Poker mash up

Making a profit playing online poker : what is the associated effort?

poker profit


Making a profit playing online poker is a matter of playing very high volumes (and playing well) or… a matter of luck

I will share here my insights on only online poker profitability. I am not pretending to be 100% accurate but I think that I have played enough games online to attempt drawing some conclusions.

Let’s put it this way I will rank from top profitability source to lowest profitability source the different types of games you can enter trying to make a profit (and will only detail the rationales around online sources) :

1/ Offline cash games (poker rooms & casinos)

2/ Online cash games

3/ Online sit & go’s

4/ Online multi-table tournaments

6/ Offline multi table tournaments (because of the incapacity to reach needed volumes of game)

Difficulty today lies in the fact that the average level of players playing online is improving (fast) and it becomes increasingly difficult to extract money out of the field and keep having an edge over the poker ecosystem.

Situation for online cash game

At micro and small stakes if you do not open at least 15 to 20 tables simultaneously you will never extract a decent profit per hour that will justify the time you spend at the table not doing something else.

At higher limits it is another story…you need to have the sufficient bankroll, the capacity to multitable at least on 6 to 10 tables and obviously the skills…Depending on your poker room…you will not necessarily have the opportunity should you look for it to open 10 tables at NL50….due to

Situation for online sit & go’s

Here again volumes (multitabling) is key and offer can be scarce at higher limits. Whatever the limit you choose you need at least a 35% ITM rate and also to take the 1st seat 40 to 45% of the time when you are ITM.

Situation for online multitable tournaments

If the field is big (above 300 players) you will need to be profitable to finish 1st between 0,5% and 1% of the time, end up in the top 3 seats between 1,5% and 2% of the time and overall get close to a [15%-18%] ITM.

So my advice would be online to try extract from cash games and sit & go’s the needed benefits to finance your MTT buy-ins to make sure you break even waiting for the big win!

In MTT & sit & gos you have to know that extracting 1€ of benefit per game on average is already a tremendous achievement. I often come upon players who have played between 3 000 and 6 000 games….extracting from them from 2 000 to 7 000€ profit…Try and assess how long it will take you to generate 3 000 games…If you do not spend at least 6 hours per day playing poker…you will never succeed. And when you reach this point it is still unlikely you will make a living out of it.

There is no magic. Its hard work, dedication and being realistic. Of course it can come down to luck also for a rare few from time to time….

Hang in there! Hanging in there is already an achievement per se.

Is you recipe better? If it is the case please be kind enough to let us know.

Top 5 largest online poker hands

top poker hands

Key poker statistics (holdem)

You will find below 20 key poker statistics or  »golden numbers » that will prevent you from making the wrong call

Key poker statistics






Key poker statistics are all over the place. As your experience will grow, your odds in some specific situations will become obvious. Nonetheless it never harms to have a simple check-list by your side to refer to when you will be at the heart of the action faced to tough decision making.

  • 2% is the probability to be delt a premium hand belonging to Group 1 as defined by David Sklansky (AA, KK, QQ, JJ or AKs)
  • 85% are your chances to win the hand with AA in heads up. You will receive AA every 220 hands…and chances to win with such a hand will fall to 50% if you are facing 4 players.
  • You have 0% of chances to win when you are drawing dead. For instance, A9 vs AK and a K62 flop will leave you with less than 5% chances to win the pot on the river.
  • 4/5 is the frequency at which a superior pair will win over an inferior pair
  • 52% are the chances you have to see an overcard on the flop when you were lucky to be delt JJ
  • 1/124 is the frequency at which you will hit your flush draw straight on the flop (0,8% of the time)
  • 35% are your chances to hit your flush draw on the turn or the river provided you already have 4 suited cards on the flop.
  • 33% are your chances to strike a pair (or better) on the flop
  • With any 2 cards in hand if you are lucky enough to go and see the river you will improve your hand 50% of the time (on the flop or the turn or the river)
  • 32% is your probability to hit your outside straight draw on the river if you connected on the flop and have 4 consecutive cards
  • 10% is the probability to hit your inside straight daw after the flop
  • A pair against 2 overcard not suited is a 54/46 but a pair against two intermediary overcards and suited connectors is a 46/54
  • 12% chances to hit 3 of a kind on the flop with a pocket pair
  • 75% chances to bit a dominated hand (AJ vs A10 or QJ vs QK)
  • An overpair stands 80% of chances to win over suited connectors
  • In 17% of cases your double pair on the flop will transform into a full on the river
  • In 33% of cases your 3 of a kind on the flop will tansform into a full on the river
  • You will be delt a pocket pair 6% of the time
  • With a hand like Q5 you will hit a double pair on the flop only 2% of the time
  • Any hand (eg T5o) if all in stands 35% of chances to win even against a hand like AK

Tell us about your magical numbers? Your stack-savers?



Improve your poker game by having a plan

The poker attitude that will take you far and help you improve your poker game

poker attitude






1.Define your bankroll (amount of money you are willing to put at risk to play & learn). By definition you should consider that this money is already lost (or that you will not put yourself or your family at risk financially if your bankroll happens to drops to zero)

2.Respect all bankroll management principles depending on the game you are playing (cash game, sit & go’s, multi-table tournaments….) and stick to it. They have been confirmed again and over again and there is no reason why you in particular could be allowed to move away from them.

3.Define your objectives and review them regularly. Setting yourself some objectives over a defined period of time (for example extracting a 7% ROI from NL 20 or hitting the 18% ITM mark in MTTs…) is the best way to assess objectively your performance, to stay focus and then take necessary steps and actions to improve your game.

4.Keep track of your performance. I personally  keep track of all profits and losses for all games played since the first day I started. I know exactly where I stand today in terms of ROI by game type, limit and overall. It helps me understand in which direction I can go and on which games I should focus depending on my skills and objectives. It is easy to do and once you get organized will not take you more than 10 minutes after each session. But you have to be comprehensive. All games should be tracked (online and offline) meaning games with friends also.

5.Be result oriented and though on you. Be realistic also at any point in time on your performance. The last thing you want to do is dream about the player you wished you were and go down the bankruptcy road in the process.

6.Know when you are on tilt and move away from the game when it is the case. One key thing about becoming a positive player is to start by limiting your losses (try to lose less every time you lose a pot). This will probably be the first most important leak in your game that you have got to fix as much as you will try extracting some bigger value out of each pot.

7.Identify your leaks and one by one and try to fix them. Is my preflop raise % to low? Do I fold too often my BB when faced to a raise? You should use a tracker to help you understand your game patterns. I personally use poker copilot on Mac and i find it very useful. Analyse and review the hands that generated great losses (hands replay functionalities of all trackers are a great tool to do so).

8.Read as much as you can (engage on forums, read books) to get a grasp of the reality of the game and also of all efforts that are required to become a fair player and improve your poker game.

9.Do not blame it on the cards. Poker is variance. You will get busted by donkeys and lose 80/20. It will happen all the time and never stop. Your game has to be above that and you need to digest these spots not blinking.

10.Have fun trying to apply the above.

And remember « Poker may be a branch of psychological warfare, an art form or indeed a way of life – but it is also merely a game, in which money is simply the means of keeping score. »

What nickname do you give to your favorite poker hands?

Do not blush if you give your favorite poker hands a small name, we all do

hands opening 2






A lot of starting poker hands have their nickname (inherited mostly from American poker history). Here is a sample. You will be able to call them deep inside by their names when you will see them and have the feeling to meet again with a good friend or… an enemy.

10♠2♠  ‘’Doyle Brunson’s”

This poker hand, in theory very difficult to play, gave Doyle Brunson the victory during the WSOP in 1976 and 1977. Hands played with genious or with luck?

AA ‘’American Airlines’’

Scarce, powerful but a dangerous hand because it leads players to the worse bad beats.

A♠K♥  ‘’Big Slick’’

A statue should be dedicated to this hand which has ruined a lot of players

A♥K♥ ‘’Anna Kournikova’’

Beautiful does not win a lot…that’s mean.

KK ‘’Cow-boys or king kong’’

KK is a strong hand like king kong but quite often it engages in deadly shootouts just like 2 cowboys

QQ ‘’Ladies, Twin sisters or Cow-girls’’

Seducing due to their rank but versatile due to their intermediary status : beware of the charm of the two twins.

JJ ‘’Hooks or Fishooks’’

Nice hooks to fish for big pots, but beware as the string can break.

1010  ‘’Dimes or Binary”

Binary is an allusion to the binary code formed by 1010. Dimes are a tenth of a dollar. This pair can generate much more than that.

99 ‘’German Virgins’’

Why german virgins? Because they always say ‘’nein nein’’.

88  ‘’Snowman’’

Surely because 8 are like 2 snowballs on top of one another to resemble a snowman. But where is the carrot? The carrot lies in winning with this medium pair which starts to be a bit dubious…

77 ‘’Sunset Strip’’

The most famous part of Sunset boulevard in Hollywood. But the nickname comes mostly from a series called ‘’77 sunset strip’’ which witnessed great success in the USA from 1958 to 1964

66  ‘’Road 66”

The famous Road 66 crossing the USA. This hand is sometimes called the devil. But it is wrong as the devil number is 666. Lets pray that the flop corrects this mistake.

55 ‘’Speed Limit’’

55 miles/hour, ordinary speed limitation n the USA

44 “Magnum or Sail boat’’

Refers to the size (in feets) of some specific boats or to a famous weapon (the 44 magnum). A hand to be manipulated cautiously.

33 ‘’Crabs’’

Because 3 looks like claws? Maybe…but beware these claws are not always made of gold.

22 ‘’Ducks’’

In your hands (or in your opponents hands) be careful as they can bite you quite strongly.

J♠5♦ ‘’Motown’’

As Jackson Five record label. No easy to play, just for artists…

7♥2♠ ‘’Hammer’’

Not high, not suited, not close. A hammer shot for your big blinds

J♦10♠ ‘’Launch Pad’’

Ideal for a flush, a straight or a straight flush. You will need to see the flop to check if the rocket lifts c

K♣J♥  ‘’Kojak’’

By the name of a famous bold cop from a 70-80s series. For sure he only needs a queen to reach its full potential.

2♥3♠ “Jordan’’

The shirt number or Michael Jordan. In holdem does not fly that high.

Q♥J♥ “Love’’

Lets hope that the board does not break up those two and lets wish them a lot of small chips.

8♣9♣ ‘’Clover Fields’’

The promise of a club flush.

A♦8♠ “Dead man or wild bill’’

A pair of A and a pair of 8. The classical poker hand that Wild Bill Hickock was holding when he was shot on August, 2nd 1876. In NLH we will satisfy with A8 only trying not to kill anyone please.

A♠4♣ “The devil”

A saying has it that an A always comes with a 4 to bring you bad luck. Do not believe it and go all in!

Q♠10♦  ‘’Quick time’’

An allusion to Apple video format and to the random and often quick unveiling of this hand. Tempting but tricky and not easy to read post flop.

What nickmanes do you give to your favorite hands?

Let us know here.!