Slaving Away At Online Poker

from the maybe-he-should-unionize dept

It appears that the online poker bubble keeps growing. However, rather than high school dropout millionaires or startups funded by execs playing online poker, now we’re finding out that playing online poker full time is kind of a drag as a job. Wired has an article looking at a former eBay employee who figured he could make a living playing poker online just as his wife was about to have their second kid. However, it turns out that past performance doesn’t necessarily equal future success in online poker. While the article suggests the guy is doing okay picking on drunk online poker newbies (mixed in with the occasional extra trip to Reno), the actual numbers suggest things aren’t going that well at all. He hasn’t been able to play as much as he expected, and he hasn’t been winning nearly as much as he expected either. His average winnings have dropped 33% since he started playing full-time. That doesn’t exactly seem like a recipe for success. And, oh yeah, let’s not forget that some folks in Congress still believe that just playing online poker deserves five years in jail. Maybe he should start a union and send some lobbyists off to Washington DC.

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Comments on “Slaving Away At Online Poker”

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crystalattice (profile) says:


Okay, I’ll admit it would be cool to quit a job to “play games” all day. But IMO this guy was an idiot for doing this when a baby is on the way.

I’m sure he had great benefits while working at eBay (he should based on his position and salary). Now he has no benefits and has to pay for everything out of pocket. And since he’s making $5 less per game than he expected, he’s probably not making any more than he did when he had a real job.

I’m sure it’s nice being home to “help out”, but many of us know how that really ends up. The family always butts into your “party time” and you end up w/ less time to do your own things. For him, that means less $.

Don says:

Techdirt, the most miserable site on the internet

Submittor, you need to crack a smile or get laid. something. Every post on this site is just dripping with sarcasm, like it’s written by a person who thinks he’s the only person smart enough to “get it”. You say “it’s not going well”, yeah he’s currently running at $80/hr vs $120 an hour, whoop de doo, it’s called variance. You call it a drag of a job, yet the article says he still loves the game. Nice interpertation.

But go on, think you know everything and let us know how smart you think you are in every summary. Great way to build a community.

|333173|3|_||3 says:

How to really make money

I have a friend who is under 18, but his boss is over 18, and they play fun games for “play money” against each other. then when the boss has won a lot of play money off my friend, who deliberatly plays badly, he switches to a real game, and due to a bug in the software it thinks he has put in that much money from his credit card. he palys one game, but does not use all his money, and then cashes in whatever he has left. for the sake of a few hours of sitting in thier shop (it is a computer shop) in between working on computers or serving customers., a large amount of money can be won. My friwend’s boss splits the money with him, and everyone’s happy, except the Poker company when they figure out what was happening. Here in S Aus, it is perfecly legal for them to do this, and they have never been cought anyway.

Yeah Right says:

How to really make money

Yeah right… I’m guessing that your friend and his over-18 boss are not using any of the major players in the online poker industry.

Let’s take Partygaming – the company behind the #1 rated Party Poker site. Partygaming, in Nov ’05, had revenue of $437 million, an increase of 80% compared to their previous year. Their profits came in at $186 million, compared to $146 million for the previous year.

Although Partygaming has been phenomenally successful in such a short time, their results are pretty much indicative of the entire industry. It’s not just a case of one company getting lucky whilst all the others flounder.

Now, any company generating that sort of revenue is going to have a pretty damn good team testing every facet of their product. Do you honestly expect us to believe that they wouldn’t have thought of checking that any “play money” earned whilst using the free tables isn’t mistakenly transferred to “real money” when a user switches to the pay-to-play tables?

Even if that really was the case, your friend’s boss would simply close down the shop they’re running and play the system for 8 hours per day, generating way more money than they’d be getting from running a PC store.

I think your friend has been telling you porky-pies. 😉

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