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How much poker players make? Poker
Mrinal Gujare
Posted on 18 Apr, 2024
By Mrinal Gujare
On 18 Apr, 2024
By Mrinal Gujare
On 18 Apr, 2024

How Much Do Poker Players Make?

In the enigmatic world of professional poker, where skill, strategy, perseverance and right decisions could lead to substantial earnings. But how much do the professional poker players make? This question, shrouded in mystery and speculation, invites us to delve into the intricacies of the profession, exploring the various factors that influence earnings and uncovering the realities behind the glamourous side of the poker world.

The Landscape Of Professional Poker Earnings

First and foremost, it’s essential to recognise that the income of professional poker players spans a vast spectrum, ranging from modest earnings to staggering riches. At one end of the spectrum, we find aspiring players grinding away at low-stakes tables, scraping together a living from modest tournament scores and cash game winnings. 

At the other end, we encounter elite pros who have ascended to the upper echelons of the poker hierarchy, commanding multi-million dollar bankrolls and competing for seven-figure prizes on the global stage.

Factors Influencing Professional Poker Earnings

Several key factors influence the earnings potential of professional poker players, each playing a significant role in shaping their financial success.

  1. Skill and Experience: Unquestionably, skill and experience are paramount in determining a player’s earning potential in the world of poker. Seasoned pros with a deep understanding of game theory, psychology, and strategy are better equipped to navigate the complexities of the game and capitalise on lucrative opportunities.
  2. Bankroll Management: Effective bankroll management is crucial for long-term success in poker, allowing players to weather the inevitable swings and fluctuations of the game without risking financial ruin. Players who exercise discipline and prudence in managing their bankrolls are better positioned to sustain their careers over the long haul.
  3. Game Selection: Choosing the right games can significantly impact a player’s earnings in poker. While high-stakes tournaments offer the potential for massive payouts, they also come with greater variance and risk. Conversely, cash games provide a more stable income stream but may lack the allure of tournament glory.
  4. Volume of Play: The amount of time and effort dedicated to playing poker directly correlates with a player’s potential earnings. High-volume players who put in long hours at the tables have the opportunity to amass larger profits over time, provided they maintain a consistent level of skill and performance.
  5. Market Conditions: The state of the poker economy, including factors such as player pool dynamics, regulatory environments, and economic trends, can influence the earning potential of professional players. Adaptable players who stay abreast of market conditions and trends are better positioned to capitalise on opportunities as they arise.

Earnings Potential In Different Forms Of Poker

The earnings potential of professional poker players varies depending on the form of the game they specialise in. Here’s a breakdown of the earning potential in different forms of poker:

  1. Tournaments: Tournament poker offers the potential for massive payouts, with top-tier events such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event boasting multi-million dollar prize pools. However, tournament earnings can be highly volatile, with many players experiencing long stretches of drought between significant scores.
  2. Cash Games: Cash games provide a more stable income stream for professional players, with the opportunity to grind out consistent profits over time. While the individual pots may be smaller than those in tournaments, cash game players have the advantage of being able to choose their stakes and table dynamics.
  3. Online Poker: The rise of online poker has opened up new avenues for professional players to earn income, with a multitude of platforms offering a diverse range of games and stakes. Online poker players can take advantage of the convenience and accessibility of playing from home while competing for substantial prizes in tournaments and cash games alike. 

ALSO CHECK: Professional Poker Players Net Worths

The Realities Of Professional Poker Earnings

While the allure of high-stakes poker and seven-figure paydays may capture the imagination, it’s essential to temper expectations with a dose of reality. The truth is that the vast majority of professional poker players earn far less than the top earners in the game, with many struggling to make ends meet or supplementing their income with other pursuits.

For every Phil Ivey or Daniel Negreanu commanding millions in tournament winnings, there are countless lesser-known players grinding away at lower stakes, eking out a modest living from the game they love. The road to success in poker is paved with challenges and setbacks, requiring resilience, determination, and a willingness to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the game.

How Much Do Poker Players Make?

Let’s delve into the earnings of an average $2/$5 NLHE (No Limit Hold’em) poker player, where the standard rate stands at $70 per hour. According to Statista, the average workweek duration in the US is approximately 34.6 hours. 

When these figures are multiplied, the weekly earnings of a poker player amount to $2,422, tallying up to an annual income of $116,256. But how does this stack up against other professions in the US?

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average hourly wage in the US stands at $19.33, translating to a weekly income of $668.82. This places the average annual wage at $34,778.64. Consequently, it’s evident that the average poker player earns significantly more than the average American worker. However, when comparing poker salaries to those in other sports, the figures don’t appear as impressive. 

For instance, the average player in the English Premier League commands a yearly salary of approximately $3,182,871, while their Major League Baseball (MLB)  counterpart brings in an estimated salary of $4,500,000 annually. 

Meanwhile, basketball players boast a substantial average income of $7.7 Million per year, and footballers rake in an average annual salary of $860,000. Clearly, these figures far exceed the average poker player’s earnings of $125,944, and they come with the added benefit of being guaranteed. In contrast, there’s no assurance that a poker player will consistently match this average income each year.

Check out the top 20 players on the All Time Money List






United States

Bryn Kenney



United States

Justin Bonomo




Stephen Chidwick



United States

Jason Koon



United States

Dan Smith




Mikita Badziakouski




Daniel Negreanu



United States

Isaac Haxton



United States

Erik Seidel



United States

David Peters



United States

Phil Ivey




Fedor Holz




Adrian Mateos



United States

Steve O’Dwyer



United States

Cary Katz




Timothy Adams



United States

Jake Schindler




Sam Greenwood



United States

Nick Petrangelo



United States

William Alex Foxen


*Figures are as of April 2024

Well readers, now that you know who tops the All Time Money List and the annual income of an average poker player, how about exploring the world of online poker? With poker apps, grinders can push the boundaries of their income via poker. By visiting our poker rooms page you will be opening doors to an exciting universe of online poker and sign up on any poker website of your choice. Our list of poker sites is extensive, and allows players of varied bankrolls to register and play their best game.


The income of professional poker players is a multifaceted subject, shaped by a myriad of factors ranging from skill and experience to market conditions and game selection. While the upper echelons of the poker world may be populated by elite pros commanding vast fortunes, the reality for many players is one of modest earnings and hard-fought victories.

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Whether grinding away at low-stakes tables or competing for high-stakes glory on the global stage, professional poker players navigate a complex and often unpredictable landscape, where success is measured not only in dollars but also in the thrill of the game and the satisfaction of mastering its intricacies. 

One thing is certain: the pursuit of excellence in this card game is a journey worth undertaking, regardless of the financial rewards it may bring.

It’s important to note, however, that consistently winning at the highest levels of poker is no easy feat. Only a select few possess the skill and discipline to compete with the world’s best players and emerge victorious on a regular basis.

For more news and updates, keep reading Gutshot Magazine or follow us on our social media handles. We are present on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Telegram.

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