Poker Players. Not What You Might Think

Poker Players. Not What You Might Think

To the outside world, it looks like poker players live a great life. People think poker players are lazy, and can come and go as they please, doing anything they want at anytime they want. People think that poker players are all rich, or at least financially set to where they don’t have to worry about bills, food and shelter. They see poker players as living charmed carefree lives without being bothered by the mundane little things in life that most people fret over. If you told most poker players about this perception of them, they would probably shake their heads at you and laugh. Poker players do not live the life that most outsiders would have you believe.

Poker players are not rich. At least most of them aren’t. The fact is that most poker players are losing players, and for those poker players who make a living off the game, income varies greatly. Even the majority grinding out a living playing ungodly amount of hours online, probably pull in less or about the same as most career professionals in the real world. A lot of winning poker players could be broke on any given day. This is especially true with poker players who rely on tournaments for their living. Buy ins for tournaments are so high, and variance plays such a huge role in those games, that many poker players rely on backing deals from people with more money, and can actually end up owing money, with no positive income at all by the end of the year. Odds are that one of those “rich successful” poker players you’ve seen on tv is either broke, or has been broke at some time during their poker career. While it’s true that maybe a very tiny percentage are truly set financially, winning tournaments and getting endorsement deals from sites like Pokerstars, it would be a huge mistake to think that all poker players are rich.

Poker players are carefree? Hardly. As mentioned earlier, poker players can be playing poker the whole year while shooting for nothing more than to be able to pay off their financial backers and have a little money to pay their bills and living expenses. Poker players are constantly trying to stay disciplined, playing every hand as perfect as they can, and yet still knowing that a wrong card being flipped can crush them for that session. And a few bad sessions can ruin a poker player’s month. Even if they are playing at their best, the variance can run so high, that they can still find themselves broke after playing the perfect game every single session. True that if a poker player is playing the perfect game, they should eventually be seeing positive results, but this would be over the long run, and they could still see losses in the short term. Poker players have to play their best game, not go on tilt and lose more money when they do find themselves losing, know when to stay in a game or to leave a game depending on wether it will be good or bad for their bankroll, and pretty much treat their bankroll as a tool they use for their job. Poker players have one of the only jobs where they can go to work, perform their best, and still lose money for the day. Carefree is definitely not synonymous with the words poker player.

People think poker players are lazy. While this may be true for a lot of poker players, the very best, and winning players are not lazy at all. Successful poker players have to study. They have to learn about the games they are playing to keep an edge over their opponents. Knowing all the while that other poker players are doing the same thing. You’ll see them in poker forums like, discussing hands and how they should have played them for maximum value with other poker players trying to study up on their profession. While doing this studying, poker players still have to make the time to get enough play in that week to sustain a certain amount of income. It is not uncommon for a professional poker player to play four games at once online, for almost double the amount of time that a normal person would put into their own job. It’s also up to the poker players themselves to keep accurate records to chart their progress and to pay their taxes. Many of the more successful poker players also have businesses on the side. For example, Bryan “The Icon” Micon balances playing tournaments, both live and online, playing cash games, running the poker forum, hosting a weekly radio show, and trying to find time for his girlfriend and friends. The successful poker players of the world have much more on their plate then the average Joe, and to think of these poker players as lazy is absurd.

So the next time someone says that poker players are rich, just think about the guy who has to keep playing a perfect game in order to make a successful tournament cash so that he’s not owing money to someone for the year. The next time someone says poker players don’t have a care in the world, just think of the guy who spends hours trying to find the perfect game, with the right level of players he can beat, and the research he has to do to find the right games. The next time you think that poker players are all lazy, again think of guys who have to balance online play, live play, studying the game, running side businesses and trying to be there for their friends and families at the same time. Poker players can lead great lives, but nothing is easy about success in any field.

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