Online Poker to earn extra $$ on the side

FlexpertHamilton

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Has anyone ventured into this territory? I really enjoy Texas hold'em and have dabbled a bit with online poker.

I'm wondering if just how viable to expect to earn some extra $$ from gambling if you set out with the right intentions and mindset. I'm a very high risk taker in general and I'd go as far as putting $5k into a single table buy-in once a month with the goal to maybe 1.2 or 1.5x it. Otherwise it may be better to do small buy-ins and try to win smaller hands over time with some consistency.

I have heard that online poker has been ruined by bots though, and especially with AI now I certainly would believe it. Does anyone have insight to share?
 

FlexpertHamilton

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You will likely lose far more than you win...these pretty much have people who literally do nothing but sit and play poker all day long on them.

You are the dude they wait to come in to take money from.
I would think if you play poker all day you're likely to slip up. I can play really well in short bursts if my head is in the game and I leave emotions out. I would probably cut my losses if i lost too much though.
 

FlirtLife

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Have you read any books on poker?

A book on poker bankroll management will pay for itself.

I would assume you'll lose until the math becomes second nature.
 

FlexpertHamilton

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Have you read any books on poker?

A book on poker bankroll management will pay for itself.

I would assume you'll lose until the math becomes second nature.
No, i probably should then before I consider trying this.
 

Fruitbat

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I can and did make money playing online poker.
I could grind about $40 a day in low stakes rooms.

what I found is when I went up to higher stakes (the level where you can actually make a living from it) the opponents were MUCH better. Unless you are a seriously good player, you will find the $ per hour too low playing fish and the difficulty hard at the level where you can axtuallt make an income.

dont forget some Great players from developing countries are happy with $20,000 a year. To make a western income you need to be better than them.

grind out for a weekend for some pocket money but you might find 12 hours and $30 up is a poor return .

what I do now is invite friends to play poker and put £10 in each and I’ve generally won the pot in about half an hour!
 

Snag87

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Online poker is extremely difficult. If you're located in the USA I strongly recommend you focus on live.
 

FlirtLife

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Since the past two posters mentioned playing live, it's worth noting most of the poker you is heavily edited - they only keep the exciting moments. The only exception I've seen is "Poker After Dark", which has cameras at a single poker table and doesn't cut away. The shuffle, the table talk, and even when nothing happens. Watching "Poker After Dark" will give a more realistic view of live games.
 

Snag87

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I can and did make money playing online poker.
I could grind about $40 a day in low stakes rooms.

what I found is when I went up to higher stakes (the level where you can actually make a living from it) the opponents were MUCH better. Unless you are a seriously good player, you will find the $ per hour too low playing fish and the difficulty hard at the level where you can axtuallt make an income.

dont forget some Great players from developing countries are happy with $20,000 a year. To make a western income you need to be better than them.

grind out for a weekend for some pocket money but you might find 12 hours and $30 up is a poor return .

what I do now is invite friends to play poker and put £10 in each and I’ve generally won the pot in about half an hour!
Great points. In order to make a western income online you have to be a world-class player. If you're an American citizen or able to stay in America long-term just play live.
 

sangheilios

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@FlexpertHamilton

I started playing live poker as a hobby a little over a year ago, though recently have decided to quit the game entirely and haven't played in over a month now.

With poker, you'd be better off playing live, competition is overall less intense and it's possible to get reads on your opponents, unlike online. I'm talking about tells, betting patterns, body language.......things like that. There is a reg player at the card room I went to that would fold his cards over one another a certain way whenever he was put into a spot he didn't like. Stuff like this is what makes the game interesting.

Most of the people that you are going to be playing against have at least some knowledge of the game, they aren't going to regularly be calling preflop raises with **** like 73 off suit lol. The level of competition is overall very high and comparable to your own skill level.

Starting out, you'd be playing the lowest stakes that are available, which means your overall profit level would be quit low. When you factor in things like the amount of time and energy playing it's honestly not that impressive. Let's use live play for instance, you have to drive to and from the casino or poker room. In addition to this, you'd be tipping the dealers AND the house is taking a cut of each pot with the rake, which varies depending upon where you are playing. This alone would cut well into your overall profit.

You'd also have to spend a lot of time doing things like reviewing hands to check for mistakes, studying charts, etc. Because most people that you are playing against are at least somewhat capable you need to have some skill and natural talent. I played a lot of chess and strategy games + was really big into investing, analyzing market conditions, etc., ultimately skills that transferred well into poker.

Something else to consider is that there is a huge emotional/mental aspect of the game. It's totally possible to get frustrated and angry, resulting in your playing like a maniac and punting money. This is a game that can put you on an emotional roller coaster quite easily and in my opinion is a major reason I'd reconsider.

To play poker with the hopes of trying to make real money means you have to be playing A LOT and working on your game behind the scenes. Are you potentially willing to invest hundreds and hundreds of hours into this? This is time that you could spend on other activities and hobbies, hanging out with friends, etc. It's also totally possible to sit down at a game and be card dead for literally hours, I've had several games where I literally did nothing but fold for 2 hours lol.

To play poker with the hopes of making real money also means having to play in higher stakes games. We are talking stuff like 5/10, 10/20, etc. Are you willing to sit down and buy in with $1500+ on a game where you very well could lose lol? It's totally possible to lose multiple games in a row or go on a very bad losing streak, would you be emotionally able to handle something like this?

And now to my final point..........

There is also a very large luck component to this game, despite what many poker players believe. It's totally possible to get into big hands where you are way ahead and get sucked out on. I can cite a ton of examples like this, one was flopping broadway with me holding A10 suited and the other guy has KQ and turns a full house. I've had multiple full house vs. full house and even quads. Multiple all ins with aces preflop and losing. It's also much easier to lose big than it is to win big.

Considering all of what I have mentioned, I believe that poker should just be a hobby and nothing more. If you are looking to make money playing poker you are going to become too attached to the results of your games, potentially putting yourself on a not so good path. I also think there are far easier and less stressful means of making money that have 0 possibility of you losing anything. You could go deliver pizzas at a busy restaurant and pull close to $30/hour......good luck making that in poker lol.

Something to keep in mind, I've seen reddit posts where "winning players" are at the end of it all making as little as $7/hour. If you think that's worth going through what I mentioned above I have no idea what to tell you lol.
 
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sangheilios

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I can and did make money playing online poker.
I could grind about $40 a day in low stakes rooms.

what I found is when I went up to higher stakes (the level where you can actually make a living from it) the opponents were MUCH better. Unless you are a seriously good player, you will find the $ per hour too low playing fish and the difficulty hard at the level where you can axtuallt make an income.

dont forget some Great players from developing countries are happy with $20,000 a year. To make a western income you need to be better than them.

grind out for a weekend for some pocket money but you might find 12 hours and $30 up is a poor return .

what I do now is invite friends to play poker and put £10 in each and I’ve generally won the pot in about half an hour!
Exactly, at the end of it all you aren't going to be making much. It's totally possible to sit there for hours and walk out breaking even, barely up or even worse down lol. Then factor in rake from your poker room and you really aren't going to profit much, especially at low stakes.
 

sangheilios

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@FlexpertHamilton

Something else to consider is that what you see poker players are making may not be as it appears. You might see some guy win 500k in some tournament but you really didn't see how he got there in the first place.

A lot of these poker pros in my opinion greatly exaggerate their overall profits. Also, these top names you are familiar with, like Phil Ivey or Phil Helmuth, are literally anomalies in the bigger picture. Think of these people as like top tier players in the NBA, they are incredibly rare and not something you should aspire to lol.

Another thing to consider is that many of these big name poker pros you see have sponsorships, etc. Brad Owen, a youtuber who plays poker, has a huge following on his channel, which obviously brings in some solid revenue. However, I've heard/read that he gets paid thousands to show up for meetup games, the idea is that he a is a celebrity and they know that an appearance of his will bring out more of the fan boys lol. Then on some of these big buy in games they are getting sponsored/bought in by someone who is going to take a cut of it.

Just some things to consider in addition to what I mentioned above.
 
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sangheilios

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You will likely lose far more than you win...these pretty much have people who literally do nothing but sit and play poker all day long on them.

You are the dude they wait to come in to take money from.

Poker is beatable, provided you are actually facing lesser skilled humans. However, be cautious about going down the path of gambling. It is highly addictive, very easy to “chase” back losses and go on tilts. If you have any predisposition to addictions, do NOT go down this path.
Exactly. Poker is a big fallacy, for reasons I mentioned above, and I believe that only a very small percentage of players can ever make this work.

As @EyeBRollin mentioned, it opens up a door to place that you may end up being trapped in and I'd honestly avoid this all together, again look at my post above. Even if you were to become a winning player, it's very likely we are talking about peanuts. I saw a post on reddit where a player was making something like $7/hour after the rake, etc. Do you really want to get sucked into something where you are making less than the federal minimum wage lol?
 
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sangheilios

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Go to live rooms on a Friday/Saturday night in a city, lots of drunk recs and tourists
And this guy is right, but think about this for a minute. @FlexpertHamilton Do you really want to be going out of your way to sit around drunks and gambling degenerates in the hopes of taking money from them? I'm not even getting into this on moral grounds lol, just think about that for a minute and tell me if those are people you want to be associating with.
 

Snag87

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If you earn $15 an hour at the lowest stakes live games (1/2) you are likely in the top 98% of poker players for that limit.
 

sangheilios

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If you earn $15 an hour at the lowest stakes live games (1/2) you are likely in the top 98% of poker players for that limit.
It's a fun hobby, but it's delusional AF to think you can realistically ever make any real money in this game. I remember a while ago I was sitting at a table with this player who was taking it super seriously and said something about trying to make money playing poker. I then told him something like "why not just go get a job?" lol. Anyway, he then says something like "hhhhmm, yeah, well that's definitely more of a guaranteed thing." lol.
 

Snag87

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It's a fun hobby, but it's delusional AF to think you can realistically ever make any real money in this game. I remember a while ago I was sitting at a table with this player who was taking it super seriously and said something about trying to make money playing poker. I then told him something like "why not just go get a job?" lol. Anyway, he then says something like "hhhhmm, yeah, well that's definitely more of a guaranteed thing." lol.
Roughly 90% of poker players lose. The remaining 10% comprises your break-even players and winners. Most winners are winning peanuts. I.e a player earning $3.20 an hour is a "winner." Remember, an average skilled player loses money due to rake, so break-even players are above average skilled.
 

sangheilios

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Roughly 90% of poker players lose. The remaining 10% comprises your break-even players and winners. Most winners are winning peanuts. I.e a player earning $3.20 an hour is a "winner." Remember, an average skilled player loses money due to rake, so break-even players are above average skilled.
I totally agree and you are exactly right. When I first got into poker last year I ran really well and made a little over 1k within my first 10 games. I then I went on a downswing from late spring through summer that brought my net total to -$500, which is nothing given the amount of time I was playing. In August I won almost every game and made close to 2k. From Labor day up until I quit I lost on almost all of my games. I was getting into a lot of ridiculous spots, I had a stretch where literally every full house I lost to a higher full house, etc. I was playing about once or twice per week and logged close to 400 hours total, I didn't even realize this until I went to check my points on the casino card and was legitimately shocked lol. After it all, I was losing at about $10/hour, with most of this being due to rake and just having a really bad losing streak over a prolonged period of time. I consider myself a roughly break even player.

Here is the take from this. If you are a decent player and like to play, $10/hour for a hobby is absolutely nothing, that's not even going out to dinner lol. However, the problem is that the game can become addictive, it's incredibly easy to spend way too much time on a game that really isn't going to bring any real value to your life other than entertainment. This would make it a distraction from other things going on, such as family, career, school, other hobbies, etc. There have been many games where I show up and next thing I know I had been playing for 6 hours, which is insane to think about.

When you factor all of this in, here is my take on it. If you like to play for fun and can keep it at a reasonable level there is nothing wrong with it. The problem is when you get hooked on a game where at BEST you are making what some guy at McDonald's is earning, worst case scenario is you are actually a bad player and consistently lose a ton of money.
 
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