The Pros and Cons of Playing Poker for a Living

While playing Poker professionally can sound like a dream come true, if you do not have the skill, bankroll and perseverance to do it, you may find that you have a better chance at becoming a highly paid actor instead. This game is not as easy as, say, online slots. For most people, poker is nothing more than a game and there is a difference between being a professional poker player and being a gambling addict. While it is always your choice, take into account the good and the bad and you may find that if you are not ready to be involved mentally, then professional poker may not be for you.

The Pros and Cons of Playing Poker Professionally -

Income -

PRO: Poker playing, much like regular employment can leave you “always broke”. This is not the same as never having any money, but that much of your money made by playing, not kept as your bankroll, is put towards bills and cost of living.

CONS: Playing Poker, unlike a regular job, does not come with a regular paycheck. A good week or month may mean being able to eat consistently, where a bad week may mean going hungry and homeless.

Establishing and Maintaining Credit -

PROS: As long as you are responsible, paying all of your bills and on time, there is no real difference between someone who has a regular job and is self employed, such as playing cards for a living.

CONS: Trying to establish credit when you play poker for a living is a joke. You are unable to get anyone to offer you credit and when they do, it is always with a high interest rate or with a larger amount down.

Tax Issues and the IRS -

PROS: As long as you keep good records, you can work with the IRS about how to pay, either quarterly or yearly, as long as your tax bill is paid in full each year, there should not be an issue.

CONS: With any cash only business, the IRS will audit you and will determine that you are making more than reported and owe more than you paid, so you will have to pay penalties as well.

Benefits -

PROS: You have a choice as to the health insurance and other benefits to pay for. While it will have to come out of pocket, you can choose the level of insurance and who you use, as opposed to being forced to go with who your employer chooses.

CONS: You have no benefits; you have to pay out of pocket for everything.

Family Life -

PROS: You have more time for family, as you can work as much or as little as you want and arrange your schedule as you like instead of having to work around someone else’s schedule.

CONS: You are going to be up all night, sleeping all day long. Besides, who wants to marry a gambler, professional or otherwise?

Social Status -

PROS: You have a chance to meet people who play both professionally and those who do not. You have a chance to meet people from all walks of life.

CONS: Everyone who plays poker is a loser and they are only there to take your money. Why would you want to be friends with someone like that?

Life Style -

PROS: Your schedule is your own. You can work 12 hours a day, or two, work 7 days a week or only one.  You have the choice to work all year round or take a three month vacation each year.

CONS: When you spend a lot of time around gambler, it can be depressing and bring you down. Who wants to be around those types of people on a regular basis?

Physical and Mental Health -

PROS: Since the laws have changed to no smoking in most casinos, the chances of second hand smoke are minimized and as long as you spend the time getting your exercise elsewhere, it should not be an issue.

CONS:  Being around degenerates and sitting down all the time, depression and obesity are highly likely. 

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