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.

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