At Poker Curious and at other sites where I contribute, I interact with thousands of newer poker players. I occasionally get asked for advice on their potential poker career. It is completely understandable as poker is a stimulating game which can become infectious, especially if you happen to make money playing it. Everyone dreams of making it big in poker.
There are many ways of making money in poker:
- You can specialize in a particular variation of poker (LHE, Stud, Razz, PLO etc.).
- You can play tournaments, SNG's or cash games with their many specialized versions (HU, 6 max, FR, Rush, ME, rebuy, deep, short stack etc.).
- You can focus on your BB/100, ROI or buy-ins looking to constantly move up stakes to the greatest heights.
- You can work the high volume angle where rakeback, FPP's or other incentives reward you more so than outright winrate.
Many players will look to leverage any particular success into sponsorships, poker room pro status, rakeback deals, coaching, authoring, or other perks associated from demonstrating some success in the game. Women in particular, because they are such a minority in the game, can achieve significant attention and promotion in the industry if they achieve some success.
But a career in poker doesn't mean that you end up playing the game for a living. It is similar to the passion that many men have for sports. The reality is that their athletic ability or situation doesn't allow them to compete at the highest levels, but there are many sports related opportunities to work in and around the industry that they so enjoy. There are also a myriad of ways that you can make a living in the poker world without ever having to rely on beating significant stakes.
1) Poker Media - announcer, host/hostess, interviewer, writer, tourney reporter
2) Live Poker Room - being a poker dealer, poker room staff/management or even a poker masseuse
3) Work for an online poker room - For instance I checked out the latest Career Opportunities listed on PokerStars' website
- Director, Financial Planning and Analysis, Isle of Man
- Game Security Specialist (Italian), London or Rome
- Security Manager Live Events, London
- Project Manager, HR, Isle of Man
- Senior Learning & Development Manager, London
- Analyst Developer, Isle of Man
- DB Developer, Isle of Man
- Compliance Auditor - France
- Online Marketing Manager (Paid Search), London
- VIP Relationship Coordinator, Sweden
- Live Tournaments Website Manager, Isle of Man
- Player Communication Co-ordinator, Germany
- Content & Localisation Specialist, Estonia/London
- Payments Analyst, Costa Rica
- Payments Regional Business Development Manager: Eastern Europe
- Payments Regional Business Development Manager: LATAM
- Transfer Affiliates Manager, Isle of Man
- Payments Analyst, London
Poker Room Management
- Sit & Go Tournaments Manager, Isle of Man
- VIP Relationship Manager, Isle of Man
- Product Development - User Interface Specialist, Isle of Man
- Belgium Poker Room Operations Manager, Isle of Man
- Customer Service Representative – Language Specialist, Costa Rica
- Bi-Lingual Fraud Investigator - Danish, London
- Bi-Lingual Customer Services Representative - Dutch, London
- Bi-Lingual Customer Services Representative - Flemish, London
- Bi-Lingual Customer Services Representative - French, London
- Chat Specialist – Dutch/Flemish with French – Remote
- Language Specialist, Canada
Tours and Events
- Trainee Tournament Director, Macau
There are dozens of poker rooms each needing staff to handle important aspects of their poker business; including management, accounting, security, promotion, translation, customer support, software, hardware, and content.
4) Online Poker Businesses Opportunities
As there are really too many to list easily, I will use my fiver years in the poker world as an example of the variety. I have worked for a poker training site, started my own informational poker and community site, and currently work for a family of poker related sites that deal with poker rewards, gaming, rakeback, poker forum, blogging and community. My roles for each of these sites have varied; including news reporting, various content, community development, managing a poker forum, management, new site development. Developing my own site involved every aspect from coding, design, strategy, financial and customer development and support. During my time at the poker training site I was involved in management, hiring and training, strategic planning, content, forums, video production, and customer support.
Each role in the poker industry puts you peripherally around the game you love. Each role has some influence to help the game develop and grow. Each role allows you to contribute a particular skill set. Each role has different perks and advantages like attending poker functions or tournaments where you can interact with those who have excelled in the game at the highest levels.
So while you may not be destined to reach the highest echelons of the game of poker, and I certainly hope you are, that doesn't mean you can't contribute significantly to the game and interact with those that do. Sometimes it's nicer knowing that each time you bet, check or fold it's not costing you a car or house.