout.
By my definition, I would estimate the number of semi-professionals in the U.
The number of full-time professionals, I would estimate, is a small fraction of that -- i play online poker for a living 3,000 or so.
I think 60 i play online poker for a living of those are online players.
For example, I've never had a losing year; but until last year's WSOP, I also never had a year where I won anywhere near as much as my job paid, and there were only a couple of years where I i play online poker for a living enough to call it 'a decent living'.
The same is true -- though to a lesser degree -- online.
Of course, we'd have to define what it means to take the game seriously.
You could say, 'anybody who has read one poker book,' but that would exclude guys like Paul Darden, who has never read a poker book.
So, leaving it as a subjective definition, I would guess 25-to-30 percent of people who take the game seriously are i play online poker for a living />Ditto for the scene in L.
Then there are the online pros -- like me, sort of.
Most of them are young guys who started playing online really young and became good enough so they didn't start looking for real jobs.
As you suggested, there really is no reliable 'information' on this, because this stuff obviously isn't documented anywhere.
How is it that, in an activity where every possible result is calibrated to an infinite number of decimal places, nobody can answer basic questions about how many poker i play online poker for a living are "successful" on any level?
Got a poker problem or want more details about Jay's poker adventure?
Three simple little words: Poker players lie.
Though we insiders like to think of it as "bluffing.
Something like 90 percent said they were above average!
Most keep shoddy records, if any, and greatly overestimate how they have done.
So even if someone took the time to do a thorough survey, the participants are apt to misrepresent their results.
To hide income from the IRS.
Losers don't scare anybody; big winners scare away the fish.
Some people can't play with confidence unless they feel like winners; others can't play their best unless driven by horrific visions of failure.
Habit see "joke" about bluffing, above.
Similarly, there are many reasons why few casino and online players can win, long-term, and why even fewer can make a "decent living" at the game.
Lack of technical knowledge.
Most players don't bother to learn how to play correctly in the first place.
To be fair, the real motivations for most players have little to do with making money.
Most players are looking for one or more of the following: some i play online poker for a living, a distracting hobby, excitement, proof that God loves them.
Most players, even those who actually possess an "A" game, cannot maintain their "A" game when they are.
Poker Central Have you become obsessed with poker too?
Well, no worries -- Page 2 has launched its very own poker section.
Jackpot Jay reluctantly pleads guilty.
It is not uncommon, even at the Hall-of-Fame level, to find poker players who fritter away their bankrolls by indulging their addictive selves in loser gambling activities sports betting, betting on horse racing, crapsalcoholic excess, cocaine, you name it.
Most people are familiar with the story of how Stu Ungar, possibly the greatest poker player who ever lived, lost everything -- including his life -- to cocaine addiction.
Even casual hangers-on can offer up a litany of many of the top players who are constantly in bankroll freefall thanks to their inability to resist the lure of bad bets, excessive drinking, unwise pharmaceutical indulgences, etc.
However, the main reason so few players will ever show a long-term profit -- minimal or enough to live on -- is.
The "rake" casinos and online sites charge, which is the money they take out of each pot or the hourly seat fee some charge for no-limit games that allows them to stay in business most profitably.
And if you play in two or more games simultaneously -- especially of they are six-handed games or, worse, high-speed games -- it might not take anywhere near a week.
In other words, even if you are an average player in a game -- let alone a bad one -- you must lose money over a long period of time.
The click way you can win any money at all is if you consistently play with people who are not as good as you are.
And that is hard to do, because even if you can find such a game, and even if you are able to correctly evaluate your own talent level, and even if you are able to consistently play your patient "A" game without getting bored or going on tilt over a bad run, or getting too tired, or drinking too much, or not getting enough sleep, or just plain freaking out, the likelihood is that the players you are so much better than eventually will quit the game or go broke or both.
Jackpot Jay's Poker Glossary Confused by some of the terms Jay uses in his poker columns?
This explains why so few people can hope to support themselves playing poker -- let's say, somewhere between Nolan Dalla's guess of 3,000 and Matros' estimate of 600, which isn't many when you consider that approximately this web page million people in the U.
Bottom line: Maybe it's time to cut ol' Jackpot Jay a little slack.
Second-thought bottom line: On the other hand, those who expect ol' JJ to earn a "decent living" playing poker -- including Mr.
Jackpot Https://n-club.info/for/texas-holdem-tie.html -- may be in for a bit of a disappointment.
NOTE TO THE READERS If anyone knows of research pertinent to the chances of earning a living playing poker -- or even showing a small profit -- please let me know.
I'd also like to hear from readers who want to make informed guesses on the correct percentages of real pros and in-the-black players please include the whys and wherefores of your beliefsand anybody who wants to describe the story of their own struggles in interesting and succinct ways.
NEXT WEEK'S COLUMN A review of the poker soap opera "Tilt," which debuts Thursday night at 9 p.
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