Why We Love It
7%Job Growth Rate
Growing DemandJob Outlook
Creativity FocusedCareer Attribute
Don't Take Work HomeCareer Attribute
A professional poker player is an individual that has made a career out of playing poker as an expert in the game.
What is a Professional Poker Player?
As an experienced professional poker player, you would need to perform the following tasks:
- Gain an in-depth knowledge of the game via extensive research and networking with people in the industry.
- Regularly engage in the game at different levels of difficulty to develop the strategic skills necessary.
- Manage your finances effectively and choose tables or stakes in keeping with your budget and skill.
- Maintain records of your previous playing performances and evaluate the data to minimize past errors going forward.
Day In The Life
While having a career in poker might seem easy, there is much more to it. Besides having solid skills in the game, you will be spending time tracking your schedule and ensuring that you are tuned into the best tournaments, either online or in real time. An experienced online player will be signing in to tables first thing in the morning to play at a live game. The beauty of online poker is that at some place in the world, there is a game taking place. Many poker players in Vegas head to the tables for three to four hours in the morning, before heading off for lunch.
While a few people are full-time professional poker players, most have to balance a day job and evening outings to play poker matches. You may spend many of your breaks at work reading up poker books or browsing websites to watch game strategies. Once you reach a level of expertise, you will travel frequently throughout the year to attend real-world tournaments. This involves many hours sitting at a poker table and being clear-headed against other players under casino lights. If you treasure a fast-paced life of action, this is an exciting career path for you!
Work Schedule And Typical Hours
As with any other profession, you need to invest some hours in a day to practice and hone your skills. In addition, you may also travel many times in the year due to poker tournaments located at various locations across the country, and even internationally. This is a game that will require long moments of concentration and isolation. The risks are also high and result in high-stress levels for the most experienced of players. While a pay-check is not guaranteed from month to month, you will enjoy the rush of the game if you are dedicated to the craft and able to stay positive even in the face of failure.
Growth Of The Job
Poker is always an exciting career and once an individual gains the knowledge, it is also a perfect alternative for huge profits in no time. However, there is not much opportunity for career growth since this field is fiercely competitive with many poker pros looking for their big break.
While professional poker players work independently in the field, several choose to supplement their poker winnings with a full-time or part-time day job. Many find employment as a poker dealer, dealing cards to other players at a table game in a casino. Dealers also get to travel to live tournaments and deal at more prestigious engagements. Another alternative is working as part of a casino’s permanent staff, like a floor manager, writer or host.
How To Become a Professional Poker Player
To truly make a career as a professional poker player, you need to have true passion for the game and at least hold a high school diploma. Coursework in mathematics and science is helpful for tackling this challenging game as a professional. It is necessary to keep yourself motivated as you dedicate many hours of practice to master the skills involved in the game. Winning is paramount to success as a player, and expecting easy money will not work in the long-term.
This is not a good choice if you are looking for job security and a structured work routine. Playing poker for a living requires you to lay the groundwork and only see the benefits of consecutive practice hours after a long time. The ups and downs of earning thousands to losing hundreds can take a toll on you overtime. In addition, the difficulty level of the game has a wide range for every player and you will need to master when to call it quits.
Professional Poker Player Salary Data
We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.
National Anual Salary
National Hourly Wage
How do Professional Poker Player salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Professional Poker Player's can make an average annual salary of ---, or $23 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make --- or $11 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.
Salary Rankings And Facts
#815 Nationally for All Careers
Highest Education Among Professional Poker Players
- 2.5% Doctorate
- 5.7% Masters
- 30.4% Bachelors
- 7.7% Associates
- 28.8% College
- 20.5% High School
- 4.4% Less than High School
Job Growth Projections and Forecast
2014 Total Jobs30,000
2024 Est. Jobs32,100
Job Growth Rate7%
Est. New Jobs2,100
How does Professional Poker Player job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 2,100 jobs for a total of 32,100 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.
Growth Rankings And Facts
#317 Nationally for All Careers
What Companies Employ The Most Professional Poker Players
|Industry||Current Jobs||New Jobs Needed||% Increase|
|Amusement parks and arcades||1,900||200||0%|
|Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state||1,000||---||---|