Prior to becoming a professional poker player and content creator I was always curious how much money professional poker players made. Obviously, there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer to this question, but I can give you a breakdown of how my 2022 is going through the first seven months.
In 2021 I was able to profit $67,755 from playing poker. I was ecstatic with these results as I was only playing full-time for four months, and the other eight months I was balancing poker and content with my full-time job that was outside of poker.
I’ve never been huge on setting monetary goals, as there is an element of variance that can go into the results of any one year. However, if I had to set a monetary goal it would have been to beat my profit total from 2021.
Through the first seven months of 2022 we’re on the way to hitting this mark, but it’s been a roller-coaster of a ride to get there.
When calculating my yearly profit, it includes any money I make from playing poker. This includes the following five categories: Online cash game, online tournaments, live cash games, live tournaments, and rakeback.
Here is how I’ve fared in each of those categories so far in 2022.
Online Cash Games
Through the first seven months of 2022, Michigan online poker cash games are my biggest winning category, which comes as no surprise as this is where my focus is.
Currently on the year I’m profiting $34,935. The profit is primarily from playing $2/$5 & $/1$2 blind cash games, although I did take a brief shot at stepping up to $5/$10 where I lost a few buy-ins. I hope to continue to try and push as the years go on to try and climb up in the online cash game stakes.
So far in 2022 I’ve taken a step back in online tournaments compared to what I played in 2021. So far in 2022 I’ve only played a total of 82 tournaments. A large part of this is because I’ve continued to focus on cash games, but I still enjoy jumping into the tournament mix when I can. Currently I’m showing a profit of $2,475 in online tournaments in 2022.
Live Cash Games
Despite primarily playing online poker this year, I have found some time to play live. So far this year I’ve played a total of six live cash game sessions. Although I’ve won three and lost three, the losses have been larger than the wins and I’m down $1,061.
Although I don’t play many live tournaments, I absolutely love playing them!
There is something about the energy and excitement you feel in the room when playing a live tournament that can’t quite be matched in any other poker format. So far this year I’ve played eight tournaments without much success. I cashed in one of them for a min-cash and bricked out on all the others giving me a loss of $4,125 in live tournaments to this point in 2022.
The last category is rakeback. For those of you who are unfamiliar with rakeback, it is when the online poker sites give money back to the players. Think of it as a rewards system.
For poker players such as myself who play a lot, the money earned through rakeback can be quite significant. Through the first seven months of 2022 I’ve earned $10,105 in rakeback.
Adding up the total of these five categories gives me a total profit of $42,329. Not a bad start to 2022, but I did have this number all the way up to over $58,000 in early June, before hitting the biggest financial downswing of my poker career. As you can see from the swings in my online cash game results this year below, poker isn’t always a fun ride even for those of us who have been consistent winners over the years.
Good luck to everyone at the tables and let’s crush the last part of 2022!
Poker content creator David Kaye of Mason writes a regular column for PlayMichigan. You can follow David’s poker journey on his social media accounts under the handle “DavidKayePoker.” David is on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram.