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    For coaching/training info visit www.Gags30poker.com


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  1. I recently received an e-mail from a prospective student. He asked about the "poker lifestyle" and the truth to it. He had seen all of these "professionals" on television who all had multiple millions of dollars in winnings and wanted to know if these people really did drive around in Bentleys and have as much money as it appears they may have. Let's break some things down. A lot of people have a very common perception that a player's total cashes or tournament winnings is an indicator of a player's profit and shows how much money a player must have. For example, if we look at a very good tournament player, we may see that they have $1 million in tournament earnings. This is quite a feat, and many players do not ever reach this mark. However, let's look at what this $1 million really entails. For starters, the biggest thing is that this is not factoring in the cost to play the tournaments. The average person who hits the $1 million cashes mark has probably played thousands upon thousands of tournaments. The cost of all of these tournaments can certainly vary, but somewhere around $800,000 to $900,000 is very reasonable (this would actually still be a very good win rate and in many cases players may spend $950,000, $975,000, or more to hit the $1 million in cashes mark). So, we spent $900,000 and got $1 million back; $100,000 is still a lot of profit. However, a second aspect you have to consider is that many players do not have 100% of their own action. People get others to invest in them, they get others to back them full-time, and they swap percentages with friends. All of these things cut into that profit. That nice $100,000 can be cut in half or, with some backing deals, even more! Okay, so our example player was backed full-time and he had 50% of himself (a fairly common deal). We're at $50,000 in profit, still a nice sum of money for most people, and if we were able to make this in a year, we're making a pretty healthy living in most places. But, we're a far cry from the $1 million badge. This $50,000 can get gut down even further when we examine other aspects of the "poker lifestyle." If our player sat at home all year and grinded like they did to make their $50,000, they would probably be sitting pretty. However, many poker players get tired of that; after all, being a "professional poker player" is all about freedom and being able to go where you want when you want. So, players take trips, travel to play events, and head to Vegas for the WSOP. Traveling the world sounds fun, but it can quickly get expensive. I've known many poker players who have vastly underestimated the cost of traveling. Even though they had a very profitable trip playing poker, they only broke even or lost money due to the cost of flying, hotels, and expensive meals. This brings me to the last misconception: the "baller" poker lifestyle. I feel like there are generally two types of people: those who fit this lifestyle and those who don't. Now, don't get me wrong. I've met many poker players who have spent thousands of dollars on huge watches, partying in nightclubs, and eating fancy meals. However, most of these players don't hang onto the money they've earned for very long. It's fairly easy to see why: if you're reckless with your money, you'll find you'll quickly run out. In my experience, many true professionals are smart with their money. Instead of eating at a fancy top-rated restaurant seven nights in a row, they'll stay in a hotel room with a kitchen and cook their own meals or get an inexpensive meal at a local place. Instead of staying in a giant suite in the casino where a tournament is, they'll stay a five-minute walk away in a less expensive hotel. Sure, everyone splurges on a nice meal once in a while or after a big tournament win, but they don't make a habit out of it. It's actually funny: I know a lot of players who play low- and mid-stakes tournaments who actually have a lot more money than some of their high-stakes counterparts, and it's directly related to the lifestyle they live. Let's not forget about taxes. If you're lucky enough to be a U.S. citizen, you still owe Uncle Sam a good portion of that $50,000. The illusion of the super rich poker player is best compared to Hollywood and actors. Are there actors who make multiple millions of dollars per movie? Of course, but there are many more who act in commercials, play smaller roles, and work in other areas of Hollywood; a good deal of them still make very healthy livings. Do "baller poker players" exist? They do, although they're much less common than many people seem to think. But don't worry, just because you're not spending $10,000 at a fancy night club doesn't mean that you can't play credit card roulette and have a little fun! Gags30is a long-time PocketFives member and PocketFives Traininginstructor. He is also available for private coaching and is a lead instructor at PremierPokerCoaching.com. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.

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