Making a Business Out of Poker

t1riel

t1riel

Legend
Here's an article for any of you who are considering making a living from poker:

Making a business out of poker[FONT=Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Many people approach poker like fishing or golfing. They play for fun. Others strive to make a living from it. If you're playing to make money, then it's time to treat poker as a business.

When you're ready to consider poker as a business, you need to begin by taking it seriously. No longer is it merely a fun game to play, but it's your livelihood. You need to concentrate on what will make it a successful business. Time. To provide a living, poker can't just be an every now and then kind of thing. Many hours go into achieving a profit - often more than you first expected.

Whenever you don't play your best game or you play in the wrong games, you waste hours of valuable playing time. Then you have to devote more time to undo the damage.

Discover the right places to play and the right games for profit. Look for the right casino (or online poker room), the right opponents (weak ones or losing ones), the right games (ones with limits you can comfortably afford and can beat), and the form of poker that you prefer in order to make a profit.

Location. The great thing about poker as a business, that isn't true of traditional storefronts, is that you can select your location each time you play. You can choose the casino and the people you'll play against. If a game isn't going as you'd hoped, then you can relocate. Changing locations can be as simple as selecting a different seat or shifting tables. Location is of the utmost importance and can have a huge bearing on your profits. It's also necessary to find the right times to play. "Usually, late night games are the most profitable," Mike "the Mad Genius of Poker" Caro says, "because players are often tired and not playing their best. Many are losing and playing poorly in a desperate attempt to get even."

You should scout out the right opponents. Your best customers are going to be the weakest players.

Tastes. Pretend that your opponents are your business clients. They are going to produce the profit that your business requires. You want to be fun to play against, as we've discussed before. That's the style of poker that brings the most profit. So, it's a good idea to make opponents like you - just as you would treat customers in any business. You may want to socialize and learn you best customers' traits, their likes and their dislikes. This gives you an advantage.

Businesses keep track of their clients and you need to do that, as well. You need to know who donated the most to your business. Usually you'll discover that your biggest money makers are the biggest losers. Not always, though. Occasionally, they may be adequate players against others, but intimidated by you, or they're easier for you to bluff. Discern who your biggest clients are and pursue them for the profit.

Bankroll. Keep a substantial, designated bankroll available and not to spend it. If you spend your bankroll on a regular basis, at some time you will go broke. You wouldn't borrow money from your construction business or your law firm, so don't borrow from your bankroll. That is your business money.

Keep records of your games. Yes, they come in handy for tax purposes and your accountant, but they're also important to you. They're necessary for you to correctly analyze your play. You need to know which games, which limits, which opponents, which casinos, and which hours are better for you. With these statistics you can devise a plan of action.

But most important, play your best game all the time. Then you'll have the potential for a thriving business.
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soadwes

soadwes

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I know i don't have a problem with this (considering i rarely cash out more than a $100 in a couple of months), but how much money do you need to be cashing out to have to start doing taxes on your extra income? I guess an answer from IRS would say if you cash out a dollar than it should be counted, but when will they come after ya? heh
 
A

AK Slick

Guest
Excellent article!

You are supposed to report every single dollar earned gambling or otherwise to the IRS. Of course, you get to offset your gambling wins with your losses.
 
Tammy

Tammy

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AK-Slick.com said:
Excellent article!

You are supposed to report every single dollar earned gambling or otherwise to the IRS. Of course, you get to offset your gambling wins with your losses.
Are you kidding me? This can't be right, can it? So if I win $2 from the Lottery, I'm supposed to report it? There has to be a limit, I would think. Someone please advise?
 
Tammy

Tammy

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BTW--Another great article t1riel! Thanks! I enjoy these.
 
X

xdmanx007

Legend
Well you don't have to report every dollar won gambling in most cases anything over 600 dollars needs to be reported.
The problem online gamblers have is online gaming is at best in the grey area of U.S. law. Would you report the 50 bucks you made on a bag of weed? Herein lies the dilema
 
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Tammy

Tammy

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That's what I thought, thanks Dman. As far as the IRS goes, I have a message for them, and it goes something like this: :thefinger
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
I like the articles, too, but if I could make one request, it'd be to link the original article and (if available) credit the author. :)
 
A

AK Slick

Guest
Actually, every single dollar you earn is supposed to be reported to the IRS. The $600 limit listed in your link is just the cut where forms are mandated by the IRS to insure the winnings are reported. If your neighbor pays you $10 to feed his dog for the weekend, that is reportable income.
 
soadwes

soadwes

Guest
So do you think they will notice a couple hundred bucks in winnings for the year? I guess i wouldn't mind reporting it, but I'm not going to if they aren't going to notice... Sorry about going on a tangent in this thread, I enjoyed the article as well.
 
A

AK Slick

Guest
No, they would not notice. Only if they were doing a severe audit on you for possible fruad. If you are even thinking about claiming it, then you are probably too honest to commit acts that would necesitate that level of audit. It happens all the time, not that I suggest doing it.
 
M

MakMan

Enthusiast
i have to say i admire all those who consider themselves true poker pros and do it for living.

to me, its only a pastime, and a favorite one at that, but i cannot imagine putting my livelihood at stake... lol
 
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