Professional Gambling: Expectations vs. Reality

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Think you have your dream job lined up? Check out what it’s really like to be a professional


The Pay

Expectations: Some days are good and some bad, but I will always go home with money in my

pocket. I’m an expert after all.

Reality: Every day is a chaotic minefield full of wins and losses. No matter how much I hone my

skills, I still need to plan ahead, save money, and tuck something away to hold me over through

the bad days.

The Competition


I’ll mostly be playing against other professional gamblers. I’ll be in the big leagues, probably

broadcast on television.


The real money is in playing in the place of rich people, against other rich people. With luck, the

other people around the table won’t really know what they are doing, so the money will be easy

to snatch from right in front of them. This makes personal charm almost as important as

gambling skill, or else the other players won’t really want you around.

The Enjoyment


The rush never gets dull. I will just ride the wave, and have a great time. I will never dread a day

at work. I’ll look forward to it.


It’s true that the gambling rush is amazing, and it does in fact last, but riding that rush is a

mistake. To I have to take the game extremely seriously.

The Resources


I’ll take some of my earnings each time and bet them in order to win more.


Successful professional gamblers bet with other people’s money. They bet with the money of

people who can afford it, enthusiasts who love the game but can’t play as well, themselves.

The Setup


How hard can it be? I’ll get my name out and then I’ll get into all the right rooms and play

whenever I like.


More than half the work is finding games to play, people to sponsor, and venues to work

through. In fact, most professional gamblers have agents to help them find gigs.

The Bitter Truth


Not sure. It’s hard to pull off, I know that.


It may just be a fad, and I hope it will pass soon, but more and more professional gamblers (and

enthusiasts with too much money) are more interested in tournaments than in traditional play.

This means that the window of opportunity is even smaller. In a tournament of 200 people, only

about 5 will receive prizes. The rest leave with nothing. The winners do very well, extremely

well, but the rest aren’t exactly bringing home the bacon. No one can force a professional

gambler into a tournament, but other games are not always going on, and it may be the only

option available, at least the only option that’s easy to get into. This means it takes even more

work to find a traditional game, and the competition is fierce just to get in the room.

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