How much can you make in live poker yearly full time?

1. A person in a forum created a thread and asked if 10/20 limit for a living was possible and everyone laughed at it and said no. A few people mentioned that 20/40 limit was probably the lowest that can be done but it would still be a grind.
What is considered a pretty good amount per year a player can make from 20/40 limit? What about 40/80 limit?

I know about the winrate where 1BB per hour means you are crushing. But what is the maximum amount for a 40/80 limit player can expect to make per year? Wouldn't that person also need to play at night since no one would be playing a game like this lets say in the morning?

So if a player is winning 1BB at 40/80 limit... first off is this possible or no? I would assume its probably 0.5BB per hour? Then the ones that actually grind it, do most do 40 hours a week? If I use 40 hours a week, that would come to about \$6400 a month which would count as \$70000 a year. I disregarded one month as vacation time or sick days so I just use this as a round number.

Would this be how is calculated for a 40/80 limit player making 0.5BB/hr? Also, a person playing 20/40 limit and making 1BB/hr would be the same as my previous example right?

Someone mentioned that for 1/2NL, a very good player could make \$20/hr after many hours. But realistically, no one plays 1/2NL for a living. But for 2/5NL, i read 25-35 per hour was pretty good. And anything 50 and up which is 10BB-12BB would be crushing it.

Are there any 2/5 Live Pros here? I would estimate that a pretty good 2/5NL would make around \$35/hr and say 30 hours a week would make \$1000 a week. Say 50 weeks a year and its \$50000 a year before taxes. But someone said if someone was making this much, he would be playing 5/10NL and not 2/5NL.

I'm curious at how much live pros who are winning players make on average. Of course there will be months and some years when they are losing but I'm wondering how much a live 20/40 and 40/80 limit and 2/5NL and 5/10NL player makes a year.

What is funny is an online player who plays 12 tables of 1/2NL on stars who is a decent player would make more than a 2/5NL live player easily when you add in the rakeback as well. Just wondering how much live players make on average.
Edited By: wackyJaxon Feb 26th, 2012 at 10:27 PM
2. sounds like a tough grind for 30k
3.
Originally Posted by georgewalskin

Of course there will be months and some years when they are losing but I'm wondering how much a live 20/40 and 40/80 limit and 2/5NL and 5/10NL player makes a year.

Hmm if you are losing in cash games for an entire year then you should think about giving it up.
4. Umm... I'm pretty sure there are many live pros who have had losing years?

Are you saying there are live pros that never have a losing year? I would find this really hard to believe. I would be shocked if there are live poker pros who play 20 years and didn't have one losing year.

Would someone experience on this.
5. I say you could it depends on what you need to make your living. Are you married, single with or without children would be a question. Lets take my situation. I make about 60k yearly but only 40 of it comes from my job. The rest comes from disability and other compensations. so without my check I still make 20k which is about what a minimum wage person would make yearly. I could make probably make 18 per hr and still make a living. if you are asking can I live a phil hellmuth lifestyle playing 20-40 then probably no but you can justify making decent money.
6. one thing is for sure I'd rather blow my fucking head off than play live limit hold'em for a living.
7.
Originally Posted by georgewalskin

Umm... I'm pretty sure there are many live pros who have had losing years?

Are you saying there are live pros that never have a losing year? I would find this really hard to believe. I would be shocked if there are live poker pros who play 20 years and didn't have one losing year.

Would someone experience on this.

having a losing year as a live cash grinder seems really bad to me, not an expert tho
8. I mean single guy. Of course not any glamorious lifestyle like phill hellmuth, that wouldn't even be possible.

I just want someone who plays for a living LIVE to give me their thoughts on this. Really looking to hear from guys who play 2/5NL and up and of course 20/40 limit and up because those are probably the lowest limits one can make to actually make a living playing LIVE POKER.

Yes thats true that having a losing year as live cash grinder would suck. But im 100 percent positive there are people who play live as a living and have like 6 month breakeven stretches. And of course could be losing even if they are winning players. I can't see a live grinder making 5k every month and not having a losing month.

There is no way any live pro wins every year and never have a losing year assuming he played at least say 10 years in my opinion.
9.
Originally Posted by georgewalskin

I mean single guy. Of course not any glamorious lifestyle like phill hellmuth, that wouldn't even be possible.

I just want someone who plays for a living LIVE to give me their thoughts on this. Really looking to hear from guys who play 2/5NL and up and of course 20/40 limit and up because those are probably the lowest limits one can make to actually make a living playing LIVE POKER.

Yes thats true that having a losing year as live cash grinder would suck. But im 100 percent positive there are people who play live as a living and have like 6 month breakeven stretches. And of course could be losing even if they are winning players. I can't see a live grinder making 5k every month and not having a losing month.

There is no way any live pro wins every year and never have a losing year assuming he played at least say 10 years in my opinion.

I would hazard a guess that there are plenty of players who have never had a losing year, a losing stretch yes, but a whole year.....and you are saying not one! There must be one at the very least.

And i agree with iamthe deck, i would also jump off the niagra falls naked singing dixie if i ever had to play limit holdem for a living
10. How are you supposed to pay for food,shelter etc if you lose over the course of a year?

11.

Originally Posted by georgewalskin

Umm... I'm pretty sure there are many live pros who have had losing years?

Are you saying there are live pros that never have a losing year? I would find this really hard to believe. I would be shocked if there are live poker pros who play 20 years and didn't have one losing year.

Would someone experience on this.

live mtt play u can have losing years but not live cash unless you have a case of cerebrial fecalosis. but then again someone who tries to play live mtts for a living just might have a bad case of it too. I would say grinding 2/5 and 5/10 20/40 40/80 the swings should be minimal and having a losing month should be far and few between.

Originally Posted by iamthedeck ftw

one thing is for sure I'd rather blow my fucking head off than play live limit hold'em for a living.

this

losing in live mtts for a year is possible

12.
Originally Posted by iamthedeck ftw

one thing is for sure I'd rather blow my fucking head off than play live limit hold'em for a living.

looooooooooool

I would also agree it is possible to have a losing year playing live MTT especially including travel costs.

13. Can someone who play LIVE POKER for a living give me their insight? I would assume most of you guys who replied just do it recreationally?
14. You never once mention how much you would need to make a year to make a living. Are you rolled for \$2/5 NL or \$20/40 limit? And do you think you're good enough to consistently beat these games? If you can't answer these questions then plz /thread. Specifics on your expectations, experience etc plz.
15. I assume it depends how tough your average table is. I think there are games where 1bb+ an hour is very possible, but those games rarely run. The games that run consistently at 40/80+ all the time will be much harder and I would expect the vast majority of regs to make under 1bb hr in it. The exception are home games but once again they do not run consistently and hard to get in.
16. I played live cash games in Florida for about 3 months, between when I got out of the Army and when I took my current job. This was Dec-March of 2009, so about 3 years ago. I played mostly 2-5nl, unless I was forced to play 1/2nl for lack of a game I wanted to play, or not being able to get a seat right away.

In 3 months, I made just over 19k playing 2-5NL cash games for an average of 44 hours per week. My hourly rate was around 36/hr. I generally only played 4 days per week. My biggest losing day was 875, and my biggest winning day was 2800.

Yes, its possible to beat live cash games for a living at low stakes. I consider 2/5nl a mid stake game, but some consider it low stakes. I feel any game where the buyin ranges from 300-1k is a mid limit game. Call me crazy...

The game has changed a lot in 3 years, and there are certainly better players at the tables (on average) than there used to be. That said, there is plenty of dead money on the table at any 1/2, 1/3, 2/5 game you will find in almost any casino. I don't keep track of what I make as diligently as I used to, but I play a lot of deep stacked 1/2nl games around Richmond, VA. Average stack size in the games I play is generally 300-350, with many stacks of 600+. My first year up here, I made 18k and only played an average of 2 days per week throughout the year. The games are very soft, but there are some ok players as well. Quick math tells me that 18k/104 days = 173 per day. I played for an average of 6-8 hours on days I played, which means I made 21/hr or more.

I play cash much more than I play tournaments, and have a lot of experience at 1/2 and 2/5nl cash games. I am confident if I lost my job today, I could make a living playing live cash games.

Originally Posted by georgewalskin

Someone mentioned that for 1/2NL, a very good player could make \$20/hr after many hours. But realistically, no one plays 1/2NL for a living. But for 2/5NL, i read 25-35 per hour was pretty good. And anything 50 and up which is 10BB-12BB would be crushing it.

Are there any 2/5 Live Pros here? I would estimate that a pretty good 2/5NL would make around \$35/hr and say 30 hours a week would make \$1000 a week. Say 50 weeks a year and its \$50000 a year before taxes. But someone said if someone was making this much, he would be playing 5/10NL and not 2/5NL.

.

I wanted to address this as well.

Just because you can beat 2/5nl for 50/hr doesn't always mean you can beat 5/10 for 50/hr. IMO, there is a very distinct skill level jump from 2/5 to 5/10nl. It is rare to see tables full of recreational players at 5/10nl in casinos, but 2/5nl is full of those players. That said, I would assume someone who beats 2/5 for 50/hr could also make 50/hr at 5/10.

Now, if you are crushing 2/5 and you find you are making roughly the same amount at 5/10, some people will minimize their risk of having a big loss and simply decide to stick with 2/5. The flip side is that 5/10 has a much bigger potential to have huge days (3k+), and if you're playing it you should already be rolled for it anyhow. All of this depends on the mentality of the player. Even highly skilled players differ in how risk averse they are, and the way they prefer to handle their bankroll.
17. I grinded 2/5 in AC for 6 months right after turning 21. Averaged right at 30\$/hr and averaged approx 45hrs/wk. Moved back home to finish college and for the girly friend.

^^^^^This was 2007 though, games will never be that soft again.

Now I have a shitty degree that I'm having a hard time getting max value from, broke, and no girl friend.

oh my how I miss 2007!!!!
18. \$87,421.77
19. Live limit is just a bunch of old tards passing monies back and forth and getting raked to death. The edges are way too minimal. Also I thought one of the main reasons good players play cash games is because its not nearly as swingy. If you have a losing year grinding cash, you suck...
20.
Originally Posted by delta6789

Live limit is just a bunch of old tards passing monies back and forth and getting raked to death. The edges are way too minimal. Also I thought one of the main reasons good players play cash games is because its not nearly as swingy. If you have a losing year grinding cash, you suck...

Do you even play live cash games? I don't constitute going to a cash game with your friend like once a month constitute it. I wanted an opinion for people who actually did it for at least x amount of months minimum. I really wanted to see the opinion from people who actually play live for a living.

There are good players in LA who have had a losing year at the 40/80 limit game. So you have no clue what you are talking about. Now if you play 1/2NL for like 30 hours a week and do it for 3 months and in the negative... then yes this player would suck. But i'm not talking about the beginner 1/2NL here.
Edited By: georgewalskin Feb 29th, 2012 at 07:44 AM
21. If you play an entire year playing live limit 40/80 and lose money ; youre a recreational guy who probably makes good monies doing something else. Youre not a pro. I play alot more poker than you and ive never gone with anybody to any poker games with my friends. Btw this thread sucks and limit hold em is steadily dying and boring as fuck.
22. What limits do you play then? If you don't even play at least 2/5NL or 20/40 limit, don't bother commenting then. Same as in if you play recreationally and thats probably what i assume u do.

How in the world do you assume you play more live poker than me? Looking at your screenname, i would assume you are just a kid at 21-22. I mean, if you say you play more online then yes, but live... you only played 1 year max since you aren't even old enough to play until probably 6 months ago.

Also, if you never had any 3 month or 6 month breakeven points playing live poker and when i mean this i mean higher stakes, then just don't bother commenting. I spoke to a few live pros who mention they play the 20/40 and 40/80 in LA and many mention they had 6 month breakeven stretches and had 1 or 2 losing years after playing for many years already. And its not hard for a 6 month breakeven stretch to turn into 9 months and even then having a losing year.

I don't want to hear comments from kids play just play 1/2NL and the occassional 2/5NL. Of course if you are not an idiot, you won't have a losing year playing this. However, playing these lower limits isn't what im asking.
23. I wouldnt classify myself as a recreational player. Poker pays the majority of my bills and ive never been a losing player. Ive had 7 four figure scores in the last 8 months and I play a fairly solid mtt volume every week. Im also not a kid and my p5s handle says nothing about my age. This thread is totally dependent on the individual and what they need to make a living off poker. Regardless of what that amount is you wont be playing professionally any time soon. If I was grinding out live lhe for 1 fucking bb an hour I would throw myself under the casino shuttle while it was taking a bunch of geriatric nits back to the old folks home.
24. If poker pays the majority of your bills, then you are a professional. I don't understand why you even mention you wouldn't be a recreational player? Did you have 7 four figure scores live or online?

I played poker professionally online before Black Friday which is why i asked this question.

And 1BB an hour is the absolute max one can make in live limit games. And yes i know many people mention its hard to make money in live limit holdem which is why i asked this.
25.
Originally Posted by georgewalskin

I don't understand why you even mention you wouldn't be a recreational player?

Probably because you casually assumed he wasn't and then used that as a basis for dismissing all of his thoughts ITT.

26.
Originally Posted by OneM24

I played live cash games in Florida for about 3 months, between when I got out of the Army and when I took my current job. This was Dec-March of 2009, so about 3 years ago. I played mostly 2-5nl, unless I was forced to play 1/2nl for lack of a game I wanted to play, or not being able to get a seat right away.

In 3 months, I made just over 19k playing 2-5NL cash games for an average of 44 hours per week. My hourly rate was around 36/hr. I generally only played 4 days per week. My biggest losing day was 875, and my biggest winning day was 2800.

Yes, its possible to beat live cash games for a living at low stakes. I consider 2/5nl a mid stake game, but some consider it low stakes. I feel any game where the buyin ranges from 300-1k is a mid limit game. Call me crazy...

The game has changed a lot in 3 years, and there are certainly better players at the tables (on average) than there used to be. That said, there is plenty of dead money on the table at any 1/2, 1/3, 2/5 game you will find in almost any casino. I don't keep track of what I make as diligently as I used to, but I play a lot of deep stacked 1/2nl games around Richmond, VA. Average stack size in the games I play is generally 300-350, with many stacks of 600+. My first year up here, I made 18k and only played an average of 2 days per week throughout the year. The games are very soft, but there are some ok players as well. Quick math tells me that 18k/104 days = 173 per day. I played for an average of 6-8 hours on days I played, which means I made 21/hr or more.

I play cash much more than I play tournaments, and have a lot of experience at 1/2 and 2/5nl cash games. I am confident if I lost my job today, I could make a living playing live cash games.

I wanted to address this as well.

Just because you can beat 2/5nl for 50/hr doesn't always mean you can beat 5/10 for 50/hr. IMO, there is a very distinct skill level jump from 2/5 to 5/10nl. It is rare to see tables full of recreational players at 5/10nl in casinos, but 2/5nl is full of those players. That said, I would assume someone who beats 2/5 for 50/hr could also make 50/hr at 5/10.

Now, if you are crushing 2/5 and you find you are making roughly the same amount at 5/10, some people will minimize their risk of having a big loss and simply decide to stick with 2/5. The flip side is that 5/10 has a much bigger potential to have huge days (3k+), and if you're playing it you should already be rolled for it anyhow. All of this depends on the mentality of the player. Even highly skilled players differ in how risk averse they are, and the way they prefer to handle their bankroll.

OneM, just curious, where are you playing at in the Richmond, VA area? Is it a home game(s) or a card room or something? Pleeeeaaaassssseeeee tell me there's a casino/card room I'm unaware of....
27. Most of these responses are way off mark.

Simple rules of playing live for a living haven't even been mentioned, and from the way most of the responses sound I doubt any of them have played live for at least one FULL year.

To answer your question, for a live CASH GAME player, the amount you can make in a year playing live all depends on your skill level, limits played, and time at the tables.

First of all I have seen no one mention having living expenses already saved up. This is one of the most important things you need to have to really be successful live or online. If you want to play poker for a living you should have a years worth of bills/living expenses already in the bank specifically for that. For a single guy with no kids living modestly thats about 15-20k.

Then you need a bankroll so for 10/20 limit 5k should do, 10k is extra safe. (250-500 BB's to withstand a downswing.)

Those who say you can't make a living playing 10/20 limit have either been spoiled by online poker or just have no Idea what they are talking about. Making 1 BB an hr has always been the rule of thumb and if you cant make close to that at the lower limits (10/20 and under live) then you probably should re-evaluate whether playing poker is a real option of a career.

If after a year of full time play (1500-2000 hrs) averaging 1BB an hr at that limit is around 30-40k a year made. That's plenty considering you made the money being your own boss and PLAYING POKER! And if you can beat higher limits that's even better.

Yeah it's a grind but thats what real players know how to do. And keep in mind for live play 10/20 are Mid stakes at best but they're closer to the lower stakes.

Beat 50/100 limit for even just 1/2 bet per hr part time (20 a week) and that will net you around 50k

Pay ur taxes.

Also if you are playing no limit the stakes are about 1/5 their limit counterpart i.e

1/2nl=5/10limit
5/10nl=25/50limit

playing no limit for a year will produce similar results with much larger swings.
28. Phoenix, do you play live for a living or have had previously? Yes about the expenses, i assumed most know about it already which is why i didn't mention it.

1BB per hour is the standard rule for limit but no one makes money playing 2/4 and 3/6 limit because of the rake. So yes 1BB should be the amount one should expect to make at 10/20 limit.

I spoke to a few limit pros and they all told me no one plays 10/20 limit for a living. Minimum would be 15/30 or 20/40 limit. This is from people who actually do it for a living at live limit holdem so what they say have a lot of value as they been doing it for many years.

50/100 limit? There is no daily 50/100 limit game that runs. The only one is 40/80 limit at Commerce.

Yes of course you have to pay the taxes.

There is no 5/10 limit games that run daily so i have no clue what examples you are using there.
29. I played for 2 years str8 in Minnesota and then Chicago. NL isn't legal in Minnesota, or atleast It wasn't as of a few years ago, so there were a bunch of Limit games spread.

I played mostly 8/16 and occasionally 15/30 and did just fine. Mind you this was when I was 19-21 (you only have to be 18 to play in MN thats why i moved there) so I didn't have a lot of responsibility outside of cheap rent and other typical bills.

I guess it depends on what someones standard of living is, and nowadays I'm sure a lot of the games have dried up. But if you can find a good local cardroom with regular games running that you can beat, then at least a moderate yearly avg of 25-35k is attainable.
30.
Originally Posted by georgewalskin

Phoenix, do you play live for a living or have had previously? Yes about the expenses, i assumed most know about it already which is why i didn't mention it.

1BB per hour is the standard rule for limit but no one makes money playing 2/4 and 3/6 limit because of the rake. So yes 1BB should be the amount one should expect to make at 10/20 limit.

I spoke to a few limit pros and they all told me no one plays 10/20 limit for a living. Minimum would be 15/30 or 20/40 limit. This is from people who actually do it for a living at live limit holdem so what they say have a lot of value as they been doing it for many years.

50/100 limit? There is no daily 50/100 limit game that runs. The only one is 40/80 limit at Commerce.

Yes of course you have to pay the taxes.

There is no 5/10 limit games that run daily so i have no clue what examples you are using there.

I can't see this being true. 1bb/hr would still be 20/hr which is better than the average american income. There may not be many that grind 10/20 and stay there but there has to be plenty that had to start there or even lower to build a roll for the higher limits. Which means unless they just played 10/20 part time until rolled for 20/40, then they were grinding 10/20 at least for a period of time for a living. I mean I wouldn't be able to take the mundane grind of limit but if you could and could sustain 1bb/hr at 10/20, why not?

On a side note, most people that tell you that grinding for a living just to make 30K is nonsense either have made a lot of money at the game and that seems just not worth the time; have a full-time job that makes 30k look laughable; or just do not understand how much some people enjoy the game and want the experience of trying to make it their job for a period of time.